Winter with Surfana Surftrips

Waves in the sea come and go. Just like your thoughts and emotions. When you enter the sea, you loose track on time, you forget about everything. You just feel one with the powerful ocean, one with nature. That’s why I love to go surfing and to play with the waves in the sea.

 

A couple of years ago I started to host Surfana Surftrips. We organize surf trips for adults, who want to learn how to surf or improve their surf skills and mostly, who want to spend some time outdoors, not thinking about time or duties.

 

With a positive, adventurous and open-minded crew we create a loving vibe which makes you feel at home immediately. Since groups are small and you share the same goals for that week, you grow into a feeling of being friends or family quite easily. Bearing in mind the fact that people don’t even know each other before that the trip because pretty much everyone comes alone! It doesn’t matter if you have surfed before or if you are a complete beginner. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, how old you are and what your background is, we love sharing this life with every single person.

Surfana Surftrips takes you to the best beaches in Europe. In one week you will be able to surf a lot and you will be spoiled with healthy food, luxury accommodation and tons of good vibes in beautiful surroundings.

We love to chase waves, good weather and to avoid crowds. So we pick the locations for that best time of the year, when there are plenty of waves and sunshine and the least amount of tourists around.

Portugal is Europe’s #1 surf destination. Along the 943 km long coastline, you can find many beautiful beaches to surf at. During the autumn months, until December, we will be searching for waves in the Algarve, where the sun shines more than 300 days a year.

For the winter season, we have found a pearl in the Atlantic Ocean: Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. You will be amazed by the beauty of this island and it’s special landscapes. It feels like spring all year round and there are waves enough for everybody.

If you’re in need of a holiday, want to escape winter or just want to go surfing, don’t hesitate to come with Surfana Surftrips and you’ll experience it yourself.

  • Carine

 

Surf & Explore in Northern Spain

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This week was the first surf & explore week ever. In the North of Spain, besides surfing, we would be going on a hike and go canyoning and paddle boarding in the Picos de Europa. So exciting!untitled

The first days we went surfing on the beach at Langre. We caught so many waves. No one can get their smile of their faces anymore. After a long day at the beach, it’s time to relax at the villa. The villa is like a mini castle: it dates from the 17th century, and many paintings and other parts of the interior do as well.

 

 

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Time to explore some mountains

After a half an hour drive we park at the end of a dirt road: the start of our hike. A walk through a hedge of ivy on a small path through a vast forest brings us to an open field where we can see the mountain peaks lighted by the bright sun. Whilst walking along a beautiful creek, we pass a bridge and church that must be at least four hundred years old. We decided to go for a picnic and a swim, and not finish the entire walk (which would have been at least three more hours), since we would like to spare some energy for tomorrows surf sessions.

 

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The next day, we have another surf lesson at Langre. One after the other is making rides all the way to the beach, everyone is cheering, laughing and enjoying very much! The waves were bigger today and they are hard to get onto, but once you’ve got them, you just keep on going. Such a good feeling!

 

untitled7Another day of exploring takes us into the Pico de Europa. On a small river in a truly idyllic village with an adorable church by the water, we are going paddle boarding. We paddle past the church and go underneath a small bridge, where a water mill on the side appears behind an old yellow house. Just stunning. After this relaxed paddle we go for a slightly heavier one on the ocean where some of us try to catch some waves.

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After this relaxing session it’s time for the big work: canyoning. We get ourselves into some 5mm thick ’90’s wetsuits, jackets, helmets and very sexy yellow, diper looking, gliding shorts. We first walk uphill for about 15 minutes, where besides us a stream with various waterfalls goes downhill. Overheated we reach the starting point of our way down. We jump into the first pool we can see. It’s such cold water coming down from the mountains, brrrr!

We start gliding and climbing down some natural glides. We get connected to a rope, with which you have to abseil yourself down. I try to look over the edge, but I can’t see where we have to go. I ask myself if this is a good moment to remember I’m afraid of heights.

A good couple of hours we are busy sliding of rocks, abseiling and climbing in the hot afternoon sun.

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Exhausted – more from laughter than the climbing – we get back to the cars and we are ready to have dinner in a Mexican restaurant.

 

What an amazing week we had. Doing so much exploring, laughing so much and having the best time surfing. All with a beautiful bunch of people. At the end of the week, it feels like the group would never leave us; we were grown into a good group of friends. However, it is time to say goodbye and we drop the guests off on the airport in Bilbao.

The villa feels empty when we return to Galizano. It’s good to have a moment alone with just crew to chill and do nothing, but I prefer this beautiful place is supposed to be filled with a lot of lovely people. Fortunately we will be back here next year, Hasta pronto!

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– EMMA

Vliebiza

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C’est la Vlie

Ultimate Vliedom

 

It all refers to the beautiful island in the North of the Netherlands in the Wadden sea. In Harlingen you can get the boat, which takes you in 90 minutes to this peaceful place. No cars are allowed on the island except for the islanders and only 1100 people live there all year round. In the summer time it gets really busy with a lot of (mostly Dutch) tourists of whom the majority stays on camping Stortemelk.

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Here you find Surfana Vlieland. Surfana Vlieland consists of a surf school and a surf camp. Kids between 13 and 18 can join a surf camp here during the summer holiday. They learn how to surf, do games and a lot of fun activities together. During the weekends the surf camp is open for adults who enjoy a week of surfing and chilling at the camp. At the surf school everyone can join a surf lesson. Lessons are divided in groups for kids between 6 and 9 years old, a group for the ages 10 till 13 and a group for 14+ years old.

All the crew sleeps behind the surf school. We all eat together and we are all enjoying the island together. You are really living together with the crew; everyone contributes something to the Surfana Vlieland community.

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The last month I’ve spend here, I realized again how much I like this island:

Being on Vlieland feels free. It starts when you hop on the boat in Harlingen. You get away from the main land. Most people stay on the East side of Vlieland. Here is a small village and the camping is there as well. The rest of the island is mainly nature. Endless dunes and beaches, forests, a polder and half of the island consists of the Vliehors: sands where during the week the military practices and which you can visit only on Sunday or with expedition the Vliehors.

You can keep exploring the island: by bike, hiking, horse riding, sleeping on the beach under the stars, making a camp fire, meeting old and new friends, picking berries, surfing empty line-ups, watching the sunrise and sunset and all the amazing sky art made by clouds and all different kinds of weather. It’s a big playing field and the best 360 degrees film set to watch.

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The best waves I’ve surfed in the Netherlands, I surfed on Vlieland. The only people who are surfing are the ones living or working there, which means: a lot of empty line-ups and a lot of nice longboarding waves, with or without current. Seals who welcome you in the water, or who scare you. Sailing boats, jelly fish, a view of Terschelling, the neighbor island.

img_4519After surfing it’s time for coffee at Leut Coffeebar where you can drink the best coffee and eat nice cakes (absolute favorite is Banana bread) or lunch.

 

We ended the summer with an absolute amazing edition of Into The Great Wide Open festival. Good music, sun, great food and so many beautiful and happy people; a celebration for all senses.

 

Besides enjoying the island, it is really special to spend so much time together with all the people who stay on the island during the season. There is a small community life going on there. Being back on the main land I realize how special it is to live so close to each other and enjoy the beauty of life together. Surfing, eating and laughing so much.

 

Vlieland soaked me up again with all the timeless adventures.

I’m truly thankful for everything.

 

A lot of love and Vliefde :)

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by CARINE

 

Photos by Tomas Grootveld

Watch more photos and video (first one on the page is a video) on:

https://tomasgrootveld.com/vlieland

A Story by Hawaiian Surf Instructor David

20900602_10212086672394314_2092380631244231641_o When I first heard about Surfana Surf Trips, I thought it sounded like a dream. Exotic locations like the Canary Islands and Portugal, gorgeous villas and cottages to stay in, and just all day having fun in the sun and surf with amazing vibes. I envied Carine and the Surfana Surf Trips crew as I trudged through the snow during the Canadian winter; I seemed to be living the exact opposite life as they were. So when I was offered the chance to come along as a surf instructor for the trips, it took me very little time to tell my job I was taking a leave of absence and book a ticket to join Carine, Tomas, Bert and the guests in beautiful Moliets.

 

​When I first arrived in Holland for the drive down to Moliets, I was a little unsure of how things were going to go. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of structure to the trip, a very easy-going, free-flowing sense of scheduling and dealing with things. Coming from a year of working with strict deadlines, plans, job requirements, and finances, this took a little time for me to adjust to. However, my expectations for the trip were blown away as soon as we started to drive down. We faced obstacles along the way that might have dismayed others but with the Surfana Surf Trips crew, vibes were always high and positive and no matter what crossed our path there was no complaints, just good times and creative solutions drawn from the flexibility and practice of this Surfana crew. This vibe and mindset, of just loving life and enjoying every day for what it was, is so integral and natural to the Surf Trips experience.

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​The next month spent in Moliets was a blast. I woke up every day, so stoked and so happy to be where I was and I think every person, crew or guest, felt the same feeling every day. Rain or shine, we were making the most of our experience, whether it be dawn patrols and surf lessons or day trips to Biarrtiz, Hossegor, and San Sebastian. This vibe created a sense of friendship and closeness between everyone there that I haven’t felt often, from deep philosophical discussions around the dinner table about connections between social change and environmental policy to seeing how far someone could ride a surfboard across the pool. Early morning pre-surf missions to the bakery for fresh bread, surf marathons beginning with a morning lesson and ending in everyone surfing together at sunset. Every week was different, but every week was so much fun. From playing games in the yard to the occasional late night with a few beers and good times, I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Added to that, I think I ate the best tasting, healthiest food I’ve possibly ever had in my life every single day for every single meal.
​At the end of the day, these trips are about surfing as much as possible and learning as much as possible, and as the surf instructor, I hope we achieved that. We were out there every day possible, doing beach drills and techniques as well as trying to tailor instructions personally to every individual there depending on their skill level. Some surfers confidently paddled out the back to work on their down-the-line surfing, turns, and steep drops with an instructor while other beginners stayed on the inside whitewash perfecting their pop-up. Surfers of every level, from beginners to experienced rippers, can take something from these trips. These trips offer a whole experience that can’t be matched, combining travel, lifestyle, food, surf and incredible people, and I’m so thankful to be involved.

 

DAVID

Adventurous Azores

An unknown paradise in the middle of the Atlantic.

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A new adventure lies ahead. I’m on my way to Sao Miguel, the main island of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 1300 km west of Portugal. I haven’t done much research this time. I know the islands lie far away from the European continent, that it belongs to Portugal, that Ponta Delgada is the capital and it is said to be the European Hawai’i. After my adventure to Hawai’i last March, I was very excited to check out these islands, which are a little bit closer.

When the plane took off, I realized how incredibly lucky I am with the life I’m living (you can read about it in my last blog ‘Behind the scenes’). I’m on my way to an unknown paradise to see if it might be a possible location for a new surf trip.  Doesn’t seem too bad to spent my first weeks of the summer there.

I arrived in Ponta Delgada but my luggage was still in Amsterdam. I imagined it had to happen once, with all the traveling I’m doing. The only thing I could do was laugh about it and hope it would arrive sooner or later.20507647_1134580836641623_61844051800294884_o

A friend of mine knew a guy on the island where I could spend my first nights. He knew the islands very well and told me all about it. He was telling me about this special place on Sao Jorge island. A surf spot where you could only come by foot, where a friend of his build some huts and where there was barely anyone in the water. 2 days after I arrived, my luggage was found and brought to the place I was staying. Since there was some swell coming, I decided to go to Sao Jorge island for some days, to relax and surf.

Sao Jorge is indeed a beautiful island. Small, very green, a friendly vibe (where in the world can you leave your car open, ready to be used?), clear water and even though it’s the high summer season, barely any tourists. After a couple of days of hiking, surfing, sleeping and relaxing, I went back to Sao Miguel to pick up Tomas, who would join me for the last week.

20507068_1134581726641534_6388604323787799152_oOur adventure of wild camping, exploring the island and doing research for a possible surf trip location started. After our first night sleeping near a waterfall (our shower), we caught some waves on the South side of the island. The most crowded spot where many locals surf, since it is the closest to town and not a lot of people own a car here.

Over the next days there wasn’t much swell coming in. But being on a ridiculously beautiful island, an adventure is never far away. We hiked down a volcanic crater and made camp next to a lake. Making fire was a tough job since there wasn’t much firewood and if we found some, it was very humid. But Tomas was committed to the job and made it happen: 2 hours later we had tea, a smoky fire and a instant food meal.

The Azores is a volcanic archipelago which has a lot of rain fall. This results in green, hilly islands with lots of lakes, rocks and a lot of flora. The only reason I can think of that the islands don’t attract many tourists is because of the climate. In the summertime, it doesn’t get much warmer than 26 degrees Celsius with some cloudy days and some rainfall every now and then. For the rest, I was really surprised not to see many people. For what I’ve seen so far, it’s incredibly beautiful, peaceful and friendly with a lot of amazing hikes, astonishing nature and warm waters with a big chance to see different kinds of dolphins and whales throughout the whole year.

We camped on some beautiful places: on a cliff with amazing sunsets on the North shore, at a rocky beach at the quiet West coast and on top of a mountain range on the East coast. We hiked some random hikes through forests which made me think of the Lord of the Rings set, on top of volcanic craters with views you can hardly imagine, passed waterfalls and ocean views where you can only dream of. It really felt like we were super far away from the rest of the world.

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Oh yeah, we also came here to surf, and to check out some locations for the surf trips. We found another beach break on the North coast. The most well-known, with hardly any people surfing when the swell was on. Pretty much every day there where some waves, good for beginners and for longboarding. Some days we took out our shortboard and we had some fun sessions.

The island is amazing really. The surf is good, but like the rest of the Atlantic, not the biggest waves during summertime. But you shouldn’t want to come here only to surf. The island is too beautiful not to go on an adventure. It’s perfect to go to in summertime since there are not too many people and the weather is just fine.20545457_1134573853308988_5088625931748025571_o

One way or the other, I will be back here one day. There is too much to explore and there are still plenty of breaks to surf, whales to spot and trails to hike. I can’t wait to dive into that beautiful clear and warm water again.

What a life we are living, what a life to share and what a beautiful world we live in.

Keep exploring,

Love,

Carine

How Surfana and Surfana Surftrips changed my life

Last summer at 20161104-img_3868the surfcamp of Surfana Vlieland I had my first experience with Surfana. I was there with a friend to have a chill weekend. And chill it was, but it was much more than that. That weekend was the start of something that would change my whole life.

 

That weekend on Surfana Vlieland I experienced for the first time the special vibe that Surfana always knows to create with everything they do. They make you feel welcome and treat everybody with respect. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you do or how you look like, everybody is good just the way they are. And beside that and maybe even more important, the people that are working there inspired me. You see they all love what they do and because of that they’re doing it with passion. Which makes you be surrounded by happy people.

 

At that moment I was really struggling with my own life; especially with the working part of my life. I had a job which I liked for a couple of years, but again I was confronted with the part of being in an office for 90% of my working time and living from one weekend to the other is not what makes me happy and made me feel fulfilled. But on the other hand I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I talked about this with people at the surf camp (Maarten & Charlotte) and they were the ones who told me “it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you do want to do, but quit with doing what you don’t like”. This and the conversations I had with them made me realize I could also do it differently. They also told me about the Surfana Surftrips and I immediately knew that I wanted to go on one of these trips. So the week after my weekend on Vlieland I booked a surf trip with Surfana to Portugal.

 

20161101-img_7073The surf trip in Portugal was exactly what I needed and gave me the confirmation I was looking for. The people of the crew again created this special vibe and made it so easy to feel at hme there with the other guests. They drove us around to the most beautiful surf spots, taught us about surfing in all kind of ways, made the best food for us and made sure we had a lot of fun. This surf trip showed me what living the good life means.

But most of all the Surfani’s showed me that surfing is not only about being in the water, it really is a lifestyle. This showed me that you can live your life in freedom, doing the things you love to do in life, which gives you the feeling you’re really alive and not just caught up in the routine of daily society. You only have to choose for it.

 

So that’s what I did. I quit my job without knowing what my next step would be and I chose for freedom and adventure. I chose for the good life. It was the best feeling I had in times. To celebrate the beginning of this freedom there was no better way to start this new life than going again on a surf trip with Surfana. This time to Lanzarote, which, besides the surfing, also included Inner Strength sessions.dsc_4360

This surf trip was again a life changing experience. This time mostly because of the inner strength sessions we got from our coach Niels. But also the surf lessons we got from Gilmar & Nette were like life lessons. They kept telling us to be relaxed in the sea and not fighting against it. If you just go with the flow of the waves then surfing will be easy. Well easy, surfing is still hard work and you get washed a lot, but if you catch that wave and stand on your board it’s an amazing feeling which really makes you stoked!

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Because of this and because of Carine (director & host of the Surfana Surftrips) who I always see smiling and having fun in the water, I also learned that it doesn’t matter how much waves you’re catching, but just being in the water and having fun there is the most important thing. Something I try to integrate also in other parts of life now. It’s not about how good you are at something, as long as you have fun.

The inner strength sessions were all very special and brought me a lot. From running across the beach with your eyes closed, a silent walk at the Volcano, an ice bad, sessions in which you made real contact with each other and by that learning more about yourself. All with the purpose of being relaxed with yourself, to love yourself and letting everything go. During that week you saw people open up more and more and getting softer in their appearance. It was special to see everybody opening up, showing their vulnerability and learn how everybody has his or her own issues and how nobody’s perfect. I learned how beautiful it is to make real contact with people and that it’s something essential to be happy in life. I felt blessed getting to know all these beautiful people and to be touched by them.

 

And again I was inspired by the people of Surfana. The more time I spend with those Surfani’s, the more I realized that they all care a lot about our planet and they all try to give something back to this world in their own way. The world that we all should really appreciate and not take for granted. We did a small beach clean up and I realized that I also want to be more aware of how I am living and what I can do myself to make this world a little bit of a better place.

 

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Almost a year went by since my first experience with Surfana. In this year I got really stoked for surfing, found out that surfing is so much more than only being in the water and how important it is to treat our planet well, learned to love myself a little bit more, made new friends, felt so much love and maybe the most important thing, I realized that you can also live the good life yourself, you only have to choose for it. Feeling so grateful for everything Surfana and their surf trips brought me. Only love for those Surfani’s!

 

  • Miranda

 

 

Portugal through the eyes of Denise Kluft

Joining Surfana Surftrips to Portugal woke up the surfer girl within me again. Somewhere during my years at high school I 20161027-img_6364lost her. You did the same things like everyone else, you looked the same like everyone else and you were focussing on the future. I forgot to appreciate the small things in life and became more materialistic. Having a big and expensive smart phone seemed to be more important to me than having a game night with the family. This didn’t only happen to me, but I saw it happening all around me. 20161029-img_6462
 
During my 4 years of study I traveled by train from Heemskerk to Utrecht (the Netherlands). In the first years I usually brought a magazine or I traveled together with a friend of mine. But after some time I noticed that less people were having actual conversations and instead were paying more attention to that little screen. That same little screen brought me to Surfana 20161028-img_6409Surftrips. One afternoon after scrolling down Facebook again when I was bored, I read a message of an old colleague of mine who posted that she was so happy about the surf trip she just booked with Surfana Surftrips. I was curious and wanted some more information. I checked their website and a decision was made pretty easily: I wanted to go on a surf trip to Portugal with Surfana.
Portugal felt like coming home and this felt the same for Surfana. The surfer girl and the adventurer I used to be was coming back bit by bit. Doing things you like to do most with great people around you all day long gave me an enormous energetic boost. Having good conversations about life outside on the veranda after a beautiful day of surfing, made me think about life and what I wanted to do with it.
 
I apprecate the little things in life again. And when I walk I don’t only focus on my path, but I look at the world around me. I know there are always more options to choose from and when one doesn’t work20161026-img_5979 today, maybe it does tomorrow. Surfana opened my eyes again. You don’t need an expensive smart phone, it’s the simple things in life that make you happy :)

 

Denise

Behind the scenes of Surfana Surftrips

 

dsc_2703About 4 years ago I started working at Surfana Zandvoort, as a surf instructor. I just finished my Masters degree at the university but I wasn’t ready for a serious life. It was time to spend some more hours on the beach and in the water. And the Surfana family welcomed me with open arms.

I went to the festival, to Vlieland, I stayed at the surf camp in Bloemendaal and came along to France with the surf trips. I got the full Surfana experience in one season. After a summer of working I flew to Mexico to travel along the Central American coast. Soon I found out I wanted to come back to the surf school for another season. There is this thing about Surfana: the warm, positive vibe, everyone is stoked about surfing and life and when img_2164I think of the people, all I can think of is smiling faces.So the next summer I came back. I lived at the surf camp in Bloemendaal in a tent, went to Vlieland for a couple of weeks and after the season I was hosting all the Surfana Surftrips to both France and Portugal. After the season, I was given the opportunity to become the director and owner of Surfana Surftrips. Which meant: I was given the opportunity to set up the company, to organize surf trips, find new spots, meet new people and surf and learn a whole lot.

Honestly, some years ago I thought of a perfect way of living my life: traveling and surfing around the world, hosting holidays and being surrounded by amazing people. And here the opportunity was handed to me on a silver platter.

That same winter, Surfana Bali was starting up. And what would be a better place to work on the website, set up a business plan and get things started? Exactly, off to Bali :) Surfing, working, eating Nasi Campur and sleeping: I repeated that for 6 weeks long.

2017-04-01-02-49-30Working at Surfana Surftrips isn’t a full time job when you’re not at the surf trips. And it’s definitely not only surfing and hanging out with guests. I spend a lot of time behind my laptop. Doing finance and marketing, researching, working on the website, thinking about the future, etc. etc. All of this was new to me. And some things are certainly not my favorite. But you work yourself through it, making it fun for yourself (office abroad, good coffee, nice food and good company, surf in between) and also, when things work out, you appreciate your time spend in the water even more.img_3396

Because it’s not a full time job, I have to think of other ways to come around. I have helped organizing Surfana festival and I still work as a surf instructor at both Vlieland and Zandvoort during the summer season. But most of all I try not to have too many costs. Therefore I don’t have an apartment but I live in my van and sometimes with friends, I don’t buy too many new things and I don’t go out too much, though I do spend a lot of time outside my van and I always find an adventure. A little different than my life a couple of years ago, but to be honest, the way I live right now, I have never felt richer.

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Being a part of the surf trips crew is incredibly intense. You are 24/7 with the crew for about 2,5 months and every week with new guests comin15138504_10207942051206011_129841357276030020_og you never really have a moment to yourself. You get to know yourself and the crew pretty well, whether you want it or not. I am thankful for all moments I spend with everyone, both the crew and the guests. The road traveling towards France, Spain and Portugal together with the crew are one of my favorite times. Spending the night at some random spot, popping up a tent and eating in the van, those times at the side of the road when a car broke down. And also those moments we go surfing collectively (sunset sessions with a soft board), play Sardines in the garden (you just have to be there) and having endless conversations at the fireplace. When I think about Surfana Surftrips, it makes me smile and feel warm.img_3001

 

This is the first time I’m actually writing my story down. Looking back at the past years, I realize that innumerable beautiful things happened to me. I made a choice to follow my intuition, my heart, even though I had seriously no idea where I threw myself into. And still I have no clue where I am going. Which I love most of the times, and makes me feel lost at other times.

But one thing is for certain: in the last years I met the most amazing people all over the world, I spend a lot of time outside in nature, I provide leisure time activity for other people that make them smile by teaching them how to surf and by creating surf holidays, I have the freedom to travel to places where some people only dream off and I surf at spots where I thought I would never be able to surf at.

 

I am so incredibly grateful for the life I’m living. The more I follow my heart, the more I can open my heart and listen to it. I feel free, free to create my own life and sharing it with others. Free to dive into the world and open my arms to any experience and any person crossing my path. And of course, not every experience is a nice/good/beautiful experience in the first place, but there is always a reason for the things to happen, sometimes you only find out later and get to understand it.DCIM110GOPRO

 

I love surfing, but even more I love sharing a positive and free-minded life with others. And in whichever way, I will continue living my life this way, sharing it with all of you.

 

Peace, <3 and freedom

Carine

 

Spending time in paradise

Hawai’i – March 2017

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Last fall in Spain, we had some guests over from the USA. Lilia and Kyle live on Maui, and Hawaiian Island. They invited me over and I didn’t have to think twice about that.

When you picture Hawai’i, you probably think about surfing, the unpronounceable singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (“Somewhere over the rainbow”) and surf legend Duke Kahanamoku, Hibiscus flowers, Aloha, Waikiki beach, dancing hula girls with coconut bikini’s, Disney’s Lilo & Stitch and the new released Moana (a.k.a. Vaiana), ukuleles, palm trees and crystal clear water. Well, you can find pretty much all of that everywhere in Hawai’i. 2017-03-11-13-40-33-1

The moment I book my ticket to Honolulu, I know this is going to be just amazing. I mean, the name alone sounds tropical and makes you feel warm and smile.

After a long trip via London and LA (my flight is delayed which makes me miss my flight to Honolulu, but gives me the opportunity to spent a night in LA with my Argentinian friends), I take off to Honolulu. I cross the ocean and after 5,5 hours of just seeing ocean, a tropical place appears. I push my face against the plane window to watch the waves, super clear water and palm trees and I try to spot a whale. Clapping my hands and bouncing restlessly on my seat, I am excited as a kid. And that feeling stays with me the rest of the trip.

2017-03-06-23-23-35For the first few days I stay with a friend of mine in Honolulu who moved there from the mainland. I only met him for a few days in El Salvador some years ago but he insisted on picking me up from the airport and I could stay with him for the first days. He even got a day off to show me around almost the whole island. Such a warm welcome. I soon find out that people on Hawai’i are welcoming. I guess it’s the vibe of the islands. Both tourists and residents I meet are always happy, talkative, easygoing, helpful and open. I have been shown around some places by people who I just met when being picked up by them when I was hitch hiking, my brother’s friend took me to different places in Honolulu for a couple of days and friends of friends and almost everyone I just met were always happy to take me surfing, showing

2017-03-07-23-32-31me around or inviting me for any bbq or party. Everyone seems to have time, they live in the now and problems are not likely to exist, only situations to cope with. Even though I’m really easygoing, open and positive myself, I still learn a lot from the life perspective of the people here.

 

Most days I wake up early just after sunrise due to the enormous amount of roosters, feeling a breeze in my face when I open my tent, smelling the salt water of the ocean and always excited what this day would bring me. Some days I feel like exploring, some days I feel like surfing and chilling, enjoying a nice cup of coffee with the most amazing fresh organic vegan/vegetarian food in a nice atmosphere. Around every corner there is something to explore: hiking up green hills and mountains filled with exotic trees and plants with a breathtaking view at the top, snorkeling in crystal clear water with the most 2017-03-25-22-25-55colorful fish and turtles, sunset at sunrise at the top of a volcano or driving on whichever (windy) road with beautiful views.

The water is warm so I can surf in my bikini. The vibe in the water is very friendly; surfers are always talking to each other, smiling and enjoying their time in the water. I have seen all kinds of surfboards, all kinds of ages and any time of day for either half an hour or 3 hours straight, people play in the water, as long as you have fun is all that matters. Big sea turtles pop their heads out of the water at Ho’okipa beach in Maui, green lush mountains make an amazing view from the water at Hanalei Bay in Kaua’i and transparent water makes the waves look like fluid diamonds shining in the sun at Makaha point in O’ahu. I have an endless smile on my face and experience jaw-dropping moments every day. This truly is paradise in all its forms.

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I can write and talk endlessly about this place, show pictures and videos and all, but I guess you do need to experience this yourself at some point. Make Hawai’i the first place on your bucket list, really. Can’t go wrong here.

 

Aloha

~ Carine