The biggest concern we heard as we planned to leave our home in the U.S. was how unsafe this could all turn out. I wondered if I had been headed to Europe if there’d be so much concern. Latin America and so many of its beautiful countries appeared to be getting quite the bad rap. Now, I get it, I do.
News warns us of everything from Zika all over Brazil to the drug cartel wars all over Mexico. It’s all there and it’s all scary, of course. But the world will never not be scary.
|Two of Three Kids Following Directions|
I first traveled to Europe right after 9/11 and my mother was terrified. Luckily my brother stepped in giving me money to travel and reminding her not to “hold me back.” My mother’s fear of my travels never went away. She was afraid of every journey that followed… my first time in Brazil, those amazing spring breaks in Mexico, and what was scariest to her before Queventure, my move to study abroad in Barbados.
I understand now that her fears were uncontrollable, and I don’t hold this against her. Instead, I thank God that her uncontrollable fear didn’t control me. Our parents, families, and friends sometimes pour fear all over us to oddly protect us.
|Kids Called This A Life-Sized Fidget Spinner|
I can’t say our journey will be entirely safe. We take precautions, do our research, follow our instincts and remain vigilant, but we also take the ultimate risk of living our dreams regardless of the big fat scary unknowns.
I mean we are told don’t drink the water, don’t swim in the water, don’t drink too much water, and that’s just water. It can all be so paralyzing. Yet, I cannot think of a time I’ve been truly paralized by fear, or maybe those moments just didn’t matter in the end. My choice to be not fearless per se, but to proceed in spite of fears, has paid-off in my life.
I dated my husband because I let him into my life not allowing myself to fear it wouldn’t work. Our love story has lasted over half of our lives.
I became CEO instead of fearing what was my clear lack of experience. My agency earned its highest revenue ever for multiple years with me at the helm.
And most recently, I left behind an extremely accomplished life, and all the fears involved with that choice, to embark on an unforgettable travel journey with my beautiful husband and children.
I hope and deeply pray with every ounce of me that safety surrounds us always. I also remind myself this life is mine and mine alone. My ability to act in spite of fears is the legacy I leave my children not in theory, but in practice. I ignore my mother’s big scary words and even her utter disapproval of my choices, because in order to truly, truly live, we have to release our fears and the satisfaction of being understood and even fully supported by our loved ones.
All in all, I rather stay misunderstood and be truly happy living the life I want to live.
|Calderitas, Quintano Roo, Mexico|
When I was my daughter’s age I was being molested in the very place that should have embodied safety: my home. So what is safety really? My daughter spends every waking moment on an adventure with her parents and her two loving brothers. She’s exposed to the “big scary world” but this world, or at least what we’ve seen of it so far, is a lot less scary than the one I knew at 7 years old.
reina Contreras-ortega says
Irene Quevedo says