Traveling In Spirit
Do you ever have an entire day planned and it just falls apart? Maybe the guy that introduced the plan backs out, half of your friends don’t make it, and to top it all off, your super fun, upbeat, no-idea-what-he-eats-in-the-morning-to-be-that-positive, best friend isn’t around to ensure that no matter who comes, today's adventure will be awesome.
Well, today's blog post is about exactly that.
The plan was to wake up, rally the group, grab some breakfast, pack the gear, and head out. For us, that meant hopping on a ferry to Cozumel, an island off the coast of Playa Del Carmen, in Mexico.
Sadly, this is when the plans start to fall apart. People are low-energy, unmotivated, and lethargic. Nobody feels like going anymore. It almost looks like the whole day will be a bust. But luckily, you know this super positive guy, who would do everything in his power to get everyone's asses in gear and seize the damn day! Unfortunately, this positive, energetic individual isn't with us, but just the thought of "What would he do?" gave us the motivation needed to stick to the plan, and go explore the world!
And with that extra jolt of energy, we got a few people out the door. Enough to have a new adventure, and to document the whole thing.
On the ride over, I started to think, "it’s funny how in life, we all handle obstacles so differently. Think about your own friend group. What friend calls it quits when the going gets tough? Who is the always-positive one? How about yourself, where do you fit in? Do you go with the flow, or are you a leader? When life throws you a hurdle, do you leap over it, or duck under and take the path of least resistance?" The hour and a half ferry ride gave me lot’s of time to reflect on these questions.
We only had a few hours of daylight left, and the clock was ticking, so our plan was to rent a Jeep and a scooter, make our way around the island before dark, and catch the last ferry back to the mainland.
And here comes hurdle number two: all the Jeeps are manual-transmission, and none of us are very confident driving stick in a foreign country. 15 years ago I would've made it work, but after that many years, I was too rusty to attempt it.
Now that the droptop dream Jeep wasn’t happening anymore, we opted for something a bit less “epic” and hit the road.
After driving about halfway around Cozumel, it was clear we were not going to make it around the whole island before the car rental place closed. So we stepped off to explore.
Have you ever arrived at a place and had this sense that, at that moment, someone else was with you then and there? Maybe it’s that person that encouraged you to take the trip but couldn’t make it or your significant other who was waiting for you back home. Standing on the edge of the sea with the waves crashing against the rocks, and the sun on my face, this was an overwhelming feeling. If only he could be here right now. That super fun, upbeat, no-idea-what-he-eats-in-the-morning-to-be-that-positive, best friend would have loved this spot.
We all have that one friend, who is just so positive you're going to make it. While you're frantically sprinting with only minutes to spare, filled with doubt, knowing it’s a very real possibility you will be stranded on an island overnight. The whole time, your positive, upbeat friend is unwavering in his belief you're going to make it. And when you do make that ferry, he just gives you the biggest celebration as if you just won gold in the 100-meter dash at the Olympics. This same guy that most people wonder what the hell he eats for breakfast every day because he's just so positive in every situation! And for the record, it’s bananas. He loved to eat bananas in the morning.
Although he is no longer with us, he still travels with us every time we get lost and find ourselves again along the way of life’s big road trip.
We love you Ryker, Happy Birthday, we miss you.