While the thought of hitting the beach may be on everyone’s mind this season, for many the concept of conquering those tumultuous waves might be just too much to stomach. Standing up on that board and facing your fears (surfing or otherwise) takes a great deal of strength and confidence.
Laura Andon, glamboyant Australian model and surfer, has achieved a lot in her relatively young life (27 y/o) and has just released her debut book designed to equip you with everything you need to face any fear head on. Not coming from a surfing family herself, Laura had a long road ahead of her when she first began surfing. Her book Ride of Life weaves in her journey and important lessons in surfing, with philosophical musings on empowering yourself.
Beautifully shot with glossy, brightly coloured tropical pictures, the book is a visual delight. It is perfect for any coffee table with images saturated in colour, set against a gorgeous Maldives background. Laura’s voice is a cheerful and encouraging presence through the book as she guides you through the basics of surfing. Between choosing the right board and performing basic surfing manoeuvres, the book equips even the most novice surfer with important skills.
But they’re not the only skills readers will be equipped with. Not being a surfing buff myself, I especially enjoyed the other chapters of the book. Surfing is used as a metaphor to provide gentle guidelines on treating yourself right, thinking positively and letting go of other people’s expectations. Laura acts as a fantastic role model, sending wonderfully positive message of confidence and self-love to her young readers.
We were lucky enough to chat to Laura about her inspiring motivation and drive and what we could learn from her and why you should pick up a copy of her new book:
Maddi: Set backs in life are the perfect way to grow in life, what advice would you give for staying positive after major setbacks and how best to use the set back to propel you forward rather than backward?
Laura: I don’t think anything is a set back. They’re experiences that you can learn from which give you the opportunity to reevaluate your choices and thoughts. Surely we all have obstacles and crossroads we come across, and they’re usually frustrating, but that’s often where the answers are hidden. We tend to sweep things under the carpet too often, and not properly address issues to the point where we hit an uncomfortable situation, or ‘setback’, because we think by ignoring things, they’ll go away, but instead they come back in another form or build up to the point of discomfort. Setbacks are usually blessings in disguise.
Maddi: What gives you the push to follow your dreams day-after-day?
Laura: Purpose, and I’m persistent to make a difference. I get inspired about possibilities. That gives me hope and faith to keep following my dreams. Yes, at times we all have some doubt, and fear the unknown, but I try to stay true to myself and follow my inner pilot light.
Maddi: What messages do you hope young girls will take away from the book?
Laura: If you believe in your dreams, and that dream is all you can think about, then go follow that path no matter how long it takes you to get there, or what route you have to take. I’m forever changing and re-discovering myself but I continue to find joy in what I do, so to me, that is success. The Ride Of Life, is packed with inspirational messages motivating people to set challenges, take risks, get out of the safety of their comfort zones, to trust themselves and have faith that they’re enough as there’s no point trying to be somebody you’re not. I also write about surfing as a metaphor. Your journey through life is like riding a wave; if you fall off your surfboard, you just get right back on and have another go. I want to inspire girls to have the courage to stand up for themselves, whether it be in, or out of the water.
Maddi: Friends and family are important, traveling would take you away from them, how do you manage your ‘homesickness’ while you’re away?
Laura: Social media is amazing and it has helped with staying in contact with loved ones, it has never been easier. When I was in LA, I would skype my mum once a week and it usually ended in tears because I missed my family so much, haha. Surfing and the ocean keep me grounded, so I need to see some type of water when I’m traveling, just to keep me sane.
Maddi: You travel and spend lots of time in the sun, what do you pack with you every time you travel?
Laura: I always pack a water bottle, lip balm, eye drops, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Keeping hydrated is a priority when traveling because our bodies get so dehydrated. I also pack a few pairs of sunglasses and a hat.
Maddi: What’s been your toughest challenge that you’ve had to overcome and how did you do it?
Laura: I’ve had a few. One challenge was ceasing my surfing career to complete university. I worked so hard to be a sponsored surfer and to compete regularly with Billabong, but I had to make a decision, and I followed the path of graduating university to attain a bachelor of education. Another challenge was in Los Angeles when I was auditioning for TV and film, I lived with some very colorful, unstable people, and I got kicked out of two apartments, so rather than focusing on acting scenes and studies, I also had to constantly search for a roof over my head. I missed my family and the Australian environment. I believe in this country, it’s beautiful and although many places around the world are stunning, I cannot help but call Australia home!
Another big challenge is following your dreams. The pressure to conform and show evidence of your work continually is a challenge. It took three years to make this book a reality, and throughout the process, there were many doubts and questions people were putting on me, whether it be from managers, agents, friends and family. However, once released, those same people gave praise and congratulated the effort it took to create this piece of work. This is where the younger generation become disheartened because they keep seeing celebrities simply put their name on brands, such as shoes, sunglasses, perfume etc. I didn’t want any sponsors assisting with the book production as I felt this book was a symbol, to show people that if you remain focused and committed to your dreams, you can achieve them. It’s easy for a big sponsor or publishing company to fund a book, but how can youth trust and believe your message, if they lack that assistance and support. I had to hustle and even though it was a huge roller-coaster, I knew my message was true and that it would inspire people as they read it.
Maddi: You’ve achieved so much for your age, what’s next for you?
Laura: To keep growing as a person and experience goodness… My book ‘The Ride Of Life’ is something I am very proud of, as it has taken three years to produce and to create into a physical reality. I am also part of an amazing show called Miss Adventure, where three Australian girls travel the world seeking out the most exhilarating adventure travel on offer. Everything is a process, and people these days want everything to happen instantly, but to create something, it takes love (passion), faith (that you can do it), and hope (to keep you going). I see a bright future for myself, I always have, the people in my life are amazing and I look forward to attracting exciting and more prosperous work in my life.
The Ride of Life is the perfect gift this Christmas, Laura’s authenticity and innate wisdom is someone to be inspired by and take notes from.
Available now at Laura’s website (RRP$39.95): www.lauraandon.com and all leading bookstores such as Dymocks, Berkeloew, Collins, Angus & Robertson and Selected Surf Shops.
Category: Glossy News