People call me a total hypocrite because I travelled all over the world and they haven’t yet. It’s a big topic we are all connected to and here’s the truth of it. I have travelled lots and I now live on the west coast of Ireland in the mud and the rain and the wind and I am telling you this is better. We go away to find out that where we live is where we want to be, that home is the most important place to travel.

Fergal in the slot
photo by Mats Kahlström
Fergal in the slot
photo by Mats Kahlström

People that have travelled here are some of the coolest people I have ever met and I have nothing against travelling, hitting the road and being free is everything. Everything about modern travel, even the way we think of it, is about planes. Travelling to me at the moment means something else. It could be walking. Sailing could be considered the best way to travel. It means freedom, exploration, you can go any distance on a boat. The pace of the modern world and wanting to be everywhere instantly has changed it all. As a consequence, surf trips have speeded up. We all want to be at that swell as quickly as possible. But real travel - hitchhiking, cycling, walking - that gives me goosebumps.

Right now I’m trying to slow down. I had a really fast-paced lifestyle based on chasing swells, always on a last-minute flight somewhere. So now it’s easier for me not to travel because I’m slowing down. And the crazy thing is, I’ve gained more worldly experiences in the past two years travelling around Ireland than I ever did on a plane, without any doubt. I’ve learned so much about that type of travel. Now I go to the garden and go home but the decision to visit a friend ten miles away or get something I really need from town - that becomes more important, it’s becoming real.