Our good friends over at Gen Sueden put together this great interview with Droog79 the board-propelled artist, illustrator, designer and lawn bowls aficionado.
Gen Sueden or Going South is a project that focuses on being on the road with a van and a surfboard and all the great things that come with it.
Hey Ed! First of all a big Thank you for getting in contact with us and doing this interview. As you are originally from England please tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Vejer de la Frontera.
Hello, well I arrived here in a roundabout way and kind of by accident. After quitting our jobs and selling everything we owned back in 2008, my girlfriend and I moved to Mexico and spent about 18 months living in Puerto Escondido and travelling around Central America. To restore our funds we spent a difficult year teaching English in Korea and saved up to buy “Betty Beast”, a beautiful 1984 Bedford campervan.
In 2011 set off along the West coast of Europe with the idea that we would like to live abroad, but with no concrete plans. After a few months meandering and surfing through France, Portugal and Spain we arrived in Vejer de la Frontera, a typical whitewashed andalusian hilltop village on the South West Atlantic coast. We instantly clicked with this place: the friendly people, the relaxed lifestyle, the unspoilt beaches and natural surroundings and so stayed to do a Spanish course. When the school unexpectedly offered us teaching jobs we made the decision to give it a try and 3 years later here we are: married, with a daughter, teaching and pursuing our art & design careers and still loving it!
As the majority of travellers from northern countries stop travelling around the region of Sagres – tell us what makes it worth to trip down more south to Andalusia:
Well, I dont want to invite the whole world down here! I´m quite happy that most surfers stop at the Algarve or just pass by on the way to Morocco, but that is one of the good things about this area: it´s still relatively uncrowded, if you stay away from the main peaks or explore a little you can often surf alone or just with a few others. Unfortunately the Algarve creates a massive swell shadow that stops us getting big consistent swells like Portugal but the waves here through autumn and winter are fine for me and the climate to us Northern Europeans is fantastic. As I mentioned before, the pace and attitute to life here is laid back, friendly and fun-loving so I can´t complain!
Our site is mostly about travelling with a car or van for surfing. What do you think about this type of travelling?
For me this is simply the best way to travel and surf in Europe. We had some really great times during the months we lived in the van. I like being forced to live simply and narrow down my possessions to the essentials, I like the freedom of being able to pull up anywhere and make a meal and spend the night and beat even the local fishermen onto the beach in the morning. I like meeting new people for a day or two of swapping stories and sharing waves then parting on our separate ways.
However I have to say, I think this kind of travel can often appear more appealing and relaxed in instagrammed pictures and in retrospect than it is at the time – there´s nothing glamorous about emptying the chemical toilet on an industrial estate in the midday sun!
Head over to Gen Sueden for the whole interview where Ed talks about his art, Iggy Pop and Jaques Cousteau who explained it so well: “After the magical moment my eyes opened up to the sea
I was no longer able to see, think and live as before”.