Have you ever imagined what it would be like to pack up your laptop and bring your work with you on an adventure in another country?
What if you could surf, practice yoga and experience the culture and history of that place at the same time—all without any time-consuming planning on your part?
You can. It’s called Unleash.
Unleash Surf is the brainchild of Canadian surfers Amy and John. The couple and business partners met at a surfboard building course and became surf buddies. Amy, who's from Nova Scotia, has been surfing since she was a teenager on the wild East Coast. John is originally from Ontario, where he fell in love with wind surfing. Keen for more waves, he moved his online business to Halifax.
Together, they travelled to Peru as remote workers and surfers in 2015. “We’d travelled extensively and worked remotely previously. When we were there, it became obvious we’d found a place that was a real gem. We hadn’t thought about putting it together as a lifestyle travel opportunity [until we saw something similar]. We started to think about what we would do differently if we did it ourselves,” John says. “That’s kind of where Unleash came from.”
“Typically, when you’re trying to plan a surf trip, you spend at least two weeks researching online,” Amy adds. “A lot of people don’t have that time, and even if they do, might not get the experience they want.”
Most of the participants of Unleash are between 30 to 40 years old, though ages can range from 26 to 55. “The kind of people we get are freelancers, entrepreneurs, people who have sold a business and want to think about their next idea,” Amy says. “We get to meet the coolest people from around the world.”
Whether you’re well-versed with the surf world and want to improve your skills or have never balanced on a board before, the regular access to consistent surf and a coach makes a huge difference.
“If you want to get good at surfing and not quit your job to become a surf bum and live in a van… this is another option,” Amy says with a laugh.
Unleash sorts out all the finer details of working and surfing abroad: your own apartment, coworking space, the opportunity to network with successful people, easy access to consistent waves… plus cultural and historical experiences that allow you to connect with the place.
On Mondays, Amy and John host Peruvian culture workshops with locals. On Tuesdays are Spanish classes, Wednesdays are yoga for surfers, Thursdays are cooking classes and Fridays are social events, like a dance class. “Every weekend, we take the group on a tour, typically to an archeological site. Or we’ll do a workshop with a local guide.”
These classes and workshops create job opportunities and allow locals to proudly share their own stories. “We’re not parachuting in and out,” Amy explains. “We are creating our dream business and working for our clients, but we also want to contribute to the community.”
“We picked this place because of the quality of waves,” John says. “There are waves that are ideal for both beginner and intermediate surfers.”
“And the town is not too big, but just small enough,” Amy says. “You have everything you need including great restaurants, coffee shops and a market within a ten-minute walk from your door. Including the beach!”
“It’s a small beach town, but only half an hour from a larger town,” John adds. “So if something happens—say, your laptop breaks—you won’t be stranded.”
“The town itself is a world surfing reserve,” Amy says. “It’s considered the birthplace of surfing. Some 5,000 years ago, fishers would paddle out on 'surf' boards and 'surf' back in. Obviously, it was important not to lose your fish so you had to get good at surfing back in. There are no motor boats allowed in the water, so people still surf and fish like that today!”
Interested in learning more about Unleash Surf or applying for a two-week, month-long or three-month remote working/surfing stint? Click here.