Stories From The Road: Bree Idema
L/L: Whaaaattssss up Bree!
Alright, so to give everyone a little background we met Bree when we were down in Cali through a mutual friend. We parked up beside her van as she pulled out a towel and six pack of beer. Introductions were made as she led us into a classy hotel pool like she owned the place, casually hopping the entry gate and slipping into to the hot tub, beer in hand. A regular relaxing ritual for her. She isn't staying at the hotel, never has, she lives in this van. Needless to say, we were immediately enamored with our new mate.
She's built her life around surfing every single day and her style on a longboard is something to be admired like fine art.
Where did you grow up Bree? And when did you start surfing?
Bree: I grew up in Temecula, a city about an hour inland from San Diego. I started surfing when high school was finished and I was done playing volleyball and needed something to do. My sister and I would drive to the beach three times a week determined to figure the whole surfing thing out. The more I went, the more I learned about the ocean and fell in love with everything about it. I learned how to be myself in the ocean and be totally content. When you’re on a wave nothing else matters. This is what brings me back every time, even when its 6 am with offshore winds and its 45 degrees.
L/L: Why didn’t you feel the need to join the shortboard revolution? Was it always long-boarding for you?
Bree: Riding a shorter board never really interested me. It’s too much work for me. Im not out there to get a workout, I’m out there to catch as many waves as I can and just enjoy being out there and enjoy the feeling of being on a wave. Every wave is a new experience on a longboard.
L/L: Favourite place you’ve ever surfed?
Bree: Ollie’s Point in Costa Rica. We had to get there by boat and were only there for about four hours, but that wave was magical. I’ve been dreaming of going back ever since we got back on the boat to head home that day.
L/L: You live a pretty epic life, was it always like this? Or was there a moment where you said fuck it im doing my own thing and made a big change?
Bree: I think as soon as I decided that college wasn’t for me, my mind was free to think of all the possibilities that I could make myself do. It wandered and dreamed and because of this, I have traveled all around and seen many things and met many people. I would never take any of those experiences back. My brother and I both are known to do pretty random things and we owe it all to our mom for encouraging spontaneousness.
L/L: How long have you been living in the van?
Bree: A little over a year now. Before that, I was living in my Toyota 4Runner on and off for the past two years before the van.
L/L: Damn, two years in a 4Runner! The van must have felt like a palace after that!?
Bree: Yeah two years in a 4Runner on and off when I didn't want to find a place to live haha. And yes when I first got my van, it felt like a luxurious room. I was stoked...and still am!
L/L: Favourite thing about living in the van?
Bree: Freedom to do whatever you want, you aren’t stuck anywhere. It’s also rad because it makes you get out and do things with people all the time so you never feel like you are wasting your life away with easy entertainment like tv etc
L/L: Least favorite thing about living in the van?
Bree: No bathroom and no kitchen
L/L: You don't exactly live in the middle of nowhere, do you ever have any issues with sleeping spots? Ever run into trouble with the coppers or anything?
Bree: Living in a van around these parts is pretty chill. Nothing too crazy really happens. I have definitely woken up from someone doing drugs right outside of my van while I’m trying to sleep or been woken up by cops, but as long as you aren’t doing anything wrong they won’t get mad. It’s also interesting hearing people's conversations as they’re walking by not knowing that someone is in…and trying to have people spend the night when there’s no room…
L/L: Well I'd love to elaborate on people spending the night but we'll leave that to the imagination I reckon haha. What's the wildest thing you've heard outside the van?
Bree: I don't quite remember a specific situation but that question did remind me of a bunch of times that random strangers have come up to me while I'm at the beach and just asked to sit inside it to see what it was like. I thought it was pretty hilarious cuz to me it's just my home, but they think it's an impossible dream that can never be attained.
L/L: One piece of advice for someone considering the surf/van life?
Bree: DO IT. The experiences and the freedom you have make it all totally worth it. It forces you to live more simply and be more content with your life.
L/L: What’s the end game, tell us your ultimate dream or goal?
My ultimate goal is to not have a goal and just go with what life brings to me.
Annnddd that's why we love you. Keep it up kid, you're an inspiration. We'll be back for some longboard lessons. Thanks again legend!
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