Living it up - 08.07.2013

Travel is a huge part of Sambazon’s culture and the reason the company got started in the first place. As the last official month of summer gets on its way, I’m reflecting on the gratitude and respect I’ve learned through travel.

Sumatra, Indonesia

I read once that gratitude turns what we have into enough. Languages, food, spirituality, art. There is so much richness in the world, even in the poorest countries, to experience and embrace. Experiencing other cultures through traveling exposes us to new ideas and puts us out of our comfort zone, just enough to be vulnerable for learning and new ideas. It also reminds me how fortunate and blessed I am to live in the land of abundance where just about everything one could want is at our fingertips.


On a recent trip to Sumatra (where the above picture of me and my brother, Jeremy, was taken) we were able to visit a number of mosques which are a daily part of the lives if muslim people. I do not practice Islam, but respect their culture and religion and enjoyed visiting a few of their sacred places, including the Grand Mosque in Medan, a beautiful building in the center of town.

Grand Mosque in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Also on Simalue, where we spent the majority of the vacation, we made daily trips around the small island by scooter. Driving in Indonesia is always an adventure, and getting to know this archipelago by scooter was a blast. All the kids wanted to wave and high five and just loved seeing blonde foreigners with surfboards and board shorts. There was cloves drying on the sides of the road, goats laying around and hundreds of buffalo and their patties which you had to stay focused to avoid or risk splashing the locals, which we were told involved a sorry and a cash payment. The island was a tropical paradise with untouched beaches, waves and smiling faces.

Riding scooters around the small island of Simalue, Sumatra, Indonesia

Finally, the surf was our primary reason for coming and the waves did not disappoint. There were many sessions, some before sunrise, others in the scorching heat. Point breaks, beach breaks and reef passes that in some cases only get surfed by a handful of people per year were super fun. And there was some big days that make you question your manhood and take all the courage you have to drop in and catch. The thing with reef passes that make them so exciting is that there is typically one place to take off and a certain point of no return where you actually have to exit out the back of the wave or pay the consequences of being drug over a sharp coral reef in just a few feet of water. A trip like this always results in cuts and scrapes from the reef all over your body. Consider yourself lucky if you get out of there without anything too deep, and the post-cut lime rinse on your wounds always reminds you of the risk-reward but what the heck, the adrenaline and photos are worth it!

Surfing Sumatra, Indonesia

Even if it’s a quick weekend getaway or a staycation where you visit a new part of your hometown, I encourage you all to travel as much as you can to celebrate culture and life.


Boa Viagem (Bon Voyage),

Ryan Black

CEO and Co-Founder


P.S.: Where have you had your greatest adventures or gained the most wisdom?

2 thoughts on “Living it up

  1. Ryan/Jeremy, Congrats on what seems to be a steady-moving business for you guys. Love the products and get them at Costco all the time. Would love to catch up. Last time I saw you guys was Jeremy in South Pasadena, in your early days peddling acai to King Taco (I think it was)… All the best… P

  2. Point of no return? What’s that??

    Reef cuts? Lime torture? The priceless benefits of travel? That’s the sh!t I know a bit more about…

    Great stuff Ryan – you got me amped for more now!

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