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Mini Movie: Hostel Life In Swakopmund, Namibia

The backstory to this video:

I went to Swakopmund in late 2017 to do some surfing on the African west coast. This is supposed to be one of the best places in the world to surf, and has one of the most famous waves in the world that breaks along Skeleton Bay. I’m not good enough to surf Skeleton Bay, but there are lots of other little breaks in the region perfect for a novice surfer like me. Surfing and Africa? Two of my favourite things! What better way to end the year.

Of course when visiting interesting off-beat places like this, I’m always conscious there might be a cool story to write about at the end of it. Normally I just try to let the experience happen. Usually I don’t even keep a journal. I have a funny kind of memory where people and events just sort of get recorded in some archive in my head somewhere, and I let them percolate there for a few months. After that, I’m able to look back on the experience after everything has settled. Then I sit down to write and see what comes out. That’s how all my stories have been written.

Swakopmund was a little different. While I was there we didn’t surf every day, because the conditions weren’t always good. That’s one of the things about surfing – everything depends on what mother nature is doing on any given day. It’s possible you can head somewhere to surf for a week and not get any waves the entire time! So over the two weeks I was there I ended up having a lot of downtime. This was mostly just sitting around the hostel chatting with the other guys, cooking food, going grocery shopping – normal stuff. 

But even though we weren’t really doing anything each day, by the last few days of my stay I could sense there was still an experience here worth sharing. But, it’s difficult to write a story about just sitting around a hostel; an experience like this might be memorable in its own way, but it doesn’t really pop when put into written word. That’s when I had the idea of maybe making a video instead.

I dusted off my point-and-shoot camera and started recording a few things from everyday life – cooking, sitting around the lounge – that kind of stuff.  Everything in the video is shot on either my point-and-shoot or my phone. You also might notice that pretty much all the footage is just from me sitting around in the hostel. There’s really nothing about Swakopmund itself (even though it’s a really cool little place) because we rarely ventured further than the supermarket on non-surf days. But that was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to show; what do long term travellers actually do every day? 

A couple of months later, I finally found time to sit down and sift through the footage and put something together. I was hit with a steep learning curve. Editing video takes forever! Or not so much editing itself, but trying to piece your clips together into a storyline that makes sense – I could sit there for hours just fiddling with ideas. And then learning how to actually edit the video to how it appears in your head is just as laborious. I’m talking hours and hours and then even more hours in front of the laptop, Googling different things and watching guides on Youtube, man…

The thing is when you spend that much time on something, it’s pretty cool to see what pops out the other end. So even though I had a lot of frustrating nights putting this together, I learned a lot and enjoyed it. And now that it’s done, it’s cool that I’ve got this little souvenir of Swakopmund to keep forever. 

So, enjoy. And let me know what you thought in the comments, I’d love to hear!

Bren

Did you enjoy the vid? Want more? If I get enough interest I’ll start making more in the future. Let me know you’re interested by subscribing to my Youtube page. Just hit the button below 🙂

 

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