These Legendary Surfers’ Converted School Bus Connects to a Three-Story Tree House on Hawaii
The Goodwin family’s global nomadic surf lifestyle, brought to life in the film Given by Jess Bianchi, inspired many, showing parents that surf travel doesn’t have to end when kids enter the picture. Today their lives are just as inspiring. Between trips abroad, the family of five calls home a converted school bus and triple-decker tree house on the North Shore of Kauai. They’re pretty much living every surfer’s fantasy, including their own.
Who are you? Tell us a little about yourselves.
We are parents, business owners, and lovers of the Earth. Family comes first and surfing second. We are creators and builders of whatever we fall in love with; that has given us the sweetest life.
Where are you from? How long have you lived on Kauai?
Aamion: I have been living here on and off since before I was five, but this is more home than any other place. We’ve had this property for 13 years.
Daize: I moved here when I was 16 and fell completely in love with it. I knew I would end up here again one day.
What are your favorite parts about your home?
Our favorite part is the fact that nature is all around us and we can call it our own. We are outside people, so the yard captures our hearts most of the day, but the tree house and bus do the same for the evenings.
What are your favorite parts about Kauai?
We’re lucky enough to call this place home. The community has a small-town feel. The tropical environment, the ocean, and the mountains; it’s an amazing place to wake up every day.
When and how did you first get into surfing?
Aamion: I fell in love with surfing when I was about 10, and once I got the speed under my feet, it took the love to a whole new level. I’m over 40 years old now and I found a new love in surfing with our children. It’s like a whole new life, a rebirth and renewed love for the ocean.
Daize: I really fell in love with surfing when I was about 15, even though I had been bodyboarding for years. Nothing else gave me a greater sense of self-expression or a safe place to let go. I will never stop.
You both have traveled the world surfing professionally and for recreation. What are your top three favorite places in the world and why?
Daize: Fiji, Australia, and the outer islands here in the Hawaiian chain. Tropical places with waves are my favorites for sure.
Aamion: Hard to pick favorites. For me it’s somewhere remote with a simple life and a culture centered on the ocean. I like being out there far away from our fast-paced world.
How did having kids change your lives?
Aamion: For us, kids gave us a true sense of purpose. A desire to really be better, become better, do better, and ultimately start the path of becoming our true selves. Traveling with kids is amazing. When you land in a new place people are so welcoming. There is no judgment or fear accompanied by your presence. Kids make you feel joyful and have an easy flow. The travel in between can be tough at times though!
Any parting thoughts, words of wisdom, or sage advice?
Try your best not to allow fear to creep into your mind. Things don’t get done unless you get started. If you can dream it, you can live it.
Interview by Matt Titone, excerpted from his book Surf Shacks Vol. 2, Indoek & gestalten 2020
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