I’ve been procrasting writing about El Tunco for way too long now. Every time I think of it I’m left daydreaming about my time there the ups and downs of passing the days in a tropical surfing paradise. I’m left wondering exactly how to brush the words into a painting that best depicts El Tunco.
El Tunco is a place where you lose track of time with the good waves, friendly people and designated hammock time.
While El Salvador isn’t specifically known for it’s volcanos like neighbour Guatemala or it’s food like Mexico, just a little further north, it’s waves like Nicaragua, it’s green nature like Costa Rica or it’s Mayan ruins which are spread throughout Central America.
I found out upon going there that the surf is amazing (not that I was much of a surfer before going there). The people are incredible; kind and welcoming, the food is great; pupupsas are cheap, the volcanos are beautiful and green lush forest looms in places waiting to be explored.
I’d been in El Salvador for around a month and my return ticket back to Australia from LA was looming in the very foreseeable future but between surfing, cooking, siestas and fiestas I barely had time to think about making my way all the way up to the USA. One day I was swinging lazily in a hammock watching the pool and pondering about going in. I’d sunken deep in my hammock ready to fall asleep before shooting up with the realisation that my flight, from LA was the next day. I called the airline in a frenzy to change my tickets, no matter the cost. It was to be rescheduled for another 5 months away. They responded telling me that my flight was the day before. I sat a little stunned and didn’t speak for a moment before thanking them and hanging up. A little deflated and kind of relieved I settled back into my hammock, satisfied with the ease and carelessness I could now travel. No timeline, no return date, a dwindling bank account but still free.
El Tunco, not only completely changed my trip but it also changed the course of my life. I know this sounds dramatic and cliché but I always think back to the theory of the butterfly effect. The idea that every action has a reaction, cause and effect. I came to El Salvador after meeting one person who insisted I would be safe and enjoy the place. While I stayed predominately on the promises of one person, holistically the people and the exciting adventures that were unfolding in front of my eyes made the place incredibly hard to leave. Opportunities presented themselves in the form of modelling, tv shows, romance, new friends, bettering my surfing and seeing more of El Salvador. I was not only on holiday but I was living (albeit short term) in another country.
El Salvador ignited something in me in regards to travelling and lifestyle which set me free. I began on a path of alternative ideas of living, one where money, taxes, debt and the mundanity of a single career didn’t exist. Where needs are few and joy is multiplied and that feeling of complete bliss which comes in long waves.
Since visiting El Salvador, I have returned once. Like the first trip, each day presented new opportunities, new friends and new adventures. El Salvador for me is a place that will forever be kept close to my heart, the people and the experiences not soon forgotten.