July 22, 2020

An Appetite for Travel

By Peter "abuelito" Lewis

In “Covid Times” our familiar world of travel and has been turned upside down. It takes great effort these days to travel – don’t stop. Nothing can replace the experiential nourishment that your globe-trotting wanderlust can bring!

Long, cold New Jersey winters were spent buried in surf magazines, dreaming of tropical warm water beaches and perfect, uncrowded waves.

My first road trip to Florida with my surf shop team buddies proved to be a revelation; warm blue water and spirited wetsuit-free surf sessions.

Combined with the fresh new experiences of flat countryside landscapes, palm trees, rednecks, and huge navel oranges, we were reminded that surf trips aren’t only about surfing.

Soon after, we enthusiastically accepted an invite to Southern California from Floyd Smith of the legendary historical surfboard company Gordon & Smith.

Once in San Diego our host rolled out the red carpet (beach towel), driving us everywhere, surfing new surf spots every day, and even a day trip to Baja California to surf, ride dirt bikes, and eat lobster tacos.

Thinking back on it I realize this was my first taste of the spirit of Aloha and Pura Vida.

I eventually moved to San Diego for college and a management career in the Chart House, the fabled, surfy restaurant chain. A “company move” back to Miami Florida got me back on the eastern seaboard.

Because most Atlantic Ocean swells are blocked from Miami by the outlying Bahama Islands, we would take day trips to Central Florida for fun surfing waves and an atmosphere totally different from Latino flavored Miami.

The call of distant shores led to Caribbean explorations where we found good surf, exotic food and music, and spirited fun-loving people.

Ours eyes and ears feasted on new worlds out there, foreign cultures, local delicacies, strange languages, and unique lifestyles and landscapes; all fed the appetite for more travel. In the late 80’s I began hearing about the magical country of Costa Rica.

We made our 1st trip in 1990 and began a love affair that continues today. I found a job in a “surfing travel agency” in Florida called Surf Express, and began a 12-year stint booking surf trips.

The job allowed me to explore and open new destinations for the company, and it didn’t take long for Costa Rica to become our #1 destination. Costa Rica has always radiated a glowing aura of being a peaceful, visitor-friendly natural wonderland.

With volcanos, rainforests, and a vast array of amazing coastline and waves you have, well, paradise. By all means plan a trip to Costa Rica! We promise you will be richly rewarded with an abundance of Love, and Pura Vida memories to last a lifetime.

A psychedelic airplane
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