I am extremely fortunate to have been able to travel to Baja before as my family has a small house in a tiny town on the Sea of Cortez. I therefore know the ups and downs and so usually I just go with the flow. But this time, I didn’t want to leave my vacation satisfaction up to chance. I wanted to be sure it was what I was looking for and needed.
My major goal of this trip was to have a completely fulfilled vacation. And I did this by consciously incorporating and looking for opportunities to include as many Ingredients for Fulfilled Travel as I could and documenting my progress through Instagram and photos. Here was my experience:
What I did on my last trip to Nicaragua, I did again in Baja… I bought a variety of books about Baja and Mexico to read before, during and after my trip. This allowed for building excitement, presentness and connection while there and elongating the trip once home. Although I only finished two, I felt satisfied with my education and connection to the area we were in. I read a fun novel about a fishing village just north of where we were staying and an informative non-fiction tale of teaching a college course on the Sea of Cortez. This book was bit heavy on the science at times, but I learned a lot about the flora and fauna of the area (juvenile sea turtles swim all the way to japan and back!!!).
I wasn’t sure I was going to fit this one in or not as I had no ideas on how I would express creativity. But one day at the beach I found myself taking fun photos of the sand and shells and creating a little shell mural with my dad. It was silly, but I got to freely express some creativity that was obviously waiting to come out.
In my recent post on how to increase your joy when traveling I mentioned some ideas to ensure joy on a trip. One way we increased our joy in Baja was seeing wild animals and in this case swimming with sharks! Whale sharks that is. I had done this once before and it was incredible. It was great experiencing it again and also sharing it with my partner, Brett who had never done it. He loved it too and was so stoked afterwards! Bonus- we saw dolphins on the boat ride!
Probably one of the best trips I have had for exercise! My goal was 2 different activities a day and I’d say most days I did that, others only one and some days 3 types of movement! So it probably all evened out. There was lots of mountain biking, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, yoga, swimming, and walking. I felt so strong and healthy coming back, now I just want to keep moving!
The home we were staying at is my dad and stepmom’s house where they are spending the winter. It is a cool spot that has an amazing view of the Sea of Cortez and the island, Cerralvo. It is a modest place with an outdoor living concept. We had our own room upstairs with an even better view of the epic sunrises and mini deck for sunset viewage. Overall it was a great environment, however it is small and not a lot of space to be by oneself (especially after more family arrived- but there are plans to add on!).
Staying at house with a kitchen and with my stepmom who loves to cook, we did a lot of home cooking. This is such a great way to control the ingredients used and to boost green veggie intake as the restaurants don’t always have many salad options. We made chili rellenos one day (read my stepmom’s recipe and see photos of us making them here), made green smoothies with locally grown moringa (look for a blog on this superfood soon!) and we were able to buy fresh veggies from the farmers market. Overall we ate pretty healthily (minus all the tortilla chips). And so much avocado…yum.
We saved a lot of money by staying with family on this trip. The money we saved staying with family really made it possible, as we spent more on expensive holiday flights. We did splurge on a few fun activities like seeing whale sharks and going on a private mountain bike tour, but we also saved a lot of money by cooking at home most of the time. Also staying with my family means most activities are free because we don’t have to rent equipment. Free paddle boards, bikes, kite-gear, motorcycles, etc… Pretty awesome! (My dad is going to read this and think he should start charging us, uh-oh) So over all it was a great trip full of fun without breaking the bank. We definitely feel fortunate to have this opportunity.
Overall it was a good trip for relationships as it was a family trip. Brett and I got a little time together (this could have been more seeing that we just got engaged!). It was fun though teaching him to kiteboard (he survived!) and getting time to relax together. I got to spend a lot of time with my dad, stepmom, stepbrother, and stepsister. It was fun doing different activities together throughout the trip, as we don’t spend that much time together at home (even though we all live in the same place).
Another great thing about going to a place over and over is that you establish relationships with other people that visit that same area. We have friends that live there and friends from where we live that visit there. We were able to bike, kite, have beach bonfires, snorkel, have dinners with and do the inevitable ‘wait for wind’ activity all with great friends.
Spirituality and Sense of Purpose:
I’d have to say this was the one aspect of all these ingredients that I felt was not filled on this trip. Although I did my breathing techniques/meditations almost every morning, I often felt rushed (self-imposed as I was afraid of missing out on the mellow mornings that are so magical down there) and would hurry through my breathing or would have to keep opening my eyes as the sunrise was incredible. I wished I had brought my spiritual book I was reading before I left to at least read a bit each day to stay connected to the knowledge. And although we did yoga, it felt more physically oriented than spiritual, which is fine, it just didn’t fulfill this aspect of myself.
Great for me as I never got sick! I had my Immunity Booster Kit with me to prevent getting a cold from the flights, I brought my shelf stable probiotics, supplements (and actually took them), and I even flossed! Unfortunately Brett did get sick and had to spend some down time resting (probably just what he needed!)
Overall I am filled up after this trip! Having the intension of fulfilling each aspect really supported me in making it happen. And even though I did not plan out each ingredient specifically I was still able to make all but one happen pretty successfully.
This helps me remember that the more you intensionally travel the easier it becomes. And those intentional acts eventually become habits that move and flow forward on their own.
Sign up for tips, latest blog posts, and more! Click here.