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Sitting by the ocean as the waves gently lap on the shore and the sun shines brightly in the blue sky is a perfect setting to tell you my little story – a story of creativity, the sea and of following the hearts truth.

I’ve always loved the sea. My dad was a yachtsman and many of my early memories of the sea were from the deck of dad’s yacht as we sailed along our local river, out towards the ocean. I grew up on an island off the bottom end of Australia, so it was inevitable that ‘when I grew up’ I would want to be close to the water, with the ocean in view.

Life growing up was idyllic. Our family was always close to nature, spending holidays camped by a river under a mountain. After school my brothers and I used to ride our bikes for hours on end, making cubby houses in the bush that surrounded the back of our family home.

Soul Surfing Emma-Jane Eeles

Winters on the island were cold and summer would come and go quickly

By the time I became a teenager I knew I wanted to surf, but hardly anyone in my home town did it. Winters on the island were cold and summer would come and go quickly. Against the odds I decided to buy a bodyboard and I recall getting ‘washing machined’ on a cold, windy and grey winters day and coming out of the surf scared but exhilarated at the same time.

A few years on, at the age of 17, I was to have my first experience on a stand up surfboard.  I scored an old and dodgy 6ft something at a garage sale and at the same time my best friend found one too – we were stoked! We packed our boards up in the car and along with my friend’s dog, who accompanied us everywhere, we hit the beach. I don’t even recall catching a wave at all that day. What I do recall, however, is the feeling inside my soul as I hit the water with that board underneath my body and the laughs and joy that my friend and I shared that day.

Years went by and I started full time work. I used to often think about the feeling that I experienced that day as I went about serving customers in my mundane 9-5 existence. I moved interstate, then back home again and in between I traveled, all the while longing for a life of freedom and creativity by the sea.

Soul Surfing Emma-Jane Eeles

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