Following the oceans current throughout my twenty two years of life has taught me that water is love. I know that is a broad and seemingly cliche statement, but it’s true, at least to me. If we use the word love instead of water, it all makes perfect sense.

Love is immense and ever changing.
Love is unpredictable and scary, yet breathtakingly beautiful. Love can be clear on some days and murky on others.
Love creates a fine line between sanity and insanity.
But in the end, Love is what binds us together and gives us life.

To me, this love encompasses water and all of my experiences I’ve had within it. Every current I have followed has lead me down a path where I am constantly driven, passionate, and stoked beyond words.

The first current I followed was not made up of salt, but instead chlorine. Ten years of competitive swimming made me discover that my life goal was to one day develop gills.
The next current created a point of no return, the ocean. Growing up on the vast coastline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and working as an ocean lifeguard, the saltwater became my home. Whether that was bodysurfing, board surfing, or even frolicking in a Nor’easter in sub freezing temperatures.

Land life started to catch up with me when I was eighteen as I was being pressured into applying to colleges, and making costly decisions. It seemed odd that I was being told that I needed to know what I wanted my future to look like ten years down the road. I didn’t. Yet, in 2016 I went off to college and felt like a fish out of water, struggling to stay motivated.

After that land year, I needed to get back to my home and society couldn’t stop me this time. I decided that I would do everything possible to take my interests on shore and bring them into the water. For me, that was film and videography.

Hannah-Walsh-sunset-water

So I left the Atlantic for the Pacific and landed in Costa Rica where I worked on a film as a water videographer and got hired by Bodhi Surf + Yoga, a kick ass company that strives to be a positive example of responsible travel. I also started making my own short films and even went back to finish university online from Central America.

The reason I share all of this because I wish that I had been told earlier that following your bliss is crucial to sustainable motivation and optimism.

I would be lying if I said that throughout this journey I have always felt happiness. It was realizing that using the water as my guide is worth the struggles I have faced along the way. Broken equipment, environmental anxiety, missing my family, getting pounded by waves, invaded by parasites and questioning myself, have all been well worth the absolute bliss I feel everyday when I step fin into that ocean, my home.

The water will forever be my roadmap in life and my goal is to inspire those around me to keep that map in tact through means of protecting it. Water is love and who wants to live in a world where love doesn’t exist?