The Author

My name is Hermann Vivier. I grew up just north of Cape Town, on the west-coast of South Africa, just a stone’s throw from the beach.

I spent several years travelling and living abroad from a fairly young age and I’m passionate about surfing, travelling and personal empowerment.

I’ve made these pursuits my life’s work, with Unravel Surf Travel and The Surfer Kids.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

After enrolling in a high-school exchange program, living abroad in Denmark from age 15 to 16, and then working and living in the United Kingdom for three years, I returned to Cape Town in 2007 to study at the University of Cape Town.

Despite finding the material easy to understand, and maintaining fairly good scores, I was disillusioned and almost gave up on a so-called ‘higher’ education.

But in 2012, after a three-year hiatus, I finished my Bachelors Degree in English Literature, Film Studies and Philosophy.

During my first year at UCT I applied for their Study Abroad Program. The application process required more work than my actual studies, but it was well worth it and I ended up doing one semester in Amsterdam.

It was also during my first year at University, while applying for the study abroad program, that I had a brief but enlightening encounter with psychological therapy.

I spent six months with a therapist who introduced me to my own inner workings and I started seeing patterns in my life.

Things that had never made much sense before, suddenly started revealing themselves as part of a greater narrative.

And it was in Amsterdam that I really started my journey in discovering the intelligence that lies behind, beyond, beneath, within and all around everything.

I was a staunch Atheist up until that point, and I still don’t buy the idea of a vengeful God who lives in the clouds. But in Amsterdam I discovered that everything always happened for a reason.

I started discovering that there is an intelligence behind the apparent chaos and that we can glimpse that intelligence. However, like the universe itself, the intelligence that shapes the universe is vast beyond our comprehension.

And that intelligence guided me to Amsterdam. Because it was there that I met my life partner.


Even if we had tried to do so ourselves, we could not have ended up living closer together.

It was clear to both of us that there was something guiding us.

We met upon our arrival in the student dormitory on the 26th of August 2008, and three days later on the 29th of August 2008, which was my birthday, we spent an entire night walking around the streets of Amsterdam. We ended up getting completely lost.

But we knew. We had found one another.

After finishing our study abroad programs we moved to South Africa in 2009, married on the beach in March 2010 and started our own business together, Unravel Surf

Meeting my soul-mate has been, and continues to be, the single most difficult thing I have ever done.

It’s an incredible journey of learning and understanding ourselves through the mirror we present to one another every day. But it isn’t easy. To know thyself is perhaps the single greatest challenge there is.

It is however the most worthwhile challenge to pursue because it’s through that inner journey of understanding that we ultimately discover, again and again, our connection to that universal intelligence.

The power that some people call God.

It’s the intelligence that exists throughout everything in the entire universe. From the tiniest subatomic particle to the biggest stars and galaxies.

And while we can see its effect everywhere, and talk about it, it is only in quietude, within ourselves, that we can ever directly experience it.

And that inner experience is what I call The Church of Inner Space.

Hermann Vivier Profile