All Photos courtesy of Surf Simply. I’m back! Not only did I survive the dreaded separation from my family, I am tanner, fitter, and more refreshed than I’ve ever been. I’m definitely a better surfer. My turtle roll and paddle are much improved. I’m not so afraid of bigger waves or wipeouts. I have enough Vitamin D stored from one week to last me the rest of Winter. I’m so glad I went! How can I make a trip like this happen again? Already plotting the next getaway.
The first few days were rough, not gonna lie. I was filled with dread and anxiety, like I had left a piece of myself at home and longed to go back to grab it. I kept thinking, “Why didn’t I spend the money on a family trip?” International travel, especially alone, can be super stimulating for HSPs in the first place. And then leaving my family and all my familiar routines and rituals added to the stress. Then being thrown into a “camp” situation with 10 strangers from all over the world took it up another notch. Also, my surfing was so rusty that I could barely catch any waves the first day. After too many wipeouts (see end of post) I felt out of my league and wanted to give up. I thought to myself, “Surfing is great and all, but I’d much rather be cuddling my baby right now. Nothing is better than being with my family.”
However, after a few days, the “newness” of my situation wore off, my homesickness waned (Joe sent me reassuring messages that the kids were doing just fine!), and I started to really enjoy myself. If an HSP is going to travel to an exotic destination, an all inclusive surf trip like this is a good way to go. I didn’t have to worry about finding a taxi or navigating the streets by myself. All my meals were taken care of, and they were insanely tasty (and mostly paleo, to my surprise!) I forgot how lovely it is to focus on your own meal instead of sneaking in hurried bites while feeding two other kids. Our days were full of yoga sessions, surf classes, and surf theory classes, but we still had a ton of free time. Many used that free time to hang at the pool and socialize. But readers, you know me by now. I told myself I didn’t have to socialize if I didn’t want to, so I mostly didn’t. Instead, I used that free time to nap, pump milk, and sit on my balcony listening to the rain and reading my Kindle (3 novels in 1 week!) I also zoned out a lot, looking for wildlife (I spotted howler monkeys, toucans, a snake, and insanely colored butterflies from my hotel balcony.) I spent quality time with one of my best friends, Helen.
By the end of the week, I was excited to fly home and cuddle my kids, but so sad to leave paradise. Not quite ready to resume the busy hustle bustle of mommyhood, with all the bottom wiping and lunch packing and dish washing. All moms, all parents, need a break from the rigors of parenthood. Not saying you need to go on a deluxe Costa Rican surf adventure (although maybe you should), but if a chance to travel or get away for even a few days comes up, TAKE IT. Make it happen, even if it’s inconvenient or gut wrenching. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.
I came home just in the nick of time. There were zero ounces of milk left for Matteo. He had actually forgotten who I was after a week. He looked at me like a ghost, like an apparition, then clung to Joe and hid his face from me. I took him unwillingly to his room to nurse, and he forgot how. Tried to bite down and suck like a bottle. Then after a minute, I saw it click for him, and he remembered what a breast is for and who mommy is. We’ve been like peas and carrots ever since.
Siena made up for Matteo’s cold greeting. She sprinted across the house and barreled me in a huge hug. Near tears, she told me, “Mommy, I missed you SO much!” She’s not touchy feely, so this was a big deal.
P.S. The surf camp I went to is called Surf Simply. Folks, I’ve been to a handful of surf camps/teachers/coaches, and I learned way more in 1 week at Surf Simply than all the others put together. The coaches are great surfers, but more importantly, great teachers. They break down all the fundamentals of surfing (stance, pop up, paddling, angling, trimming, carving, wave reading) in a way that is clear and logical and easy to remember. Best of all, they (gently) critique footage of you surfing. That’s seriously the best way to correct bad habits. From now on, any time I catch a wave, I will always hear my teacher Fran’s voice in my head saying, “Arm outside! Compress! Square the front foot! Weight forward! Look down the line!”