This week's Femme Feature is the fiercely passionate Erika Drolet. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Erika now calls El Salvador home. She is a surfing yogi who founded The Salty Souls Experience, which offers an all-inclusive surf, yoga, and empowerment retreat in El Salvador and Ecuador, and The Salty Club. She is a fierce doer, an adventurous soul, creatively curious and fearless. She inspires women to follow their dreams through leading by example and embracing life FULLY!
Get inspired by this fiercely, wild woman. Meet Erika!
Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What do you do?
Aloha tribe! I’m Erika, co-founder of the Salty Souls Experience and the Salty Club. I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal, Canada, but basically left the nest at 18 years old and been raised around the world for the past 10+ years.
I feel like I’ve always been “one of the boys”; Love getting dirty, play all kind of sports, hit the snowpark and run wild, fearless. I wanted to jump fences and do pranks like the boys did and always wondering why the girls didn’t do that much… I’m fierce when it comes to ‘doing’.
Then on the flip side, I’m a creative, an artist, gifted with a million ideas a day, and an endless curiosity for the world. My intuition is my compass, I love to flow, slow it down, feel all the feels, and explore the depth of the human mind. I’m soft when it comes to ‘being’.
—I’m a Gemini ;).
How did you get started with The Salty Souls? How has it evolved?
I was still studying graphic design at university when I launched my first business, Jane&Rye, a jewellery company. It kind of all started really innocently, but things unfolded incredibly well for us. I ended up leaving university, choosing to devote all my time and energy to this project, it was so fun and exciting at first. We were young and trendy, you know, vibing to the sound of the Montreal fashion scene! And above all, we were learning so much about the entrepreneurial world every day.
But with time, I started acknowledging a growing feeling of emptiness inside my chest, and it was becoming really hard to ignore. What we were doing was super well received, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to share with the world. What my soul really wanted was to find a way to spend most of my time outdoors and unite travelling and healthy living for other women. I didn’t know how to make this happen yet… but what I knew is that I had this burning desire to buy a one-way ticket to an exotic location and experience what it was like to have absolutely no plans and return date, to discover what was truly making me vibes, when I found myself dancing on a white canvas.
And so I made it happen. I sold my shares of the J&R and took off to Indonesia.
One thing leading to another, this created a new motion in my life and things started to unfold towards the Salty Souls project.
While on the Island of Gods, I softly fell into yoga and my whole soul began to awaken; new sensations, a rise of awareness, delicate shivers. I got my own mind blown by its own depth. I was suddenly experiencing a whole new way of living and being, and I realized very soon that there was no going back (literally but also geographically).
It’s on the beach of Ecuador that my business partner, Marie-Christine Amyot and I, talked about Salty for the first time. She was also living on the wild side of life, but her jam —read: obsession—was surfing.
We could understand each other’s choices and enthusiasm for life, and we thought: ’there must be other girls that are thirsty for more, that also want to take huge bites out of this world?'
So together, we founded Salty Souls, and Ariane Brien-Chicoine, the Cook, join us not so long after. On one hand, we are a community that calls upon the audacious, ambitious and adventurous girls out there craving more out of life. On the other hand, what we are offering is exactly the kind of trip we would have loved to be part of. A unique travel experience that combines surf, yoga, self-development, healthy food, adventure, and meaningful connections.
The Salty Souls Experience is the opportunity to challenge yourself physically and mentally, deepen your practice, connect with other badass chicas, and most importantly, unleash your full potential!
What has been your biggest lesson while building this amazing community of badass women?
“if you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
I’m individualistic. I don’t wait, want, or care much about anyone’s opinion so I’ve always had the tendency to just do shit on my own. It’s faster, honestly, than to have to wait for the group or make comprises…
But when I look back on everything we’ve created, I also know with absolute certainty that we would have never taken this project that FAR, if it wasn’t for the team effort. The passion, the love and the knowledge everyone has infused into Salty, is what makes it bigger than ourselves today. Alone, I would have probably said ‘fuck it, this is crazy’ a long time ago. I’m grateful for my partners, that kept believing when I didn’t, and vice-versa.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Woh! I’ve got many;
-My mentor Mylène Bergeron (@deepflow) for being so knowledgable, grounded, powerful.
-My friend Janne Robinson (@jannerobinson) who has thought me to be soft, feminine, graceful, and how to invite abundance to flow into my life (and believe that I deserve it!)
-My other friend Jinna Yang (@projectinspo) who is not only an amazing creative talent but also for her ability to make shit happen! Everything she touches turns into gold.
-Girls that push the boundaries in surfing and make you wanna jump in the water NOW when you watch them ride: Carissa Moore, Leah Dawson, Stefanie Gilmore, etc.
Truthfully, I am highly inspired by anyone who is pursuing their passion FEARLESSLY. Going all-in, and defying ‘’normality’’, whatever their jam is!
What advice do you have for any babes wanting to move abroad or make money while travelling?
There are many ways to make money while travelling, and this list of 15 ways to do it is pretty much on point!
But I think that more and more people want to find ways to stay abroad in a sustainable way — to move abroad! In that case, acquiring digital skills is the way to go. Online marketing, social media management, photography, content creation, website design, branding, etc. And your ability to make contact, reach out, market yourself as a freelancer!
Now if you want to hear more about the underlayer and what it is really like to start a business abroad, here you can watch our 2 episodes of the web series SURF INC. (press the CC symbol on the right to turn on the English subtitles)
What is your ideal way to spend your day off?
That’s an excellent question! I’m not sure I know what a day off is anymore haha! Not because I overwork, but more because my schedule looks more like 2-5 hours of work daily, with not so much care of whether we are Tuesday or Saturday (Sundays tho, are sacred :P)
So my ideal day is wake up bright & early with no alarm clock. Surf if the waves are good, or go for a run or sweaty boot camp! If waves are no bueno or I simply don’t feel like it, I practice yoga at home, taking my time reeeeaal good. Then coffee, brekkie, and some reading or journaling. Basically just using my whole morning for self-care is my very favorite thing in the world!
The afternoon is often meetings, computer work, or more adventures, and the evenings spent taking it easy with my boyfriend :).
What is your favourite quote?
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
You can Erika on Instagram at @erika_drolet
The GirlTribe Crew
P.S. Know a Goddess up to amazing things in this world? We want to know about her too! Email us about her inspiring work at email@example.com