Recall, fair readers, a time.
A time when I was working at the golf shop of the local country club. It was a rainy day – a slow day – and spontaneously, recklessly I bought a ticket for a play showing half a world away.
I had never traveled outside of the eastern United States. The last time I had flown was when I was four-years-old. I had never traveled alone.
And yet. I did it.
People were stunned – me. The woman who barely knew how to turn on a stove. The woman who was, indisputably, an unmitigated disaster.
They called me brave. That I was not – I had caught a moment of impulsiveness and was far too stubborn to give it up. And I’m glad I didn’t.
This moment begat a series of moments that yielded some colorful stories.
All of which is documented in a yet to be published series of blog entries stay tuned.
It’s time for the story to continue.
When I returned from my two week affair, it took upwards of two months to become adjusted to my old life. I grew restless and bitter at the thought of being home. The world is so large and I had but the tiniest taste of it. I needed more.
To quote the classic Mr. Bennet from Pride & Prejudice:
“‘So Lizzy,’ said he one day, ‘your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her…a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It’s something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions.'”
Planning my London/Paris trip had given me “something to think of.” It had given me something to work towards, look forward to, to plan around – a goal.
I fought to find a new one.
I had to travel somewhere this summer, and I limited myself to only two requirements.
a) it had to be inexpensive.
b) it had to be outside of the country.
My big idea was Canada.
But I couldn’t commit.
The internal gnawing eased. I adjusted to my current job, to my life once more. Lightly, I’d say I wanted to go somewhere, but it seemed an impossible feat to do twice. Maybe it was a “once in a lifetime” trip after all.
Frank cuts my hair and does an excellent job. He’s the Hagrid to my Dumbledore – I would trust him with my life.
We’re close. We share a mutual love of ABBA, loose leaf tea, musical theatre and traveling. He’s been many places, and, as we swapped tales, he mentioned his experience with Gate 1 Travel and his trip to Ecuador.
We sat for a few, googling my “next trip,” and as my hair went from shoulder length to chin length, I felt the impact as if I were Sampson in reverse. Strength was restored to me. I was a goddess once more.
I kept going back to the website. The cheapest tour available was, ironically, to Ecuador, and, as I thumbed through Frank’s photo album, I couldn’t help but think “I want to go there.”
A nighttime jungle trek. A hotel on the banks of a river in the Amazon. The opportunity to straddle the Equator. Hot springs near a volcano. Dinner with a local family.
And best yet – a sale.
Sales are like signs from God to me. It was inexpensive. It was all inclusive. And that’s how, around 11’o clock at night, I bought a five day tour to Ecuador.
It’s definitely different this time around. Five days vs. fourteen days. I’ve done this before – and now, I can do it again.
Everything is included in the price of the trip, which means no camping in shifty hostels with shower mold. I won’t have to shell out $300 dollars for a train back to London, or eat Pizza Express for the third time. No WOW Airlines. I fly Como now.
And for everyone who is still worried – I’m with a full fledged tour group the entire time. With adults who are most definitely better at adulting than yours truly. The retirees will protect me.
And to quote Kelly [a.k.a. the love of my life]
“YOU ARE NOT AN IDIOT. YOU ARE A GODDESS!
HEAR YOU ROAR!”
Of course – it’ll have it’s challenges. I speak minimal Spanish at best, so communicating with the locals should be an adventure. My anxiety already has me marathoning the Duolingo Spanish course, if you’re curious.
The nighttime jungle trek has this valuable feature:
Look out for tarantulas, frogs and other nocturnal creatures.
Seeing as I make mother vacuum even the smallest of spiders in my stead, I’m so ecstatic to see tarantulas in the wild.
‘m not even going to mention how it’s dreadfully unsafe to be outside at night in the capital city, but I’m only in Quito for a night, and Jesus will be with me, I’m not going to leave the hotel, so don’t you dare bring this up.
Also, the national dish is a fried guinea pig. #GOALS
So there you have it. In June, I’m off once more – this time to South America. By the end of it, I’ll have been on the other side of the equator, spent a night in the world’s largest ecosystem, and have taken my usual two hour bath in a hot spring heated by volcanos. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it – and if not, I’ll have some fantastic stories. That I will publish.
And but of course, there is one person who doesn’t know, and for now, it’s our little secret.
It’s mom. Maybe I’ll take her with me – she can vacuum up the tarantulas.