When I first read Hannah’s email entitled Call me crazy but… I was completely shocked. To be honest, my first reaction was terror. I mean, I had been to India and witnessed the chaos and pandemonium on its roads, and let me tell you, being a passenger in an air-conditioned taxi was enough of an adventure!
I was afraid, and began to think of all the many reasons why I would not be able to be able to do it:
Too dangerous (I could die).
Too much traffic (I could die).
I don’t know where I’ll be in January 2013.
I could die.
But despite this voice of supposed reason in my head, squashing the idea with a resounding “NO”, I couldn’t ignore the shiver of excitement that jolted through me as I read the email.
I remember it clearly. I was at work, bored out of my brain, haven already given my notice and biding the time until my boyfriend and I could take off on our travels. I was sitting in the office, and there on the screen was a question that had the possibilty of changing my life as I knew it:
“So, will you go on this adventure with me?”
I’m not exactly adventurous. Let me rephrase that, I’m a scaredy cat. I’ve always avoided amusement parks, extreme sports of any kind (okay, all sport), and most activities that involve me hurtling at high speed.
Yes, I love to travel, and I loved India when I went there before, but driving an auto-rickshaw 3,500km across it? It sounded like madness.
Hannah directed us to the Rickshaw Run website for clarification. I wish she hadn’t. Instead of having my fears allayed with words of reassurement, The Aventurists had no qualms in letting me know exactly what I was in for.
And it didn’t look good.
Despite a full disclosure on the possible danger involved, however, that jolt of excitement lead me to imagine a future where I just might have the adventure of a lifetime. I mean, it’s not every day you are handed an opportunity like this, and let me tell you, Hannah’s enthusiasm was infectious.
If she believed we could do it…
When Kim responded with “I’m terrified, but YES!” then it was up to me. I discussed it with my boyfriend, who was no help at all, telling me I should do whatever I want (I don’t think he actually thought I’d agree to it though).
It was then that I thought back to my 30th birthday the previous year. I’d celebrated it in the holy city of Varanasi, my first visit to India. Our guide for the evening told me to ask the holy Ganges for anything, and it would be answered. I asked for the only thing that I thought my life was missing: meaning.
It’s one thing to ask, and another to listen. If I said no to this crazy request to embark on an epic journey through one of the most fascinating countries in the world with two amazing women I had never met, I knew I would be closing the door on the type of life I dreamed of – full of adventure, creativity and spontaneity.
So, I said YES.
And here goes!