“Ok, Eve. Get Up Off Your Ass. You Can Do This”

Ok, Eve. Get up off your ass. You can do this. Come on! I said the last part out loud as I again, projected myself out of the water and onto the windsurf board. I paused for a moment, sheepishly registering my instructor behind me, before standing and rebalancing on the board and pulling up the sail. I held the sail and started gliding across the water towards the beach. Success!

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“Good!” He yelled and I immediately fell back into the ice cold water. I began the pep talk while organizing my board and sail. Up again; I went even further.

Welcome to Tallinn, Estonia. Home of a wonderful Christmas market with loads of stalls that offer gingerbread, souvenirs and the best grog ever. Wanting a quiet Christmas, I decided to take a room at the Pirita Convent, next to the beach and a short bus ride away from the city center. On my Christmas morning walk along the beach, I noticed a windsurfing school and decided to come back to learn during the summer months.

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It was easy to decide to return to Tallinn because the city is wonderfully easy to navigate. The airport is connected to the city center by a bus that you catch immediately outside. There are many different hostels and places to stay that are a very reasonable price range, and it seems as if everyone does a sport – jogging, walking, rollerblading and cross country skiing. Most importantly for me was the windsurfing.

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I contacted the Pirita Sports Club and arranged for a windsurfing class with a teacher for 90 Euro. Originally, I had wanted a couple of days of classes, but the Club had replied via email that it would be better to take one class and then spend the remainder of the time practicing on a rented board and sail.

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After spending more time in the frigid water than on the board in my first lesson, I was disappointed. Two days later, the wind was right and I tried again, alone. I struggled for the first hour, releasing the sail too quickly or falling over in a gust of wind. By the second hour, I was improving. A windsurfing class joined me. With them, I went far into the Tallinn Bay, turned around and came back. The feel of the wind and soaring over the water filled me with happiness. I felt light, like I was flying. At the end of my third hour out, my muscles were no longer hurting, they were howling, and I knew that I would need to go back to the beach.

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With a heavy heart, and a lot of help from English-speaking Estonian windsurfers on the scene, I put away my sail and board and made my way to the shower and deliciously warm sauna for a comfortable end to an amazing day.

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TALLINN, ESTONIA

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Eve is an avid traveler who has been living and working outside her home country for the past 12 years. Over this time period abroad, she has lived for three months or more in Bulgaria, Ukraine, China, Macao (S.A.R.), Mexico, Russia, Afghanistan and Georgia. When she is not working as a teacher trainer or teacher, you will find her hiking, skiing, making friends with the neighborhood dogs, painting, windsurfing or scuba diving. Read Eve’s Q & A!
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