Saying Yes to Chiapas with Elise Sterck

I’m often asked how a lifestyle like mine is possible. There are many ways I could explain it, but the shortest answer is to tell people to become a person that says “yes” to opportunity. By being open to any opportunities that come my way, even if it means rearranging my schedule or feeling uncomfortable trying something new, I was eventually incorporated into a community of people who are always out doing exciting things. This allows me the chance to experience new places, meet new people, learn new skills, and live a life that feels out of the ordinary.

This brings me to my latest adventure in Chiapas, a Mexican state known for particularly poor water quality and a lack of American tourists, but also some of the country’s most stunning natural beauty. Our mission was to pack-raft a section of the La Venta River, winding through a remote jungle canyon on mesmerizing green water for five days till we reached El Arco del Tiempo, the largest natural bridge in the world. My friend Jacob had seen this place featured on one of those survival shows – you know, the ones where they drop people off with a handful of random resources and film them trying to survive in a harsh environment – and decided he had to find a way to experience the stunning place for himself. He invited me and two other friends to join, and although I was in the middle of an awesome ski season in Jackson Hole I couldn’t help but agree to go.

canoeing in mexico

“Even if you’re on a crazy trip to Mexico sprinting through airports to make last-minute connections or scrambling over landslide areas portaging rafting gear to the next put-in point, the last thing you want to worry about it is whether you made the right footwear choice.”

ELISE STERCK

 


I spent a lot of time packing for this trip, deciding what was and was not important to take. I wanted to bring only the essentials, since we’d have to carry almost everything with us down the river and it’s a bad idea to leave a bunch of valuables in a rental car at a trailhead in Mexico. I also needed to bring non adventure-related gear for the few days we’d be traveling around the country arranging logistics for rafting the La Venta. One thing that was easy for me was footwear. The KEEN Terradora has been my go-to shoe these days, providing style for everyday wear around town while delivering support and functionality in the outdoors. They’d be my “everything” shoe in Mexico. I know footwear companies stress this point, but having an appropriately fitting shoe that provides the support you need really does make all the difference when it comes to enjoying yourself. Even if you’re on a crazy trip to Mexico sprinting through airports to make last-minute connections or scrambling over landslide areas portaging rafting gear to the next put-in point, the last thing you want to worry about it is whether you made the right footwear choice.

The takeaway? Good gear is an enabler. And with the oversaturation of equipment on the market these days, it’s nice to have an option that fits the bill for multiple activities so you can be prepared to say yes to any opportunity.