Eat, Explore, Love Croatia

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The Way of Life in Croatia

Where do I begin? Imagine this; you’re cruising across the beautiful, and historical, coast of Sibenik. You’re taking in the coastline views and listening to the calm waves beneath you while you’re catching fresh seafood for dinner that night. Sounds kind of like a dream, right?, well for me this was reality. Growing up as a child, this was just one of the many daily activities I looked forward to doing while visiting my native country. Whether it was spending wayyy too much time on the beach (to the point of pure exhaustion), snorkeling and exploring the ocean with friends, or scavenging the crystal clear waters looking for the perfect shells to bring home to grandma, I always felt so blessed. Being able to spend almost every single summer in Croatia has allowed me to develop a special appreciation for this beautiful place.

The landscape of Croatia offers every part of the nature spectrum -- from the Adriatic Sea, to over (literally) 1,000 islands, to beautiful inland waterfalls, and to historic cities with unique architecture, Croatia has it all. I feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to explore the ins and outs of the Croatian nature, but more than that the culture is so special. Growing up, I was able to experience the authentic Croatian lifestyle; I now know this place, its people, and the culture like the back of my hand. It has become my second home, and I am so proud of the welcoming, laidback, friendly culture that is Croatia.

Top 5 Things to Do!

1. Game of Thrones Tour

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Well, if you weren’t paying attention before you definitely are now. You will begin your journey at the Saint Lawrence Fortress, located in the front of Old Town. There you will spend about 45 minutes exploring several Red Keep scenes and, given its altitude, a variety of other filming locations. From there, you will go down into the Blackwater Bay small port, where you can see not only the battle filming location, but also where the departure of Myrcella was filmed, along with Sansa’s conversation to Littlefinger.

2. Island Hopping

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I mean, there are over 1,000 islands in Croatia, which makes it obvious as to why Island hopping is one of Croatia’s most famous and popular activities…. Surprisingly, even locals would suggest this activity to anyone visiting; each island is unique and beautiful, which makes this experience extremely special.

3. Cliff Diving and Blue Cave Snorkeling/Scuba

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There are top 4 places to do this:

  • Beach Punta Christo

  • Beach Punta Verudela

  • Beach Mala Kolombarica

  • Beach Galebove Stijene

If you’re going to anything while in Croatia, do this. It is perfect for the adventure seeker, and definitely gets your adrenaline pumping. You will travel to your destination via boat with a tour guide. Once you arrive at your destination, your tour guide will explain the layout of the ocean / land to you, and ensure that the cliff diving and snorkeling in a way that is smooth, safe, but most importantly exciting. Trust me, this is the perfect activity for adventure, and if you want to see the true beauty of the Adriatic Sea, this is the thing to do!

4. Plitvice Lakes

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This area consists of 16 different lakes. Here, you will no doubt get that incredible insta worth picture that will have all of your followers jealous. Aside from making your followers jealous, you can also explore and swim in the various lakes. Make sure you try to find the “secret spot”. Incredible lakes, incredible vibes, and an incredible experience -- this is a definite must see.

5. The Arena in Pula

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An amphitheater in Croatia that dates back to the Roman times. Despite being built between 27 BC and 68 AD, the arena is still in pristine condition, and is beautiful. It holds important historical significance, as it is one of only 200 surviving Roman amphitheaters remaining today. This is the best preserved ancient monument in all of Croatia, and seeing it will be an unforgettable experience.

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You already know we’re coming to Croatia this August, and 3/5 top things we’re doing! Check out the itinerary to see which ones. SYB Croatia 2019

5 Reasons Why Morocco Is A Must This Summer

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Ever wonder why there’s so much hype about Morocco? Well, the answer couldn’t be more clear. I mean, there is a reason why it has become one of the hottest destinations in the world. Have you ever thought it was possible to ride a camel through the Sahara Desert, to find yourself taking a surf lesson in Agadir the next day? Probably not - but in Morocco it is, and that is just the beginning. Whether you’re seeking an experience in a diverse culture, or even a more diverse landscape, there is nothing Morocco doesn’t offer. There is endless opportunity for adventure here, and the experiences will be unforgettable, trust us.  


The Sahara Desert

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Morocco is famously known for its beautiful deserts. Whether you’re searching for a relaxing time, an adrenaline rush, or a place to take in breathtaking views, you can find it all in the Sahara. Take the time to connect with yourself and nature by joining the SYB instructors in yoga during sunrise, or step outside of your comfort zone and ride a camel through the Sahara… or even take on sand boarding if you’re brave enough. The adventure doesn’t stop.

Sleeping in desert camps

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At first, camping out in the Sahara may not sound entirely desirable, but we swear that you’ll practically forget that you are, in fact, sleeping in the middle of a desert. These tents  are luxurious and fully equipped with everything you may want and need, which makes this experience even more appealing. We’re talking comfortable beds, fully equipped bathrooms and more. These tents will provide you both a luxurious and private space so you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the experience.

Desert ATV tour

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If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, what’s better than riding your own ATV across the desert? We can’t think of much. Aside from making your Instagram followers jealous, this is also the perfect way to fulfill your adventurous side. By joining SYB in this fun and exciting activity, you can take in the Sahara and all it has to offer. But don’t go too fast because you don’t want to miss those views.

Surf lessons in Agadir

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Another activity for the adrenaline seeker. The waves in Agadir are perfect for both beginners and experts. The SYB team will help push you past your boundaries by providing lessons that will have you up on your board in no time. But don’t worry, even if you can’t get the hang of it, you can relax and take in the coastline sunset.

Culture and Cuisine

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Those who have visited Morocco can not stop talking about the diverse culture, food and architecture. Moroccan food delivers a variety of options to suit any pallet, but seriously you can not miss out on trying the Moroccan mint tea and meats. But don’t stop at experiencing the culture through food, and take part in a walking tour of Marrakech and Casablanca. Exploring the Souks in Marrakech will allow you develop an understanding of what the Moroccan culture truly has to offer. The Souks are one of the most famous attractions in Morocco, and it’s not just because of its appealing aesthetic and vibrant colors. The history and uniqueness of each souk will deliver a true piece of the Moroccan culture that you will want to experience.

From SYB Morocco 2018

From SYB Morocco 2018

Lucky for you we host a trip to Morocco where we do all of these things, so just kick back and let us take you on this adventure and then some! SYB MOROCCO JUNE 2019



Also check out our video from 2018







Think like an Italian. Drink like a Stallion!

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Positano is a perfect blend between the sensual artistry of nature and the human talent to harmoniously create art galleries, chic boutiques and restaurants perched on the cliffs with fabulous sea views, bringing a special charm to this magical location. WHATEVA... (record scratch) enough of the basic stuff. Let’s give you an insider’s view on this cliffside getaway. Hashtag: DRANKS! 

With four epic adventures (and counting) to the Amalfi Coast, I’ve now considered the Positano dining experience to be part of the ‘Cosa Nostra’ in my life – the only thing in life. Whether you arrive by land or sea (we always prefer to get wet obvs!), once you set foot in Positano it’s an SYB tradition to grab a drink and make a toast. Espresso...meh, but first, CAMPARI! Skip the touristy Limoncello shots – you won’t find locals drinking it at all – you'll never see a native New Yorker eating a street vendor hot dog or one of those ¢99 slices! Woof, yeah, you get it now. Insider tip? Do as the locals do. When in Rome (which isn’t far away at all!).


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SIPPIN’ Spot UNO (1):

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First head to the legendary Hotel Le Sirenuse for drinks and only drinks. Yeah, you can eat there too but it’s over-priced and not really worth it because of the small portions. There are better spots to dine at. What is worth it, is the view! Take a few selfies while you sip on your first of many Aperol Spritz.  Remember, it’s not Champagne, it’s Prosecco. Very important. You’ll find out a bit.

HANG HERE: Hotel Le Sirenuse
DRINK THIS: Aperol Spritz


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SIPPIN’ Spot DUE (2):

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After you stroll through Positano’s narrow streets, many decorated with grape vine arches and fuchsia flowers, do some galley hopping and try on some handcrafted Italian linen apparel, make your way to Franco’s Bar which is always filled with Italians-on-holiday ready for a mid-day drink. I recommend a two-drink minimum here. Order the Hugo Spritz, with Prosecco, Elderflower and fresh mint. It’s like a Mojito made especially for the Roman gods. After you make a toast and swig it down, make a game plan to head down for a bite. But before that, order their master-crafted Old Fashioned and slowly sip it as you stare into the Tyrrhenian Sea.

HANG HERE: Franco’s Bar
DRINK THIS: Hugo Spritz


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SIPPIN’ Spot TRE (3):

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Now it’s time for a quick bite and of course more drinks! Italian small bites are called Cicchetti. Eat as many as you can before you head back up towards the southern side of Positano. Do your best to find a hidden gem called Faro Bar. Walk down a narrow set of stairs that opens up to an epic view of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Now it’s time for the real deal! It’ll take an acquired-taste but definitely order their Negroni. Grab a seat with a view and blaze up that authentic Cuban cigar you bought in one of the many Tabacchi shops along the way. Sip till your hearts content and simply enjoy la dolce vita.

HANG HERE: Faro Bar
DRINK THIS: Negroni 


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SIPPIN’ Spot QUATRO (4):

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Next, head all the way down to the little beach area. Do a little more exploring and shopping before you head to one of Positano’s best kept secrets and one of SYB's favorite places to dine: Lo Guarracino. To reach this gem just hop on the picturesque path carved into the rock along the sea , the pathway is called Positanesi of America, near the famous Tower Trasita, built by Positano in the second half of the 5th century to defend itself from the continuous pirate raids and Turkish invaders. If you’re lucky enough find it, which you will, you’ve earned yourself a glass of their house red. A glorious nectar worthy of your intrepid ‘Italian-ish’ spirit. Now sit back and enjoy the sunset but be sure to order your choice of seafood pasta. My recommendation would be a steaming plate of their Nero di Seppia. A squid ink pasta to die for. Request some hot chili olive oil to drizzle all over.  Follow it up with another bottle of red wine or more Negronis. Just remember two very important things. (1.) NEVER drink Champagne (it's always Prosecco) with your pasta dinner and (2.) NEEEVER add Parmesan cheese to ANY seafood pasta. Per favore! Please.

HANG HERE: Lo Guarracino
DRINK THIS: All the red wine!


ALLORA...

This has been a paisano's cocktail tour in Positano. Now you're ready to join us in the Amalfi Coast June 15-22, so remember to book early and never be late for Happy Hour! As they say in Italy: Meglio tardi che mai. 

Ciao bellas!

By Eddie, SYB Partner & Culinary Expert @saludnyc

6 Epic Adventures You Can Only Have In Portugal

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Portugal is one of today’s hottest travel destinations, and it’s easy to see why. With 250 days of sunshine per year, old-world charm, incredible beaches, incredible wine…Portugal truly has it all. The Portuguese word “bom” means “good,” so you can literally say that Portugal is the “bom.” There are tons of reasons why everyone’s making the trip to this Iberian paradise, and if you’re an adventurer at heart, here are just a few things you can do in Portugal you won’t wanna miss out on.

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A MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE THAT ENDS WITH WINE:

Can’t choose between the scenic bike ride and the winery tour for your day trip? Well, in Portugal, you won’t have to. Simply head to Arrabida Natural Park, located in the Setubal region of the country, to begin your bike and booze adventure. Arrabida Natural Park is a must-do for every nature lover, boasting over 40 square miles of lush forests, scenic beaches, and picturesque rocky cliffs. All you have to do is rent your bike (or book a tour), and you’ll spend the day out on the rugged trails soaking up the breathtaking views and working up a sweat that will ultimately be rewarded by a glass (or two...or three...) of porto at the end. The local vineyards in Arrabida are easily accessible by bike, and if you time it right, you can enjoy the sunset with a glass of Portuguese wine in hand by the end of your ride. I dare you to think of a better way to spend a day. SYB TIP: Throw your swimsuit and towel in your backpack so you can take a dip at one of the many gorgeous beaches in the Natural Park.

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SOME OF THE BEST SURFING IN THE WORLD:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned surfer or a first-timer, you’re gonna want to catch some waves in Portugal. The country is actually known as one of the most surfer-friendly places in the world, so you shouldn’t miss your chance to experience it while you can. Portugal offers everything a surfer could possibly ask for: quality waves, chill vibes, and impressive natural landscapes for surfers of any level skill level to enjoy. Ever see the video of that massive World Record setting wave? Yep, that was in Portugal. But don’t worry, there are plenty of great surfing beaches for beginners and intermediate-level surfers. You can check out the full list of locations in Portugal here.

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OFF-ROAD TO GET THAT PERFECT INSTAGRAM:

We hope we’ve already convinced you of this by now, but let’s just say that doing Portugal the SYB way involves reaching a certain adrenaline level. That being said, you won’t want to miss out on a cliff-hugging, off-road adventure that’ll bring you to the best vistas in the country. Just head to Sintra for an offroad Jeep tour, and you’ll hit the coastal trails for an insane ride and some some insane views that’ll make all of your Instagram followers jealous. Pro tip: Sintra is a fairytale-esque town, and also the world’s first maritime nation, so be sure to get there early to explore the village before buckling up for your scenic thrill-ride.

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CHANNEL YOUR INNER INDIANA JONES ON A CAVE EXCURSION:

If you want to immerse yourself in a captivating caving excursion, Portugal will deliver. Depending on what you’re after, you can experience both above-ground and underground explorations of the many caverns and caves on Portugal’s coastline. If you’re not claustrophobic and are down (pun intended) to go underground, there are lots of guided opportunities to navigate subterranean waterfalls and rivers, and crawl through mudslides that are over a million years old. For those who prefer to stay above ground, there are plenty of of gorgeous caves you can explore right along the coast, with or without a guide. No matter what you choose, you’ll be in for an unforgettable experience.

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A BOOZY BOATING DAY:

Okay, so after a few high-powered days of physical activity, you should treat yourself to an adventure of a different variety. Go ahead and book a boozy catamaran sailboat cruise (it’s all about balance, people). Not only will you be able to see the stunning Portugal coastline from a different perspective, you’ll be able to do all it while sipping on some quality vino and/or or cocktails. Catamaran tours are available all over Portugal, and it’s the perfect zero-sweat way to take it all in, do a little partying, and meet new people. Just don’t forget to hydrate!

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KAYAK THROUGH COASTAL ROCK FORMATIONS:

If you want to take to the water in a different way, look no further than a kayak trip. Whether you rent out ‘yaks or go on a guided tour, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the cliffs, caves, and beaches that Portugal is best known for.

YEP, PORTUGAL IS SERIOUSLY THAT COOL.

Wanna experience it for yourself? Come with us on our Portugal adventure and 5 out of 6 of these sweet trips will be included. Book your spot while there’s still room! Trust us, you don’t wanna miss out.

SYB Trainer Spotlight: Boxing Master, Rad Lopez

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It’s no secret that boxing is having a moment. The gritty sport that created legends like Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao is now a sexy boutique fitness phenomenon, with several studio chains like Rumble and Shadowbox spreading across the nation. Boxing is a favorite workout by celebs and models. So, we tapped the brain of our very own SYB boxing trainer, Rad Lopez of Shadowbox NYC, who will be joining in Sayulita, to find out more about this workout that has everyone obsessed.

How did you first get into boxing?

I first got into boxing when I was 16, so about 11 years ago now. Was always a huge fan growing up. Would always sit in front of the TV with my family and watch with such enthusiasm. I started practicing the sport and it gave me a huge sense of self, and confidence and it’s taken off ever since.

What are some of the biggest fitness benefits from boxing? What makes it such a great workout?

Boxing is not just a great physical exercise but also great for mental clarity. I find that it’s an excellent mood booster.

What should people know before taking their first boxing class?

It will be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll keep coming back to it. Some forget that boxing as an exercise is more than just tons of reps, it’s a lifelong skill.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about boxing?

I’d have to say that the biggest misconception of boxing is that it’s intimidating and violent. It doesn’t have to be at all! Done in the right setting, with the right people it can be tons and tons of fun.

What’s your favorite part of any boxing class?

The energy shared between the boxers. the encouragement and inspiration we all get from one another.

MORE ABOUT RAD:

What’s your go-to…

Workout jam?

  • Put on some Meek Mill, or Drake and watch me go 0-100 real * quick haha

Dance floor jam?

  • Promises - Sam Smith

Order at the bar?

  • Hibiki neat

Cheat day meal?

  • Tons of pepperoni pizza

Hangover cure?

  • Lots of water prior to heading to bed.

What are you looking forward to the most about Sayulita?

  • EVERYTHING! New friends, old friends, beautiful weather, sweat, smiles, and just having an overall blast of a time.

Does boxing on the beach sound like a good time to you? Join us in Sayulita, Mexico this May!

5 Amalfi-Inspired Limoncello Cocktails You Have To Try

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Although it is customary to drink limoncello straight-up, we’re gonna bend tradition and use this famous liqueur to take five cocktails to a whole new level. No matter where you are or what season it is, these bright and refreshing limoncello cocktails will have you feeling like you’re lounging in a bathing suit on the Amalfi coast.

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Limoncello Collins

The classic Tom Collins you know and love (gin, lemon juice, simple sugar, and club soda) is about to turn into the best summer drink you’ll ever have. All you have to do here is use limoncello instead of the sweetener, with just a little bit of real lemon juice to brighten it up. Food & Wine magazine recommends using Beefeater 24 gin because of its citrusy notes.

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Bacio Del Limone

Italian for "lemon kiss," this sparkling drink is every bit as simple and refreshing as the Limoncello Collins, but has a little added sophistication that will make you feel like you belong on a yacht in Amalfi. Combine chilled prosecco, a shot (or two, your call) of limoncello, raspberries, and crushed ice in a fancy glass of your choice.

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Lemon Drop Martini with Limoncello

A little lemon juice, sugar, and vodka can get you a decent lemon drop, but with the addition of limoncello, you can achieve a perfect balance of sweet and tart. If you’re feeling extra fancy, rim your martini glasses with sugar. Then, shake up some vodka, limoncello, triple sec, lemon juice and sugar over ice.

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Limoncello Sunrise

Inspired by the classic Tequila Sunrise, this limoncello drink recipe is your new go-to for day drinking. Using a liqueur instead of a spirit like tequila keeps the alcohol content low, so you can sip on these bad boys all day long. Simply combine 1 ounce of limoncello with fresh orange juice and a splash of grenadine.

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Limoncé Lemon Blush

You do know that Amalfi is one of Beyoncé’s go-to vacation spots right? So if you’re feeling ***Flawless, opt for this fresh take on a cosmopolitan. Shake up a shot limoncello, some lemonade (just as Bey would want) and cranberry juice, pour it over ice, top with soda water, and garnish with, you guessed it, a lemon wedge.  

Join us in Amalfi this summer and our culinary expert Eddie of SALUD will be able to make these cocktails for you in the place that put limoncello on the map.

Our culinary partner Salud is immersed in the travel experience. SALUD is literally part of the adventures, workouts and fun. The menu is curated per trip and sometimes per group personality. It’s living, breathing, and always evolving. A new concept in the way people see Food, Fitness and Fun. SALUD finds locally sourced foods that will empower you after a day of fun in the sun and surf and everything in between.

Goat Yoga | Come For the 'Gram, Stay for the Healing

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Goat yoga, or Goga...you’ve heard of it, you’ve seen the cute Instagrams, but why should you actually try it? Do baby goats actually make for a better yoga practice? And how the hell did this unique workout trend even become a thing? You have the questions, we have the answers.

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How did goga become a thing?

Lainey Morse, the creator of the first goat yoga class, was inspired to combine goats and yoga after she was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and brain. She says that goats she was raising on her farm helped get her through it. "Spending time in my field with my goats was just such therapy for me. It's really hard to be sad and depressed when you have baby goats jumping around you," she says. She then started hosting Goat Happy Hour, “that was basically people coming over who were stressed or sick,” she explained, “and the goats would help people forget about everything.”

People seemed to love hanging out with the goats, so she launched her first goat yoga class. And in a matter of months her goga practice had a waitlist of thousands of people.

Do goats actually make for a better yoga class?

Turns out goat yoga is way more than just a cutesy hipster thirst trap, and it has real health benefits. Animal therapy has been medically proven to increase serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels (aka the brain’s happy chemicals) in humans. So if you take all the physical health benefits of yoga and add in cute animals, it turns out to be the ultimate stress reliever. Goats are carefree, kind-hearted animals that are sure to make you smile, and according to the most heartwarming bit of research, goats like it when you smile at them (I MEAN COME ON!) So come for the ‘gram, stay for the healing.

Why should I try it? Is it ethical?

If you’ve ever seen a baby goat, with their tiny noses and velvety ears, you wouldn’t need to ask that question in the first place. Baby goats, aka kids, are naturally goofy and curious, and they LOVE to interact with people. So yes, goat yoga is perfectly ethical and just as enjoyable for the goats as it is for the humans! In the day-to-day hustle, we can completely lose touch with earth and all the lovely creatures that inhabit it. Goats are awesome, non-threatening, and beautiful animals. It's time to make their acquaintance, and sign up for goga!

Sign up for goga with SYB!

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Choosing Adventure Over Doubt | Gabriel's Costa Rica Story

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As December reared its head, I suddenly realized I had no exciting New Year’s plans. My usual vacation wasn’t as appealing as it had been in winters past and I yearned for something new. Conversely, after a particularly indulgent Thanksgiving, I felt like a small whale, and wished I could lock myself away somewhere to magically return to my Summer self. However, the idea of ringing in the New Year in a detox retreat felt real depressing and uninspired.

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This was my mindset when I stumbled upon SYB’s Instagram page. My first thought was that everything looked amazing. But on second thought, going on a full-blown fitness adventure seemed a bit terrifying to me. What if I didn’t like the people, the accommodations, or the food? What if, what if, what if?


After some serious Insta-investigating, I decided to try Mantas’s bootcamp in order to gauge whether or not I could weather a week under his leadership. It turned out to be the nudge I needed to make the booking - he led a great workout with contagious energy. Many people there had been on SYB trips and raved about them. They also didn’t seem like complete lunatics, which was reassuring. I was sold, so I booked the New Year’s trip to Costa Rica.

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The adventure that followed surpassed my expectations in every way possible, and made me wonder why I ever had doubts in the first place. The natural beauty of Costa Rica was the perfect backdrop for such a unique experience. Every day was filled with challenging workouts, innovative yoga classes, and countless activities. The 40 strangers I nervously introduced myself to on the first day somehow turned into friends. The spirit of camaraderie was ineffable and I am sure that many of these relationships will flourish into genuine, lasting friendships.

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Looking back, I shouldn’t be surprised by how quickly and meaningfully we all bonded. We essentially got to go back to Summer camp, with the (relative) wisdom of adulthood and the added bonus of unlimited margaritas. We were together from dawn until late at night, playing tag on a sprawling, deserted beach, kayaking through mangroves, playing car-games on our way to town in a packed van, sharing dinners by the pool, counting down the New Year around a bonfire, and so much more.

I can’t think of another week where I sweated as much, laughed as much, experienced as much, and worried as little.


This is Gab getting his dance on during our Salsa Lessons on night #3.

This is Gab getting his dance on during our Salsa Lessons on night #3.

Article by: Gabriel Tamman

After hearing about SYB he went to a bootcamp class they hold on Friday nights to scope out if this was even a real company or a catfish situation, lucky for him SYB was the real deal!

Namafknste | How Costa Rica Gave Me the Fresh Start I Needed

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It’s the middle of the afternoon on the first Saturday of the new year.  Here I am, cramped into an economy window seat back to the USA, sweating under the mediocre fans Delta has installed on this aircraft, craving a coffee that’ll help me power through the long travel day ahead.  I’m still wearing my red Costa Rica tank with the Surf Yoga Beer logo on the back, a garment I’ve probably sweated through numerous times over the past week and likely isn’t a source of appeal for the unlucky guy in seat 21E.  But as I reflect back on the SYB experience that just concluded in Costa Rica, I couldn’t be more comfortable, relaxed, and ready to attack 2019 full-steam ahead and with 34 new friends.

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Flash back to summer 2018 when, on a whim, I threw my deposit down on a New Years’ adventure to Nosara, Costa Rica with SurfYogaBeer after hearing about them from my Bumble date who had just returned from a trip with them herself (yes, a freakin’ dating app got me here) so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I guess I have a vulnerability to succumb to spontaneous urges like this. I started thinking I was insane...What the hell did I just sign up for? I’m going to wake up early every morning on vacation to work out? With a bunch of strangers? In a foreign country? Will they judge me? Will they like me? As a fiercely independent and stubborn person with a type-A personality,I seriously questioned how this was all going to turn out.

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I had a lot of surface-level reasons that attracted me to the Nosara trip with SYB. And these reasons were solidified every time I told a friend or family member about my upcoming adventure. It turned out everyone else wanted something just like what I had signed up for. They’d respond: “I want to surf.” “I want to get away from the cold for New Years’.” “I need a different type of vacation.” “I’ve never been to Costa Rica and love to travel.” “I heard the female to male ratio on these trips favors guys.”

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But beneath the superficial appeal of going to Costa Rica with a group of like-minded, fun, fit people, there were, as it turned out, deeply personal reasons that brought me and the rest of this group together. On our remote resort nestled just north of Nosara near Ostional, we got to know each other and discovered that we shared in many of the same pains, hardships, and setbacks throughout 2018 and in recent years. Stress, death, illness, anxiety, depression, addiction, etc. – we had all gone through something that’s often stigmatized in our society and in turn holds us back from opening up and releasing that negative energy. Personally, I’ve struggled with health issues over the past few years that nearly destroyed my body. While I took a major step forward this year, still felt as though I was at an impasse between where I was and where I wanted to be in life. I quickly realized the appeal to come on this trip came from more than just wanting to spend the NYE holiday at a tropical destination.

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SYB is not a therapy retreat - that couldn’t be further from the truth.  You can find the proof to that in how much we laughed and danced together.  But there’s something to be said about the connections that are fostered within a small group when you wake up, sweat, and break bread together for 7 days straight.  For whatever reason, after I’ve struggled through burpees with you at 7am, being open and communicating with each other doesn’t seem so difficult. And to be fair, the paradise of Nosara certainly doesn’t hurt either.

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What I realized this past week is that I desired – no, I needed – scratch that, I CRAVED a fresh start. I’ve been yearning for this form of abstract reset button. I refused to go into 2019 with the same song and dance. But I accepted that it’s not all on me. Ultimately, you are in the driver’s seat of your own life, but there’s always room on your bus. Surround yourself with friends and family who support you, provide advice, and maintain positivity, and your journey is that much sweeter.

I wouldn’t trade this experience in Nosara for anything.  Among the highlights for me:

  • We surfed one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

  • We did sunset yoga in a massive shala overlooking the Pacific.  We sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody and learned salsa dancing (or tried, anyways)

  • We SUP’d to a remote beach where we cracked coconuts and swam together with not another soul in sight for miles and miles

  • We enjoyed family meals together thanks to our man Eddie (read: LEGEND)

  • We laughed ourselves to tears

  • We pushed each other through the workouts, helping each other overcome fears and doubts along the way

  • We laid down under the unobstructed night sky and watched for shooting stars until the wee hours of the morning

Above all, I did it all with an amazing group of people.  They’re all unbelievably talented, unique, and a true joy to have met.  Thanks to them, I’ve never felt more ready to take on the challenges of a new year.  That’s the damn truth.

#namafckinste


This is JB drinking a cold one after a long day of working out, surfing, and namafnkinstaying

This is JB drinking a cold one after a long day of working out, surfing, and namafnkinstaying


Article by: JB

He signed up for the trip because of a first date conversation. What a good choice…

SYB GIVES BACK - NICARAGUA

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Since 2016, Nicaragua has been SYB’s home away from home. When we arrived at Playa Maderas for the first time and checked out the view from our villas we knew instantly we had found our tropical paradise.

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We decided right then to plant the SYB flag and make this our regular winter pop-up.

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As we settled in and met the locals we forged relationships with some special people that have made our adventures in Nicaragua great experiences. They guided us and made us feel welcomed in their beautiful country.

Two guys in particular stand out, and anyone who has traveled with us to Maderas has met: our resident Surf Instructor on Playa Maderas, Orlando.

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And our transportation guru , Alvaro.

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Not only are these guys part of our Nicaragua team but over the years they have become part of our SYB family.

In April 2018, not long after our February Adventure, civil unrest broke out in Nicaragua. The government attempted reform of the social security system, increasing taxes and reducing pension payments. Student protests broke out against the reforms and were met with a violent government response. Protests and government reprisals increased over the coming months and more than 300 people were reported dead.

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San Juan del Sur and Playa Madera did not see the violence that took place in the capital of Managua but the tourism industry, which is the main source of income for San Juan del Sur, was devastated and tourist dollars disappeared overnight. Beaches were empty, as were the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.  The residents of San Juan del Sur, unprepared for the sudden changes, were forced to find other means of supporting themselves and their families with little time to adjust.

Both Orlando and Alvaro reached out to us at this time and asked us for help, they explained the situation and the urgent need for action. We could not stand by while our friends were in a bind and when we got the call we knew we had to do something.

July 17, with the help of SoulCycle, we hosted a charity ride to benefit our friends in need in Nicaragua. The ride sold out and 65 enthusiastic members of the SYB community came out to support our cause.

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Given the political turmoil and unable to safely travel there ourselves, we appointed Orlando and Alvaro our SYB ambassadors. They agreed to bravely travel to the next largest city, Rivas, at great personal risk to themselves, in order to collect the funds.

Orlando and Alvaro were able to buy supplies for 20 families in San Juan Del Sur for an entire month with the funds! 

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We are very happy to have been able to give back to the community of San Juan del Sur that extended such a warm welcome to SYB over the years.

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Our friends in San Juan del Sur will always have a special place in our SYB family, that said Nicaragua is one of many places that we have visited on our adventures around the world where we encounter people that need help. In an effort to give back to the places we visit, we at SYB have started our own not-for-profit that will work to identify causes where we feel we can make a positive impact on the people and places that host us on our adventures and have become our extended families. Keep an eye out for our next charity event where you can join in and help make a difference!

UPDATE

Our next charity ride is for Migrant Aid down at the US Mexico boarder, which will provide meals as the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday approaches. See here for more info!

Brad's Story | Iceland 2018

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I never had been to Iceland, met Mantas, or even heard of Surf Yoga Beer before I signed up for the Iceland Running trip. It looked impressive on the web-site, miles over waterfalls/volcanoes/out of the world terrain, photographer with a drone, local running guide, remote cabins with impressive views, this trip had to be something too good to be true. I signed up as a co-worker (Sean) cheered me on and thought, “what am I doing?” This is not me, signing up for a trip without fully exploring all the options, I’m an adventurer, I run marathons, I love to explore, but spontaneous group travel to another country, not me! What if I don’t like any of these people, what if I can’t run the miles, what if I got injured and couldn’t run my regular marathons back home. At that time I didn’t realize a 5 day running adventure with 18 strangers would do to me and the impact those people and the trip would have on me going forward. 

The first run of the trip, just outside our home

The first run of the trip, just outside our home

I eagerly packed my bag and prepared myself for running on trails for the first time. I also did my detective work on who was going on this trip. I learned about Mantas and his SoulCycle classes and how he started this group and past adventures they have gone on. I joined the summer run club and had a taste of the community that SYB builds.

It looks like a fantasy but this was our home

It looks like a fantasy but this was our home

I landed and made my way through customs to the duty free shop to find some local whiskey to buy for the trip. While groggy and looking for coffee I found a black carryon bag alone in the aisle with SYB stickers all over it. I looked around for somebody from the trip, but didn’t find anybody. I thought of all the times at the airport and luggage is left unattended what to do and the consequences to that bag. Soon Mantas swings by hi fives me and grabs the bag. I followed him to meet the others in the group and headed off to a bus onto our cottages in the northern part of Iceland. The awkwardness of a new group melted away quickly and within the first hour. Mantas and Inga asked us each to share a bit about ourselves and what type of runner we are, we had a full range from multi-marathon runner to non-runners, we had developed nick names and inside jokes amongst our group. Hours passed and when we arrived to the Raven Lodge area we stepped out into a scene appropriate for a MacBook wallpaper, it was perfect with snow capped mountains, a crystal clear stream, waterfalls, several black cottages scattered amongst the fresh air that we breathed in deep. It even smelled fresh! We were off on our first run 30 mins later along that stream up a ridge to view waterfalls and the hillside with rolling hills and a circling cloud on the mountain top. We ran like that for the next several days. We took pictures of us running, exploring, goofing off, relaxing, drinking, and building a gram portfolio for months to come. Over the week we toured several parts of Iceland and ran over volcanic rock, through streams, up and down ridges and cliffs worthy of National Geographic. I personally have never seen sights like those before in my life. I still remember the first mile of a 20 mile trail run we did and how I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, a cliff with a few hundred foot drop to a teal blue river with rock formations that looked Martian like. My iPhone snapped pictures along the way, but Aaron our professional photographer ran and took pictures of us, I felt like a Lululemon store model in those pictures he took. They adorn my iPad, iPhone, and work laptop wallpapers.

I typically run alone on the west side highway or in Central Park in New York City as I use it as mental clearing and personal therapy. These runs in Iceland were that, you had beautiful scenery to distract you from the miles put in, your head constantly focusing on the next step to take and avoid slippery rocks and sharp points, but when the runs stopped and we climbed the steps for the bus back to our picturesque cottages we learned about challenges back home, heartbreak, family stress, business triumphs, favorite gas-station snacks, personal goals, who snores/who doesn’t snore, and everything in between. I felt as if the run was a time to organize my thoughts and my bus time was the time to let it out share amongst my bus mates. These 18 strangers met in Iceland and escaped everything from where they came from for one week and focus on the moment we were in. 

 
Seriously this was unreal…

Seriously this was unreal…

I’ve ran numerous marathons and have become addicted to the runners high. I hold marathon finishes very highly in my head as what I call Living life to the fullest!  The second to last day we ran the four Forrest race it was a trail race with several distances that our group all signed up for. I did the 30k length and was nervous as we got to the start line by van. We were delayed as sheep had overtaken our path and wouldn’t move out of our way. I had ran 8 miles the day before and 20 miles the day before that. I was exhausted and only ran this race to finish. I ran with heart and the feeling of support from the other runners on my adventure. I remember one special part of the race and it has become my ultimate running experience! At the halfway point the 30k racers ran by the start of the 18k race group, I saw the pack of runners from a few hundred feet away and knew I would run past them. I was running alone in 3rd place and felt great and full of energy. As I turned the corner and passed the 50 runners and felt their energy I ran with so much heart I couldn’t stop from smiling and yelling as I passed them and hear their cheers. For a runner having that experience is like nothing else. I was living my life fully alive and felt the energy of everyone as I turned that corner and onto the rest of the race, it’s a moment I’ll remember forever.

Yes this was real life at 11pm

Yes this was real life at 11pm

Recovery at the Blue Lagoon

Recovery at the Blue Lagoon

So It’s been about 3 months since I returned back home, the group texts are still going, I’ve met up with my bus gang several times, I’ve met with a fellow Icelander to help with their business, I’ve attended numerous SoulCycle classes in my Iceland hat with other trip mates, I’ve continued on with the run club in the fall, I feel part of the SYB community I’ve gained genuine friends and support in a challenging city. Personally I’ve gained confidence that I didn’t realize I had. I left my job for a new one, ran a PR marathon, I feel like a part of the city and no longer a transplant, and have become more greateful for the things I have and the people in my life. Like I said before I really didn’t realize this running adventure to Iceland would have ongoing impact on my day to day life. 

And as it says on the SYB site “life changing purchase” they actually mean it. 

MORE PHOTOS FROM ICELAND 2018


Brad Homan works in NYC as a packaging manager.

Brad after winning 3rd place in the 30km race

Brad after winning 3rd place in the 30km race

The Moment I Knew | Morocco 2018

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We are the brave ones, the ones who do the hard things awkwardly, tumbling, fumbling, flailing down sand dune dreams, fueled by the burn of our fear-freckled optimism...

Posing at  Yves Saint Laurent  museum

Posing at Yves Saint Laurent museum

You’d think that if Mantas, the humble epitome of the cool guy in school (school being SoulCycle in this case), asks you “Do you want to go to Morocco?” you’d instinctively respond “hell yeah I want to go to Morocco!” Yet having wrestled a lifetime with anxiety, my mind immediately flashed back to my first time traveling abroad alone in Israel, sobbing in a grimy hotel room, texting my mother over the spotty wi-fi with tear-stained emojis shouting “I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING HERE.” But a year had passed since then, a year of highs and lows, of success in work and failure in love, of therapy and meditation, running a half marathon, playing Switzerland through my parents’ divorce and dual cancer diagnoses, and getting seriously stronger both inside and out. 

So I said yes, yes to 6am wake up calls on three hours of sleep, yes to desert-heat workouts and late night dance parties, and intimate conversations about life and fear and love and death with beautiful habibis who were only strangers just two nights before. 

 

The moment I knew I was welcome: singing my heart out during the introductions that first night, and all the high fives that came after. 

 

The moment I knew I was strong: running alongside Mantas in Marrakech, testing a course that included crawling through a shrub, a run that would have doubled me over only a year earlier.

 

The moment I knew I was brave: driving an ATV over towering sand dunes in the Sahara desert.

 

The moment I knew I was, had always been, and always will be ok: sending a floating lantern into the African midnight sky, wishing for nothing more than this moment, this life and to dare myself to live it fully.

 

Our group out on a sunset camel ride

Our group out on a sunset camel ride


What draws me to fitness is that doing the things you never thought you could do changes you. And it sucks because now that you know anything is possible, there are no legitimate excuses- you can no longer stand passive, paralyzed by the unknown because you know too well that you can survive it, you can cozy up to the suck, and as long as you’re still breathing, as long as you don’t stop moving you will finish. And into the awkward hurt we go, because that’s where the change happens, that’s where the growth is. In the just…one…more.

Holly getting thrown into the pool after a workout

Holly getting thrown into the pool after a workout

We are on this planet for a reason. To open ourselves to what’s possible- to leap into discomfort and meet ourselves stronger and braver on the other side. To open ourselves to each other and dive beneath the surface of “how are you” and swim to the bottom of “who are you?” It’s in that space that we become connected, transformed, and truly alive. This Moroccan journey was a milestone for me: showing me how far I’ve come, healing what was once wounded, reminding me that everything I want is on the other side of fear. If we only have one life let’s be in love with it— for me, that means dancing, singing, sweating, laughing as much as possible, surrounded by a courageous community, telling our stories and finding new ways to help each other grow. 

CATCH SYB BACK IN MOROCCO JANUARY 2019

Written by:

-Holly Mitchell, CEO and Leadership Coach at Central Park West Dentistry

 

 

MORE PHOTOS FROM MOROCCO 2018:

Workouts everyday

Workouts everyday

Sand boarding the Sahara desert

Sand boarding the Sahara desert

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Essaouira

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Essaouira

Our last night together

Our last night together

Fitness Retreat or Adventure?

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One of my first days “on the job” I was asked by our caveman founder, Mantas, to tell a stranger what exactly SurfYogaBeer does. In a panic, I came up with something along the lines of, “We are a fitness retreat company that travels around the world and keeps people active while on the trip.”

My first mistake was not mentioning the best part; the beer! How could I be so naïve.

Bunch of babes that didn't know each other and now are besties... 2018 Nicaragua

Bunch of babes that didn't know each other and now are besties... 2018 Nicaragua

My second mistake was saying retreat... A retreat, as defined by my girl Merriam, is actually an act of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable.

Yea we go to cold places too... 2016 Colorado

Yea we go to cold places too... 2016 Colorado

That is most definitely not what we do here. At SYB, as the true homies call it, we go on adventures. These adventures have taken us through the jungles of Costa Rica, the mountains of Iceland, the deep seas of Belize, the ashes of Pompeii and through the time machine that is Cuba. Not only that, you’ll come home with 20-30 new best friends and become part of a community of like-minded people.

At SYB, we are taking it further than just a workout or yoga class, we are a culture of balance and a community of fun, sweaty, beer-loving people! 

While we do escape to some of the most beautiful places in the world, we also bring the energy of a hyperactive preteen and the heat of an NYC workout class- literally. We travel with some of NYC’s most well-known workout instructors.

SYB babes making our professional photographer get their hair flip in 2017 Cuba

SYB babes making our professional photographer get their hair flip in 2017 Cuba

Start your day with a boombox wake-up call and with a DTJD (don’t think just do- our motto) attitude. We sprinkle positivity and good vibes in our breakfast, cooked by none other than our own Chef Eddie from Salud NYC. Don’t worry, there’s always time for tequila shots and chilling by the pool.

Let’s be honest, sitting on a beach for a week gets pretty boring and according to a Hotels.com survey, as many as 80% of travelers between the ages of 18-35 would like to stay active on vacation. Duh, once you get those endorphins flowing, there’s no stopping you from serving up your best moves on the dance floor at night (and if you can't dance we typically get salsa dancing lessons to spice things up)! 

Poolside chill time in 2017 Costa Rica

Poolside chill time in 2017 Costa Rica

This is about creating habits, not goals. In just a few days you can jump-start your habits. Mantas constantly talks about his habits-over-goals mindset whether it be in the office, on the podium at SoulCycle, or on a 5 mile run at Run Club. This has helped him commit to a process, not an outcome. When you’re doing what you love, success just follows.

Vacationing can still be fun while maintaining your six-pack (or lack thereof). As a wise man once said, “Work hard, play hard.

 

So pack your bags, come one, come all and see why people keep coming back. DTJD!

Coast of the Gods

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9 Reasons Why you Need to be in Italy this Summer

SYB is headed back for another enchanting Amalfi Coast retreat this summer, where crystal clear waters, delectable delicacies, sexy beaches and blissful boat rides await us. On-the-fence about attending? Here'snine things you'll miss out on if you pass up on this life-changing trip. 

1. Cliff Tops & Grottos 

The houses on the Amalfi Coast are literally hanging off cliff-tops, which means epic views from every corner. The SYB Villa is no different - expect breathtaking vistas from our jacuzzi and infinity pool over the Marina del Cantone, a secret beach spot where Italian locals and in-the-know travelers bask in the Italian sunshine. It's just a short walk over to the hidden Recommone bay - a gorgeous little hide away with sunbathing, chic cafés and grottos for exploring.