News / Halifax

Surf's up: Halifax couple organizing remote working trip just for surfers

Unleash is rolling out their first six-month excursion to Chile, Peru and Ecuador next January for those workers looking to Hang Ten

Amy Schwartz and partner John Furness pose for a portrait outside their home.

Patrick Fulgencio for Metro

Amy Schwartz and partner John Furness pose for a portrait outside their home.

A Halifax couple wants to help people get off the beaten track, work remotely, and live out the surfer dream.

Unleash, the travel company run by Amy Schwartz and John Furness, is looking for applicants from around the world who work remotely and surf every day. In January 2018, 10 to 12 of those applicants will join Schwartz and Furness on their first six month trip to Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

"When we hatched this idea, we were living in a town in Peru where you can basically walk barefoot to everything: the market, your workplace, the waves,” said Schwartz.

“That’s kind of the ideal lifestyle in a lot of ways for a surfer."

Schwartz and Furness had heard of travel companies that helped remote workers travel the world, but none that catered specifically to surfers. They saw their opportunity: to provide waves, good internet, private apartments and workspaces for surfers whose jobs let them work anywhere.

Schwartz believes surfers often look for jobs that let them get out to surf more, such as jobs in the tech industry, like graphic designers and developers. Sometimes people like lawyers or investors can also work remotely. Furness, a web designer, has worked remotely for years.

The company has been scouting for ideal spots for working surfers: places where the internet is solid, the waves are good for surfing every day, and everything is in walking distance.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find places where all of this comes together, said Schwartz, but Unleash has the experience to pull it off.

“You need to really know internet, really know surf spots and really know how to travel and how to put all those pieces together effectively," she said.

Carlos Antonio Ferrer, their Peruvian colleague and surfing enthusiast, has also helped scope locations and build partnerships in the communities.

A surfer is pictured in this file photo.

Metro File

A surfer is pictured in this file photo.

The group is staying away from tourist towns and hopes to live sustainably and travel mindfully, supporting local businesses and experiencing the culture during their two month stays in three different communities.

"Once the trip begins, our role is basically to provide the box to make people super comfortable, and feel like they can do their work, be productive, surf, and just have a super awesome experience,” said Schwartz.

A few times a week, they want to have a group gathering to talk about what's going on at work and to bounce ideas off one another. Schwartz, a yoga teacher, will also give a two classes a week, and they're organizing Spanish lessons. On the weekends, there will be things like optional surfing or hiking trips.

Unleash has begun accepting applications and gaining followers on Instagram and Facebook. They’re hoping for applicants from North America, Europe and possibly Australia.

What you need to know:

* Over six months, the trip will spend 2 months in these three communities: Arica, Chile; Huanchaco, Peru and Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

* Hit the waves every day. Pro-tip: people in the communities often don’t surf until the afternoon “so you basically have the waves to yourself in the mornings.”

* The cost of the trip is a $5,000 deposit and $3,200 each month, with options for couples or family pricing.

* There will be a work space available 24 hours a day with reliable internet. * For more information, go to

More on