Adrianne is the youngest founding member of Bodhi Surf, and as such, it is only fitting that she be Bodhi Surf’s vibrant socialite and witty storyteller, both on and offline. These innate qualities served her well throughout her years as a young, independent traveler, and now she continues to harness them entertaining readers online, students out in the waves, and guests at the Bodhi Surf Lodge. While Adrianne’s passions are not out of the ordinary — her favorite pastimes include reading, spending time with friends, and enjoying some quality food and drink — she possesses an uncanny ability to draw people in with her amiable demeanor, perceptiveness of others, and wiser-than-her-years maturity. And though she refers to herself as the most unlikely business owner, her big and lovable personality has put the fun into the business of Bodhi Surf.
The path furthest traveled
If you believe that “Life is a journey, not a destination,” (Ralph Waldo Emerson), then you will see that Adrianne has a lot to share. Of the Bodhi Surf founding members, Adrianne is the individual who has traveled the furthest — all the way from Canada — to help consolidate our diverse team.
Born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Kamloops (located in the interior of the province of British Columbia), Adrianne spent her early years combatting the freezing winters of the northern hemisphere by wrapping herself in her blanket, immersing herself in encyclopedia-sized novels, and drowning herself in scalding hot pots of tea — quite the opposite of the bikini-wearing surfer girl that gets up [on occasions] for those sunrise surf sessions. At the time it wasn’t apparent to her, but the genes she inherited from her Fiji-Indian father were not suited to bear the harsh Canadian winters forever.
In 1999, Adrianne experienced life on the road and discovered the town that she credits with changing both her outlook and the course of her life. As she was preparing to start her seventh grade year, Adrianne, along with her mother, step-father, and younger brother, set out on a ten-month journey that would take them across the United States, deep into the Mennonite community of Chihuahua, Mexico, and ultimately land her in the Mexican coastal town of San Blas, Nayarit. For a preteen girl, the prospect of leaving her home, friends, and familiar Canadian lifestyle in exchange for a 1955 home-on-wheels-short-bus named “Buster”, the threat of Mexican banditos, and the open road was not how she envisioned skipping a year of school. At the start of the journey, Adrianne was not what one would consider a “happy camper”; she would disappear into a crawl space aboard Buster to read her latest novel, reminisce about her life back home, and daydream about being back at home with her friends.
After spending two months immersed in a Mennonite community (in which her daily tasks consisted of baking bread from scratch and overhearing curious Mennonite women pepper her mother with questions about the outside world), Adrianne and her family made their way to the coast of mainland Mexico ultimately setting up camp on a beach of the small fishing town of San Blas, Nayarit, located halfway between the popular tourist destinations of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. For the next four months, Adrianne spent her days playing in the sand, picking up some Spanish language skills through conversations with local children, and adapting to the slower-paced beach lifestyle. Adrianne cites this first visit to San Blas as a pivotal experience in her life, one that triggered a growing desire to travel and that would consequently shape her life.
Upon her return to Canada, Adrianne promised herself that she would return to San Blas, which she did… on multiple occasions. In 2006, on her fourth visit to San Blas, Adrianne met Gibran. While the exact details of their meeting and ensuing connection are a little hazy, what the two can corroborate is that they had a mutual interest in travel and leading a sort of gypsy lifestyle. After a few months of eating many meals, talking travel, taking some camping trips, and forging a bond of friendship, the two moved to San Diego. Five years after moving to San Diego, the “gypsies” set out on a road trip that would take them from San Diego to Panama, to Canada, and back to San Diego, only to see them return to Costa Rica to form part of Bodhi Surf. And this [abbreviated story] is how Adrianne was ultimately able to elude the cold winters of Canada.
From tea-sipping bookworm to surfer businesswoman
Growing up in the interior of the British Columbia province is not advantageous to becoming an ocean-loving surfer. And though Adrianne flirted with snowboarding on a few occasions, her definition of a good time did not include below-freezing conditions — so board sports were out, at least winter board sports. Competition, in sport or otherwise, has never been something to stimulate Adrianne, and so traditional sports were also not of her interest. If you were to ask her if she considered herself to be an athlete or have a competitive nature, Adrianne would reply with a resounding “No!” But all of this would prove to be a thing of the past.
Once she linked up with Gibran and moved to San Diego, his surf craze and the California lifestyle began to slowly rub off on her until she caved to pressure and began her journey to becoming a surfer. Though Adrianne started learning to surf in California, it was in Costa Rica and in Mexico that she would hone her skills and develop a passion for it. The uncrowded surf around Uvita and San Blas meshed well with Adrianne’s non-competitive personality, allowing her to spend hours upon hours unobstructed in her wave riding sessions. With the onset of Bodhi Surf School, Adrianne would spend endless amount of time in the water helping others learn and work through some of the very same struggles that she herself had experienced only three or four years prior when she herself learned to surf.
Also while in San Diego, Adrianne attended the University of California, San Diego, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies, focused on political science, anthropology, and Latin America. Her time at UCSD solidified her passion for global awareness. She also developed a love for writing as a means to communicate her viewpoint on social issues, such as corporate corruption, classism, and social equality. It was clear that not all of her surf school-related tasks and development would happen in the water.
As a young woman, Adrianne had envisioned herself utilizing her institutional and travel education to help the underprivileged, either through government or non-government organizations. Being a small-business owner was never part of that do-good vision. After all, business involves making profit, which can seem quite oppositional to goals of philanthropy. But, just as with that first travel experience back in 1999, Adrianne observed, learned, and adapted to her surroundings.
Today, Adrianne is an intrinsic part of the Bodhi Surf experience — enticing potential guests with her social media posts and blogging, satisfying hungry bellies with her fresh post-surf meals, and bringing laughter to every conversation at the Bodhi Surf lodge; and when she’s asked about being a small-business owner, her response notes the hard work that is required and highlights the human connections that are forged, and the opportunity that exists for doing good beyond personal profits, regardless of how small or how much fun she’s having throughout her experience.