When Barbara Boone calls, you answer; and when Barbara asks you to write the Guest Editor column for the LT Newsletter, you say yes. But when Barbara suggested that I write about some of my family’s vacations (which tend to cross the line into “adventures”), I hesitated. How, I wondered, could those experiences translate into anything of interest to the LT Family? Here goes.
In 2014, my wife Lee Ann and I took our kids (Emily and Evan) on an epic adventure – we hiked the Inca Trail over four days from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Our travel group was made up of incredibly fun people from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Uruguay and Italy. I think of it as an adventure rather than a vacation because the trek was so demanding and the rewards were beyond anything I could have expected. We hiked through rain and cloud forests, gasped (literally) our way up to Dead Woman’s Pass at 14,000 feet in the Andes and explored perfectly preserved Incan settlements hidden in the Peruvian jungle. This was the first time our children, 14 and 16 at the time, had been out of the country and they got to spend time with our Peruvian guides and their new friends from around the world. Emily and Evan still talk about that adventure and how it opened their eyes to a much bigger world.
But as I thought about that amazing trip the lesson hit home for me: I had resisted going. I told my wife I was too busy with work; we didn’t have enough money; and we could do it later. Lee Ann would have none of it and worked on me for a couple of weeks before I relented. Her message was – if you keep putting off life’s adventures until the time is “right” you will never actually get out and do anything.
In a way, we were both right. I was busy at work, but it turns out my job was still there for me when we got back. We didn’t have enough money at the moment, but we paid for the trip over time. And frankly, given the physical challenge of the hike, I’m not sure we could do it later.
So my message to my LT friends is this – listen to the good people around you who challenge your thinking, who push you to get out of your comfort zone and who dare you to take on adventures. Your life, your career and your relationships will be all the better for it.
Also, I have some funny stories from that trip that I cannot put in writing. Please reach out and let’s go have lunch (“Best Lunch Ever!”) and I can share a few….