Winter in Baja Day 2: Embracing discomfort

Around 4am I stepped outside to go to the bathroom and was startled by how close the waves were to the truck. It was pitch black out, thanks to the new moon and zero light pollution, but I could see the white foam atop crashing waves maybe 20’ from the truck. A rogue wave tossed enough water to come within inches of my feet, startling me in my half-asleep state. We’ve camped in this exact spot before and were perfectly safe. But it’s our first night back to beach living and we’d forgotten how much higher the tide gets during a new moon. Before dozing back off we confirmed the tide reached it’s peak and I was grateful to not have taken a surprise bath in my pajamas in the middle of the night. 

After waking just after sunrise, I crack the camper door only to have it fly out of my hand. The wind was howling, the waves were raging, and sand was filling the air. In that moment the memories came flooding back like they were yesterday. Baja isn’t all delectable tacos and magical sunsets. It can also be a wildly relentless and unforgiving environment. 

A long walk on the beach, despite the howling wind and blowing sand, was draining and so we take refuge in the camper for hours trying not to question why we choose to live in such a small space. We remind ourselves that transitioning from our larger, more comfortable RV (that we live in the other 3/4s of the year) is always an adjustment and that no matter what these first few days in Baja will likely be a little uncomfortable. That’s when I recall a great quote sent to me by a good friend…

“When you stay inside your comfort zone it shrinks.” 

That’s enough to keep me embracing discomfort. 

Mid-day we decide to pack up and head further south.  Better to drive on a windy day than sit around and get wind blown. The question was, where to?

Plenty of beaches, available for camping, dotted the shoreline. Though a little further down the road was a spot in the desert, named by our friends “Magical Cactus Forest”. If we went there, we’d pass one of our favorite roadside restaurants along the way. 

Sold. Magical Cactus Forest here we come. 

The restaurant, whose name we still don’t know, did not disappoint. I laughed after we ordered and said to Mark “we obviously love this place cause we keep coming back even though we struggle with the language barrier more here than almost anywhere else”. As soon as the chips and deliciously spicy salsa came out the struggle to communicate was forgotten. After four fantastic enchiladas we drove away feeling giddy for how satisfied we were at the cost of $7. 

We arrived at the cactus forest just as golden hour was painting the desert in deep hues of green and gold. After a nice walk to take it all in we settled in for the night feeling content and delighted to be quickly readapting to our Baja way of life. 

Photos taken with the Canon R6.

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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