A small former fishermans’ town, nowadays a world surf reserve is where it all started for me. In September 2015 I booked two weeks of surf lessons in Ericeira, Portugal and some days in Lisbon after that.

You can find Ericeira about 35 kilometres north of Lisbon and it is regarded as somewhat of a surf Mecca because there’s about 40 beaches in the area, some facing north, some south and so no matter the wind direction you can always find a good swell.

After my first day of surfing, even though it was hard… I’m talking rocks, sea urchins, waves bashing you and using muscles you had never before used in that way… I was black and blue and still have a scar from that first lesson. But despite all that, I was hooked.

So I spent two weeks going to the beautiful Ribeira d’Ilhas beach for my lessons every day. Sometimes during sunset; what a magical moment it was to be in the water, having the sun disappear into the horizon on one side and all the lights in the town on the hill being turned on when you looked to the other side. And sometimes my lessons were at the crack of dawn, letting the salty ocean wash away the hangover from the night before.

Because Ericeira was not only where I learned how to surf, it also gave me a first glimpse of Portuguese people and their culture. How warm they are and happy to share it all with you. I felt so at ease there and made a lot of friends instantly. Going out every night, drinking cocktails and dancing in the narrow blue and white streets. Ericeira is where I came to love Portugal and this little coastal town still keeps me coming back for more.