So, you love travelling and you love your partner, but when you combine the two, you end up worrying whether everything will go smoothly. Most people believe that going on a trip with your partner for the first time is the break or stay relationship test. In fact, it really is, as you are bound to spend most of the time together and be exposed to some unpredictable events in a totally different environment. There are cases when travel will make your relationship more stable and others which will make the butterflies vanish, and some people want to go on a holiday together just to test the quality of their relationship.

You realize your differences

New frontiers you are discovering together bring about your own discoveries and understanding about your  mutual similarities and differences. Confronting other people’s lifestyles while you mingle with the friendly locals may make you realize how the experience affects you: your eyes might be opened wide to the beauty of culture whereas your partner feels dull and uninterested. This is an opportunity to learn more about your differences and see what you can fight against or get away from. The growth occurs when you reach a mutual understanding about what it is that you both like exploring.

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I feel like most people who travel have mixed feelings about “returning home”, or at least back to some sort of normalcy compared to the exciting adventures offered while away. There’s the I’m so excited to see my family and friends and sleep in my own bed!, the I never want to leave this place; how will I survive?!, and I don’t even know how to go back to normal life…, as well as many others I’m sure I missed. These were some feelings I experienced after moving back to the U.S. after five months in Spain. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

But how are you practically supposed to readjust to a life that used to be familiar but now seems foreign? The foreign has become your familiar, and the world just feels upside-down. A foreign coin falls out of the washer, the people in the street actually speak your native language (this still freaks me out sometimes), and going to the grocery store is a lot more expensive than you remembered. Me? I didn’t want to adjust. Readjusting means going back to how things were before, and I didn’t want that. Travel changes you. The people you met, the places you went, the ways your perspective and priorities changed… Reverting back to my former self wasn’t really an option.

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With the days growing longer and warmer I’ve really only got 1 thing on my mind: getting on the water ASAP. While I do love the winter’s snowy retreat, there’s just something inherently amazing about soaking up sunshine and being warm all over, and there’s no better way to enjoy summer than to get a little aquatic.

Kayaking, rafting, and paddle boarding are my preferred methods for getting some vitamin D and exercise, but it hasn’t always been this way. Before I had my epiphany, I wasn’t very interested in water sports at all. Furthermore, I was also out of shape, making summer a less-than-enjoyable experience. I “dealt” with it. It wasn’t until I moved to Montana that I found my love and passion for the water.

When you first move to Bozeman, there is a rite-of-passage of sorts: you have to go float on the Madison or the Jefferson Rivers. Soaking in the sun, sipping on a chilled beverage and hanging out with friends should definitely be the first thing you do when you hit up Montana. The placid calm waters flow through some amazing country – that was my baptism, my first date, the spark that lit the fire for my future aquatic adventures.

After a season of floating on inner tubes on this very mellow stretch of water, a friend of mine and I decided to get air mattresses and tried them out via the Bear Trap Canyon on the Madison. They were definitely faster! But they were less maneuverable; I think you understand why.

Sevylor Carravelle

Sevylor Carravelle

Up higher in the canyon at Bear Trip, big whitewater can be found, but we never did anything too extreme on our floating monstrosities of air and vinyl. We did, however, know that we wanted to progress further; we just didn’t know how yet.

We needed to test out the whitewater rapids, and a trip down to the local big box store scored us some inflatable rafts like the Sevylor Carravelle above.

Ours actually weren’t as nice and we were paddling with our hands, but damn-it we were progressing! At least we felt like we were.

Again, another season or two went by and we were having a blast in our little boats. To be completely honest, I held those little rafts in pretty high esteem. They worked really well for what they were and we definitely put them through their paces.

But the performance still eluded us and now knowing that we still hadn’t found the magic bullet, we were stumped.

Until I got a phone call from my buddy, “Dude! I’ve found it!” Not knowing exactly what he’d found I humored him and asked what it was. “Packrafts!” was his answer.

NRS Packraft

NRS Packraft

This was the moment that unleashed the proverbial water sports Pandora’s Box unto us. These aren’t big box versions of rafts or some other boats that we tried to manipulate into something we could use. These were hard charging, big water ready, big boy toys. The ecstasy was real.

After we got our boats we started loading up on supplies like personal flotation devices (PFD’s), dry tops, and paddles. Before you know it, we were ready to conquer the rapids we’ve stared at for years – we were finally going to catch our white whale.

 

how can anyone resist this?

how can anyone resist this?

 

Since then I’ve been on the water every summer, finding new ways to get there and stay there. Kayaking, paddle boarding, heck even wake-surfing. Being on the water in the summer is almost as important to me as skiing in the winter. Without it, it just wouldn’t be summer.

Now something that makes packraft special is it’s portability. These whitewater boats can be rolled up and stored in a pack so you can take it just about anywhere: on hikes, on a plane, in your car, anywhere really.

Then we discovered stand up paddle boarding. Paddle boarding is awesome, you get great exercise and a chance to discover places that are hidden from the crowds. Paddle boards come in two distinct varieties: hard top and inflatable. While hard boards are great they lack durability and portability. They can chip and scratch or even damage something else. It also takes a lot of room to store. Enter the inflatable stand-up paddle board or iSUP.

These things are fantastic! They are portable, durable, fast and light. And technology has advanced so much that these perform as well as a hard SUP. The best manufacturers use high end materials resulting in really top notch products.

iRocker 10'

iRocker 10′

 

For example, the iRocker Paddle Board is an amazing “toy.” Made from military grade materials, it is super buoyant and nearly indestructible. These are affordable and work wonders!

Capable of holding 350 pounds but weighing only 28 pounds, this board is awesome as a starter as it comes with all the necessary equipment: paddle, pump, and storage bag are included and ready for your next trip to the lake or beach.

If you’re just starting out, finding flat water is a must. This part might be easy depending on where you live. Part of the adventure is traveling and finding some uncharted territory of your own to go explore.

One of my favorite spots for SUP is Lake Tahoe in California. The town is an awesome mixture of friendly locals those who, like myself, are looking for some outdoor adventures of their own. Lake Tahoe is incredible. You can see nearly 70 feet down in certain areas and the underwater views are beautiful to say simply.

Paddling in Tahoe, you have to realize that you’re paddling in over water from the Eastern Sierras in some of the most pristine forests and mountains on the planet. It’s absolutely amazing and totally worth the trip.

 

go find your adventure

go find your adventure

 

And all of this became possible for me when I took that first float in Bozeman. At that time, I was stepping into the unknown but the adventure helped to build the foundation for my outdoor pursuits.

Perhaps it’s time for you to find your inspiration. Go forth and adventure my friends!

 

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DESTINY-2

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