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Offshore Investing

Laura Roche has lived in New York for twelve years, and at the age of 35, she is the CFO of a hedge fund investment company. Laura is friendly, outgoing and has heart... she runs in fundraising marathons for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She enjoys her single life, loves adventure and getting out socially, but says that "City people need to get out more". Her big-city lifestyle also includes running, visiting museums, hosting big dinner parties for her family-of-friends and meeting cute guys.

Having grown up in Long Island, Laura spent her teens as a lifeguard and swimming teacher, often working with handicapped children. Although surfing was popular then, Laura's father would not allow Laura to try it, telling her "Surfing is just for guys, it's too rough and unsafe for girls". Harrumph!

Over the years, Laura developed surf envy, but as she saw more girls getting into the water, she became more and more inspired. Movies like Step into Liquid and Blue Crush, as well as accomplished surfers like Layne Beachly kept nudging her towards surfing.

In December of 2004, Laura finally took her fantasy surf girl holiday with Las Olas. Not only did she love the thrill of surfing, but she fell in love with the wonderful community in Mexico. This was her first time in Mexico, and she had avoided it for years because of the stories of spring break resort vacations. Laura was pleased to find the town to be noncommercial and unspoiled by tourist attractions.

"The village was hospitable, cultural and full of beautiful people..." and not the way we usually think of beautiful people. She's speaking of gracious, happy, warm, generous, beautiful people. She loved the dirt roads, the town dogs, and being able to practice her Spanish. Laura made fast friends with other Las Olas guests, and still keeps in touch with a few from Los Angeles and Toronto.

When I asked Laura how surfing had affected her lifestyle, her first response was simply "freedom". She feels closer to nature and appreciates the power of the ocean. "I always come out of the ocean in a better mood than when I got in. I have fun no matter what, it's just fun to be out there." Laura tends to lose herself in the time spent surfing, and the fact that it's a good workout is a bonus. She's making strides in her surf ability, but is mostly having fun learning new things. "Each time is a new challenge, it's all about yourself and I love laughing like a little kid."

These days, Laura surfs regularly during summertime and recently started shopping for her first surfboard. Although she has some friends that surf, she's noticed that more people are getting into it. Since she has a car, she can easily drive to the beach, but admires dedicated surfers that take the subway all the way to Rockaway with a longboard. Laura says that today's East Coast surfers are not only dedicated, but very helpful, supportive, and non-territorial. She's clearly proud of her local surf community. "I went to East Hampton and saw a family surfing together, the parents were teaching their young girls to surf."

Although you'd think the life of a surf girl would contrast to that of a New York City girl, Laura finds the two lifestyles to be very similar. Both involve risk-taking, having fun and having a sense of adventure.

As an international traveler, Laura has visited places like New Zealand, Peru, Japan, and Europe. She adores Machu Pichu, and any place with mountains and beaches. "I'd like to retire anyplace with good outdoor life... NOT Florida!" In the end, she hopes she can do something to make a positive impact on humanity. "Once you follow your happiness, everything falls into place."

Laura's advice to women is to "Absolutely try surfing. Come out of your comfort zone, and just do it. It's life-changing and more fun than you've had in years, so if you have the opportunity, don't let it pass you by."

Written by Judi Morales Gibson


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