I returned from my first fitness adventure with Surf Yoga Beer less than two weeks ago. I’m here to tell you about it. The first thing you should know is that we’re all REALLY excited to share our experience. I pity the person who corners one of us at a bar and asks plainly, “how was your trip?” because you’re in for a very long-winded, enthusiastic and emotional tale of self-discovery, adventure and friendship. One gal described it as a soul-searching pilgrimage. It was that good.
The key message I want you to take away if you’re considering one of these trips is this: most of us didn’t know each other before. We had introverts, extroverts, couples, people from opposite coasts, and even an Australian who found out about the retreat from Google (shout out to our token Aussie Anne!).
Another thing to note is that the trip was comprised of people of all fitness levels. You do not have to be an insane athlete to have the time of your life. For example, I can’t do a wheelbarrow to save my life, but apparently if you tell me to sprint towards a stick on a beach, you probably don’t want to get in my way. Maybe I was a dog in my past life? The point is, you’re going be challenged, but you’ll also discover you are really good at something. Even if that something is hiding during beach flags until you’re the last one still in the game.
With that, I give you 14 reasons why you should book a fitness adventure compiled by my 22 new friends of SurfYogaBeer Nicaragua.
1. You need a good gift for your 30th birthday
What better way to treat yoself and get the hell out of dodge? Shout out to the flirty 30 birthdays we celebrated in Nicaragua: Liza, Mantas and Rianne!
2. Because you’re looking for people who like to exercise as much as they party
You like to drink. You like to workout. Sometimes both, at the same time. You are kind of a masochist. There are people out there just like you. These are those people.
3. So you can get stung by a scorpion and live to tell about it (not the yoga pose, but you’ll do that too)
Everyone likes a good, bad ass story. You haven’t lived until you’ve been moderately afraid for your life in another country.
4. Because you want to travel but you don’t want to plan it
The people at SYB have this down pat. You don’t worry about transportation, food or activities. Just get yourself there and enjoy the view of your infinity pool on an oceanside cliff, prince(ss).
5. Because everyone needs to visit the Tequila gas station before they die
What can I say, people do weird things after 5 days of bonding. This one is our special memory, you’ll have to create your own. Sorry ;)
6. Because your life could use a reset button
Is your job soul-crushing? Did you recently go through a breakup? Have you been looking for motivation to get back in a workout routine? This trip is your remedy.
7. To do it for the ‘gram
Let’s just admit we all want sick vacation photos - this is a safe place. In your group there will likely be an amazing photographer who helps document your cherished memories. THANK YOU RYAN FOR SHOOTING ME ON MY GOOD SIDE.
8. To challenge you physically and open you up emotionally
You’ve never surfed before? You’ve always wanted to stick a headstand? You want to sing Jack Johnson around a beach bonfire and talk about your family with beautiful people? You got it, babe.
9. Because "No New Friends" is getting old
No, not you Drake. The idea that as adults we don’t have time or energy to make new friends. I promise after 6 days of sharing this experience with 22 strangers, you will walk away with 22 new friends. And you can't put a price tag on friendship. It’s like BOGO for friendships!
10. Because you always wondered what it would be like to take a giant inflatable duck out into the open ocean
It’s just as ducking awesome as it sounds. And the duck survived.
11. To live out your Kate Bosworth Blue Crush / Kelly Slater fantasy
Don’t worry, no one is actually that good. But you’ll look real good in your wetsuit. Promise.
12. So you can tap into your inner survival skills
If I had a dollar every time someone yelled “extra protein!” after I discovered bugs in my drink, I would still be living in Nicaragua. But seriously, we all need to be less afraid of bugs. And crabs in your shower. To be fair, they were there first.
Immersing yourself in a different culture encourages resourcefulness. You realize the importance of rationing napkins, having a hydration plan and learning how to communicate with locals. Personally, I still can’t shake the habit of saying "¿El baño?” every time I have to pee somewhere new.
13. So you can experience the extremely effective wake up call of two people jumping on your bed blaring EDM with a light up disco machine at 6am. Every day.
I am not a morning person. Never have been, never will be — until I experienced the powers of this wake-up method. It’s one of the things I miss most about this trip. I came home with a much better routine. I fall asleep earlier, I wake up earlier and I crave working up a sweat in a way I haven’t before. They should really consider making this a paid service.
14. To step outside your comfort zone
Doing something that's outside of your comfort zone is one of the most self-reflective things you can do as a human. It allows you to examine your innate behaviors, learn from them, and listen to others more clearly. Shake things up, people. Take the plunge.
In closing, I want to leave you with a quote from my fellow Nica, Lauren, about the experience of joining a community of like-minded, yet incredibly varied individuals:
"We can look at someone and think we know their story, but human beings are so much deeper than the costumes we wear. We are complicated, imperfect, strong individuals who have lived a lot of life and have so many stories to share."
You can read more about her experience with a more in-depth description of the Nicaragua trip here.