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  • Writer's pictureAllannah

Allannah's 6 Month Trip: Surfing, Adventuring & Getting Very Lost


It feels kind of weird writing about myself; it reminds me of the good old days when we die-hards with stickers all over our surfboards had Facebook 'Athlete' pages and WordPress blogs—good times!


You could say that for the past 2+ years, I've been having 'Yes' years, where if an opportunity arises, I say yes and think about it later. Breakups and life's hardships can give you those little nudges and motivations sometimes.


Over a year ago, I was offered a job coaching in Morocco and Costa Rica with Surf With Amigas, and I said YES! Even though the gig was over a year away, I don't think I've ever committed to something so far in advance.



October - December

Morocco - Imsouane

2 Months


There's something special about the small town of Imsouane—it has character, friendly donkeys, lots of dogs to cuddle, and is home to one of the world's longest right-hand point breaks.


I hadn't been back since COVID, and the place has blown up with intermediate surfers. You can still snag some waves for yourself, and the vibe is generally welcoming, but there are lots of party waves. As long as you go in with no expectations and a good mindset, you can have a great time cheering everyone on while riding a wave that's so long your legs start to shake.


If you like animals and can help in any way, please check out Morocco Animal Aid & The Imsouane Project





December - April

Costa Rica, South

3 months


Four flights and 48 hours of traveling, and I made it to Costa Rica! (FYI, if you are transiting through and not leaving the airport in the USA, you still need to apply for an ESTA visa, which I didn't know and nearly missed 2 flights.)


I was there in the off-season, so we didn't have any large swells at that time, but it was surfable every day, surrounded by wildlife and dense, thick jungle.


I found my time there really restorative. I journaled, read 12 books, made amazing new friends, and finally saw some sloths!



pc holalenita


March

Panama - Boquete

1 Week


Do you ever crave hiking? Sometimes I have an urge to go walking, so acting on an impulse the night before, I decided to take 4 buses across the border of Costa Rica into Panama, heading to Boquete, a beautiful small town, the end of the road, tucked away in a valley surrounded by jungle and a looming volcano, all waiting to be explored.


I was pretty anxious, my Spanish is appalling, and I had no SIM card or 4G, so I screenshotted some Spanish phrases I might need and some Google Maps images, and off I went!


Whilst in Panama, I received some devastating news from home, not ideal when you are alone. It was difficult to process and is still ongoing, but during that week, it reminded me how healing the outdoors can be, when I had no one, I had myself and nature and it made me feel safe and reassured that things will always work out, that the pain will get easier, to be present and to allow myself to feel the different emotions that were overriding my body, to let it all happen.


If you, or if you know anyone that is struggling, you are not alone, please reach out:






February - April

El Salvador - All Over

1 Month


I had wanted to travel to El Salvador for years—the land of right-hand point breaks and pupusas!


In my first week, I surfed several spots around the El Tunco and Sunzal area with friends. The waves were much busier than I was used to in Costa Rica, but I didn't have any expectations. I made an effort to speak with people in the water, and had some fun rides!


I headed down south, where I spent 2 weeks alone. The waves were mostly onshore and waist-high, but I had a blast! I don't know why, but I love surfing bad waves—I think it takes away the pressure to surf well. There's no expectation, and anything is a bonus! I found myself surfing twice a day and frothing like a grom!





April

New York - Brooklyn, Manhattan

3 Days


On my way home, I went to New York for 3 days, because why not? Well, actually, I found out that a punk band I like (The Bouncing Souls) was playing a show on a boat, and I had to go.


After waiting in line at immigration in JFK for over an hour, instead of getting my passport stamped, it was taken from me, and I was led to a detention room with 30 other people. It was already 1 a.m., and nobody explained why I was there. We weren't allowed to use our phones, and the woman next to me was led off and handcuffed. What was this place?


I figured maybe they were looking through my board bag, but who knows? I finally made it to my hostel at 4:45 a.m.


I woke up at 8 a.m., screenshotted a crazy amount of maps (because I had no SIM card—the machine at the airport swallowed my money when I tried to buy one), and took the subway from Brooklyn into Manhattan, heading straight for Central Park for some greenery. It was great wandering around and doing all the touristy things for a change!


New York was wild! I went from staying in the middle of nowhere to one of the biggest cities in the world. The buildings gave me vertigo, there were people everywhere. Normally, I would be on the cusp of a panic attack, but I loved being alone, getting lost in the madness—also literally, I got lost a lot, but it was cool, and I would go back in a heartbeat.


I may have also got my ears pierced and a new tattoo (sorry, Gran).





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Cheesy as it may sound, I feel like my time away has been special. There were a lot of interesting coincidences, which presented themselves whenever I felt doubt in myself or had to make important decisions. These coincidences gave me confidence and a strong sense that I was on the right path.


I've been back in Cornwall for over a week now, catching up with friends, exploring the coast, and I'm excited to kick things off with Gather & Glide. It's going to be a great season!


Catch ya soon!


Allannah


1 Comment


clare_spratt
Apr 27

Love this! Reading from a jetlagged Toronto hotel room and it’s giving me major wanderlust. And surf envy! What a trip. Thanks for sharing x

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