There we were. Drifting in a weathered, dug-out canoe led by our Panamanian guide to visit with the indigenous Kuna people. It was in the middle of a torrential downpour, the man was bailing water with a hallowed coconut, but I was riding the wave of adventure with one of my best girlfriends. The trip was pre-husbands and pre-kids. I promised myself this type of travel would never be lost to me by whatever life may bring (which now includes a spouse, a stepson, and busy toddler).
Fast forward to the present day. Two friends invited me to their next trip abroad. Immediately I was on board, planning and plotting my getaway so I may feed my thirst for travel risk-taking. But something had shifted. I stalled. The usual drive I have always had toward haphazardly diving into a foreign country had waned. I grappled for days, going back and forth, fixated on the phrase “you only live once,” while contemplating how my family would cope with me being locked up abroad. Yes, dramatic. But I would rely on them for bail.
What happened to me?
Where was the woman who hiked solo to Macchu Pichu without a care in the world? Who once threw herself willingly out of an airplane? In need of emergency counseling, I called one of my best friends and she hit the nail on the head.
“Maybe this isn’t the season.”
We surmised that, just because I am not hopping on a plane at the drop of a hat, it doesn’t mean that I have lost the part of me who would.
At my core, my passions remain. Yes, I have kids now. More responsibility. Financial considerations. But “all of me” is still there. My need to explore and dive into the unknown will never be lost in the hustle and bustle of life. What has changed, however, is timing.
Maybe ’tis the season for being home, shuffling to baseball practice, and taking day trips. Or the season to be fully present with my family, explore our surroundings and be (cough) a little more boring than planned.
Perhaps this is a season of slowing down. Choosing a trip that may not drop me in the middle of the ocean, but give me a front seat to a different kind adventure right in front of my eyes. And, never fear. After all, seasons change.