It only took 35 minutes for me to relax into the first solo road trip I had taken in several years. I hike and bike alone, drive into the mountains to ski alone, and travel around the entire Denver metro area without a qualm, but this was a 5-hour solo drive to Taos. And for some reason I was just slightly nervous. Or more than slightly. And yet, as the city disappeared in my rearview mirror, I realized I was smiling and settling into my seat, enjoying my small adventure.
The road and the weather conspired with the rolling hills to add a joyful element to the drive. I imagined wonderous adventures around each curve as I climbed the pass, rolling the windows down so I could feel the pine scented air dance with my hair. The sky was full of hawks, and my heart was full of a remembered freedom. I had a place to be, but all the time in the world to get there.
It seemed silly to be so proud of myself as I motored into Taos, found the Vrbo and explored the neighborhood. But I realized that it is so easy to stay within our comfortable safe spaces, even those that seem to be adventurous to those around us, this was something that had become a stretch. I want to think of myself as a bit courageous and daring, but in some ways, I had let reliable patterns take the place of audacious experiences.
When my BFF showed up later that day we decided to get lost at least once (a goal we met several times over), to explore new places and find treasures. We hiked up to a high mountain lake, along the Rio Gorge, visited new places, and dared each other to look at the world through different eyes. We turned every day into an adventure, including the haunted bedroom (more on that in another article) marked by the Devil mask hanging above the door.
We drove back together, continuing the adventure by listening to new ideas on our favorite podcasts and stretching our minds. We agreed to plan two adventures a year, to fill our time with more ways to grow and expand our lives And somehow it all started when I set up alone from Denver full of nervous energy that might have just been excitement.