Tiff Goes to Namotu
by Tiff Paglinawan
A Solo Surf Trip to Namotu, Fiji.
Where do I begin?
Well, first of all, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Yes, I’m a young single female. And yes, I traveled alone to a foreign country. However, the reality of the situation isn’t as scary as it sounds. I booked my trip through WaterWays Surf Adventures, which is a travel agency. They basically made all the arrangements from getting picked up at the airport, to being dropped off at the boat harbor, to traveling to the island of Namotu, and pretty much everything in between (and of course the travel back). I’ve also been there with my “surfing family” two other times and a bunch of people who had gone the previous years were going to be there. With that being said, traveling to another country alone to surf wasn’t as a big deal as it may seem.
So, where’s Namotu? It’s a little resort island off the coast of Fiji. It’s about a 40-minute boat ride from the main island. Namotu is a small tropical piece of land complete with coconut trees, a white sandy beach, crystal-clear water, and great surf breaks surrounding the place. it’s basically a little piece of heaven on earth. Namotu is a pretty exclusive place to stay because less than 30 guests can stay on the island at one time (of course there are more people that actually live and work on the island).
OK, let’s talk about the surf. Just like anywhere, you have epic days and not so epic days. When the surf wasn’t the greatest, I would standup paddle, snorkel, shell dive, swim, and/or just lay out in the sun. I made the most of each day, which resulted in an epic trip. However, I did have some really great surf sessions while I was there. One day in particular, there was a good size swell with little to no wind pretty much all day. I surfed at least 4 times. I was fried and exhausted at the end of the day, but every minute was worth it. It was definitely one of the top surfing days I’ve ever had and one for the books. Although the waves and conditions were the main factors, I think another big part of what made it so great was the vibe in the water. A bunch of the Namotu guests were out there surfing and everyone was just having a great time. Everyone was cheering each other on. We were all stoked for the waves we were catching and stoked watching everyone catch waves. It didn’t matter what kind of board anyone was on (short board, longboard, standup, or foil), it was just a good vibe all around. The “surf stoke” was definitely in the air. I think the combination of great waves and good vibes is really what can make a good session into a GREAT session. And for me, that’s definitely what it was.
There were a lot of great memories that I made during this trip. My memories spanned from surfing to kava drinking to dancing to hysterical dinner conversations to late night whiskey talks and all the other shenanigans in between. Doing a solo surf trip was a great experience for many reasons. Mainly, it forced me out of my comfort zone by not having my “travel buddies” to stick to and allowed me to open up more to new and old friends. I’m so grateful to have been on an island surrounded by such great people with such great vibes. It really did make my trip that much better and filled my heart with so much happiness (kind of corny, but it’s the truth).
On a trip like this, you get inspired and motivated by the people you meet and the adventures you have. I was reminded of how awesome and beautiful life is and how I should always be present and in the moment. I’m sure there are a lot of inspiring and motivating quotes I could leave you with, but that in itself could be a whole other blog. In closing, I will leave you with this: Have fun and go on adventures. Live a life that brings you joy because life is too short to be anything but happy.
I’d like to say Vinaka (thank you) to everyone on the island of Namotu who made my trip so epic and memorable. Cheers!
See more pics at Tiff's Instagram