Today’s “Inside the Cabin Case” is a little different. Because I’m not chatting to a travel blogger for a change of pace, I’m talking to Amy, who founded his UNLEASH with her partner John.
UNLEASH is a remote work and travel experience for surfers and people who want to surf more. Next year they plan to take people to Peru and prepare everything they need to have plenty of opportunities to surf productively and comfortably. They bring together an inspiring group and make sure to offer co-working spaces, private apartments, strong internet connections, surfing lessons, yoga sessions, local experiences, and more.
Well, it’s like a dream, isn’t it?
Amy is an experienced traveler, savvy business owner, and mother, so let’s take a look at what’s inside her carry-on case…
Could you tell us a little about yourself and UNLEASH?
When my partner John and I first met in a surfboard building class, we never imagined we would spend the next 11 years together on wild adventures. After hundreds of hours hunting waves together and 5 years as best friends, we realized we wanted the same things for the future. It’s the experience of getting through things, being location independent, traveling, winter vacations, and spending more time on the things that make us happy. So we decided to keep going and do a surf trip on the road.
The starting point was a completely different style of travel. I’m a seasoned backpacker with a stomach of steel and John likes better accommodations and post-surf pizza + Netflix. However, traveling has taught us how to adapt to each other’s desires and limitations. We made memories, shared inside jokes, overcame difficult situations, and developed an unbreakable bond. But once we got back home, we quickly fell back into the 9-to-5 lifestyle we swore we were against.
Then I had an unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage, and everything changed. In the haze of hurt, we felt a strong need to break free from the daily grind and rediscover our priorities. I took a sabbatical from my comfortable job and John went on to run a successful web design company.
We went surfing in South America and thought a lot about life. After sketching out many ideas about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, we decided to blend John’s internet expertise with my experience running adventure tours for him, and Unleash was born. This is a bold travel company where talented people break free from hectic patterns. Live, work, and surf while having fun and stable surfing in a place other than a tourist destination. We are currently in Peru and have everything an adventurous professional could want when traveling or working remotely. Great Wi-Fi, private apartments, custom-designed coworking spaces, a curated list of great places to eat and surf, people to hang out with, Spanish classes, yoga, surf instruction, and weekend adventures.
Do you usually travel with checked luggage or just hand luggage?
Other than my surfboard bag, I used to only carry carry-on luggage. Now that I have a baby, let’s just say I’m punching above my weight with checked baggage.
What 5 things do you always have in your cabin case?
Natural relaxation potion. To overcome your fear of flying, use Rescue Remedy or something like that (as a woman in her 30s who travels a lot, I should have gotten over it by now, but I haven’t yet.)
nettie pot. Regularly flushing your sinuses while traveling or surfing can help prevent colds.
Swimsuit. This is a habit I picked up as a child when my family lived in Asia. I was paranoid that I would arrive at a place with a nice pool and not have a way to swim. And since I’m from an area of Canada that (probably) has more lakes than people, I always have one on hand, no matter the destination or season.
Compression socks. Yes, I dress like your grandma on the plane, but it keeps my legs from getting swollen on long flights. It is also very useful during pregnancy and on multi-day hiking trips.
Things like fruit, cheese, or health food powders that would annoy customs officials. It’s not easy to say goodbye to Thai pomelo, Peruvian mango, Brazilian guarana, French cheese, Turkish pomegranate, Jordanian hummus…you get the idea.
If you could magically design something that makes travelling easier, what would it be?
It’s a Charlie-inspired infusion from the Chocolate Factory that makes airplane meals amazingly delicious. (Remember Veruca Salt gum?)
Do you have any packing hacks?
Duct tape wrapped around a pen. You never know when you’ll need repairs, but carrying around a whole roll seems like a luxury. Never lose your pen. (Yes, I pack like your Grammys too).
What’s your top tip to stay stylish while you travel?
My curly hair can be more or less stylish depending on the local weather and water conditions. It can be difficult to find a good conditioner when you need it, so we recommend always carrying a bottle of your favorite conditioner with you.
Do you have any items of clothing you always travel with?
I never leave the house without wearing my One Tooth fitted black yoga pants. I bought it 7 years ago and it’s still like new. Can also be used as tights to match casual dresses.
What’s your next travel destination?
I’m living in my favorite town in Peru during the winter and preparing for Unleash. I’m also planning a surfing trip to the Galapagos for Christmas.
Learn more about Amy at Unleashsurf.com
Thanks to Amy for answering my questions!