One of my biggest goals is to really learn to surf. This is a frustrating goal since I don’t currently live next to the sea to be able to go out everyday to practice. I rent a board often during my layovers in San Diego but I wanted to go to a place where I could get unlimited hours of practice day after day for an extended period of time. I didn’t discover until recently the amount of “adult surf camps” that exist, but once I did I rushed to find one that was both affordable as well as in a country that was on my list of places to visit.
Many of these surf camps are extremely expensive but for what was included at Dreamsea Costa Rica, I feel that the price was fair. It was probably less expensive due to the fact it was “glamping” for accommodation and not a hotel atmosphere but for me, sleeping in tents sounded like much more of an adventure anyways. It took me quite a bit of researching different camps but once I found Dreamsea, I was there at the camp from Wisconsin 20 hours later!
//my daily schedule at camp
5:30AM : Wake up for (hopefully) a brief time to the sound of monkeys in the trees over your tent. I started sleeping with earplugs so this didn’t happen everyday but these monkeys sounded more like a mix between gorillas and lions.
8:00AM : Wake up again for breakfast! The huge breakfast buffet was amazing. It always included an enormous bowl of cut up fresh fruit beautifully and meticulously arranged in a large wooden bowl, strong coffee and fresh fruit juices as well as a variety of other options which would change daily. Everything at camp, including the dinner tables and kitchen area was outside in the fresh air.
9:00AM : Shower time. The cold, outdoor showers I actually truly enjoyed. It was 80 degrees at camp and after being outdoors 24/7 – I actually looked forward to shower time and found them extremely refreshing. Sometimes I looked around and realized that a frog or lizard was staring at me which was A-OK just as long as I didn’t look over to see a scorpion staring at me! I heard the showers were where they liked to hang out so I would always do an in depth scan of the shower stall for them before hopping in.
10:30AM : Everyone who was headed to the beach for the day loaded up in the big open jeep for a wild, bumpy, exhilarating ride there. I loved hanging off the back, basically holding on for dear life! (Not dangerous at all…) 😉
11:00AM to SUNSET : We spent the whole day at the beach. Everyday we went to a different beach in the area and set up in the shade. Some people did slack lining, yoga, surfing, some day drinking, napping. I was so blessed to have one-on-one surf lessons almost all week which isn’t the norm. Even if you do not have one-on-one lessons, the size of the group will always be enough for the instructor to give you a decent amount of help. The surf lessons were 2 hours long. The waves were pretty crazy for a beginner but I gave it my all and can’t wait to keep going! I did get stung by a jellyfish for the first time – and on my butt of all places. Everyone else there seemed completely undaunted when I told them what happened so it helped me get over quickly and not be a little wimp. The sting lasted for about 40 minutes and then I was out in the water again.
Some of my favorite memories are from being out in the ocean during sunset while the waves were uncrowded just sitting out there watching the fiery orange sun disappear in the horizon surrounded by a watercolor sky. After sunset, we packed up the surf boards and headed back to camp. I always took another cold shower as soon as we got back – I seriously miss those outdoor showers!
8:00PM : Dinner! Being in the sun all day while being tossed around by some pretty powerful waves sure does make you work up an appetite. I have no clue how the volunteers at Dreamsea were able to prepare such epic Costa Rican feasts at a little outdoor kitchen but man, dinners were always delicious. There were always tons of vegetarian options and every night was something different.
9:00PM to BEDTIME : Nighttime was always different. Some nights, people would head into town to go to the bars in town or just chill out in the tree house listening to music and talking. One evening we got to celebrate someone from the camp’s birthday in town with the most amazing fire dance performance I have ever seen! There were 3 girls who were crazy talented and had a long show they performed on the beach outside a popular outdoor bar on the sand. Another evening we had salsa lessons and a party at the camp. It was always good times even if we just hung out and didn’t do much.
BEDTIME: OK, full disclosure here – bedtime alone in that tent REALLY freaked me out. For some reason my phone didn’t get internet service on it at my tent and I was farther off to the side then most of the tents. During the day the privacy and silence was beautiful but walking down that trail in darkness I hated. At night the camp dog would bark and bark and I never knew what he was barking at. Was it some wild animal moving in? The dogs in the surrounding area also barked viciously for 10 minutes on end and it was terrifying. I knew I would be alone and have to throw out some pretty huge bugs once I got inside. As the days went on, my tent was less full of them though and I got less freaked out by them. However, the rustling sounds I never got used to. The last day I saw a HUGE iguana in the tree right outside my tent so I hope that is all it was that I heard moving around out there the previous evenings, I guess I will never know though…
Do one thing everyday that scares you
This line kept going through my head during the whole week I was at Dreamsea because it wasn’t just ONE thing that I was facing that scared me everyday, there was something at every corner! If you want to be thrown out of your comfort zone and really grow, go live in the jungle in a tent alone in Costa Rica for a week! Don’t get me wrong, the experience was completely amazing but I sure did face some fears head on. You can only imagine the size of the weird insects I saw during that week.