Flag bearer: Till Winkler

It’s always new and it’s always humbling to some degree, because it all reminds me of that time when we first went outside. I guess now it’s just more plane rides in between.

#1 How have you become a product of your environment?

I guess it started with having the forest at our backyard. I was always outside, building huts, jumping in creeks, always being dirty. Then we were old enough to ride bikes and build jumps in said backyard. Soon we were discovering the streets, then the beaches, then the mountains. In hindsight I believe that every time I discover a new environment I look for ways to interact with it. I started swimming, then surfing, then diving. I love the waters and I find great meaning and inspiration in this interaction. It’s always new and it’s always humbling to some degree, because it all reminds me of that time when we first went outside. I guess now it’s just more plane rides in between.

#2 Beer, Wine, Coffee, Tea, Whisky, Water?

All of the above but it depends on the setting.

Beer – nothing better to bond over with new people you met. Nothing!

Coffee – not starting a day without it. Best case scenario: One that’s been made over a campfire where you still have the coffee ground in your teeth.

Water – Always. Always. Drink more!

Whisky – I like it for the big city moments, calming down.

Wine – Nothing like sitting in Bordeaux at the beach, listening to music and drinking some wine with a special person.

#3 Life motto?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a fancy quote at hand but there’s something I always try to remember myself of in times when I’m stuck or when I really want to do or learn something but don’t know how:

It’s all about attitude. If you want to do it, you can do it. It’s as simple as that.

And it’s true! There’s a difference between people saying “I can” and “I can’t” and it seems like the first ones have way more fun in the swell.

#4 Tell us about the most life-changing trip or experience you’ve had.

In 2010 when I just came out of college I had almost no money and I spend all of it on a plane ride to Indonesia with a budget of having 10 Euros a day – for 6 weeks. I had a surfboard, a couple of T-shirts and picked up a guitar. Cliché! But what struck me the most was the people there being so nice, so welcoming and warm-hearted. Not having anything meant that they would gladly give the most. That was something that shaped my view on the world so differently: Humans of other cultures, having a profound value system that solely is based on being nice and being human. Being from a western culture, that made a huge difference on how I viewed individual beings and cultures.


#5 Top three travel destinations?  

That’s hard to limit. I’ll go with Portugal, Oregon (US), and New Zealand.

#6 Five things you can’t travel without.

1. Music and headphones

2. A notebook

3. Sunglasses

4. Toilet paper (really! It can be a life savior)

5. A pair of board shorts that I got as a present in 2006

#7 What was the most dangerous trip or experience you’ve had. How did you handle it?

In Thailand when diving I swam into a field of jelly fish. The people from the boat kept yelling to get out there which I tried to do but I just got stung so badly, that it left scars for weeks all over my body (incl. face). I got out of the water and was sure I will die because people looked at me in horror. But then I didn’t, so I guess everything is alright. How did I handle it? Well I was terrified. But in the end most things are not as bad as they appear to be in the moment. So relax.

#8 What’s the purpose of life?

"I think it’s important to be, and to leave, a positive impact on your environment. Be nice to people- to Everybody! Be gentle to nature and if you build something, make sure to build something that benefits those around you more than it does to you. And I’m serious, there’s so much truth in it. Hold the door open for people following you in or out of the building. There’s no hidden meaning behind it. Just do it."

#9 What’s your day job?

I’m a psychologist and I founded a company that focuses on user experience on usability of products, websites and apps. We do research and design.


#10 Worst advice you’ve ever been given.

Always be yourself.

#11 Best advice you’ve ever been given.

It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

#12 Describe your perfect day.

Waking up with the waves crashing down, getting out of bed, having coffee and simply staring over the sea. Going for a few rounds, having lunch with friends (try to find decent burritos in Germany), nap, listen or in the best case make music with friends, and then having that wine in Bordeaux with that special someone ;)

#13 Where are you right now? If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?

Right now I’m in Austria (Going) snowboarding with friends. I think I’m right where I want to be.

#14 Dream trip?

A husky tour in Sweden!

#15 Upcoming trips in 2018?

Austria, France, Malta, California, Canada and maybe Colombia (still owing Sergio that trip down there!)

Full Name: Till Winkler

Instagram Account: @tillisup

Contact Information: winkler.till@gmail.com

Favorite VH item or wishlist: The Adventurer Tee

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