So it’s been decided and paid for. (Well it will be paid for once the credit card bill comes.)
In exactly 49 days, Len and I will be on our way to Peru for an adventure of a lifetime!
We are taking a GAP Adventure tour for 8 days. It includes exploring Lima and Cuzco, a visit to the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins, and the heart of the trip is a 4-day trek through the Andes mountain range along the Inca Trail, leading to Machu Picchu.
I am both super excited and super nervous! I know this will be an immense challenge, but I also know that it will be an unforgettable experience.
Last night, I watched my secret guilty pleasure reality show, The Bachelor. (Don’t judge please; it’s just so entertaining with all its drama and crazies!) Anyhoos, I enjoyed watching all those girls try to step out of their comfort zones and face their phobias in order to win the bachelor’s heart (or maybe win their own 15 mins of reality tv fame). In any case, they all waxed poetic about being brave and having the courage to step outside of their own comfort zones to prove that they are adventurous and willing to do anything to capture Brad’s attention.
It got me thinking about my own comfort zones and the times in my life when I have dared to step outside of them and what motivated me to do so. In particular, I thought back to those crazy and wonderful few weeks when Len and I were just getting to know each other, before we officially started dating. Just like those hopeful girls on The Bachelor, I too felt the need to prove I was adventurous and fun and willing to try new things. Now, I certainly didn’t need to tackle things like repelling down the side of a skyscraper, but I did do things I didn’t think I could or would do.
For example, one late, late Friday night, Len convinced me to climb a fence and break into Nitobe Gardens at UBC with him. First, I generally prefer to stay on the legal side of the law. And second, I don’t do fences. Period. And I’m mildly afraid of heights and that was a mighty high fence. And the thing that amazes me is how readily I agreed to this whole thing. I barely even acknowledged the little voice inside me that was shrieking, “this is an insane, bad, bad idea! don’t do it!!” And the next thing I knew, I was getting boostered up onto that fence and found myself inside a most magical, peaceful, and romantic little garden with a boy who sent my heart aflutter everytime he so much as looked at me. And it turned out to be a most lovely, unforgettable night.
See that’s the thing about stepping outside of our comfort zones. I’ve come to realize that we rarely regret doing so. Because no matter how well or how poorly we end up doing, we will have no regrets, will feel proud of ourselves, and more often than not, we surprise ourselves with our own hitherto undiscovered abilities. And who knows just where it might all lead to?
That’s something I try to remind myself every so often. Because the other thing is, I’ve discovered that after you’ve “won” the guy’s heart, it can get so easy to just coast, to no longer challenge yourself because you feel that you no longer need to “prove” anything. And I really don’t need to “prove” anything, at least not to Len. In fact, I never really needed to. Len loves me for me, always has. But it’s me who needs it. I learn to love myself more, be proud of myself more, when I gather enough courage to try new things. It keeps my life more interesting, keeps me happier and more enthusiastic about my life. And when I’m happy with who I am, I have more love to give to my loved ones around me.
I also read that sharing new adventures leads to a better marriage. And what better adventure to test this theory out than on the Inca Trail! I have no doubt that this will be one the biggest physical challenges of my life, and I’m really rather terrified of stepping leaping so far out of my comfort zone. But I also have no doubt that the moment I see the sunrise irradiate over Machu Picchu, I will be filled with gratitude, pride, and love…love for the one who has endless faith in me, and who encourages me every day of my life to explore all of this world’s amazing wonders.