La Paz, Mexico
Although I took Spanish for 3 years in high school, I could only remember the three most important words in spanish: Si, gracias, and bano.
Garrett and I had an opportunity awaiting in La Paz, Mexico to visit one of the top snorkeling areas in the world. Not to mention, this beautiful destination was totally affordable and insanely safe. We had a couple of other options up in the air like Costa Rica, but we had to go somewhere fast because our 3 week countdown was only getting closer and air fare was only rising. One night, we found a deal to this random destination in Mexico; so, we did our research and within one night booked our tickets! This trip has been by far one of the most eye opening and heart warming trips. From petting wild sea lions, to swimming with whale sharks, to snorkeling with exotic fish in the Sea of Cortez, my heart was full as ever. And I got to experience every minute with G! :) This tiny town is a hidden treasure and sure to become a top tourist hotspot for it’s views, high end architecture and magnificent natural sea life. We are going back in June to take more videos and photos to share so other travelers from around the world can experience a sliver of what we discovered.
My favorite part -by far- was swimming with wild sea lions!! Watch our Youtube vlog with insane footage HERE .The sea lion colony has a little island about an hour boat ride away, and when you arrive and these little creatures jump and play and tease you until you can’t take it anymore. Right away, a baby sea lion came near us and I got to pet her over and over. With that said, I fell hopelessly in love. We were then taken to a private camp and fed the best chicken and vegetables i've ever had. Our tour guide, Roberto, welcomed us to the private beach with, "Welcome to my office..." Man, what a way to spend your day!
A couple days later, after the endless margaritas, tacos and venturing through caves, we were shuffled onto a boat to see the majestic whale sharks! One of our guides was talking to G about whales flipping boats (jokingly of course) and sharks eating people on the way. He is deathly afraid of sharks and wanted nothing to do with getting in the water. And this was only my second time snorkeling; we wouldn’t be a couple feet away from the boat anymore; we were in open ocean; and we were about to swim with a shark as large as 40 feet (the size of a school bus)… My heart was racing! I jumped into the water and BOOM! literally 10 feet away there was a shark that could comfortably fit about 4 of me into his mouth … and he was coming straight toward me! Luckily, they are filter feeders so we were safe.. Once relaxed, I began swimming with him and became surprisingly peaceful. These sharks are cool and smooth, unlike me. He was beautiful. Eventually my little human legs couldn’t keep up with his fin the size of me, and I climbed back onto the boat to comprehend what I just encountered. The most majestic, glorious, charming, elegant and wholesome animal I’d ever seen.
From gourmet food, to the water adventures, conquering fears and the friendliest people of La Paz, Garrett and I fell in love. The people are so genuine, hard working and kind. I admired how cautious they are of the wild life and how they wish to protect the animals unlike in the US. Were were asked to be very gentle and approach the sea lions slowly; then to allow THEM to decide if we can touch them. We were also asked to simply keep our hands away from the whale sharks because if they are touched, they will leave the area for good. The sea life stays in La Paz because everyone respects and loves them. Our eyes were opened to another culture that don't need cell phones, Facebook or cars.
There are so many things to learn from others around the world. Things that we forget to appreciate; the locals have not lost sight of how beautiful their home is. They didn’t forget to mention their love for La Paz and the beauty surrounding them. We often forget to be grateful for the most obvious things around us such as beauty or opportunity. We forget there are people living a life so simple and great they don’t even think of complaining that they’re tired. Because they’re happy to be alive and to wake up with the sun shining and birds chirping. They don't care about a million dollars or one-upping the person next to them; they would rather watch their family grow and enjoy life's precious moments. It made me realize we have it so good and to live life with a smile no matter what. Let road blocks pass by and learn from them. Jump toward opportunity and don’t be afraid to take a risk. Be ambitious and hard working and go toward what makes YOU happy. Not what people expect from you.