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A conversation about the travel lifestyle with Sandra & Chris from Swell Advisors!

by Los Clavos 12 déc. 2019

One of our favorite parts of running a surf camp is getting to know people from around the world and seeing the many interesting ways they map out their lives!

We met Sandra back in 2015 when we were touring Nicaragua in search of a home for Los Clavos.  Back then, we had a dream for Los Clavos, but hadn’t taken the leap to uproot our French lives and move to Northern Nicaragua.  Sandra loved our vision and became one of our first guests when we opened our doors in 2016.  

The following year, Sandra returned for a month with her husband to help us open the camp for the winter season.  This visit was different though because it was the start of a year and a half of travel for these two. They had just packed up their NYC lives to embark on the surf trip of a lifetime!  

We’re catching up with them post trip to find out their top travel tips, favorite surf spots, and to hear what they’re up to these days!


So tell us, Sandra & Chris, where did you go during your trip and what were some of your favorite surf destinations?

Over the 18 months we were away, our rough itinerary was: 4 months Central America (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala), 3 months South America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia), 3 months Australia, 2 months Indonesia (Bali, Sumatra, Sumbawa), 3 months Sri Lanka, 2 months India, and 2 months Mexico.

We had so many wonderful experiences surfing around the globe, so it’s truly hard to narrow things down, but if we must pick, we’d say:

-Sri Lanka - we loved surfing the East Coast of Sri Lanka around Arugam Bay.  This area has great point breaks and an abundance of animals and nature to be explored.
-Nicaragua - Northern Nicaragua in particular is such a mecca for uncrowded waves!  We love the culture, pace of life, and recommend Los Clavos as a great guide to the area.
-Indonesia - while Bali is abundant with waves, we found Sumbawa & Sumatra more our speed.  These islands are wave magnets with limited development and are better for more experienced surfers.
-Australia - we did a campervan road-trip through southern NSW and Western Australia, so we got to explore how stunning this part of the world is.  We really appreciate how spotless Australia’s beaches are and the fact that Australians are very informed about their part in keeping the ocean clean.
-Mexico - we also road-tripped/camped from Nayarit to Oaxaca in Mexico.  We found so many gems on the southern coast of Mexico!

Wow, you guys got to explore some really incredible places!  How were you able to travel for so long?

We saved up for our trip and were diligent about tracking our expenses and keeping to our budget.  If you’re considering long-term travel, there are lots of great budgeting apps out there to help keep you on track.  We used one called Tripcoin.  

We also used a website called Workaway to plan work exchanges in each country we spent time.  We worked for local businesses, taught english, worked on farms, worked at a surf camp (shout out Los Clavos!), picked coffee, and got to meet so many wonderful people along the way.  Travel just for travel’s sake can get tiring without a sense of purpose and the projects we joined gave us a great framework to get in deeper culturally and build real relationships with locals.  Workaway also enabled us to keep our costs very low by volunteering our time in exchange for accommodation and meals.

So what now?  What are you up to these days?

As you might expect, our time abroad had a big impact on us!  When we returned to the USA 6 months ago we knew we wanted to start a business that would allow us to use our skill sets (business + finance), while being able to work remotely.  We are also passionate about protecting the environment and thinking sustainability with business. Combining all of this, Swell Advisors was born.  

We work with social impact businesses, non profits, and brands that promote sustainability in their practices.  We empower our clients by helping them to keep their books & finances in order, so they can build valuable companies that show how business can be a force for good.

If you’re interested in learning more about Swell Advisors, you can check out our website here or follow us on social @swelladvisors (instagram & facebook).  We’re happy to answer any other travel questions too - email us at hello@swelladvisors.com.


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