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This Is Northern New South Wales

Dominic Sullivan

I’ve known ‘Dom’ since he was a tiny little grommet surfing in Byron Bay Boardriders. As the years go by, suddenly this younger generation turn into men, start travelling the world and come home armed with stories. They also find their passions, have facial hair and are taller than you. How things change. So I thought I’d ask Dominic Sullivan a few questions so I can learn more about his life ( I haven’t seen him for a while), and in turn you might just do the same…

So Dominic, tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Dominic Sullivan, I was born in Byron Bay about 20 yrs ago. Growing up I had it so good living in Byron Bay only metres from the beach, its only now I realise how lucky I was. I have surfed my whole life and love everything to do with the ocean, it cleanses the soul.

Growing up I was always more on the creative side and love Art, Photography and Film.I have mucked around with painting walls, canvas, surfboards and anything I can get my hands on really. Capturing the world through my eyes with film and digital photography is something I’m really passionate about. A picture can tell a thousand words right? At the moment I’m just living the Byron Bay lifestyle and saving up the money for what ever comes next.

You’ve recently returned home to Byron after some serious OS time, tell us a bit about your adventures?
Once I finished school I just wanted to get out there and see as much of the world as one can. It started with a 6 month ‘euro’ trip, with 6 grand that I saved working whilst at school. I traveled with 3 friends at first then joined 2 more. We went through 2 vans (both breaking down) to eventually resorting to bus rides, hitching and train jumping through 27 countries, this was the time of my life. The adventure took me from surfing in Scotland , skating in Barcelona, climbing mountains in Andorra to painting walls in Berlin. I could write a novel on the adventures and stories of that trip, I will never forget the memories.

I then made a short 2 week trip home for my sisters wedding before heading to Canada for a season in Whistler, BC. It was the 2nd snowiest season on record and could almost say I had the best weeks of my life riding the powder of those epic mountains, so much to be explored. Whistler Blackholm is massive! As the snow started melting I was lured to the warm waters of Mexico for sun and surf. To get to Mexico there was this little country in the way, America. I have never felt a need to travel America but was pleasantly surprised by the variety of landscapes and actual genuinely great people I met. With 2 vans of friends making the enormous road trip from Canada down the West coast of America to the most southern tip of Mexico, It was sure to be yet another awesome trip.

The good times were rolling as we rolled over the border into Mexico after a month of cruising through America. I spent just over three months in Mexico, swinging in hammock, drinking Pacifico, and surfing everyday, what a way to relax. The waves were amazing on this trip and I think I learnt how to really get barrelled, some of the biggest and best waves I have ever surfed. After this stint and another van driven into the ground we headed up the east coast of America to make the round trip and see what the east coast had to offer. New Orleans and New York were highlights, a wild night out hitting Jazz bars in the home of the blues and then traveling north getting caught in hurricane Irene, watching my best mate compete in the Long Beach WCT event.

My flight home was out of LA so what better way to end the trip than to complete the circle and make my way back to LA. But not before visiting ‘The Grand Canyon’ and a ‘wolfpack’ night out in Vegas to then sleeping in a car park on the strip. The places I have slept over the last 2 years, I wish i thought of taking a photo of them all, some you would not believe. In parks, on cliffs, on beaches under stairs and on benches some with 5 star views all for free!

Any funny/memorable stories from your travels?
As I write this there are so many stories running through my head, I just don’t know what to tell you over the 2 years I have spent travelling to pick just one moment… One story I’ll try to tell you is one that sums up travelling for me.T his was towards the start of my European trip and my first experience couch surfing. If you don’t know what couch surfing is then you should! It is this neat website where you as a traveller can request to stay on peoples couches anywhere you want Basically. you search a city, find someone and send them a message, easy as that. I highly recommend it as its the best way to see a city or town, with a unique locals perspective on a particular place. Couch surfing offers a completely different experience to backpacking, camping or staying in pensions or hotels.

Myself and couple of my friends, ‘Yossboss and Streety’ were rookies at couch-surfing when we arrived in Vienna, Austria. We had no idea what to expect. We arrived on the street where the address was but couldn’t find the house. We called from a pay phone again and again and finally got onto our host, he told us he would meet us in 30 minutes. Running up the street came Florian, he let us into his apartment and before we know it he pulls out a bottle of red wine and tells us we are heading out to a party. He took us to this really cool bar on the river that ran through the centre of the city and at first awkwardly introduced us to his friends. As the night went on the guys kept telling us of this palace that is across the road from where Florian lived , we didn’t see it behind the 2 metre walls surrounding it and its gardens. As we walked home and slowly got to know the different characters of Florians friends. We joked about jumping the fence into the palace to explore its gardens and labryinth. To cut a long story short we ended up in the palace running around until the sun came up having the time of our lives. This night turned into something I will never forget, adventure at its finest.

Always keep an open mind and you never know what will happen.

When did you find yourself getting into film and photography as a creative outlet?
I guess I have always been into film and photography since I was young. I would always be making surf and skate clips just mucking around having fun and you could probably still find me doing the same. Until recently it has always been just a hobby but I have been asking myself what does it take to turn this into a career? Can I go any further with what I’m doing? I hope I can. I Studied multimedia at TAFE and photography through the last years of school getting a Cert 3 in Multimedia it was something I really enjoyed doing. Seeing good friends like Nick Colbey and you (Johnny Abegg) doing amazing projects has inspired me to see if I can make of it.

And Byron Bay, how special is this place to you?
Byron Bay is home , it always feels good to be here, to walk down the street and always bump into someone you know. They call it the ‘Byron Bubble’ but i wouldn’t have it any other way. Its interesting all the different characters you get in this town, a constant flow of people, cultures. I love showing people around here, there are so many things to do other than just the beautiful beaches.  I have been exploring this area for my whole life, and to now show my girlfriend around its great to re-live old memories and create new ones. Countless waterfalls, walking tracks, mountains surround Byron. Such an amazing hinterland and if you know where to go there is always an uncrowded beach, probably with waves.

There is such a community feeling around here something so foreign to city life, we live in a country town and I hope we can keep it that way.

To checkout more of Dominic’s creative wares –