The Surf: A Poem About Conquering a Fear of the Ocean

by isvolunteers on Wednesday, 19 August 2015

‘The Surf’ – A poem by Savvy

ISV volunteer, Savvy, traveled to Australia in 2015 to join an ISV conservation volunteer project followed by an adventure tour along the beaches of  Australia’s East Coast from Sydney to Cairns.  However, Savvy had a fear of the ocean. This is Savvy’s experience.

Air so crisp
Water cool to touch
Sand so soft between toes
Breathing in couldn’t ever feel so smooth

So fresh and clean wind blows into my face
Hair blowing
Board to big to carry
But it’s okay; because waves can make them float

Scared to relax
Having fun is top priority
One brave step always
Begins the day

People laughing
Girls smiling
Boys splashing
Dogs barking

Waves crashing
Shells pretty in color
Sun glistens water into art
Capture the moment with a frame

Make it the moment you won’t forget
The moment that you conquered fear
Mind over matter
Always the goal

Surfing isn’t about the winning
It’s about the fun
Pass the test to a good time

Be the wave
Feel it
Move with it
Be it
Evolve into it

Becoming board and wave
You become the Surf
Free at will
Calm but wild

Dangerously riding
Trusting your partner
The wave will always be smooth
Just keep your eyes on the target;
The wave, the fun
Look forward never back,
Go to where you want to go

Let the surf be free….


 Savvy by the sea

Savvy by the sea along Australia’s amazing east coast! (c) Savvy

Why did you choose ISV? I chose ISV for two reasons – I wanted to explore new things and I wanted to help the environment while doing it.  I looked at the ISV website and reviewed all of the information.  I saw that the students who volunteered with ISV were very happy with their adventures.  As a matter of background, I have lived in a medium sized town all of my life until I went to college – in the same room, in the same house with not much adventure.  Going to college helped me see a bigger world, but not yet big enough.  Traveling with ISV really made me see how big the world really is and how small at the same time.

Which Project you were on and what you found rewarding (or challenging):  My project was in Australia doing conservation at Little Desert Nature Lodge in Victoria.  We planted trees and learned about the endangered animals in the area.


Article: Nhill Free Press and Kaniva Times Newspaper, Victoria Australia, Wednesday 24th of June, 2015.

What you loved about your program; project & tour:  I loved the challenge of the project. It was unlike anything I had ever done before.  It was hard work, but it was rewarding.  At night, we saw  Our picture was in the Nhill newspaper, which was fun.  I really enjoyed the little town of Nhill.  Next, we spent a week in Melbourne and helped clean a campus there.

The tour portion, was, of course, a great fun deal.  I enjoyed most of all ocean rafting and bungee swinging, but most of all, it was the friends that I made that made the difference during the tour portion.  We had a really, great time, and I hope I have friends from all over the US for a lifetime.  Among the places I loved the most were Byron Bay, Fraser Island/McKenzie Lake–They must be the most beautiful places on earth!

What inspired you to write the poem:  I wrote the poem because I felt the need to express my feelings and the overwhelming joy at conquering my fear of the deep blue.  This was not my first time to attempt surfing, but it was my first time to conquer my fear.   ISV participants, including my ISV group tour leader, Brodie, and Margaret from Surf Camp, Byron Bay, were there supporting me and encouraging me to try to live a bit of life because life is meant to be lived without fear.

What you hope to do after ISV:  I would love to continue to watch myself grow with the things I have learned through ISV.  I believe that the next big adventure will be to work with children, and hope to teach English in Thailand or South Africa.  I would love to continue working with ISV and maybe be a leader in the near future.

Last words:  ISV is a great experience and everyone should experience what I have had the chance to explore.

To learn more about ISV and our programs please visit our website or contact our office today:

Savannah G3

Savvy and her ISV group volunteering at Little Desert Nature Park, Victoria Australia (c) ISV

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