Au­gust Odysseys

Howler Magazine - - Contents - By Robert Au­gust

Be­fore she moved to Costa Rica, Kris­ten Brown was a very ded­i­cated ath­lete on the bas­ket­ball court. Kris­ten is a strong, tal­ented girl who ac­tu­ally re­ceived a full bas­ket­ball schol­ar­ship to Prov­i­dence Col­lege, then trans­ferred to Emory Univer­sity af­ter two years to fo­cus on her busi­ness de­gree and play bas­ket­ball there as well. Af­ter play­ing ball and whizzing her way through col­lege, she moved to New York City and was of­fered a job with Citibank on the 25th floor. She did it … how cool!

Then one day in Fe­bru­ary, when it was freez­ing cold in New York City, Kris­ten and some friends de­cided to come down to Ta­marindo and stay at Witch's Rock surf camp. She re-vis­ited a few times af­ter that and we even­tu­ally be­came close friends.

When I headed back to the United States a few months af­ter Kris­ten's first visit, I in­vited her to fly down and meet me on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I was do­ing an event. A huge surf shop down there, Real Wa­ter Sports, runs an an­nual Memorial Week­end fes­ti­val where I show up and we have an “End­less Sum­mer”-themed week­end. A full-size movie screen is set up out­side and we show the film while I nar­rate. A ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion fol­lows.

It's an amaz­ing event at a truly beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion.

Kris­ten was so im­pressed that she pro­posed the idea of quit­ting her Citibank job and mov­ing to Costa Rica full time. Here, she could help with my so­cial me­dia and web­site and con­tin­u­ing to build my busi­ness.

So I said, “Sure!” Kris­ten had a gen­uine spirit and lots of mo­ti­va­tion, so I gave it a shot. She moved into my house in Ta­marindo, where my daugh­ter and I had lots of space to share with an ex­tra per­son. Plus, Kris­ten be­came a big sis­ter to Chris­tine, coaching her school bas­ket­ball team, help­ing her with aca­demic work, and surfing with her early ev­ery morn­ing be­fore school.

I have nick­names for ev­ery­body, but only af­ter re­ally get­ting to know Kris­ten, I nick­named her Waimea af­ter the fa­mous surf spot in Hawaii. For those who don't know, Waimea is a big-wave spot with very tall, very beau­ti­ful waves.

And that's how Kris­ten Brown took an ad­ven­tur­ous leap from the con­crete jun­gle and moved down to Ta­marindo. Af­ter be­ing down here for about five years now, she's be­come a re­ally good surfer! Kris­ten is also an en­tre­pre­neur with her own com­pany, Samba to the Sea, us­ing her pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy to cap­ture in­cred­i­ble mo­ments around Ta­marindo, from sun­sets and fam­ily ses­sions to des­ti­na­tion wed­dings. She has taken some of the most stun­ning Ta­marindo sun­set pic­tures I've ever seen.

So ev­ery once and awhile, I like to go up to the ma­cho surf in­struc­tors, point to my friend Kris­ten and ask, “Do you think you're man enough to han­dle Waimea?”

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