Why you shouldn’t marry your high school sweet heart, and if you do, get a divorce.

If you stick to the title advice, I’d say about 85% of the time you’d be making the right decision. Why? It’s simple. To grow, the single most important thing we need is change. Everyone needs to learn how to move on after a break-up or tough times, how to pick up the pieces and start something new. It’s the single most important life skill there is.

People talk about change all the time. Change is good, change is this, change is that. But can you dig it? Can you deal with it? Do you like it? Should you like it? Yes, if you want to live a more fulfilling life. It comes down to having an open mind. If you let it in, change will enrich your life by bringing in waves of new experiences and adventures, be it meeting a new person, traveling Mexico solo, writing a book, starting a business, volunteering overseas, or deciding to hang-glide from a mountain peak down to the beach in Rio. New experiences lead to new thoughts, new perspectives, new awareness and a new appreciation for your world and everyone in it. The more experiences you have, the further you can zoom away from Earth, seeing your world with a greater clarity than your day-to-day beer goggles.

Think. What are some of the hardest things you’ve done in your life?

graduated university
lost a loved one
trained uber hard for your favorite sport
asked someone out
cliff jumped
been in financial trouble
(insert yours here)

The most difficult things usually involve a change and a decision. Sometimes the decision is to instigate the change and sometimes it’s how to react to it.

Why Change?

Kick the Stress
This is the reaction part, your decision. Get used to welcoming change and all of a sudden things get easier. Going with the flow reduces 80% of your stress, and switching things up will make your life bucket loads more exciting. Before you know it, you’ll be excited to change things up. Make a list of things you want to do, and start crossing them off with cool people you love to be around.

Time Travel
I was talking with my good friend, who I travelled SE Asia with, the other night and I thought of it this way: what if I could jump ahead in time and get to the point where I’m smarter, more aware and more experienced. More specifically, how can I speed that up? Here’s how:

Decision A: Work the same job, date the same person, and hang out with the same group of friends for 2 years without a thought of meeting new people.

Decision B: Make a disruptive change – go abroad to travel or work, get in crazy good shape, try something you NEVER thought you’d do.

Does Decision A seem exaggerated? It happens more than you think, and I see it all the time. Hands down, decision B will catapult you to a heightened sense of being. You’ll know more about yourself, about the world around you and you’ll feel empowered, putting yourself light years ahead of someone who continued to do more of the same. You don’t need to live longer, you just need to live smarter.

Be Useful
Getting your change on makes you a more useful human being. If things go funky, you can roll with it. If things get tough you can handle it; If things get too easy, you’re down to switch things up. Not letting change negatively control you makes easier to be around and way more fun. Change makes you more aware of the world and yourself, giving you insight into work, into others, and into yourself.

Getting too comfortable?
Check yourself. One of my friends described it something like this: “I knew it was time for a change, because I was just getting too comfortable; with my life, with everything.” He ran off to Korea for a year, and came back a new man, a wiser man. I’m not telling you to run half way around the world, but seriously, think about doing something majorly different. Shake things up a little and see where life takes you. If you regret anything, regret something you did, not something you wish you did.

So, why would breaking up with or divorcing your high school sweet heart only be a good choice 85% of the time? Because some people already know how to change, welcome it, and seek it, opening their lives and the lives of those around them to amazing new experiences that would otherwise go unexperienced. Find those people and hold on tight!

Peace, get weird, go wild.

When In México – Saving Tortugas 101

The most common fate of baby tortugas – RIP (Photo: Natalia Delgado)

So what’s a tortuga (pronounced: tôr-too-gah)? Well, it’s the spanish name for a turtle, and frankly I love it, even more than turtle, (which I already think is a pretty cool name) so I’ll stick with tortugas from here on in.

I’ve wanted to release tortugas since I spent a month in Mexico last December and heard you could help liberate them. The stats on this are quite staggering. The Californian lady who helped run the tortuga camp – where they protect the eggs until they hatch – along with the local biologists, told us that there used to be 250 odd species of sea tortugas. Thanks to poachers there are now only 8 left. That’s not all. Unassisted, the survival rate of a baby tortuga from its nest to the sea is only 1%; human support increases that survival rate to 80%. It’s easy to see why these camps are necessary. Here are a few more facts before I get into the story:

What kind of tortugas were you releasing?

The sea tortugas nesting in the area were Olive Ridleys. Their shells grow to be about 60-70cm long when fully developed, they begin mating and nesting after about 8 years, and females lay up to three clutches per season – up to 100+ eggs. More on these cool creatures here.

How do you tell if your tortuga is a señor o señorita?

Bueno, if the belly of the tortuga is flat it’s a señorita and if it’s concave it’s a señor. It’s simple science people – the boys go on top.

Can anyone liberate a tortuga – what’s it cost?

Well that depends, as most things do, on who you are. If you do as most tourists do and book a tour (a bus to the beach and someone pointing you to the camp) it’ll be $50+, when really it only cost $2. On that note, stop being a tourist. You know the saying if there’s a will there’s a way? Well if there’s a tour for it, there’s a way to get it dirt cheap. I don’t have anything against the locals astronomically overcharging tourists whatsoever – I’d do the same thing. It’s how the ecosystem works. The lazy people pay extreme amounts of money for what slightly more savvy people, experienced travelers, prefer to do on the cheap. Walk down the beach and talk to people, it’s easy folks.

La liberación de las tortugas

So here we all were, on the white sandy Nuevo Vallarta beach in Banderas bay, before a most beautiful sunset, waiting for the tortuga lady to arrive to begin the ceremony. As the rest of the mainly local crowd gathered, we paid our 25 pesos (less than $2.50 USD) and got the run down form the biologists as we watched all the baby tortugas wiggle in the giant bowl. It’s possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Baby Ninja Tortugas (Photo: Natalia Delgado)

Tortuga Nests (Photo: Natalia Delgado)

The baby tortugas hatch in the morning but the biologists collect and keep them all until dusk to minimize the risk of interference, by predators and stupid humans, during their slow sand paddle to the sea. We headed down to the water and the biologists drew a line in the sand, 5 meters or so back from the tide-line. We bathed our hands in wet sand and were each given a tortuga to hold – totally cool since many camps don’t let you touch them. The camp’s belief is that by creating a physical connection with a tortuga the experience will have a much more powerful impact, providing us with a greater respect for nature and the serious issue of tortuga protection. Just like the baby tortugas have to be released on the sand so they can imprint the beach within themselves for when they return to nest, those little babies imprinted themselves in us.

Ready, set, GO! We set our tortugas down to begin their journey to the sea. Frank (Tanner’s tortuga) and Dos Equis (Peter’s tortuga) got off to a blazing 0.001km/day start, and Tortilla (my tortuga) wasn’t too far behind. Unfortunately our friend Henry somehow placed his poor tortuga down backwards, facing away from the sea, giving it an even better chance of survival… fail. Don’t worry the biologists helped the little dude out after a while and he got his dose of sea water. As the sun set and complete dark drew near, we watched the last of the tortugas wiggle their way into the waves and get swept off their little paddlers into the sea. It was an amazing experience, and we were all stoked about having been apart of it. When it was all said and one Tanner took home the fat sack of pesos on Frank’s behalf.

Final Race Results

1. Frank (the tank) – Tanner’s
2. Dos Equis – Peter’s
3. Tortilla – mine
4. Lento pero Seguro (slow but steady) – Natalia’s
5. Leonardo – Henry’s <-- required rescuing We save lives - what have you done lately? Go find your next adventure.
Sr. Dos Equis, Me, Bronceado McNube, and The Naughty Head Master – not all stories can be told
(Photo: Natalia Delgado)

Why Noobs Win

(photo by Marco Beinbrech: my friend Francois during our trip in Laos – currently noobing his way to a CA designation at PwC and building an emerging marine tech company with his big sis.)

Because they are fresh, they don’t act like gurus and they absorb their surroundings with a beginner state of mind. They realize that to move forward they’re going to make mistakes, so they might as well hurry up and make them.

The gurus are the one’s who won’t take a step backwards; they are done with making mistakes and enjoy the comfort of thinking they know, but that is a mistake. Teachers are especially susceptible to this, and must realize it.

Noobs learn more, more than the master who know’s everything. Strive to be a more experienced noob because masters don’t exist.

As I was writing this post, @Slaven began following me on Twitter. His bio reads:

Congratulations on being a noob @Slaven. Funny how that happened.

Have you ever found yourself graduating to guru status?

Copyright © Robin Campbell 2014