Living in a Daze: My time at DreamSea Surf Camp in Costa Rica

During my first night at DreamSea, I think I said a total of ten words. I mostly sat in a shadowy corner and watched.

I was confused and overwhelmed. But I was also amazed and, if I dare say so, inspired. What was this strange enigma I had stumbled upon? How was this a real place, and how did I happen to end up here?

Today marks the end of my second week at DreamSea and I can’t say the confusion or amazement is entirely gone, but I have at least come to some sort of understanding of where I am and what this place means to me.

The bizarre, the banal, and the boozy

On Sunday morning I lay under the mango tree at the center of camp with my head on one of my friends' laps. I read Antic Hay while she braided my hair. Someone played guitar in the background. Everything was still. Everyone was quiet. It was just another morning at DreamSea.

Later that day we would don our most bizarre outfits and take to the beach to throw water bottles across a volleyball court and chug beers in what I can only describe as the strangest drinking game ever invented.

Every day at DreamSea is a unique balance of the totally banal and the totally bizarre. We spend the days relaxing at camp or at the beach, not doing much of anything. The surfers surf, the yogis yoga, and everyone else pretty much hangs out.

It’s a wonderfully peaceful place to be and if I don’t have much work to do, I might end up spending hours in a nearly comatose state of relaxation.

But in order to have this intense “chill” at DreamSea, the other side of the coin must necessarily exist.

Every night is a party at DreamSea.

Monday night? Skate and beer pong tournament at a local bar. Tuesday night? Thomas tournament (another drinking game unique to DreamSea). Wednesday? Ladie’s night. Thursday? Raggae night. Friday? Fancy Friday and salsa night. Saturday? Our bartender makes special strawberry-basil mojitos and insists we all try them. Sunday? Flunky ball (the aforementioned beach volleyball shenanigans).

And repeat.

As someone who generally spends Friday nights reading, writing, or watching Netflix, I was totally overwhelmed when I first arrived. I loved the morning chill sessions, but what would happen when I told them I don’t do shots? I felt certain I would be shunned as “that girl”.

Where there is love, nothing else matters

Oh how quickly I was proven wrong. DreamSea is one of the most loving, welcoming places I have ever been. It doesn’t matter how you live your life. At DreamSea, all that matters is that you are kind and accepting of everyone who sets foot on camp grounds.

After that, no one really cares what you do.

During my second night at DreamSea I ventured to sit a little closer to the action. I planned to play the observer, but it only took a few minutes for one of my fellow volunteers to sit next to me and ask me where I was from. An hour later I was lying under the mango tree laughing with a bunch of strangers as we shared stories from our various travel experiences.

I have been at DreamSea for two weeks, but I feel as though I’ve known these people for a lifetime.

We’ve shared things about ourselves that only my closest friends know. We’ve discussed religion, oppression, and the state of global politics. I have even started to make plans to travel to Peru in the next month or so with three of the amazing individuals I found at DreamSea.

If you were to look at the DreamSea website you would learn that it’s a fun surf camp in Tamarindo where surfers and travelers gather to party and relax in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

All of this is true, but it is not why I would recommend DreamSea to my fellow travelers.

I would recommend DreamSea because it is a place so full of love that anyone can come and feel immediately embraced for who they are. It is a temporary home whether you are there for a day or a year. DreamSea has its own brand of magic in the air, and it’s a magic that to which no amount of words can do justice.

#costarica #tamarindo #destinations #centralamerica #adventurestories #thoughtsandreflections

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