bilan travels // conquering fears in costa rica

The day I conquered my fear of heights involved FC Barcelona, some New York City sass, and strangely enough, Leonardo DiCaprio.

There I was, engulfed by the mist of the rainforest, Barça jacket on, standing on a platform looking at the other 10 or so individuals also on my tour. “Just hold on to here with two arms,” my guide repeated whilst I gave my final monologue thanking him and asking him to tell my mother I loved her. When I asked him for his name, explaining that, “I wanted to know the name of the person who held my life in their hands,” he responded with, “Leonardo DiCaprio.” “I love your movies,” I remarked, to which he responded, “me too, my favorite is Titanic.” While my Spanish started out strong, the panic within me shifted my words to a thick New York City English vernacular. I quit the small talk because, in the wise words of my favorite internet superstar Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Whether it was peer pressure, the fact that I paid for this zip-line package with my summer earnings, or my own desire to face my fears, I took a leap of faith…literally.  Or perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio pushed me. Either way, as I swung back and forth, the fear subsided and I began to enjoy the motion that so closely paralleled being at home in my local park. Having successfully completed what, at the time, seemed like the longest week of my life, and conquering the Tarzan swing seemed like a transition into the person that I wanted to be. 

Travel for the person you want to be, not for the person you are. My first non-stop adventure vacation was a success and I attribute a lot of it to this mantra. Don’t think, just do. As liberating as it was to conquer my fears, I could not have done it without the support of my fearless friend. She was there during my tantrums, and during my triumphs. When embarking on an adventure trip, I cannot urge you enough to travel with someone who complements you and will help you through the journey. I couldn’t have done it without you, chica!

Now while I begin a life post-graduation, living for the person I want to be, I cannot help but think of all the moments (and of course mistakes) that led me to today. “We do not remember days, we remember moments,” and facing my fears was certainly a moment that I will never forget.

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