…and be in it, live in it fully, cherish it, drink it in. Being able to take a step back from the “norms” of work, technology, priorities, to-do lists, and social lives takes practice and mental strength; Baja, Mexico provided many amazing opportunities for us to try and let go, relax, and be in the “now”. From starry night skies we experienced from the comfort of canvas cots, to the playful sea life that raced our boats and brought us to joyful tears, it was very difficult to not be in the moment.
One impactful moment for me was when we sat in a circle on the final day and shared terms, thoughts, quotes, stories, and memories of our experiences with the natural world. Even after knowing each other for eight or nine long days in the Baja peninsula, I had never felt more connected to each of my peers and instructors, not just as friends, but as a cohesive, familial unit.
Learning how to appreciate the moments and live in them fully is oftentimes accompanied by one’s ability to exceed beyond the limits of their comfort zone. During our first group discussion, we talked about the three zones embedded in our personal experiences: the comfort zone (eating a grilled cheese in your home), the risk zone (eating foreign foods of a different culture), and the danger zone (eating sharp, inedible objects). We were each encouraged to take advantage of our time in Baja and wander to the risk area of our comfort zones. For me, the risk zone was experienced throughout the trip: surrendering the use of our phones while in Baja, opening up to my peers, giving presentations to the rest of the group, and swimming with whale sharks (I have yet to encounter a greater, more thrilling moment…).
Overall, this first Earth Expedition trip to Baja was extremely rewarding, challenging, and full of memorable experiences. I have been able to apply some of the life lessons gained from Baja in my daily life at home, and hope to continue embracing the “now” and stretching the limits of my own comfort zone.
“Tienes que estar donde tus pies están.”