• Staycation with Lauren Hill

Eclectic Ladyland : An Experimental Surf Adventure

We are as genetically similar to our friends as we are to our fourth cousins. Many of the genes we hold in common have to do with our preference for certain scents, like coffee or campfire or salt air.

Sometimes, you just need to gather your cadre and spend a week surfing -- even if that means staying close to home.

Our goal: To reimagine the surf trip at home. To explore what a surf adventure might feel like if the local, nourishing and feminine are all at the nucleus of the experience. That is, to see the local with poetic eyes; to glimpse the familiar with the same romanticism usually reserved for the exotic.

With this agenda in mind, I invited some of the most inspiringly wild, wave sliding women I know -- Belinda Baggs, Crystal Thornburg-Homcy, Anna Erghott, and Gilda Hariri -- to help dream up a different kind of surf gathering.

We swapped Bintangs for homemade turmeric tea; instant noodles for a menu of local, organic fare. And camped out on a patch of earth on the far north coast of New South Wales. It’s a land known for point break perfection, ecological diversity, and one of the most open-minded surfing communities on the planet. According to the local Arakwal people, this place is called Cavanbah, the “meeting place.” This little corner of Earth’s island continent has been a site where people have gathered to commune, celebrate, and trade for more than 22,000 years. In between surfs, we each shared a skill that's dear to our hearts: weaving, indigo dyeing, rolling handmade tortillas, making flower crowns.

And in the end, it wasn't the distance travelled that mattered at all. It was the sacred space set aside to move in the world with wonder, together. (And surf our brains out.)

Photographers: Nathan Oldfield & Ming Nomchong