Viva the Great Unknown
The first time I traveled outside of the country, I was 16. On the corkboard in front of my high school’s guidance counselor’s office were fliers for two “cultural immersion” programs – one located in Europe and one located in Central America. I grabbed the flier that had pictures of a volcano, the ocean, and little kids in colorful clothing on it. Even though I didn’t know anyone else signing up for the new Costa Rica program, I saved up every dollar I could, packed my bags, and headed off. The 3-week trip was an adventure. While there were moments I wasn’t completely comfortable and missed the creature comforts of home, I had never felt so alive. Ever since then, my favorite travel experiences have been in developing countries where I’m out of my comfort zone and at the mercy of the people & the present moment. What I’ve found is that time slows down a tad, simplicity rules, acceptance is widespread, the food is amazing, and so much can be said with just a smile.
Surf trips have become the ultimate excursion for me. I get to experience the 3 things I love the most – surfing, adventure, and connection – all rolled up into one. Thus far, I’ve had the incredible fortune of traveling to international surf destinations with like-minded surfers who also desire adventure + connection and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. I’ve also been lucky to find surf companies, like Epic Surf Tours (https://www.epicsurftours.com/en/), that design trips where riding waves & cultural immersion go hand and hand. While some surfers are drawn to popular surf spots that boast luxury surf camps, I’m pretty sure I’ll always be drawn to the people and places that are a bit off the beaten path, have a 28% chance of being janky, a 92 % chance of amazing waves and a 100% chance of being an epic adventure. The renegade in me can’t help it.