I can’t recall the exact moment that I decided I wanted to learn to kitesurf, but living in Barbados was definitely a big part of it. I moved to Barbados from Montreal, Canada about five years ago, all to pursue a long-standing dream of living in the Caribbean. I was tired of the winters, and although I had a great life in Montreal, my heart desperately wanted to break free from the mundane. Up until that point, I had done everything ‘right’. I graduated from university, I got a good job, I bought condo, and then a car, and I traveled as often as I could.
As time went on, and I neared my thirties, the calling to move to warmer climates grew stronger. My thoughts often circled back to the innate unpredictability of life, how no one is promised forever. I didn’t want to take my time for granted, nor did I want to wake up one day married with children, and wish I would have. I told myself I would be there before I turned 30. I landed 27 days before that milestone birthday.
Many people ask me why I chose Barbados. It’s easy to answer; I had visited a few times before, it is safe, has a good expat community, is easily accessible from many places in the world, and of course, the beaches and weather are absolutely stunning. I only knew two people when I moved here, an acquaintance and a family friend, but that was all part of the adventure– throw myself into the unknown, and see how I would cope, respond and grow from it all. I figured, worst case, I could always go back to Montreal, get a job, buy another car and condo, and live the more humdrum life again.
That move led me here. Blogging about kitesurfing adventures alongside new friends, and sharing our experiences with the world. The almost year-round sunshine in Barbados and expansive coasts make this Caribbean island ideal for all kinds of water sports. I tried surfing, but didn’t fall in love. I tried paddle boarding, but it was more calming than exciting. I am not a fan of snorkeling or diving… yet. I tried swimming, but as a competitive swimmer for 10 years, I had done enough of that. Kitesurfing, of all of the sports, was one that stood out.
Learning to kitesurf in Barbados has been testing at times. There have been days where I feel like a waterborne superwoman, invincibly riding away from a victorious battle, until I crash back into reality… sometimes quite painfully. Then, there are days that make me want to cry. The days that I fight to stay positive about numerous failed attempts of launching the kite in the water, battle gusty winds with back-breaking yanks from my harness, and endlessly body-dragging to get my board in a disheartening game of cat and mouse. Regardless, both the move and the kitesurf lessons have been very rewarding.
While I still consider myself a beginner, and have a long way to go before I can really get out there on my own and feel confident riding, every session on the water gets me one step closer to that goal. If you can brave the unknown, take the good days with some bad, and commit the time, you’ll easily fall in love with this sport. And whether it’s learning to kitesurf, or anything else that is calling your heart, push your fears aside and do it. There is more to lose in never trying.