It’s a kinda magic

Occasionally you go somewhere new and it resonates you. I guess that’s why we travel, perpetually in search of that something special.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica instantly hit me as somewhere a little big magical. I felt both at home, yet utterly enchanted. I guess it’s a little bit like love.

My newfound friend Leah from LA is huge on energies. I stayed behind in Bocos del Toro, Panama and she messaged me “Kesha, you’ve got to get here – you’ll love it”

She was right. The energy of this place feels good. Earthy. Chilled. Authentic. Beautiful. Coupled with a Caribbean rasta-love and the “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) meaning to enjoy and appreciate the simplicities of life.

And I do. Everything I see makes me smile. I’m pretty sure I haven’t stopped beaming since I arrived. Though I’ve had my fair share of homemade icecreams, chocolate, and fresh veggie juices all under a sun that like me is beaming.

Push bikes are the main means of travel here, complete with a cute wee basket. If you’re on a budget one can suffice for two, though this can be a difficult feat – particularly by night with no street lights.

By both day and night tops aren’t required. A bikini is sufficient, and it’s so hot I’m not one to protest. It’s liberating. Besides, I stopped wearing a bra and make up a long time ago.

Beautiful stretches of surf beaches are surrounded by intense jungle, and down the jungle roads you bike at your own leisure. Always looking for the next swim or cafe stop.

Artisan products and homemade chocolate are proclaimed on café jungle side boards, as well as yoga, massages and surfing.

Today a guy offered me a free surf board for as long as I wanted, in exchange for being his Girlfriend. I thanked him kindly for the generous offer, but said I was happy to pay $10 to hire the board.

Although this is the type of place I could set up camp and chill for ions in the happy vibes of the Pura Vida.

Unfortunately I’ve only got a week left in Central America and felt the itch to keep moving.

I was pondering over a breakfast for one what to do next – the options were endless. Later I ran into an Aussie couple I met on my boat to Panama. They happened to be leaving in 2 days for Nicaragua via some white water rafting. That sounded good to me, did they mind if I joined?

Next stop, somewhere on route. To be continued…20140725-002939-1779660.jpg







Surfing — meditation for people who can’t sit still.

I had quite a sublime experience. It was the golden hour, the last hour of sunshine where the lighting goes all magical. Dappled lighting fell across the water, playfully casting an iridescent glow.

A concoction of colours bled across the sky, always transient as the next one swept by. The sky turned a violent shade of violet as the blue ‘hour’ approached. Twilight lingered briefly in a period of neither daylight or darkness, and then night set in.

All this time I sat on my board. Calm and still. Enchanted by the smell of coconut surf wax, the taste of salt water, the distant echo of waves and the feeling of the smooth water engulfing me.

My desire to paddle for waves faded, as I become more and more lost in my musings. I just sat and reflected. At risk of sounding cheesy, I felt happiness and peace.

For someone who struggles to sit still, this meditation of sorts was quite the feat. This was my closest experience to meditating previously…

There is something quite magical about surfing, and this is coming from a complete rookie. Being immersed in the ocean, thrown about it it’s mercy. I feel alive… Adrenaline dancing through my body.

And I’ve found my new favourite hour to surf. The fact that it’s also shark feeding hour is pushed far into the deepest recesses of my mind.


waiting for the waves…

Photo of the day: Summer Finale

A splice of beach life in the little surfing town Whangamata, Coromandel peninsula, New Zealand.

This weekend marked the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Tragic. Luckily ever changing weather patterns mean summer will stick around a little longer…


Summer Lovin’

Nothing screams summer to me like a cold Pinot Gris in one hand and swatting a pesky mosquito with the other.

I like to feel loved. Not however by mosquitos. Welcome to New Zealand’s far north — better beaches and better mozzies.

By day 4 camping I normally look like I have mild chicken pox. Just what you want while prancing about in bikinis and skimpy beach apparel. Luckily my deep summer tan almost disguises the bites. Almost.

Mosquitos are forgiven though, as it’s summer holidays. I get to swim in the ocean countless times daily. I wake up, gaze at an expanse of blue skies and waters, and do what I feel.

Summer has always been my favourite season, I remember as a child always being so disappointed my birthday had to be in winter.

I love the way summer feels. Sultry days and balmy evenings. Sun, sunnies, smiles, surf,  sand, salty hair, sunkissed skin and a large splash of serenity. It feels like happiness.

I’ve chased endless summer around the globe, perpetually following the sun and avoiding the cold. I love the adventure and possibilities of summer abroad, but there is something special about summers here at home.

New Zealand and New Zealander’s are just uber chill, and summer epitomises the ultimate chill. I can walk around barefoot, makeup free, untamed salted curls — and still feel attractive. It’s liberating.

The beaches may be lacking in amping parties but they are beautiful, vast and untouched. Think retreat meets private beach filled with friends. It’s nice.

I travelled the world, searching for the perfect beach, and a utopian paradise not yet claimed (yes I may have been quite taken by the Beach) That utopia was never found, yet I think I’ve got a little slice of it here. Call it my happy place.


Bounced by a shark

Stranger things have happened. Was it all a delusion, or was I actually bounced by a shark?

I’m back in beginner surf land, up in the sharky waters of New Zealand’s far north. I can’t help but reminisce of one afternoon last summer.

I get the thing with surfing, I really do. The road trip, the stunning backdrops, the adrenaline rush… but it still kinda terrifies me. There’s attempting to Eskimo roll when a giant wave is coming, and then there’s sharks. I still sometimes hear jaws music when I’m clutching my board.

Last summer I did a fair bit of attempting to surf. A beginner’s board was lying around where I was staying, and so I was playing with that.

I must have been getting ballsy, because one day I found myself out quite far from the shore in some deep water. A rather large wave came roaring towards me, so I chucked my board away and dove underneath in an attempt to avoid the onslaught.

I was flung at the wrath of the wave in various directions. Next thing I hit into a large, rather smooth, solid mass and bounced back to the surface of the water.

My board was to my far right, and being so buoyant, there’s no way it could’ve been under me. The next thing to rule out was the ocean floor. I was miles out, far from the shallows. The next step in the process of elimination was of course a shark.

In a state of sheer terror, I exited the water at an accelerated speed. I paced the beach, and considered what has just happened. What had I bumped into down in the deep sea?

After much deep breathing and rationality I reasoned that even if it was a shark, it must have been a friendly fellow. I could probably safely go back into the water now. I was being ridiculous. I went back in, but clutched my board tighter than usual.

I still wonder, what was a bounced by? A sand bank? A large fish? A shark?

Winter Surfing 101


On several occasions I have braved the elements and gone for a morning surf in Wellington’s icey  waters.

I venture out in the peak of winter surf fashion:  a steamer, booties and a peaked hood (warmth and sun protection!)

My steamer slightly lets me down. I’ve been doning my Irish flat mate Gavin’s spare. His is a size medium short (man) so it’s approximately 2-3 sizes too large. But  I justified it by the fact I save a whopping $10 hireage cost.

The suit was almost toasty on shorter surfs, but I felt the wrath of this decision when I stayed out for a full hour. After 45 minutes, ripples of cold water start to move through the suit. First the chest, and then the legs.

After an hour my hands were so numb they lacked the strength to unzip the wetsuit. For at least 10 minutes I attempted this in vain. Next time I quickly coughed up the cash and hired a suit in my actual size.

Despite the brisk temperature, the whole experience is completely exhilirating. I can’t help but beam as I lie on my board waiting for the next set to roll in.

I’m quite proud of the fact that I can now easily stand on my long board. I wave furiously in enthusiasm to my fellow surfers and have mastered the skill of doing so without falling off.

The time has come to learn to maneouver the board along the wave, but for now I’m still shrieking in glee as I ride the white water into the shore.

And I’m reminded once again of what a unique city Wellington is. My flatties and I walk down the road for a surf,  go home warm up and then stroll back out for brunch at the infamous cafe Maranui.

As I eat my eggs benedict I watch the other surfers frollicking in Lyall Bay’s waves. Living the Kiwi dream you could say.