Emy is an Australian Surf and Underwater Photographer living in Sayulita, Mexico. In May 2018, she quit her full time design job to pursue her dream of living in Latin America, being a full-time photographer, speaking Spanish, surfing every day and making wonderful human connections. Emy joined us for five weeks in Costa Rica and in this blog shares her behind the scenes perspective on a Rise Up retreat!
I’m not sure what I’m more stoked on, the amount of beautiful new friends I made or the perfect right handers I got to photograph with a backdrop of lush jungle, just too beautiful not to stare at for hours on end. Or the monkey madness happening right in front of your eyes on a daily basis or the fact that some days I was left laughing so hard that my whole body would hurt. Either way, I was stoked on each and every moment working with the Rise Up crew in some of the most beautiful waves I’ve ever photographed in down in the south of Costa Rica.
There are so many memorable moments from my 5 weeks working with the Rise Up crew. I don’t know where to begin but I think what I admired the most was the local surf instructors who not only shred like you’ve never seen before but welcomed us into their home. Sharing their incredible backyard with us which we are more than appreciative of.
And of course, the Rise Up familia themselves, no matter how long you’ve been a part of the crew, it feels like you’ve been a part of the family for a lifetime. Instantly being welcomed with open arms and good vibes. Which attract guests, often returning guests, who are dead set legends, frothing on getting waves, good times and being part of the familia. Even though in a surf retreat environment, there were moments where I felt like I was lost in another world, on a wild and wonderful adventure with people from all over the world coming to enhance their surfing whilst getting a high dosage of disconnect and Costa Rican culture.
For me, my experience was all about the bonds I formed and shared whilst getting lost in the Costan Rican jungle. If I had to sum up the staff in a few words, I’d have to say this… they are the masters of bringing epic people together and hosting unforgettable retreats with warm hearts and open arms Corina and Phil with booty shaking, jungle baby Kaya. Goldilocks and the good vibes master Francisco with the philosopher of surf coaching and quick witted one liners Matt. The fire cracker, loving and laugh maker, yoga badass, Serap. Simon—the smooth shredder, sliding past my camera effortless and elegantly every time. Aaron the wizard of aerials, spotting animales and Latino dance moves that put the rest of us to shame. Carlos and his every glowing smile, pure stokeness on surf and life and my Spanish practising partner.
The staff at the resort from all those beautiful smiles and pura vida, welcoming us everyday to the delicious meals, cocktails and good vibes. To the warm friendships and endless surf buddies Lena and Andrea. To Encanta La Vida itself, a beautiful space for the Rise Up retreats. All solar power, no wifi in rooms and a whole lot of disconnect.
From waking up to some of the most beautiful jungle and waves I’ve ever seen to sharing it with a bunch of legendary people. From Costa Rica to Switzerland, Spain to Barbados and Nicaragua to Australia (well I guess Matt you’re still trying to claim you’re Aussie only to find your English accent let’s you down) so to England as well, how bloody awesome is it we all came together, deep in the Costa Rican jungle, all frothing what we love to do most, surf!
And with a crew like this, welcoming peeps from all over the globe to share the stoke, we all left with our hearts full of right handed epicness and warm contentment for what Rise Up Surf Retreats have to offer.