Pick Bahía when picking Mexico

This whole trip was done through Silver Shark Adventures out of Los Angeles, CA

It can be overwhelming when choosing where to go on vacation. Many choose Mexico because it’s warm, easy to get to and for their beautiful culture and cuisine. Not too many choose Bahía de Los Angeles though. This little town is located on the Baja California Sur and it’s pretty much a secret ocean safari.
One of the reasons why tourists don’t tend to travel to Bahía is because the only dependable way to get there is by car. Most will fly into LAX because TJ can be a little unpredictable but from LAX it is a 12-hour drive down to this desert oasis.
I think there is something to be said to vacationing where many choose not to. It feels untouched, more serine and like you’re apart of the place that you’re staying. On our first night, I had the beach all to myself and could just hear the waves crash against the shore. I couldn’t wait to go sleep so I could wake up and embark on our first boat ride.
We started our ocean safaris around 7 am to beat the heat and be able to see as much marine life as possible. We were all eager to see everything but we all also had the same goal in mind, to swim with the whale sharks.
There were definitely other headliners though along the way. I fell in love with the dolphins, they traveled in large pods and found the boat to be one of the most interesting things. Their love for the waves produced by the boat was unmatched.
I honestly couldn’t get enough of these guys. They were so playful and we even got in the water with them at one point. Once in the water, you could really hear how they communicate with each other using their echolocation
The water in Bahía was like glass on most days and felt like a warm pool when jumping in. Just some more reasons on why to choose Bahía.
We were on the boat for about 7-8 hours a day for 4 days. This might sound like a lot but it was perfect. We had lunch breaks and were able to jump into the sea anytime we got hot. It was a great way to all get to know each other since all of us girls were solo travelers.
*Please excuse the swearing, it was very exciting*
On the second day, we saw two huge fin whales. There were only 5 of us on a small boat so we were able to really get a sense of how enormous these whales are, coming in as the second-largest species on earth behind the blue whale.
We saw everything from sea life to birds, here are some blue-footed boobies! I wasn’t able to zoom in enough to see their feet but here’s a link from Nat Geo!
a handsome pelican!
This is Norma, we saw her a handful of times. She’s currently the largest whale shake in the Sea of Cortez and in my option, the sweetest. She’s 38 feet long and I was lucky enough to swim with her one day for around 20 minutes!
Here you’re able to get a sense to just how large these creatures are when you’re swimming next to them.
Exactly what the doctor ordered after a long day on the boat. We stayed at a hotel on the ocean that was stacked with more of Mexico’s finest.
One of the best parts was simply waking up. All four mornings I had the beach to myself and was able to soak in the sunrise. I even saw some of the hotel owner’s dog fishing for their breakfast while the tide was low.

3 Lessons Learned From Daily Writing

Back in July, I decided that I would spend a small amount of time every day practicing my writing. I started by picking random prompts and setting a timer. When I started doing these writing prompts, I wouldn’t say that my level of confidence in my writing was high. Honestly, after three months, it still is not very high. However, there are a few things that I have taken away from the last few months of writing. I was surprised when taking a look at the process, that it had changed my life in a positive way.

1. Writing is Therapeutic

At this point in my life, I have limited downtime. When I started writing these daily prompts, I was pretty sure that I would be mad at myself for taking away even more of that downtime. I didn’t want to worry about all the work and school work that I needed to do while I was doing my writing exercises. So, I chose to wake up earlier than I once had, set time aside, and become a more proficient writer. I was reluctant at first, thinking that time could be better spent sleeping. After a few months, my outlook is completely different. I go to sleep earlier and look forward to waking up to completing another writing. I have found that I have had less stress in my life because it gives me an opportunity to wake up to doing something that feels productive. There have been a few days that I have missed out on writing prompts and I notice a difference in the way that I orient my day. It is almost a necessity for me to wake up writing at this point, because it makes me feel as though I am the version of myself that I want to be.  

2. It Takes Time.

You won’t notice a change right away, and honestly, if you don’t take a closer look you may never truly notice a change even though it is there. Writing comes easier to some than it does for me. I am still trying to find my voice, and that’s after writing nearly every day for three months. This is a skill that does not come easily and will constantly need to be refined. Successful writers are what they are because they have been doing so for a very long time. The beauty of this craft is that it is different for every single person. My voice is going to sound different than yours, and that is what makes it enjoyable. Everyone has stories, but not everyone gets to tell them. It becomes easier and easier to tell your stories the more that you practice. The payoff is not immediate, not even close. It does take a long time to refine your craft.

3. Creativity Has No Ceiling

This is the most beautiful part of what I have found. Creativity has no ceiling, at least not one that can be reached easily. The world is full of incredibly unique minds that can and have thought of things that no one else has before. The beauty in writing is that the possibilities are endless. In literature, we have seen plenty of different genres become popular. From historical fiction to high fantasy, there are plenty of well-written stories that have entertained us for years. Even stories that have been told a hundred times seem to find a new, creative way of being told. Writing styles change the same way that the human voice changes amongst every one of us. Through the last three months of writing, I have found that my creativity, not only in my writing but in my personal life has grown.

Even if none of the things are terribly important to you, I recommend sitting down and practicing your writing. It is one of the most useful skills to have, and the practice of writing refines so many other traits that you have. Being able to articulate better what you are trying to say is a skill that has a level of importance that we may not realize. Writing will help in a lot of different ways in our lives. Also, its pretty fun.

Why you should do your student exchange at the University of Montana in Missoula

Photo: Kayak

Do you like a variety of outdoor activities and breathtaking views?

Well, it can’t get much better than this. Firstly Missoula is located close to the beautiful Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, which are a must see. Secondly there’s a great variety of close by destinations, such as Lolo Peak, Bison Range, Pattee Canyon etc. If you’re up to exploring other states, Olympic National Park isn’t too far away either. When you travel, you will most likely get to know some locals too, such as bisons, deer and black bears. Remember to bring your camera.

Always wanted to be a part of the sports hype but couldn’t find the right team?

Search no more! Our very own Griz family is open to every single person from a toddler to grandparents. Whatever game (football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey) you see, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Looking for the best academics?

Speaking from experience: Here in Missoula you’ll have teachers who inspire and encourage you. They will help you to succeed in work life after school. They do care for you. (Coming from people who study Communications, Politics, Philosophy, English & Arabics, Pharmacy, Physics and Space Science).

The campus environment for studies is pretty neat too. Where else do you have trees growing inside your study building?

I promise you one thing: If you do come here, you will have the best time of your life.

Delivered to you by one happy exchange student who totally lost her heart to Montana.

Top 5 Hikes In Western Washington

Wallace Falls: Gold Bar, Washington

This beginner to moderate level hike is located in Gold Bar, Washington. It begins on the river banks and slowly acclimates to the top of the falls. This hike has a lower stopping point, a mid-point, and the upper falls final stop. The trail is about 4.5 miles round trip.

Rattlesnake Ledge: North Bend, Washington

This intense hike is located in North Bend, Washington. At about 4 miles round trip, this hike will really test your stair climbing as you gain 1,160ft by the time you reach the top. The view is well worth the hard work!

Dog Mountain: White Salmon, Washington

This trail is right on the border of Washington and Oregon, at the base of the Columbia River Gorge. It is 6 miles round trip, with a 2,800 ft elevation gain to the top. Once you reach the peak, the view is unforgettable! Make sure to go around the springtime to see all the flowers blooming on the mountain.

Blanca Lake: Index, Washington

Blanca Lake is a glacier-fed lake hidden within the mountains. The hike is about 13 miles round trip and classified as difficult. Unless you want to hike in the snow, the best time to tackle this trail is in the summer, but you’ll need to get an early start to avoid the heat for the 3,900 ft elevation gain!

Mount Si: Mount Si, Washington

This trail is located in Mount Si, Washington, and it is another elevated hike. At about 8 miles round trip and a 3,200 ft elevation gain, this is considered a moderately difficult hike. Once at the top, you get to look out and view the Cascade Range.