It has been Lili’s seventh time at Rise Up since 2013! For her, it is not just going on a vacation and going to some random place. It feels like visiting her friends in Nicaragua. She comes back because of the atmosphere, meeting like-minded people, seeing staff and returning guests again. And besides the socializing, there is always time to take a moment and reflect.
- How did you find out about Rise Up?
“I was just thinking about a surf holiday to a far away destination. First I thought about Costa Rica but then I found out about Nicaragua. It really attracted my attention, because it is cheaper and more authentic. So I started googling for a surf camp in Northern Nicaragua and Rise Up popped up”.
- What do you think about the staff at Rise Up?
“The staff is so nice! Every year I see the staff members again, but it is also good that there are always new people. I really enjoy hanging out with every one of them! I think Rise Up has a very good balance and mix between local and western staff. The local staff members make Rise Up unique. They are always there and let you experience what it means to be Nicaraguan. They really like to share this feeling! This gives a very warm and welcoming atmosphere at Rise Up”.
- What do you think about the surf around Rise Up?
“The surf lessons have improved a lot over the past few years! Besides the regular surf lessons, they also offer surf theory lessons, video analyses, and paddle training. I also like the small groups and that the surf spots are the less crowded once I have ever seen in my life. On top of that, there are many different waves.”
- What do you think about the food at Rise Up?
“I really like the menu at Rise Up! The healthy focus is nice because at Rise Up you are doing so many activities. But I definitely like the Nicaraguan (inspired) meals the most! In particular the Gallo Pinto for breakfast, which means rice and beans, cheese, eggs, plantains and some salad, that is just delicious.”
- What do you think about the yoga at Rise Up?
“The new yoga place is the best! The trees and a refreshing breeze make it a magic place. The sort of lesson, you will have, depends on the teacher. But there are always good teachers around! A few years ago I was so inspired by one of the instructors that after two weeks of doing yoga I started doing yoga at home”.
- What is your most memorable part of Rise Up?
“I think the impressions from the first time. In Nicaragua everything is different! When you cruise inland, you see locals with almost nothing. They own a shack and their kids are running around naked. But they are happy! I guess because they live in harder conditions, they are happy with what they have. That gratitude made a deep impression!
Rise Up has a really good connection with the locals. They work together with the community by offering jobs and running different projects. Rise Up loves to support the sustainable development of tourism in this area. I think it is amazing that they provide more possibilities for guests to take part in different projects now. For example, this year I took part in the triathlon. I would love to do these sort of thing more often in the future!”
- What keeps you coming back? What do you think that keep people coming back to Rise Up?
“I am always sad to go home! At Rise Up I finally have the time for myself. I really get my feet on the ground. I mean it is just magic to walk to the point, sit down and watch the sunset on your own. It gives my mind the chance to wonder and to reflect on the things that are most important. There is always something to take home. That thought and feeling I keep for a while. After a few months, I need to refresh it and go to Rise Up again. That feeling gets stronger every time. So when I get the question “why are you always going back to the same place?”, I always answer: It is my happy place! Rise Up is some sort of island where I can get what I am looking for. I calm down, surf, forget about everything, cleanse myself and give everything a little break. I really don’t feel the need to be somewhere else and I haven’t had that feeling at many places.”
Thank you so much for the wonderful interview, Lili! It was inspiring to listen to your story and we always love to have you around. We are looking forward to seeing you again!