When I’m not working at my kayak shop on the beach in Half Moon Bay, I’m either sitting at my desk writing travel articles, or on the road to do research for those same articles. In a given year, I travel to more than 30 destinations on assignment—mostly adventure related. While my adventures on these trips range from kite boarding to climbing volcanoes to swimming in underground rivers, they rarely last longer than a day. Focusing on one sport for as long as a week is a luxury.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to spend a week on a recent Las Olas surf safari. I’d been eyeing the website for years. The motto, “We make girls out of women,” made me feel as if Bev knew who I was. When I get away from my daily schedule, I’m exactly that—a girl. That’s a feeling I love.
I have no good excuse why it took me this long to learn to surf. I live on the coast. In fact, my entire life, I’ve lived close to the Pacific Ocean. But there was always something that kept me from committing, whether it was the cold water of Northern California or a busy work schedule. This time, in Mexico’s warmer water and with four talented and patient instructors, I finally got it together.
One of my favorite things about the experience was not only the quality, focused instruction, but also the camaraderie of a group of women of varying ages and experiences. We had all spent vacations with partners and families, but did not always have a chance to focus on ourselves and get quality time to play.
This time, with a week dedicated to yoga classes and surfing, we had the opportunity to tune out other responsibilities. I can’t claim to have kept away from my cell phone the entire time, but I can say that by the end of camp, I’d fallen into a pattern I loved: yoga, breakfast, surf, lunch, surf, dinner, sleep. At the end of my surf sessions, I had a hard time dragging myself away from the water.
Now, when I’m between travels, I’m looking for the right board to keep this girl in the water and surfing. I am a surfer for life!
Jill Robinson divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day. Her award-winning travel writing focuses on adventure, sports, culture and cuisine. Her articles have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Journey, World Hum, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, AOL Travel, Washington Times Communities and more. She was recently named as one of Athleta’s sponsored athletes of 2012, allowing her to write more about her adventures, whether they’re at home or many plane rides away, for readers to follow along and learn from her mistakes and personal discoveries.