When Nic and I set off on our first 6 month trip around the world last November we did so with open minds for what the future would hold when we returned, hoping to absorb wonderful inspiration as we went along amongst so many diverse cultures. As it turned out, rough times in Vietnam proved to be the great inspiration, and at the time, considerations for abandoning trip were in the air! At the time we'd been 3 months on the road and to some of the most beautiful sites our eyes could behold including Fiji, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Our romantic ideas about Vietnam were quickly shattered on our first adventure far north in to the mountainous region and town of Sapa with cold damp weather, extreme pollution and very aggressive behavior towards tourists, and this was just the beginning for a 2 month journey by bus train and moped from the far-north all the way down to Ho Chi Min City (formerly Saigon) in the South! On one of many memorable and sleepless 15 hour+ bus rides packed full with people, some sleeping in the aisles and windows dripping with condensation, I found pleasant meditation beginning to dream about life at home in the spring and what I might like it to be like....
Before leaving I'd finished working with a architecture firm on Martha's Vineyard where I'd been for 10 years, and before that, college and 10 years professional snowboarding. There was this big hole in my life where a sports-focus was missing, and that needed to change. Over the last few years I was enjoying a re-emergence of my passion for sport in standup paddling.
Over the course of the trip what I came to realize was that before all else, I needed my new start to be doing something I believed in, something that was connected with every cell in my body, and for me that has always been with sports. It just so happened that suffering beside me on this stinky bus was my best friend and companion Nico and owner of aloha Paddle MV on Martha's Vineyard. Having no confidence that we would return and continue our lives on the Vineyard, me owning a house on the mainland, and Nic with fears of leaving behind all that she had worked to build for the last 4 summers, you can imagine her eyes grew wide when she heard me say, 'I know what I want to do when I get home, I want to run the standup paddle business with you!'
With so many miles to cover and challenging endeavors to endure getting through Vietnam, and Cambodia there was plenty opportunity for quiet meditation and creative thinking, new logo, new services, new web site, and fresh-made smoothies for all of our paddle clients! We even went so far as to buy a laptop with a Thai keyboard so that I could get up and running with the new website before we got home.
Being back on the Vineyard feels amazing and we're so excited to be focussing our energies together expanding Aloha Paddle MV to include many new offerings that we believe in. Come paddle with us, we can't wait to meet you!