For two weeks, we put life on pause and enjoyed a nomadic fantasy, driving down to Baja. The roads were desolate, endless, and empty. Joshua trees and cacti spanned the horizon; home was a world away.
As the days went on, our skin grew accustomed to the sunscreen, salt, and sunshine. Our hair became matted with wax. Body odor and beer became a lingering, consistent smell. Days unfolded effortlessly as we explored the coast for more swells.
Eventually, good waves would show up with our current destination, wherever that happened to be. It was then we could slow down and appreciate Baja’s simple pleasures like waking up to the brilliant orange sunrise and a humid breeze. Trucks, tents, and van dwellers became our neighbors as we settled into the campsite. While it had only been a few days, the surrounding faces already felt friendly and familiar. We exchanged stories of the various, sometimes hazardous, routes south and why we’d come to Baja. Everyone had the same reason: find empty waves off the beaten path.
And that we did.
The warm, empty, peeling rights were plentiful. It’s no wonder people travel far and wide to surf here. We’d share waves until our backs were too burnt and our arms too sore. Afterward, we’d sit peacefully doing nothing, appreciating our surroundings as our bodies rested.
What we experienced may not be everyone’s dream, but for us, it was a perfect balance between discomfort and excitement. The language barriers, non-potable water, and wrong turns at nightfall kept us in check. Meanwhile, the waves, cheap tacos, and the foolhardy community of traveling surfers outweighed any uncertainties.
Words by Daniela Schwartz