NÆ|LU Athlete Melissa Rodwald is 30 years old and lives all around the planet. Her passion is kitesurfing. This passion led her to make a living as a digital nomad and living her dream. Melissa wants to inspire others to do the same, by connecting with them through her consultancy and social media account. She shares her experiences of traveling to different parts of the world, exploring new surf spots, and meeting new people along the way. Melissa’s live is not just about her passion for kitesurfing, but also about how she manages to balance her work and personal life while being a digital nomad.
Finding balance between passion and career
NÆ | LU: Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Melissa Rodwald, an exceptional water sports enthusiast who has successfully balanced her passion for kiteboarding with her professional career. Melissa, could you tell us about your journey and how it all began?
Melissa: Certainly! It all started when I stood on a surfboard at just five months old. Growing up, I spent years with my parents in Klitmöller, Denmark, and Tarifa, Spain, where I honed my skills in windsurfing and bodyboarding. By the age of ten, I had my first encounter with a kite and was instantly captivated by the sport of kiteboarding.
NÆ | LU: That’s incredible! After your school years, you decided to embark on a different path and pursued studies in Vienna. Could you tell us more about that?
Melissa: I wanted to explore something beyond the world of kiteboarding, so I moved to Vienna to study communication sciences. It was a conscious decision to experience life outside of the sport that had consumed me. However, even during my studies, I couldn’t completely detach myself from the allure of the water.
NÆ | LU: After Vienna, you continued your studies in Barcelona, focusing on marketing and sales. How did this phase shape your perspective on balancing your passion and career?
Melissa: Barcelona provided the perfect opportunity for me to combine my passion for water sports with my newfound knowledge in marketing. It was a transformative period where I realized the importance of setting the right priorities and making compromises. Sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and let certain opportunities pass in order to achieve a balanced life.
NÆ | LU: How has your experience as a remote worker influenced your approach to balancing your passions and career aspirations?
Melissa: While I appreciate the flexibility of remote work, I also value the time spent in an office environment. Remote work can sometimes make you feel like a lone wolf, which is why I find it beneficial to engage in coworking spaces and interact with colleagues. It’s a great way to exchange ideas, seek inspiration, and foster a sense of camaraderie.
NÆ | LU: Melissa we’re conducting this interview in Cape Town. Can you tell us a bit more about your current location and how it fits into your lifestyle?
Melissa: Absolutely! Cape Town has become my temporary home during the European winter. It’s an incredible city with a vibrant water sports scene and breathtaking coastal landscapes. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to spend my time here, surrounded by fellow water enthusiasts and embracing the thrill of kiteboarding in these beautiful surroundings. Cape Town perfectly aligns with my lifestyle and allows me to continue pursuing my passion while enjoying new adventures and experiences.
NÆ | LU: That’s fantastic! Being able to spend time in such an amazing location must be a dream come true. Can you share some insights into the challenges you’ve faced on your journey and how you overcame them to live this fulfilling life?
Melissa: Living this kind of lifestyle definitely comes with its fair share of challenges. It hasn’t always been an easy path, and I’ve encountered financial obstacles, navigated through unfamiliar territories, and had to make difficult choices along the way. However, through perseverance, resilience, and a strong belief in my passion, I overcame these challenges. I never lost sight of my dreams, and I kept pushing forward, knowing that the journey would be worth it in the end.
NÆ | LU: Your determination and resilience are truly admirable. Do you have any final message or advice for our readers who may be inspired by your story?
Melissa: Absolutely. To everyone out there who aspires to combine their passion with a fulfilling career, my message is simple: never give up. Pursuing your dreams may require sacrifices and hard work, but it’s all part of the journey. Trust in yourself and your abilities, even during the tough times, and keep pushing forward. Believe in the power of resilience, and remember that after every low point, there is always a high waiting for you. Embrace the challenges, enjoy the journey, and never stop chasing your dreams.
NÆ | LU: Thank you, Melissa, for your inspiring words and for sharing your incredible journey with us. Your story is a testament to the power of following one’s passion, embracing challenges, and never giving up on the dream. We wish you continued success, fulfillment, and amazing adventures in your future endeavors.
Melissa: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to share my experiences, and I hope that through my journey, others find the inspiration and courage to pursue their own passions and create a life that aligns with their dreams.