Q&A with Pauline Ado : Team Summer or Team Winter?
Don’t know about you, but here in the office, we have a bad case of wanderlust. We’re dreaming of new destinations and a total change of pace. We’re talking all out wind in your hair, sun in your eyes…le sigh. At this time of year, we have Team Ski and Team Beach, and whichever team you find yourself on, we have a few things to talk about!
We had a rendez-vous with our ambassador and world surfing champion from France, Pauline Ado! She is always on the move, traveling all over the world for work, but also on vacation! She answered a few of our questions between two training sessions about her favorite destinations!
Løv Organic: Hi Pauline, today we’re going to talk about your traveling and experiences. Can you tell us how many countries you’ve visited so far?
Pauline Ado: I started to travel when I was very young, and I am lucky enough to have a career that allows me to move around a lot including Japan, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Peru, Australia, and Hawai’i! I have been to 25 different countries and discovered their landscapes, cultures and different lifestyles. It never gets old. I’m always excited to see a new destination, and each trip gives me a new perspective on the world.
LO: Where did you go on your first trip?
PD: When I was 10 years old we drove down to Morocco with my surf club…without my parents! It was such an adventure and a real culture shock. I loved discovering everything: the culture, cuisine, waves and the warm Moroccan welcome.
LO: We saw some of your amazing posts on Instagram where you showed your hikes among your other activities. Could you tell us a bit more about your interests outside of surfing?
PA: I’ve definitely spent a lot of time in the water, but I really enjoy outdoor sports, large open spaces, and breath-taking landscapes. When I’m travelling and I feel like a change of pace from the beach, my favorite activities are always outdoor where I can spend time in nature.
LO: Where in the world is your favorite place to surf?
PA: I surfed the best waves of my life in Indonesia!
LO: We heard that Madeira is an incredible destination, just like heaven on earth. Have you been there?
PA: I haven’t been lucky enough to visit Madeira, but I have definitely heard of it, especially the great waves over there! It’s on my bucket list!
LO: If you had to pick one, which destination was your favorite?
PA: It’s very difficult to choose only one!! The landscapes in Iceland were breath-taking, Fiji is pure paradise, and I adore the culture and the welcoming people in Japan.
I loved all of the countries for many different reasons. But, my fondest memory was seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.
LO: I always have _____ in my suitcase.
LO: Since you travel often all around the globe, you must be an expert at beating jetlag and surviving long plane rides. Do you have any personal tips to share?
First of all, I always bring a pillow, mask and earplugs in order to rest without being disturbed. I wear compression socks and walk around often, which helps my legs recuperate faster. I make sure to keep myself hydrated with a lot of water since the air in the plane is very dry, and our bodies dehydrate quickly. I avoid caffeinated drinks and bring a few Vanilla Rooibos teabags in my bag that I drink instead of the coffee and tea that are available on the plane. I also try to plan my meals and eat something healthy before or after the flight in order to avoid eating airplane food (I don’t really trust it…).
Once I arrive at my destination, I try to get into the rhythm and get active right away (walking, swimming, surfing, etc.). It’s not about doing intense exercise, but just getting your body moving.
If I have trouble falling asleep at night, I use chamomile essential oil.
LO: Let’s switch over to winter sports now. Do you ski or snowboard?
PA: I like both, but surprisingly I’m better at skiing! I like to change it up though and go snowboarding too.
LO: Have you ever surfed in very cold water? If so, where and what did you think?
PA: Yes, a few times, notably in Iceland and Ireland. The temperature was very low and the water was very cold. I remember one time surfing in Ireland in the middle of a snow storm. The waves were beautiful, but I didn’t feel like getting changed and putting on my wetsuit. I ended up pushing myself to do it, and once I was in the water with the right equipment, I didn’t feel cold. The views of the beach and surrounding snow-covered mountains were amazing. It was beautiful and I felt so excited to be there, to be lucky enough to take in the views, and to relish the present moment.
The tough part is getting out of the water and getting dressed again. I was freezing! I wouldn’t do it every day, but I really enjoyed surfing in extreme conditions.
LO: We dream of going to Iceland. Have you ever been there?
PA: Yes, and I believe it’s one of the most amazing trips of my life. Nature is so present there and the landscapes are magnificent. It’s a fascinating country with Northern Lights, hot water springs, waterfalls, fjords, and glaciers. If you love the outdoors, it’s a must-see destination! I dream of going back and seeing more.
LO: In the winter do you prefer a ski trip or a beach vacation?
PA: I love winter…but in small doses! Most of the time I prefer warm weather :).
LO: What destination would you recommend for February?
Central America is a great destination. It gives you a real change of scene on many levels: culture, cuisine, wildlife, and climate. I really love visiting this part of the world. The people are very warm and welcoming.
LO: What’s your next destination, for work and for pleasure?
I’m going to Martinique soon! I have never been there, and I’m excited to see what it has to offer!
I don’t have any upcoming personal trips planned since my schedule is pretty busy for the next couple of months. But, I would love to visit the Maldives, as a surfing destination, and Italy for tourism!