Teva Originals: Coastal Route Explorer Rhea Cortado

We all have different lives—different day jobs, different hobbies, different passions—but if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s this: we like a good story. Meet the men and women living those spontaneous adventures that make for the best of them in our on-going series, Teva Originals.


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Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, Rhea Cortado was surrounded by sun-bleached blondes who were born as third generation surfers. They owned the waves, and Cortado was intimidated. Not that you’d ever guess it now—Rhea has become a skilled surfer with a grace in the water that carries over from her well-defined sense of style back on dry land (she’s always the first to know about a new designer and can guide you straight to the coolest shops along any coastal route). Her blog, so aptly named The Surftorialist, reads like a series of field notes from her on-going quest for coastal hideaways and adventures in off-the-grid places.

Age: 31

Hometown: Watsonville, CA strawberry capital. Currently in Venice, CA

Favorite local destination: Hiking around Topanga and surfing at San Onofre.

Favorite outdoor activities: surfing, hiking with my dog, riding my beach cruiser on the beach bike path.

Dying to visit: Peru.


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Ritual: It’s not strange but it takes me a while to decide what to wear because I have so many bikinis, even if they are only under my wetsuit.

Camping relaxation routine: The rhythm of chopping and cooking relaxes me.

Planes, trains or automobiles? Road trips!

Always in your backpack: Sunscreen, Raen sunglasses, extra bathing suits, phone, Band-Aids, notebook, camera, trail mix or energy bars.

See it all or take your time: I take my time.

Weirdest thing you’ve seen in the outdoors: Once on a Topanga trail we saw a memorial for what we assume was a cat: It was a cross covered in flowers and it had a round rock that someone had painted a cat on. Not the weirdest, but coolest, was when we were biking through France and we found a bunch of little wooden teepees someone had made in a forest, or in the Florida Keys when we found a field of branches on the sand that had shells hung on them like Christmas ornaments. Both were like pieces of art.


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Biggest accomplishment: Choosing my own way to live and letting go of the things that don’t matter.

Favorite travel memory: Camping in Basque Country out of a van.

Favorite camp food: Any vegetables, grilled.

I always bring this home from my trips: A jam jar filled with shells from the beaches.


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Reason to get outside: To be in the present moment and feel alive.

Quote you live by: Be grateful and generous.


Show us what makes you a Teva Original by tagging us on Twitter and Instagram @teva #teva. You could be featured on the Teva blog and win a fresh pair of sandals on us!


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