10 January 2017

Transformative Travel | Welcome To Portugal, Prairie Girl

LISBON // COSTA DA CAPARICA // PORTUGAL
11/19/16

Welcomed by old memories of a place we'd never before seen, our prairie souls felt at home in the satisfying shades and bright lights that embraced us. Though the city opened itself at our feet we fled to the sea, promising to give its endearing streets - which ebbed and flowed in a labyrinth of rolling roads, curious corners and venerable views - opportunity to enchant us on our next encounter.

Whispering winds and raging rains beckoned us beyond its borders, lapsing time as the sky danced between darkness and light. 

Our computer worn bodies carried us clumsily like foreign instruments as we stumbled towards the wild waves of the Atlantic. We halted briefly at its shores, shivering as the cold winds whipped at our wetsuits, unsure whether to go on and in or just stand in awe at the scene which surrounded us. As if to impact indecision the skies opened, submerging our uncertainty by soaking us with a wonderfully wild rain, instigating and encouraging our entrance.
Like wayward warriors, we raced forward, lifted by the current's power until we were engulfed by the beauty and might of the ominous ocean, greeted and warned by its rhythms as we paddled with and against it. Its shores sparkled with the reflections of rainbows which spread like a smile across the skies. For a brief moment, the magic of it all caught me off guard and as I rose with the confidence of some forgotten Norse God, I was instantly reminded of the pains of ego, colliding my face with my float with the strength of an almighty slap. 

Scared and scattered I scuttled towards shore, as the sea behind me rolled and roared. Out of its reach I sat shivering, slowly finding serenity in the scene as I watched the dance of the daring continuously take form. The skies had begun to sink into the deep, stretching one last splash of colour as an encore to the singspiel symphony it had performed before. It held its spellbound audience for a few majestic moments, before sliding down into the night behind starlit curtains which gently replaced its light.

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[ WHAT I RODE & WORE ]
While seabodys aren’t meant for Atlantic Ocean frolics in the month of November, I gave it a 15-minute polar bear-esque surfy swim whirl. I have super sensitive skin so the rash I received from our last sun, surf and sea frolic convinced me to search out an alternative option and the kind souls at My Marini let me take this beauty for a whirl. Their swimsuits are made ethically in Germany out of sustainable fabrics from Italy. I ran, swam, surfed and sat in it and it stayed where I had left it which is more than I can say for most of my elastic shot bikinis. My Marini bathing suits are reversible too so you can switch it inside and out to give the illusion you changed your gear. 

We wandered into a shop in Costa da Caparica on our final full day and were welcomed by a kindred soul with an inspiring - and as the shop name suggests - conscious spirit. He runs his surf shop as a workshop and community centre keeping the local kids busy by allowing them to come into the shop to hang out and participate, as well as organizing outings for them which both strengthen the community and their confidence in themselves. Shane and I felt an immediate connection and fell into a comfortable conversation which had one of those tempos which somehow slowed time to a speed which seemed both cosy and productive. Conscious Collective carries sustainably and ethically sourced apparel and they've started designing their own surfboards (pictured) which they will make to order specifically to your aesthetic and athletic tastes for those heading to Portugal to ride and who might need a long term rentals or be interested in purchasing a piece. He also rents out daily boards and wetsuits and offers surf lessons. 


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