Today’s What’s in your Cabin Case is a little bit different because I’m not chatting to travel bloggers for a change, I’m talking to Amy who, along with her partner John, founded .
UNLEASH is a remote-working and travel experience for surfers and people who want to surf more. Next year, they’re taking people to Peru and will set them up with everything they need to be productive, comfortable and have plenty of opportunities to surf! They bring together inspiring groups and make sure they have co-working spaces, private apartments, strong internet connections, surf lessons, yoga sessions, local experiences and so much more.
Yea, pretty much sounds like the dream, right?
Amy is a seasoned traveller, a savvy business owner and a mum, so let’s take a look at what’s in her cabin 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 had no idea the wild adventures we would take together for the next eleven years. After hundreds of hours of searching for waves together and five years of being best friends we discovered we wanted the same things for our future: experiences over things, location-independence, travel, winters away and more time for the things that make us happy. So we decided to go steady and take our surf trips on the road.
We had really different travel-styles to start – I’m a seasoned backpacker with a stomach of steel and John likes nicer accommodation and post-surf pizza + Netflix. But travelling taught us how to adjust to each other’s wants and limits. We created memories, shared inside jokes, muddled through difficult situations and grew an unbreakable bond. But when we returned home we quickly fell back into the 9-5 lifestyle we’d sworn against.
And then I had an unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage that changed everything. In a haze of hurt it became abundantly that we needed to release from the daily grind and rediscover our priorities. I took a sabbatical from my cushy job and John took his successful web-design company on the road.
We went surfing in South America and thought deeply about life. After sketching many ideas about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be, we decided to marry John’s internet expertise with my experience running adventure tours and Unleash was born: a bold travel company that enables excellent people to release from their busy patterns to live, work and surf in non-touristy places with fun, consistent surf. We are currently in Peru, setting up everything an adventurous professional’s heart might desire while travelling and working remotely: excellent wifi, private-apartments, a custom-designed co-working space, a curated list of the best places to eat and surf, great people to hang out with, spanish classes, yoga, surf instruction, weekend adventures.
Do you usually travel with checked luggage or just hand luggage?
Apart from a surfboard bag, I used to be a hand-luggage only gal. Now that I have a baby – well, let’s just say I’m punching above my weight with checked-luggage.
What 5 things do you always have in your cabin case?
A natural relaxation potion. Rescue Remedy or something like that to help me with my fear of flying (I know… as well-travelled woman in her 30s I should be over it by now, but I’m not.)
A netty pot. Regularly rinsing out my sinuses when travelling or surfing helps me to keep common colds at bay.
A bathing suit. It’s a habit I developed as a child when my family lived in Asia. I was paranoid that we’d arrive somewhere with an amazing swimming pool and I wouldn’t have the means to take a dip. And I’m from a part of Canada with more lakes than people (possibly) so no matter the destination or season, I always have one handy.
Compression socks. Yes I dress like your grammy on the airplane but it keeps my legs from swelling on long flights. They are also hella-useful during pregnancy and on multi-day hiking trips.
Some kind of fruit, cheese or health food-powder that will get customs officers all hot and bothered. It’s not easy parting ways with pomelo in Thailand, mangos in Peru, guarana in Brazil, cheese in France, pomegranate in Turkey, hummus in Jordan… you get the idea.
If you could magically design something that makes travelling easier, what would it be?
A Charlie-in-the-Chocolate-Factory-style infusion that would make airplane food taste amazing. (Remember Veruca Salt’s gum?)
Do you have any packing hacks?
Duct tape wrapped around a pen. Because you never know when you’re going to need to repair something, but carrying a whole roll seems extravagant. And you’ll never lose the pen either! (Yes I pack like your grammy too).
What’s your top tip to stay stylish while you travel?
I have a mop of curly hair that can make or break my modicum of stylishness depending on local weather and water. Good conditioner can be difficult to find in a pinch, so my tip is to always bring a bottle of your favourite conditioner.
Do you have any items of clothing you always travel with?
I never leave home without my fitted black yoga pants from . I bought them 7 years ago and they are still like new – they also work as tights with a casual dress.
What’s your next travel destination?
I’m living in my favourite town in Peru for the winter and getting ready for Unleash. We’re also planning a surf getaway to the Galapagos for Christmas.
Find out more about Amy at
Big thanks to Amy for answering my questions!