There is beauty and triumph in every adventure experienced, whether great or small.
I recently went to Dunn’s River Falls and Park in Ohio Rios with a group of colleagues. For me going anywhere required a lot of time and effort to plan and as the date for the trip approached I was convinced more and more that I had no time to do so. Quite simply, I was feeling too tired, lazy and a bit demotivated to make a real effort. However, when I related my change of heart to some members of the group, they convinced me to take the plunge (pun intended).
The day for the trip arrived and we were to leave by 7:30. suffice it to say when you do not plan, you dump any and everything you can find that is beach related into a bag and go – and that is exactly what I did. To boost my enthusiasm for going, I found – quite by coincidence – a shirt with a slogan that encourages one to embrace new adventures! How timely and appropriate! Therefore when I saw it I bought it, because for me this was a sign from the universe.
Of course because we are Jamaicans, a 7:30 a.m departure time turned into a 9:00 a.m departure time instead – but that was not bad at all. Thankfully our time getting there was cut short by the North-South Highway. We eventually made it and once there realized that the hardest part of the trip would be going down and up the many stairs we had to climb to to get to and from the beach. Added to this, once there, we were greeted by a downpour that threatened to put a damper on the entire day. For me, my first impulse was to call it a day and head back for the plains of Spanish Town; but alas, luckily I was the only insane person in the group – and fortunately I did not voice this reaction.
We eventually made our way into the calm and inviting water to enjoy a session of good conversations and lots of laugh. A fish came to visit, along with a few seaweed, but it provided interesting additions to a lazy mid-morning waddle in the sea – let me be totally honest, must of us there could not swim, so we were treading in the water e experts, and i was very proud that a managed to stay above water – though, there were some close moments of panic that I expertly hid from the others! In the middle of this chill session the rains came and went but like everyone else, I was by now, thoroughly enjoying myself – to my surprise!
Eventually we quickly exited when we realized one by one how ravenous we were. For this outing persons had bought their own food, though there are restaurants that offer a variety of mouth-watering and tempting food options. Again we sat on the benches strategically scattered around the beach and had another good liming session – it’s a skill that requires much practice for mastery and one thoroughly enjoyed by Caribbean people!
Then the big moment. We decided to head to the falls! There was only one problem for me. I am deathly afraid of heights and so felt the best option in order to remain safe and more importantly, alive was to stand aside and watch everyone. We made our way from the warm waters of the sea to the icy cold river water. There, both local and visitors to the island converged at the base of the falls, some ready to go all the way and others content to soak up the water from the bottom. As I looked higher I saw the really brave souls, full of daring and the thirst for real adventure ascending higher and higher. I silently wished them well, convinced I was very smart indeed to remain firmly on the ground, save from the possibility of actually breaking my neck! I must say that the irony was not lost on me, considering I had entered the park quite confidently wearing a top that proclaimed the need to embrace new adventures. However, climbing the falls was an adventure that was not on the agenda for me! But something strange happened to me from the base of the fall and suddenly, I did not want to remain at the bottom. I found myself moving up, willing to climb a little and risk my life. I was climbing the falls! the cold water earlier became a loving embracing and I could not get enough. So there I was contemplating how high I would go. Alas, I did not make it very far.
Though I did not make it to the top, ultimately, I was very proud of my progress. I had made it further than I ever planned to make it. I had accomplished something I never thought I would do – I climbed, even though I am and may always be irrationally afraid of heights. Once we had returned to our designated spot, I listened to members of the group who had made it to the top, speak of their slips, spills and grit in getting there, I was a little jealous that I had no grand tale to tell. However, I was really happy with what I had done. Though I had not made it to the top, I had gone beyond my expectations and loved every minute of it. At the end of the day I was tired and happy. I was happy I had enjoyed another piece of this beautiful Island, seen the varied works of art up close from the craft shops, but most importantly that I had taken a chance to do something outside my comfort zone and ultimately reaching above my own expectations of myself.
No matter how high you may go when you visit the falls, one thing is guaranteed, you will leave feeling better than when you arrived. The secret is to be open to the possibility of reaching the top, whether it is physically reaching the top by climbing the falls or reaching for a little more than your own expectations of what the experience may offer. There is beauty and triumph in every adventure experienced and new heights reached, whether great or small.