Upon coming back from Machu Picchu, I couldn’t wait to plan my next trip. Something I have always wanted to do was to learn how to surf. Living in Dallas, TX meant I had to go somewhere else to add this to my skill set.
I set out to research places the best places to learn to surf. One place seemed to jump out at me… Costa Rica
Why not go someplace I have never been before and cross more than just surfing off my list? Costa Rica here I come.
Costa Rica is full of beautiful scenery and nature. For such a small country you can see a Volcano, Rain Forest, and Beaches.
Animal Lover’s Paradise
Costa Rica is full of animals that you don’t see in the U.S. I saw Monkey’s, Sloth, Lizards, strange beetles, Crocodiles, Coati’s and more.
Learning to Fly… But I Ain’t Got Wings!
When researching things to do in Costa Rica, I saw a video of someone riding a zip line above the rainforest and through a cloud forest. I hate heights, but I told myself that I couldn’t come back unless I rode a zip line. Boy am I glad I did it!
14 zip lines with the final line spaning 1000 meters from one mountain to the other. If zip lining is on your bucket list, I highly recommend doing it at Moteverde Extremo. I’ve seen a few of the zip lines here in the U.S. and they don’t even come close to flying like a bird.
Learning to Surf
I spent a few days at the Wich’s Rock Surf School in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. The school is setup as a surf camp with morning and afternoon lessons, restaurant & and bar, and hotel. The staff was very friendly and they were able to teach a tall uncoordinated guy like me to get up on the surf board. I can’t say what I was doing was surfing, but I was able to get up and ride a few waves into the shore.
Near Death Experience (not really…)
My first lesson out in the beautiful surf was a bit more than what I was ready for. The class I went out with was on their last lesson of the week before leaving. So, always up for a challenge I agreed to go out with the “week long pros”.
The instructor told me to stick by him and jump on the board. I hadn’t been on a surfboard in my life and surprisingly when paddling out past the first break of waves (the little ones) I didn’t fall off my board once. I thought to myself… “I got this.”
The instructor told me to wait for a couple of minutes. He then yelled over to me to start paddling as hard as I could straight out toward where all the other surfers were waiting for the next group of waves.
I started paddling and paddling… Then I could see a wave in front of me developing. This wave looked like it was going to be much bigger than the first set of waves I just passed.
I made it passed the first wave, the second wave was a bit bigger and I did a “duck dive” under it like I had seen in the movies and the “How to surf” book my dad gave me before my trip. Upon surfacing from my text book duck dive I felt amazed and my confidence soared even further. Then came wave three…
Wave three of the set took me out. Knocked me off my board and I swallowed a bit of water. Coming up for air I saw my instructor and my expression must have been sheer terror because he said be calm and get back on your board.
Easier said than done. Wave four and five were still coming. I some how got back on my board and paddled out past the second break and took a big sigh of relief breath. At least when I finished coughing.
I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen over the Pacific ocean in Tamarindo.
Kill Two (or more) Birds with One Stone
After successfully surviving surf school it was time to head home. On this Costa Rica trip, my goal was to check one thing off My Bucket List, but I was able to learn how to surf, rode a zipline over the rainforest, saw a volcano, went white water rafting, and went kayaking in the mangroves all while in Costa Rica.
I have found that when taking a vacation or visiting another location, there is no better time to cross off a couple of things on your bucket list. When you are away from the daily grind, you are more likely to focus on things that you truly enjoy. Take advantage of these opportunities when you can.