Many people ask us, "so how do you get ready for something like this? Kayaking from Montreal to Mexico will be so long. So much time, so much effort… that's nuts!"
They are right. So why do we do this?
We were busy packing our supplies in our kayaks, just off Pier 40 in New York City, not really paying attention to the people passing by. We had already done a month and a half of paddling, but packing equipment is something that requires concentration. You don’t want to leave anything behind, ever.
The New York Company was just great, helping us out without a sweat. Renzo, a New York photographer was taking pictures of us, giving us that "casual/ famous" feeling. At one point, we saw a whole group of people looking quite official. We paid no mind since we were attentive on organizing our kayaks.
Renzo was the first person to break our concentration. 'That's a Kennedy', he whispered.
Being a Canadian and all, eh… we didn’t immediately react. We were probably searching through our collective memories of past history classes. Then again, American history was not part of our curriculum.
We noticed that all of the officials were quite nervous around this one man, watching his every move and following his every step. To our surprise, the man stopped right in front of us, very curious about what we were doing. He asked us a bunch of questions and gave us a lot of attention. He was seemingly impressed with our journey, our story…
We did indeed learn his name, Robert F. Kennedy Junior, who is currently an advocate for waterway protection and also a white water paddling enthusiast.
At the end of the day, where water meets land, the people we encounter come in all sizes, all colors, all backgrounds and social classes. What they all share in common, regardless of who they are, is their personal story and their interest in sharing in ours.
At the start of this trip we would have initially said that we are doing this journey for the adventure, to learn, and to share… all of which are true.
Today, if you were to ask us, with miles behind us and more to come, our answer has grown from all of the above, to quite simply, we do it for the love of people and their story.