Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why I Adventure

I’m not exactly an adventurous person…
I mean, I’m probably three cats away from being a crazy cat lady- not that there’s anything wrong with that… But I believe in the benefits of flossing regularly, and I’m a teacher, so I’m pretty good at telling people to slow down, stop running, and make better choices.

It all started when I started dating someone, and the relationship went bad. There was a breakup, some crying, a few nights of drinking too much whiskey. It’s a fairly generic breakup, and I know it’s not a unique experience. Most everyone has had their heart broken, smushed a bit, or just generally bruised by another person. I think it’s part of the “human experience,” whatever that means.

So, I do what any logical person does, and plan an epic road trip. My siblings and I have this mentality that if things go wrong, just get out of Florida for a few weeks. When you get back, the monster mosquitos and zombie alligators are a little easier to deal with.

Anyway, I got together with my best friend, and planned a trip to Atlanta. We were going to visit the aquarium, go to Six Flags, etc. etc. It was going to be awesome, and would totally get my mind off of this man that broke my heart.  Except it doesn’t.
Because my friend backs out 24 hours before we’re supposed to take off.  Very good reasons and all- but the reality is I have no relationship, and now I have no road trip.

So I take a deep breath and pack up my car anyway. I throw some clothes in a backpack, and promise myself that I’m not going to think for 24 hours, and I’ll figure it out as I go. And that’s how I found myself in North Carolina two days later.  Tromping through caves. Me- who’s claustrophobic and terrified of bugs, bats, and darkness. I stay so busy driving and on various escapades (not adventures-escapades) during the day that I’m able to hold everything together. But anytime that there’s a break, or a quiet moment, my heart starts hurting again. And logical, non-emotional me just can’t handle that.

So, somewhere in Virginia, I pull up a website and buy airline tickets. To Croatia….To leave in a month. Being hundreds of miles away from Florida was helping, some. So I figured that being thousands of miles away would help even more.

A month later, I’m sitting in an airport, waiting for my plane to take off, realizing that I don’t actually know much of anything about Croatia.  Including knowing any Croatian.  I get the sinking feeling that maybe it’s not the best idea to buy airline tickets on a hunch. I do a quick google search, and I learn Croatia is pretty famous for its beaches. I don’t actually like the beach. Or sunshine. I don’t swim, and I get sunburned really easily.

But after a very long flight, I’m stuck in Oslo for 24 hours on a layover.  The little I know about this country is pretty much based on that one attraction at Epcot. So, I hop on a train and end up at a museum filled with Viking ships. These huge ships would take hundreds of men to move.

They were shaped a lot like a rib cage. Funny thing about these artifacts- the chemicals that they put on the ships and weapons to preserve them, are actually destroying them. If anyone touched some of the ships, or even breathed too hard, they would crumble to dust.

I think sometimes we get too focused on what our lives should like. We try too hard to hold on to things that are already broken. But I think the way to put life in perspective is to look up at something much bigger, and hundreds of years older than myself. 

2 comments:

  1. From one "not exactly an adventurous person" to another, I totally loved your story. You put a smile on my face. For me, getting back to nature--seeing the ocean or driving through the mountains helps me to keep things in perspective.

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  2. I don't consider myself adventurous, either. I enjoy and need time alone, and frequently just stay at a hotel for a weekend. I read and stay in pajamas all weekend and don't feel one bit guilty about it. I've thought about getting in the car and driving somewhere. "The Pull of the Moon" was the book that pushed me to take time for myself.
    Thanks for sharing yourself.

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