Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica - Workaway Host Of The Month!

*This article was originally constructed and featured on Workaway’s website (Workaway.info) in June of 2016. The interview was conducted by Workaway’s owners in coordination with Dreamsea Costa Rica.*

Here at Workaway, we now have an amazing 30,000+ hosts involved in our volunteer exchange projects and communities from all over the world.

From agricultural work, scuba diving, yoga retreats and most things in between, we are so proud to be associated with so many amazing hosts. Going by the name of ‘Workaway Host of the Month’ we will reveal more of what it is like to be a host and let you into their routines and how their projects have changed since opening their doors to you guys!

We recently traveled to Costa Rica to check out some Workaway projects and met Carlos who runs a surf camp in Tamarindo together with Michael. We dug deeper into their journey to share it all with you.

Workaway: Hey guys, what a beautiful day it is in Tamarindo! Can you tell us a little more about your background? How long ago did you start your surf camp, and why did you get into it?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: Our surf camp in Costa Rica started almost three years ago, before opening the surf camp I was travelling around Europe, but Costa Rica had always been a captivating country to me. While in Europe, I met many people familiar with Costa Rica, and I found myself asking the same question to all of them: What comes to your mind when I say “Costa Rica”? Almost everyone would emphatically respond with positive feelings, constantly noting the country’s nature, tranquility, the friendly locals, and of course the great surf available. Then my next question was to myself — How can I take what this beautiful country has to offer, and pair all of the great qualities of Costa Rica with an innovative idea that was based off of self-sustainability, and would provide a platform for travelers to connect with other travelers?

After flying to Costa Rica and searching for the optimal land to putting this dream into reality, all the answers were found in this little piece of jungle in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. With that same self-sustainability approach in mind, using natural resources, including the wood straight from the jungle, bamboo, and multiple other natural tools, the surf camp quickly began to come to fruition. While building the camp, and surfing together every day, we began to feel something special was on its way.

Workaway: We love that you followed your dreams and inspire others to help too! How did you first discover Workaway, and how many volunteers have you hosted so far?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: At the beginning of the construction process, when I was alone looking for that ideal piece of land in the jungle, riding horses, walking through the jungles and beaches of Costa Rica, recycling wood, and working with the earth and its resources, I had to reach out to some close friends to help me build this Dream. These close friends called other friends, and we had some unexpected acquaintances come offer their help. One of them named Julian, talked to me about Workaway. Immediately, I was excited to learn of such an amazing platform that opens incredible opportunities to allow travellers to get to know the world, while creating life experiences using their own hands and skill sets. At that current stage, we knew it would be a perfect partnership as both companies had the same ideology and ultimate goal in mind: to continue their internal and external growth, while connecting with as many like-minded individuals in the process. While it is a rough estimate, in our near three years of being in production, we have hosted over a total of 1,000 workawayers!

Workaway: WOW! I think that must be a record! Do you have a daily routine, and can you describe your perfect day with your Workawayers?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: During the off-season the surf camp is full of volunteers, sharing their skills, and splitting tasks to keep the place running at its optimal capacity. These tasks range from everything such as surf instruction, yoga instruction, photography, videography, and social media help, to more basic tasks such as helping in the kitchen, construction work around the camp, to just overall maintenance of keeping the camp as clean as possible. And of course, the most important activity of each day: GOING SURFING!

To give an idea of a typical day at our surf camp in Costa Rica, below is a rough timeline from the beginning of the day to its conclusion:

6 AM: Morning surf at Langosta beach for intermediate and advanced surfers. Surf in Tamarindo beach for beginners.
7 AM: Yoga classes in the camp, sometimes on the beach while others choose to surf instead.
8:30 AM: A large family style breakfast all together in our dining area under a large mango tree.
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Most general volunteers will complete their daily tasks.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: We provide shuttles to Tamarindo beach (unless it is one of two days a week we do special excursion & surf trips) for our guests/volunteers.
1:00 PM: Surf lessons and relaxing on the beach.
4:00 PM: A serene yoga session on the beach.
5:30 PM: Watch the sunset on the beach and then provide shuttles back to camp.
7:30 PM: A large family style dinner buffet in the dining area under the mango tree.
9:00 PM: After dinner most campers indulge in recreational conversation, music, and general entertainment around the camp bar and chill out area.
10:30 PM: We provide shuttles to the downtown Tamarindo nightlife, where specific days call for different types of entertainment out and about in the city.
1:30 AM: We provide our final shuttles back to the surf camp.

Workaway: We love the life in Costa Rica, no wonder you get so many volunteers! How has your project changed since hosting Workawayers?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: First and foremost, the influence of Workawayers has established a more creative environment for everyone involved. In any setting, it’s inevitable that if you put a collection of innovative and inspired people together, who are skilled at something specific, for an extended period of time, everyone involved in the situation will feel the desire to push their own boundaries and follow their own aspirations. We believe that both having a constant desire to accomplish something creatively prolific, and encouraging others to attain their own imaginative passions, are unequivocally contagious, so having Workawayers around in camp who are youthfully ambitious, will forever be mutually beneficial to everyone’s future growth and success.

Workaway: What have been the biggest challenges for you since hosting Workawayers, and how did you handle them?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: Many of the workawayers that join us have never been this close to nature and wildlife in such a raw form. It’s an everyday challenge to encourage them to confront their fears, remain open-minded about the uncertainty of the jungle, and show them that all animals and surrounding wildlife are beautiful in their own right, and will never harm you if they don’t feel threatened. We constantly encourage our volunteers to simply be one with the nature that surrounds them.

Workaway: What is the most beneficial thing you have gained from hosting Workawayers?

Carlos: Thanks to the many different Workawayers we have hosted, I’ve learnt how to surf better and approach the water with a different philosophy, along with learning different types of yoga, languages, and most importantly, just having lots of friends all over the world.

Michael: I’m genuinely inspired by how many of these young Workawayers are just travelling the world alone, and creating opportunities for themselves as they go. There is nothing that can compare to the perspective you gain when travelling solo, and because of that, all of these travelers are so insightful for their age. It’s inspiring to see firsthand, and in turn, deeply motivates me to continue my own journey and personal growth.

Workaway: We also love seeing how many of our Workawayers are out there doing it alone! What is the most memorable moment you’ve had with Workawayers, and why?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: There’s a few: 

1. Building the yoga platform: We have one large yoga platform in the camp, and just seeing the progress of its construction was special. Month by month with this project in mind, collecting and recycling the perfect wood pieces to support the platform, waiting to see the right branch that would fall somewhere in the jungle and the trails around the camp, or even on the beaches. If we saw one, we’d get the team together, jump on the pickup truck and go on an adventure, all of us with the same goal, come back to camp with more materials to complete our common project. The result was a solid, sustainable, wooden Yoga platform that has now become the source of so many beautiful Yoga sessions. When I sit on there in any downtime I have, I remember all of the hands that built it.

  1. Teaching English to kids:Two workawayers who were both professional English teachers, brought this beautiful idea of promoting the English language to kids with difficult access to education in the surrounding areas of Tamarindo. In their time here, they would initiate and invite these kids from different neighborhoods to spend their days interacting with our diverse group of Workawayers at camp, learning English, playing soccer, climbing the mango trees, cooking and grilling hamburgers, and ending the days teaching them surf on the beach. It’s hard to think of a better feeling than hearing the simultaneous laughing of the kids and workawayers throughout the extent of those days. It was truly amazing.

Workaway: What lovely stories! Do you have any advice for anyone looking to go on a Workaway trip, and how would you define what makes a good volunteer?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: My advice would be to just “embrace the uncomfortable“. Most people who sign up to be a Workawayer already have the ambition to travel on their own, test themselves, and ultimately grow through their experiences. But, there will certainly be times that things are uncomfortable or don’t go as planned, and that is when you sometimes just need to take a deep breath, a step back, and remind yourself that it’s all part of the process. You find out a lot about yourself in those uncomfortable moments, and like with all happenings in life, without the obstacles and lows of your adventures, the highs and accomplishments you experience aren’t nearly as exhilarating or memorable. The lessons you learn from that balance in your travel will undoubtedly last a lifetime.

Workaway: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dreamsea Costa Rica: I have learned a new style of living from interacting with Workawayers from all over the world. It’s a style of living where you can see souls instead of just people, where individuals are happy to share their knowledge and skills, where anything is possible when you work together, and where material things lose value and instead, moments become the most precious thing we can collect in life. My hope for the future is just to continue living, promoting, and sharing this beautiful style of life. In five years’ time, I see exponential growth within the camp, our future development, and the workawayers that became team leaders at our surf camp. By promoting, living, leading, and expanding on this style of life, the sky is the limit for our project.


THE WORDS: As noted above, this article was originally featured on Workaway’s website (Workaway.info). The feature was a portion of their monthly recognition of one volunteer host in their global network. Dreamsea Costa Rica was honored as Workaway’s “Host of the Month” in June of 2016, and this interview was subsequently conducted. You can read the original article HERE.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 

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Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica has travelers from all across the World come stay with us throughout the year. It’s often that you can find people from 30 or more different countries within the camp at the same time! It’s those same exact individuals, who are all made up of diverse and fascinating backgrounds, that are the heart and soul of what Dreamsea truly is at it’s core. It’s simply all about the people.

But what does Dreamsea Costa Rica mean to the travelers themselves? We asked some of those same adventurous and compassionate individuals within the camp to describe in one sentence, “What Dreamsea Means” to them. Check out the video below!

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Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica Named A Top Destination for Traveling Surfers!

Surfers are constantly in search of that perfect day.

The day when they’re catching wave after wave in a warm, sunny locale and following it up with a cold beer on the sand. It’s no wonder that surfers have been searching for those perfect days around the globe for decades, and the travel industry is taking notice.

That’s why the travel experts at Canada’s leading online travel agency, Flight Network, recently released their list of the top 55 surf destinations in the world. The goal was to introduce their customers, and travelers from around the world, to the destinations that are known for offering those perfect days. In addition to providing epic waves, every destination on their list is home to comfortable accommodation options and plenty of things to do out of the water too.

We were happy to find Tamarindo, Costa Rica at number 5 on their list.

we were even more pleased to see Dreamsea Surf Camp as one of the best places for surfers to stay when discovering our piece of paradise. Flight Network praised Dreamsea Surf Camp for our ideal combination of luxury camping (glamping) and world-renowned waves. Flight Network also noted that our motto, “collect moments, not things,” encourages each and every visitor to make the most of their stay, whether they’re surfing, adventuring, practicing yoga or simply connecting with fellow campers.

Tamarindo is one of few surf destinations around the world where the perfect day (and multiple perfect days in a row) can be experienced year-round. We look forward to introducing surfers from around the globe to the world-class waves and nearby adventures that make Tamarindo and Dreamsea Surf Camp so special.


THE WORDS: This article stemmed from an original piece written by FlightNetwork.com, recognizing 55 surf destinations throughout the world for providing an authentic surf culture to wave-seeking travelers. You can find the original article HERE.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 

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Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica -- Pack & GO! – Why You Should Start Traveling Today!

If you recognize yourself within the context of this blog post, you may in fact be ready to make the leap into traveling yourself.

This article might just be the little push you needed to begin your own adventures as soon as possible!

Day in and day out of our fast-paced, and often times rushed lives, we are encouraged to be ‘realistic’ and to keep our feet on the ground. But what is the ‘real’ definition of being realistic? Our 21st century’s Western society teaches us that being successful is secured by investing energy and most of our time into our appointed position within that society. Mostly, this embodies hard work and dedication to everyday life and that respective position, rather than putting that same effort and time into developing ourselves.

Getting out of your comfort zone leads to feeling comfortable within yourself

It might sound a little ironic, but traveling – leaving your everyday comfort zone – actually leads to feeling more comfortable in the long run. Below you can find a checklist comprised of some comprehensive outcomes of traveling.

Whether it is solo or in a (small) group, any traveler will recognize the following benefits, and if they seem very appealing to you: don’t doubt that immediately starting your own travel planning may very well be a fruitful and life-altering decision.

During travel you will experience that:

✔ – Handling unexpected situations builds self-confidence

✔ – Being away helps you value relationships and home more

✔ – Leaving behind one’s everyday routine offers new perspectives regarding personal prospects – future career, hobbies, self-awareness

✔ – Discovering yourself is essential to get to know what your needs and future plans are, instead of adapting to environmental ones

Travel and Education are Complimentary

Regardless if it’s picking up a new language, cooking a new delicious Italian pasta recipe or mastering an ancient Chinese card trick, travel has proven to help us gain knowledge and extend education perspectives. Psychologists have actually proven that it levels up our mental and physical state of happiness – especially when we are comprehending anything we enjoy.

If you haven’t traveled yet, see if the below effects and outcomes of committing to a personal adventure are something you are looking to achieve – or in the case that you have already traveled, are currently traveling, and are looking to continue doing so – if experiencing anything listed below is what keeps you returning to the journey..

Travel helps you to:

✔ – Get over fears and explore new boundaries

✔ – Meet people, get to know different cultures that can actually be a better fit for you to live in instead of what you’re used to

✔ – Learn a new language leading to gaining knowledge and acquire unforeseen skill-sets

✔ – Extend old skills’ comprehension and share your gained knowledge with other people

“I enjoy some of the old and I enjoy some of the new, and if I can find a balance between it, that’s where I find my satisfaction.” from ‘The Dreamer’ – by Anderson .Paak

Traveling Actually Makes You Happier

As noted above, there is actual scientific proof that travel and all of the connected activities to it, makes you happier. Many research outcomes show that it gives you energy and provides a source of endorphins on the short term, lifelong insights on the long term, and definite good vibes in the present moment(s) you are in.

A little test to find out what you will remember the most, when someone asks you to look back on your life one day:

All those times you stared at the clock at work wondering if the batteries still work because time seemed to stand still, got to the supermarket afterwards not having any clue what you should make for dinner, and ultimately plopped down in front of the TV feeling exhausted and annoyed because you have to do the same thing over again the next day.


That one time you had authentic herbal Chinese tea with a Belgian and an Estonian friend in a hostel in Tamarindo – Costa Rica, discussing your volcano hike from the day before, where you had a celebration beer next to the crater and moved laughter to tears because a monkey jumped on your head and tried to pick your fleas?

In general, we can always and truthfully say that life is too short to just sit and wait.

Pack up your essential belongings, and go explore the world… but most importantly, go explore yourself.


THE WORDS: This article was written by the magnificent Saar Jacobs, who is from Antwerp, Belgium and is currently on her own long-term travel journey, shifting her own (and the World’s) perspective about the possibilities and liberation of travel. You can follow her incredible adventures via her INSTAGRAM or her PERSONAL BLOG.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 

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Volunteer Today

Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica - The Keys To Success Of Long-Term Travel!

“Traveling the world is cheap and easy.”, said no one ever.

Yet, thousands and thousands of people are doing it every day. During your own journey you’ve likely met people that have found their way into travel with less finances, but a perspective of traveling longer than you. So maybe it is true?

The initial questions most people ask themselves are – “How can I keep my expenses as low as possible – or maybe even live for free?” “What are the requirements to continue to travel as long as I want?” “Can I actually travel as long as I want, or do I need to keep certain obligations in mind?”

The good news: It is definitely possible to travel cheaply – or even better – for free. The bad news: It takes a little practice, effort, and planning to do so. Traveling around the world can be scary from time to time. Especially when you have to keep in mind the costs or probable hazards. Nevertheless, all you need is optimism, good-will and faith within yourself to begin your journey to – personal – freedom.

A Handful of Tips to Keep Your Expenses as Low as Possible - Or Maybe Even Live For Free.

The key word here is volunteering. Besides being an opportunity to immerse yourself in a totally new and unique culture wherein you can share your life spirit, it gives you a chance to discover new places for a very small, or even no amount of money. It is important to keep in mind low-cost or free volunteering programs might be harder to find, but – most certainly – not impossible. Everywhere around the world helping hands are needed; whether it’s a global oriented organization on one hand, or a self-sustainable local farm on the other.

Two very useful and trustworthy websites to find such volunteering programs are www.workaway.info or www.gooverseas.com. For example, on the former, you can find our very own Dreamsea Surf Camp Costa Rica as a host for such an amazing volunteering possibility (read the interview Workaway did with Dreamsea after recognizing us as a Host of the Month: HERE)!

Besides sharing enthusiasm, experiences and lifetime development, there are two important pillars that can help you on the way to a successful long-term travel. Both knowledge and skill can help you pave a path to the cheapest way of living abroad. Whatever you can imagine is possible. Literally. Going from teaching English to children in Phnom Penh – Cambodia, to making and selling bracelets in Mirtos – Crete, or cutting hair in Tamarindo – Costa Rica.

Think of something you would like to learn, could earn money with abroad, teach yourself the knowledge and skill to do so and… just do it. Gain knowledge or experience in a certain skill you can practice in any country, master it and share it with the world. It gives you the opportunity to earn money abroad in a way to break-even or even gain more money than expected.

To have realistic expectations is also one of the most important elements to build your long-term travel on. By far the most important expectation to be realistic about will be expenses and budget. That’s why it is important to point out a plan that brings your probable expenses and earnings together. The amount of long-term travelers who left their home carrying only a backpack and a few dollars, fits through a keyhole. It is essential to save up, point out a realistic budget plan and – most importantly – try to stick to it.

Insights Into Long-Term Travel That Can be Life Saving, Life Changing, Or Even Both.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a recipe or formula to guarantee a successful long-term journey. However, both initiative and common sense are determining values for a successful trip. As each individual has a different skill set or range of qualifications to offer, the opportunities and outcomes of likely situations abroad differ extensively. Find out what you like and what works for you.

Before you leave, there is some big time self-reflection necessary. What do you own that you actually don’t need during your travels or won’t actually miss when you come back? The sky is the limit to make that last little bit of extra money. Think about your bike, your car, clothes, furniture … Also, leaving with a tidy mind and knowing that you can come back to start with a clean slate, helps to make you feel at ease throughout your travel.

Speaking about coming back; it sounds pretty badass not having a return ticket home. However, if you are not a experienced long-term traveler, it might be a good idea to have that golden ticket – in case you need it. You never know what may come along in your path. Whether it’s struggling with mental or physical discomfort, money issues or – it is possible – being homesick. Knowing that you actually can go home can be soothing in times you need it.

Last but not least, whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, certain risks are always involved during the journey. The ground rule here is: always better safe than sorry. Follow your heart but always listen to what your head has to say. Google around or ask other more experienced travelers for advice regarding general safety, criminal activities, illnesses… concerning the countries you’re traveling to, as this will help you to outlive your long-term travel to the fullest.


THE WORDS: This article was written by the magnificent Saar Jacobs, who is from Antwerp, Belgium and is currently on her own long-term travel journey, shifting her own (and the World’s) perspective about the possibilities and liberation of travel. You can follow her incredible adventures via her INSTAGRAM or her PERSONAL BLOG.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 

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Surfing For Dummies - The Dreamsea Costa Rica Beginner's Guide to Surfing!

Invented thousands of years ago, Surfing is one of the oldest water sports known to mankind, and is now among the most popular and practiced beach activities in the world.

There are many reasons why this sport is so attractive. Wherever you go, the setting wherein you can learn or practice surfing is always sensational. Reckon a summer sun, a wavy ocean and a white beach being your exercise room each and every time again.

Learning to surf, and surfing in general, doesn’t come with an age. As some sports require a certain body condition to be able to do them, learning how to surf doesn’t require any specific needs. Of course, a fit body helps you to get in shape and to persist within the learning process. Without doubt, a healthy and well-nourished lifestyle helps you in whatever you do or pursue.

Wherever you go for a surf session, you’ll always meet and exchange experiences with other surfers from all over the world. Surf spots can be found at every coast line, which is an undeniable benefit and advantage of the sport. You can differ in setting, degree of difficulty, or desired surrounding whenever you want.

Watching experienced surfers going through a huge barrel can make surfing look so easy. Never forget that these surfers also started their learning process once upon a time. All it takes to become a good and experienced surfer is: practice, practice and – guess what – more practice. It took hours and hours of falling down and getting up for any skilled surfer to ultimately achieve the water mastery they possess today.

So, it is time to get down to business. Soak up the next 10 beginner surfer tips, book a trip to your ideal beginner surf spot, and get on that board as soon as possible!


1.  First of all: choose the spot wisely. Choosing a wrong spot can end up being seriously dangerous. You have to check whether the local conditions are suitable for you as a beginner.

2.  If you have found a good spot, you have to choose the right board. Never start with a short board. It has less volume, so it is less stable and more difficult to paddle on. Get a soft or long board. which helps you in your initial attempts at surfing. Make sure your leash is on your back leg with the tube pointing outwards and your board’s fins are pointed in the right direction. Check whether your board is waxed properly.

“As kids, we used to put soap on each other’s boards instead of wax. Hilarious, but most certainly not something you want when you just started to learn how to surf.”

3.  Warm-up: besides warming up the legs and hips, focus on warming up your shoulders, neck, and wrists. You can find some good information online on the best warm-up exercises to do, but one article here will give you six solid pre-surf pointers. Don’t forget to practice the pop-up on land!

4.  Put on a sunblock of 50+ on your face, arms and – especially the back of your legs. Basically every part that gets exposed to the sun needs to be covered. When you learn how to surf you can end up lying in the water for two hours or more. Protecting your core with a rash guard is also much advised. To avoid sun poisoning, you can wear a hat or a cap.

“Make sure you hydrate enough and SLIP, SLOP, SLAP. Australian slang for ‘put on loads and loads and loads of sunscreen’.” 


5.  Don’t go where all the people are. A lot of people means a lot of boards. When they’re mostly beginners the boards can end up flying anywhere. Read up about wave etiquette, and stay out of other surfer’s ride to stay safe and unharmed. Give other surfers the space they need. Keep in mind that another beginner cannot control a wave like an advanced surfer can.

Be careful of rips. Watch what the locals do to make sure you don’t get smashed by sets. Look out for sharks and other dangerous ocean life.”

6.  Find an orientation point on the beach so you can find out whether the currents are pulling you elsewhere. Also, it helps you to get up properly and stay up, because you will move your head less and have more stability within your body.

7.  Stay in the white water, as they come more frequently and that means you can practice the pop-up more. Ride out some waves on your stomach a few times. Feel the board. Feel the waves. When that works, you can do a real pop-up and try to finish a wave straight to the beach.

8.  In your first attempts at getting up on the board, you will fall, fall and… fall again and again. Whatever happens, it is important not to panic and stay positive, calm and always – ALWAYS – protect your head!


9. Flip your board over so the fins stand upwards and the wax of your board stays protected from the heat of the sun. Most wanted: find a piece of shade where you can lie your board in. Wrap the leash around the board, and take a breather.

10. Cool down: Stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, neck and wrists. Try to find a shower nearby to refresh yourself and to get rid of salt and sand. Finally, grab a cold beer and toast to your first actual surf session!

 “Get drunk. I’m kidding, but sure do get re-hydrated. Look out for changing conditions, as this might imply it is not worth going back into the water. Rips can change, waves can increase, sharks can appear.”


Wondering what the best places are to learn how to surf? As mentioned in the introduction of this article, that is one of the fantastic advantages of this sport. You can learn it everywhere. Every coastline has waves for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers.

In general, sandbanks are usually the best place for rookie-surfers because they create a surf zone where you don’t have to paddle as much. Avoid reef breaks and rocks, as they can create a hazard which is not recommended for beginner surfers. Try to avoid areas that are crowded, because other surfers also create risks for beginners. Don’t surf in between flags that point out swimming areas.

Keep in mind that as long as it is summer, you should be able to find beginner surfing spots. Generally, in winter time, waves are bigger and wind is stronger which are both non favorable conditions for a beginner surfer.

All you need as a newbie is a mellow beach break. Make sure there are no rocks, no dangerous ocean animals, no reefs and no crazy currents. You can travel to find a surf spot from South Africa to Costa Rica to Spain. Literally every coastline has spots for beginners!

SOME HOT SPOTS FOR BEGINNERS: The following locations are great surf destinations for the novice surfer: Tamarindo, Costa Rica — Byron Bay, Australia — Moliets, France — Peniche, Portugal — Waikiki, Hawaï


Below you can check out some basic surfing tips in a video featuring one of our current Dreamsea Costa Rica surf instructors, Jakob Unterholzner, who is originally from Germany, and fell in love with the art of teaching surf while in Morocco. Jakob came to Dreamsea Costa Rica via France, where he was a surf instructor learning under former German surf champion, Gerrit Handl.

Jakob’s passion for surfing is endearingly obvious, and in this video, he covers some basic surfing tips including: common mistakes made by novice surfers, the proper technique to pop up on your board, and the particulars of rip currents.


THE WORDS: This article was written by the naturally gifted Saar Jacobs, who is from Antwerp, Belgium and is currently exploring Central America leaving her emotive footprint on the World. You can follow her magnificent journey via her INSTAGRAM or her PERSONAL BLOG.

THE VISUALS: The Photos and Video included in this blog were shot and edited by the talented Tucker Cocchiarella, who is from Vail, Colorado. Follow Tucker’s visual explorations on his INSTAGRAM and PERSONAL WEBSITE.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica and learning how to surf, or joining our team here in the jungle of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 

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Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica is the Perfect Place for the Solo Traveler!

We have all heard it many times before: Travel is addicting.

It’s an opportunity to become the strong, courageous adventurer you’ve always wanted to be. It allows you to experience beautifully diverse cultures, meet incredibly inspirational people, and create memories that will certainly last a lifetime. So why isn’t everyone booking a flight somewhere right now?

There are many things that tend to hold us back from committing to travel. While those reasons can vary, oftentimes it’s just the grand notion of travel itself that can be overwhelming. Removing yourself from your comfort zone could simply be the only thing holding you back from an experience of a lifetime.

What are some of the other reasons people don’t launch themselves into exploring the vast corners of this majestic world? Many people are fearful of traveling solo and that is completely understandable. It can be difficult even deciding where to begin. How do you plan for the food, accommodations, and the perceived financial strain? How do you feel assured of one’s own safety? How do you find like-minded individuals, and most importantly, how do you have a trip that is fulfilling, inspirational, and positively unforgettable? Digesting all of these details and decisions that come with the initial stages of planning your travel, simply put, can be overwhelming.  

The unique volunteer program within Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica is the perfect introduction to travel for the first time, solo adventurer. At Dreamsea we receive people of all ages, from all walks of life and backgrounds, who arrive on their own, and end up leaving with friends from all over the world. You meet people who will want to keep traveling with you, people whom you plan to meet again later on in your life, and people who will eventually open their homes to you in different parts of the world. The Dreamsea family shares a special connection that continues to provide and encourage companionship on this wild adventure called life!

Mikaela Hawkins, a colorful and impassioned 19-year old solo female traveler, came to Dreamsea Surf Camp in Costa Rica without having any previous travel experience. Here is what she had to say about the many reasons why Dreamsea is the perfect destination for a solo traveler. 

“I always knew I wanted to travel. I just had no idea how I was going to pull it off. From a young age, especially being female, I have been warned to be safe wherever I go. So when I took some time off from University and booked a flight to another country, people had concerns. When I was exploring my options I knew I had to be aware of a few things. Money and safety were big ones followed by fun and meeting people who shared similar values to me! I wanted to be doing things I was passionate about ( surf, yoga, outdoors, art), and I wanted to be doing them with people that enjoyed those same things as well!

The volunteer program has allowed me to travel for much longer than I ever thought was possible for me. I have seen and heard others share similar experiences as well. Dreamsea’s volunteer program is vast and there is something for everyone. The volunteering is not seen as work but seen as a chance to be surrounded by rad people while working as a team. Everything here is done together and done with love. It really is a family, and I have never seen such kindness and community in one place. I would have been much more fearful to travel if I had not found Dreamsea Costa Rica. Just thinking of traveling was overwhelming for me. Having to budget food, accommodation, and also transportation to get to all the extra and fun activities can add up. At Dreamsea it’s all here for you in one place.

I was speaking with a girl who just arrived from Germany last night and she was telling me how everything flows gracefully here. Of course there is a lot of hard work behind Dreamsea but because of the attitude of the staff and volunteers, it seems effortless and relaxed.

When I first stepped out of the taxi with my bags I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I felt as though I had stepped into the pages of the jungle book. Teepees were scattered among the trees and glowed like lanterns welcoming me in. Kittens played in the bushes. I could hear someone playing guitar music in the treetops. People were gathered in a circle laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I knew immediately that I had arrived at a very special place, and one that is understandably loved by so many. You can feel it in the air. There is a special quality of magic that infuses the place.

Like most, I came to Dreamsea eager to learn to surf. Having had zero surf experience in my life I thought this would be just the time to learn. How hard could it be? Turns out it is hard. There are only so many times you can fall off the board before you start to get discouraged. Trying to be synchronized with the ocean makes this an especially challenging sport! There is an element of surprise where you never quite know what will happen, which is thrilling but very intimidating. Day after day I saw the glow that surfing gives people. The buzz of happiness you get from riding a wave. It lights you up from the inside out. Today I went in the water to try surfing again. I naturally picked the spot where the most people were, probably for comfort. Half an hour went by and I was just getting pounded by the waves.

I decided to take a break from the ocean for a little and just enjoy everything else Dreamsea had to offer. Surf is a huge part of Dreamsea Surf Camp but there are so many activities and fun things to be a part of that you could still have a blast without ever touching a board. That’s what’s so special about the place; there is something for everyone. I didn’t want to give up on surfing quite yet so I told myself I’d try it a few more times. I paddled out of the spot I had been in and I headed to a new spot. Minutes later I caught my first real wave. I wish I could explain to you this feeling.  Words are inadequate and cannot really do justice to it. It’s a buzz that travels through your entire body, and makes you feel alive in the most invigorating way possible. I finally understood why surfing is such a deeply loved sport. By leaving what was comfortable and trying something new, I caught my first wave and now I want a million more!

I have a feeling traveling can be explained in the same way. It’s not always smooth, and sometimes it can be overwhelming and unpredictable, but if you take the risk and paddle out (even if you are by yourself) something amazing is bound to happen. I could not have found a more perfect place to begin my travels. I came to Dreamsea Surf Camp in Costa Rica alone but I am leaving with an entire family, and the confidence to continue my travels as I continue to catch waves!

Learn more about Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, and our volunteer program here!

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10 Reasons Why Women Make GREAT Surfers! (From the Perspective of A Blossoming Woman Surfer)

“I want people to know that there is space for women in the water, and that the ocean needs us!”

Bright, determined, and passionate about everything related to surf, we had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Belli Cristani, one of our Dreamsea Costa Rica volunteers, who was eager to share the ways that surfing has impacted her life as a woman, both in and out of the ocean.

Growing up in the waters of Italy, Linda started swimming when she was just 3 years old but it was not until one year ago at age 22 that Linda tried surfing for the first time and fell completely in love. Like every beginner she faced challenges, but was surprised to find that not all of those challenges were physical. Linda conveyed – “In Italy there is not a big culture for surfing yet. It is mainly men in the water and I was a woman and a beginner so they didn’t treat me equally.” 

But that didn’t stop her from going back. Immediately hooked to the sensation that surfing provided, Linda took a few surf lessons to get started and then eventually pursued it on her own. While simultaneously juggling both working and attending University, it was not an easy task for Linda to take up surfing, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Linda pronounced – “When you love something, you give your heart to it. It is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think about before your head hits the pillow at night. You let it consume you, and through that, it becomes a beautiful kind of magic.”

An additional challenge for Linda was the distance she had to travel to get to the ocean. She explained – “I would have to wake up at 5 A.M. and then, drive two hours to get to the waves , just to fit in a surf session before school started. I was always the last one to get out of the water. Everyone was always calling my name -‘LINDA! LINDA!’, and I would get in the car completely wet but always smiling so big.”

Before Linda started surfing she was struggling to get good grades, even though she put in extensive hours studying.- “I was constantly tense, nervous and sick from stress.But once her love for surf began to blossom, even the chaos and weight of her education became a bit lighter – I was still studying as much, but also spending a lot of my time driving to surf spots. I’m not sure how, but after this became routine, I somehow managed to begin getting better grades.”

It is common for a woman in our society to grow up needing to become accomplished in many diverse areas of life. This translates directly to surfing. On the water you are not only using your strength, but your sight and senses too. “People think surfing is just about power but it is so much more. Woman are graceful and watching them surf is like watching a beautiful show. ”

Ultimately, in speaking in detail with Linda, we were able to come up with 10 reasons why woman make good, if not GREAT, surfers:

1. Women are strong (physically and mentally).


2. Women are great communicators. 


3. Women have mastered the act of multitasking.


4.Women are graceful. 


5. Women are patient. 


6. Women are audacious!


7. Women are powerful.


8. Women are focused and determined.


9.Women have good visionary skills. 


10.Women are PASSIONATE! 

As is the case when learning any new sport, but especially surfing, it is common to see beginners go out in the water and get frustrated with the initial progress. We asked Linda if she has ever had moments where she wanted to give up. She emphatically delivered – “Never. To me it is all a part of the experience. Of course I still get frustrated and I have days when I go out to surf and I can’t catch even one good wave. But then when you do and it makes it all worth it. The waves wash away the frustration and you are left buzzing from the wave you just caught. But in those frustrating moments you have to stop and realize you are in the middle of the ocean, doing what you love, so really, what else could you ask for? ” 

Linda’s best surfing moment in her life thus far occurred while staying here at Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica. She excitedly described – “I got one second barrel and it was amazing! I wasn’t even expecting it. I can’t wait to have another one. I’ll go every day if I have to just to have that experience again. It was incredible! All of the other sounds in the world are blocked out and the wave is the floor, the wall, and the ceiling all at once. There is nothing like it!”

In closing, whether it be on a surfboard or any other walk of life, one thing Linda pronounced that we here at Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica could not agree more with is this – Women can do whatever they want, and they can do it really really well.” 

This interview was conducted and written by the dynamic and extraordinary, Mikaela Hawkins, who much like the blog’s interviewee, Linda, is a powerful and creative women exploring the World with tenacity and compassion.  You can follow her life endeavors via her Instagram page at: @mikaela.alice

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Dreamsea Discussions - Interviewing The Dreamsea Costa Rica Surf Camp Family - Volume One

The Dreamsea Costa Rica Surf Camp Family
Is Made Up Of A Diverse Group Of World Travelers

*The following post is part one of an ongoing series titled “Dreamsea Discussions”, that will be both a written and audio interview-based platform, focusing on the amazing people of Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica.

The culturally diverse and forever endearing individuals who stay at Dreamsea Costa Rica, are simply the heart of the Surf Camp. Between the Dreamsea staff, the guests, the volunteers, and any campers who have once been a part of Dreamsea Costa Rica’s journey, the many stories of personal growth and travel insight are endlessly noteworthy. “Dreamsea Discussions” is a foundation to help tell those stories. 

For the first installment, current volunteer, Paul Doffing, has interviewed five extraordinary members of the Dreamsea family. From staff, to guests, to volunteers, get to know a little bit more about the people of Dreamsea Costa Rica! 

Antonio LLorèns Wallace - 26 years old - Acapulco, Mexico - Dreamsea Management

Antonio, tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do? What have you been up to in life? 

I’ve always been into water activities. While I was little there was a stage where all I remember is camping with my parents, uncles and cousins on the beach. I’ve always been moving around water. Fishing, scuba diving, spearfishing, and of course surfing.

I’ve always liked boards. Surf boards mainly, but also there was a good stage of my life devoted to skateboards. Skimboard, which is another technique. There are some beaches where the way that the sand meets the ocean goes deep instead of being flat, and the waves break on the sand. Like where the water meets shallow, it breaks. So in those places you can run with a skimboard, which is a board that is probably from your feet to your stomach. There are several materials- carbon fiber, polyester resin, but- you throw the board in the sand when there is just a thin layer of water, and when the wave is about to break on the sand you snap the wave and then you come back just through the sand and you get a lot of speed and barrels. I used to do that a lot from Monday to Friday because that beach was a lot closer to my house that the beach where I went surfing as a teenager. Surfing was mostly on the weekend.

Fuck. I want to surf so many places. I mostly want to travel to many places where I can. The past few years I have been trying to go somewhere and surf, meet new people, and I have been doing it. So it’s good. I don’t have any rush, but I want to go to so many places.

 I like to laugh a lot. That comes with surfing. A good dose of surf is always good. I enjoy drawing and designing stuff – It could be ping pong rackets, or how is the common area of the camp going to be looking, or how are we going to setup movie night. I just like to design.

What do you find to be the most exhilarating aspect of travel?

What I like a lot is not to know, personally. Going somewhere and not knowing how it’s going to be. Not knowing anybody. Once I get there I’m super absorbent. Whatever comes, I try to make the most of it.

Describe your experience being at Dreamsea. Has this trip effected your thoughts on travel?

Yeah, it has changed my ways of seeing travel because this is the only place I’ve traveled that I feel like I’m home. It gives me a different perspective because usually when I travel I’m only in one place for one or two days, which is a good experience, but when you get to know people for two or three weeks it’s a way bigger experience. That’s the Dreamsea experience: Learning from everybody. The thing is that since you’re learning from everybody and everybody is sharing stuff, you don’t realize that you are sharing yourself fully and how you truly are. I’ve come to understand in this year and a half a LOT about myself. Stuff that before would stop me from doing something, now my decisions are way faster because I know myself better than I used to. You are who you are. Here you don’t have your teachers or your family or people who think in standards – Here you are just you. There is nobody here telling you what to do, except your own internal voice.

 Is there an experience or story from your time at Dreamsea that you will always remember?

Fuck man. So much.

You have any categories? Good, bad, funny? (laughter)

Personally, learning German. It’s a personal experience. It’s something that I never ever expected. Never. Never ever. The experience of friendship with people who you get to share everything day to day has been so good, because yeah, you’re working, but you’re living. These people I have lived with every day for the last year and a half – I know them very well. All of them. So experiencing how to deal with everyone because they’re all different has been super good. Not everybody is the same.

Weird experience, but probably when I slept in reception because one time there was so much rain that the reception building had water all the way to my knees. So, I had to sleep there because otherwise I wouldn’t have known if the water had gone way too high to get our files and safety box wet. (laughter) Yeah, man, it was crazy.

As far as personal or professional experience: Building the dormitory has really motivated me. It has made me do the best that I can do in the construction area. When I was in school studying construction, I would always have a group of people who I would tell what to do. Following a project plan or something similar to it. Here, I had it a different way. It was a bit different because here the crew were from everywhere in the world. So I was not leading in Spanish, I was leading in English, and some of them their first language was English. Some were Germans, Brazilians, Australians, Albanians. Such a variety. It’s something that I don’t think will happen again. I remember the whole building proccess and going through that with some good people.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to young travelers?

Go to surf! Honestly. I say it a lot. Probably because I believe it so much, but, dude it’s true. It’ll change your life. You don’t have to be short boarding and kicking ass. No bro, just the experience of catching a wave is something that nothing else can give. Yeah, you play soccer, you score a goal, yeah. Its a ball, its a goal, it’s something that is created for us to play. Here, no. Here it’s just a natural condition that’s happening and that will never happen again. So you have that chance to take that shit. That’s what makes it so unique. And besides you’re in the water. Salt water is healthy bro. Salt life. (laughter). Pura vida!

Veronika Krejcova - 22 Years Old - Prague, Czech Republic - Dreamsea Yoga Instructor

Veronika, tell us a little about yourself. What are you passionate about?  What are your dreams and aspirations.

I love to do everything that makes me happy. I love yoga, I love surfing, I love dance, I love to be surrounded by amazing people, by nature, and animals, and people and everything. I love my life and I love to live, 100%. I’m just living in the present.

I lived in Prague, I was a professional dancer and a student. I started to have a problem with my hips, which made it difficult to continue dancing. Around that time I visited Mallorca, Spain and I found out that the beach life is something I really wanted. I decided to make a change in my life. I stopped studying because I found out that it isn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to do something deeper – helping people in a different kind of way. I was studying social work, which definitely helps people, but I wanted to do it in a different way. Stopping school and dance opened the door for me to go to change my life and to go to a different place and I moved to Mallorca.

I would love to live in a beautiful place surrounded by nature and by people that I love. I want to live in a way that brings me happiness.

What do you find to be the most exhilarating aspect of travel?

Meeting new people. Knowing new cultures. Seeing different ways of living, which makes me appreciate more what I have in my life and to be truly thankful for my life. Discovering the beauty of planet earth. Having adventures. Learning languages. Travel takes me out of a routine and teaches me to live in the present.

Describe your experience being at Dreamsea Costa Rica. Has this trip effected your thoughts on travel?

It could not be better. Dreamsea is pure love and pure joy. The people are incredibly loving and sharing a positive life. I feel like I am getting better at surfing everyday, and I absolutely love to be sharing my yoga experiences with other people.

Yes, because before I came here my friends and family were nervous that Central America was dangerous, and being a single traveler is dangerous and foolish. Most of the people are solo travelers, so it is a great place to meet new people and make new friends who I may continue to travel with.

Is there an experience or story from your time at Dreamsea that you will always remember?

Yes. There are a lot. The biggest experience was that coming to Dreamsea helped me to face one of my internal fears. All my life I’ve had a strong phobia of scorpions. I’ve had really hard times with them. Before I came to Dreamsea I was watching videos online and one person said the worst thing in Costa Rica was the spiders and scorpions. I wasn’t necessarily afraid of being bitten or stung, I was more afraid of being overwhelmed by fear or panic. I thought: I will cancel my flight. I won’t go there. I could die there.

But I decided I would go and face my fears and deal with it. I had one month to free myself from this fear if I wanted to go. Everyday I did internal work to combat my phobia. It’s a really strong panic fear and it is very difficult to stop it. Mostly I did meditations and I listened to my internal voice and it led me on a path of self healing. The first few days and nights I was very scared because I knew that the scorpions were there and they were really close. The first time I was face to face with a scorpion I went into a phobic state, but I was able to focus on my breath and stay calm despite my fear.

This experience helped me to realize that I can open my heart and open my eyes and find the stability inside me to change whatever I want in my life. I’m so grateful for that experience and I appreciate the opportunity to get face to face with my internal fears.

Is there anything else you want to say?

I just want to say: big, big thank you to Dreamsea for the work they are doing and for letting me be a part of the family. What Dreamsea is doing is not about earning money. It’s about sharing love and sharing joy and sharing happiness surrounded by the surf-nature life. Big, big thanks to them for having that dream and making it real.

William Pulliene - 34 Years Old - Isle of Wight, UK - Dreamsea Volunteer

Will, what do you like to do? What have you been up to in life? What makes you feel alive?

What do I like to do? I like movement, if I was to bring it into a nutshell. Over my life I’ve studied juggling, several different types of marshall arts, yoga, meditation, dance, particularly Argentinian tango, contact improv, loads of different circus skill, skateboarding, mountain biking. I think the common denominator is movement. I find movement very interesting. Currently my main obsession is surfing and I have been doing that since I was about 26. I’ve always wanted to surf. It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do since as long as I can remember. I come from a very large family so I didn’t really have the access to get to the beach to learn to surf as a child. So then, when I got to around my mid-twenties, I realized that I worked and earned money and I could do whatever I wanted with that money. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that, because I’ve been working since I was 14, but it was at that point that I sort of made conscious decisions about where I spent my money.

Rather than on possessions and drinking necessarily, I wanted to spend it on surfing, so I bought a surf board, and learned to drive, and started surfing in Brighton it the U.K., which is shit for surfing. It’s really good in Devon, it can be really good in Cornwall in Devon, it can be really good in Whales, but Brighton is really bad, so, it took me a year of relatively consistent practice and going to the beach in shitty on shore sleeting halting cold icy conditions throughout the winter- it took me a year before I first surfed a clean wave. So a year of arduous, demoralizing, frustrating times learning to surf. And then, when I did finally catch that wave it was, as I expected, super rad. It was fucking awesome. I was hooked. And basically that was it. That was what I wanted to do.

So then, since then, I’ve been spending pretty much all of my money on going on surf trips, surf boards, and taking days off from work to go surfing. To get better at it and just to do it really. I think that’s one of the things about it that I love is that I’ve trained in lots of different things and there’s always been sort of a purpose to it almost. Like to juggle there was always some idea of, um, performance. To do Marshall arts obviously the idea is to be good at fighting. So there’s this idea of a point, but there isn’t really any point to surfing other than to ride a wave. The point is that that feels really good, and so I want to get better at it so I can enjoy riding waves more. That’s the only reason. Really I just want to ride a wave. That’s it.

It’s interesting actually, because funny enough, since I was very little I’ve actually never been very confident in water. I’ve always enjoyed water, but I’ve not always been confident being out of my depth and so on because I had a couple of times where I nearly drowned as a kid and that really kind of shook me up. So, to surf, and to surf bigger waves, is to overcome a great deal of fear. Every time. Probably quite unnecessarily, because actually I’m quite experienced at it now and I actually know how to deal with it and I know what I’m doing, but there’s still a great deal of fear involved, so when that get’s overcome and I really start to enjoy myself in what I would consider good surf- it’s a really good feeling. It’s a really really good feeling, because I sort of have tangibly overcome that fear. So, that’s kind of why I’m doing it.

So, you’re trying to do more surfing right? That’s your near future trajectory?

Um, yeah. I moved from Brighton to Devon partly because I was kind of done with Brighton, and because there’s no surf there. And I surfed in Indonesia, the Maldeves and Sri Lanka for about three months about two years ago, and that’s when I really jumped up a level in my surfing. I went from being sort of unconfident in 4-foot plus, and really not being able to do that well, to actually I still can’t do it well, but at least I can call myself a surfer, if you know what I mean. So, yeah, that was about two years ago. So when I got home Brighton was no longer the place for me. I needed to be in Devon. So I’ve been in Devon for two years, but there’s not a lot of surfing going on. There are waves, and I think if you lived right by the beach you could surf most days, but I live about an hour or so away, for work and for various other reasons, so it means that we actually surf in the winter – maybe once or twice a week for a few weeks, and then none for a while. And in the summer, we can go months without surfing because there aren’t any waves. And the way to be good at it is to do it every day. That is the way to be good at it I think. So, I essentially want to find somewhere that I can be of use and be helpful to the community and surf. That’s my plan, definitely.

I haven’t quite worked out how to do that, or what to do with that. But I definitely want to be useful as well. I think that’s one of the things that is very important to me – to be helpful. And I want to play guitar more. In order to learn things you need time, and in the rest of the world at the moment it’s too expensive to have time. So, I need to find a way of living somewhere where time is more abundant, definitely. And that’s not the U.K..

What do you find to be the most exhilarating aspect of travel?

The most exhilarating aspect of traveling? Interesting question.

I think it’s just the sense of what could be, for me. I’ve always really enjoyed leaving places. I think that that’s because, in leaving somewhere there’s a potential for something new. And there’s always the potential for the next thing, for what could be around the corner. I think that’s the most exhilarating aspect.

Maybe that’s not the way to live – maybe you should just be right now, but I think, yeah, anything can happen. Anything can be around the corner. I think when you go home, when I go home, I try and remember to not to do this, but I get institutionalized into the U.K. Last time I got home and I was like “Alright, I’ll go to Devon for a few months, and then I’ll go away again. Six months later I’d bought a van, I had rent, I had a job, I was working. I was buying tools to work, and I was like “How did I suddenly get sucked into this when I know that it’s not really productive for me personally. When you’re out in the world suddenly everything is possible. You realize how big of a place it really is and how much possibility there is to do things and so on.

It’s the little things like yesterday I was on the beach and I noticed that there were a lot of Costa Ricans wearing board shorts and sunglasses and chilling on the beach, and I thought to myself – most Costa Ricans, when they’re on the beach, probably wear board shorts and sunglasses, whereas most people in the UK are sort of suited and booted to go to work and it’s just different. For them, that it the suit and tie. It’s just different.

Describe your experience being at Dreamsea Costa Rica. Has this trip effected your thoughts on travel?

Yes, it has. I’ve always traveled alone, because then I can just leave when I’m not really digging a vibe, and committing to come to Dreamsea for at least three weeks meant that I could. I mean once I’ve agreed to do something I’m going to do it regardless, but yeah, that’s been really interesting for me. To make that commitment to stay somewhere and then the feelings and the thoughts about it are, actually, I could have just upped sticks and left at a few points during my stay at Dreamsea, but the reason I would have, wasn’t having anything to do with Dreamsea not being a good place. It was to do with me and how I looked at it and how I was feeling myself.

So actually, I was all about me and what was going on for me, rather than what was going on in Dreamsea. Actually Dreamsea is a really interesting place where, I think, for the younger people who are here, they can learn a lot about how to cooperate with people, which they maybe haven’t done in the same way before, because they’ve sort of probably only just left home. Shared living is quite an interesting experience. You sort of take the rough with the smooth, right. But also, for me as well, I don’t really associate with people that much younger than me that often, so it’s good to do that, and I think it’s a very good way of doing it. And I’m quite impressed that it works. I think the reason it works is because of Carlos, and Antonio, and the people that have more responsibility within the camp. That’s why it works. Otherwise I don’t think it would. It might go a bit funny without those people who are solid at the top of the pile, but without appearing such.

Is there an experience or story from your time at Dreamsea that you will always remember?

Definitely. Going to the rodeo. I’ll remember that for a really long time.The rodeo was a very interesting experience. Fully interesting experience. I’ve never seen anything like it, if I’m honest. I really enjoyed it, and I thought that the sense of community the Costa Ricans had in that moment was really great. I don’t think I’ll ever forget climbing through the stalls, up on to the fence, and looking into the bull pit, and seeing young destiny just wandering around with her go pro, hard-coring it up inside the bull pen. I was amazed. I thought – what a powerful person. She can do anything she wants that person. She can do anything. She’s got girl balls. I’ll definitely remember that.

The people. I’m making friends with people here. Sometimes it difficult making friends when you travel because you move on, but here I’m making friends that I can tell – you know – we’ll see each other again. And I hope that we do. That’s a positive and I’ll remember that for a long time.

I’ll probably remember lying in the mango tree as well, because I do probably lie in the mango tree every other day. A bit of quiet time in the top deck when there’s no one else around. It’s a place of self-reflection. You know – I’ve cried in the mango tree. I’m not going to lie. I’ve cried. And I think everyone should cry in the mango tree. Before I came here, I came from the U.K., where I had got into a very cynical frame of mind. Very cynical frame of mind. Mental health took a bit of a turn for the worse in the past two years, and now I’ve come out of that but then a sort of real cynicism had kicked in about life and people and where the world is going and about foreign affairs and politics and these kind of things. And then to come hear and to see all of this positivity and all of these really shiny happy people who are sort of bubbly and happy and very interesting characters. The cynicism was probably still there a little you know; “Are they really happy” Yeah, but, are they?” Or “Yeah, but they just don’t know the truth.” – To go the rodeo and to interact with so many strangers who were really pleasant to me- just in they’re energy – in the way that they smiled and connected – you don’t get that in the U.K. People aren’t like that. And it was really quite overwhelming for me, because actually- it isn’t a front. It isn’t pretend. This “Pura Vida” idea is not some kind of tagline that they use for tourism – it’s actually real. I’m not foolish enough to think that there aren’t issues – I’m sure deep down there are, but I think actually it is a happier place. People are happier and nice. And that’s really fucking cool. Really fucking cool. Because there are not many places I’ve been to that are like that.

Ryan Campbell - 25 Years Old - Knoxville, Tennessee - Dreamsea Costa Rica Guest

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do? What have you been up to in life? What are your dreams and aspirations.

Travel, board-sports like skating, snowboarding, playing soccer, playing music. My new hobby is definitely surfing.

Right now I just quit my job, and I’m about to start working in the boat game. My family owns a few marinas. I guess my aspirations for life…that’s a deep one.. but, you know I want to travel and see as much as I can. Meet a diverse group of people and just enjoy myself generally.

What do you find to be the most exhilarating aspect of travel?

Definitely the people. I think what I enjoy most about travel is probably getting to know people from diverse cultures with different perspectives on things. If you don’t travel you’re kind of constricted to the ideals of the place you’re living, so it just broadens your horizons a bit.

Describe your experience being at Dreamsea. Has this trip affected your thoughts on travel?

It has absolutely affected my thoughts on travel. I mean, I’m on my last day so I haven’t had time to fully process and reflect on what I’ve experienced, but, one thing that did catch my eye about this place is that it felt less like a hostel or just general surf camp, and more like a community. All of the people here are fantastic. I don’t think the place is in it for money or anything like that. It seems more like a family.

Is there an experience or story from your time at Dreamsea that you will always remember?

One day my friend and I rented four wheelers, which I’ve never ridden before in my life, and I thought I could do a little donut on it in a little tide pool. I ended up rolling across the sand at 30 miles an hour, ditching the four wheeler. Duck and roll! I’m going to apply that to more aspects of my life, man. When shit get’s fast, duck and roll. Just duck and roll!

Rasta Kev - 20 Years Old - Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Dreamsea Costa Rica Staff

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do? What have you been up to in life? What are your dreams and aspirations.

I like to live every moment like it’s the last one. Create awesome adventures with people, and live the dream. Surf everyday. Have fun everyday. I’ve been discovering myself, discovering the other, and discovering the world. Experience what I discover, and make it the most awesome I can.

My dream is to do what I honestly feel I need to do. To do exactly what I want. Never lose motivation to push myself – that’s my aspiration. Simple, but hard.

What do you find to be the most exhilarating aspect of travel?

Discovering every opportunity that life can give me. Seeing the options that the world can give me because each place has it’s different options. Here I can surf, I can work in a surf camp, I can do most of the things that I want to do, but in another place it will be different. It won’t be like better or less nice, but it will be different, so I can see every aspect that every place can show me, and what every human can teach me.

Describe your experience being at Dreamsea Costa Rica. Has this trip effected your thoughts on travel?

Hmmm. My experience at Dreamsea shows me how people can be united together and feel what people don’t have in life, like just complete each other. That’s really what I saw because everyone is different, but at a point they’re all the same. They all want to live an adventurous life, but everyone has a different one that they want to do. So it’s being together most of the time and creating a family together. Always experiencing new things together and teaching each other. And living in the jungle is awesome.

Is there an experience or story from your time at Dreamsea that you will always remember?

Yeah, for sure. There’s the free style. The first free-style I’ve done beat-boxing with Destiny and John who were singing. I will always remember that. It was just crazy. It was so impulsive. In the moment. Everyone was just into the moment. Nothing else was existing. Just this little freestyle. It was simple, but the most complicated thing. It was so nice. There’s like a million other moments that I will remember, but when someone asks me, the freestyle is the best.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

So many things, but what I want to add will be: Keep traveling. Don’t travel to go somewhere. Travel to live. Live every moment as you can. Live it fully. Stay simple. Stay happy. That’s it.

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Dreamsea Costa Rica - The Moments

As I was paddling out
for my next wave..

in the distance I heard IZ’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” begin to play. Up until that moment I felt everything had been perfect, but hearing that song at that exact time, put me on another level. There I was surfing the sunset session off the gold coast of Costa Rica, with a gorgeous Norwegian girl on a board next to me, and IZ in the background providing the soundtrack to what felt like a dream.

Two thoughts were going through my head:

  1. How is this real life?
  2. How did I get here?

To fully appreciate the moment, let’s rewind the story two months.

Back to a frigid December in Minnesota. A typical day entailed arriving at my job in the factory around 7:30 a.m., grinding the day away for a struggling company, and clocking out around ten hours later. Had it not been for the boxing gym down the street, self-implosion would’ve been a genuine concern.

You get the picture, I wasn’t happy. The problem was, internally I knew that tons of people would feel blessed to have my lifestyle. I felt guilty for wanting more. Why couldn’t I just be grateful with my current situation?

Nights were often spent lying awake thinking about the past year and a half since graduating college. Time had flown, yet what had I accomplished? Besides work, what was I living for? Music, girls, parties? None of that truly satisfied my soul.

When it comes to depression there is a wide spectrum of severity. But in a broad sense, I think it can be categorized into two groups: You’re either excited about life or you’re not. Most days I wasn’t excited. I was sick of going through the motions. I needed some fucking adventure! A radical change had to happen.

On one of those December nights, I decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown. I bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. In January I informed my boss of the impending decision, and the next thing I knew it was February and I was boarding my flight. The excitement for life was back and stronger than ever.

After landing in San Jose, it was on! Determined to learn how to surf, I soon found out about a place called Dreamsea Surf Camp.

It sounded too good to be true.

An international surf camp where people from all walks of life come together to create a community? I was prepared to do anything to get there. Turns out all it took were a couple emails back and forth and everything was set. Stoked would be an understatement!

Upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly staff, outgoing guests and volunteers, and a family of howler monkeys. The place was surreal. After a short tour around camp it was obvious why “Dream” was in the camp’s name.

After only a day I already felt part of the family. Campers are constantly coming and going which made forming friendships quick and easy.

Over the next month I
became close with people
from all over the world.

One of my goals for my backpacking trip was to have at least one meaningful conversation every couple of days. The type of conversation where people let their guard down and speak from the heart. To my delight, these conversations were happening multiple times a day.

I discovered it didn’t matter whether English was your first language or your third language, there were people from all over the world who thought and felt just like me. Although many of our core beliefs about life were the same, the perspectives I was introduced to were brand new. Connecting with people and hearing their unique stories became addictive.

What I eventually realized was that surfing served as the pretext for going to this camp. In reality, it was the heartfelt connections formed between people that made the experience life changing.

Dreamsea attracts a certain type of person because their message is clear:

 “Collect moments not things”.

As a backpacker, I had already prepared to give up the comfort of all of my possessions. What I didn’t yet know was how to immerse myself in each moment and truly live it to the fullest. I’m talking mind, body, and spirit. It’s not something most of us are naturally good at, let alone are taught how to do.

At Dreamsea Costa Rica living in the moment is the default lifestyle.

As a result of the aligned philosophy, I’m convinced it’s the closest I’ll ever get to living in a utopia. Leaving Dreamsea was tough. How do you say goodbye to a lifestyle of surfing twice a day, living with 40 of your closest friends, eating family style meals morning & night, and continually meeting & learning from new people?

As Bob (my soul brother from Holland) and I boarded the bus for our next adventure, we both agreed that we would consciously bring the Dreamsea spirit with us wherever we went. As a result, the six ensuing hostels all got to experience a sliver of the Dreamsea magic.

After five months of backpacking, I came back to the States a different man. On the plane ride home, I noted in my moleskin a sentiment that was first learned at Dreamsea, and will remain a guiding principle for life going forward:

“Slow down and appreciate the beauty in each moment.”


-Danny Greene

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You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein

My Dreamsea Surf Camp Costa Rica Experience: EPIC!

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A brief inside look at the Dreamsea team and what life at Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica is like in 2016.

Book your stay with us today at: http://dreamseacostarica.com/book-now/

Filmed in March/April of 2016 by Johannes Sauer

A brief inside look at the Dreamsea team and what life at Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica is like in 2016.

Book your stay with us today at: http://dreamseacostarica.com/book-now/

Filmed in March/April of 2016 by Johannes Sauer