Drop Everything

Rita's Indonesia

Interview with Rita Pires

I met Rita at the , during a Yoga class taught by Professor Firminiano. Yoga is an entry door for another world, calmer, of an enormous sharing and acceptance. Despite the needed introspection to the practice, we were transported in group by the voice of the teacher, during the whole class. Can this mean that it's only possible to exist among others in harmony while there are journeys inside us? All these truths bring me Rita to the memory. And this is how I remember her. Simão Correia

Who was Rita Pires in Portugal?

Portugal was the place that saw me being born and where I lived until I was sixteen years old, time when I started to travel and compete in Bodyboard. The fact that I started to travel alone very young, made me a more detached person concerning to my house, friends and family. I always loved to travel, to pack and leave for the adventure...To know people and share experience! I can't describe how was Rita Pires in Portugal, because Rita Pires always was from the world.

Rita Pires a fazer Yoga numa prancha de Stand Up Paddle
In October of 2004, when I finished my course instructor Yoga.

How did bodyboard come up in your life?

I began to practice bodyboard because I used to spend all my summers on the beach at Costa da Caparica since I was a child. One summer, my older brother decided to buy a bodyboard and I started to surf with his board, only with 9 years old. In the following summer, and in order for me being able to accompany my brother into the water, my parents decided to buy me a bodyboard, wetsuit and a pair of fins. Since the summer of 1988 that bodyboard is my major addiction...An healthy addiction because it has provided me incredible moments, and because it transformed me in the person that I am today.

Rita Pires a fazer bodyboard em Bali
Leaving the water after another surfing time in a secret spot, on the east coast of Bali.

We know that you had an academic path so called normal. What made you change?

In 2002 I finished my degree in architecture and during 5 years managed to conciliate my profession of architect with a sports career. These were 5 years quite tiring, because I was practicing every day before going to work and many times worked extra hours to be able to travel and participate in the major competitions. It came to a point when I had to decide between dedicating the rest of my life to architecture or to bodyboard and competition...Even knowing that my competitive career has a limited period, I chose to follow my heart and dedicate myself to what I liked the most. I left my job in the atelier in 2008 and in 2009 came the excellent opportunity to have a television program on . If I had never risked, I would never have had this opportunity!

Rita Pires em Bali, Indonésia
In 2013 on the first trip to Bali, during a visit to the rice fields in Ubud - Bali.

How did you do your transition?

Few years after starting to compete and travel, I knew that Portugal wouldn't be the country where I would live...I always looked for alternatives which would allow me to be in touch with the sea and live a healthy and relaxed lifestyle. Portugal, despite having good waves has a frozen water, and for me that is a big barrier...I always dreamed about being able to surf until the end of my days, and that is only possible in a country of hot waters!

How did appear the opportunity to drop everything and go to live in Bali, Indonesia?

I started to travel to Indonesia six years ago...The first time that I visited the country I knew right away that this was the place. During the first three years I went several times to Sumatra and even had a business there. Two years ago I came to Bali for the first time and fell in love. This island is magical and has everything I ever dreamed. I don't consider that I left everything, because I was looking for this opportunity for a long time...Portugal was never a place where I wanted to settle and create roots, therefore I don't think that I left so many things behind.

Tell us a little about the world of Bali.

Bali is one of the most attractive places in the world! Every day arrive thousands of people and everything spins around tourism...It is an excellent place to develop projects, to create new ideas and to meet people. Obviously that exist also some barriers and difficulties, but the energy of the place and the fact of one always being able to meet people willing to help, turns any difficulty into just a small challenge.

Filmagens de A Onda da Rita
In 2013 during the footage of the program A Onda da Rita.

How is your life in that new reality?

In Bali I have a quite busy life developing my project named Stand Up Training. It is a pioneer project and is having a huge acceptance due to being differentiator. Basically my day is spent teaching classes of , establishing contact with clients and new partners. Twice or three times a week I do tours in the mountains and turn the local tourists aware of many locals that they would never dream about their existence! Unfortunately I don't have as many time to surf like I would like, but I'm happy with the work that I'm developing in here.

Rita Pires em Stand Up Paddle no Lago Beratan, Bali
In April of 2014, trying for the first time my SUP boards on Lake Beratan - Bali.

Is there in you any longing for the western society?

Sincerely I don't miss too much the western society. I think that nowadays people live a lot from the appearances and forget about their own essence...The path to happiness is a self discovery which must not depend on others but only on ourselves. While we stand still in our comfort area the work keeps spinning around us a little by little we lose the control of the situation and the course that our own life should be taking in search for happiness! In the western societies it is exactly that what's going on: lots of people accommodated in their comfort area, and very little willing to contribute for a change!

Rita Pires numa aula de SUP Yoga
At one of the first classes of SUP Yoga by the end of 2014, in Canggu - Bali.

What would you advise to someone who wants to drop everything?

I advise people to be persistent and to not give up at the first difficulty. I think it is very important people to be sure about the decision that they are taking and it is also important to have the support of the closest people like family or friends...The first times are always the hardest ones and it's these people that will give us energy to continue and not giving up of exploring a path, full of uncertainties.

What would make you drop everything again?

What would make me drop everything again? The will to pursue a dream!!!

Rita Pires e Romeu Ribeiro em Bali
With my companion Romeu Ribeiro at a SUP, in Jimbaran - Bali, June of 2015.

Follow the projects of Rita Pires on the internet:

Rita, thank you very much :)
See ya...