Episode 27: Meet Brianna Ortega, Founder of Sea Together

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Show Notes

Today’s guest is the founder of Sea Together Magazine. Her name is Brianna Ortega. I couldn’t quite tell you where she is from as she has already moved 26 times since she was little, but when I got hold of her, she was in Oregon USA. This constant nomadic existence has lead her to entertain deep relationship with the ocean. For Brianna, the ocean is her home.

Brianna is such a sweetie. She’s creative, she’s strong and she is a badass surfer. In 2017, she created Sea Together, a passion project for the “left-out” voices of female surfing.

Sea Together Mag is the kind of project that makes your heart sing. What started as an Instagram account gently morphed into an annual paper magazine and is growing with events popping up all around the world. For Brianna, this amazing project has also been the opportunity to give a voice to surfers who don’t usually get picked up by mainstream surfing media.

“I think it’s really important to do things from your heart and from your personal pain and transform that it into something positive.”

“So for me, (with Sea Together) I wanted to make a space for women surfers to share their voice and share their creativity share their passion and their vision because I just saw that there are so many stories and so many inspiring people that I found while working on this project. But there was no central place to find them all at the time. Also, different experiences having a serious health disease for three years I learned to have this deeper understanding and empathy for people that are forgotten just like in your everyday life because having a health issue that is an invisible illness (…) and this kind of carried in to influence Sea Together as well.”

Brianna Ortega

In our conversation we talk about Brianna’s story, Sea Together and how she has managed to lead this project to where it is today. There’s some great advice about running a passion project (without it running you into burnout) and following your heart.

With Sea Together, Brianna has created a community (probably one that she was missing when she was constantly moving home) and a dream “job”. Even though she is not paid to do it, she has found a fantastic sense of community and care and this is leading her to amazing events all around the world.

“I think I just always have had such a good deep relationship with the ocean. And also moving a lot, it’s been the one constant for me. The ocean literally is my home, because growing up I felt like I never fully was a part of a community."

"Maybe that ties into why I made Sea Together (...) So the ocean really for me is home and it’s definitely the source of so much joy for people and love. And I just feel so privileged to be able to grow up living in these places by the ocean and growing up in a family that was a beach family and I know that not everyone gets that and not everyone has that privilege and I’m just really grateful.”

What I also liked is Brianna’s advice about making time for oneself, especially for those who are trying to run a passion project (or a business). Sometimes we oversee this aspect, so don’t forget to take time to review your objectives. I think that surfing helps enormously but I’ve often felt caught up so much my own projects that I have even passed on a great sesh! So really, make a date with yourself to pause and reflect.

“I would say the number one thing I think you should remember when running a project or business is that you have to make time for yourself. And pause and reflect: “Why am I doing this?” Looking back on the past year I wish I made more time for me to just pause and reflect. I think there’s a lot of guilt for feeling your project isn’t doing enough or you’re not doing enough because you can literally work forever. If you wanted to do that and you’re so passionate about it, you want to keep doing and doing, and do everything. But I think it’s really important to just remember that you’re not a superhuman and you’re just a normal person living in the world.”

To get hold of Sea Together Mag, you can start with Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sea.together.mag) and the website where you can order issue 2 : https://seatogether.com/

I would like to give special thanks to Brianna for getting up to make this episode possible having had less than 4 hours sleep the night before.

Thank you also to Isabella Blanca Palangan, my podcast editor, for putting this episode together and making it sound lovely.

And thank YOU for listening!
I’ll be back next week with a bit of testosterone: Cris Mills, aka Surf Strength Coach is joining me for a conversation about hollistic health and training to be a better surfer.

Until next week, take care, have fun and enjoy the waves



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