I’d rather be an average surfer, than a bad automechanic.

Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

I have had many colleagues, but one really stands out from the crowd with his influence on my life outlook. The wisdom he was able to fit into a single sentence was really quite mind blowing. Some of his quotes become like mantras to me. I am always remembering his wise words and in this article we will dive deep into his mindset together.

Sadly I can’t think of my colleagues name anymore as we’ve met about eight years ago. I was working in one meaningless resort in Czechia as a ski rental guy. It was really just a small operation, more like a clothes shop with few skis to rent out. For that reason we were team of just four employees. The only period when we would be really busy, were holidays and one month in the whole season. For such occasions this ‘Dude’ I am talking about would come and help us out a little.

He was this weird version of an ageing ski bum. But in a good way you now… Something like sporty looking dude from The Big Lebowski.

His charm and overall presence was calm and yet impulsive and energising. I didn’t had all the time in the world to discus serious topics with him and I didn’t get to know him as a friend. I only remember him as a symbol. He was truly somebody who lived on the sidelines of the rat race. Having a little holiday home in the resort, he was living rent free in quite popular destination and was able to enjoy his life to the fullest. He didn’t really work that much at all. From what I know, he used to be a ski bum over in the US somehow illegally, until they found out and kicked him out.

But what was his philosophy all about? It was mostly about how to avoid stress and hardship. As he used to say: ‘I would rather be an average surfer, than a bad automechanic.’ As you can see, he wasn’t a big fan of career building and or working. He used to point out to me how it is more important to save money than making a lot of them. I didn’t understand it back than. Only later, when I’ve developed my own strategies and tricks on how to slow down the grind of modern society. Minimising your expenditures is a good start. You can make all the money in the world, but if you spend it quickly, there is no way out from the rat race.

And now the surfing part of things. My friend also used to live in a cave on Canary islands. That is great as an example of having no expenditures at all. One can than dedicate all the time to surfing and other alike activities. We all know that it is impossible to surf all the time. The waves are coming seasonally and in sets. Usually in the morning is the best time to go surfing and it gets worse by every passing hour. So the only suitable lifestyle for surfers is really being unemployed beach bums. The lucky ones get into sponsorship, but if you haven’t been born by the ocean you can almost certainly forget about this option.

Of course where there’s a will there’s a way and there are numerous ways how one can make a living on the beach.

Not necessarily by working on the beach itself, even though volunteering in a surf camp is definitely an option. Here comes the art of saving over making money, as there are not that many places where you would find good paying jobs near good surf destinations. As surfing is a seasonal sport at many locations, it than misses the point to stick to that one place full time. Doing seasonal jobs was always the solution for me as when there are no waves you’re making money elsewhere, where it has economical sense. Global opportunism at its finest. Minimum wage job in the first world country is oftentimes better idea, than skilled employment in the second world. Depending on your passport conditions apply, but generally there is always a country where you can get payed more for the same work you do at home and if you’re the lucky one, born in the richest country in the world already, than congratulations, anywhere you go, you’re spending less than at home.

With the work from home movement we have seen growing rapidly in recent years, many might soon realise that working from the beach is even better.

Laptop culture is booming right now and there has never been so many options to make money online. Many might soon lose all excuses for not following their passion, being it surfing or anything else, as we are all slowly but surely migrating online.

As you can see surfing becomes more like an oxymoron here and you should exchange it with anything that fits to yourself. But generally once you gain some form of financial freedom, you need to ask yourself a question-where would you want to be and what would you want to do? With such a level of freedom comes also big responsibility. Non other than almost obligatory fulfilment of childhood dreams and generally living to be the best version of yourself. There are no excuses anymore to be stuck in some bad paying and boring job. Unless of course you prefer to repair cars to surfing :)

Until next time,

Tom D’kar



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Tom D'kar

Bohemian citizen with background in philosophy, economics and entrepreneurship. Off/on grid nomad and wannabe surfer...