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Peace in Panama- The Opening of NamaSurf

 Sometimes things just a line in the universe in such a perfect way and it seems as though that is how they were supposed to be. After realizing that I was not going to be returning to Asia anytime soon, I started to feel a bit down about my lack of travel. After traveling non-stop for almost two years straight, I found myself at an impasse. A standstill. I felt like I was scrambling to put the pieces together and in place to get back out on the road and it just wasn’t happening. That is until I found a surf camp that my significant other started following and I decided to reach out.

 Initially I was reaching out to come for a visit but the conversation turned into a business opportunity.The owner explained to me that he was opening a new location and Panama, his original location being in Nicaragua. He needed a marketing guru to help him promote the new villa located in a remote part of Panama. Not only would they provide surf lessons, but also yoga, Ayurvedic foods and lodging for me. The timing could not have been more perfect as there was a film crew staying there from New York. In exchange for my marketing and modeling, I flew down to Panama to help create content and open this new slice of heaven.
Rachael Dickhute in Santa Catalina, Panama - NamaSurf

Rachael Dickhute surfing in Panama

The film crew and the yoga instructor/chef we are amazing people that I will remain friends with for a very long time. Our creative commune became home for us for weeks. We would wake up and discuss what we were photographing, filming, writing, cooking each day.
This opportunity became a total reset and re-charge trip for myself. I was in much need of self reflection, quiet, tranquility. The villa directly overlooked the ocean. Every day I would wake up, walk out of my room onto the pool deck and watch the sunrise and set as the waves crashed on the shore below me.

 Our day trips to Isla Coiba, a UNESCO Heritage sure, provided the perfect amount of adventure I had been lacking. On one of our afternoon journeys back to the mainland in the motorboat, we made a pitstop near a vessel that was carrying marine drivers. We had heard a rumor that there were whale sharks in the area and wanted to scope it out for ourselves. as we dove into the water off the boat, we were in golfed by a school of manta rays swimming just below our fins. I stopped to readjust my mask, pulling my head just above the water surface for a moment. As I put my face back down into the water, I was met with what seemed to be my inevitable death. All I could see was a massive open mouth coming towards me just underneath my fins. At that moment, It seemed I had forgotten how to swim. As I scrambled out of the way of the massive whale shark inhaling plankton, I reminded myself that they do not eat humans. I was just merely in the way.

An experience I will never forget, we ended up swimming with three whale sharks, all of them larger than 100 feet in length.
Reminiscing about the white sand beaches of our private island, the outdoor showers at sunset post yoga/ surf sessions...I dream of returning to Panama and NamaSurf.