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The Story Behind The Dream

Where did this dream come from?

I have wanted to travel to the Africa/Middle East/India arc of the world for nearly a decade. The six weeks I spent in northern Africa during the summer of 2009 fed this, and kindled a desire for in-depth interactions with women in Muslim regions of the world. The more I talk with friends who have spent significant time in developing nations, the more I want to go. And the more I'm convinced that I could learn much from the people there.

If you have read my blog much over the past year, you will know that the idea of Hope - what it is, where we find it, why we need it - is often on my mind.

And over the last year and a half, I have been embracing the idea of taking risks, not just passing time, but LIVING my life.

So all these things have been simmering. And then a series of moments brought it all together.

Moment #1
For the first time ever, I go to a concert on my own. When I leave, I instinctively turn to the friend next to me so we can discuss the night. But no one is there.

What was the point of coming? I wonder to myself. Who do I share this with? How do I debrief it?

I believe that life is meant to be shared, and the vast majority of my best memories are not moments that have happened on my own, but communal events, adventures, and conversations with people I love.

Moment #2
A friend invites me to the Banff Mountain Film Festival's Toronto visit, and I can't help but notice that all six short documentary films we watch are man-centric. The main characters are men, while women are the wives, sisters, and mothers who watch them go. I think to myself, I have zero desire to jump off a mountain or climb one without a harness, but I believe in adventure! And it is the 21st century. So why aren't women represented here??? I want to travel and make a documentary. I could do it.

Moment #2b
One of the films, Crossing the Ditch, tells the story of two guys from Australia who decide to kayak across the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. This has never been done before. Do they know how to kayak? No. But you know what? They learn. I don't want to spoil the story (it is fantastic), but I will share this key quote/paraphrase from one of them: "Adventure isn't necessarily about extreme sports or putting yourself in stupid situations. It's about pushing the limits of who you are and what you're capable of, and then seeing how you've changed as
you reintegrate into your regular life."


Moment #3
The next day, I am at hospice volunteer training. As we learn about the realities of cancer, I find myself thinking, If I were diagnosed with cancer, I would go on an adventure. I'd make a movie. And if I had cancer, people would give money to make it happen.

When I realize what I've just thought, I rebuke myself; I don't want to wait until I'm dying to live my dreams. And money - lack of money is not a reason to give up. It is a problem to be solved.

So there you have it. I sat there in the volunteer training, thinking to myself, I guess that means I should just do it. And over the past 3 months, as I've talked with friends and laid it out, more shape has come to it. It's an actual plan now, not just a dream. I want to do this. With you.


jess said…

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