I do love the ability to do my work wherever there’s a internet connection: have laptop will travel. Though it can be a little difficult in some of the more exotic locales where the connection can be excruciating slow or non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most interesting cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of places you find pretty awesome to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Recently I was stand up paddle boarding (or trying to! check out this how-to on paddle boarding) in one such place: a kind of remote Brazilian town. It was significantly out of the way and remarkably laid back. The paddle boards were in mediocre shape and while everyone had super-relaxed attitudes the men also carried crazy-big hunting knives which makes one wonder. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never in fear of my laptop getting stolen.

So, paddle boarding: I can see why it is catching on in a big way. It does require a lot of balance, though. I had aching muscles in my sides and legs the next day; I think a lot of the soreness was due to tensing up while balancing. Like anything it gets easier as you do it more, and if you were to search out some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as pie. It can’t be too difficult if you can do yoga on a paddle board, right? Wrong. You will probably fall off a few times before you get comfortable with it. For that reason (and because warm is nicer) I’m glad my first try was near the equator in comfortably warm waters. It would be a good idea to wear a wet suit or even a dry suit if you are going to try for the first time in a cooler climate.

Overall, though, paddle boarding is not so hard that you get discouraged, and not so easy that you get disinterested: a perfect balance. And because you are outside in changing conditions on the water there is the constant stimulation of the changing scenery as well as the constant interacting with and adapting to the conditions. One really interesting plus that I hadn’t anticipated is the ability to see below the water’s surface easily. Since you are standing up you can look almost straight down along side the board. If you combine that with a good pair of polarized sunglasses to cut down the reflections you can enjoy some fascinating (and sometimes a little scary) views of marine life.

I’m a pretty visual person — I’m a graphic designer after all — and it was cool to see things somewhat differently: that is from the perspective of being out on the water. I can already see some slightly different design ideas emerging. I’d describe the new visuals as more fluid and liquid, more organic, and less boxy. It is good to have different styles at your disposal for different clients, so that’s another extra, unexpected benefit of trying something new. A new way of seeing things is almost always a good thing.