Meet the Wanderist: Paolo Parazzi

Meet Paolo Parazzi, an expert safari guide and water sport enthusiast who calls Watamu, Kenya home. To Paolo, adventure means being out in nature, fully immersed in what you are doing in the present moment. We couldn’t agree more. Learn more about the Wanderist who gives people the adventure of their lifetime on a daily basis below.

NAME:

Paolo Parazzi

HOMETOWN:

Watamu, Kenya

SALT OR SNOW:

Salt! Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of snow in this part of the world.......

SPORTS OF CHOICE:

Love most water sports. Here in Kenya, we have the Kaskazi and Kuzi trade winds which blow for roughly half the year in each direction and bring varying weather/sea conditions. Kitesurfing has been my main sport but I also love freediving, sportfishing, SUP/surf, and of late, starting to get into hydrofoil SUP and wingfoiling. The key is to ensure that you have the ability to get out on the water in any condition.

FAVORITE DESTINATION:

Watamu......Slightly biased as it is home but the conditions for watersports and marine-based activities are incredible. A fringing Reef a mile out with a shallow, flat water lagoon on the inside (which is a marine park) and a beautiful mangrove-lined estuary that goes inland. You can basically be out on the water doing any activity within 5 minutes from leaving home. Ideal.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?:

I suppose an adventure is being out in nature and being totally immersed in what you are doing. It means thinking about nothing else other than the present moment, being fully immersed in what you are doing and forgetting the stresses and pressures of everyday life........pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and the adrenaline/endorphin rush that accompanies that.

WHEN SEEKING ADVENTURE, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO?:

PLAN! Of course, spontaneous adventures will not give you the opportunity to do much planning but generally, things are probably going to be a lot more enjoyable with a degree of planning. Even just going for a quick kitesurfing session requires planning- what gear you are going to use to suit the conditions will mean the difference between a super fun or a disastrous session. For more complex expeditions and adventures then planning is key and one of the best parts of an adventure. Dreaming up new places to go, things to do and how it all fits together is one of the best parts of an adventure and the best way to sike yourself up for a mission. We are lucky in our line of work that we spend our lives planning people's safaris which, for some, will be the adventure of their lifetime and seeing that executed seamlessly because of good planning is so rewarding.

THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT:

Only ONE thing....my backpack!! Because of constantly being on the move for work, my backpack goes absolutely everywhere with me. It has everything in there and seems to accumulate more and more things as time goes on, all of which I have decided that I cannot now live without (not true of course)....but it does have everything I need to work remotely and stay safe/entertained while out on safari or on my own missions. Phone, laptop, chargers, cameras, sat phones, GPS and random other bits that travel with me even if I am just going to the shops.....the bag comes with me!!

HOW YOU GOT STARTED KITESURFING:

I started Kitesurfing on my year off after school when Kitesurfing was just starting to go mainstream. I traveled to Cyprus and Greece with a friend and we did a zero to hero instructors course in Kitesurfing and Windsurfing over a few months

TIPS FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO START KITESURFING:

Go and find a good kitesurfing school and book yourself in, you will not regret it. If you can, do it somewhere that has reliable wind, flat water for learning and (ideally) warm water. Kitesurfing has such a quick learning curve and once you are up and going, it is so much fun regardless of what level you are at.

FAVORITE SNACK TO FUEL WITH AND WHY?:

I think it would have to be Biltong (Jerky).

PUMP UP SONG:

Sonnentanz - Sun Don’t Shine

COOLDOWN SONG:

Feels Like a Sunday - Elderbrook

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?:

I think it has to be my Father, he was such an incredible man. Always positive and full of adventure, I miss him dearly.

3 FAVORITE BOOKS AND WHY?:

Old Man and the Sea - Growing up this was my favorite book. I have always been obsessed with fishing and I used to read this book again and again especially when I was away at boarding school. Such a great story for any age group

An Ice-Cream War - A really funny book full of dark humor about World War 1 in East Africa. Interesting from a historical perspective about a fairly unknown side to World War 1 and the battles between the British and the Germans out in East Africa

Endurance - Shackleton's incredible voyage - In my mind one of the greatest adventure and survival stories ever. Outstanding leadership and will to survive. Simply mind-blowing how many of them survived the ordeal, let alone all of them making it home.

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?:

Being able to fly! It would give you so much freedom and, apart from anything, would be so much fun being able to fly.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST MOTIVATOR AND WHY?:

Doing something that you are passionate about will give you endless motivation.....

The Adventure Continues! Read On...