Is it Time for Your Adventure?
By Kaylee Carnahan
December and January have become the unlikely heroes for my adventurous soul. Whether it be an adventure head-on into the icy wonderland or an escape from the icy weather – my thrilling winter adventures have brought some of the best memories!
It started in college, the delight of a lesser traveled path to skiing greatness. My brother invited my best friend and me on a Colorado ski trip. Never having touched a pair of snow skis before, I thought Colorado might not be the best place to learn, but heck, it’s now or never. A flight, some ski gloves, and several cups of hot chocolate later there I was for two days – literally rolling, definitely not skiing, down the mountain. And on the third day, the tips from my brother and friend clicked in my head and my feet, and I felt like an Olympian. Made it down a green trail without falling once! Victory, and what a fun experience! Fast- forward to ice, I mean night, skiing a few hours later, and suddenly I was being pulled down a mountain on a medical gurney! Injuries and ego healed, I skied a black diamond a few years later with my brother and friend and remembered how glad I was that I stepped out of my comfort zone to conquer that “easy” green trail.
A study abroad trip to Australia during college winter break, a solo cruise to the Caribbean in January, an Alaskan cruise, a college degree, and three state moves later, my adventurous soul was full-speed ahead.
Mad rush to December 2015. Looking for an “escape” trip, I knew I wanted something off the beaten path. Enter a week in Vieques, Puerto Rico with a life-long friend. One day we biked the entire island, one day we walked alongside wild horses as we ventured from one side of the island to the other, one day I sat in the co-pilots seat while flying in a 6-seat plane, one day we snorkeled on a beach we had all to ourselves, and the list goes on. In a little island, un-Americanized as it can be with less than spotty data service, I found myself stepping out of my normal comforts for an adventure fill-up.
And most recently Niagara Falls, the Canadian side in zero degree weather! What originally was discussed as an overnight meetup with my parents in Indianapolis quickly morphed into an icy, snowy grand adventure to Ontario, Canada the week between Christmas and New Year! Upon arriving late at night, we got to the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel in a room looking over the Falls to the American side. Absolutely stunning, but little did we know the best wasn’t even visible to us yet.
We woke up the next morning, covered our bodies in several layers and headed out on an adventure down the slope to the Falls. Surrounding us was ice like I’ve never seen it. While the falls have only frozen once, I quickly learned that the mist from the falls coats everything with a thick, mesmerizing layer of ice. Trees, railings, rocks, everything nearby was a winter wonderland of ice and snow.
We went on the Behind the Falls adventure and saw the Falls from the “inside.” Water was rushing down at insane speeds and massive icicles hanging everywhere. My brother Preston joined us for day two and the adventure to the Falls was just as spectacular the second time. We saw trees bent over by the ice, glistening in the sun. The fog lifted, the sun shined, and I was refreshed. Refreshed by the cold, but also by the magnitude of the beauty of God’s creation. I’m sure the Falls are beautiful in the summer but seeing them in this way brought me indescribable joy.
Sound funs right? So, take those summer vacations, book a week at your favorite cabin, and schedule the massages that relax you. But by all means, look into some places and explorations that are out of your comfort zone! Success in my job often means stepping out there; how sweet it is to let that guide me on my adventures as well.
P.S. My fiancé and I are beginning to plan our honeymoon – adventure suggestions welcome!