With a zest for life like no other, Emily is a true Sailaway spirit. Taking off on adventures with a moments notice, perfecting the art of “slow travel" and an endless abundance of creative ideas, Emily’s unique outlook on the world is contagious to say the least. We asked Emily to shed more light on her inspiring nomadic lifestyle...
Tell us a little more about you. Where are you based and what do you do?
Hey ladies! I’m a 26-year-old free spirit from Delware, US. A combination of chocolate ice cream, personal development podcasts and surfing is my current religion. I live in a very small surf town in Northern Peru where the desert meets the sea. Here, I'm working for a nonprofit called WAVES for Development, where we run volunteer surf trips to developing surf communities so surfers can give back on their trips. I'm also a freelance designer so you can find me all over town hunting down wifi with coffee and music in hand plus a few dogs lagging behind...
Can you describe your typical day?
Waking up with the sun, feeding the dogs and waiting on friends for the morning wave forecast while doing some sort of funky cross between yoga and dance. I spend a few hours a day working on all things design / marketing related and visit friends for daily catch ups and art breaks. Whether it's in the morning, afternoon, or sunset, I try to surf everyday. It clears my mind and reminds me what's important. Oh and smoothies are ALWAYS involved.
Tell us more about Waves4Dev. It sounds like an interesting charity to be involved with...
When I started working for WAVES over two years ago I really felt like I had found my dream job. The founders thought up WAVES ten years ago when they saw the opportunity to combine surfing, sustainable development and giving back. Since then, WAVES has offered travellers with volunteer surf trips where they can go surfing (or learn to surf) while volunteering in the local community. We are adding more consciousness into the surf travel experience and empowering local surf communities through English and environment classes, surf and swim lessons, entrepreneurial programs and more. Check out their Instagram to learn more!
Life in Peru looks magical, why did you decide to settle there for a while?
WAVES HQ is here in Peru. The team invited me to join them and how could I not? Consistent waves, peaceful living and an opportunity to learn a new language and culture. Those are some of my buzz words.
What do you enjoy most about living there?
Lobitos is a very special place. There's been times where this town has tested my patience (at times living with no water, no electricity, traveling 30 mins to the nearby town to grocery shop), but life in the desert has revealed to me how little I need to be happy. I live in a one room house with a bed, a stove, a big jug of water, my dog friends, my surfboard and my music. I wake up to the sound of the sea and look out my window on miles of vastness whether it's the land, the sea, or the night sky. I have friends who live down the street. We meet up to surf, make food, or sit around a fire playing music. There's no traffic, few restaurants, and a lot of free time to think and refocus here. So to answer your question, the simplicity.
What does being part of the Sailaway Crew mean to you?
I am SO stoked to be a part of a group of inspiring women from all over the globe. To me, what I love most about Sailaway is the story behind the brand. I'm currently doing a lot of research into ethical, fair-trade brands so befriending the Sailaway ladies was like a dream come true. It's so important in these times of fast fashion to know where our products are coming from, what they are made of, and who's making them.
Do you have a favourite dress from the collection?
I absolutely the Special Edition Dresses, as like mine, they’re all one-of-a-kind. The playsuits are beautiful, too. This dress is so easy to roll up and throw up in my beach bag to go from day time to night. I am FULL of confidence when I slip into my Sailaway dress.
Where’s your favourite destination you’ve travelled to so far and why?
If you're a traveller you know this is a hard question! I really enjoyed my explorations through New Zealand — I felt so at ease and so free in the country. I lived in a teepee for three weeks with friends, fell in love, hitchhiked, sold jewellery on park benches, and bungee jumped (naked!!). During this stage of my life, I was still new to backpacking and really learned to trust my intuitions.
Travelling appears to be a high priority for you. Why do you choose to travel?
Wow. Yes, travel has been my life for the past three and a half years. I am SO incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had all around the world, from the generous locals, best friends made, beautiful sights seen, and lessons learned. I think what keeps me going is the unique, off the grid lifestyle. The fact I'm my own boss, making my own decisions, surrounded by vast beauty and inspiration means I'm incredibly grateful.
Where is next on your wanderlust wish list?
There's still SO much of South America that I’d like to see. I am heading to Ecuador next week to start my own solo, creative endeavour working with artisans in the jungle. Other places on my list include Hawaii and Japan.
What topics do you feel most strongly about?
I'm a big advocate for self improvement and finding your passion. I love to ask the people the question "Why do you do what you do?". I feel strongly about finding what it is that drives you, guides your soul, and gets you fired up! Find that, pursue it, and you'll be happy.
Words to live by?
A man in Morocco once told me this "I'm crossing this paradise to get to another. Too many people go through life, but don't see anything. Paradise is all around you. Make sure you look around." Stay in the moment and be grateful. That is all.
Beautiful images captured by Ale Koukla.