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A self proclaimed ‘connoisseur of right point breaks’, likely embedded in Katie McLean by her birthplace, Santa Barbara, Ca., had her eyeing El Salvador’s similar surf setup all her life. On June 1st (Katie’s birthday!) she fueled her constant wanderlust and finally made the journey to what the natives call Cuscatlán, The Land of Jewels.
Our Roxy Let The Sea Set You Free winner struck gold, scoring the opening south swell of the summer. For two weeks, 4 boys, 4 girls, and I traveled between the pristine, tropical East of Las Flores and the ‘Wild West’ of La Libertad where the city sits right on the shore.
Katie surfed at the edge of a floral jungle resting on a sparkling black sand beach, trekked to the opening of an untouched valley covered with cows, barefooted through a city to surf an urchin-infested rocky point peeling off a cemetery, and boated to an empty barreling break up the immaculate coast.
El Salvador’s air was hot, humid, and electric and the water was warmer than any pool. She basically lived in here Roxy bikinis and Roxy Outdoor Fitness shorts and sports bras. While traveling, I keep up my fitness routine by spending just 10 minutes a day doing pilates and yoga.
As a huge fan of trail running, Katie reveled at the chance to run through the lush terrains of Central America. She ran through thundering downpours in a rainforest blooming with mangoes to waterfalls where they leapt off into cascading swimming pools.
An adventure wouldn’t be complete without seeing some sights, doing some shopping, and learning about the local culture. The group explored tiny town squares, never-ending tent markets, beachfront huts, and piers selling shrimp ceviche and buckets of fresh caught fish.
Only 20 years out of a brutal civil war, a country plagued by poverty, gang violence, and drastic natural disasters, El Salvador’s history of danger kept Katie on my toes.
Katie’s heart was opened by the kindness of the country’s people; They were intrigued by visitors and excited to show their waves, way of life, and most importantly, Pupusas (El Salvador’s signature dish).
During the last lightning-filled nights and stormy days, Katie drew in her journal and helped a local artist paint a mural at AST Surf Hotel. Katie believes ‘Connecting and sharing your passions wherever you go is what makes travel memorable.’
In Katie’s words, “I dared myself to explore El Salvador’s untamed beauty, and was rewarded. I’ve returned home refreshed, inspired, and ready for my next adventure.” #DAREYOURSELF