↠ T H E S P I N D R I F T E R S E R I E S ↠
I’m super excited to introduce our next Spindrifter, Kristy Johnson. I met Kristy almost 10 years ago back in East Wittering in the UK. Kristy is an ocean loving adventurer and free diver, who is passionate about working to protect our oceans from plastic!
Let’s jump in and ask her some questions….
↠ How did you come to live a nomadic life?
My parents both have travelled lots, Dad was in the British Navy at 15, and travelled the world through work and my mum did a solo round the world trip, so they both inspired me. I left at 18 and have been travelling and living abroad since. It honestly is so addictive, you meet people who have been to different places and they immediately get added to your bucket list, and you make friends from other countries so you automatically want to go and visit them there.
↠ What’s your big vision // dream for the next few years?
Save the planet and spread happiness! Ha-ha, in all seriousness, I would love to own an eco dive/yoga/surf hostel somewhere exotic, where all my family and friends I’ve met from around the world can come and stay, that’s the big dream! Create something where there is as minimal waste as possible, harvesting natural energies and using sustainable resources. A space for likeminded people to get inspired and be happy! That’s the big dream! Short term, save up some pennies, do some epic ‘research’ trips and figure out how to get there!
↠ Tell us what typical day for you looks like?
I work in an awesome beach bar right on the beach in Grand Cayman, a tiny island in the Caribbean. I spend my day making drinks for happy holiday makers in the day, and local legends in the evening. I’m lucky enough to work with epic people who equally try and make the most out of every day, so we try and get out in the water as much as I can before or after work, free diving, scuba diving, or just floating in the sunshine. I’m not much of a routine person, so every day is pretty different.
↠ When you’re not busy exploring, where can we find you?
My bed or the ocean are pretty much my go to places. I’ve recently started freediving, and have set myself a goal of 40m this year so am spending quite a bit of my free time practicing that.
↠ What has been your most important & defining moment so far?
Heartbreak. It led me to leave my second home of Queenstown, New Zealand and kind of forced me to go do ‘me’. Since, I’ve allowed myself to put me first, which is something I truly believe is important and everyone should experience a time in their lives where they can really be true to themselves and do what they want. Its crazy how as soon as you start listening to what you really want deep down, everything starts falling into place and you meet so many incredible individuals who are on the same wave length as you. Never stop following what drives you and makes your heart race!
↠ Tell us about your personal connection to our wild and beautiful natural landscapes + what do you do to minimise your impact on them?
Mum says I could swim before I could walk, she’d spend hours with me in water, she grew up on the seaside, so the ocean is her happy place and my dad grew up in the countryside so would take me on dog walks and talk to me about the plants and the trees for hours, so I had a pretty well rounded nature up bringing as a little one. When I moved to NZ, that was my first interaction with mountains, every day just looking up and feeling so tiny, there is something quite magical about them! Being outside definitely turns me into a big kid and I love that about the outdoors, it’s like the school’s bell has been rung and your trying to squeeze in as much fun and chaos before you have to go back to class. The ocean for me is my happy place, it’s my cure for everything. That’s why I am super passionate about trying to keep the oceans clean from plastic! For this, I’ve made small lifestyle changes, I have flasks for my water, a keepcup for coffees and smoothies on the go and a cute little pencil case of kitchen utensils. My shampoo, soaps and conditioners are all package free and I keep them in metal tins, and I have recently swapped to a safety razor. I use a reef safe sunscreen and try to pick up litter when I see it on beaches. There is still so much more I can do, and don’t get me wrong I’m far from plastic free, sometimes I forget my water bottle and have to buy a bottle, the veggies in the super market are plastic wrapped, takeaway food comes in styrofoam containers, some things are easily avoided and others are near enough impossible. I think the most important thing when trying to make a difference is just being aware of your plastic consumption, recycle more, reuse what you have, and on the odd mistakes that does happen, don’t beat yourself up about it, just remember it for next time. Small differences add up, especially if everyone starts doing it.
↠ What two key things have you learnt in your adventurous path which continue to push you forward?
That humans are amazing! Everywhere I’ve been is different; you learn something from everyone you meet, whether it be good or bad, that in itself is enough to keep me wanting to meet and encounter more people, especially from different cultures and religions. Listen to your body; mind and health, if something/someone/job/food isn’t lifting you higher then change it up, no one knows yourself better than you do, so as soon as you start listening everything in life becomes so much easier and more fulfilling.
↠ Who/what do you look to for inspiration? // Who/what makes your heart light up?
My epic friends and family! I have an incredible tribe of strong, uplifting people who are trying to make the world a better place, whether it be by creating magical essential oil potions to cure, epic vegan dishes to fill my belly, independent sassy boss babes changing old fashioned stereotypes or just genuine, happy, kind hearted loving legends. They all make my heart light up and inspire me on the daily. Forever thankful for these people in my lives. How could I forget… David Attenborough?!
↠ What is your favourite quote and why does it particularly resonate with you?
"Enlightenment is when a wave realises it is the ocean" Thich Nhat Hanh
I was in Indonesia when I saw this and it was perfect timing. I was beginning to feel so comfortable with myself, becoming the person who I wanted to be, and for the first time felt really in touch with me and I read this on a breakfast board in Seminyak, and couldn’t help but smile. Very cheesy, but I kind of felt like I had been this wave just cruising along and had realised that I am a part of something so much bigger and I have the backing of the whole universe! Once you start getting that feeling, everything starts falling into place, being aware of surrounding signs, accepting circumstances and understanding that absolutely everything is connected, what an incredible feeling! We’re basically in a real life Avatar movie! Isn’t that cool?!
↠ What’s next on your horizon? // What can we expect to see?
100% a lot more exploring, especially dive based holidays; Galapagos, Hawaii and Bahamas are on the list and am currently trying to book a short trip to Roatan, so fingers crossed I can get those ticked off, but honestly big plan wise I have no idea. Plans kind of freak me out, I like to take each day as it comes and see what options get thrown my way, so far, all my best decisions have been last minute.
↠ What advice would you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Be really aware of the company you surround yourself with, whether you share the same passions and morals etc. I’ve found that being around people that bring out the best in me, has led me to live a life that I’m in love with. Try and experience different things, hobbies, jobs, cultures, so you can find out what you enjoy, once you know that the world is your oyster!
Thank you so much Kristy for taking the time to chat to us.
You can find Kristy somewhere in the ocean in the Caribbean but you can also catch her over on Instagram www.instagram.com/saltgypsykristy/