The best thing about Sri Lanka is that the summer never ends.. It just keeps going! From sunrises that are cool and breezy, to sunsets that make the water glisten just right, and endless surf, we know we’ve found our own paradise. Making it even sweeter, we’re happy to welcome two globetrotters to the family! Ollie and Bree – a Hawaiian-New Zealand mashup that have joined our team for the season to teach our guests at all skill levels how to surf with grace and ease. If you get the chance to meet Ollie and Bree you’ll quickly find their daily mantra is breathe, eat, surf, repeat. Let us introduce you to this dynamic duo.
Breathe. Eat. Surf. Repeat.
With a mop that can outdo any surfer and a thick New Zealand accent to match, Ollie is all about the waves. The guy has such a drive to keep surfing that as a teenager he even started shaping his own boards equipped to handle the waves in New Zealand. Chill isn’t just a state of mind for Ollie, it’s in his nature. He’s brought plenty of easy-going vibes and laughs to our guests that have found surfing a bit of a challenge. He also has a knack with art, doing some impressive pencil and pen drawings. Together, this team will be here for six months at our Ahangama surf retreat surfing and creating with us.
“If you can’t find us, 9 out of 10 times we’re in the water.”
Bree is a bottle of sunshine shipped all the way from Hawaii. She took off several years ago to start traveling the world, surfing the best locations she could find along the way. With a side passion for art, the girl has a mean flare for watercolor and pencil drawings. The passion developed naturally, as she has combined her love of surfing with her artwork, using various shades of blue to bring about topics she cares about. When surfing through New Zealand, she bumped into Ollie and from there they joined forces in surfing and traveling the world together. They stumbled upon Sunshine Stories through a mutual friend, and found themselves eager to join our family. We couldn’t be happier to have them here with us as they’ve formed a tight bond with our staff and have helped guests every day reach their surfing goals.
How would you guys best describe yourselves?
B: I’m a dreamer that’s never at rest. If I’m not surfing, I’m always looking towards the next goal I want to tackle.
O: Spontaneous, hyperactive, space cadet.
Why did you choose to come to Sri Lanka?
B: I’d been here before to surf. I wanted to surf more breaks and see more nature.
O: To follow Bree if I’m being honest. Chasing the babe.
How did you find Sunshine Stories?
B: A mate of mine in Australia told me about this surf retreat in Ahangama called Sunshinestories, as they previously worked there. Since I had been to Sri Lanka before, I was excited to come back and show Ollie. It was also the peak of winter in New Zealand and I was itching for some warmth. I had already traveled throughout Indonesia and wanted to try out something different, so I thought why not Sri Lanka?
Have you always been adventurous? If so, why do you think this is?
B: I’d say yes. I was an only child and my personality doesn’t let me stay stagnant. I grew up traveling all over and then at age 16 I started solo traveling. The first trip I went to was Canada, and started following cold weather. I’d come home and do whatever I could to get traveling again. The real journey was when I was living in Florida and decided to book a one way ticket to Australia.
O: Yeah, but not like world-wide adventurous. Back in New Zealand I’d do things like surf in the snow. I did heaps of swimming when I was younger. Then it progressed into body surfing and long paddles.
How long have you been surfing?
B: Probably on and off my whole life. I skated when I was younger and would switch over to surfing. Skateboarding was something I always loved to do – I thought it was cooler. Then when I hit about 12 I flopped back into surfing.
O: Years and years. My mum and dad got me my first surfboard when I was 10 for my birthday. They were both lifeguards and got me in the water at a young age.
Would you say that surfing is your passion? If so, why?
B: Yeah it’s pretty fun. I do it every day, all day so I guess it’s a passion. Art is equally a passion. I tend to surf, then work on my art.
O: Yeah, I suppose so. I’d like to say art as well but it kind of extends to everything like working with sculpture, shaping, and glass.
What were your first impressions of Sri Lanka?
B: I’m back to India. Haha, no just kidding…kind of. I was shocked by how warm the water was when I came the first time. It was like surfing in a hot tub.
O: I thought it was pretty crazy. The bus drivers here are nuts driving through the market there’s only about a meter between the wheels and the fruit stands. The people are so nice.
What is your favorite memory so far at Sunshinestories?
B: We tried doing an interactive theory lesson with the guests and it was a crackup. Theory lessons are normally within a lecture style, but we decided to do a game instead. Oh! And we also went moonlight surfing. We took the foamies out and it was the coolest thing not knowing when the wave was going to close out.
O: One day we were having a very serious surf instructor meeting with our boss when we thought it started raining. But then we realized the rain was only hitting Bree and when we looked up it was just a monkey peeing.
Sum up your relationship in one word.
B: Hyperactive twins.
Sum up Sunshinestories in one word.
B & O: TASTY
What are some fun facts about you.
B: I love peanut butter more than Ollie. I do cat impressions.
O: I like fish more than people. I slightly better at numbers than Bree.
What’s your favorite meal at Sunshinestories?
B & O: Breakfast. Hands down.
What does your schedule look like at Sunshinestories?
B & O:
Did we mention surf?
Can we get your Instagram?