Mariah Brink is one of my favorite people in the world. We have a really unique and incredible history, and I'm so blessed to call her one of my best friends. Mariah went sailing with us in November, snowboarding with us this month and is going to Tulum with us on the next IVY Adventure!
Mariah wrote a little piece about IVY Adventures and I think she sums it up really well. What I like about Mariah is that she focuses on the same thing we at IVY focus on - Community, Adventure and Belonging.
"Mostly strangers to one other, we climbed into a Chevy van in a rush to get ahead of Denver’s storm of the century. We all barely made it. One of the few cars still on the road, we wondered if we were safe…and thanks to Corey driving us safely in our non-4-wheel-drive 12 passenger van, we made it out of Denver & into the mountains. I-70 closed right behind us, and we made it to our log home where we spent the week together. A variety of personalities and origins. I didn’t know anyone going except for Steve and Corey. I think for the rest of the crew it was similar."
Last week I came home from an amazing IVY Adventure to Colorado feeling so grateful and just happy to be alive! I started to write down things I learned and appreciated about each person on the trip, and I was amazed at the richness I experienced while spending just a few days in a lodge, on the mountain with these new friends that were strangers to me two weeks ago.
let go of my expectations and sunk into the moment - I am surrounded by individuals I have never met, from places other than my own. I am in the mountains about to go snowboarding in fresh powder. I have nothing to prove to these people, nothing to do but confidently bring myself to this trip, and invite people into the joy and meaning I find, as they invite me into theirs as well.
Mornings involved a big breakfast, and coffee as we quietly anticipated the days adventure on the mountain, and felt the soreness in our muscles begin to sink in. Sunshine and powder, while we shred the gnar all day. Epic drone footage planned for a full-send moment, turned to full-send wipeouts caught on film. Loud howls and song sung or yelled downhill, always short of breath. Blame it on the altitude...anything really, just blame it on the altitude. We left when we literally couldn’t ride anymore, fully spent. Back to our cozy log home, start the fire, stretch, build awesome snack platters, rest our muscles in the hottub, and then dive into the snow, and back into the hottub. We built friendship, inspired one another in conversation, and laughed a lot.
We left it all on the mountain, but took new friendships and perspectives home with us.
Something happens to an individual when you’re put in a room with a few new people and have to spend an extended amount of time together. You grow in your ability to adapt and I think that is a valuable thing. You wonder what it is like to be them, so you ask questions, you laugh together and you stumble your way through finding things you can relate on.
The ability of a group to adapt to the presence of one another and vibe and flow together through challenges, adventures, mistakes, joy, sunrise and sunsets, is what can make an amazing trip. And so far from both the Ivy Sailing Trip and the Colorado one, that ability to adapt has been there & it was wonderful.
The Sailing trip! WOW, what a banger. 12 of us flew into St.Thomas and took a ferry about 45 minutes to Tortola, BVI. We made our way to The Moorings and got onto our 48-foot Catamaran, the most ideal home for a week on the water in the British Virgin Islands. Steve as our captain, and the others to help, we took off on our adventure that I’ll never ever forgot.
very morning we'd wake up in our little rooms in each corner of the boat. Music would start to play (one of Coreys amazing curated playlists). Someone would get the coffee brewing and the day would start. There were constant and gentle sounds of sunrise waves hitting the boat. One by one, people are waking up, and making their way out to the deck of the boat with a mug of coffee and a really grateful heart.
You can see it either in the tiredness or wonder in their eyes. Quiet in that hour.
Then we take off... let the sail out, sunscreen on, music louder, waves splashing and we become a loud bunch.
Adventure that felt so incredibly wild and free, all day long. Leaps of the boat. Hops onto islands to explore. Swims with colorful fish. Unreal sunsets, diving into its colorful reflection in the water. Cards around the table and sunburnt skin. Fresh fish tacos or some other awesome homemade food. We were all in it together, all day, every day.
Close quarters, no phone service or wifi, adventure, vulnerable conversations, shared gratitude, shared tables and cannon ball contests. Relationship. It all brings a closeness like nothing else.
We all left the trip absolutely amazed at the experience we shared, the conversations we had, and the life long friendships that were made. Everyone was absolutely present in all of our moments, and that deep immersion in the moment is something we’ve all been craving in our daily lives. Theres something really special about a group of people that can create moments like these and I'm so thankful to have been a part of them.
"A human in it’s hometown, stands naked of experiences different from their own. Movement begins, and their shape is forming. An artwork in the making. Experiences, places, color and culture, the people we encounter in which we adapt and impact."
I love it that traveling does this for me, it shapes who I am.
- Mariah Brink