“One day you will wake up and there won’t be anymore time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”
Today marks the two week point of the Big Adventure, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t had to pinch myself, to remind myself this is all real. One minute you are a teacher and your day in and out looks pretty much the same, day after day. Then BAM. The adventure starts. You are seeing the most beautiful landscape and coastline of Pure Michigan all while meeting some of the most amazing people.
I had always read stories of people who walked across America like Peter Jenkins, or got lost in the wild like Chris McCandless and thought how amazing the people they met were. Now it is my story, and the people that I used to read about, are the ones writing my own dream adventure.
I’ve never really considered myself a people person. That’s my brothers forte. Mine was sports. Sports teach you how to hate your opponent, win at all cost and that doesn’t translate well into, “hey let’s be friends”.
This trip has changed that for me. Everyone I meet has such an awesome story to tell, all while adding a little piece of my own. The number of people who wave, ask questions about the Kayak Kaboose or my journey has been incredible. As fascinated as they seem to be about my adventure, it is their own story that I find myself wanting to know more about. For that 2 minute conversation, or if it’s been longer for some…my goal has been to become that people person, and genuinely get to know each and everyone as much as I can.
“Don’t worry. Be Happy.” Those simple words blasting from my headphone speakers at 5:45am yesterday morning reminded me exactly what it is I am looking for from each interaction. A chance to make someone’s day. Be it with a simple wave, a good morning shout from across a bay, or a few minutes of conversation, I want to make those I pass as happy as I have been on this journey. Finding my own happiness along this trip has really only been magnified by the people. Something as simple as 3 kids waving from a balcony asking “Where are you going”? Megan, Kimberly and Emily made my day, as much as I seemed to add some excitement to theirs. I guess it’s not everday a big guy on a paddleboard hauling a Kaboose paddles by.
Or construction workers stopping you to offer up a few slices of Little Caesar’s Pizza, or bumping into an experienced fisherman in John searching for an umbrella he dropped out of his boat. My goal…see them smile before I leave.
You don’t have to quit your job and go on some crazy adventure, but you can hold a door for an ederly lady, say hello to someone you pass, or just a simple wave or smile. You could really change not only someone else’s outlook on the day, but you may suprise yourself with how it effects your own day as well. It’s just as simple now as when Bobby McFerrin sang it back in the 90’s.
“Don’t worry, Be Happy.”