Kayaking Through the Exumas? Yes Please.

Just over a year ago, I set out on a mission. I wasn’t sure what the mission was or what I was trying to accomplish but I needed to calibrate. As if my compass was off a few degrees. All too often we become robotic versions of what we once were, lost in the daily grind. The routine. Enveloping ourselves with the safety and protection of only what we already know and are comfortable with. It happens to the best of us. Most of us.

It was time to find a new direction, meet new people, try new sports, eat new food, drive on the left side of the road, and ponder life’s purpose in the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. I set off on a month long solo mission to Exuma to do just that. My comfort level was at an all-time low. I had no expectations, but for once, I didn’t care. I knew that I was in full control of these new experiences and I could choose to sit on the porch of my rental and isolate myself from the world, or I could venture out and own the shit out of each and every day. What came out of this adventure was more than I could ever fathom. More than anything else I have gained in the last year (or spent, because damn the islands are expensive), it is perspective that resonates deepest. I think I’ve covered this enough in my previous posts about the islands, but it is a perspective that you’ll only understand if you spend enough time…with less. Not with the “less fortunate”. Because, are they really less fortunate?  No.  They just live with less.  Read or watch the Paradox of Choice and you’ll get it.  Live with less and you’ll find the true meaning of need.  Less really is more.

Enough of the serious stuff. That’s about as deep as this chick gets.

Next week, I’m off on a new adventure that I’ve been DYING to take. Out Island Explorers, the local kayaking tour company in Exuma, has a “girls only” kayaking trip through the islands that I’ve signed up for. So I’ve been packing and buying for this trip for the last month now.   Because I’ve frequented Exuma so many times in the last year, I am well prepared with gear. It’s food that’s the issue. For 3.5 days, we’ll be paddling from island to island and setting up and tearing down camp each day. I grew up camping, well “glamping” really, so that will be a breeze. But I’ve never been restricted to 1. Limited space for gear and food and 2. Food that you can eat on the go or requires little to no cooking. Here lies the challenge. Clearly, I will need more calories than normal since we’ll be paddling our asses off all day. To me, that means tons of protein and carbs. But we have no ice or refrigeration so I can’t pack a bunch of meat or protein shakes. So for a month now, I’ve been researching what on earth I will eat on a trip like this. MREs maybe? I’ve eaten them before on a camping trip but they weren’t the greatest. I’m going to take a couple as a backup plan in the event I don’t get enough calories out of what I did decide to bring. I only have to supply my breakfast and lunch, so here’s what I have so far:

Cookies, ritz peanut butter crackers, beef/bacon jerky (lots of it), kind bars, squeezable applesauce, homemade trail mix, canned pears, oatmeal, raisins, bagel thins, peanut butter

Any other suggestions? I’m a bit picky, so yeah. I’m not normally OCD about anything but I’ve packed each of my breakfasts and lunches in their own Ziploc bags labeled with the appropriate day. I know, freak show. But doing this ensures that I have each meal covered. I think the MREs are a great backup plan and they come with a plethora of fun little treats. Sometimes even M&Ms.

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So right now, the wind is blowing at about, oh you know, 20-25 knots. No big deal. I am so screwed. I am praying to the energy forces in the galaxy that this wind dies down before our trip. Right now, the forecast has it laying down on our first day of paddling to about 12-15 knots. I can live with that. But 20-25 knots and my eyeballs might start sweating. And yes, there’s crying in paddling. Please just let me keep…it….together. What if the other girls are on a crew team? Or triathletes? Or on a wrestling team or something? I might as well waive them off and enjoy yet another new adventure – solo kayaking!

More to come…

 

 

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