I still remember that fateful haircut in May of 2014. As usual, I picked up a Men's Fitness Magazine to browse as I climbed into the barber chair for my monthly trim. As usual, my haircutter and I chatted about the weather and life in general while I aimlessly flipped thru the colorful photos of the magazine. Today was different however. A particular headline caught my eye as I neared the end of the issue. The topic featured 3 non-traditional vacation options for the active traveler.
One of the three options featured SwimTrek. This piqued my interest as I have always enjoyed casual open water swimming in Hawaii and San Diego, but never really considered swimming elsewhere (I live in California). In fact, my self-description as a "casual open water" swimmer was an overstatement. For me, open water swimming meant snorkeling with fish and playing around in the ocean while on vacation.
After my haircut, I quickly returned home and found the SwimTrek website. I was amazed with a diverse selection of distant and exotic sounding swim destinations, but was slightly discouraged as many of the trips featured swims of 3+km/day lengths. I considered myself a causal swimmer, and would typically swim about 250m-500m per pool workout....once per week at most. In fact, the thought of swimming even 1km was daunting.
I nearly closed the browser window thinking that SwimTrek was only geared toward advanced swimmers, unlike myself, but I happened to land on the "Intro to Open Water Swimming - Mallorca" trip. After reading through the description a few times, I thought to myself, why not give it a try? As an avid traveler at heart, I have always enjoyed vacations encompassing learning, fitness, and adventure. This trip seemed to hit all three targets! Within a week I ended up enrolling in the Sept 2014 Intro to Open Water Mallorca trip.
As my departure for Mallorca approached, I started to second guess myself. "How can I swim 2km per day (per advertised on trip page) when I can barely swim 500m-1000m?" "What if I can't keep up with everyone else?" "I'm traveling solo....will I meet friends?" etc...
By the end of the trip I realized that all my fears and doubts were unfounded. The coaching, food, camaraderie, adventure, and personal growth far exceeded my expectations.
Fast forward to today, June 2016, after completing the Into to Open Water Mallorca trip, I immediately started searching for future trips. I absolutely loved the Algarve (2015) and Oman (2016) trips, and I've already booked Maldives for 2017! Without any hesitation, I would definitely recommend SwimTrek to anyone who enjoys swimming, improving your swimming skills and meeting new friends who share your passion for adventure. It's been such an exciting past few years traveling the world with SwimTrek!
If anyone had told me back in 2014 that someday I'd be able to swim 6km+ per day by 2016, I would've simply laughed and thought they're crazy!