Shakamalaka: The Real Surfing Experience

26 Jun

Adkins_Australia Intern_1When anyone travels abroad, they want to get the most out of their experience. This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes getting the most out of a trip is harder than it sounds, and money can have a lot to do with it. We’re college students, so we don’t usually have a lot of money to spend in the first place. On top of that, Sydney is in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, according to TripAdvisor. The prices of food, travel, accommodations, and everything else are enough to make a college student want to never leave their apartment and live on a Mac-and-cheese diet.

Thankfully there are programs here like Phi Beta Dingo that work with our study abroad program to get cheap trips within both our budgets and our schedules. Within the time of the Sidney Internship Program, Phi Beta Dingo offers four different trips. These are trips to Hunter Vally (wine), Crescent Head (surfing), Port Stevens (lots of awesomeness), and to Cairns (scuba diving). I signed up for the surf and Port Stevens trips, and we just recently got back from the surf trip.

I had never been surfing before, and honestly I was pretty scared of going to do it for a whole weekend. Plus, it cost money that I didn’t really want to spend. But I told myself that I wanted to get the most out of my trip, and a part of me would always regret not learning to surf while I was here, because who knows if I will get another chance? Plus, the price was the best that I was going to get for this kind of trip, and a lot of people from my program were going on it, so I knew that I would be with friends. I’m so happy that I decided to spend the money and go, because it ended up being my favorite thing that’s happened on this trip so far.

On Friday, a group of about 30 of us drove six hours north of Sydney to Crescent Head. By the time we got there, it was too late to do much, so we all just sat around a bonfire and got to know each other. The camp we were staying at was out in the middle of nowhere. The was no cell phone service and all there was to do was surf, eat, and sleep in the bunk beds that were provided for us. It was a true surfing experience.

surfWe got up early on Saturday morning and had our first of three surfing lessons. Some people got the hang if it really quickly, but I was not one of them. Eventually I did, and I can tell you that there’s a huge feeling of accomplishment that comes with catching your first wave. We stayed in the water all day long, only breaking for lunch and stopping once the waves got too rough and it got dark. Sunday morning, we had our last lesson before driving back to Sydney. I wish the trip had been longer, but it was so much fun. I would recommend it to anyone.


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