11 June – 18 June 2009

My sister planned this trip, she organised everything. It’s something we wanted to do together as it’s been awhile since just the two of us went on a holiday.

Thank you favourite sister!

Surf Goddess Retreat is for girls only. And our accommodation is at Villa Serena, a cosy little private villa. As soon as we arrived we were shown around – not much to see as it is a little villa, with a dining area, a living room, and an open spaced TV lounge (this is the only telly in the entire villa and it was quite traumatic for me when I found out there was no TV in my room – but I got used to it as I was normally asleep by 10pm every day) that doubles as our yoga spot.

A typical start to a surf goddess day starts with 90 minutes of yoga at 7am followed by a hearty and generous breakfast.

How can one but feel zen? This is the view from my yoga spot…

And after some rest and chit chat with other surf goddesses, it’s time to slather on sunblock for surfing!

So… about surfing… my experience, in not so many words –

Step 1. Building of strong arms so you can carry your own surfboard, or try to. I could definitely carry mine.

Step 2. Don’t think too much about it like I did. The number of times I was told to relax! Great piece of advise – I need to learn how to go with the flow more, or rather, to flow with the waves…

Step 3. Focus. Hop on. Find your balance. Eyes to the front – look ahead of you, look at where you’re going. I didn’t believe it when the surf instructor told us that the surfboard will go where your eyes look – so true! Each time I looked down to check that I was still standing on the surfboard, that is when I fall! Eyes look down – down I go!

Step 4. Try to stay on surfboard as long as you can. Look at me go! I kick ass! Every second is exhilarating. You know that feeling when you get when you sneeze real hard and see stars? Feels real good, right? Imagine yourself having an extended sneeze in slow motion and the whole world is in silence – prolonged ecstasy!

Step 5. Falling off. I never mastered how to step off my board gracefully. I could always anticipate when I was going to fall, and I’d think to myself – Awwww… crap! There I go – again!
This is me just before I go under…

Most important step. HAVE FUN! Laugh out loud. Smile ear to ear.

Did I surf everyday? Of course I did! (except on the day of rest when we went to Ubud).

Well…..really? I attempted to surf everyday. There were days when the waves were monstrous and I decided to take it easy with my battle with the waves. Instead of the typical 90 minutes – I do 30 minutes and head for the showers.

Our gorgeous surf guide Melinda (on the right), another surf goddess, reinforced that I could do whatever I wanted and didn’t have to push myself if I didn’t want to. She’s the greatest, always full of encouragement, a kind word and heaps of positivity.

My overall experience was wonderful. I treasure the time I got to spend with my sister. The daily yoga practice has made me more confident than ever when I practice yoga at the yoga centre now. I am still gung-ho with getting as much practice as I can now, and getting better at it.

Being able to surf brings me a whole new level of self –assurance too. I never thought I’d be able too – but, hey! I did it! After my first lesson! I never would have thought! But, hey! I do kick ass… I’ve never felt more physically stronger and powerful, and I love feeling this way.

And I’m still feeling this buzz… and this post is 3 weeks late!

Have doubts about surfing? DON’T! After the experience it’ll be all about taking the bull by its horns. Bring on the waves, baby!

I think Surf Goddess Retreats packaged everything beautifully! The combination of good wholesome food, daily yoga and the surfing – they all go hand in hand. Chelsea, Susan, Melinda and Stefania were the happy fairies, they did manage to make everything all about us having a fantastic time.

The surf instructors at Rip Curl School of Surf were knowledgeable, experienced, supportive and encouraging. Always – safety first! They were bundles of smiles and joy. Lovely, happy people.

Overall, a wonderful and memorable experience. The memories will always bring a smile to my face.