Saltwater-addicted traveller in the mood for telling stories

Thomas Zielinski
From Hildesheim, Germany
5 years in Hamburg
Surfer, photographer &writer

How come you’re addicted to salt water? It’s bad for your kidneys!
In 2000, I went to France for the first time. We arrived in Moliet and the sky suddenly turned grey. My friends and I immediately went to the beach, while most other people were actually leaving because of the rain. But we were so excited that we just jumped into the water, directly into the shorebreak, and it was so much fun! The next day I rented a surfboard and tried to surf. From that day on I was hooked.
Since then,  I’ve been to Bali, Java, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Morocco, but I think my favourite place is Portugal. I love the people. The landscape. The culture and the climate. It’s an amazing country with amazing surf spots. Denmark is nearby and great in winter, but it’s still a five hour ride from Hamburg. A flight to Portugal only takes 3,5 hours!

What does the ocean mean to you? How do you feel in the water?
The ocean means everything to me. It’s always hard to be landlocked again after a surf trip. Being in the water is like meditating. You know, in yoga there are eight limbs. They are seen like steps to attain the final limb, which is called samadhi – a kind of ecstasy – and in yoga I never reached that state. But catching a good wave is pure bliss, and you really feel like you’re one with everything else. This feeling, I imagine, must come close to when you reach samadhi.

Have you ever been scared of the ocean? 
Oh, yes. I used to work at a surf camp in Galicia, and on this particular day I was out in the water with my boss surfing clean good-sized waves. But then they got bigger. We saw a really big wave coming in and both dove into the water. But when I dove with my board, I just felt the wave pushing and pulling me down to the bottom. I was swirled around and tried to stay relaxed under water, hoping I’d come up soon, but when I did come up the water pushed me down again. At that moment I was really scared, but I still needed to stay relaxed. When I came up, I saw no one. Luckily, only two or three seconds later my boss emerged as well.

Thomas writes about the ocean and surfing, and he also takes beautiful photos of his travels to the beach. Curious? Take a look at his blog GET WET SOON.

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