Stark Contrast

// by: MWO

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My latest adventure was into the lap of luxury. As a gift after Christmas my parents took my fiancĂ© and I on a cruise to Mexico. Specifically Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Unfortunately, this didn’t involve any kayaking, but it was certainly an eye-opening experience in may ways.

It was actually a very unique experience for me. I have travelled a lot for paddling purposes, yet this was really my first vacation without a boat. It’s certainly much easier to travel when you don’t have to check-in with a 3.5m kayak at the airport. Along those lines cruising is definitely an easy life. You may be wondering, “What’s so great about boat life?” It’s a combination of convenience, entertainment, and quality beyond what I expected. The details are trivial. I was just really impressed with the quality of service and offerings on the cruise. It’s luxurious in every aspect.

The most interesting part was the ability to see the dramatic difference between people with the wealth to cruise on a regular basis and the residents of Mexico. On on particular tour through the outskirts of Mazatlan we had the opportunity to visit small villages away from the usual tourist spots. We were guided by a man named Ceasar who seemed to know everyone in the places we went. He took us through towns and showed us the bakers, the artists, and the history. It is incredible and awkward to walk through these places when you know that you’ll have a 5-star meal on the boat at the end of the day and they’re just trying to get by. It was hard to see some of the struggles that they face, yet in the light of all that I would say that they weren’t unhappy. I saw more people on the boat upset, angry, and uncomfortable because of minor inconveniences than I saw on land where people have real hardships. I realized that I’m lucky to have a life that allows me to enjoy leisure time, but I don’t always act that way. When I came home I had a new appreciation for my opportunity to pursue education, recreation and adventure. When I have the time to go paddling now I really take to heart the fact that not everyone has that freedom.

Some may say that this isn’t true adventure, but I would disagree. I think that anytime you get new experience and find a different way of life you’re following a spirit of adventure. It was an adventure for me, eventhough I may not have risked too much, experienced adrenaline fuelled moments, or push any boundaries (expect my own).

Stark contrast between the boat life and the pictures below.

These men a building the road through Copala one stone at a time.

The boys in this picture were selling the small carvings held by the boy on the left, and charging people for pictures of the donkey (a.k.a the Taxi)

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