A Degenerate’s Guide To Surf Travel
The hottest tips this side of an AA meeting.
There’s this place in the Maldives. A luxury resort in the shadows of palm trees. It’s surrounded by white sand, and by water so blue it defies imagination. In the rooms, silk bedding melts into soft mattresses and the AC will make you forget about the sun. All the cocktails are made with fresh juice. World class surf is only a few minutes away. Yes, there’s a boat.
I will never see this place. Why? Because I’m not rich but more so a functioning degenerate. One that has found his way to some fine corners of the globe.
I’ve routinely saved up enough money to not have enough money and shoot missiles at my credit. (Hot tip: with bad credit, you can never buy a house and if you never buy a house that means you don’t ever have to renovate the kitchen.) And now, both my passport and monthly statement stand equally as decorated.
Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you can’t, and you’re reading this from a nest of melty silk. Either way, below you’ll find a collection of hot tips I’ve picked up through years on the road.
Don’t be afraid to save a hundred dollars and mix in a 17-hour layover here and there. When your circadian clock ain’t ticking right, you’re legally allowed to consume reckless amounts of alcohol at any point in the day. The layover will enable you to experience places you’d never see otherwise, the booze will make it interesting – I once went to a water park alone in Hong Kong.
Barter. Always. Now, there are two forms of bartering. 1. Being a dickhead. 2. Not. Haggle with purpose and always offer something in return for a discounted rate. Maybe it’s yard work. Maybe it’s taking some photos for their site. The great Willian Cardoso once said the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Be the squeak and the grease, then wheel yourself on down to the local wagering house and invest all your savings on a wild and unchecked bet on a sport you know nothing about.
If it’s good enough for Guatemalan livestock then it’s good enough for you. Eat at places with dirt on the floor, places that don’t have menus, places that don’t have sinks. If you get food poisoning, that just means your body will be tougher and you’ll be better prepared for the next time you get food poisoning.
I’ve never understood why some people pack full check-in bags for a week somewhere tropical. You’re not going to fashion week. The best you’re gonna do is a strip club where it’s culturally inappropriate to not get a hand job. Pack light, except for boards.
Toss out the idea of a one board quiver. Then fuck it straight to hell, where it can go hang out with tow surfing and that mid-year cut-off thing from a few years back. Travelling with a surfboard is a pain in the ass, but travelling with multiple surfboards is only a slightly bigger pain in the ass. Fly with an airline that charges by bag and bring the right tools. Plus if money gets tight, you can sell one to some dude from Norway who has been butchering the chords of a shitty Bob Marley song in the common area of a hostel for the last seventeen years.
Remember: just because you’re low on cash and moral compass that doesn’t mean you have to be a dick. Remember to treat yourself. The great Alex Ribiero once said dream big. Maybe your big dream is to be the guy who hasn’t had a wink of sleep getting spit out of a tube while some zinc-faced dorks fiddle with their GoPros on the beach at dawn’s early light. Be kind to people. Help those in need. When you have something to offer, offer it. I don’t believe in karma, but I do believe in the magic of both kindness and cheap whisky and it really is something when you combine the two.
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