Entries from May 2013

Sayulita Beach

May 16, 2013



Yesterday we laid on the beach all. day. long. I read a book on my Kindle and just as I was feeling 100% lazy bones I decided to rent a paddle board – it’s like a surf board you stand on and with one oar you paddle around the ocean. My goal for this trip was to learn to surf but in reality I think paddle boarding is much more my speed. At one point while I was playing around in the ocean I thought “I want to see a shark.” Testing my luck the Universe, if you will. So I’m paddling around and I see something moving below my board. I think “It’s a shark!” but instead it was a huge spotted sting ray that performed a little lyrical swim right in front of me. Everything around me became still – time seemed to slow down and I couldn’t hear anything – but after a few long seconds the sting ray swam off into the darkness of the ocean. My heart started beating so fast and I was so excited – all while trying to maintain my balance on the paddle board. It was pretty much the coolest moment of my life.

The peddlers on the beach are non-stop. Anything you need they’ve got including jewelry, pipes, beaded bracelets, tunics, blankets, sports themed ceramic bowls, donuts, cokes, stuffed animals, and scarves. I started referring to them as the Beach Shopping Network. Saying no became easy enough but one hippie dude with really nice teeth accused me of not having an open heart and open mind when I refused to purchase a CD featuring a local Sayulita rasta musician. I do however regret not picking up a hat from the lady pictured above. Maybe today.

P.S. Jeremy was organizing my backpack yesterday and laughed when he came across a few of my lucky charms, which I’ve started bringing along on my travels. Lucky Kitty was especially stoked to be kicking it on the beach with me.

Sayulita | Sailing with Strangers

May 14, 2013




Jeremy and I decided to run away to Sayulita, Mexico. So, my last trip to Mexico was in Tulum – just 2 hours south of Cancun. Sayulita is about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. The day we got in we hit up a market for fresh veggies, eggs, and avocados. We settled in to our super modern home on a hill overlooking the ocean, made dinner and watched perhaps the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever witnessed. I became hypnotized watching a single sailboat bobbing in the ocean as Jeremy and I shared secrets and future plans. I wanted to be on that little sailboat.

The next morning we woke up early, I made some breakfast and we headed out to explore the little city we’ll call home for the next couple of weeks. We made it about 10 steps before a guy in a truck, who we’d later learn is named Darrin, stopped us and asked us if we wanted to spend the day on his 50ft. sailboat. My answer was yes, go figure, but I kept that to myself until I could get a read on Jeremy – his expression said “I’m along for the ride that is your life, Kathleen Shannon.” So I said, “yeah – let’s do it!” and Darrin told us to hop in the back of his truck along with a few cases of empty bottles and two miniature Dachshunds named Osa and Kahlua. He swung through town to pick up his traveling German girlfriend and a young Australian who is temporarily residing in a small neighboring town. And off we went. It appeared as if the universe was answering my prayer to be on a sailboat bobbing in the ocean.









So while it appeared as if Darrin was a stranger inviting us onto his sailboat he actually runs a charter boat for a living. And this unexpected adventure took us to the completely uninhabited Islas Marietas islands. We sailed past a school of playing dolphins and even saw a mama whale with its baby in the distance. Once we arrived to the islands we dove off the sailboat and swam with black fishes with orange stripes that Darrin coaxed to the surface with stale cake. We paddled on surfboards through a cave filled with jellyfish to a hidden beach. The little jellyfish that are translucent white are harmless – but there were little blue ones (maybe 1 for every 5 white ones) that stung something fierce. I managed to come out unharmed but Jeremy was stung on both wrists. Of course, I offered to pee on him to help ease the pain.

From there we did a little more exploring into another cave that made me feel like I was on the set of Goonies. We hung out on the beach under the shade of a cliff and kept our eyes peeled for blue footed boobies (a rare bird with a name that makes me giggle) until we decided to brave the jellyfish infested waters to get back to the boat. On our way back to Sayulita – just yards from the marina – our boat ran out of diesel. Darrin and his crew put the sails up but alas, no wind. I quickly learned that sailing sucks when you run out of gas – just like growing your own food is not so quaint when you don’t have a grocery store nearby. Darrin called for help and soon enough a man and his 8 year old son came to the rescue – they towed us back to shore with a little tugboat, if you can even call it that.

Our day ended about 12 hours from when it began with tres leches cake from a street vendor followed by sweet dreams – none of which involved scorpions or jellyfish.

If you’re ever in Sayulita you’ve gotta spend a day with Darrin at Sayulita Sailing. Tell him I sent you.

Weekend Reading

May 11, 2013


Ater a pretty intense week I’m soaking up this Saturday morning. I’m watching doves do it in my front yard, Mister Scooty Boots has learned how to open our kitchen cabinets and is making himself a kitty condo fully equipped amongst my Vitamix and KitchenAid, and Jeremy and I are sipping on cinnamon orange black tea. Here are a few articles I’ve come across this week that you might find interesting.

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E.B. White on Egoism and the Art of the Essay

Just in the past 6 months have I really started thinking of myself as a writer. Which is a bit uncomfortable because blogging is my medium – so it doesn’t feel important and can sometimes come across as self-indulgent. As I was reading this article I simply replaced the word “essay” with “blogging” and was able to relate. 

I am not fooled about the place of the essay in twentieth-century American letters — it stands a short distance down the line. The essayist, unlike the novelist, the poet, and the playwright, must be content in his self-imposed role of second-class citizen. A writer who has his sights trained on the Nobel Prize or other earthly triumphs had best write a novel, a poem, or a play, and leave the essayist to ramble about, content with living a free life and enjoying the satisfactions of a somewhat undisciplined existence.

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My friend Erin sent me this article written about life on the secluded Waldron island just off the San Juan islands. This island has one port, no electricity or plumbing, one dirt road and a one room school house. So of course it’s totally fascinating. It’s a long read – I’m only half way through as of right now and can’t wait to see how it ends. 
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P.S. Speaking of my friend Erin – she has an online magazine for women in design called GLIMPSE. Each magazine features a graphic designer including myself, Emily Thompson, Eva Black and more! 
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Leo Babatua of Zen Habits never fails to blow my mind with his concise and simple advice on living on minimal life. Today it is a guide to practical compassion, which caught my attention. I didn’t know much about compassion until I married Jeremy – compassion is a quality that Jeremy completely embodies. And through his example, I’ve tried to become a more compassionate person. And now that I’m diving head first into life coaching my number one job duty is to be compassionate. 

To practice compassionate actions, you start with yourself. A lot of people see suffering in the world and feel bad about it, but they don’t know how to take action. The best way to take action is to take action with yourself. The only person you can control with any degree of success is yourself.

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Let me know what you’ve been reading lately or if any articles have caught your attention.

This is 31

May 10, 2013


This last Sunday I turned 31. Unlike 30 I didn’t want to celebrate and I wasn’t feeling so hot-to-trot about turning another year older. Not because I hate the idea of getting old necessarily … but ever since that day when I internalized the 80s hit Forever Young I’ve been hyper aware of my own mortality (we’re all going to die!) and feeling like there just isn’t enough time (so what’s the point?). I also have this idea that at 31 I need to put the party to rest. Or maybe I was just wanting to have a lazy Sunday – which is how I like to celebrate every Sunday.

Instead of getting completely cozy with my morbid thoughts and becoming a total birthday bummer, I decided to spend my day doing yoga, planting some decorative grass my sister got me for my birthday, watching a documentary about artist Wayne White called Beauty is Embarrassing (more on that later), feasting with friends around my dining room table, and watching the newest episode of Game of Thrones.

Hello, 31. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for you but I’m here for you.

Photo (and body chain necklace!) by Merl Kinzie.

Travel and Write

May 8, 2013


When I start to daydream about what I really want to do these three little words rise to the surface: Travel and Write.

I give myself all sorts of excuses to not travel and to not write. I think “oh, well… it’s not what I ‘do'” or “there are people who travel far more often than I do” and “there are people who actually write for a living and I’m not one of them” or “who do you think you are?” Welcome to the inner critic.

So a couple years ago at Alt Summit I was sharing this dream to travel and write with my roomie and dear friend Danielle (aka The Jealous Curator). She gave me some tough love, paired with Canadian kindness, and said “Well, then… you need to travel. And write.” I have the platform for it right here – there’s no reason to not be living the dream. But instead I launched my own business and gave myself more excuses (see above) to not travel and write.

Then in a moment of kismet and the Universe answering my dreams I had the opportunity to write about travel – and not just here on the blog – but to actually be published and paid for it. Elisabeth and Miya of The Equals Record invited me to write on the topic of Exploration and uncharted territory. So of course I wrote about Nepal – I condensed my story to less than 2,000 words and reflected on what the trip really meant. How it changed me to my core. (It’s funny because the writing the story itself became a dreaded chore that kept getting bumped on my to-do list – the day before the final deadline I reminded myself that this is exactly what I wanted! To travel and write. And to get published no less!)

For the last year The Equals Record has been publishing essays and photography by talented women. They were inspired to create a space for women to write and read about substantive issues such as travel, politics, online culture, and work/life balance after giving ourselves some creative space. Now, a year later, they’re taking it offline.

The Equals Record is committed to remaining ad-free. Which means they need to raise some money to make this project happen. They’re raising $15,000 (or more, hopefully) to launch a publishing platform committed to promoting substantive content from up-and-coming writers, photographers, and illustrators. The inaugural print edition of Equals will include over 30 essays around the theme of “exploration”, with four major sections devoted to cartography, uncharted territory, nostalgia, and souvenirs. Equals contributors’ words are enhanced by outstanding photography and custom illustrations.


With just 18 days left they still need to raise almost $6,000. You can buy the book at a reduced rate or purchase a limited edition gift package here. Please support this project. 

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