After a whirlwind romance with the New World and Costa Rica, it was time to return to my estranged relationship with reality. This separation has given (me, at least) perspective to sort my thoughts and feelings out as much as possible.
During my sabbatical, I have:
1) Learnt that I can juggle crazy nights out and still have the energy and enthusiasm for some serious surfing action the following day – this means I’m still pretty Rock ‘n’ Roll.
2) Added a touch of vintage into my wardrobe – Upper Haight Street, I love you.
3) Come to fully grasp that life is not just about work work work (it only took this long to realise, yes). As they say it so well in Costa Rica…. Pura Vida!
4) Toasted raisin bagels + cream cheese + smoked salmon = The perfect breakfast
5) Shook Phil Knight’s hand, hung out with The Dales, had my first strip club experience + private lapdance, saw a psychic who told me I was cursed and was almost brainwashed at the Church of Scientology
6) Made so many friends along the way who will continue to play a part in my life
7) Decided that the New World will be my next destination after China
One day, I’m going to look back on this trip, smile and see how much impact it will have on the way I live. Until then, I’m ready to take on my new job at PHD Shanghai as well as work on the other parts of my life too.
New beginnings, exciting times ahead. Amen.
Woke up to the sun shining on my face and both limbs sore as hell. After a power breakfast made up of delicious muesli and a cup of tea, we headed out to Playa Jaco for more surf fun.
Today, my board was slightly smaller (that means I am advancing) and we were taught how to wax them. The waves were incredible. Trying to peddle out AND stay afloat on the board was a right mission. At one point, a massive wave came towards us and our instructors shouted for us to “jump off!” – which we did – right into the ocean’s washing machine on full speed. I must have drank half the ocean.
Managed to catch the mother of all waves and felt like I was gliding like a pro! Unfortunately, I lost focus (and balance), panicked and fell sideways pulling the board with me and ended up hitting my lips against the fins! I started bleeding and the thought of my blood dripping into the waters only gave me the jitters – what if an all-sensing and hungry shark smelt that from afar? OMG. I peddled as hard as I could towards shore whilst the saltwater did an amazing job of disinfecting my wound.
So I ended up chill-laxing on the beach, got myself a tan and headed back with the rest when they were all done. Came back, showered in a rush and turned up for Spanish lesson late. Story of my life.
Been lazing on the hammock chatting with the group and will be heading out for Matt’s leaving drinks tonight. Tomorrow, we are all going on an early morning field trip consisting of kayaking and snorkeling and for the very first time, all 2 surf groups will surf at the same time after. We are all very excited.
Til then, buenas noches y hasta manana.
All I wanna say in this post is… I was born to surf and why haven’t I done this earlier?
Flew into Costa Rica from San Francisco (via Houston) and the friendly driver picked me up from the airport at 22:00hrs. A 1.5hrs drive west-wards towards the Pacific Ocean landed us at School of the World, a Surf/Spanish/Yoga/Photography camp located in Jaco. As the staff had all clocked out by the time I arrived at midnight, two of the students waited up for me. Which was really sweet. Thank you, Gemma & Mike. Checked into my room and went out for a little chitty chatty before we all decided it was getting late. My inaugural surf lesson started at 10:30hrs so I needed plenty of sleep for that.
Waking up at 09:00hrs am this morning, I met my other counterparts. It had rained during the night and the first group of surfers had experienced sightings of crocodiles and everyone agreed the waves weren’t as good. But we decided to head out to Playa Jaco anyway and try our luck. So we did. And I’m glad we all did because I caught my very first wave on the first ride! Stoked. Completely stoked as hell. Someone’s Costa Rica trip just got better.
Motto for the rest of the week? “Stand and Deliver”. Amen.
I felt powerful and free as I rode the waves over and over again. After the 2 hour lesson, I was completely shattered. We went back to the school and found out that our Spanish teacher had to take an emergency day off. Great! No lessons!
That can only mean one thing – a LONG LONG lunch. We stuffed our faces with delicious seafood sandwiches (I had a Wahoo sarnie which was the bee’s knees) at the Taco Seafood Bar down the road. It was orgasmic.
Got back, had a dip in the pool whilst the Costa Rican sun shone brightly and chatted with Mike, Steven & Matt. I was still buzzing from my morning’s performance. Well. I still am. I shall never forget that moment.
We’re waiting around the open-spaced kitchen area now for the others to finish their Yoga class at 18:00hrs. Then it’s dinner and probably bedtime for the Lim Meister General. Tomorrow, I surf at 11:30hrs. I can’t hardly wait.
Ex-MS, Razorfish & W+K Shanghai reunion in Portland
Rebecca Dale – check
Jason White – check
Theresa Lim – check
Alistair Lennie – where are you?
"Handpulled For Haiti" exhibit at Wieden+Kennedy
If you’ve ever thought you wanted to learn more about art, but didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb in an art gallery, come to Portland and experience First Thursday!
On the first Thursday of every month, art galleries in Portland (primarily in the Pearl District and downtown Portland) hold receptions and stay open later into the evening to launch their new shows. Most galleries have some kind of food and drinks available (that’s me sorted), and the artists are on hand to talk about their work. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn a little more about art, without feeling like you’ve got to be among the uber-rich to attend.
In fact, First Thursday events are popular monthly outings for all kinds of Portlanders, and while some people might take it as an opportunity to dress up, one shouldn’t feel like one has to. It’s a really casual environment, and most of the galleries are small, informal and inviting.
We checked out “Handpulled for Haiti” which was held at the lofty offices that is Wieden + Kennedy. It was a benefit show for the Haiti Relief Effort. I was very tempted to buy at least 3 of the prints but they were massive, and it would have been a right bitch to take them back without causing wear and tear. Shame.
Then we drove down Couch Street towards NW3rd Avenue to John Jay’s studio, Compound, for more art indulgence. There were a few peeps who turned up in fancy dress outfits – nice.
Then it was dinner at PING – a South-East Asian restaurant co-owned by John Jay. The ingredients were very fresh and the dishes authentic. After packing our tummies with delicious foods, we headed home, cracked open a bottle of vino and chatted with my lovely friend Jason til it was time for bed.
Two thumbs up!
This man is stylish, ultra cool and never fails to make a fashion impression. So when the clock struck 01:00hrs on a quiet Thursday morning in Portland, imagine the alarm bells that started ringing when Jason turned to me with nothing but a style-block for First Thursday (and well, there was another reason too but we’ll leave it out for now)!
Putting on my Rachel Zoe cap, I had a very clear brief in mind – It’s First Thursday evening where Portlanders come together to sip wine and mingle. And it’s art! So let’s dress up but not over-the-top. Bearing in mind that he’s coming straight from work (and a very important meeting with the global Nike client!), let’s go semi-formal that is effortless and comfortable for a gentleman who works in only the most amazing creative agency. Right. This will be easily sorted out in a couple of minutes. Or so I thought.
No half decent ad man was gonna crush evening art galleries without a fashion centre-piece to show for. So a sleeveless Calvin Klein thermalite shell jacket was picked out and mutually agreed upon. The layered look also meant Jason could easily pile on and off whenever he was indoors or outdoors (which will be chilly). So after an hour of trying on different colour schemes, cuts, fabrics and designs, we came to a final decision (see photo above left).
This was also the first time he’s spent so much time mulling over what to wear and I was honoured to be part of that inaugural moment. This is very special.
Know that it was past 02:00hrs on a school night AND Jason had a global Nike conference call happening at 06:30hrs. But that’s how he rolls. Respect to the man.
An entire block of literary goodness
Head straight to Powell’s City of Books on W Burnside St, NW10th Avenue. This is not up for debate.
Taking up an entire block, no stay in Portland is complete without a visit to Powell’s. Especially so when the weather out there is cold and rainy. Nothing beats being surrounded by over one million books, free usage of wifi at the Powell’s cafe and getting lost in time in a Pulitzer Prize-worthy book.
Let it be known that I will move to Portland for Powell’s. Fact.