I blame House Hunters International for my latest junket into delusion. This HGTV show is a mainstay in our home. It affords us an opportunity to snoop in someone’s home – in fact – three homes – in some foreign locale while never having to pull our carcasses off the couch. It serves to tickle our wonderment and stoke our wanderlust.
The premise is that a couple – or individual – is relocating to some foreign shore or searching for a holiday home, and is shown three houses/apts to purchase, based on budget and specifications. In our house, we look at it as a 30-minute cultural immersion program. And being betting folk, we like to wager on the results, enthusiastically and sometimes aggressively guessing which home in Merida or which apartment in Amsterdam the buyer will select.
Not too long ago, we were cuddled up on the couch watching the latest HHI, which featured a young American woman who was touring three properties in Nicaragua with the intention of starting a women-only surf camp. The woman, Holly Beck, is a professional surfer – young, cute, smart and ambitious. I liked her and liked the concept even more. A surf camp for women only. No worrying about the fit of the bikini. No care about looking less than athletic on a board. Hmmm. The idea resonated and ruminated, percolated in the back of my mind, as the rationalization process slowly worked its magic behind the scenes of my conscious thought, until at last I found myself uttering those two words – those two small words that throughout my life, have served to set the course of a new step, path, chapter, experience. “Why not?”
That was roughly a month ago. Flash forward to now and I am squashed in a middle seat of a Cathay Pacific flight, heading to – not Nicaragua, I’m afraid – but to Bali. To a women-only surf retreat. I actually contacted Holly Beck, the American who was scouting properties in Nicaragua. Great girl. Really liked her and liked that she had incorporated community outreach programs into her “surf camp” experience, with opportunities to meet and support locals. Suffice to say I will hit her next. (www.surfwithhollybeck.com).
Ultimately though, my inner surf diva took me in a slightly different direction. Yes, I wanted a rigorous surfing focus, but I also wanted a private villa and plunge pool. The classic yin/yang that is the often difficult underpinning of my life’s decisions. The contradictory nature that had me wearing Lacoste shirts with miniskirts when I was a teenager. Espadrilles with safety pins through my ears. My inner surf diva found just the place – a surf & spa retreat that in its very name – Surf Goddess Retreats – appealed to my physical and spiritual aspirations and fulfilled my need to surf seriously combined with my passion for seriously-chic travel experiences. Voila surf chic.
Big shoes to fill indeed, but based on their website, Surf Goddess has got the goods, with an aesthetic that comes right off the page. The fact that it is located in Bali, a destination that has been on my mind for years, sealed the deal. All of a sudden this innocuous Sunday afternoon watching HHI with my husband, took on a life of its own. And so, back to reality and here I am, sitting squashed in my middle seat, winging my way to Hong Kong and then Bali, my yoga mat tucked into my carry-on bag, my excitement quietly sitting alongside the anxiety of the quest, which is to learn how to surf. Surf well. A big difference. To be able to put my body through the paces of a regimen that includes daily surfing and daily yoga sessions. Will I be able to do it? I don’t honestly know. I guess we’ll see tomorrow when they pick me up. More to follow…