...or any other country (roughly speaking ) south of the US Border.
I have been lucky enough to spend an extended amount of time here in the beautiful town of La Ventana, Baja California Sur. For me, this little gem holds a very special place in my heart- I come back here year after year (since 2007) to spend time with family, friends and to ground myself.
Most of us come here due to the easy access to multiple acitivies such as kiteboarding, mountain biking, hiking. You name it, we can probably do it ( except skiiing...Can’t have it all ).
That being said, the more time you spend here the easier it becomes to drink heavily, eat poorly and therefore perform less on an athletic level. Don’t get me wrong- there is definitely room for margaritas and dance parties.
Balance, people, balance.
Here are a few tips to help keep your mind clear and your body strong.
Commit to a morning routine. The early hours here, in my opinion, are the best. The quiet air, the birds chirping, the cool temperature- it’s like it is begging you to go on a run, take that yoga class or go for a paddle. Whatever it is- enjoy your cup of coffee and go seize the day. By doing this, you are more likely not to over-do the tequila at night, and therefore get better sleep ( I am in bed by 8:30PM most nights and IDGAF 💃🏼).
Cook most of your meals. Not only is it therapeutic, but you are in charge of the ingredients. I love me some tacos and margs at the local restaurants, but Mexican food here is all about the butter, lard and excess salt. For me, as a mostly plant based eater, eating out requires asking for a few modifications (most places will happily oblige). Go to the local market, explore new ingredients and give your body some clean fuel!
You can even make sushi.
Learn something new. This town, like many others, has so much to offer it’s not even fair. Like, how am I going to fit everything into my day?! Spanish lessons, aerial classes, any water sport...just the tip of the iceberg. If you are unsure where to start, ask a neighbor or check a local forum.
FYI- learning new things may lead to awkward moments. Just smile and all will be well.
Read food labels. From my time spent in South America, I have learned that (sadly) most packaged products contain unnecessary additives such as sugar, processed oils, and ingredients I’m not even sure should be edible. Simply be aware that something as simple as yogurt, here, may contain a lengthy list of ingredients other then milk and enzymes.
Always opt for whole, unprocessed and unpackaged ingredients.
Leave your comfort zone. You are in a raw, rugged, beautiful playground. Meet new people, engage in new conversations. Open your mind. Kick your shoes off ( but mind the rocks!), let your hair down and go for a naked swim. Feel the water, breathe the air. How special it is to be able to be free- free from judgement, free from criticism, free from “the man”.
If you ever have the chance to take a drive down the Baja peninsula, don’t even think twice.
If you are part of the few that make their lives here for the winter, enjoy yourselves, but take care of yourselves. We have only one body, one brain, and they are both equally as important to our thriving in this fun-filled unique desert.
A big thank you to my loving parents for letting Sparky, Sanka, Joey and myself stay in their zen space while we are here.