It’s hard to believe that I’m sitting here writing this on our final day in Costa Rica. The time has flown by way too fast and I don’t know that I’m ready to go back to the real world. We sit here, our small group, and look at each other hoping that we’ve embraced and celebrated every moment. Looking back on it, I’m not certain that any of us can really understand quite yet how monumental of an impact this trip will have on our lives.
These last few days have been full of more thrilling activities like touring a real working farm, feasting on an authentic home cooked meal with our Costa Rican friends, and an exhilarating ten course zip line tour of the breathtaking Costa Rican countryside. Through these sorts of inspired and shared experiences, we began to develop a true appreciation and respect for the land and its people. As such, I cannot thank enough our local guides, Rafa and Monica, for their assistance, humor, and hospitality. Nor can I fail to mention how our WB surf instructors have gone so far above and beyond duty to accommodate this group.
Of course we spent the last few days doing more of the same. Our surf learning curve has been steeper, more challenging, and the most fun in these last couple of days as we’ve been learning to take on bigger and bigger swells near Avellanas. As our skill level has grown exponentially, so has our respect for the surfing environment; from the dim morning when we catch that first ride until watching the sun set while floating patiently for the last wave, every day has been timeless and every day we are reborn.
That’s not to say that surfing was easy- we all got our share of bumps and bruises to show off. But that was small in comparison to the restorative waves that remedied our souls and nurtured our spirit.
None of us had our experience simply handed to us nor did we turn out to be inherently world-class surfers, which is okay. Because, as it turns out, it doesn’t matter whether you’re crushing ten foot swells or cruising on a couple inches of white water- if you love what you do and it enriches your life, then you’ve embraced the spirit of surfing. And, in that, on land or in the sea, we are all surfers.
I am so sore! But in a good way! After three days of surf sessions a real appreciation has developed among the group for the discipline and exhilaration of the sport. Not only did I catch a wave on my own the first day, but the entire group has now stood up and ridden their own waves as well! I imagine that the first couple of waves you catch on a surfboard is a lot like being born: you’re a little scared and a little confused, but you inherently know that this energy is a good thing and that you could never turn back from this new element you’d now embraced.
The group as a whole has really begun to loosen up and started bonding through our days in the surf. We’ve come to understand that, like each wave, all of us bring something different to the table and, as a result, we’ve kept each other laughing and on our toes in and out of the tide. Afternoons are spent breaking down our strengths and weaknesses by analyzing pictures of us surfing with some relaxation time interspersed throughout. During the evenings Steve and Jason facilitate phenomenal surfing seminars to help us understand the ocean we have come to love and we eat dinner together while sharing jokes and stories. After that we’re on our own to do as we like and usually end up doing something all together, like running around bulls in a ring at a rodeo in Santa Cruz or karaoke with locals (which is tonight!).
Our instructors have been unbelievable at coordinating all of our activities and needs. Whether it’s planning dinner reservations, taking us to the best surf locations, or running clients out to get a new pair of glasses on a moment’s notice, they have been absolutely on top of things. Furthermore, they have been completely professional as they have treated everyone with respect and unending patience. Like every other WB Surf instructor they have been nothing but positive, fun, and accommodating in every way.
As you can see, this trip is turning out to be about way more than surfing. And even though we do all sorts of other activities on top of it, it comes down to the simple fact that all of us are growing as people. Nobody cares how well anyone can surf and will always cheer everyone on with whatever is going on. I didn’t know what I was stepping into when I first started on this trip, but it’s something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I can’t wait to see what the last few days have in store for us!
Check out the beginning of this 3-part blog from one of our valued clients on one of our Adult Costa Rica Surf trips!
Part I: Arrival Day
In my entire life, I have never been what one might call athletically gifted: while my brother was the kind of kid who could hit a baseball over the left field wall the first time he picked up a bat, I was lucky if I could tip a foul off after having ridden the pine most of the game. But I do love being active, traveling, and trying new things. So when I signed up to go to this amazing Costa Rica Surf Camp to learn to surf, I could not wait to get there!
I attempted to surf twice before in my younger days while touring in Hawaii- well, I was out there with a board. Thinking back now, I can see that no matter how many times I was pushed into a wave or tried to pop up, I never did actually ride a wave; any thoughts of surfing grandiose receded like the low tide.
I imagine that WB Surf Camp’s other clients had experience similar little exciting jitters leading up to an adult surf camp adventure like this. But I’ve always felt an attraction to surfing’s approach to life and, as such, couldn’t wait to get my journey started. So despite the mild embarrassment I’m certain to feel as I wipe out and swallow a gallon of water for those first few rides, I know it will all be worth it if I can ever manage to stand up sometime this week.
Now I’m sitting here at our beautiful Tamarindo Beach hotel room as an iguana walking along the rail of our deck and howler monkeys chattering in the distance. We are, literally, living on the beach and the getting to watch the sun set tonight over the ocean was worth the trip, alone. The food has been phenomenal and I can’t remember the last time I had such fresh fruit.
Our professional surf instructors have been unbelievably upbeat and helpful and advised us to get some sleep early tonight because tomorrow is going to be tiring- at this point I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to keep up. Still, I can’t help to be reassured with all the positivity that they have generated. During dinner my awesome instructors took a solid amount of time to orient us and detail what to expect in and out of the water here in Costa Rica. I wish I could say that any sort of hesitation has been completely erased, but that would be a lie. However, with the good vibes floating, I am beyond excited to get out there and learn to surf tomorrow. Or, at least, pop up. Wish me luck! Pura vida!