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Finding a lost love in San Sebastian

I recently rediscovered a passion for surfing while travelling and surfing in San Sebastian which I had previously lost.

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Stoke Travel San Sebastian Surf Camp

Have you ever been travelling and re-discovered a love for something that you hadn’t realised you had lost? Something that you had been so passionate about that you would do anything to get your next fix?

Stoke Travel San Sebastian Surf Camp

Growing up my life was all about surfing.

Every day after school I would beg my parents to drive me to the local beach for a wave. Once I had my own car all my spare time was spent along the coast.

My vocabulary actually consisted of very little apart from surfing terms. Sick, gnarly and stoked punctuated every sentence. Posters glittered on my bedroom walls and my hero’s were Patrick O’Connell and Robert “Wingnut” Weaver from the movie The Endless Summer II.

Unfortunately as with most things in life other priorities began to take over. I moved away from the beach for University, pursued other sports and started travelling. My passion for surfing slowly dwindled to the occasional chance when I would grab my board to re-spark that fire for a day or two.

For three years we have been travelling the world and in that time I have probably surfed no more than 10 days in total.

Until now. Over the last week we have been staying at the Stoke Travel San Sebastian Surf Camp in the northwest of Spain. It has been here that I have rediscovered that lost love.

Surfing in San Sebastian, Stoke Travel

Adela surfing in San Sebastian

Every day since we arrived I have been pursuing that perfect wave that every surfer seeks.

I have been pursuing the feelings that only a surfer can understand. No other sports, adventures or activities can come close to producing the feelings that surfing can. Even if you are having the worst day in the world and then surfing will always relax and reinvigorated you.

There is just something about surfing that always makes me happy.

Sitting on my board gazing towards the horizon watching as the swell lines slowly pulse towards the shore. Each wave begins to take shape as the swell pushes against the sea floor bringing a rush of adrenaline into my muscles. Holding my breath as I flick the surfboard around and begin to paddle as the wave rises beneath me.

Springing to my feet I can feel the raw power of the sea as I glide down the waves face.

White water crashes behind my surfboard fins, spitting and sucking at me trying to pull me under. Even as I pull off the wave as it closes out around me I find a grin plastered across my face. It’s all I can do not to run up and down the beach skipping like a madman after each wave.

Stoke Travel San Sebastian Surf Camp

Rediscovering my passion for surfing over the last week has made me realise that I don’t want to lose this feeling. This is my vow to make sure I continue to travel for the things I love.

Have you recently re-discovered something that you used to love? Tell us below.

Disclaimer: Stoke Travel have been helping me re-discover that lost love at their San Sebastian Surf Camp. However, as always our thoughts are our own.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Laurence

    July 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I haven’t recently rediscovered anything, but I too used to spend a lot of time in the sea, canoe surfing the reef waves on the island I grew up on. I also used to sail a lot, and not too long ago I had a blast learning to windsurf. I should try doing those again… I just need to find some tropical beaches as I’m not a fan of the cooler waters around here…

  2. Tim @ Marginal Boundaries

    July 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    My brother is a huge surfing nut, but I have to admit I’ve never gotten into it 🙂 I’d like to try one day….stories like this give me motivation. But while I live near the beach (Cancun) there’s not much in the way of breaks for surfing here, so maybe in the next destination I head to!

    Hiking, trekking and camping, on the other hand…that’s something I love sinking my teeth into :)Give me a chance to head off into the wilderness for a couple of weeks and I’m there!

  3. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    July 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I tried surfing once and it was intense!! Granted, I was on the Oregon Coast… and even wearing a full wetsuit I still couldn’t feel my legs. I’d love to try it again in warmer water, and with a lesson or ten. 🙂

  4. Jeremy Branham

    July 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    I’ve never surfed once in my entire life. However, I do understand. Growing up, I loved college football. It’s one of the MANY reasons I love Autumn. However, it only dawned on me last year to put my two greatest passions together – sports and travel. Last year, the College Football Travel Tour was born combining the world of sports AND travel. I only wish I had done this sooner.

  5. Ali

    July 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I’m glad you rediscovered your passion for surfing. For me I think traveling just reminded me how much I love to travel. I went 8 years in my 20s without leaving the country, and when I finally decided to plan a trip to Greece I wondered what I had been waiting for. It snowballed from there, and now I can’t get enough.

  6. Turtle

    July 26, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I can see how surfing would stay in your blood (and water) for life.
    For me, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my love of having spare time 🙂

  7. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    July 26, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    We’re stoked for you, dude! Rad post!

  8. jade

    July 27, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    I love surfing too, and it is easy to forget the love when you haven’t been on a board in a long time. something about the surge of the waves and the energy is so powerful!

  9. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    July 27, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I am not that into surfing, but someone who is told me to Watch Endless Summer. Great film, but I suck at surfing 🙂

  10. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    July 28, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Never been surfing, but have a great respect for the sport and LOVE photographing surfers. So excited for you that you were able to reconnect with your long-lost love. i kind of feel the same way about playing music, which I haven’t done since I gave up performing improv last year. I definitely miss it.

  11. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    July 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    We haven’t rediscovered things as much as discovered for the first time all the amazing things there are to see and do around the world. Neither of us has the nerve to get up on a surfboard, though. I’d like to keep that as a romantic vision watching others rather than a crashing, too much sea water up the nose personal experience 🙂

  12. Spencer

    July 30, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    I love San Sebastian! The two beaches there are fantastic and the alleyways of the old town are fascinating.

  13. Tom

    July 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Beautifully written, Cole – and awesome to hear you’ve rekindled a passion from your youth. Some day way into the future I plan on doing the same thing with Lego 😉

  14. Flora

    August 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Awesome post! I recently taught some impromptu English classes at a village school in Thailand and they handed me a guitar to play some songs to help the teaching along. When I saw how much the kids loved the music element to their class, it brought back all my memories of teaching myself to play guitar years ago. Now I’m resolved to start playing again when I get back home – all thanks to those kids 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      That’s such a fantastic story Flora! So glad you are going to start playing music again. Really need to pick up a guitar one day and start learning as well.

  15. Alexandra

    August 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Born and raised in Maui and I don’t surf! Blasphemy I know! One of these days I will concur my fears and get my ass on a board! Glad to see you rediscovered your love!

    Aloha

    • Cole Burmester

      August 13, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      That is blasphemy! Would love to surf in Hawaii but would have to be on a small day than some of the videos I have seen 🙂

  16. Michal_Wroclaw_Guide

    August 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Hi, It’s great that you like San Sebastian, as it will be The European Capital of Culture in 2016 as well as Wroclaw in Poland. See you in Wroclaw:)

    greetings Michal:)

    • Cole Burmester

      August 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      We will definitely visit you in Wroclaw in the near future Michal!

  17. Michal_Wroclaw_guide

    August 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    See you in Wroclaw:))

    best regards

    Michal

  18. Aggy

    September 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Wow nice article! Never surfed before but always wish I could…maybe one of these days I should! I found my lost love for dancing in Bali, I used to dance Balinese when I was a kid then stopped in high school. Being in Bali this summer made me realised how much I miss it!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 18, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      That is so cool that you re-found Balinese dance! Hope you find a way to keep doing it when you return home 🙂

  19. Charu

    September 17, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    We love windsurfing (not plain surfing) and recently found it during our adventures in Aruba. Love this post! Kudos to you for going with your passions…

    • Cole Burmester

      September 18, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      I used to try wind surfing but was never that good. Always wanted to try kite surfing too! Something I need to follow up on 🙂

  20. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    September 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    You describe your passion for surfing beautifully. While we’re not surfers, we do have a passion for water- ocean, lake, river. Being around water give us peace and rejuvenates us. Thanks for sharing your story of re-discovering a lost love 🙂

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Yacht Charter Destination Of The Month: The Middle East

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Mysterious and exotic, the Middle East is full of surprises, blending fascinating cultural heritage with stunning contemporary architecture. What’s more, with guaranteed sunshine and warmth, the winter months of November and April are the perfect time to visit. That’s why we’ve made the Middle East our yacht charter destination of the month.

What makes the Middle East such an exciting yacht charter destination?

Dubai: Glamour and shopping

An ideal starting point for your luxury yacht charter, Dubai is famous for its tax-free designer shopping, five-star resorts and world-class gastronomy. Thrill seekers can head into its vast desert for four-wheel-drive adventures across the dunes, while families will love the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Legoland, or the magnificent water park at Atlantis on The Palm.

Abu Dhabi: Art and architecture

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi offers a more relaxed yacht charter destination – here, lovers of art and architecture will appreciate the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, which boasts some 9,200 m2 of galleries within its striking contemporary design.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest, and its open-door policy encourages visitors from around the world. The elegant Qasr Al Hosn museum, former home of the ruling family, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest standing structure, and displays artefacts dating back to 6000BC.

Oman: An understated gem

The understated, hidden gem of the Middle East, yacht charter destination Oman has an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and wind-blown deserts to a pristine coastline.

At its northernmost tip, visit the red-hued fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Action-seekers can admire the rugged Al Hajar mountain range by microlight, while land-based activities include desert sand-boarding, jeep rides and quad biking.

Capital city Muscat is steeped in history, with centuries-old souks where you can pick up fine pashminas, spices and frankincense, or even dazzling jewellery in the Gold Souk.

The Kingdom of Bahrain: Home of diving

It is said that diving was invented in Bahrain, and pearl diving is considered the quintessential Bahraini experience. Expect to find up to 30 types of coral and over 200 species of fish, too, making this yacht charter destination ideal for underwater enthusiasts.

Bahrain’s rich trading history is palpable in the Qalat al-Bahrain fort and museum, a registered UNESCO world heritage site. The Bahrain National Museum, found next to the Art and Cultural Centres, blends cultural heritage with contemporary ambience. Or, to indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy a traditional shopping experience at the Manama Souk, selling natural-oil perfumes and incense, fabrics and handicrafts.

The Red Sea: Reefs, diving and beaches

The Red Sea is another popular Middle Eastern yacht charter destination due to its year-round sunshine, warm water, coral reefs and incredible dive sites, including one of the world’s best wreck dives, the WWII British cargo ship SS Thistlegorm. In the south, the relatively undiscovered Marsa’ Alam promises incredible shore or beach diving around its natural fringing reef.

Mysterious, timeless and alluring, the Middle East is a yacht charter destination full of contrasts and surprises. Better still, it’s best visited in winter. What are you waiting for?

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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