Isabelle and her family recently stayed with us. They were so excited about kitesurfing and their holiday at Vayu, that she wanted to share her experience in the form of a blog post! Isabelle is a wonderful woman and we couldn’t be more proud of her for taking up a new passion shortly after becoming a mum. She is living proof that kitesurfing, and any new hobby really, are always possible even with kids! Without further ado, here’s her story ..
How Isabelle learned to kitesurf after becoming a mom
My husband, baby Aadhavan (15months) and I spent almost five days at Vayu. The family, including our 4 month old puppy, took the trip so I could finally learn kitesurfing.
I had wanted to learn kitesurfing ever since I settled in Sri Lanka more than eight years ago. Sadly, over the years, I only managed to spend a few weekends at Kitesurfing Lanka in Kalpitiya. Each time, I left with the firm intention of coming back ‘as soon as possible’. However, upon returning to Colombo, I invariably found myself caught in the busyness of life. Time passed by and I did not come back for years.
In 2018, I became a mother. By the time I had my son, I had pretty much given up on the idea of learning kitesurfing. My focus had shifted from work and leisure to the wellbeing of my son. For months, I also struggled to come out of the permanent haze caused by sleep deprivation. Truthfully, I also felt that as a mother I should engage in more traditional and family-oriented activities. However, after Aadhavan turned one, I felt ready for a new challenge. Encouraged by my husband, we decided to take the family on a holiday to Kalpitiya and Mannar.
Vayu and Kitesurifng Lanka are both wonderful destinations for a family holiday
We really had an amazing time at both camps. The staff was extremely helpful with Aadhavan, playing with him so we could enjoy quiet moments and cooking special meals for him. We also found baby/family appropriate activities in both Kalpitiya and Mannar including the visit of a donkey petting centre or kayaking on the lagoon. Despite our initial anxiety to take a 15 months old baby to a remote location like Talai Mannar, we fell in love with the camp there. Vayu is a little gem hidden behind the sand dunes. Surrounded by nature and wild life, we completely relaxed and disconnected. And the cherry on top: I finally learnt kitesurfing!
Now that I finally did it, I can’t understand why I did not make the time earlier. In the back of my mind, I always felt that I did not have enough time for extended holidays or repeated weekend getaways. I told myself that things will get less hectic after I completed one or the other academic or work project; and of course it never did. However, after I became a mom, I realized that time is an extremely scarce resource. As most new moms do, I learned to capitalize on very little time and reassessed my priorities. And just as I expected it the least, learning kitesurfing became one of these priorities.
Kitesurfing helped me with self-esteem and finding the right balance between me-time and motherhood
Learning a new skill and engaging in a new sport enabled me to make peace with a body that had failed me for nine months. Carving space for hours of ‘me time’ when I only had minutes of it in 15 months felt bold and exquisite. Of course, I also experienced the guilt of leaving my baby to selfishly focus on myself. After all, vacations are a special time for family. Ultimately, guilt is an ever-present part of motherhood. In hindsight, I am glad I embraced the guilt and stayed true to my learning objectives. In the end, Aadhavan’s bond with his father was strengthened and he engaged in fun adventures and new experiences. We reconnected as soon as I came out of the water and feel closer than ever.
Now my family wants to learn to kitesurf too!
At both Kitesurfing Lanka and Vayu, we met entire families of kite surfers. Young parents with small accompanying children, older parents with their teenage kids bonding over this fun activity. It was truly inspiring. Next, my husband is planning to learn as well. In December, my father is coming for a visit and is enthusiastically talking about trying it out too!
We’d like to thank Isabelle for sharing her experience with us and being so open with all her doubts and struggles. We hope her story will inspire more mums to take up kitesurfing and follow their dreams – whatever they might be!