Kellee Edwards' Clever Tip For Nervous, Beginner Kayakers

Travel expert and TV host Kellee Edwards loves to use her platform to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and visit places they've only ever dreamed of. Her extreme adventure activities are the stuff of legends, like the time she went scuba diving in the Red Sea (and nearly drowned!), but Edwards also likes to encourage her viewers to embrace the smaller triumphs in travel, like conquering your fears and simply trying something new. "Everyone thinks that I'm fearless," she told Madame Noire. "I'm not fearless. I just choose to fear less. I do everything scared. But once I've done it, it's like, oh shoot, I survived. That was awesome!" 

One common travel fear is the fear of water, especially when in remote areas. Sure, taking an epic kayak adventure through the Everglades or the Amazon River might seem amazing in theory, but what happens if you end up in the water, injured, and miles from the nearest hospital? That is a common fear, and something that Edwards says can be conquered if you start small. "For people who aren't necessarily comfortable kayaking in a river or a lake outdoors, I love kayaking in cities," she told the outlet. This might be the hack nervous, beginner kayakers are looking for.

There are so many opportunities to enjoy urban kayaking

They say you have to crawl before you can walk, and when it comes to nervous kayakers, you have to stick to cities before you can kayak the Amazon River. That's the advice travel expert Kellee Edwards gave. After listing off great cities that offer kayaking opportunities, like the Hudson River in New York City, she points out to Madame Noire that you can not only enjoy an unblemished view of the cityscape, you can also "drop your kayak and be back in your Uber or your car within 10 minutes. But you still connect with nature by being on a body of water. And I love kayaking for that."

If you don't know where to start, USA Today has got you covered. The outlet published a list of 16 different cities to experience urban kayaking with incredible cityscapes to boot, and they include San Antonio, Chicago, Buffalo, Nashville, and more. But our favorite has to be the kayaking tours in Saint Augustine, Florida, where you can float by Castillo de San Marcos, a 327-year-old masonry fort built by the Spanish. Outside of the U.S., some great urban kayaking spots include Vancouver, B.C., Toronto, Ontario, and Dublin, Ireland.

Hiring an urban kayaking guide can help ease you into it

Another safety aspect that comes with booking an urban kayak experience (compared to a remote, rural one) is the team of experts that can accompany you. Urban Paddle is a kayaking company that operates in New York City, and they shared on their official Instagram page a Google Review they received, where the patron gushes about all the safety features included for nervous first-timers that included a detailed briefing, two boats with the group at all times so no one is left behind, and even words of encouragement to ensure everyone was having a good time and felt safe.

For Kellee Edwards, kayaking has become such a place of comfort and a sanctuary that she even uses it to write in her journal. In this video posted to her official Instagram, we see her kayaking somewhere quiet, then pulling out her journal while surrounded by nature and jotting down her thoughts. In the caption, she writes that she enjoys doing this because "fresh air can help raise oxygen levels in your brain, which increases serotonin levels," and journaling helps regulate her emotions. We love the pairing of these two activities, proving that once you're comfortable in a kayak, anything is possible.