Laura Crane reflects on her new home, Ericeira, Portugal
Laura Crane, one of our Billabong team rider was born and raised in the UK and recently moved to Ericeira, Portugal. She reflects here on her new life abroad:
Laura - "The place were I was born and grew up will always have a special place in my heart. It holds so many memories, and loved ones, being a surfer in the UK full time can be a challenge for consistency but don't get me wrong I am a proud British born and bread surfer girl, and will always be forever in debt to the beautiful surf beaches of the UK for gifting me with the most amazing life ever .
From the age of 12 I have been fortunate enough to travel this incredible world for work and Surf. Travelling for about 11 months of the year, for the past 6 years its often hard to know where to set down your roots, especially as I am never in one place for very long due to work schedules.
I then realised that I could be happier living somewhere else other than the Uk, as I now spend very little time there. I started to find the things that made me happy, I found myself shortlisting countries in which I may want to live.
With the amount of travelling I have done you would think its would be an impossible task to choose a destination that I now call home, but it was actually really simple.
Arriving early last year in Ericeira Portugal I knew that it was going to be my new home. With my family living in Devon I wanted somewhere that was a short direct flight back to the Uk and with 4 flights a week from Lisbon to Bristol I knew the family would be happy for me, as well as getting good connection to London for my modelling.
The beauty of Ericeira is that is only a 25 minute drive to the capital Lisbon which is great, as that is where my portuguese model agency is based and also the aiport. The city is vibrant full of culture and a young vibe with lots to do, and endless shopping malls. Portugal is the most consistent country in Europe for waves all year. The weather is second to none with long periods of warm settled weather and short winter.
The food its too good for words, you will just have to come try for yourself, fresh grilled octopus and the very best sushi restaurant (Uni sushi) in Ericeira village, awesome coffee and bakeries (pao da villa).
The waves in Portugal over the last few years have had a lot of media exposure from the huge wave of Nazare which is about 1 hour up the coast from where I live. Its amazing to watch people surf but that’s about as close as I will get to XXL waves. For me I prefer the perfect right had point breaks in Ericeira, Coxos, Ribeira and Backdoor are my 3 favourite waves.
Usually with world class waves, come surfers in their hundreds but Ericeira’s an exception.
I fell in love with this place from day one, perfect waves, beautiful climate and endless fresh fish, all day, everyday, Ericeira is an old fishing village so as you can imagine the fish here is incomparable, the people are as special as the place, friendly, happy and accommodating.
There are so many different characters in this place I love to walk in to the village get a coffee and watch the world go by.
The square has a laid back vibe and the locals have time to chat, though I am slowly progressing with my portuguese, I have made some amazing new friends to surf and do girly stuff with. This place is as chilled as the locals, and I can see I will be happy here for a long time to come.
Ericeira is an amazing place to learn to surf with some of the most fantastic run surf camps, and surf schools, but don't be put off by all my surf talk. If you want more than just surf then the beaches are beautiful too, just come and relax, there really is something for everyone. Who knows... I may see ya around…"