70 Year Old Canadian Woman Jumps Ship, Twice

If there’s one thing on which most people would agree, it is that travel offers many ways to go beyond one’s comfort zone.

My family and I had spent a week in February in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On our last day we hired a water taxi to take us to the iconic Arch and Lover’s Beach. Just before we pulled away from the dock an elderly woman ran up and asked if she could join us.

Lovers Beach.  Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Lovers Beach. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Doreen was a passenger on a cruise ship anchored in Cabos only for the afternoon. Unable to cajole her husband from his afternoon nap, she abandoned him and the ship to explore on her own. Dressed in a sensible skirt and flats, I could tell this that normally no-nonsense woman was quite nervous about traveling alone.

Relief spread across her face as we openly welcomed her to join us.

Doreen had only intended to take a boat tour, but accepted when we invited her to disembark with us on Lover’s Beach. As we neared the beach we noticed there weren’t any docks. Dimitri, the captain of the Manuelita, calmly explained, “I will bring the boat onto the beach, and then you will jump.”

He revved the motor and brought the bow into shallow water. The boat surged and rocked with each wave that came crashing in.

Doreen tentatively crawled up to the edge and jumped off into the water.

Once on Lover’s Beach, she proudly smoothed her prim skirt and said, “Not bad for a seventy year old woman, eh?”

Not bad at all.

Us with Doreen at the Arch in Cabo San Lucas

My family and I with Doreen at the Arch in Cabo San Lucas

And this is what I love about travel. Not only can it enrich us with places of historic, scenic, or cultural grandeur, it also enables the opportunity for self-discovery. We can find levels of courage, endurance, and compassion that we never knew we had.

And we often encounter the kindness of strangers, reinforcing the axiom that the world is a friendly place. During our beach trek we shared our backgrounds, included each other in our photos and exchanged contact information.

My family also went beyond their comfort zone on this trip.

We rappelled down a sheer cliff,






soared above the desert on Mexico’s longest and fastest zipline, rock climbed and crossed a river on a tight rope.











Of all these activities, it was the return flight home during which my husband made the greatest leap.

Normally he squeezes my hand in a vice grip during takeoff, and almost stops breathing during landings. But during takeoff of our return flight he was completely absorbed in the in-flight magazine. And during landing, he was actually sound asleep!

Categories: Travel


  • Kevin Kemp says:

    Touching story about the 70 year jumping ship to join your crew. Cool!

  • Ruth says:

    Thanks, Kevin. Wait till I begin posting about my friend Steve. He’s in his mid-70’s currently trekking through the back o beyond villages along the equator.

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