The Dreamsea Costa Rica Surf Camp FamilyIs 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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