It’s been a stressful summer at home. When I travel, I often feel “ready” for a vacation , but I don’t recall ever feeling quite as desperate for time away as I have before this trip. Here’s a little story to illustrate just how much I’ve cracked under pressure lately. Recently, I was at the gym working out. A gym employee and another member (both of whom are Really Buff Dudes) begin arguing within earshot. I’m annoyed that they have the gall to interrupt my workout, but I try to stay focused on my third set of lunges. They’re still arguing during my squats and I finally snap. I turn around and angrily tell them both to “chill out” and “shut up!” They did, but it wasn’t exactly my proudest moment. And all this happened right before I headed off to my yoga class, mind you. Ohh, the irony.
Yes, it’s been stressful. And while traveling is stressful for many people (and even for me, at times), it has become my oasis. Even being at the airport–with its tedious security stops, mounting fees, and overpriced coffee–feels like a welcome reminder that I am on my way to somewhere.
Ecuador, take me away.
In my brain, that sentence takes on a dreamy quality, like the “Calgon” commercials from yesteryear in which an overworked mother washes away her stress with a bubblebath full of water softener. (Yes, I realize I’m dating myself right now, but I’m beyond caring about that at the moment.)
But I digress. So, what am I doing in Ecuador, you ask? Last year, I enjoyed my experience volunteering at an orphanage so much that I decided to do that again this year. In fact, it’s an organization that I committed to volunteer with several years ago the first time I planned to visit Ecuador. Sadly, that trip was canceled due to a medical issue, but I am here now, a bit late for duty, but better late than never. After my time volunteering, David (you might remember him from my Israel trip) will meet me here in Quito for some sightseeing, after which we’ll fly off to Manta for sun, sand, and water sports. I’m hoping to have my first actual kiteboarding lesson, wind permitting. We shall see.