Meet Sammy Gigger, part two

Chamonix, the French Alps – the place the man currently calls home.

HERE’S part two of a little Q & A thing I did with my mate Sammy who’s been travelling and working overseas for the better part of the past three or four years. I know many people read people’s stories like his and often think to themselves ‘fuck, I wish I could do something like that’ but think that it’s out of their reach. He’s a good example of someone who has simply put his head down, worked hard, saved big and bought a ticket (often the hardest part). And he doesn’t stop there. It takes a bit of research, visas and hard work but working abroad and saving the pennies there to get to your next destination can be a viable option for long-term travel if you really want it.

When did the travel bug really take hold of you e.g. on a family trip as a kid?

When I was younger I didn’t really think about travelling that much. My initial travels were definitely inspired by bodyboarding and surfing new waves. So I would say the Oz trip [after high school Sammy bought a van and drove across Australia with a couple of our other mates] was what really got me going. I loved the feeling of being free and being able to do whatever I wanted. From there all I could think about was going overseas and exploring new places. Once I started travelling overseas I was just hooked and I have been ever since.

Do you think that point will come soon where you feel as if you’re going to want to settle a bit or is the lure of more travel too strong?

Yeah I think it will. As I’ve gotten a  bit older I’ve started to appreciate some things in a different way and I guess I’ve had a few thoughts running through my head about how I want to spend the next few years of my life. It’s not that I don’t want to settle, it’s just I know it’s going to be difficult for me and there are so many places I still want to travel to. And for the time being that argument keeps winning inside my head!

One of the only pics of me and Sammy I could find on ye olde Facebook. Falls Festival, Victoria circa 2006/07 I believe. That's me up the back in the lame wrap around shades.

Do you ever miss the stability of being home? What else do you miss/what are the shit things about travelling?

Yes and no. The stability of being home is nice but it’s also what tends to push me away again. I definitely miss a lot of aspects about home. Of course family is number one. Whether it’s for ups or downs, when you are on the other side of the world it’s pretty hard to convey your feelings over the phone or in an email in a similar way to how you can in person. I miss my mates too but the good thing about travelling is you are always meeting new friends and people you can hang out with. On the other hand that also comes as one of the shitty parts about travelling. When you make good friends and then leave them and know there is a good chance you won’t be seeing them again for a while – if ever. That really sucks but I guess it’s good to have friends all over the world. Another shitty thing about travelling is always having to start at the bottom of the line in new jobs you work.

I know it’s hard to sum up but why are you doing what you’re doing – what is the best thing about travel?

I love travelling. I love the feeling of freedom and the carefree lifestyle where each day can change your life. I love the fact you can jump on a plane and when you get off you can go from winter to summer, from the beach to the mountains and from one culture to another. It can also take you from the safe and uniformed streets of the western world to the loud and intense streets of a developing country, which can be pretty intimidating! Travelling has opened up my eyes and given me opportunities that I never dreamed of. It’s taken me to places all over the globe and allowed me to meet so many amazing and interesting people. I love the adventure of travelling and not knowing what is in store for you around the next corner. It’s almost like we are stuck in our own bubble back home and it’s easy to be completely oblivious to the rest of the world. Whether it’s getting away and realising just how good life is back home, or getting away because life is so good back home that you almost get bored of it, travelling always gives me new energy and a new lease of life.

And finally, what would you choose: waist-deep powder, fresh tracks, cliff-drops, kickers etc. somewhere with just you and a few mates OR uncrowded, perfect 6ft slabs, tropical water and warm sun? Why?

In my mind there is nothing that compares to making a heavy, deep barrel and feeling the rush as you get spat out of the tube. It’s the most incredible feeling that makes you feel on top of the world. But riding powder is pretty special too, especially when you are in the back country with some good mates and your line involves perfect powder, cliff-drops and tree runs and it feels like you’re floating on a cloud. Both bodyboarding and snowboarding can take you to some pretty amazing places. I just think about surfing remote breaks at sunrise with a pod of dolphins and then I think about being at the top of a mountain and being able to see for miles in any direction and to be honest I can’t really pick between the two, I love them both and as long as I have one of them in my life I’m a happy man.

This was taken in the SA desert during one of our last surf trips together maybe in early 2009. Pic: Sammy.

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Filed under Travel, Travel vs Career

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