27, wait, what?

BADA BIG, BADA BOOOM!

Today is my birthday (27! Time to start calling myself ‘an old hag’ or what?) and so, I have decided to sit down and scribble something here. So let’s see…

After an amazing week spent in the CWC cable park in the Philippines and two days of full-on chilling during the best transit in Bangkok I have ever had, I have finally landed back in Warsaw, my lovely home city, and I’ve been staying here for over two weeks now.

The first question that has hit me upon arrival was “OK lady, so what are you gonna do with your life now?” and to be completely honest, the first few days were a constant search for the best answer. I wanted to do something that will let me develop in the direction that interests me in kiteboarding, I wanted it to be something that, for a change, puts ME first in my own head and I wanted it to be something sensible, because for the past year, as awesome as it was, it seems I have made many misplaced decisions that have not profited me in any particular way. I have kind of realised that, being 27 years old, I can’t do things the same way as when I was 23. Life is different now in many ways and it’s time to step up my game a notch, otherwise this lifestyle will just leave me behind.

So I sat down. And I started thinking about the things that I truly want.

Life is an interesting little bugger, because it seems to me that when you open your mind to all the possibilities, put yourself first and assume that you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, it always shows you new solutions you haven’t seen before. And it surely did so for me this time, and my new plan is already in motion! πŸ™‚

For all of you interested, I will be hanging out in Poland a lot more this spring and summer. You’ll see me more on the Polish competitions, festivals, girls kite meetings (Cabrinha Girls Weekends – yes, those things are totally happening this year too! We’ve already started planning dates and the general outline, so stay tuned! I’m so excited that this little pet project of mine is still growing strong and receiving so much support from the outside), we’ll be organizing some exciting stuff like photoshoots, downwinders and wakeboarding trips on no-wind days… It looks like my schedule will be pretty packed with awesomness this summer and truth be told – I can not wait!

Probably the best part of me being back home is that I have visited Cabrinha Poland office and have finally oficially SIGNED A NEW CONTRACT with Cabrinha for another two years! I’m changing my setup a bit too, from now on I will be riding Chaos kites and Custom board with Cabrinha boots. I’ll still have my XCaliber on the side of course, but for now I’m super thrilled to step up my game and expand into different areas of the sport a bit πŸ˜‰ Funny how I’ve been into kiteboarding for quite a few years now but recently I feel like a beginner all over again in so many things!

Even though Polish competitions usually start in May already, I don’t think the Polish season will kick in for real until around mid-June (and let’s be honest – it’s too cold for me before that anyway), so until then I will for sure go on one or two smaller kite trips abroad for myself, just to explore, log in some hours on the water, take some photos and maybe release a kite story or two… Actually, I have just bought (a b-day present to myself, haha!) a ticket to Sardinia on 29 March. Sardinia looks like an amazing place that has it all – flat water, 2.0 for no-wind days and even some obstacles on the kitespot (now that will be fun to try!). I am EXTREMELY excited, because Sardinia is one of those places on my kite list that I have always wanted to visit. And it’s going to be my first proper kite trip (without working) in ages! πŸ˜‰

That’s it for now, my next update hopefully will be from Sardinia already!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

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Paradise, here I come :D


Holy shit, I DID IT!!! I. DID. IT.

I spent last 3 weeks back in my hometown, burried under piles and piles of unread notes and classes materials. Essays. Exams. Final papers. Go to classes and be smart, after all you are the only one who was missing for a month. Try to act like your suntan is nothing, like your bleached hair is nothing, like the fact you just don’t visually belong in this pale-faced, dark-clothed mass of people is nothing. And just stay calm, it doesn’t matter that if you screw up something your whole plan for the next year will go to hell. After all, what’s life without a little gamble here and there πŸ˜‰

Phew. Only now, when it is actually over, I can see how stressful it’s been. But I did it! The only thought that kept me going and made me work every day those past three weeks was that this is the last time, last effort and if only I can do it, I’ll have all I wanted.

Now it’s all done and it feels GOOD.

University stuff aside, it was really nice to spend time with my family and see my close friends. This time I was gone only for a month, so I didn’t miss them too much yet, but I know from now on I’ll be seeing less of them so I really wanted to have some quality time with my Important People πŸ™‚ And a few days after I landed in Warsaw the snow started falling and it became soooo pretty! I love it when it snows here, everything is covered in a white, fluffy layer of powder and you can cuddle in your bed under a blanket and read one book after another… unless you have to study, but of course I tried to stay somewhere in the middle, otherwise I would just go crazy πŸ˜‰ So this ‘small’ trip back to Poland was not bad at all… after all, life is not all about kitesurfing (even though it is my thing no.1 on the “NEVER LET GO” list).

So now that I’ve done all I had to do here, said my goodbyes and took care of all the things, it is time to go on an adventure again. I am extremely happy that in a few hours I’ll be boarding a plane that is gonna take me back to Boracay, where I’m gonna spend at least next two months… super excited to film more with my friend the next 3 weeks, various ideas are overflowing my head and I really need to finally let them out! πŸ˜‰

Until next time!

Can't wait to be back on the water!

Can’t wait to be back on the water!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

New Year, Same Island

Tomorrow’s the last day of 2013 and as I sit in front of my computer after a long rainy day on the island, it makes me think on everything I’ve done those past 12 months. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a completely different person than a year ago. I know she has travelled a lot, I know she’s made some wise and unwise choices, I know she had some absolutely amazing moments in her life and some really bad ones too. And I know she came out of the bad ones as a winner and picked up the pieces and made something really good out of them and I think I am a little bit proud of her. This girl in the mirror is stronger and wiser and, most importantly, one year later she is still doing what she loves the most in the whole world and she has people who recognised her passion and decided to support her in it. I don’t know if she’s a better person, it’s not like I can be a judge of that, but even if she is not, I really hope she’s close to becoming one.

It’s pretty funny to think that this year has started and is gonna end on Boracay. I’ve been to many amazing places, but this is the only one that captured a part of me big enough to force me to come back. I don’t really know what is it because I have seen islands more beautiful than this one, with clearer water, tastier food, better weather… and still, this is the one that I couldn’t get out of my mind. Interesting how these things turn out sometimes πŸ™‚

Our life here is still magic, with enough work, surf and partying to keep us all entertained. Some days are lazy and some, like yesterday, are crazy busy, but all in all it’s good. I might be simply easy to please, but as long as I have enough time to squeeze a small freestyle sesh in or just go and play in the waves on the reef, I am happy. People were telling me in the past that I shouldn’t put so much effort and money into kitesurfing because, just like any other hobby, it will pass. But when you get in there with your kite and you know you can go anywhere and do anything and you’re free and it’s only you you you and years later you still want to scream with joy every time you hear the sound of waves, this is not something that will pass. This is a part of you and even if you wanted, you can’t just cut yourself open and get rid of it. And I still get called silly sometimes when I try to explain it to people, but I also know that every person who has found their true passion in life understands how it feels.

And so, I’d like to wish you all a happy New Year. If you already have something you love the most, I wish you enough courage and determination to pursue it no matter what. And if you haven’t found it yet, I hope 2014 will be the year when you do πŸ™‚ I’d also like to thank my sponsors – Cabrinha, Sklep 24surf.pl, Evokaii and GoPro – for having my back this year. Knowing that there is someone who thinks I am worth supporting is amazing, it makes me push myself even when I think I can’t do it, so thank you πŸ™‚

Until next year and may wind be with you!
Zuza

Candies, unicorns and rainbows!

Philippines in February 2013 :)

Philippines in February 2013 πŸ™‚

I remember when I was little my parents used to buy me an advent calendar every year. I would dutifully munch on one chocolate per day, barely managing to contain my excitement for the upcoming Christmas. It has always been my favourite holiday of the year, the most magical and beautiful one. I still love Christmas more than any other holiday, but the things I anticipate most have changed over the years. It used to be tons of snow and a beautiful, huge Christmas tree dressed with baubles, now I can’t wait to run down the beach on Christmas morning and have a wonderful kitesession. It used to be mysterious gifts wrapped in pretty paper, now it’s a new pair of footstraps that I’ve just received from Cabrinha (and OMG they are SO COOL). And to be completely honest – a part of me misses the kind of Christmas I used to have as a child. I kinda wish I could spend it with my family, cuddled under a blanket in the warmth of my own room and not somewhere on the other side of the world but… at the same time I feel the same kind of longing and anticipation towards these new things that I used to feel towards Christmas at home. And even though I’m going to be so far away, I know that my important people will remember about me πŸ™‚

My new lovely footstraps! Awww <3

My new lovely footstraps! Awww ❀

And so, my next update will be from Philippines! πŸ™‚ On Friday I am going to Belgium for a few days to meet with my awesome friend Leen (whom I haven’t seen since March!) and after that on next Wednesday I am getting on a plane that will take me to Asia. It’s going to be one hell of a journey, with two days, five airports, a bus, a boat and a tricycle, but not even that can destroy my spirits now. I have so many plans for this winter season and so many challenges ahead, that I honestly don’t know how I can still sleep at night with all this excitement around me, haha! Not to mention that while I sit in my cold, rainy country my good buddies are already there, living the high life… bastards… πŸ˜‰

That’s all for now, I’ll keep you posted and may wind be with you!

Zuza

2 weeks until the start of the rest of my life <3

I am so stoked today. So very very stoked I can’t really keep it in, have to shout it to the world πŸ™‚

Last 2 months have been quite hard on me, with most of my plans crumbling, lots of money lost, some goodbyes I didn’t want to say, tons of difficult decisions to be made and quite a few hardships I had to go through to be able to say today ‘I am back on my feet’. Well, not quite yet, but things are getting better and better and lately I am looking into the future with a lot of hope again πŸ™‚ I couldn’t have done it without a few grand people who supported me the last two months and provided me with all the psychological, financial and legal help – you know who you are and I hope you know how grateful I am!

As of now, I am back in Poland, finishing my last semester at university… It was a last-second decision to come back to studying instead of throwing it all away, and I am so glad that I made it. I know now that if I didn’t, I would probably forever regret it. My main concern was that if I go back to studying, I won’t be able to pursue the lifestyle I so very much wanted and that if I don’t pursue it, I’ll wake up at some point realising it’s too late. Well, seems like even a 25 years old person can be a silly child sometimes… πŸ™‚ Everyone at university has been really kind to me and even though I am currently being flooded with extra course work, my teachers have all agreed to help me combine this last year with kitesurfing. And so, even though they are probably pushing me harder than other kids in my courses, I am allowed to skip more and so I am allowed to spend almost the whole winter in Asia, to train and take part in competitions. This makes me so insanely happy, that I don’t have to choose between education and this amazing lifestyle I love so much…

…and so, in exactly 13 days December 2013 starts, and together with December starts the rest of my life. I will begin it with a bang, going for a short trip to visit my very good friend whom I miss a lot, and then straight from that I’ll hop into a plane that will take me to Boracay. It will be interesting (and VERY time consuming for sure!) to teach, train, compete and spend time with all my friends every day and at the same time do homeworks and write my MA dissertation… but turns out there are so many people who have my back that really, failing them is not an option πŸ™‚

May wind be with you,
Zuza

PS 1 – in the light of recent events concerning Yolanda typhoon on Philippines, I just wanted to remind everyone that help can be provided worldwide by donating to Red Cross. The place where I’m going, Boracay, has been spared from the damage, but other islands sadly didn’t have it that easy. There are countless people in need of food, water, sanitary supplies… if you can, please help!

PS 2 – if you LIKED my FB fanpage before, please do it one more time – I had to delete many fans to be able to introduce some changes to the fanpage… sorry for all the inconvenience!

Asia wrap-up and I oficially GOT SPONSORED!

Cabrinha Polska

Oh boy, oh boy, what a crazy week it has been. I landed back in my freezing motherland 9 days ago and from that moment on it’s been taking care of this, doing that, meeting up with friends, spending time with my family, signing contracts… crazy CRAZY but I find some kind of enjoyment in all the chaos unraveling around me πŸ˜‰

My 3 weeks in Mui Ne have gone extremely fast, but then again, if you’re surrounded by amazing people there is always not enough time to say what you want to say and do what you want to do. I started filming in Mui Ne a bit, but because of multiple reasons (the awesomest of them directly below :D) there will be no Vietnam movie released… not this time, but I can always revisit next year πŸ˜‰ Mui Ne was fun, I spent a lot of time lazying around with friends, did a bit of riding and in general just relaxed prepairing myself for the crazy two working-training months in Egypt ahead of me… thank you Liz and Jeff from c2sky kiteschool for once again becoming a part of my Mui Ne family – you made me feel at home even when my home was thousand miles away and if that’s not magic, then I don’t know what is πŸ™‚ And as far as some other amazing people go – this is NOT a good bye, just keep doing what you love and our paths will cross in the future for sure!

And now the time has come for the exciting news I have… I’VE BEEN SPONSORED by four amazing companies – Cabrinha Poland, 24surf.pl, GoPro Poland and Evokaii!!! You can check them out in the Sponsors tab at the top of the page πŸ™‚ This happened a while ago already, but only now back home I was able to meet with proper people, sign proper papers and make it all real and official πŸ˜€ I am extremely happy and I just can’t wait to get in the water again and ride ride RIDE like nothing else matters, especially that from now on I am not alone anymore, I can focus and do what I do without worrying about the technical part of things… I would like to kite-travel more, experience more, make more movies, take good pictures, write articles from places I have visited and help to develop women kitesurfing community around the globe! Getting more crazy, adventure-driven girls into the sport has always been one of my dreams and now, with all the help from my sponsors, I believe I really CAN make a difference! So, even though I’ve said it a thousand times already, from the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU for supporting me! You will not be disappointed! πŸ™‚

I’m staying home only for 5 days more and then I’m off to El Gouna (Egypt) where I’m going to spend whole April and May. I’m going back to RedSeaZone and I’m planning to work hard and train even harder so that by the end of my stay I can land a few new tricks πŸ˜‰ There will be a lot going on in the next two months over there, some local competitions, training camps and other interesting things… I will keep you posted!

You can follow me more closely on my FACEBOOK PAGE, all the daily updates, photos and other small things can be found over there!

Making my filming life A LOT easier!!!

Making my filming life A LOT easier…


...and making sure I'm warm and comfortavble while filming and riding! Yes!!

…and making sure I’m warm and comfortable while filming and riding! Yes!!

May wind be with you,
Suzana

About endings and beginnings.

The most annoying thing about endings is that they come too soon when you don’t want them to. This is widely known and very obvious, as time flies by fast when you spend it in great company and in a great place. And so, my stay on Paros is coming to an end – only four days left on the island, and at this time next week I’ll be in a bus to the airport, partly sad about leaving, partly excited about my next destination.

During the past two months I have managed to: loose my passport and make a new one, see Athens, eat fresh figs from a tree for the first time, teach 29 students, learn some new tricks, kitesurf in 45knts, get in an accident, try a surfboard, see a sea turtle, make new friends and see old ones, make my first vid, get interviewed for national TV, decide a few important things, eat the best cheesecakes from the best bakery on Paros…

…and the biggest achievement so far, the number of sea urchin spikes in my feet in 2012: ZERO πŸ˜€

The season has already ended and practically no one is here anymore, so it does not feel wrong to pack my bags and go. But the thing is, I already got used to everything here, to the apartment, to the surroundings, to all the sheep I see every morning from the kitchen window… it feels very comfortable and home-like and when I think I have to trade it for something new and unknown I am not that excited to do so. But I know very well that I ALWAYS get this feeling, every single time, but as soon as my feet land on a new ground it all goes away and all that stays is hunger for new and unknown.

This time I’m gonna spend in Egypt around 2 months. I’m staying in Hurghada again, but hopefully I’ll be able to go to Safaga, Luxor and Marsa Alam as well as I have some friends over there whom I want to see πŸ™‚ And yes, this time it will all be different and no, I’m not gonna be an idiot anymore. Compared to Paros, Egypt is not the windiest place on earth, but that does not bother me really, especially that I have a little vid project in mind that has nothing to do with wind or water… When you know you’ll be kiting in a month and two and four and more, your point of view on some things changes greatly πŸ˜€

It’s nice to finally be on the right path.

May wind be with you,
Suzana