Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it"

I'm skipping town for the next week.

This Friday, I'm flying south with friends and going island-hopping in the Caribbean. We'll be aboard a giant cruise ship, so please send "canned Spam, canned fruit, canned milk and munchies such as Pop Tarts" if something goes wrong.

"Munchies such as Pop Tarts." Look at you go, LA Times!

My friend works for a cruise line and got us an insanely great deal. Insanely great. That means there's plenty of vacation money left over for fun activities like ziplining, snorkeling, kayaking, cocktail-drinking, etc.

I'm a little excited.

It's November. I'm in Seattle. I scraped ice off of my windshield this morning and, while doing so, stepped in dog poop. Fresh dog poop. I didn't notice this fact until I was halfway to the Park & Ride, when I finally realized what the stench was. And, oh, what a stench it was.

The only thing that got me through it was picturing myself on a sandy beach in less than a week. With a very strong cocktail in my hand.

This trip wouldn't always have been possible for me. If I was still in debt, I'd probably have to pass on the opportunity, or just go deeper into debt — neither of which sound like very fun options.

If I hadn't recently decided to be more adventurous, I'd probably have passed on the opportunity since it wasn't a sure thing until just a few weeks ago. We bought plane tickets several weeks before the cruise was even confirmed, and, while this would have freaked me out not too long ago, my mindset was, "Well, I'll either get to spend a week in the Caribbean or a week in Florida. If necessary, I'll find something to do in Florida!"

I'm pretty sure Florida in November is more pleasant than Seattle in November. Or so I've heard.

Chris Guillebeau — who's right up there with Gandhi and Santa Claus in my book — recently reminded his readers to register for his upcoming World Domination Summit by busting out this quote from Amelia Earhart: "When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it."

A cruise may not be a "great adventure" for some people, but for me, it qualifies. Remember, I'm "a stay-at-homer, a curl-up-and-reader, a call-me-when-you're-done-and-tell-me-how-it-was... er."

I'm trying to be less of that, and more of a doer.

A year ago, Devon (that's me) would have said, "But, Devon, Amelia Earhart disappeared on her adventure. Wouldn't she have been better off just staying at home and watching reruns of the Real Housewives of [Anywhere]?"

That's true, Devon, but at least Amelia was out doing something. She was following her heart, chasing her dream, squeezing her life to its last drop — all that good stuff. Besides, what have the Real Housewives done for you lately?

I've written this about my self-doubt:

I find that when I dream of something, whether it's running a marathon or traveling around the world, I almost immediately start thinking, "But... [I'll never have enough endurance] [I'll never have enough time/money/bravery]." I can be too practical and too realistic. The "But..." comes all too quickly for me.

I'm going to try to wedge the quote, "When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it" in the front of my brain, right ahead of the, "But...". By the time I can start to doubt myself, I've already signed on for the adventure and the ride is in motion.

For example, this idea was planted in my mind just last night. I'll be signing up for this when I return from the cruise. (Just the 13.1, people. I'm adventurous, not crazy.)

I also registered for the World Domination Summit a few hours after the Web site went live, about a month and a half ago. A great adventure was offered. I couldn't refuse it.

So those are some of my upcoming adventures, and I'll be back in a little more than a week to tell you how the cruise went. I've got my fingers crossed for good weather and, you know, whatever the opposite of an engine fire is.

If things don't work out, remember... Pop Tarts.

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