Off to Costa Rica!

Wow, I can’t believe the day has finally arrived! I write from the airplane, high over the IMG_20190323_111614.jpgGulf of Mexico. I’ve got my computer, my audible book, and my crochet project.  The flight isn’t full, so I’ve got the whole row to myself. I sit by the window, glancing out periodically looking for interesting sights, but right now it is just clouds, sky, and water. Flying on an airplane is an amazing adventure in itself!

I’ve been planning this trip since July of 2017. I think it was a facebook ad. Kind of scary how well facebook knows me. Maybe because I’ve done a blog called Looking for the next adventure! Anyway, I’m traveling solo from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica, to join a group of adventurers with Bamboo, a global volunteer organization. I almost went to Costa Rica a few years ago, and when I saw this opportunity it didn’t take long for me to sign up. The price was right, and it required no planning on my part other than getting a flight!

Robert and I had just moved to the Woodlands, then gone on a meditation retreat to Garrison, New York. We were planning our wedding, and a honeymoon to Florida and Bimini. But I saw this opportunity, put my deposit down, and put it on the back burner. I was working part time from home, and on the verge of beginning another Ayurvedic course of study. Back then, I thought I would be starting my own business in another year.

But as life unfolded, uncertainties evolved into ideas and plans that eventually became certainties. Robert and I did get married in a beautiful ceremony at home surrounded by the love of family and friends. After a 10 day honeymoon, then Christmas, you’d think we’d chill for a bit. Well, that doesn’t really seem to be in my nature.

Much time was and is still dedicated to taking care of Hazel on weekends, and at that time I still had a weekly date with Sebastian and Hudson. But I went on another Heart-Based Meditation retreat in March – to Sedona Mago Retreat Center. Wonderful place, wonderful being with “my peeps” and connecting with a greater consciousness and my higher self.

I was realizing by that time that I didn’t think I really wanted to do what it would take to start a business. I had a website by then, and had even registered a business with the state of Texas, but I just wasn’t “feeling it”, so to speak. I love Ayurveda, but didn’t want to struggle to make it my bread and butter. So I began to look around to see what case management jobs were available, and sent out some applications. As I weighed the possibilities, I decided that if I got an offer I liked, I would take it.

In June, that is exactly what happened. There wasn’t any hesitation about accepting a good paying job with good benefits in a location that was only a 15 minute drive away and I didn’t have to get on the freeway! I started working for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in August (after taking a road trip with Robert to Iowa in July), and 7 months into the job it still feels like the right move.

When I quit my full-time job in 2016, I had some ideas and dreams and pursued a lot of different angles, but I always know that uncertainty reigns until something actually happens.

Like being on this airplane right now. I started making plans and saving money and eventually bought the ticket. The last month I’ve had fun figuring out how to travel light, ordering some helpful items from Amazon, and getting more and more excited about the whole idea. But really, until I got on the airplane, it was an uncertainty. A life circumstance could have popped up that would cause me to turn my steps away from all this to deal with something that in that moment was more important. Fortunately, that didn’t happen!

IMG_20190323_062805-1.jpgI have gotten away from writing here, although I think about it often. I used it to chronicle my solo travels to Iowa and Montana back in 2015, so I’m gonna give it a go. I have no idea what the wifi will be like or how much time I will have to write – an uncertainty that comes with having someone else plan! But I will definitely write, take lots of pictures, and keep dreaming. I will post as I can, although much of my time the next week will be invested in helping preserve the sea turtle habitat. And hopefully making a few new friends along the way!

 

 

On flying and overcoming fear

I write from 30,000 feet. Or however high up this airplane is.

I used to be afraid of getting on an airplane. I felt like I had some measure of control, as long as I was on the ground. But to fly, so high above the earth, just riding along as a passenger, putting my trust in airplane mechanics and a pilot I knew nothing about — this was not something that Fear would let me do.

I flew once as a toddler, a trip I don’t remember, and once as a young adult with 3 small children, a 45 minute trip from Dallas to Houston under great duress. I was terrified during the entire flight.

So I traveled on the ground. As a child I was taken on wonderful camping vacations, and the trips I took my own children on were made in a car. In my 40’s, I took up motorcycle riding with my second husband, and learned to ride my own, because I needed to be in control. (as if riding a motorcycle is ever really safe!)  But to fly in an airplane was something I still resisted, in spite of professing in other areas that “God is in control”!

Ten years ago, when I was only 50, I was told by the company I worked for that I was being sent on a business trip. I wasn’t happy about it, and prayed fervently that the plane would stay aloft. I was surprised that the worse thing about the experience was that turbulence was like riding in a jeep on a bumpy road. And God apparently answered my prayers, because I got safely to my destination and home again.

Not too long after that, my oldest daughter moved to Chicago to attend college. And I flew again. Several times for visits, and later for her graduation. And my company sent me on another business trip. I felt like I had entered the space age at last!  But I still fought my fears every time I got on the plane. Then, the opportunity to take a trip to Honduras came my way. It was one of those heart things where you know you just gotta go! This trip would involve two flights over large bodies of water. At least I was well trained from my previous flights on what to do in case of a “water evacuation.”

So I went, my youngest daughter accompanying me. I prayed all the time, the desperate sort of prayer – “don’t let me die in a plane crash!”  When we got to Honduras and had to take a five hour bus trip through the mountains at night, in an old bus at the mercy of a driver who didn’t want to be late, more fear-based prayers were raised to the heavens. Again, God must have heard me, because here I am.

Something happened on that trip. I think that in deciding TO go I finally LET go, and instead of fighting with the fear I acknowledged it and went on anyway. In doing so, Fear lost its power.

20150605_213830Since that trip, I have flown countless times. And my ideas about God and prayers and fear and giving up control have changed and evolved. I experience the love and protection of God in a much more loving and less fearful way. I still don’t love flying, but I don’t hate it either! I  have seen much more of the world than I could ever have traveling on the ground.

Now, when Fear comes to visit, I say hello. And then politely tell it to go sit somewhere else. “I’ll call you when I need you” I say. And I see a bigger world.