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How Emilie Marx kitesurfing journey began...

by Emilie Marx
(Part 1/6)


Where are you currently located?


I sort of accidentally landed in Sint Maarten few months ago. I liked it and stayed.

I made a deal with myself a year ago, after quitting a job I wasn’t happy with, to get my lifestyle back. I wanted to have fun with what I was doing, and plenty of time to do the things that truly mattered to me.
After few tough months floating in indecision (its one thing to know what you don’t want, it’s much more difficult to know what you actually do want…), life randomly brought me over here.
The wind was “on” all the time, the water was gorgeous, there was a huge variety of riding sites nearby, I found fun jobs, a house I liked, there was surf, horses, the people were nice, everything just fell into place, and when the universe sends you all you’ve been asking for, you don’t argue – you say “Thank you” and smile!

kiting boracay



Your age?


I’m now a young dinosaur - I’m heading towards my 30th birthday… I wish I had taken up kitesurfing (and even more so surfing) much younger. When I see what youngsters achieve in the minimum time, I’m very jealous! But having said that, my oldest kitesurfing student was 67, I still have many years ahead of me to improve and enjoy!

Where did you grow up?


I grew up in France, but when people ask me where I’m from I usually say I was born in France. Not that it has changed! It’s just that I’ve now spent half of my life overseas having English as my first language, and I don’t feel like France is a strong part of my identity anymore. Having said that, I still have a weakness for cheese… - And I do think it is a sacrilege to put ice cubes in wine!
Sint Maarten has got me back in touch with my mother tongue, my home country, culture and basically my roots, which is a first in a decade and I do enjoy it.

em long reef turn



Tell me a little bit about yourself


Wind seems to always have had its place in my life, as it’s been carrying me around pretty much since the beginning. My parents passed on to me their love of travelling and I left home as soon as I got a passport.
I’ve led a transient life for over a decade now… It’s been great!

The world is the best school of all, and I’m feeling extremely lucky to have experienced all the things that I have. Good or bad, it surely made me who I am today, and I think that what happens only is 10% of the big picture. The way we react to it and take it in makes up the other 90%...
But as we’re limited in space here, I will skip the latter and focus on the bare facts! ;)

I was eighteen when I went to spend a wild year in Amsterdam (I partied so much I stuffed myself for the rest of my life!).
I then moved to Egypt (cause I wanted to experience something radically different - and it surely was! (yeah, swinging between extremes has been my lot for quite a while)).

longy



I got strongly attached to the country; there was something magical about it. It’s there someone randomly threw me on the back of a horse and I immediately fell in love with Arabians, a crush that led most of my destination choices for the following years –that I spent working with them, on and off, in between some other weird jobs, too numerous to be listed!
I went to Israel (I have stunning memories of Jerusalem - it’s one of those cities people must see once in a lifetime), lived between Sinaï and Israel for almost a year.
I then stayed in Thailand a little while, then lived in the US for couple of years.
It didn’t do it for me. Struggled with the countries inner contradictions and didn’t quite get what the “American Dream” was all about. I missed the desert, the ocean, and was also in an unhappy marriage (which didn’t exactly help my experience over there).
So I got happily divorced and went back to my home country to get the Art Degree I wanted ever since I was a child, but which I had refused to go for because it wouldn’t get me anywhere. I was going to add “and as a matter of fact, it didn’t!”, but now that I think about it, I actually did manage to live off my paintings the following year I spent in Tunisia -after two years back in France, the desert call got too strong and I was missing my Arabians…

horse



I then went back to Egypt, where I had always meant to return to, and that’s where I started kiting. Funnily, I remember writing many times that I was missing the Egyptian wind. I used to go riding in the desert at night, blissfully feeling the wind blowing on my face.
There was something magical about the wind there, I couldn’t work out what it was, I just knew I had to go back there. This strange call only made sense years down the track, when I thought about it again once I was a kitesurfer…

Kitesurfing entered my life totally by accident - I was then a tutor for expatriated kids, riding horses and diving in my spare time, and was making ends meet by giving language courses.
One day a woman came to me asking me to teach her some French to help her get on better with the customers she had at her waterbase. We decided to do a trade, and that’s how I flew a kite for the first time. I had no idea then how much it was going to affect my life.

fingal bay rebel



My horse suddenly got replaced by a big butterfly and it changed my whole world…
I became instructor, I did one season in Safaga (two female instructors handling a kitesurfing boat - fun memories!), the next one in the Philippines, then Fiji. After failing to set up my own school there, I somehow ended up in Australia which became, and remains so far, my greatest love.
Oz is to me (one of) the greatest places on earth
I had a crush on the country from the second I landed there. There was something larger than life about the place and am grateful for the two and a half years I got to spend there.

Checkout Emilie's kitesurfing cruise site: http://www.kitesurfarisxm.com

Read more of Emilie’s adventures and see more photos

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