Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Not Forget a Trip

Here are some sure ways not to forget a trip to Colorado:

-Get sick with a 102 degree fever for 3 days and a migraine

-Miss half of your conference that you went there to go to because of being sick and then getting evacuated because of tragic wildfires
-Get ready with the family you're staying with to evacuate and wait out the evacuations for 2 days
-Miss your flight coming home

In the book "Go Girl," under 'Best Advice Ever,' the author writes, "Whatever happens, laugh about it. Laughing is the best kept secret of a successful trip."

It sounds like the above trip might not be enjoyable, but it actually was. Eventful and valuable to learn a lot about myself, others, and God. Moments that pull you out of your comfort zone are like that. The trip might have been way different than I expected, but it taught me that surprises along the way can show you things you might not have otherwise seen. I went to Colorado for several reasons, but as far as exploring and really seeing something, I hoped to get an up close and personal look at the mountains again, for I have been missing mountains since I fell in love with them several years ago.

Although I wasn't able to do much with the mountains while I was there, it didn't bother me. When I started feeling better, it seemed I would be able to do a little more, but the wildfires started and became extremely dangerous to many in the area. So much happened that changed the course of the trip that it became natural to spend time with people rather than sightsee. Looking back, I'm thankful I got to connect so much with friends I hadn't seen in years, and in an odd way, the trip forced me to relax and slow down a little.

The slower pace was what I needed for the moment.  My idea of doing this or doing that faded into the background as I saw people who were just trying to stay safe and were wondering if their homes had made it through each day that the fires continued.

While my trip was more of an awakening and revamping my mindset toward how adventure can look a lot of different ways, I think I would still love to go back to Colorado someday. It's beautiful, the people are great, and I pray that the area will be able to recover from everything that is going on currently.

What became more unexpected than the circumstances of the trip was what I came back with: a connection to Colorado that in many ways was fueled by a feeling of going back to the basics and recognizing need: my own, others, a swarm of people I've never met. It was the kind of vacation you don't need souveniers to remember. A picture is worth a thousand key chains.

                                        Note: The flames look like the sunset, but it's the fire.

Linking up with Prodigal Magazine for their series on travel stories.