Ein Trip durch Europa, die komplette Küste entlang. Surfen und im Van leben. »Living the life« wie das Surferherz so schön sagt. Genau das haben die Macher von »I Love the Seaside« in die Tat umgesetzt! Und zwar mit einem wunderbaren Surfguide, der uns zeigt, wie die großartig das Leben, die Wellen und das Essen da draußen an unseren europäischen Stränden sind. Ein Guide der augenscheinlich mit Herzblut entstanden ist und in jeden Bulli gehört. Wir haben mal nachgefragt, wie die ganze Sache so entstanden ist und wie schwierig die eigentliche Umsetzung war…
Hey guys! Who exactly is »I Love the Seaside«?
A small ‘core’ team of 3 who came up with the first and future I Love the Seaside concepts: me, Alexandra Gossink, writer/editor; Dim Rooker, designer; and Geert-Jan Middelkoop, who handles distribution, sales and research.
But the ‘extended’ team exists also of Gail Bennie, from Jersey but residing in Portugal, who did all proofreading and a good part of text as well. And the 2 photographers Melchior van Nigtevecht and Marinus Joris who provided beautiful sphere photos, alongside our own pictures.
How did the idea came up for the project?
We all have travelled the coast of southwest Europe so many times and spent longer times at certain places, working from our van with our laptops. If you spend a long time at a place you get to know local people and nice shops, great hangouts, and initiatives. We then made it our mission to connect that local business and goodies with the surf travellers, (who sometimes need to be guided away from the surf ☺). It’s a growing group of people that also travel with their families, or friends that don’t surf and want to know and do other things. People who like the surf lifestyle and love the ocean.
Was it difficult to realise the guide? How much time passed by from the idea to the actual printing?
In total I think the project took us some 3 years, from idea to actual printing. We knew nothing from the start, just what we wanted to create. But how to finance the printing was the first big issue. We had only positive reactions on the idea. So that’s why we started a crowdfund: it’s the best tool to see if your idea or project has any reason to go through. And it also forces you to make a lot of ‘noise’, I mean in a way that you want to get attention to your project, so you get very creative in PR, using social media, your network, family, friends, etc. The crowdfund was a success: we made 160%!
The real tough work was after we had all the information gathered and actually sat down to work on it in winter 2015/16. We still missed some photos, exact info, places changed from owner, people couldn’t be reached in winter, we had to find a form, figure out maps: it pushed us to our utmost creative limits and at the same time our utmost discipline and long workhours… But it was all for a good cause and we are very happy with the result, it’s really made with love. We like that it helps local business, and people see the beauty of their travel and holiday location and hope it inspires to explore more.
Which part of the coastline in europe did you liked the most so far?
There are so many spots in Europe that I love… But it always depends on the circumstances of course. I can have the best sessions in Peniche, Portugal, on some days, but it’s always crowded. I love Côte des Basques in Biarritz on sunny days, and St. Tugen in Bretagne on a misty cold day. I usually like the whole image: the break ánd the surroundings, for example looking out from the water and seeing snowy mountainpeaks. And I prefer reefbreaks, maybe because I don’t have that in my hometown Scheveningen ;-).
Where did you scored the best waves in europe?
I think your best bet on getting good surf if you have just one week you have to choose the Basque country. With all those choices of beaches, bays, reefs. And there’s the great food to top it of!
What makes surfing special?
It’s the sea itself and being one with its energy. The openness, no boundaries, no borders, just endless sea. The light changes all the time, the sea itself changes all the time. The sea affects your mood: when it’s calm, you feel calm, when it’s stormy, you feel restless, when it’s wild, you feel alive.
I grew in to the surfing life and lifestyle when I started surfing, but I think I led a surf lifestyle even before that: lots of travelling, lots of time spent at the Oceanside and in the water. The only thing that’s different that my travels now have a strong purpose: trying to find surf. It’s a ‘restriction’ that, at the same time, broadens my horizon.
What is the most amazing part about »Vanlife«?
Not needing! Not needing too much stuff, entertainment, space. It’s all there, you’re outdoors a lot, always something to see, someone to meet, or being solitary and enjoying the quiet. You really appreciate the little things, a hot coffee after a cold surf, the changing view during a long walk, just being there. And if it’s enough, you change scenery.
Any suggestions for itchy feets during wintertimes?
Explore your hometown, go outside, even when it’s cold. I used to do that a lot when we were homebound in winter. I met up with friends and we would go to a place we never visited before. Extra long hikes with my dog (who’s unfortunately past away recently). I also do hot yoga and meditate a bit – imagination and visualisation is a very strong tool! And planning a next trip of course ☺.
When does the next surftrip start and are there already ideas for new projects?
We are moving our office for a few months, working on our projects from Andalusia first and then Portugal. First of all updating our guide and working on the website. We’re planning to work more with partners, some cool places from our guide, so people can find them and book more easily, without having to search the whole Internet for nice places. Also a Dutch publisher asked us to create 3 Seaside guides for them in Dutch. And planning new guide destinations to explore this summer! Yeah!
Mehr Infos und den wundervollen Guide gibt es hier: