Do You Question Your Decision?

My mom asked me an interesting question a week before we started our adventure: “Do you question your decision to go on this trip?”  One might think that’s a backhanded criticism, but that’s not how my mom is with me.  She knew that we worked very hard for 9 months preparing for this trip, not to mention the three decades we worked and saved our money so we could afford it.  Plus we made many sacrifices in our life for this little adventure: leaving family and friends, missing two weddings, putting our careers on hold, moving out of a wonderful house and away from our nature preserve, and giving up the peace and tranquility we’ve enjoyed for the past decade.

I thought about her query for a second, then said, “No, the only thing we question is why we didn’t go sooner.”

At no time have I second-guessed our decision to go.  Nearly every vacation Theresa and I have taken in our 20 years together has been to a national or state park.  We’ve talked for a long time about exploring the country in an RV.  I’ve fantasized about spending a summer in Alaska since I was a kid.  This is the trip of a lifetime for both of us, and we recognize how fortunate and blessed we are to have the opportunity to take it.  Perhaps even more importantly, I know how lucky I am to have a partner who enjoys exploring the national parks as much as I do.

But I do sometimes regret not taking this trip sooner, perhaps 10-15 years ago when I had a lot more energy and motivation.  Eight years ago when we acquired Little Wolf Nature Preserve, I would hike from morning till dark and wouldn’t come in no matter how hot or cold it got.  But honestly, now I’m starting to reach that age where a comfy couch and big screen TV is all I need for a good time.  On the other hand, I’m glad we didn’t wait until we retired, and went while we are still young and energetic enough to take long hikes and climb mountains.

Many people have said on their deathbed that their biggest regrets are not the things they did, but all the things they didn’t do but wished they had.  Even if something terrible happens on this trip, I won’t regret the decision to go.  Fate will find you wherever you are, so it might as well be while taking the trip of a lifetime.

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