Every year, regardless of school, work, or any other distractions, my best friend and I make time for a new adventure. We vow to never visit the same destination twice, for there are too many unseen places in the world to explore. Our first trip was to Bermuda, where we road mopeds for the first time. Then we went to Florida and took on jet skies in the deep ocean waters of Miami. However, the most exhilarating trip of all took place in San Juan Puerto Rico, also referred to as The Enchanted Island.
During each exotic vacation we attempt to conquer a new fear or fulfill a desirable experience. Saving and working all year to take a trip of a lifetime makes the adventure that much more rewarding. Having the opportunity to visit a foreign place provides thirst towards wanting more heart racing adventures.
It was the middle of August 2008, when we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After enduring a combination of both the beautiful sun and the “rain depression,” we decided to take our adventurous excursion. After scheduling an appointment for zip lining, we crammed into a small van with six other tourists. Not too familiar with what exactly what we were about to endure, I sat eagerly awaiting the destination. Listening to the group discussing our potential experience, I was immediately filled with pure panic. The idea of jumping from platform to platform via cable cords is an absolute death sentence for someone terrified of heights. After arriving, I could not believe I agreed to sign a consent form, and was willing to hike up the mountain with intentions to jump.
The Guide provided a “lesson” and a brief safety demonstration on how to operate the speed of your line. Then immediately after, we hiked up to our first platform that overlooked the entire forest. Heart racing, shortness of breath, and blurred vision, were just a few physical weaknesses I had experienced before taking the first leap.
It was my turn. I was the last to go. I hoped they would have forgotten about me. I was wrong. Strapped securely in my harness, helmet and gloves, I tiptoed towards the edge of the first platform. The group cheered words of encouragement from what seemed like miles away. The instructor constantly reassured me that I would be just fine and this experience was one of a lifetime. So I closed my eyes, jumped, and screamed for the entire island to hear. But I made it! By the time I opened my eyes, I was safe in the arms of the instructor who caught me.
In almost tears, I could not believe my accomplishment. Mixed emotions raced through my entire body. Knowing I was more than capable of completing the zip line course, I proceeded with my eyes open, embracing “The Enchanted Island” and it’s pure beauty. After completing zip lining, a sense of relief, pride, and disbelief consumed my racing thoughts.
I learned how to take a chance on life knowing experiences constantly come and go. Facing my fear of heights only scratched the surface of my desire to accomplish new adventures. Zip lining was by far the scariest excursion I have ever experienced, but I did it and walked away with a pretty amazing story.
My best friend and I have a saying, “Go big or go home.” It’s a phrase I constantly repeat to myself during moments such as being hundreds of feet off the ground on the island of Puerto Rico. It’s what gets me to the next platform; a constant reminder of courage.
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