Rancho La Puerta has been on my radar for over a decade now. Several of my friends and family members have visited, and I loved hearing the many ways they experienced “the magic of The Ranch.” I was recently hired to the marketing team and got the amazing opportunity to do a short stay as a first-time guest. I even got to bring my friend Hannah along to enjoy it with me. After four nights at the Ranch, I can attest to the sentiment that there is magic in this place.
The story of how Rancho La Puerta came to be is astounding; it is so much fun to learn the history of the place. It is a tale of how hardship and redirection can sometimes turn into something extraordinary. I was delighted to learn about the early days of The Ranch. I visited Deborah and Professor Edmond’s one-room home, where they lived for the first nine years of Rancho La Puerta’s existence. They used their time being stuck in the mountains of Tecate to turn it into a place that you really wouldn’t mind being stuck in. In fact, when the time came for me to say goodbye, I didn’t want to leave.
I was asked multiple times during my stay why I thought people kept coming back to The Ranch. While I don’t have an answer for everyone, I have a few hunches based on my experience. Rancho La Puerta is the perfect setting for real personal improvement to occur. It provides a community of like-minded individuals to grow with. Our inner journey is never finished. Once people come to The Ranch, they quickly realize it is ideal to do their inner work here. They can also enjoy themselves in the process. There is a little of something for everyone. You can balance your chakras and channel the Earth’s energy via daily hikes, relax into sound healing, chanting, yoga, dance, and more. All while feeding your body delicious, nourishing, organic meals. Simple things, like meeting the sunrise on the mountaintops, and enjoying a meal in complete silence (other than the natural sounds of the thunder and rain we got to enjoy on our stay), were stunning experiences that I don’t give myself often enough at home. As layers of tension are shed, you’re making friends and bonding over the joy of being alive. Many laughs are shared by all.
I thoroughly enjoyed the lack of WiFi in my casita. I traded my iPhone for a watch and a camera for the duration of the trip. Unplugging from technology reduced distractions, allowed me to focus on what I needed in each moment, and helped me expand out of my comfort zone. I realized much how precious time I wasted scrolling on my phone and channeled those hours into natural bliss. It turns out that you can do a lot while doing nothing at all.
Even getting lost (which we did plenty!) was a fun and profound experience. We knew we’d find our way eventually, and I enjoyed stumbling upon new sights and smells. Plus, if we were pressed for time, there were plenty of friendly employees around, always happy to help us find our way. I was so impressed by the work and kindness of the team on-site; it made me very proud to be a part of it.
My employment at The Ranch is another case. Although less extreme than Edmond and Deborah’s story, a disappointing barrier led me to this wonderful and unexpected opportunity. This time last year, I was unemployed (like many of us), moved back into my mom’s house, and felt somber that I was not living in Buenos Aires and teaching English. This year my travel timeline was moved back, again. So I applied and was hired to work at Rancho La Puerta. After being at The Ranch, rediscovering peace within myself, and feeling sure that this is the place that I should be right now, I am grateful that my South America 2020 travel plans were postponed. Hopefully, being a part of this remarkable team will keep me in San Diego and Tecate for a while longer and help me practice my Spanish!
I know that Deborah says it takes a week to make a miracle at The Ranch. For now, I can only imagine how heavenly I would have been after an additional three nights. Still, I can say that I witnessed a myriad of magical miracles in my days there, and I can’t wait to return.
Learn how you can stretch beyond yourself at The Ranch and see some of our activities.