This Sunday came around with not a plan in sight. I didn't realize at the time how much fun this day would be. I was actually a bit bummed that I had nothing planned and was going to let a perfectly good Sunday go to waste. I started early in the morning by lounging on the couch watching a surprisingly inspiring Netflix documentary. It is called Maidentrip, about a 14 year old girl who decides to sail around the world on her own for 2 years.
I was intrigued to watch this documentary because one of my bigger fears in life is to be alone. How could a girl at the age of 14 come to terms with the idea of being alone for 2 years? Well, she did it, the full 2 years, and after watching it, I seriously don't think I could do anything like it. But it did inspire me and made me think about how my life could be different if I pushed myself to do things, even when no one else wanted to do anything.
I've always thought that doing anything without someone else was pointless, because who would you have to share that experience with? Who really cares to hear about your day if they weren't apart of it? No one will be there to laugh with you, or reminisce on the breathtaking moments. It all just seems so pointless. So, I will sit at home doing nothing if everyone else is busy doing their life. And I was fine with living life like this (but really, i was miserable and wishing I was out doing something).
So there I was, a beautiful, hot sunny Sunday, alone, wondering what in the world I could possibly do by myself. I usually read in these moments, as it is one of my favorite things to do. But it was so beautiful outside. And all I really wanted to do was float the river. So I called a few friends up. No one could go… So I decided I would do it by myself. Why not prove it to myself that I could do something like this? Enjoy an evening on the river… by myself.
After putting on my bathings suit, I decided to get some food, sunscreen, and a lot of water before the trip. Along the drive, my mind kept giving me a thousand reasons to turn around and go home. Or to call more people to see if others could join. I grabbed both of my rafts for the just in case. But I knew I wouldn't be using it. I had to keep reminding myself that I "wanted" to go alone. That I was happy to do this.
Once I was down at the park, I pulled my raft out of the car feeling pretty proud that I had gotten this far. Because you always know that once you get that far, you are more then likely not going to turn back. I started to walk across the lawn to the bus when these two African guys asked me why I was going alone. Since this seemed to be the theme of the day, I stopped to attempt an explanation, but I didn't really say much other than "yeah". But since I had stopped, they playfully said "Next time you go, let us know and we will go with you."
"You want to go?" I asked
"Yeah, we've always wanted to float." They both were sitting in the park on their lawn chairs.
"Do you want to go with me now?"
They both looked at each other a bit puzzled. And after some eye talk they had between themselves, they said yes!
So I ran back over to the car while they put their things away in their car, and grabbed my second raft. Even though I had no idea who these strangers were, my heart swelled, because I knew I was about to have an adventure that I wouldn't have had if I just kept on watching documentaries all day long.
While standing in line for the bus to pick us up, I learned a bit about them. They were both Refugees from Africa. One had been here for 5 years, and the other had only been here for a year. They both were extremely grateful and thankful about the whole thing. Something that didn't seem like such a big deal, turned out to be a big deal for them. Not only had they never been down the river before, but the guy who had only been here for a year told me that I was the first white person to really actually talk with him. Hearing this made me so sad. These guys were so intelligent and funny, how could something as race and an accent be a force that keeps people from approaching them?
Everything about what we did was so foreign and new to the both of them, from beginning to end, that it was almost like watching a young child experience new things for the first time. They were so excited about everything. They laughed and joked the whole way down the river. Everything I lacked in appreciation, they had appreciation for. I seriously haven't laughed that hard in a long time. They were so much fun.
An the last major raft of the evening, we hit rock bottom at the bottom of it. It completely ripped open their small two person raft, leaving them sitting in the water within seconds. I was laughing so hard while they were looking scared and worried that they had just ruined the tube. But I couldn't stop laughing, because to me, it was nothing more then meaning all three of us were all going to have to sit in my small two person raft, and make it another 45 minutes down the river. So we piled in and somehow made it work.
Then, the thunder and lightning came. The clouds swelled over the the sun, and the rain began to pour. At this point, the mini trip was so ridiculous, we all realized it and just started laughing and yelling and being as loud as we could as the rain came down. It was freezing rain, and our little raft was full of water. There was no escape except to get to the finish line.
It's incredible to think that something so fun came out of simply pushing myself to try something new. I felt like I was back in Europe, freely hanging out with whoever was around and not worrying about anything. Just seeking the adventure and thrill. We all had so much fun, and it's something I'm sure all of us will remember. It made a bigger impact on me than I expected, and along the way, I made some really awesome new friends.
All in all, I guess I just wanted to write this out to see it in writing. To know I did it and to remind myself that going out on an adventure alone, doesn't always mean you will end up being alone.
I unfortunately did not have my camera with me, so I did not get to document any of this. It will forever only be in my mind and on this page.