Kite Surfing In The Deep South – Are You Ready To Take That Sabbatical?

Have you ever thought of doing something someday? India Yacht Page connected with Dhwani, the spunky and spirited girl who took a six month sabbatical from work, routine and reality. She decided to do that something – everyday. In these six months she promised herself to take a step out of her comfort zone, discover the world, try new things, visit new places, meet new people and while at it, to find herself again anew! Six months later she is still living out that ‘someday’ dream. Dhwani has a strange need to convince everyone she knows and doesn’t know to make the best stupid decision she ever did. Well, she’s got us convinced and we don’t think it’s stupid at all! Read on to find out about her life’s many lessons and adventures witnessed during her ongoing sabbatical.

Your background: what you do (used to do) work-wise and a little about you

Dhwani: I studied BMM from K.C. college and then went on to try and make a career in advertising as a copywriter. I spent just less than a year at Triton communications, 3 months at McCann Erickson, after which I moved to Chicago for a year and studied at Chicago Portfolio School. That one year changed me as a person. Actually, more than changed me, it molded me into my own person. (I have a twin sister ,who I love but when we got the time apart we both grew into different people.)

I got back to India on 26th march and by 1st April I started my new job as a senior copywriter at a start up agency called Vigilante Communications. I worked there for 3 years, moving from copywriter to creative director.

What made you take this break?

Dhwani: I loved my job and the people i worked with, but somewhere along the way i started getting this feeling, that i wasn’t doing enough with my life, i was spending too long hoping and wishing i could live a certain kind of life and very little time actually living it. i had always told myself, when i turn 30 i would quit my job and travel for a year. but then i asked myself the question; why not now? when i was 26, free of responsibilities, unmarried and young! I didn’t have answer, so even though my career was at a high, I somehow gathered the courage and told my boss (and mentor) after a lot of tears, that i needed a 6 month sabbatical. That was the hardest part of it. So with no more salary and no plans I started the most epic journey of my life. I became a person i was so proud to be!

How did kite-surfing happen?

Dhwani: Years ago when I was still in the job and working is the way to live life rut, an old camp friend / instructor had offered me an amazing opportunity – to travel with him for free and in return blog for him for free. I was too young and silly then, I let the opportunity pass me by. After I took my sabbatical I wrote to him again asking if that offer was still open and it was  So I booked a one way ticket and made my way to learn kite surfing in exchange of a logo design and some marketing creatives.

Why kite-surfing?

Dhwani: I’ve always believed that you can’t plan things, life always takes its own course. So with no real plans or planning, kite surfing just happened! and now I’m hooked! It literally throws you out of your comfort zone and in that chaos you learn to take control again. It’s amazing. Also of course the thrill of  riding the waves and controlling a kite that can overpower you with such ease!

Since when have you been kite-surfing?

Dhwani: I started 6 months ago.

How long did you take to learn it?

Dhwani: Learning kite surfing is like learning to walk on water. It’s not easy, but once you’ve seen someone do it, you have to do it! I’m still not riding properly, I’m at something called board starts (basically controlling the kite, putting your board on and managing to get on the board and ride in the direction you want to, but then falling down).I’ve been learning with Quest Expeditions, founded by Jehan Driver. What I love about it is that you feel like family there and the lessons are definitely more practical than theory. There’s no babysitting, you have to pump your kite, walk your own lines and fall a lot too! Most schools and instructors would never let you, because they would be very concerned with their equipment, here Jehan has the confidence in his students and only interferes or holds you back when it’s necessary.

Has it changed something about you?
Dhwani: It changed a lot about me.

I got over my fear of crabs and sea creatures (they are definitely more afraid of me than i am of them)

It taught me to be scared, but calm at the same time

Living in the south for 3 weeks I realized that fancy expensive things actually limit life, you go to the beach, all you need is cheap sunglasses, clothes and a cap (i scratched my sunglasses, lost my cap and tore my pants – and did not care)

Who would you recommend it to?
Dhwani:Everybody, specially people who love the water and beach!


What’s the next water sport activity on your list?
Dhwani:I got to try some Suping (stand up paddle boarding), and surfing when I was there. I couldn’t manage to stay on the surf board – but I think that’s why, that’s next.


Your message to our audience

Dhwani: It’s one of my favorite stories and i really think it’s life changing:

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