"Surfers are pretty selfish, and you need to be with people who are understanding of that. It’s all about trying to keep things balanced."
Interview Tai Graham, "tingal di Bali" to Red Bull Australia. The interview is so inspiring that we decide to share it. To read the full interview read it here
"From professional surfer to tour guide, to O’Neill businessman to owner of Single Fin, Tai is the kind of guy that’s done it all. And he’s done it all in the last 10 years, starting from the day he decided to pick up and leave Australia’s Gold Coast and move, full-time, to the archipelago we all dream of.
Moving overseas ain’t an easy task, and doing it as successfully as Buddha is a feat for champions. Below, he gives to Redbull Australia bit of insight into how he made it all work. .
Red Bull: Tell us about what got you motivated to move…
Tai: I first came to Bali in the late 80’s when I was a little boy. My mother had moved to Bali after separating with my old man. At first I was like, “What the heck is this place?” But culturally it’s got some strong similarities to my Maori background, so it became a home away from home at a young age. I started spending school months in Oz and holidays in Bali, and after I graduated it became even more frequent. Then around 10 years ago I made the move, full-time.
What was the hardest part about moving?
As with any transition, it takes time. The fear in failing before leaving was a big one. Before I left I had been encouraged by a mentor of mine to go chase my dream, and he said he would invest in my projects over there. Then at the last minute he had to pull out, and I was gutted, but I went ahead anyways. That was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I think that if it all had come too easily I would have taken it for granted.
I only had a couple grand in my back pocket, so I got creative and made it work.
What’s the advice you’d give someone looking to transplant to Bali?
Bring some cash, because it’s way more expensive than you think. But overall? Remember that when you move anywhere new it’ll take time. You have to adapt to "their" ways. You have to go with the flow.
Like a salmon swimming against the current, eventually you'll either tire or you'll land right in the mouth of a grizzly bear.
Learn the language – they'll appreciate that. Respect things that are culturally different to where you've come from. Learn who's who and what not to do. Keep your wits about you, because amongst the majority of nice guys there are always a few not so nice guys, so make sure you play it smart and don't take things for granted.
If you can make change for the good, share your knowledge, but there's also a time to just accept the fact that they do things differently here.
It is not a western country. And hey, if it was just like home, why would we bother moving or visiting? We're all guests in their country. That's how they view us, so let's be reciprocal to that view.
Just be smart. Make sure you wear your helmet. I've had too many friends pass away to those goddamn bikes. Get travel insurance. If you can afford a new surfboard or handbag, or ten nights out in town, then you can afford travel insurance.
But most of all, smile. It gets you waves and girls, and it’ll keep you out of trouble... most of the time."
Read the full interview here
- Link: RED BULL AUSTRÁLIA
- Photo credit: Red Bull Australia