Why You Need to See the World with a Paddle in Your Hands

So, you’ve never considered a paddling holiday before. Maybe you’ve been on a day trip, but you’re wary of the thought of several days with a paddle in your hands. We’re here to tell you to stop hesitating and take the plunge. Whether you get into a raft, kayak or canoe or wobble onto an SUP, you’ll be a paddle travel convert after your first trip.

Read our excellent reasons for travelling by the power of paddle and you’ll be off like a shot.

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You won’t find many more eco-friendly ways to travel than by arming yourself with a paddle.

Family canoeing on a lake

Take sea kayaking for example, as you navigate along a coastal area or around a group of islands. Your gentle mode of travel won’t cause any pollution, damage any marine life (bar accidentally whacking something on the head) or leave any trace that you were ever there. Of course, you still need to take responsibility for yourself when you’re paddling, camping or exploring the area.

For Your Health

Sometimes when you finally have a break from it all, you just want to lie down for a week. Preferably by a large body of water, in the sun, with a cocktail in hand. But not everyone can spend a week being horizontal 90% of the time. And even if you do occasionally want to relax in that way, you don’t want to do it every chance you get.

Man paddling in a sit on top kayak

A more active holiday helps you relax in a different way, giving you a chance to release all that pent-up frustration and boredom from your everyday life. And it helps you get fit. No only will you come away from your paddling vacation with buff arms and a strong core, but you’ll feel generally fitter, healthier and happier.

Change of Perspective

When life’s getting you down, all it takes is a new way of looking at the world to make you feel better. There’s no perspective quite like the one you get from a raft, kayak, canoe or stand up paddle board. You can feel somehow tiny and insignificant and part of something massive at the same time. The world seems bigger when you’re looking at it from the seat of a small boat or even standing confidently on an SUP.

Three people stand up paddle boarding in Dublin

But at the same time, you can feel bigger too. You might not mean much in the great scheme of things, but you still have your place in the world. Whether you’re paddling serenely along a calm lake or battling through some mean rapids, your time on the water gives you space to figure out where that might be.

Do Away with Tech

Let’s face it, it’s not a good idea to have a bundle of gadgets with you when you’re surrounded by water. A few waterproof items can be useful to make sure you don’t get lost or can call for help, but you don’t need a smartphone, tablet and laptop. If technology has consumed your life, you might be thinking about a detox.

Two kayaks on a beach

Some people choose to go on a yoga retreat, but who wants to meditate when you can become one with nature? Leave the internet and any semblance of a phone signal behind and look away from screens for once. Just don’t forget your GoPro.

Access Remote Corners of the World

There are certain places that you can’t reach on foot or with a big boat. Paddling allows you to reach these places, and to do so with as little impact as possible.

glow worm kayaking

You can paddle into tiny coves and caves, access hard-to-reach islands and make your way through swamps and mangroves, leaving barely a ripple behind you. Sometimes, the only way to get somewhere is by kayak or canoe.

A Variety of Landscapes

Paddling doesn’t limit you to seeing some spectacular nature and wildlife.


It can also take you through towns and cities so that you can see them from a new perspective. Paddling along on a river or canal can help you see a city as you’ve never seen it before, even if you’ve lived there all your life. And, of course, going for a paddle is an incredible way to get in touch with nature too, from seals to whales and birds.

If you aren’t convinced by now that you should get out there with a paddle in your hands, then remember this: it’s tonnes of fun. And if you need any more reason than that, you’re probably not suited to paddling.

Thanks to Andy Arthur, Ronald Laubensteinskeeze, William Murphy, Waiarino Ltd and julianomarini for the images.

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