I sat on the seawall melting into the serene sunlight while a warm breeze whipped my salty hair into a tornado of tangles behind me. Gentle waves brought the tide inward, rolling over the rocks below until the turquoise waters covered them entirely. Surfers sat straddling their boards staring out at the endless horizon, transfixed by the tranquility, patiently waiting for the ridable roar to arrive. 

Teenagers trying to coax their friend to leap off the wall into the sea, ebbed and flowed between Basque and Spanish. Offering words of support to inspire his bravery, rather than taunts and insults to chide him.

I marvelled at the subtle yet significant cultural change, where boys can have fears which are respected and encouraged with love to face. My husband and I had brought my mother down with us to this coastal part of Spain, driving our rental car from Paris to Zarutz to show her the area we had begun dreaming to build our future lives in. Searching for the perfect spot along the Atlantic Coast between Biarritz, France and Santander, Spain.

Our lifestyle, as we now lived it, was beyond our means. Every month was a struggle to make ends meet and years of this story had left us feeling drained. Blessed though we were to make any money off our individual creative careers, it just wasn’t enough for us to keep up the pace of city life and city rent.

We wanted to build a tiny house by the sea, something sweet and affordable and completely rent-free. A place we could live a simpler life of peace and solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Where beachside runs, Pyrenees hikes and afternoon surfs were part of our daily routine. Aiming to live a life of less so we might fill space made with more meaning.
Before we left Paris, I’d gone to meet one of my closest friends Jessamy, a gorgeous expat from Hawaii who I met when we were both cast to model our armpits for a Dove commercial many moons ago. She has become my official Sherpa since my apartment doesn’t have a guardienne (a caretaker) and had brought some Hawaiian samples back directly from a Kauai based eco brand, By The Sea Company.

As part of the partnership for this post, they had sent over a collection of beautiful bohemian organic cotton clothing, homeware, and accessories. Each piece created responsibly with global fairtrade practices, and easy to style and affordable. Seemingly custom designed for the lifestyle we'd been gearing our lives towards. 

I spent the entire holiday wrapped up in the flowing goddess dressHawaiian muumuu and block print sarong, either covering my trusty My Marini Seabody Suit or flowing freely beneath it all. 

Pre-surf, I'd sit at the Shelter Cafe sipping coffee while I captured memories of our experience in the block printed journal they'd sent me, kickin' it 'old school' with simplicity on a break from technology. Post swim or surf, I'd climb the stairs to the seawall shower, scrubbing the salt off my skin with sea safe Dr Bronner's soap and one of their organic crochet wash cloth

It was a glimpse at how little we'd need to build this life we dreamed of, practising a new, healthier daily routine that seemed effortless and exciting. A backpack full of organic fairtrade clothing and toiletries, along with a surfboard, a swimsuit, our computers, runners, flip-flops, a camera and a campground full of amenities was all we seemed to need. Guided subtly through the day by this carrier bag of gifts from By The Sea: each item eco, ethical, sustainable, and Lovemade. Embodying the description of the life we wish to one day lead.

PHOTOS: SHANE WOODWARD
SPONSORED POST: This post was sponsored by BY THE SEA COMPANY. The story, including all content, experiences, suggestions and opinions, are my own. I was gifted all the items pictured in this post and there are some affiliate links mixed in with other items mentioned. It is with the support from companies like this that I am able to continue researching, writing and sharing these sustainable stories. I'm most grateful for both their support as a brand and yours as a reader.