We've all been there. That travel bug starts itching again, and you're thinking about how to plan your next trip. You've traveled with your BFFs, but either they can't join this time, or you've realized you don't have the right travel compatibility. You want to travel, but do you dare go alone?
This repeat SurfYogaBeer (SYB) traveler says, "YES!" After several trips, Hannah, a ten-time SYB adventurer, opens up about her initial nerves about traveling "solo" with SYB and why she keeps coming back for more.
You've traveled with SYB 10 times! What keeps you signing up for more?
I've traveled on my own with friends, and I've also traveled with other groups, but SYB stands out because of the leaders and the community they've created. Traveling with friends could be a gamble as you don't always have the same interests as each other, and on other group travel trips, I've experienced a lack of community, non-attentive leaders, and people sort of doing their own thing. SYB is not like that.
The leaders go out of their way to introduce you to people and encourage connections, and they are on top of everything. (I've gotten 5 a.m. texts making sure I got on my flight!) Their goal is to make the SYB adventures a positive experience, and I've never experienced anything less than that with them.
I also love that SYB incorporates a balance of fitness and letting loose while traveling and exploring new places. How can you not have fun while working out with new friends, going to the beach, and having a dance party at night?
What's one of your favorite SYB trips you've been on?
Let's see, I've gone to Nicaragua twice, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ibiza, Egypt, Morocco, Croatia, Amalfi, and Mexico through SYB, and each was incredible in their own ways, but there are two that I loved for different reasons.
Ibiza was a smaller group, making it easier for me not to get overwhelmed, which can sometimes happen when I'm in larger groups. Because the Ibiza trip is a perfect blend of tourism and party, it made getting to know people so much fun. The group would come home from a club or concert at 4 a.m. on a rocky car ride back, giving everyone another way to bond.
Nicaragua, my first trip in 2016 for New Year's Eve, was such a blast that I returned for a second time. When it's cold back at home, who wouldn't want to be having fun at a beautiful beach in the sun with new friends instead?
What's a core memory from one of your SYB trips?
There are so many, but my first SYB trip to Nicaragua stands out. I was nervous because I didn't know anyone, but on the bus ride from the airport to San Juan del Sur, a man named Phil sat next to me. I can be shy when meeting new people, but I remember him as welcoming and friendly. I quickly recognized that I had one thing in common with others on the trip: everyone just wanted to get to know each other and have a good time. This initial interaction immediately set the tone for how incredible the adventure would be. The workouts, the dancing, the partying, and the locations were so fun, but they were amplified because of the people.
What surprises you the most about SYB trips, even after being on so many?
I've gone on all ten trips solo but never felt alone. It's so awesome how these trips have helped me be more myself while having a blast with people I've just met. Traveling alone with a brand new group can be daunting, but each time, I leave happy, fulfilled, and proud of myself for going into an unfamiliar experience with an open mind.
After ten trips, how has SYB impacted you?
I used to be a type-A person, wanting everything to go as planned, but I find myself more relaxed after each trip. For example, on one of my Nicaragua trips, there was a storm watch, which is something I probably would have really reacted to, but everyone in the group came together and made the situation light and fun, reminding me that sometimes the best days are the ones that don't go as planned. I'll never forget people riding the blow-up duck raft in the ocean!
I also love that the SYB charm and community extend beyond the trips you sign up for. I've stayed connected with people from different trips through cycling classes and birthday parties, and I've carried those experiences with me through my recent time in grad school. These trips have helped me gain the confidence to walk into a room, not knowing anyone, and feel more at ease.
What advice would you share with those considering a trip with SYB solo?
Like me, lots of people go alone! Even if you're shy, you will meet people. Start by living the SYB motto, "Don't think, just do!"
It's probably a rarity to experience a new destination (or an old one) in a different light and in a way that challenges your comfort zone, but how cool is knowing it's an option? A trip with SurfYogaBeer will welcome you without judgment and encourage you to meet different sides of yourself that you may not have yet.
Invite a friend or do it solo. However you do it, there is a definite guarantee of an amazing time. And if ten trips aren't proof enough, Hannah is marking trip number eleven by heading back to Nicaragua for a third time this December. Considering a rejuvenated start to your new year by catching rays and waves in the sun? Join us for the Nicaragua NYE edition to ring in 2024, or discover one of our other dope destinations and prepare for one of your greatest adventures!
Posted on Fri 3 Nov 2023 · by Sara Balaban