My Column in Italian magazine KiteSoul #11

It can be easy to find a favorite kite spot and make that ‘your go-to travel spot’.  Each time you can sneak away for a little vacation your fingers slip into autopilot, checking ticket prices for the airport nearest that one favorite kite spot.  Visiting time and time again, year after year.  Not to say there is anything wrong with that.  Kiteboarding is a fickle sport.  I get it.  Why venture to the unknown when the known is so good?

Even as a professional kiteboarder one can get sucked into this trap of knowing what you’re in for.  Personally, I’ve been going to the same small town in brazil for the past five years, in total spending almost 10 months in the quaint fishing village.  But then again there are reasons for this.  When booking a kiteboarding holiday to a relatively unknown destination you are always taking a risk.  Will it be windy?  Will the water conditions be to my liking?  What about the food, locals, and non-kiting activities? Will I be safe exploring the beaches and nearby towns?   All my friends are in this other location; maybe I should just go to the same place as them….

With most investments, they say that with bigger risk comes healthier rewards and just recently while globe trotting from Seattle to Asia to Africa, Craig Cunningham and I cashed out big.  While the rest of the kiteboarding world headed to Cape Town, South Africa, easily one of our favorite kite cities, we opted for the path lesser travelled and hopped a flight to Kenya.  Destination: Watamu. 

Watamu is a small fishing village located only an hour flight from Mombasa, planted on the central coast of Kenya.  Boasting one of the best beaches in Kenya as well as consistent winds for two peak seasons a year, loads of offshore sandbars, wildlife, fresh cheap eats, and loads of non-kite activities, Craig and I almost couldn’t believe it to be true.  It sounds like every new spot that promises the ultimate kite vacation glory in their ad on facebook.  But in this case it was even better than promised. 

And as I sat at 4am on the last days of this recent trip to Kenya overlooking the most breathtaking view of a waterhole remarkably similar to the final scene in the Lion King, I was blatantly reminded that stepping outside the comfort of visiting established destinations can be so much more rewarding.  So I challenge you, you who books the same condo on the same stretch of beach year after year, ask around, do a few google searches, find a place you’ve always wanted to see and go for it.  You might just have the trip of a lifetime!