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Did your New Year’s Resolutions include travel? Many people I talk with want to travel more but are worried about cost or distance for exotic locations. You do not have to travel outside the United States for amazing experiences. Last summer, I went to Minneapolis for the first time and had fun kayaking right in the city.
Try something new this year! Kayaking is something that some people think is really hard exercise. Maybe you have seen white water kayaking in the Olympics with helmets and thought, “I could never do that!” Some people do not want to learn to roll in their kayak. I have to admit I have been kayaking in many places and I have no idea how to roll a kayak.
Honestly, I have never even really gotten wet kayaking. Well, there was this one time in Florida I got soaked but we were in a rain storm and that was not from falling in!
Almost anyone can kayak for fun for a few hours. You can always rent a double kayak and go out on the water, relax, see the sights and let the other person do the paddling!
Four Favorite Kayak spots:
1. I loved kayaking in the City of Minneapolis with Above the Falls Sports. We walked two blocks from their headquarters and got right into the kayaks. The scenery was beautiful. It was such a contrast and literally in the middle of the city!
Video: Magic Minnesota Adventures
2. In Broward County, Florida, we kayaked in the Mangrove Forest with incredible guide, Dom Coscia. On West Lake Park at the Ann Kolb Nature Preserve, we saw little blue herons, white ibis, striped mullets, giant spiders and gorgeous red mangroves! This was very close to our hotel, The Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida. If you are in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, this is a great adventure to add to your visit.
3. If you are ready to go further for your water sports, I highly recommend a visit to Palau. You can stay at Carp Island part of the UNESCO Rock Islands and kayak all day. A bucket list visit to Jellyfish Lake to swim with the stingless jellys must be on your agenda. You can also snorkeling and kayak in other parts of the Rock Islands. This is truly a lifetime highlight.
Video: Kayaking the Rock Islands
4. The islands of Vava’u in Tonga are another bucket list destination for kayakers. I found Tonga’s tourism prices high for the value of the accommodation and food. It is stunningly beautiful, swimming with the whales is amazing and I got to watch Tonga’s Got Talent!
Video: Tonga’s Got Talent
Do you wonder where does kayaking come from? it is believed that the Inuit first invented the one person boat for transportation and hunting. One of the main differences with kayaking is the use of a double bladed paddle.
Kayaking is different from canoeing because a canoe has a one sided paddle and the paddler sits on a raised seat. In a kayak, you sit on a low seat with your legs extended in front of you. Kayaking and canoeing have been in the Summer Olympic Games since 1936 in Berlin.
If you already kayak or want to take your kayaking to a new level, I have the best new device for you! I recently met former Navy officer Guy Aharon in Israel and I learned about his Motionize Paddle, a motion sensor training tool for kayaking.
Imagine having a top coach with you on the water, giving you real time feedback on where to place your paddle, how to change the angle and even earn badges for great progress on your phone and with you on the water. The user interface is easy to understand and use—this is the next step in gamification—take your iPhone app outside and learn with it. It is like WII on steroids as you are actually doing a sport outdoors and your kids will still think they are playing a video game. The emergency message feature adds a layer of safety to your time on the water and the UK Coast Guard has already endorsed it.
Whether you go out for a tour in the city in Minneapolis or choose to travel to a place like Vava’u, Tonga or Carp Island, Palau for the kayaking, it is a great way to get some exercise, see the sights and enjoy family and friends as they move through the water with you.