Van life! Ok, so do you want to be a nomad, traveling with your van to nice spots & feel free to move where you like?
There are many good things about it but some disadvantages that you may consider.
As a solo nomad it may be easier to live in a tiny space but you’ll struggle with loneliness.
You can always choose to travel with other vans or move to places where there are more people. Sharing the van may be a bit tricky. The space is quite small and you have to be a good team to synchronize all movements 😀
You’ll need money. Yes, you still need money. You have here two options:
Learn skills to work with your computer. Like programming, designing, video edition, create an online ecommerce,… Look for remote work platforms like https://www.upwork.com/
Being into adventure, extreme sports or yoga. Get the certifications. Many nice spots have schools or centers where they always need help. With this you can get money, contacts and many times place to stay.
Learn languages. That is useful for everything!
Be minimalistic. Take good things and only the ones you need. Do not spend too much money.
What I’ve personally done is using as fuel my van with recycled sunflower oil. We’ve saved 50% of tank costs. There are plenty of tutorials of how to do it (Note: For cold places you will have to warm it before, for example)
Use solar panels & all kind of systems to get energy. Each day comes a lot of solutions for being more eco friendly and energy sustainable.
Be aware, even if the first impression, is that gives you freedom to be at any place, be sure that you can stay there legally. Example: In the north of Spain you can get a ticket from the Guardia Civil if you stay at night in some places. The best option is to contact people from the zone.
As a surf instructor and digital nomad explains:
“I know that #vanlife is the dream for a lot of people but I actually prefer to stay at one place for a while and really get to know the people and the place.
That means most of the time I just got a room in a shared house where I have a bed and where I can cook and shower. When I was working in Portugal I was also talking a lot to the locals about this topic and they are really unhappy with the situation of the camper vans there.
People leave their trash and don’t clean up after themselves and the people who have to live there are stuck with the chaos. So in all honesty, I am not a big fan of that lifestyle.
Of course there are people who know how to behave but at the end of the day it is not great for local tourism.
I’d rather support the area where I live and build my life around theirs”
In Stoked Nomads you’ve a map where you can find where people are and give you some feedback about the place. (You’ll have to log in. Why? Because we try to protect our users from spamming. We also need to pay the platform bills)
If you still believe is your thing. Go ahead! Nomads aren’t born to stay at home!
You may have been on a summer trip & went to a little scubadive trip. You loved it. Well, you are not the only one. Many discover this way that being underwater is an incredible experience. Have you being teached by a dive instructor?
Now, what about working as a diver?
Good news, that is possible. But before keep in mind that it will not be just about diving. But let’s go step by step.
First of all you need to get the accreditations that certify that you’re able to teach and be responsible of a group of people:
Open Water Course first. Get experience about diving until 18 meters deep. Get confident underwater.
Rescue DiverEFR Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and first aid) Learn some rescue skills. After getting this course and having several dives you’re able to get the certification to start to work in the recreational dive industry.
Divemaster Do a course or an internship. This will help you also to see how it is a diver daily life. Now, you’ll get more focused on taking care of others underwater.
PADI instructor. With this course you’ll be able to teach alone. There are other certifications but with the PADI instructor course you’ll find work everywhere.
There are additional courses and skills to learn that can help you to get other positions like underwater photography or cave diving.
Learn languages. English is essential. German, spanish, russian & chinese are a big plus. You’ll handle with people from around the world so dive centers are always in need of people with language skills.
““My family has always valued sports more than collecting material things. So when I was a kid, my parents taught me everything about skiing and windsurfing. They thought that training was the best way to learn perseverance and commitment and encouraged me to become a better athlete. I think they were right. When I grew up, I still wanted to improve, gain more experience and share this passion with others”
Have you thought to become a ski instructor?
You don’t have to be a professional skier to have the hability to show others. But you have to be enough confident.
Well what about combining this with traveling and switching from the end season at one place to a beginning of another?
What about earning some money teaching the skills to skiing?
If you’re confident enough that this is your thing the next step is to get a kind of certification that shows that you’re qualyfied.
Crucial is that where you’re taking the course are members of ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association).
Even if each country has its own certifications most accept the ones from other countries.
Anyway, ensure that the qualification has good worldwide recognition:
BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors)
CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance)
PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America)
NZSIA (New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance)
From each one you’ll have diferent levels. Level 1 will allow you to teach beginners, level 2 intermediate, level 3 experienced and level 4 to teach other instructors.
Get at least Level 2 to get options to work internationally.
Second. Learn languages. If you want to teach you need to be good at languages. English is essential. German, chinese, russian are always a plus.
As Hanna explains on her interview, laguages are important. She could study on Italy and work at some camps:
“So you are a ski and a windsurf instructor right? What did you do in Italy?
Yes. Well, Italy has a special place in my heart- I actually finished my high school there. So whenever I go to Italy, I just can’t wait to speak Italian again, eat well, ski, climb the mountains and hopefully visit my friends. Italy has it all! I usually work at the polish ski camps as an instructor
Oh, great! you also speak Italian! Do you speak any other language?
I studied German for a couple of years but now I can mainly communicate on a very basic level. However, I am working on my Spanish as I want to study in Spain in the next 1-2 years
Oh sehr Gut! Yo estoy ahora en España!
But before going into future plans. Which other languages do you think are a big plus to find work as a ski or windsurf instructor?
Of course English is a must. As for skiing- German is a big plus (Austria, Switzerland, North of Italy, Germany, also many windsurfing schools are german) and I would also say Spanish”
Third. Do an internship. Get confident on the daily tasks, it will not be just about teaching. Sometimes you’ll also have to manage other things like renting material.
Maybe you have seen other kitting and you would like to learn to kitesurf. You find it cool and maybe you come already from other boardsports or watersports. One cool thing would be to look for schools at your area. Or maybe as a goal during your vacation. One top place where to learn kitesurfing is Tarifa. Located at the south of Spain there are many kiters from all the world. There are plenty schools and events running nearly all the year. Like a kite girls event. As one of the organisers explains:
“The first meeting was in 2010 when Isa felt there were not enough women in kitesurfing. The vision of Isa about the event was to see a whole beach full of girls kiting. I started to work with her in this third meeting and it was stunning! A dream come true, we are cool working together and we have the same vision. “
Ok, maybe you have already been kitting since some years and like the idea to travel to new spots and meet new cultures. But, you still need to work, so you can’t just live from the air. Here you will know some tips how to become a kitesurf instructor.
More and more people are looking not just for a tourist travel mode. They’re looking for adventure. So it is happening in the kitesurfing sector. Many digital nomads are into ejoying during their travel journey to practice a bit of kitting. Coworkings and colivings are growing next to the beaches and kitecamps and kitesurf classes are getting installed around the globe. Instructors are needed all the time everywhere.
Like the case of Scotty and Casey (full interview here)
“We started together in January 2014. We spent the year before dreaming about learning, we would watch the kiters on the beach for hours until we decided to reach out to places around the world for a work exchange as didn’t quite have the money to do it on our own. We were very surprised to receive several offers but one in particular grabbed our attention in Sri Lanka who asked to come out within three weeks, so we booked a ticket and left.”
This is a good oportunity to get the right requirements to start earning money travelling and being next to nice spots kitting.
First of all. Get a certification. There a many but the ones that will work in all the countries will be IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) or the VDWS (International School Association for Watersports).
The IKO Level 1 would be the minimum required and you’ll need powerboat certification & First Aid like for surf instructor.
The VDWS is also ok being also International recognized but is more general into all watersports.
Second. You’ll need to speak languages. More you know better you’ll get paid and more offers you’ll have. Essential english. German, spanish, russian, chinese, portuguese are the most demanded too.
Third. Have good comunication skills and passion for teaching.
Fourth. After getting the certification do an internship at some school. This will help you see other skills that you should know about working as a kitesurf instructor. Like office work, handle payments & rents,…
Like Scottie and Casey, they have found an amazing spot where they have created a kiteschool and a place for other kiters:
“Okay, so we started with reopening perukite, a kitesurfing school in paracas last year in 2018. We offer kitesurfing lessons, equipment rentals and guided surfaris through the national reserve all year round but our dream was always to have a kite camp and this followed within 1 year. We started Paracas kitecamp in mid April 2019. Originally it was a backpacking hostel but we are completely stoked to renovate everything and turn this into a kiters paradise. Within two weeks we made huge changes and kitesurfers started to come immediately. But it had been ongoing work ever since and we aim to complete before the high season in November with many more changed. Right now we offer accommodation, tours and transfers and have a bar and restaurant inside camp. The camp is 5 minutes drive away from paracas town. It’s the perfect place to sleep under the stars after an exciting day. The village is very peaceful and we are definitely unique within oaracs. We have a yoga roof with sunset lounge, a gym, pool, games and entertainment for all guests to use. But with these now combined we now offer beginner- advanced kite camps which was always the ultimate dream”
If you’re into surfing and you can spend lot of hours at the beach, to become a surf instructor could be your thing. In our days the option to travel and to keep on a summer season full year is being more and more easy. And even as it seems that automation is taking all the jobs. Outdoor sports related jobs with teaching skills will keep safe for a while 😀
Or like Mikaela tells on her interview. Jumped from loving winter and snowboard into surfing and full summer in Australia:
“That was already related to surfing. Well, um, I used to hate summer when I was snowboarding. So in summer I spend all my savings on going to glacier and snowboarding there…If you asked me if I wanna go for holiday to sea I would laugh at you and say “NEVER” …but then I started to wakeboard and wakeskate – realized that summer is not that bad at all and then I tried surfing”
But, even if it seems a dream job you’ve to consider that there are it counterparts, like spending most of the day taking care of your students seeing all the waves and surfers having fun.
Ok, let’s dive into what is needed to be a surf coach.
First you need to be a confident surfer that manage well 1.5 to 2 meter waves and have enough physical condition and current knowledge to solve different water situations.
Second you need to get a certification. The most common is ISA level 1.
Third, you need to get your lifeguard certification.
Fourth. After getting the certifications you’ll need to get some hours experience. Start on a known surf school doing some practicum. This will help you to see how it’s normal day at this position and also gets you option to after been referenced for future surf schools.
“I did it my way went to work for two months to the ocean. But that was France Like on a hostel or so? Surfcamp. Working for free”
Fifth. Learn languages! English is pretty good but also german, russian, spanish, chinese and also portuguese. This will open you many options to travel and get better paid jobs.
Sixth. Have passion for teaching & social skills.
And very very important. Be motivated, like Lina, today surf coach explains it all can start having fun:
“I was pretty obsessed with snowboarding when I was around 16. So at that time I kind of talked a group of friends into doing something active with me during our summer holiday. We went to france together for a week to a surf camp. My coach was australian and he told me that I have to keep up the surfing because he saw that it came natural to me. So I listened to him and kept surfing ever since. Everyone else quit haha”