In the summer of 2016, we took a trip across Europe with a range of activities and exp hat we had planned and wanted to explore. Croatia was an interesting inclusion in our itinerary. And it was a bag full of surprises at every turn. We had quite some misadventures while traveling across the Croatia. Misadventures that now make for exciting stories to tell, but back then we were miserable whilst dealing with it. There was so much to love in and about Croatia. The culture, the scenic beauty, the popular attractions. And yet, we could not wait to get out of the country owing to the repeated episodes of racism.
After Dubrovnik, we had one more stop to cover before we headed out of the country. The plan was to explore Split, the third stop in Croatia. But we found a great Airbnb in Omiš, a town forty-five minutes away from Split. Our Airbnb host, Irena was very passionate about her town and her hosting duties. On our first day, she showed us around the historic center of Split and for the second day, she had a surprise planned for us.
The next morning, despite pulling an all-nighter, we found ourselves waiting to try something completely new and unexpected.
K for Kayaking
It was that morning, minutes before heading into the sea did, we learn the meaning of Kayaking. Quite ironically, we had not planned any such activity for the trip. Probably, out of ignorance. But strangely enough, Kayaking changed our lives.
Kayaking in Split, Croatia
That morning, we met Mariana from Given2Fly adventures at the Split Promenade. We drove a little further to a more secluded opening of the sea and got changed into our swim wear and life jackets.
For the next two hours, we were kayaking in the Adriatic Sea. With our devices left back, our attention was all towards learning how to kayak. Paddling the sea water with oars can be quite exhausting. Luckily, we were in kayaks of two with one instructor each to accompany us.
We had never done something like this before and the whole experience was so therapeutic. Learning something new, struggling to get it right, trying again, finally getting it right! Learning to kayak in the Adriatic Sea on a random morning in Split was the highlight of our trip to Croatia. Especially, because probably we would not have voluntarily opted for something like this.
Kayaking in Maldives
We found ourselves in a kayak yet again, this time in the clear waters of the Maldives. While there were many water sports to experiment with at Club Med Kani, we were particularly excited about Kayaking. After our experience in Split, this felt like our thing. It was probably the traces of excitement and enthusiasm that engulfed our minds from our previous trip.
Kayaking in Interlaken, Switzerland
We were pretty skeptical of our options to explore while in Switzerland during the winters, especially given how cold and snowy it had gotten. However, we came across the pamphlet in our hostel in Interlaken of an activity called ‘Winter Kayaking’.
Parichay and myself were definitely thinking of the same thing while staring at the pamphlet. In our heads, it sounded crazy at first. But after realizing the importance and committing ourselves to more activities than just sight-seeing, we knew we had to try this. And so we signed up for winter kayaking in Interlaken.
On the day of the activity, we walked up to the Boningen village and got all ready for the kayaking. However, this felt a lot different from our previous experiences. For the first time, we were going to be wearing fully insulated wet suits to avoid getting wet. And we were going to kayak all alone on Lake Brienz.
I was quite unsure how far I would make it given the energy required to kayak alone. But there was no backing out at this point! Of all the time spent in Switzerland, this remains my most special memory.
Kayaking on a pleasant winter afternoon, we were possibly the only people in sight. After kayaking to the other side of the lake, we took a quick tour of the remains of Ringenberg castle and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee while enjoying the panoramic view of the settlement on one side and the lake on the other.
On our way back, we witnessed the most surreal sunset ever as the last of the sun rays hit the snow-capped mountain peaks. The whole experience felt like therapy. We thought it would be similar to what we had done before, but this was different and special in its own way.
Do you ever just find yourself in the middle of the grand scheme of creations of nature to realize that you and all your problems are only just the tiniest speck in this massive universe?
Signing up for activities & experiences
Kayaking was only just the beginning. Kayaking got us to open up to the ideas of literally trying new things while traveling. Making chocolates, driving a boat, paragliding, sky diving, bungy jumping, cooking, wine tasting, suddenly, a whole new world opened up for us!
Now, we didn’t just want to travel to see places, we wanted to travel to try new things, to learn new things, to make way for adventures and stories.
Try something for the first time
Above everything, kayaking symbolized the idea of doing something you’ve never done before. It was not just exhilarating, but humble to say the least. To try something that you had never dreamed of doing was the new dream!
Our trip to New Zealand was focused on the very aspect of saying yes to adventure! It was in moments that we felt that we would chicken out, we gathered just an extra ounce of courage to feel that adrenaline rush.
It felt like saying yes to life! And winning over and over, each time you attempted something new.
Do you resonate with this feeling? Do you have that one activity or that one turning point that changed your perspective towards travel, towards experiences, towards life? Tell us your story in the comments below.
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