It's been nearly a year since our last extended adventure travel and I had forgot how facing Mother Nature head on makes you feel alive. But as we kayak the Sea of Cortez during our latest adventure in Mexico, I am quickly reminded of everything.
I forgot what it feels like to not shower for 10-days as salt water bakes on my sunburnt skin. I forgot the pain and discomfort of lips swelling from fever blisters, and I forgot just how hot the earth can get – especially when there is no shade to escape her wrath. We're sea kayaking through thick, hot air and with each paddle stroke, sweat pours down my face, stinging my eyes. As I attempt to cool down by wetting my neck scarf with sea water, I think to myself…I'd rather be nowhere else.
Feel Alive: Sea Kayaking Baja, Mexico
I don't know what it is that draws us to these uncomfortable situations. A person could just go through life sitting on the beach drinking Mai Tais and escaping to their air conditioned hotel room when the heat becomes too much. But what is the fun in that? When we've sat on a beach doing nothing for too long, we feel numb.
It's difficult to explain, but when experiencing an epic adventure away from civilization and all the comforts of home, that's when we feel most alive. You are reminded that there is more to life than paying bills and worrying about what your neighbours are doing. You are an adventurer and you are living life to the fullest. Your tired bones wake up, your eyes widen with wonder and awe and you literally feel alive again after being dormant for so long.
Adventure in Mexico
During our latest adventure, we're circumnavigating San Jose Island; the sixth largest island in Mexico on the Sea of Cortez with Baja Outdoor Activities. It is an expedition that takes 10-days to complete and it's completely self supported. There is no fresh water on the island and barely any civilization save for a small fishing camp. We had to carry everything (including the kitchen sink) with us in our kayaks.
We had boats loaded with fruit, boats loaded with vegetables, others carried canned goods, dried meats and snacks. Boats carried tents for shade, stoves, tables, and everyone had at least one 10-litre bladder (sometimes 2) of fresh water behind their seat. The water was not for showering or rinsing though, it was strictly for drinking and cooking.
As the days went on, our skin acclimated and soon the baked on salt felt comfortable. My sunburn had turned into a tan, the fever blisters went away, and we had settled into a comfortable rhythm. There is something to be said about the simplicity of day to day routine. Each day, we awake at sunrise to pack up our tents before it becomes too hot. Breakfast is served by our guides Mario and Christian. We find the last bit of shade to relax and drink our coffee and then we all pitch in to help clean up, wash the dishes and pack up camp before hitting the sea.
The rest of the day is spent kayaking along the shores of Isla San Jose. We are paddling with a group of 10, but when covering vast distances, we are spread out and are left alone with our thoughts. The odd pod of dolphins swim by barely giving us a second glance. Sea turtles swim under our kayaks in the crystal clear water and flying fish scoot across the front of our boats.
See more of our wildlife encounters in Mexico when we swam with whale sharks
Paradise in Mexico
Guides Mario and Christian lead the way each day. One guide is in front navigating us along the coast while the other is in back making sure that everyone makes it to the next camp safe and sound. They love what they do and their energy is contagious. Every so often they fish for our food. They carry lines on their kayaks and catch our dinner right from their boats. They clean the fish with swift perfection and make us the best ceviche we've ever had. Whenever they had a good fishing day, we all looked forward to the giant bowl of raw chunks of fish marinated in lime juice and hot sauce.
Some days we are in camp early and have time to swim or snorkel before a happy hour of Margaritas made with fresh limes and Jose Cuervo tequila. We go for walks on the beach, wade through the water to cool down or sit in shade under a tarp on lounge chairs made from our thermarests. The sea is calm, the air is quiet and we feel completely relaxed and content.
We take turns helping Mario and Christian with dinner and it turns out to be the best time of the night listening to their stories and laughing as we chop vegetables. Once the meal is complete, everyone pitches in to clean up quickly and then it's off to bed for a good night's rest. I never sleep so well as I do in a tent. I don't know if it is being in the fresh air all day, the fatigue of paddling or simply the sound of the sea rocking me to sleep, but within minutes of hitting the pillow I'm out until sunrise.
But when the sun comes up, it's down to business. We're back in our kayak out on the sea, exploring the shore and enjoying the view. I could do this forever. It may be tough when the wind comes up, and our shoulders may ache at the end of each day, but there is nowhere I'd rather be than paddling on the Sea of Cortez. There's no one I'd rather be with than my husband and the experience brings us closer together as we bond over pain and triumph. We feel happy and alive and closer than ever. If there's one thing that brings a couple together again and again, it's doing an adventure together.
So, get out there and do an adventure of your own, See what it's like to give up the comforts of home for a little bit and live life the way it was meant to be, in the outdoors, with friends and family enjoying the little things and taking nothing for granted.
Have you had ever experienced an adventure that pushed you beyond your limits yet made you feel alive? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
Our Adventure in Mexico was courtesy of Baja Outdoor Activities in La Paz. They do day kayaking trips around the Baja Peninsula including multi day group and private excursions and kayak rentals. If you're looking for the ultimate adventure in Mexico, drop Ben an email to see what they can do.
To find out more about travel to La Paz, Visit Baja Sur tourism to see all the Adventures in Mexico that await you on your next vacation.