Please welcome Kalina Davis, she will be writing for us all summer long and sharing her passion for travel. Drum roll please….
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
Wise words from Seth Godin. Traveling often leads to intimidating adventures, most presenting you with a choice. A choice to either rise up to the challenge, or to stay within your comfort zone.
A choice between yes and no.
In the wild bush region of Zambia, I was presented with such a choice. One afternoon, my traveling team and I were hiking through the countryside. The air was hot and dry, the sun beating down with no mercy. The dust on the ground formed into clouds with each step we took. After some time, we came upon a portion of the Chongwe River. Due to the current drought, the water was well below the bank. Mounds of rock surrounded the water’s entrance, and we climbed up the sides to get a better view. As I gazed down into the river, I felt the sweat dripping down my back, and the water called to me. I quickly brushed off the desire to jump in. In America I wouldn’t hesitate. But this was Africa. Who knew what was in that water?
“Should I do it?” Pulled from my thoughts, I realized someone was ready.
A resounding YES!
I watched as he jumped from the rocks into the water below. My pulse quickened and my stomach began to tingle. I was being tempted to leave my comfort zone. Should I? Could I?
Another leap from the rocks, another splash into the river. I stepped closer to the edge, carefully examining the water. My fears reflecting back at me.
“Come on, Kalina!” said my friend from in the river. “You have to come in too!”
My desire for comfort was in a fierce battle with my desire for adventure. I stepped closer to the edge. I took a deep breath.
If I didn’t jump I would go back with regret.
My friends joined me on the rock, dripping wet and ready to take the plunge together.
I jumped, hot air rushed through my hair closely followed by cold needles of water prickling my skin. As I came up to the surface, I soaked in the glorious combination of the icy, refreshing water cooling my body with the hot sun warming my face. And almost as soon as I was in the water, I was out of it, back on the dry rocks. My friends and I laughed together as we put our shoes back on, still feeling the exhilaration of the jump. Of the freedom.
This was not some unforgettable, life-altering experience. Just a few simple moments in a small nameless African river. However, this small and insignificant decision to jump made me realize a big and significant lesson. The significance was not that I went into the water. The lesson was that I said yes. That I chose to leap. I chose adventure over comfort.
My past is full of situations where I was presented with a choice. Sometimes I said yes, and other times I have said no. My cherished memories were my “yes” moments. My biggest regrets were when I’ve held back. When I said no.
Opportunities to travel and experience the world will come your way, and with that there will be situations that are intimidating and uncomfortable. Don’t flee from them. Look them right in the eye, and carefully consider the adventure ahead of you. This world we live in has so much to offer, and we have a choice to live life to the fullest and to seize what we can from the opportunities around us.
Say yes to adventure. Choose to take the jump.
By Kalina Davis
Go Travel, and Travel Fearless.
Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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