Unsettled: Baja – Sailing into the Wilderness

By: Michael Youngblood, Unsettled Co-founder

The scene: The orange sun is setting below the mountains on Baja. You are looking west sitting on the beach of a deserted island. It is day 4 of your week living and exploring on the Sea of Cortez. You are days away from your last phone service, in a true wilderness setting (perhaps the truest you’ve ever experienced). 

Now picture thirty people from a dozen different countries and even more personal and professional backgrounds. You are sitting on the beach in the same bathing suit you’ve been wearing all week (and no one cares), with your toes in the sea and a smile on your face. You are feeling as free and as present as you can remember. Soaking it all in. 

On this island, with this Unsettled crew, you are in awe as you watch the sunset behind the Baja California peninsula. With the guidance of your Unsettled captains, you’ve personally learned how to sail, navigate, and steer your boat to this very spot. And it’s only day four. 

You remind yourself of all of this and where you are. You are in the true wilderness. The very waters that Jacques Cousteau and John Steinback sailed to their own astonishment. You all share a toast to the beauty and uniqueness of the moment with white wine in hand (from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, naturally). 

You begin a conversation with your neighbor as together you ponder about this journey through life we are all on, and how much you both have in common with this sailing family you only met a few days ago. 

Welcome to Unsettled Sailing: Baja. 

If you’ve heard that Unsettled is going sailing in Baja California Sur, Mexico this year, and you have a sneaking suspicion that this trip is truly unique, then you are right. 

Unsettled: Baja is a true wilderness sailing expedition that will be defined by an adventure deep into nature for 7 days and equally as meaningful conversations that are inspired by this journey. 

Captain Youngblood drives a motorboat around the Sea of Cortez on a scouting trip.

Here are 5 inspiring insights into what makes Unsettled: Baja so unique for us: 

1) A Sailing Retreat in Destination Wilderness 

Many of our past sailing trips (e.g. BVI, Croatia, Thailand) are themed around the costume parties, visiting one-of-a-kind restaurants along the way, and fascinating coastal port towns. 

In Baja, once we leave the dock from La Paz, Mexico, we are in the wilderness for 7 days and nights on a self-supported journey into nature. We will anchor in small bays all to ourselves at night, pack 100% of our provisions for a full week, and practice (and learn) wilderness navigation skills along the way. 

2) “The World’s Aquarium” 

According to the Nature Conservancy, the Sea of Cortez is the second most biologically diverse underwater ecosystem in the world. For us, that means we will be snorkeling, studying, and exploring these waters — and importantly, reflecting on the gift of the wild world around us through Unsettled style facilitated conversations. 

We may ask ourselves questions like: 

In a world of being “on” 24/7, how does nature help us recharge? 

What role does “deep play” have in our lives as adults? 

What’s the role of unstructured time and space in our lives? 

3) Complete Co-Creation 

Unsettled’s 30-day retreats are best known for how we co-create these experiences through workshops, talks, dinners, and conversations that are led by participants. We are sprinkling this theme into Unsettled: Baja and we will make time and space for it in a few special places along this journey. 

Now back to the scene. You’re back on that beach watching the sunset. There are conversations about life happening all over the beach, conversations you haven’t had in years. You sit back for a moment and realize how much each person brings to this experience and you quietly say “thank you” as the sun dips below the mountains in the distance. 

4) One Week Phone-Free

When was the last time you lost phone service for 5 days? Or when was the last time you turned off your phone entirely? Does this make you anxious? Excited? Perhaps, not having your phone in your pocket 24/7 is something you need now more than ever. We will all get through it (and maybe surprise ourselves with how awesome it is) as a crew. 

5) Meaning 

We will look at this sailing trip through Baja’s Sea of Cortez as more than a fun sailing expedition. We will pull meaning out of all of these unique activities we will get to experience. What can we learn about our lives as we navigate by true north at sea? What can the playful lives of sea mammals teach us about the role of play in our own lives? What truly sparks wonderment in our lives? 

Are you all set to set sail? Join our crew for our very first Unsettled Sailing: Baja today!

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Unsettled is a global travel community for those who embrace the unknown and value meaningful human connection. Our mission is to inspire a lifelong pursuit of growth, meaning, and adventure through travel and shared experiences.

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