I bobbed in the ocean, sitting on my board, breathing heavy from the paddle out past the break. I already felt like giving up, but my eyes were zeroed in on the horizon, squinting away the sunrise. My brain was on overdrive. This one? Too big. This one? No, wait…maybe…no. This one? No, I can’t do this! This one? Yes, …wait…shit…yes. I quickly did my sitting turn I had learned and lay down on my board. I scoot into position with my toes on the back of the board tense and ready.
I take a deep breath mentally running through all of the things in my head I was supposed to remember; breath, look at the horizon, keep my hands by my chest when I push up, pop up with my left leg in front, put my back foot down, breath. I look behind my shoulder and see it building. Without thinking, I start to paddle. I hear Kate yelling at me, “paddle, paddle, harder!” The board suddenly lifts beneath me as if a monster has risen out of the sea and is moving me. I paddle as hard as I can. I think about giving up. I keep paddling. Suddenly I panic and am elated at the same time; I caught the wave.
Why Do a Surf and Yoga Retreat?
The answer is simple, it was the best vacation I’ve had in a very long time. I know after reading those first few paragraphs, it might not seem like it, but it was. For me overcoming fears, pushing myself, and trying new things is essential to my well-being. I feel most happy when I’m on that edge – the edge of fear and exhilaration. That’s exactly what this experience was for me. And I’m not just talking about the surfing, the yoga also had me on an edge where I wobbled between uncomfortable and mental peace.
This was my chance to focus on something I was interested in learning. I have tried surfing all over the world for an hour at a time; Sri Lanka, Australia, Hawaii, and Maine. I’ve always liked it and had a few successes while taking short, individual lessons; however, it always left me wanting more. And since the lessons were so far apart in time (and geography!) I always felt like I was starting over again. Plus, the beginner classes mainly focused on getting you to stand on the board. But I wanted more than that; I wanted to become comfortable with the ocean and know which waves were good surfing waves. Because of that, I always had my eye on a surfing retreat where I would finally have the time to work on my skills more and understand the sport better.
“As an adult, a surfing camp gives me an excuse to go in and play in the water. “ –Cynthia a participant in my surf camp
In addition to this great reason by fellow surfer Cynthia, I also think doing a retreat like this was necessary because I was in a rut mentally and needed a jolt.
I worked with Finisterra Travel to organize this adventure. Finisterra is a female owned small business designing custom travel experiences to the further-flung corners of the globe. I met Keri and Nicola, the owners, when traveling in Salta Argentina last year and we have become fast friends. These are two women that have traveled just as much as I have around the globe and their fun-loving attitude was evident in everything they did.
Sherry Shares her full experience here