Dreams of Adventures: Is It Too Late?

While driving and running errands yesterday, I was listening to NPR. As an aside, I absolutely LOVE NPR. They always have such wonderful content, and I am inspired by things that I hear every day. I grew up on PBS watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company in the 70s, but I never thought NPR was that interesting until I moved to SWFL. The station down here is amazing.

Anyway, getting back to my story, I was listening to the interview with Sarah Marquis who hiked a 10,000 mile journey across the remote Gobi desert from Siberia to Thailand, then was transported by boat to complete the hike at her favorite tree in Australia.

I was completely transfixed. My mind immediately wandered into the possibilities. I began weighing the options of how I could tackle such an adventure. Would I hike? Bike? Drive? Could I carry everything I needed on my back? Perhaps a bike with a little pull-behind trailer? Somehow the RV doesn't feel quite the same as battling the elements one on one, and yet, that is probably the safest place for me to start. (See: A Life Sacrificed?)

I have memories of growing up in Salt Lake City, UT. My dad would take up camping and hiking, and I have fond memories of exploring the Timpanogos Cave, though I suspect at this point of my life, I am just as likely to have a heart attack or throw out my back before barely getting started. That's not even to mention that, after living in the South for the past 30 years, the thin air in the high elevations would kill me.

As a pampered, middle aged, overweight woman, I barely know where to begin. Back in 2002, I spent 10 days in Ireland. I remember one night in Galway. I had checked into a B&B after a nerve-wracking drive from Dublin (I was driving on the opposite side of the car and the road in a strange land. It was 4 hours of hyper-attention, and by the time I arrived, I was a mess). I called my new friends back in Dublin to let them know I had arrived, then I immediately broke down crying. I realized, as the night progressed, that I had never been without a safety net before. I had people everywhere. I was never more than a call away from help. It suddenly hit me that if I disappeared, no one would know until I didn't return back to The States a week later. It was terrifying.

Over a decade later, that night in Galway still haunts me. I feel like I missed an opportunity, because I ran home and immediately piled more responsibilities on myself to avoid disconnecting. I know that it was not the time, then, to try such a thing. Perhaps now will be different.

Inertia is a terrible force to have to overcome. I have continued these incremental changes in my life to gradually let go of the forces vying for my attention. I have been mentally preparing to leave my comfort zone for years now, but I have not yet done so. I know that my body is still strong because I am a massage therapist, but how many years do I have left with my health? At what point am I going to stop drinking, stop eating sugar, stop overworking, stop excess stress? (See The Next 30 Days) When am I going to finally rein in my bad habits and commit to life-altering adventures? I want it, and yet, I apparently don't want it enough. (See Seeking Purpose in the New Year)

Then there is my partner. Am I really doing these things if he comes with me, or will he continue doing my heavy lifting, while I continue to be the spectator? Will I be like the rabid sports fans indulging in a game from the safety of a pub or stadium? Will I be like a fat politician doing his Sunday morning sabre rattling, all the while knowing it isn't his children going off to die in a war that enriches his pockets? Does it count if my partner is doing everything to ensure my comfort? If I am hiking, but he is carrying everything, am I really challenging myself? Do I really need to just strike out on my own? Am I just being foolhardy? Of course, I need him, because otherwise, I'd never make it...or would I? (See He Saved Me From Myself)

I am envious of the adventurers of the world. I want to run free. I want to run with the wolves and swim with the sharks. I want to dance in the hurricane and outrun a tornado. I want to climb the highest mountains and explore the deepest oceans. Now, I just need to get off my ass!

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