Photos of The Week – Life’s a Beach, Learn to Surf

It’s been over 2 and a half months since we’ve been in Bali now, and though I wish I could say I’ve gotten as good as some of these guys at surfing, real progress is often slower than we would like.

We had a couple and their baby stay at our villa for about a week, and he’s an avid surfer so I went out with him a couple times to some spots with some really nice breaks. The thing with that is, just because you paddle out into these big waves with confidence, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for what they throw at you.

After being pounded and thrown around by some monster waves, the message of humility was received loud and clear. A deep respect for the power of the ocean is needed, and a massive wipeout from a huge wave aiding me in that remembering.

Sometimes, you have to let the natural progression of time and practice unfold for your skills to improve, and no amount of force can quicken that process. For the rest of the day I was content photographing the amazing surfers that populated the famous break at Keramas Beach.

This guy was rippin it with authority.

Catching a little Tube!

This guy had powerful and aggressive style, and he looked like he might kick your ass if you said otherwise.

This guy’s airs were off the charts!

The journey to becoming a rad surfer, only begins when you are willing to take the first step..

When all else fails, you can always get naked and play on the beach!

Getting good at surfing means you never give up, even when the sun starts to go down.

It’s always important to take time and reflect on how far you’ve come…

And never be discouraged by imperfection, cracks are how the light gets in!

And when the last wave has been rode, its good to give thanks and appreciate how awesome life is, in all its forms.

Then its time to enjoy a cold beverage, spend some quality with the ones who mean the most to you, and soak in a beautiful sunset.

Thats why Life is like a Beach. Sometimes you get rained on, or get pounded by waves. Sometimes it feels like your a little out of sync, or just can’t catch a break. But amidst all of that there is meaning,beauty, and love weaved through the rolling of the waves that makes it all worth it.

Stay Stoked, Stay Inspired!

All photos copyright of Brandon Nadeau Photography

Photos of the Week, Dare to Live the Life you Want

Its been about two weeks since we’ve moved into our new house in a smaller village just outside of Ubud. Since then, we’ve rented a scooter and are discovering the joy and freedom of having your own wheels. Since I’ve never really driven, I have the same zest for life that a teenager who just got his license would have. Here’s the best Steve McQueen look I could give on a moped.

Our house is full of really cool and interesting people all on their own unique journeys, all of which seem to have intersected at this little villa. Here’s our new friend Sunshine, filming his juggling for a circus performing school, far out.

Another day, we cruised out to this small village called Petulu, which is famous because every night at sunset thousands of white herons come to here to nest.  They say the villagers had an special ceremony, and after that these herons started roosting here, bringing the village prosperity and good luck.

The village was filled with beautiful people who more than willing to share a smile and some good vibes.

Now que the endless stream of herons flying over majestic sunset skies, awesome!

We also had the pleasure of meeting a cool couple, Apple and Phil, who were running a Yoga Teacher retreat in the mountains. We hit it off right away and decided to have a beach day down in Nusa Dua, a high end resort area of the island.

Here they are showing off some yoga skills ….

Here was one my response…Karate Kick for the win!

We wondered into one of the 5 star resorts to get a breakfast, and after  ” blended” into the colourful backdrop of sunbathers, palm trees, and high end pools. This one had a beach that merged into a salt water pool with waterfalls, classy.

It was a great beach day filled with childlike playfulness and it reaffirmed my belief that its important not to take ourselves too seriously and to remember to take time to play. We feel we’ve made some great new friends and we look forward to them visiting again.

Now that we’ve been here a little while, we’ve also been finding some sweet spots around town for live music. Last saturday was a Blues Jam session at a bar called Moko’s and it was a packed house. Everyone’s so friendly here so they encourage people to come up and join the jam. It’s hard to describe the joy you feel playing for a live audience, surrounded by amazing musicians, but I was definitely stoked after this !

What I’ve learned since moving to Bali is that when we have the courage to follow our dreams, things have an amazing way of working out. It might not be exactly as you planned, but there are few things in life more satisfying than just going for it. So be willing to confront the fears, doubts, and what ifs, and dare to live the life you’ve always dreamed of having.

Stay Stoked, Stay Inspired!

Photos of the Week

It has been a busy week and this post marks the end of our first month in Bali. It has been an amazing ride so far, and we sometimes feel we have to pinch ourselves to make sure its all real.

As with most places we visit, beyond the aesthetic beauty of the place, it really is the people that make all the difference. This could not be truer for Bali. The people here are so genuine and friendly, that everyday presents new opportunities to make connections with these incredible people. Here are a just a few we’ve come across so far….

This group of performers we’re just finishing a musical performance at the Royal Palace. Music permeates almost all aspects of their unique culture.

This guy was taking a bit of a smoke break from his work in the rice fields.

We met this guy at the Elephant Caves, a Hindu Temple. I asked our guide if he was a priest but he said he was just in charge of the maintenance, but their was a deepness to his eyes that suggested something more.

One afternoon, we went on this incredible walk through the rice fields, and there was no end to colourful characters we came across. They all seemed extremely hard working but never too busy to stop for a smile.

These rice workers were some of the friendliest people we’ve met yet.

This guy was my favorite. His  name was Gusty, and though he was a little older, his vitality and vigour were almost tangible. We chatted for a bit, and he invited us back to his hut for a coconut.

As we sat under 30 feet coconut palms, enjoying about as organic a  beverage you can get, I asked him, do these just fall when there ready ? He then showed me this figure eight piece of cloth, and said he climbs up those 30 foot palms and gets them himself. There must be some magic in these coconuts. It just goes to show the only limitations that exist are the ones we impose on ourselves.

Stay Stoked, Stay Inspired..

Photos of the Week

We’ve begun to settle in our new home here in Bali, and things so far have been amazing. My wife and I live in Ubud, the cultural and spiritual centre of the whole island, so there is no end to the amount of amazing artists, delicious restaurants, and cool cafes to go to.

There also is a thriving music scene here, so you can find live music any night of the week, which is really getting me stoked, and I’ve already made a connection at this smaller cafe with a balinese guy and we played our first gig last Tuesday.

Both of us really feel we are exactly where we are supposed to be and the Universe seems to be giving us subtle reassuring nods that this is the case.

The internets been a little hit or miss here, and our amount of time on the computer has drastically dropped, but I’m going to try and post new photos from this incredible place each week. Hope you enjoy!!

Bali has some very unique Temples.This one’s surrounded by a lotus pond and is right in the heart of Ubud.

Ubud also boasts some amazing rice fields. You can spend hours walking around enjoying the sun, the friendly people, and all that nature has to offer.

And when in doubt, you can always take a walk in Monkey Forest,

Just don’t take yourself to seriously….

This weekend we’re headed to Kuta Beach for some surfing and sunset beach parties, so stay tuned for pictures of me attempting to surf, wiping out and having a great time doing it,

Stay Stoked, Stay Inspired


Life Lessons From Death Bed Confessions

This is an amazing article from Bronnie Ware, a nurse who learned amazing lessons about life from an unlikely source, Death. Here’s her article posted from her site:

“For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”

By Bronnie Ware,  Check out her site and the article here

I guess the key is to not wait till your deathbed to take this advice. Definitely helps puts things in perspective. Hope you enjoyed this!  Stay Stoked, Stay Inspired!

People Photography

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

Fydor Dostoevsky


Brandon Nadeau Photography

For more of the inspiring people I’ve come across in my travels click here.