The SURFING Factory in Bali (more on that next month) will continue churning out content from all over Indonesia for the next 10 days. Will I miss it? Of course. Outside the sliding glass doors that lead to the second-story balcony of our beachfront villa, I watch Chippa Wilson spin a backside Indy three off a chest-high ramp, while Conner Coffin lounges in the shallow end of our pool, gripping a Bintang with one hand and a pretty girl with the other. Downstairs, Eric Geiselman is getting a massage and Matt Wilkinson’s girlfriend, Anna, just walked onto the pool deck with a dark-skinned friend. Why am I going back to the office?
My phone vibrates in my pocket. A text: China Air update for flight 1180, Denpasar, Bali to Taipei, Taiwan. Delayed until 7:40 p.m.
A two-hour delay. No reason to head off to the airport just yet. Instead, I open my computer and download Beau Flemister’s essay [“Unsettle Down” on Pg. 72]. It’s a great distraction from my seductive surroundings, but his words aren’t making me feel better about leaving. Not with lines like this: “If another swell is coming, change your ticket, stay longer. You can always go home, but you might not always be able to come back.”
I open up Buoyweather to have a quick look at the charts, and there it is: a new SW swell, arriving in three days. On cue, SURFING photog Corey Wilson rushes into the room. “Zander! You’re still here! Wilko said there’s another swell in a few days. You can’t leave.”
I tell him that I have to, “because of real life…and a deadline…and other shit.” I am not very convincing and Corey is baffled. He crinkles his forehead and stares at me like I’m crazy. Maybe I am.
“Real life?” he asks. “Uhh, is real life better than this?” He gestures to everything and everything is pretty much perfect.
Beau’s words echo in my mind. You might not always be able to come back. I look at Corey and I’m reminded of the profile Taylor Paul penned about him [“The Charmed Life of Corey Steven Wilson,” Pg. 82] for the very issue I’m rushing home to finish. In it, Taylor writes, “Things always just ‘pop up’ for Corey because he plans nothing and says yes to everything.” Corey’s charmed life is by design, not accident. And it is, as you’ll read in the following pages, the most fun.
The real world has a way of grounding us. Of imposing its norms and values on us. Maybe even pushing us around a bit. Well, this issue is about pushing back. It’s about wanderlust and fun and the endless possibilities that come with being unsettled. It’s about changing your ticket.
I call China Air and reschedule my flight. Unpack my boardbag. High-five Corey. (It makes him “the happiest.”) I swap pants for boardshorts and walk downstairs to the pool, where Anna introduces me to her friend.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she says, with a warm smile. “How long are you staying in Bali for?” —Zander Morton