I’ll always remember my first trip to La Ventana. A conversation with a stranger, led to a series of YouTube kiteboarding videos, combined with my deep desire to fly, and next thing I knew I was googling, ‘kiteboarding and yoga’. La Ventana popped up among several others and to be honest, the only reason I chose here was the cheapest flight. And possibly fate.
Now, this was mid-November. The season hadn’t really started. The flocks of snowbirds hadn’t made their annual migration. It was hot (thank goodness I thought, being from Canada) but warm weather means no wind. Somehow it didn’t matter. I’d fallen, hard and found what my heart wanted more than anything else. What I’d gypsied around for, seasons on end. I was home.
I’d always wanted to be a water person but my desire to frolic like a mermaid, was never as strong as my aversion to the frigid, glacier fed water of the Canadian Rockies, where I grew up but there’s just something about the Sea of Cortez. It was love at first dip. Hugged up against a sandy shoreline at the base of the Baja mountains, I wanted nothing more than to know her. The lack of wind was mildly made up for with this blossoming romance.
Every day, I strolled down the beach, to the school, that was set to share their ways. Every day, I was turned away, for not a whisper of wind appeared. I was a little sad but far from defeated. I’d travelled all this way after all and though I’d never even laid eyes on a kite in person, kiteboarding had permeated my existence. I HAD to do it. Until finally! When I didn’t think I could stand another day of kayaking and beach combing, the slightest sliver of breeze could be seen on the distant horizon. The kite was huge and instructor hearty so off we went.
Not to complain, but I’m going to, that first day of kiteboarding was torture. Stuck in a wetsuit, on the land in the sun, with barely a breeze, I learnt that I’m not built to sit still and listen. But I tried, I reeeeally tried. I so badly wanted to learn and so dearly wanted to be a great student. The entire week was light but I got up, had some rides, and left knowing this was the life for me.
That first trip changed me. I’d found home and made the decision to create an existence for myself down here. Five years later, I’m about to head north after a second amazing season and know this to be true even more than ever. The magic of this place captures a heart immediately. People can’t define what they feel when they visit but they leave a little softer and a lot warmer. It has a special way to it that makes the outside feel abrasive and hard.
It’s why we keep coming back. It’s why we forgo security and comfort and concede to living outside the norm. Because there’s something here. There’s a secret touch to La Ventana that you have to experience to understand. There’s a freedom to launching yourself, through air over water and transforming a kite into another limb, that penetrates your being. This sport of misfits and non conformists makes you abandon everything that doesn’t fit her mold. Here is a band of brothers and sisters chasing wind and playing surf who remind you, you’re never alone and no matter where you go, you’re never too far gone to come home.