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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crazy, crazy, crazy...

As my Aunt Diane mentioned in an earlier post, I have had the amazing opportunity to travel the world over the last 10 years or so. I work for an adventure travel company, so I have taken advantage of the travel perks for sure! Let me tell you the perk that had changed my life in the best possible way…

I spent my 20’s living footloose and fancy free. Lived it up. Held a good job. Left the country at a moments notice. In fact, the first time that I ever went to Africa, I left 3 days after I decided to go – and it was exhilarating. I went to India, Nepal, Australia & Tasmania - twice (even hung out with the band Creed at a small private party in Sydney!), Chile, Argentina, even Ushuaia; the southern most tip of the world. I found myself back in Africa climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent, and I’ve traveled to Europe countless times. I feel so blessed and I can’t help but to give these experiences the kudos for shaping my life and giving me a greater understanding of the world and those who live in it.

I turned 30 in 2006 and really freaked out about it. You see, even though I traveled in my 20’s, I yearned to be married & to become a mother – literally since I was about 18! Sure, I dated, but could never seem to find “the guy for me”. The funniest thing happened about 6 months after I turned 30. I stopped freaking out about my age and my, uhh hem…”clock”, shall we say. I felt liberated and surrendered completely to whatever happens, will happen. So I began to really live my life a very free and happy girl (woman), not worried about things that I could not control.

In June of 2007, my company sent me to the French & Italian Alps for work, which was just a few months after my “age epiphany”. During this trip, a dear friend of mine, Daniel, who lives with his wife and kids in Menaggio, Italy, had an “epiphany” of his own. We were chatting at dinner one night and he exclaimed, “I’ve got it! You MUST meet my friend Dryden! He is a such a cool guy, lives in London, is an attorney, loves mountains and travel like you do, and is ready to settle down with someone special!” He was insistent. Relentless. For the next several days that we were working together, I would walk by Daniel and he would just shake his head and say, “Marcy, you’ve REALLY got to meet Dryden, he is a fantastic guy!” At one point, I was strolling through this little Italian town to do some shopping and Daniel came up behind me and just pushed his cell phone in my face…Dryden was on the friggin' phone! We got sabotaged!

Here is where the CRAZY part starts… In that phone call, Dryden and I arranged that he would fly from London to Geneva in a few days and we would throw caution to the wind and meet. Sure enough, a couple days later I found myself doing the most ridiculous thing a single girl traveling should EVER do…meet up with a complete stranger and spend the next week road-tripping around Europe together (separate rooms of course!). Well, at least we had Daniels recommendation, right? So I’m at the Geneva airport waiting for Dryden’s flight that was late. As a joke, I scribbled “DRYDEN” on a tiny piece of paper and it was folded up in my pocket. Guy after guy walked out into the arrivals hall and finally, I saw him (having never seen a picture of him before). It was just a gut feeling. So, I pulled my little DRYDEN sign out of my pocket, unfolded it and held it waist-high with both hands. He looked around for a brief moment and then saw me and my sign. We died laughing, greeted each other with hugs and went on our merry way….together. (Little side note: he was absolutely gorgeous, extremely intelligent, had traveled a lot, and then that dreamy British accent that just melts candles…) We immediately drove up to Chamonix, which is the town at the base of Mt. Blanc, and had a beer or two (three actually). We decided to leave first thing the next morning, rent a car, and drive 8 hours down to Italy to surprise Daniel. So, let me say that again. In the first 24 hours of knowing each other, we jumped in a car the size of a two-drawered file cabinet and drove 8 hours to go see our mutual friend…Crazy, isn’t it?!? Luckily, the conversations never ended and we gallivanted all over Italy together, ending up in the most romantic city in the world (on purpose), Venice. It was there that we fell in love and decided that we didn’t want to live without each other. He moved from London to California 2 weeks later.

A year and some months later, we live together in a tiny little home in Alameda and are so happy with the simple life we have created together. It is awesome! Ok, so last night, we went out for a lovely dinner together and were talking each other’s ear off...Ok, I was talking his ear off probably. The topic got on travel and I was telling him a story about how once, around the age of 25, I was sailing on a three-masted sailboat through the Mediterranean from the south of Spain all the way to Athens, by way of North Africa & Sicily. I was telling Dryden that I remember those days so well. Traveling, meeting fantastic people, eating darn well. But still something was definitely missing. I went on to explain that I would go topside on the boat, sails flapping gently, 2am. I would lie out with a glass of red wine and stare at the sea and sky for hours, just dreaming. It was wonderful, yet melancholy. Then Dryden asked me what I was dreaming about out there. And I replied, “I was dreaming of you.” He said “really”? And I said, “yes, definitely of you.” We both smiled and held hands and laughed at how a seriously crazy travel risk changed our lives forever.

The moral of this story is: Please vote. But not for McCain/Palin. They are not good for this country, or the world.

The second moral of this story is: Take risks! Travel! Live life fully and feel every moment deeply. LOVE. Be crazy, crazy, crazy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unky Mike just read your post to me. He commented on what a good writer you are, and I said "Yep, it's a Thomas thing." BTW, have you told your other aunts that you're doing the blog?
Much love, Auntie D