Living in New York City has it's prodigious perks and gritty downsides. It's a place where little, to no recollection occurs between when the sun rises and when the sun sets. And so is the importance of getting away. To seek the eluding fire in the sky.
Friend and surfer, Anna Ehrgott, recently discussed with me the importance of this following a recent trip to Costa Rica. We spoke on the road.
CG: You recently returned from Costa Rica where from the looks of it, the surf was good and the weather fine. What was the purpose of this trip and what did you get out of it ?
AE: Costa Rica is an amazing and unique country.This was my third time visiting, but each time I've been able to see a completely different aspect of the region. This trip stood apart as it was more based around surfing rather than backpacking through cloud forests or protecting sea turtles as the last two times were.
I received a lot out of this trip. I hope I was able to give back even more than what I felt I was given. There is something about warm water, especially that of the ocean that feels so healing and reviving. Being submerged in a new culture is always exciting, my Spanish started to come back to me and I loved being able to listen to the stories and paths of the travelers and locals in that area.
What do you take home from these trips, mentally ? Do they altar your lifestyle in anyway ? I know you're a vegan and have a strong love for the outdoors, which seems to be something that came naturally given your Topanga surroundings.
I can't complain much about being home in the mountains, but I am addicted to traveling. I like change. I'm awestruck by long drives through changing scenery and plant life. It's good to take a break from the habits I get into at home. Traveling in general has taught me to be open minded. Things start to get comfortable, but I think it's so necessary to my happiness to keep changing and doing new things, often travel seems to push us out of our comfort zone and often to somewhere we like more.
You mentioned how warm the waters were and how tranquil they can be. What was your surf experience ?
There were waves every single day. It was always over 3ft with a couple head high days mixed in there. There are a series of beach breaks in the area and they were all fun in their own way. There are a lot of girls who surf there. I love surfing with girls, even if we're not getting tons of waves we're watching the eagle rays swimming by us or laughing about things no language barrier could stop from being funny.
I received the board bag you recently sent over for the Rockaway Classic. I'm realizing even more now the correlation between your travels and how they influence your design. What's next for Seabird Bags ? Can you drop a few lines about them and when I'll be seeing them in New York City ?
That's really nice to hear! Thank you. I definitely am inspired by the textiles and colors from other cultures and places. I want to keep using up-cycled and reclaimed fabrics to keep the brand environmentally conscious, but it would be nice to support small scale weaving operations and the handmade crafts of these places. There must be a middle ground of sustainable sourced fabric making..and I'll find it! Haha. I have the bags in a few shops in California — Wetsand in Ventura and Bing Surf Shop in North San Diego. I'd love to get them in a shop in New York City! The surf culture there seems to have a nice respect for design and handmade goods.
If you could give a quick word of wisdom to anyone. What would it be ?
Recently a friend read me a quote about how everybody feels like a monk on a mountaintop, but the hard part is bringing that feeling of peace with you into the stresses of daily life and the city. It's satisfying finding all the things you love rather than focusing on negative aspects of life.