Kayakers Traveling Abroad – The Newbie Edition:

Disclaimer: I’m new to this whole traveling abroad as a kayaker. This trip marks my second time as an adult traveling with a kayak internationally. Last year about this same time I was about to embark on my first international kayaking trip as an adult. I thought I’d done my research and would be “fine” navigating my travels with a kayak. I took a swing at sneaking my boat onto a flight with Delta and actually got my boat accepted. “This isn’t so hard” I thought. Well… that was the last thing that went off without a hitch. Moments after settling into a corner seat outside gate F12 I heard “Mr. Casey Jones to the desk.” The flight had been overbooked and the maximum luggage size had been downsized to a linear inch limit which wouldn’t allow my boat to make the flight from Atlanta to Santiago. I had to rush outside to my car with my carryon bags and boat in tow. I then ripped into my boat bag to snag the precious few things that I had stashed away inside. In my rampage through the parking garage I thought to myself “Crap! I’ve got thirty minutes before boarding!” Somehow I ended up making my flight and with a few hiccups scattered throughout the next twelve hours I eventually made it to Chile.

I learned three lessons in my first attempt:
1) Approach employees you come in contact with with courtesy and patience.
2) Always allow a plethora of extra time.
3) Research baggage size and weight and limits.
4) Always have a few contingency plans.
5) If things do go sideways, relax you’re on an adventure… its just started early.
Fast forward a little over a year as I sit in the Atlanta international terminal with my friend Eli Castleberry, I’ve begun reflecting how these lessons have improved our experience thus far. We allowed a plethora of extra time before our departure time. This reduced stress making rule number one an easier task. The research of baggage size and weight limits made the acceptance of our checked bags effortless and the knowledge that Air Canada accepts kayaks which was so graciously imparted to me by my girlfriend Melissa “Huckson” Hickson has my stress level sitting around zero. Our journey isn’t complete yet but with several contingency plans for our travel from Santiago to Temuco, Chile in place my mind has begun wondering into daydreams of Chilean whitewater and empanadas.

Heres to adventure and dreams of whitewater,
-Casey Bryant Jones

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