Elja | Rancho Sol y Mar, Jalisco, Mexico

The first time I saw Elja, she was sitting at a table. I swear that was the least interesting thing I ever saw her doing. After that, I came across her with a sander, designing and creating a sign for the ranch. Then she was teaching Salsa on the yoga platform. Then she was building playground equipment out of tires. Then she was leading  a demonstrating on how to train wild horses. Then she was up on a big screen performing cabaret. And in between she was cracking jokes, cooking, and spreading smiles.

Current Mission

I would like to see a lot more of the world. I’d like to meet some really cool people, keep away from the rat race, learn a lot of cool things, and have a good time. I like to live for a couple months in different locations so I can get to know the local lifestyle where people are.

Life Philosophy

Be open to all learning experiences and try to live without ego. Don’t get caught up in learned habits from society, and the way people react… People can be unconscious about what they do, and be reactive. If I’m in an argument and someone’s getting angry about something, then I try to not react to it, and not let them project that anger onto me.

On Rancho Sol y Mar

Being in Mexico is a really big part of being here at Rancho Sol y Mar. The attitude of the Mexican people is so open and warm and easygoing.

I particularly like the way you can drive your ATV down the road, you can ride your horse to the next town, you can hitch your horse at a fancy hotel with an infinity pool. This is the stuff where I’m like “This is how life should be”. Not, “you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Don’t climb a tree because you’re going to fall down”.

Rancho Sol y Mar, I love the community aspect of it. The way that the people who are drawn here are searching for something bigger. Searching to learn something about themselves, but also to share a lot of their skills. That’s why we have the skill swap, because we have so many talented people who want to give and receive. I love living in a community. That’s one thing I’ve learned here.

I love being on a farm, working with animals, being outdoors. We started to notice the moon cycles! Oh it’s new moon, full moon. I never used to notice that but living in an indoor-outdoor casita, I can see the moon from my bed. And I think that’s how people should live, not in a tiny box in a tiny office. You’re not connecting with the world.

What’s one amazing life experience you’ve had?

The one that has most recently formed for me is just taking the horses to the beach. We gallop the horses down the beach, and it goes for 25 kilometers, and there’s no one on the beach. Whether it’s sunrise or sunset, you’re just galloping, and there’s the waves just spraying off and catching you in the face. That’s just something I want to keep doing the rest of my life.

What’s something I need to know about you to understand who you are?

I think a big thing about my character, and this comes out a lot in my cooking, is that I like to improvise things a lot. Not make plans. That comes out a lot in what we do: when we arrived traveling, we didnt have any plans, we just go with the experience.

I also don’t like to practice things very much, I prefer to do things. I remember rock climbing once, and thinking: why should I plan the way when I could just do it and I’ll find out if that’s the way to do it or not. I don’t want to waste two hours because as son as I do it I’ll find out. I think that’s a big part of me, just improvising things in

the moment.

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