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If happiness should be a goal -and it should be- then adventures should be a priority. ~R. Branson

Hi!

As founder and owner of Roots Kayak, I would like to introduce you to my watersports company and how it all came to be. In the hope I can inspire some of you to really chase your dreams and go on your own adventures! The world is smiling at you and you only live once so no more excuses and grab your backpack! :)


Born in the coastal province,

West-Flanders, in Belgium, the North Sea had a huge influence on me as a kid.

I developed a passion for the ocean and it's creatures naturally as a youngster.

The love for nature in general came along with it.

Another passion, inherited from my dad was literature. When I was old enough to get access to his library, where I devoured books with topics like "the ocean", "voyages" and "exploration".

My imagination went far beyond my horizons in those days but I knew what I wanted to do in later life.

After my studies, I couldn't wait to pack my bag and step into the wide world. My first big trip would be the Indian Himalaya. I left originally for 6 months but the love for climbing, expedition and

a local lady, kept me there for 7 years. I lived with a local family at 3600m altitude, with view on Rhotang pass and the mountains were my playgrounds.



Instability in the relation between Pakistan and India, after 9/11, brought me back to Europe.


Belgium was the logical step but it was hard getting used to the European way of life again. I could only get jobs, I didn't liked and there seemed to be no happy future for this nature lover without the possibilities for real adventure and exploration. Around the time I started to realize this, I got a one chance in a million, to go on a sponsored hike from Belgium to Portugal. I remembered the days I was carrying big loads on my back in the Himalaya and I was hoping for a more comfortable way of walking. I ended up buying a Welsh Cob pony, named Mira and together we took on a large part of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and many different "country roads" before we finally arrived in Nazaré.





This adventure also ended and after a short time in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I ended up under the sun again in the Southern tip of Spain, near Gibraltar. Why there? It has ocean and mountains (watersports, hiking and climbing) and most of the year, it has nice weather.

Life was great there, with plenty of hiking, kayaking, kitesurfing, sailing, climbing, ...

I had a bar ("Bar Roots), which opened only in the evenings, so I had all the time of the world to practice my hobbies.


While in Spain, I regularly travelled to Southern Portugal and really fell in love with it's wild coast. Also the ria Formosa and it's islands were a big attraction to me.

In anticipation of Brexit, wich ment an economical disaster for the region as companies in Gibraltar closed down massively. I also was affected as the clients of my bar were these same people. As I didn't felt like waiting there to see my bar slowly fade away, I left everything behind and had a new adventure in Portugal. After a somewhat slow start in Lisbon, I skippered and guided for a while on a solar-boat in Faro. That way, I could learn about the region and it's fauna and flora. After I took the freedom of travelling around in my van for a year, it was time to start working on my plans. I found a great little beach with access to the islands, with calm waters and amazing nature around. Although the beach was still very unknown, I saw it's potential and wanted to take my chance.

In april, 2021, I had all the formalities done, the first kayaks went in the water and I started living the dream. Since that day, I'm blessed to guide people around in this paradise, called the "Ria Formosa".I love living and working here so much that for the first time in my life, I feel like I am in the right place, the place I call "home".




I will continue to write blogs from time to time and would like customers with a writing itch give the chance to publish their blogs about Roots Kayak on here as well so please contact me by e-mail in order to get you published here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog!





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