Life Lessons Brought To You By Baja, Mexico By Joe Kudla

"Mexico...It leaves you speachless and then turns you into a story teller." -Unkown

We left San Diego in a truck filled with good friends, great music and eight beautiful surfboards of different shapes and sizes "securely" strapped to the roof.  Our destination- Scorpion Bay, San Juanico, Baja, Mexico, a place that I have been wanting to visit for a LONG time.  A busy life in the office had consumed me for the past year so I was ready to dive head first into Baja, turn off the cellular devices, unplug from the matrix and hopefully get some good inspiration along the way.  Pent up dreaming of hot sun on our backs, perfect right hand point breaks and cold Mexican beer manifested into a pre-dawn departure.  We were fired up!

After a long day in the car we turned off the main road to what looked like the entrance to an old dusty Baja ranch.  We were heading into the golden part of the day...my favorite...that late afternoon window when the sun starts to go down and the land starts to lights up.  The desert was beautiful.  I jumped out of the car to stretch my legs and soak up the natural beauty that surrounded me.  Vast desert, open space, endless possibility.  At that moment I could feel myself starting the process of unwinding, detaching from my busy, wifi oriented, San Diego life.  I felt alive, connected and open to everything that travel is sure to bring.  It was just then that I heard a collective chatter from the group that may haunt me for the rest of my days.  "WTF....where are the boards"..."the boards are gone"..."this can't be happening"..."Noooooooo".  I turned around with the confidence that I would see the situation differently...my friend's must be mistaken.  Sure enough, our boards were gone.  A dwindling strap hanging from one of the racks was all that remained.  

I always find it interesting to observe how the mind processes situations like these...Wev'e been driving all day, I'm ready to get there, the boards must be on the roof, nope they are not on the roof, where could they be?, I've done this a million times and never lost my boards, we can't turn around, this can't be happening, there are brand new boards in those bags, I borrowed my friends favorite board, all our wetsuits are in there, wow this is happening, do we go back?, is this a dream?, please wake me up.

Here we were, deep in Baja, headed on a surf trip to a place I have dreamed about for years, for a week of seemingly impossible time carved out of a crazy work schedule, with no surfboards or wetsuits.  WTF universe.  Really.

I'll save you all the details, but long story short, we back tracked 2 hours thinking we might find them on the side of the road.  We did not find them.  We posted up in the nearest town for the night and spoke with everyone that would talk to us.  We made flyers offering UN GRANDE RECOMPENSA (a big reward), we had the local radio station broadcast our situation and we hired someone to drive around with a microphone announcing that a bunch of gringos lost their surfboards.  You would have thought we lost a child.  After a half day spent exploring every possible way to escalate our situation to a matter of national security, we decided to let it go and continue the journey south.  Half heartedly, we told ourselves we would not let this ruin our trip.  The show must go on.  

We arrived that night at what is now one of my favorite little slices of heaven, the Scorpion Bay Hotel (make sure to check them out).  The care takers heard about our situation and welcomed us with the fresh local ceviche (my mouth just watered typing that).  Regardless of our situation, it felt great to be there.  Sure it sucked to have that lingering in the back of our minds, but it did not stop us from having an incredible trip, and as is always the case, the universe had our back.  The first morning there we met some great human beings that turned out to be friends of friends and offered their extra boards and wetsuits.  They took our situation on as if it was their own and made sure we had everything we needed to get in the water and have fun.  The trip was on.  We were stoked.

We spent the week exploring Scorpion bay and the surrounding area, sharing endless waves with new and old friends, fishing, falling in love with a black lab named Brawley that surfed with his owner and sharing stories late into the Baja nights...the stuff perfect Mexico trips are made of.  We did end up recovering the boards about a week after we returned - maybe half of them were worth saving.  It turned out someone found them laying in the road and their cousin just so happened to hear the car we hired drive by with the loud speaker.  They contacted us by email and after some negotiating agreed to give them back.  

I, like most, love to travel.  I love the people you meet, the things you see and the perspective you gain along the way.  Looking back on the trips I have been fortunate enough to go on I realize that most of them are not defined by a moment, or something specific that happened.  They each have their own unique feeling and the experiences seam to blend together to become a part of you.  Now that a few weeks have passed I don't even think about what happened with the boards.  For the most part I think back with a smile and a feeling that more resembles the same spirit that is captured in these photos from the trip. 

In yoga we are taught to practice detachment.  That doesn't mean renouncing your worldly desires or possessions, but rather setting your intention and then relinquishing your attachment to the outcome.  It's a lot easier said then done.  Going down there I was pretty attached to taking my one precious week out of the office to surf my favorite boards on perfect Scorpion Bay waves, but life had other plans for me.  Trips south of the border tend to do that.  They tend to leave you speachless and turn you into a storyteller.

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