The life I chose

Some people are inspiring…

Departure: Paris, France 28.01.2009

Arrival: Bali, Indonesia 03.01.2012

Travel time: 3 years

Bali “rubber” time: 4 years from 2012 to 2016

Regrets: nil


Stephanie H, a 43 years young salt gypsy, surfer and wave addict, wandering soul and full time explorer who realized that barefoot is the new luxury.. under the palm trees.

How it all started….

I shall be gone and live or stay and dieW. Shakespeare

Born and bred in Brittany, France, 100% “pur beurre salé”, I grew up as the sporty type practising synchronised swimming at a competition level and later on running half marathon in Europe. I have worked as an Advertising sales executive for the International Herald Tribune and as a Corporate lawyer in Amsterdam and Paris. 10 years, 3 promotions, countless hours of billables and one burn out later …. I was stuck in a fast-paced corporate environment and ready to leave my comfort zone to step into the unknown for an adventure of a lifetime..

“Fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. It is not an adventure until something goes wrong.” Yvon Chouinard.

It was not that easy to leave. Stuck in the rat race, I felt constant pressure from society, my boss, my father, not to mention my own fears and demons. Why did my soul feel so bad ? Definitely time to break loose. …“All it takes is running away from home”.

People projected their own insecurities, asking me “what about your pension, your career, your retirement” ? What about “security”..? Deep inside I couldn’t help but think….What security? The security of being stuck in the same office with the same colleagues for the next 30 years ? Thanks but no thanks, I ll pass…..Because it is not a question of how educated you are but of how much you have travelled… What do you pack to pursue a dream and what do you leave behind ?

The wandering

I joined a sailing boat in Thailand for an adventure of a lifetime, travelled around the world for 2 years and sailed the North and South pacific working as a crew. In the Pacific and SE Asia I also gained experience working in various luxury resorts and just like that the lawyer turned globe trotter turned mermaid found out about a new life of hospitality management, holistic health, well being, yoga and surfing.


I landed in Bali as a “corporate refugee”, fleeing a life I no longer believed in. I was aching and screaming inside. I needed to recover from me, to understand and deal with a perennial loneliness that made me feel separate from everyone and everything, to fill the gap between how things look and how they feel, to avoid the VOID. We’re all children of the Universe looking for answers on the Island of Gods. Bali tiny Hindu island, crossroads of the world, East meets West and magnet for every dream seeking talented artist / idealist black sheep in the Western Hemisphere.


“I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living”. Anais Nin.

Surfing is the first thing I think about when I wake up in Bali. A 5 min bumpy scooter ride takes me to the beach break. That moving hole in the Ocean is what I live for, inside the wave there is home. That wave is a perfection in my life and fills my heart.


I now live in West Algarve, Portugal the “Little California of Europe”. Another paradise in Europe.