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During my time in Spain, I had the privilege of visiting some beautiful caves they call “Las Cuevas de Nerja” or “Nerja Caves”. Stretching for almost 5 kilometers, these caves have approximately 435 steps. Some steps go down and some curve around, however many go up. And believe me when I say, these steps are quite steep!
I took part in a guided tour where they led our group through the caves. Shortly after beginning our tour, I observed an older gentleman walking right in front of me as he began having difficulty with the climb. It seemed that the more we climbed the slower he became. His legs looked as though they were giving out and his breathing had become labored. Truthfully, he looked exhausted!
I asked him if he was okay, and if he needed any help? But the gentlemen insisted he was fine and thanked me for asking. After a while, someone else in the group became concerned and again asked if he needed help. This time he decided to accept the offer. As I continued walking behind them now, they began to engage in conversation.
During their chat, he mentioned he was 87 years old and that his wife had passed. He said that shortly after his wife’s passing he had decided to go travel the world.
And so there he was, alone in Spain in the middle of a cave, climbing 435 steps all the while using his cane for assistance!
I often have said that if we pay close attention to what’s happening around us, we will discover that there are lessons God will have us learn, literally at every corner!
I remember feeling choked up thinking of his inner strength and courage. There he was 87 years old, weak but determined. He had made the decision to travel to another continent with the intent of traveling the world, by himself!
I didn’t know this man, as we exchanged several words at most. However, I felt a connection to him.
You see this man had been knocked down, BUT he didn’t stay there. Instead, after losing his wife, he dusted himself off and got right back up! He kept moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other! And although his body was frail, and he certainly looked tired, he didn’t pay much attention to any of those things.
For he had a plan and a dream to fulfill. He was on a mission and he wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop him!
So, on that sunny Monday afternoon, unbeknownst to him, he served as a reminder. . .
That what truly defines us, is not how many times we get knocked down, but rather how many more times we have the courage to get right back up!
I’ve been wanting to travel to Europe ever since I can remember. It has always been a dream of mine since my early twenties. And back then I did start planning such a trip, but then life got in the way. My life then followed the “usual” progression. Go to college, get married, and have children. So my dreams were placed in the back burner. Then in my early thirties, I once again pondered visiting this wonderful continent, but raising babies is not an easy task and one that I wasn’t willing to trust to anyone, even if it was only for 10 days! So once again, I postponed my travel dreams.
It wasn’t until this past year that I truly felt ready! My kids no longer need me, at least not in the same way. And as for all my other responsibilities, well I found the courage to put them all on pause.
For 10 days and 9 nights two friends and I ventured off to Europe visiting many cities in Spain and even made time for a two-day hiatus in Paris, France!
We ate their rich foods, tasted their wines, and mingled with the warm people of their country. We walked up and down the streets with an ice cream in one hand and shopping bags in the other. We shopped till we dropped, ate till our bellies ached and barely slept! We felt free and giddy!
They say timing is everything and so my time had come! I had run out of “reasons” and logical explanations as to why I “couldn’t” go.
Now my very long awaited European adventure has been realized!
As I wake this morning, my heart feels full and joyous for I have returned to my home surrounded by family, friends, and my dogs.
But most importantly, I have returned with a soul that has been renewed and rejuvenated! For this adventure, has given me so much more than I ever dreamed possible!
Today, I find myself having a new appreciation for life and a newfound wanderlust! And now my life will never be the same!
And as for my next adventure, I am certain of one thing . . .
I won’t wait this long!
Did you know . . .
80% of our mental chatter is negative?
Typically, our thoughts are a push and pull between our head and our heart.
Thoughts vs. Feelings.
Been there, done that, more than I’d like to admit.
However, this past year I have been on a journey to live in a more positive space.
And yes, it takes work. But for me the work is well worth it!
Once I decided to make the shift, little by little I began incorporating new habits into each day.
These are the top 7 things I began doing that made the biggest impact and what I recommend.
Be in control of your thoughts and don’t allow them to control you!
Your negative thoughts should not be living in your brain, rent free.