2 Nights in Fremantle – Western Australia Adventure

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While on our #RadLivin adventure tour in Western Australia, we spent two nights in one of our new favourite towns, Fremantle. There’s something about it that actually reminded me of Portland. So many cool cafes, eclectic shops, nice people, and a good creative vibe. 

Suburban Vibes

One of the reasons we were in WA was to see our friends Jonny Dustow and Adam Harpaz play a few boutique shows through WA. While in Fremantle, we headed to Suburban Vibes, founded by Regan Grant. It brings together the local community and up and coming musicians for a night of tunes, dancing, bevs, and good friends. Walking into Suburban Vibes felt like I was stepping into this magical oasis of good vibes. It was one of those moments where you knew you would look back on it and remember it as something that made a positive impact on your journey.

Adam Harpaz (PS he’s playing at #RadLivin on the 17th of March in Sydney)

Dusty Boots

Suburban Vibes - Jonny Dustow and Adam Harpaz

@dustybootsmusic & @adamharpaz

Suburban Vibes Western Australia

@donttellsummer, @ashkatch, @thesalty.dreamers, @theneverlandboys.co, @haylsa, @kyle_hunter

 

Quest Fremantle 

When we arrived in Freo, we checked into our place at Quest Apartments. After traveling it was so nice to have a grounded space for a couple days to go out and explore from and work from our apartment. It was awesome to have a spacious dining table work space and good wifi. Quest exceeded all of our expectations. It was right next to all of the hustle and bustle of the local cafes and shops, had the comfiest beds, and we instantly felt at home. Check out Ash Katch’s vlog to see more!

Quest-Fremantle-Apartments Quest-FremantleQuest Fremantle

 

Milk Belly Cafe

We were lucky enough to be introduced by The Neverland Boys to Milk Belly. The BEST cafe in Fremantle with the most delicious peanut butter chocolate brownies I’ve ever had. Such great vibes and people. We also love supporting rad young business owners – go in and say hello!

 

Milk Belly Cafe - Fremantle

 

Not Pictured – The Fremantle Markets – they are a must see!

 

Thank you Fremantle for an epic time! X

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Linn & Petter: Founders of Sunshinestories Surf & Yoga Retreat

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Sunshinestories-surf-travel-blog-M06A8601

You know when you come across an event, place, or simply look at a photo and think, “I feel called there”? That’s how I felt when I first saw a photo that my friend, Elliott, posted on Instagram of Sunshinestories Surf Camp &Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka 

Two Swedish travelers, Linn and Petter, set out on a backpacking adventure when they found a place that felt like home, Sri Lanka. After requesting to finish their University degrees from abroad, they moved to Sri Lanka full-time and invited friends and family to stay with them. This quickly grew into other travelers coming to stay and Sunshinestories was born.

Sunshinestories attracts like-minded people from around the world and is built on the foundations of good surf, yoga, food and people. Their passion for life and community continued on to build their lifestyle concept hotel Ceylon Sliders down the road from Sunshinestories.

Linn and Petter’s story shows that you can create a life that is unique to you.

Meet Linn and Petter…

Where are you in the world?

We live in Ahangama on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. That’s also where our retreat Sunshinestories is based and our hotel Ceylon Sliders is down the beach road in the next little fishing village, Weligama.

How did you go from having the idea of creating Sunshinestories to making it a reality?

Me (Linn) and Petter met in upper secondary school when we were 18. It was love at first sight as we both shared the same dream of exploring the world. We grew up by the ocean in a small village south of Sweden and had bigger plans for our lives.

The following year when we graduated, in 2009, we went on our first 6 month trip. We had both studied photography in school and started the blog sunshinestories.com as a way to share our travel photography

This wasn’t very usual back in the days, with a couple blogging together and posting photos. We don’t want to claim that we were pionering that, but we managed to get a lot of media attention and several brands sponsored our travels such as Bing Surfboards, Billabong, Sea to summit, Seea,  and Fjällräven to name a few.

The photography also came in handy when we traveled through Central America shooting hotels and villas in exchange for staying there. We traveled to South Africa, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala, Laos, and Thailand to name a few. We started interviewing the inspiring people we met along the way to try and figure out, what made a good life?

We traveled and worked for 3 years before we started university and settled in Malmö, south of Sweden. Petter started a three year media and communication bachelor and I started Information architecture with the goal as a bachelor in computing. Malmö was the perfect place for two nomads but our travel bug bite was itching. Thanks to our side jobs as freelance media creators, we had the chance to travel on every school holiday we had. On the Christmas breaks we went on month long trips back to Sri Lanka where we knew the waves and culture. When writing our last thesis and finishing up our last courses, we got the green light from University to do so abroad and we packed up our apartment and moved to Sri Lanka the autumn of 2014.sunshinestories_11_1_2018_14_27_32_379Photo @mitchfongphoto

Looking for a place to live in our new country, we found the old colonial villa in the jungle of Ahangama on the south coast of Sri Lanka. The house was too big so we invited friends and family to come stay. Before we knew it ,we had to hire staff and the house was a bed & breakfast with guests from around the world. With a hashtag on instagram and our travel blog, we got super busy. We noticed the demand of doing the same things as we did; surf, yoga, eating healthy and exploring the local culture. From that, the idea of Sunshinestories surf and yoga retreat was born. It felt like everything we have been doing just came together. We opened up the doors as a surf & yoga retreat in November 2015 and got an amazing response. Many of the guests that came were old blog readers who had been following our journey.

A year later (late 2016) we opened up Ceylon Sliders a lifestyle concept hotel,Cafe in Weligama and Weligama surf shop. Situated beachfront, Ceylon Sliders also builds upon the lifestyle by the sea as well as being a hub for people to meet and create. It’s become kind of a hub for hosting surfers, artists and creatives from around the island and the world. In the courtyard lies a small café and on the rooftop and out front a little shop with some handpicked items for the traveller. This also made it possible for us to work with some of the people we met during our travels and we’re proud to sell Quality Peoples t-shirts, Seea suits and Bing Boards to name a few.

sunshinestories_11_1_2018_14_27_6_25Photo @dylangordon 

ceylonsliders_11_1_2018_14_38_6_190Photo @ceylonsliders

What is it about Sri Lanka that drew you in?

The waves, the people the empty beaches. Sri Lanka is, and was even more a few years ago, an undiscovered paradise.

We discovered Sri Lanka on one of our first backpacking trips as nineteen year olds. We traveled along the south coast for a month. It was just after the war had ended and there was a melancholic feel to the whole island.. I remember we didn’t meet a single Swede and very little tourists. It felt like traveling back in time.

Continuing our vagabonding trips through countries like Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica meeting a lot of inspiring expats who had moved and started up a new life, we often said ”I wish we were here 10 years ago.” We then realized Sri Lanka was that place. A place where we could still have a shot at creating a life for ourselves. We moved here in 2014 with the hopes to finish our university degrees, instead we ended up starting the foundation to what later became Sunshinestories just a year later.

sunshinestories_11_1_2018_14_26_59_533Photo @mrbradgolden

sunshinestories_11_1_2018_14_27_7_895Photo @lachlanjdempsey

Continue Reading…

Soul Camping in WA

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soul camping - margaret river

 

Thanksgiving is about taking time to pause, reflect and give thanks for the incredible people, experiences and things in your life. This year’s Thanksgiving was one of the most magical holidays I’ve ever had. 

Ash Katch, Jemma, Zac, Elliott (The Neverland Boys Co), and I headed down south to Margaret River for a 2-day Soul Camping adventure. As we drove into Contos Camp Ground we spotted two beautiful tents set up with rugs, pillows, and a wooden table. We went on a Thursday and so it felt like we were the only ones around (aside from the Kangaroos).

We put our stuff away, took some snaps, and set up our Thanksgiving Dinner that Zac’s mum, Jantal, made for us.

We went around the table having heart-to-hearts and sharing what we we’re grateful for in our lives, and particularly this year. Taking time to stop, reflect and celebrate life and what we’re grateful for is so important. There’s something about sharing those reflections with others that make the good energy around it feel even more expansive.

Soul Camping - Margaret River

theneverlandboys.co_5_12_2017_16_9_35_976

Photo @theneverlandboys.co

About a 2 minute drive from the campgrounds is an incredible view overlooking the ocean. We brought up some blankets and pillows and chilled out for the sunset.

Contos Campground - Margaret River

Getting out in nature is such a good way to feel grounded and present in the moment. Soul Camping was a good reminder to pause and connect with good friends and have meaningful conversations wherever you are. It made me want to have more nights like this with friends, disconnecting from our phones, and enjoying life to the fullest together.

On the second night of camping, I needed to post something on Instagram and so Ash and I went out on a little journey to find enough service so that my post would go live.

We walked through the campgrounds and the only thing you could see were the stars. It was one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen and the feeling of looking up and seeing those stars made me feel excited about life, guided on this adventure, and that I was on the right path.

I am so grateful to have had this experience Soul Camping and thank you to Zac, Elliott, Ash and Jemma for making it so incredible. (and Jantal!) x

If you want to follow along the crew’s journeys or book a Soul Camping experience you can find them here:

Soul Camping

The Neverland Boys Co

Ashl Katch

The Salty Dreamers

It’s Cool To Be You

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It's Cool to Be you - Olivia O'Connor - Don't Tell Summer

 

Growing up, I was short. Not just kind of short, I was noticeably smaller than every other kid in my class. This had never been an issue until I sat next to two boys in the 4th grade. Looking back they were probably flirting as best as 4th grade boys know how, but they teased me each day about how small I was. They constantly compared me to others and so I started to wonder why I wasn’t as tall as the people around me. I suddenly found that something that I couldn’t control, made me feel not good enough.

This ‘height dilemma’ followed me into soccer league in the 5th grade. When I would kick the ball down the field, it felt like giants from the other team were going to run me over. At this point, the two boys were no longer in my class and therefore my ear every day. Being small is something that I started to come to terms with and accept about myself. My unenthused attitude towards soccer became less about me being small, and more that I seemed to go through the motions because I didn’t know what else I could do. 

Leading up to end of soccer season, my parents arrived home from an expo and told me that they found something they think I would be excited about. They met two coaches from a cheerleading gym that were starting a youth team. I had always seen cheerleading on TV and the thought of it excited me. I signed up for tryouts.

At tryouts we had the normal meet and greets, and then I heard the thing I cringed at the most. “Please lineup up from tallest to shortest.”

I made my way over to the far left corner and stood at the end of the line. Waiting in anticipation to see why we were lined up, I heard something that would change the course of not only the next 8 years, but my life. I was told that I would be a flyer. 

A flyer is one of the girls that gets thrown in the air. (video of me back in the day). This turned into not only my passion in life, but allowed me to own who I am, short and all, and be proud to be me.

I look back on that story as an adult and ask myself, what am I currently trying to fit into because it seems like the normal thing to do? Where am I trying to fit in, rather than owning who I am? Soccer wasn’t something that I loved, but was unaware that I could use my gifts (or height) to my advantage doing something that I was passionate about.

Here are a few thought questions.

What am I currently doing? Am I passionate about it? 

Not just because you think you should be, but because it lights you up.

What can I own about myself?

It doesn’t need to be a physical trait like my story. It could be a personality trait that you try to dim – maybe you’re loud and outgoing, and people are always telling you to ‘shh’. Or perhaps you’re extraordinarily creative and aren’t using those talents to the fullest.

What is something that I can do just by being me?

 

Shine your light.

Olivia x

Get outside of your comfort zone, asap

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get outside of your comfort zone

 

Musical auditions in the 5th grade.

Asking a guy to a school dance.

Stepping onto the plane for an unknown adventure.

I went for it. I went for it hard. I went for it open-hearted and ready for new possibilities.

When you hear the words ‘go for it’ that could mean anything for you and changes from person to person. You might hear ‘go for it’ and you think of the person you want to say I love you to for the first time. You might hear ‘go for it’ and that means quit the job and book the flight.

We all have different ideas that we attach the idea of ‘going for it’ to. But let me ask you this, have you stopped ‘going for it’? 

I’ve had times in my life when I stopped going for it. The energy became stagnant; I no longer took leaps or risks. Even worse, I sometimes tricked myself into thinking that I had taken so many risks that I couldn’t bare to take another one again. Too scared to open my heart up, too scared to say yes to a multitude of things.

I had forgotten what it felt like to go into the unknown, and that was the problem.

My list above: the musical auditions, asking a guy to a school dance, and stepping onto the plane for an unknown adventure have something in common. They happened one after the other (with a few years in between). I didn’t feel the courage to finally step onto the plane and go on a completely unknown adventure because It was the first time I had taken a leap, I had the courage because it was my 10th, 12th, 20th or so time.

If you feel your energy getting stagnant or that you don’t feel ready to take a risk or say yes to something, say yes to anything that feels unknown or outside your comfort zone (with discernment of course). But say YES. Go into the unknown.

Get comfortable saying yes to things you’d love to do, without knowing if it will all work out. It often works out better or takes you on a different path; one that is more meant for you than you could imagine. Just start saying yes. When you get out of your comfort zone, you get out of your own way and change up your energy while opening yourself up for new possibilities to come in.

The big leaps don’t happen by chance, they happen because there were a series of other leaps behind it.

One Piece: Roxy