VIDEO: Driftsole Media – ThisIsLife #03

Surf Jam Live in a Van – Travels from around home and experiences in Northland, New Zealand.  Dedicated to Taryn and all the fun we have together whilst travelling. Experiencing a new part of the globe for the past 2 years together has been incredible.


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Ryan Heathcote


You’ve heard people say it a million times…”It’s amazing how small the world is…”

What’s amazing though, is how many people you meet while travelling who will generally have similar interests and even happen to come from the same part of the world as you do…

This was the case when we made the spontaneous decision to head to Bali Indonesia one year, in search of perfect waves and loads of sunshine whilst it was a dreary winter back home in Cape Town.

Whilst we were there, we felt the urge to go experience a different part of the island. We decided on Canggu, a small coastal town up north was where we were heading. The only problem was that accommodation there was really steep for the travelling South African…

Until we met fellow Saffa, Ryan Heathcote…

A salty, sun brazen guy with a shaggy mop of hair. Clicking intently through some pics on a laptop with a student of his. He had been giving her surf lessons minutes before so together they were reviewing some photos a local had been snapping of her surf. Stoked with her improvement I could hear his South African accent immediately!

Ryan had been living in Bali for the past 2 years already. He had left Cape Town to come to Bali on a music scholarship and decided never to return to the rat race of ‘normal’ life.

*A beautiful edit and quick look into Ryan’s world through the eyes of MOZAD Studio. This short film was a video entry in Johnnie Walker’s ‘The Journey’ Series.

We got chatting, figured our similarities and told him our dilemma regarding Canguu. Next thing I knew, with Ryan leading the way – we had packed our bags and were navigating the treacherous Balinese traffic towards Canguu. He had organized a place for us to stay, gave us a brief tour of where to find food and waves, then left us the keys to a friends’ place amongst the rice paddies. A real god-send considering how much more we got to see and experience on a completely different side of the island!


So why am I telling you this? Well, mainly to express the kind nature that is Ryan Heathcote.

A super friendly, happy go lucky individual who is always willing to help out the fellow traveller.A couple years later and I see a Facebook post claiming Ryan as possibly – “the first person to shoot a music video from inside a barreling wave…” *music video below 

I had to catch-up and find out a little more about the tube riding musician from South Africa… and find out from an expat’s point of view, what its like surviving the paradoxical paradise that is Bali Indonesia.

Hey Ryan!

So since we last met, you became the acclaimed “first person to shoot a music video in the tube”! What do you do to support yourself and how long have you been living in Bali now?

Haha, yeah that’s correct! I have been living here for 4 years now and have been teaching kids to surf at Thumbs Up School of Surf.

What were you doing in SA before you left, and how did you end up in Bali?

Before I left SA, I had been working as an actor around Cape Town and eventually got the opportunity to join a cultural exchange program to study music here, a traditional form of Balinese music called Gamelan.


It is commonly known that surfing and music go hand in hand – Has music always played a significant role in your life?

Yes it has always been a part of my life,

For me, music and surfing will always go hand in hand, I believe the brain cant express normal ‘everyday’ thoughts while you out there surfing, but it seems to function in a musical way for sure.


Ryan has started his own band, with himself as the foreman ‘the merman’ in Tropo Brah

What looks you get from the locals when you paddle out with a GoPro rigged to your guitar and where to from here in the life of Ryan?

I get different reactions so I cant really say…

I want to record an entire album from inside the tube.

We see you playing in a few gigs that side? you get some extra coin from playing your live music on the side?

naa, we play for free – Tropo Brah!

*For more go follow Ryan Heathcote and Tropo TV on Facebook, as well as @tropoandthenakedsealife and his travelling sidekick Janine Ritterrath @youngwisefree on Instagram!




The unbelievable cliff churches of Gheralta, Ethiopia

The latest from Drifter Scotty:

One of my favourite things in life is to experience stuff that few people on Earth have done. Probably not my best quality 😉 .

I managed to achieve this on a recent road trip around Ethiopia. The country is not on many tourist agendas (though it really should be) especially if you are adventurous, love dramatic landscapes and enjoy a mixture of ancient history and culture. The cliff churches of Gheralta are removed from the usual tourist route making them truly remote.
The climb takes about 1.5hrs and not for the faint of heart. I don’t consider myself scared of heights but scaling vertical walls with no rope safety had my heart racing on more than one occasion. It’s an emotional ride with 300m drops, open tombs, and a spiritual feeling I haven’t felt in even the grandest of European cathedrals and I am not even religious. Just watch the video and prepare to have your breath taken away.

Text and edit by Scott Reinders. Click on Scott’s tag below to see his other work for Driftsole Media.

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