Empowering Myself Through Travel – Sea Cave Kayaking Channel Islands National Park

This is a sponsored article. I was hosted by Kia Motors USA on an all expenses paid trip to Santa Barbara, California but that in no way shapes my opinions in this story. Additional sponsor is Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals, both of which I used on my trip for the purpose of content and comfort. 


Travel means a lot of things to different people. Hell, it means a lot of things to me! But the most meaningful travel seems to be recognized when you’ve either met someone, shared something special with someone or faced a physical challenge. And of course, when you put all those things together, you have a trifecta of meaningfulness. I was lucky enough to have recently experienced this travel mecca with my Kia family on our trip to Santa Barbara, California where we did many incredible things. But, for the sake of this article, I’m going to tell you about the day I went sea cave kayaking in (what I would later find out were) shark infested waters at Channel Islands National Park.



Top image photo credit: Joe’s Daily


Sea Cave Kayaking at Channel Islands National Park with Kia – When I Thought I Couldn’t Do It


We had just spent the last two days enjoying the beautiful coastal destination of Santa Barbara, California where stayed at the five-star luxury El Encanto Hotel. A perfect setting to experience the new Kia Optima SXL and the Kia Cadenza. And, the perfect setting to meet new bloggers and gather with returning ones. Our sea cave kayaking adventure was perfectly timed. We had just enough time to connect and make new friends in the days leading to our trip. Many laughs and moments gathered around great food and wine already filling up my phone’s storage space.


Kayaking Channel Islands National Park


As we journeyed the hour and a half ferry trek alongside playful dolphins and lazy sea lions to the Channel Islands, I still had no idea how special or challenging this day would be. I also had no idea how nauseating a ferry in the Pacific Ocean would be. Thankfully I had my Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals on hand (I can’t say the same for some others). Tip: If you’re making this trek, I recommend you take it 30 minutes before you board.


Our arrival brought immediate excitement as we geared up with Roxy, California Republic, and REI. Donning our helmets and life jackets we listened to the guide as he uncovered the dangers that awaited us. I went from calm to nervous, something I rarely feel. I remember thinking, “maybe this is a bad idea, what if I can’t do it?”. No one around me would know that I was totally freaking out.


“Maybe this is a bad idea”


Kayaking Channel Islands National Park


A deep breath and my tenacious need to conquer my own fears aren’t the only things that lifted my kayak into the cold and wild waters ahead of me. It was being surrounded by dear friends and knowing that they would be braving this adventure with me. That was everything. And the fact that I didn’t have to hurl was a big bonus too. My trusted Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals were a day saver for sure. If you’re like me and can’t handle being sleepy when there’s adventure afoot, give them a try. They are the first non-drowsy solution for motion sickness made with a full clinically-tested ginger dosage required to prevent and treat motion sickness. This means it’s effective, natural and safe. Not feeling ill was a huge help on the nerves.


“What if I can’t do it?”


Kayaking Channel Islands National Park

My partner and all around badass Cristin Casados the Naptime Reviewer


Two by two we launched until we were like a floating machine. First, we tested our ability to control our vessels around razor sharp barnacle covered rocks. Then, we made our journey to the edge of the island, paddling in and out of caves dug out millions of years ago by Mother Nature. Surrounded by swells much stronger than anything our manpower could contend with, we were at the mercy of the sea and its massive colony of kelp.


But we did it. And we rocked it. We came together, feared together, struggled together, laughed together and overcame together.




Now that is rare. So rare, you’re lucky to have it happen once in your life. And what you take away from an experience like that is more than photos for your Facebook page and deeper than the memory of a beautiful destination. That type of experience stays with you for life. We all dug deep and overcame something I bet many of us thought would be very difficult. And from start to finish I never had an inkling of motion sickness for the win.


Back on dry land, I spent the rest of the day totally pumped and feeling like a boss. At a dusty picnic table surrounded by the team and one island fox, we were all empowered.


About Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals


Dramamine® is America’s number one over-the-counter product for the treatment of motion sickness, helping to prevent and relieve nausea and vomiting associated with the motion sickness. It is the only leading brand for motion sickness, with products available for adults as well as children two years and over. It has been my go-to for years, a life saver for anything that involves unusual motion (like flights, cruises, windy roads and bumpy buses).


Kayaking Channel Islands National Park

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dramamine(R). The opinions and text are all mine.

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

1 Comments on this post

  1. […] From Los Angeles, we drove through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Ventura, Carpenteria, and into Santa Barbara. Some famous key points along the way are Zuma Beach, El Matador State Beach, Mulholland Dr. and Channel Islands Beach (where you can take a ferry to Channel Islands National Park). […]

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