Traveling to Catch The Waves Around The World
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Carlita is an Argentinian surfer, bodyboarder and artist, who travels the world to catch the best waves and the best art. She lived in Mexico for 2 years and a half; and travelled to Hawaii, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Costa Rica, New York and Australia. In this interview, she shares travel destinations for surfers and tips on making money in travel.
“Most of my travels are for surfing. I started surfing with my dad when i was like 13 years old, after that i continued surfing with my best friend. Ocean has always been a part of me and my family. Both my parents are scuba divers.
Surfing makes me happy. It is not just a sport, it is a way of living. In search of perfect waves you end up going to the most random places and you meet so many different people on the way. It is a beautiful adventure.”
My life really began, when i realized that i wanted to live my dream of becoming a professional Bodyboarder and an Artist. I have been bodyboarding since i was 14 and painting since i was 5 years old. Now i want to travel around the world surfing the best waves, exploring new countries while painting and taking photographs.
It is amazing to be with nature. You get amazed by so many things; the colors of sunset on the ocean, and animals passing you close. Surfing has taught me about patience, respect for others, respect for nature, perseverance, not giving up, keeping healthy, and keeping it simple. Moreover, I always make friends when i’m surfing; friends from many other countries with their spectacular stories. “
For the last 3 years, Carlita has been going back and forth from Mexico to Argentina for her love, a story that started in her childhood:
“We met in Argentina , I was 14 and he was 18 years old. We lost contact for a couple of years. Then, eight years later, I went on a surf trip to Puerto Escondido, where we saw each other again. I was passing through the door of his house; which by that time i had no idea was his. And, I heard him call my name from his balcony. We were both shocked and excited, but it was my last day in Puerto Escondido. Apparently, he was leaving the next day as well. We shared the same flight to Mexico City! I was heading home to Argentina, and he was on the way to a surf contest. After that, we kept in touch . We couldn’t stop thinking about each other, until we couldn’t stand it anymore. He came all the way to Argentina to visit me. After that we travelled together to Ecuador and decided we wanted to be together. I left everything behind and jumped in.
It wasn’t easy, fear sometimes gets you, but i couldn’t continue living my life with a : “what if..?” So i just did it. Whatever happens with my relationship and my life, i took the risk of living our love and that is never to be regretted.”
Travel Tribe: If you could share a piece of wisdom on a billboard that everyone could see, what would it say?
Carlita: “Don’t be afraid of living your dreams, they do come true if you work hard and believe in yourself. Don’t do things just to please others, this is your life, you should be doing whatever YOU think is best for you. Work on your skills, in what you are good and enjoy doing. So, when you travel, you can work for yourself and not depend on a boring job.”
Travel Tribe: “Why do you travel?”
Traveling clears your thoughts and gives you perspective. This helps a lot when you need to make important decisions in life. When you see how other people live, it gives you ideas of how to make your own life better. Or, sometimes it just makes you feel grateful of what you have at home. You learn to respect other cultures and nature.
While traveling alone, you learn to plan ahead. So when you arrive at your destination you know exactly what you are doing and where you are going. You learn to be Smart and think quick. So, let me share my experience as a surfer and a few tips that I learned traveling in a few countries:
Hawaii: I’ve been to the island of Oahu and stayed 3 months at the house of a local family. That made my trip so special, unique and definitely a lot cheaper. I got a real taste of the hawaiian culture and that is something i will never forget and i will always be thankful. In Hawaii, you need a working visa to get a job, so make sure you got it before you go. My advice is dont miss anything because you never know when you are going to come back. Waterfalls, trecking, skydiving, surfing, snorkeling, live concerts and more. Hawaii is definitely an expensive destination, but you can always make it a bit cheaper by cooking your own food, renting a room on the house of a family.
Brazil: I stayed in Rio at my friend’s house. He showed me both sides of Rio , the touristic and the local side. I always like seeing the destination with a local when traveling, because I get to see how they live. After Rio, i went to a nice little fishing village called Trindade, where i stayed for free as a volunteer in a Hostel. This is how volunteering works: Sometimes there are websites that offer you to work in hostels in exchange of a place to stay and food. Or, sometimes you can just go to a hostel, and ask while you are there. That is what i did.
It worked perfectly for me. I could work in the morning and then i was free for the rest of the day to do whatever i wanted to do. Also, it is a very way to meet new people. Volunteering is good, if you don’t want to spend all your money in one place. And, you rather continue traveling to the next destination.
Mexico: it is a hard place to make money. Of course, it depends in what part of Mexico you are. In Puerto Escondido, for example, where i visit often, the average payment is like $20 for a day. That is for 8 hours 6 days a week! However, food and accommodation are very cheap compared to United States. Best way for a destination like Mexico is to bring american dollars, or do some working from your computer. If you prefer working at the destination, think of learning how to massage! Massages are very well paid in Mexico, if you are good you can charge like 500 pesos an hour ( US $27). I travel by selling my paintings. Every café or hotel needs art on their walls. In Mexico, I sometimes even exchange my paintings for accommodation in hostels. My favorite surfing destinations in Mexico are Puerto Escondido, Pascuales and Salina Cruz.
If you like snorkeling, I highly recommend to go to Playa del Carmen on a tour that takes you to swim with the whaleshark; an experience of a lifetime. The animal is unharmful and peaceful. The best time to go is August and September. If you ever go, don’t forget to go to Akumal and swim with turtles.
Peru: I went to Lobitos at the north of the country, which looks like an abandoned village in the middle of the desert . But, it’s a internationally known surf spot. Lobitos is about surfing amazing waves and eating the best and cheapest food; try Peruvian ceviche. In Peru you can volunteer in houses that are just in front of the beach. The town is small and you can walk everywhere.
Ecuador: Galapagos Islands is one of my favourite places in the world. I am a nature photographer, so it’s my paradise. I snorkeled in Lions Head with all different kinds of animals: turtles, seals, fishes, reef sharks , hammer-heads and more.
New York: Download the lonely planet App. It is a guide on your phone that includes all capitals of the world and everything you need to know about the place. Once you download it you won’t need to be online to use it.
Australia : Australia is the perfect combination of city, nature. fashion, art and adventure; where a surfer always finds something interesting to do. Local tip: Surf in the gold coast, take a beer in Burleigh Heads at sunset time, go to Byron Bay, scuba dive at the great barrier reef.
Colombia: Go to the islands of San Andres and Providencia; a perfect spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.
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