san felipe

My "Find Yours" Background

[trip style = benevolent]

On Monday I told you about my "secret" {but now the cat's out of the bag} trip to San Felipe, Mexico three weeks ago with Expedia for the "Find Your Calling" video shoot. Though 99.9% of my days were spent filming in and around the medical clinic I helped build, I got a chance to snap some photos between takes. Since San Felipe is a bit off the traveler's radar in comparison to Cabo and Cancun, here's bit of background on the town and my journey there...

I've been to San Felipe three times. My Mexi "first" was 18 years ago, followed by a second trip one year later and a third trip 10 years ago. Each journey centered around helping with the development of the medical clinic. And in case you think the experience was cushy, let me assure you it was not. As you can see below, the beach is quite lovely; however, there were no daily sunning sessions après work.

The first and second times I went, the clinic was in its infancy. As a result, we slept like canned sardines in sleeping bags on the floor of an old mobile home trailer beside the site. In the morning, we'd throw our "foamies" to the side and eat cereal in the same spot. Twenty of us shared one bathroom. Looking back, I'm not sure how. Despite the trailer's tattered and sand-stained carpet, basic kitchen and bathroom with rotting linoleum, it was more cushy than the way most locals lived. We had daily food, a roof over our heads and four connecting walls---still a luxury by 90% of the world's standards.

My two spring break visits were in grade 10 and 11. I returned for my third visit when I first started working in the corporate world, but this time as a leader to the teens on the trip. Given that seven or eight years had gone by since my first two visits, the clinic was now a bigger operation, capable of handling more patients with more sophisticated medical equipment.

Fast-forward to present day. When I got the email from Expedia saying they wanted to take me back to San Felipe to film for their "Find Yours" campaign, I was a crying mess.  I couldn't believe that a} the world's largest online travel company would be interested in my story and b} I would have a chance to share a life-changing moment that occurred on a mountaintop 18 years ago.

I learned MANY lessons on that first trip to Mexico, but the one that sticks in my mind the most is when you take yourself outside of your comfort zone, you learn the most. This is not always comfortable, but it can change the course of your life---for the better.

Thanks for sharing my journey. Here are a few photos of my trip to San Felipe with Expedia...

{Getting there}

{The colorful airport}

{San Felipe's arches welcoming visitors}

{5:30am sunrise}

{Our new, half-built hotel from the beach}

{The clinic today}

{The clinic's neighborhood}

{The view of the mountain from the clinic}

{The view from the top of the mountain}

{Lunch: just-caught fresh fish tacos}


In case you didn't see the video on Monday... Can't view this video?

[Photos by @tripstyler]