It only takes a tiny drop of imagination to turn the mundane into an adventure. A minute shift in perspective, a moment of being a little bit braver, a willingness to breathe deep and step forward. Two years ago, a friend and I were living our typical afternoon routine in Sydney – taking her dog for a walk in a park and our jaws were getting plenty of exercise too. I remember this afternoon especially well because shortly my life was going to change forever, I just didn’t realise it at the time.
Preserved in my mind is the moment my friend blind-sided me with a question and I was too catatonic from fear to answer. It was the type of fear experienced when, without fanfare, life gifts you a long-held dream and places it so tantalisingly close that the “wise” part of your brain starts to scream alerts of “it’s too good to be true” or “you couldn’t possibly…” .
My friend had just proposed the wildest idea possible. She was about to head off to South America for three months and I had made a few passing comments about how cool it would be to have the freedom to do that, but you know, with owning my own business, mortgage, people expecting a long list of things from me, there was no chance it was going to happen. Clearly my friend is a very bad listener because not moments later she asked me to join her for three weeks in Peru, a country I had longed to visit for much of my life.
I couldn’t get an answer from my lips and tears started to form as the internal battle ensued. A voice deep inside screamed YES while my logical brain slashed its passion with countless reasons to stay. I stood numb. Just as the last flame of hope was about to die inside, my nana’s voice came into my head and delivered a precious message. It was the battle-tipper that four weeks later, amidst a storm of stress and protests, had me on plane to Peru.
So much has happened in my life in the last two years because for one moment I was braver than my fears. It hasn’t been easy, but the struggle has delivered a richly rewarding life. Seated among the achievements is the fact I am writing to you from Peru, at the start of my third visit to this country that now feels like home.
Over the next 8 weeks I will be sharing stories from my Run South America adventure and who knows, maybe hidden among those words will be the spark you need to start treading down the trail to your own adventure life.