Dreamchasers 2018: Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat.
a trip by Bev and Stan
From: January 1st 2018
Until: May 3rd 2018
Every major adventure begins with a slightly different energy. This one began with a sense of trepidation, not only because we had both been slightly ill the week prior to departure, but more significantly because we had been closely monitoring - for the four months prior to our departure from Canada - the precarious mood swings of Mount Agung, an ominous volcano located very near Ubud, our Balinese home away from home. The media reports were leaving us questioning the wisdom of putting ourselves at risk of an impending, apparently imminent, disaster. The media representations of reality were creating doubt, a weighty emotion guaranteed to dampen spirits. But we ultimately remained steadfast and true to our original plan, remembering previous years where we also departed Canada and ventured into seemingly precarious, unstable situations, only to realize upon arrival that the perceived dangers were far less threatening than we had been led to believe by the media reports, and our adventures were allowed to continue on.
In 2013 when we departed Canada for India, we left amidst reports of country wide demonstrations across India protesting recent widely publicized violent assaults upon women in that country. We subsequently travelled throughout India for six weeks, but did not encounter any of the media presented realities. In 2015, prior to our departure from Canada, we were bombarded with media reports that the airport in Bangkok, our point of arrival into Asia, would be inaccessible to us because of the ongoing political demonstrations in the city at that time. Although the airport certainly was not impeded, we did in fact witness demonstrations while in Bangkok, but they were peaceful and interesting, not threatening. Just last year, in 2016, we watched video footage, from our living room at home, of major flooding in the very area of southern Thailand that we would be flying into in exactly five days. Our pre-booked domestic flight to our island destination of Ko Phangan was in fact cancelled, and we needed to be rerouted. But we did not cancel the trip, as did so many others, and ultimately had the best experience in a beautiful, very under vacated resort because we chose to proceed with our original itinerary. In all cases, we did not allow our fears to dominate, but instead remained true to our travel aspirations, wiser, aware of possible difficult situations, but not paralyzed by them.
Travel is an adventure. By definition, it involves taking chances, taking risks, being willing to step out of one’s comfort zones in pursuit of experiences: wisely, carefully, not blindly, or naively, but not fearfully. If we were to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with fear based on external reports, we might as well just stay home, and pretend to be safe. But we are travellers - we are the Dreamchasers; and that logic could never prevail.
And so we continue on, following our plan to return to some familiar destinations in Thailand and Indonesia,but also maintaining our annual mandate to visit new, yet untravelled territories each year, even amidst the current “Ring of Fire”. We shall attempt to do it all, or as much as we possibly can, enjoying every moment that presents itself wherever we are. for every day is a new opportunity to grow, to meet someone new, to share a new experience, to accept another challenge. Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat.
Therein lies the theme for another new year, and another new adventure. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.
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