Nothing could wipe the smile off of my face in that moment; there was nowhere else I wanted to be and the beauty of the world made me gasp as I found myself standing on a surfboard with the ocean roaring under my feet.
Feeling the power of the ocean first behind me, pushing me towards the shore and then suddenly standing on it and being one with the wave made the world stand still and everything was blissfully quiet inside the roar of the ocean and within me.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
~ Annie Dillard
This past week was spent adventuring with my best friend in Sayulita.
The adventures were not all that we had planned simply due to some extenuating circumstances – a tropical disease, some sort of 48 hour well-hello-there-you’re-new-to-Mexico epic stomach flu, strong riptides and the first rainstorms Sayulita has had in 4.5 months kept us from doing all we had planned.
Nonetheless adventure met us in the way of surfing, talking with extremely interesting people from all over the world, wine tasting in a rainstorm, drinking way too much coffee at Yah-Yah’s, eating amazing food and chasing the neighbourhood rooster out of her bookstore, to name a few.
Hiking through the jungle, random pop up fashion trunk shows, learning how to cook chiles rellenos from the cutest and kindest Mexican woman on the planet, coffee bean picking with Julia and paddle boarding are firmly on my list for the next visit. The last thing I needed was to try to explain my name in Spanish to a man who was rescuing me from a jungle ravine or coming home with a story about how I had to get CPR on the beach story to tell my grand-nieces one day.
I am part explorer, a woman who always needs a mountain to climb.
I wasn’t designed to do the same thing forever, day in and day out. Without new challenges and enough to do, well, I atrophy.
- Whether you realize it or not, the same probably goes for you too.
This is one of the many reasons why I travel as much as I can; experiencing a new part of the world full of people, food, adventures, languages, wine and places to explore on foot, a bike or something else just makes me happy.
Despite my love of travel, airplanes and I have a love / hate relationship.
Airplanes are glorious inventions – they are much better than traveling across a continent in a car or crossing an ocean on a boat. On the other hand, they could use some extreme help as they are basically crammy tin cans which give me the opportunity to practice my zen ways of being and simply be at peace with my thoughts for hours on end while being smashed in between two strangers.
Everyone hopes for good people to be seated next to them on an airplane. The last thing anyone wants is to be trapped in a tin can and strapped down next to weirdos, creeps or drunk people. I know this isn’t Kosher to say, I also dislike sitting next to larger people, simply because when the armrests have to go up for you to fit in the middle seat … well being jelly in that sandwich is about the last thing anyone wants to experience, especially for hours on end.
- Sigh. Just call me Jamloree.
If you ever think it might be me walking down the gangway towards the plane, the litmus test is whether or not the woman in question is muttering prayers and bargaining with God for things like emergency exit rows, the need to be upgraded into first class so a family can sit together, an empty plane or that only skinny yoga people decided to take the flight in question.
These are the moments when I wonder why I put myself through the tin can torture, and then I remember; the tin can with wings is taking me to a new place, a new world and gives me the opportunity to do something I have never done before.
Life really is short.
We only have so many hours on the earth – doing what you love, being happy and sharing your life with people you love is a glorious experience and something we all need to do as much as is humanly possible.
Truly living means grabbing onto life as it comes, whether it is hot and sunny or cold and rainy. It means learning to smile and enjoy your moments even if you just tossed your tortillas for the third time that day and couldn’t eat your dinner without napping halfway through.
- It doesn’t matter if you are running for cover from a rainstorm or out on a nice patio sharing your heart with your best friend over a nice glass of wine – what you make of your moments is what you make of your life.
What is most important in your life becomes clear when you take time away from the daily grind and let go of all the have-tos for a week or two. There is a centering that happens inside of you during and after traveling to a new place and seeing more of the world. A reconnection with the purpose which beats inside of your chest is made; your unique heartbeat, the things you must do in the world before you die find a way to be heard again.
The biggest challenge in life may be to not let go of what and who is most important and live in such a way that you do what you must do and always love the people in your life who you are never supposed to let go of.
The longer I live, the more cognizant I am of the tenuous status of life – nothing is guaranteed. Some people live longer than they should, living a horrible semi kind of a death and others suddenly drop dead with an assumed 40 more years in the life bank.
- Here’s the thing — we are all dying, so we need to live while we’re alive.
Plan for the future, dream, work your arse off, love like today is your last day and live on purpose.
Go. Now. Do not look back. The world requires exploring.
… and whatever you do, make sure to get sand in your shoes and surf in your hair. As much as and as often as you can.