I'm Hanalei. Yes Hanalei, like the bay. It's a special name, that I am very grateful to have. And I am from Tahiti, I know I look a little too blond for it but believe me, it's true. I've got a pretty lucky life, if you ask me. Every day is a new adventure, and I try to make the most of it. I learned how to swim before I could walk, and that is when I discovered the beautifulness of the nature and all the treasures in the ocean. Born and raised in paradise also helps; the water was my playground, and everything tasted like sand, salt and sunscreen. Surfing came as a natural thing in my life, both of my parents being surfers themselves. I remember my brother and I standing up on bodyboards at the age of 5, god it was great. Now it became my life, and our life as a family, because everything revolves around surfing, waves, swells, new spots, fins, boards, leashes and wax. It's a passion, a passion that we all share; it's probably the best part of it, being out there, in the line-up, surrounded by people I love. Since we were kids my brother and I got to travel all around the globe, and I'd never thanks my parents enough for it, it really opened up our minds and our vision of the world. Traveling is the most thrilling experience ever. You never know where or with who you're gonna end up, who you're gonna meet, what you're gonna see or discover; all these things are little hidden jewels and memories which are gonna fill up your heart and mind for the rest of your life. More, friends you meet on your way are unforgettable. Personally, every time I travel somewhere, I find myself never wanting to leave, but home will always be home. And now, I get to discover amazing places, surf perfect waves, meet new people, discover new cultures, protect the ocean and environment and do what I love. I know, I know, not so bad for a living. I also go to university in Sydney for those who want to know, it's less fun and exciting but I enjoy it, and I am sure it will be more than helpful in the next couple of years. This is it for my life, and I am thankful every day for it. Life is what you make it, big hearts and smiles is the best option.
Photo by Tungsten, Hawaii 2009