Getting To Ecuador

Getting Into "Adventure Mode"

The weeks leading up to the trip were hectic, even though the trip hardly seemed believable—South America, Galápagos, Easter Island—very exotic stuff, much more "out there" than I would usually tackle. The month before I left Baltimore, there had been a lot of news about the NASA rovers that had landed on Mars and were taking pictures and drilling into rocks. Before my trip, I couldn't help feeling a little like an astronaut preparing to visit another planet—a big adventure in the works, heading to strange and mysterious places, with all kinds of new and different things bound to come up. But I'll have two highly-experienced and capable travel and cruising mentors to guide my way. And, on top of that, they are really good people and fun to be with.

Everybody who heard about my trip was envious, but I didn't tell many people. In general, I don't like to brag about upcoming adventures—it's just not my style. Also, plans can and do change, and I would hate to tell everyone, then have to inform them, "Oh, something came up, and I decided to stay home." Another reason for not boasting is that the gods have a habit of smacking down people who are excessively boastful, and I didn't want to tempt the gods and jinx my trip.

I told a couple of fellow cruisers at the marina where I keep my boat, and of course, they were envious. The biggest surprise was the former receptionist at the marina. She and her late husband were really into travel and adventure, especially her husband. He died young (and suddenly) and she really misses their adventurous lifestyle.

As an aside, she also seemed to be into the spiritual side of life as a journey and a search for meaning. As we were talking, she mentioned a New-Age book called The Celestine Prophecy, which is about searching for the meaning of life. In the book, a man takes a trip to South America and has a serendipitous series of adventures and revelations. I guess my trip reminded her of the basic plot of the book.

And you never know. Although I'm not on a spiritual journey per se, you never know what you'll find when you step out of your small, confining box and open yourself up to the possibilities that an exotic journey might deliver. I think serendipity can be such a powerful influence in your life, as powerful as the more basic emotions like love and hate, but only if you let it. Serendipity rarely comes knocking on your door at 123 Main Street, Anytown, USA. To give serendipity a chance, you have to step outside of your normal routine and habits. For best results, WAY outside. Is a sailboat trip to Easter Island far enough outside? Yes, I think so. We'll see what happens, but the point is, anything can happen if you let it.

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