How much money would it take for you to not surf for a year?

A few years back I went on a surf trip to a remote left pointbreak in the south pacific. On the first day of the trip the waves were really good. In between sets there was a guy in the lineup that was really loud and telling stories. Later in the day, I found myself sitting next to him at the peak. The guy broke the ice by asking where I was from.

“I’m from San Diego, California. How about you?” I replied

He said “I grew up in Palos Verdes but I live in Houston, Texas now.”

I was shocked he lived in Texas.  “Wow, Houston Texas, why did you move there?”

“For a job” he muttered,

I replied to him quickly without thinking about it,  “I don’t think I could ever move to a city that isn’t near the ocean.”

The guy looked right at me and lowered his eyebrows, “For a million dollars a year, would you?”

It took me a second, but I really didn’t have to think about it, “No, I wouldn’t. I don’t think I would be happy there. I grew up and spent my whole life near the ocean in San Diego.”

Right away, the guy started talking about how his new salary in Texas lets him live like a king.

Without trying to argue with the guy, I said calmly  “I don’t think any amount of money could make me happy if I moved to Houston”,

He then says, “That’s bullshit. I haul ass to work everyday in my Porche 911 Turbo. I’m the boss so I can treat everyone like I’m fucking Genghis Kahn, and I swim in a private heated pool everyday during lunch break.”

I laughed when he was saying this stuff because I didn’t want to comment or argue, and luckily a wave came and ended that conversation.

A few days later, the waves were pumping. Eight to ten foot stand up barrels and everybody was getting good waves. That afternoon, the same guy who lectured me about his amazing life in Houston paddled up to me and said, “I was wrong, you can forget what I said about money. I had the most epic day of surfing. Don’t listen to what I said before. I have a family that I have to support now so I can’t move, but you can forget about all that bullshit I told you before. Swimming in a pool all year sucks.”

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