Venturing into the Southern Hemisphere

Our next trip is scheduled. Like every other trip before this, we are super excited & thankful for the opportunity to continue exploring the world together! We’ll spend 16 days in Ecuador with our friends Rob & Staci. We’ll travel about 1,600 miles through the country. This will be one of our shorter rides, but it will be packed full of new experiences. I am particularly excited to see the Amazon Basin!

This motorcycle trip is going to be different in a lot of ways. We’ll travel to the Southern Hemisphere together for the first time. We’ll rent bikes from Freedom Bike Rental, so I guess that means we’ll Buell Vicariously on a Honda Africa Twin since they don’t rent Buells in Ecuador. I’ll be a passenger on this trip. We’ll stand on the equator, swim in the Pacific Ocean, visit a volcano at over 14,000 feet, and for the first time ever, our vacation will include 4 & 5 star hotels!

I’ll work on putting together a route & agenda that I can share. We haven’t finished planning all of the fun excursions like white water rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, and surfing. I have found some great deals online. Shawn doesn’t seem to share my excitement for the inexpensive adrenaline rush we’ll get from some of these activities. He’s never really wanted to bungee jump, and I believe he said something like “this isn’t an activity where we should just book the cheapest one, there are some things we should be willing to spend a little on – like our safety”!

When we originally started talking about this trip 3 years ago, I loved the idea of crossing the equator with Shawn, Daddy & Rob. In envisioned duplicating some of our pictures of the four of us from our adventure to the Arctic Circle, only at the equator. This trip will be different because Daddy can’t come. While that makes me very sad, at the same time I am so thankful we took the Arctic Circle trip together! What amazing memories!!

I was looking back at my previous blogs while thinking about what I want to document for this journey and found a post from June 2014 called Buells 1 through 5. Some things have changed a lot since then. Today, Shawn’s Uly has over 100,000 miles on it. We have added Daddy’s BMW to our family as street bike #6 and I have put about 1,000 miles on it so far this year. The Jeep is creeping up on 457,000 miles, and I still smile when I think about my Life Preparation Classes. In that blog, I talked about things I learned from Daddy, but I didn’t talk about one of the things I learned from Mom. The gift of gratitude.

Even when things are hard, my heart sees hope & gratitude & love. One of my siblings would tell you that I live in a world of lollipops and balloons. Naturally, I don’t think they are correct. I happen to hate balloons, they are terrifying when they pop. But, I love my happy place in this world. Today (which was actually last Wednesday because I didn’t manage to get this published) was one of those days that I frequently say ‘makes my heart smile’. I was at a work event & near the end of the day I met someone. I was inspired & encouraged by her story. She told me about her appreciation for every day & how she celebrates life daily, even when things aren’t easy. She had a tattoo of a cold tangerine on her wrist as a reminder. I liked that.

When I clicked “purchase” online for the down payment on this trip, I was literally wiggling around in my chair from excitement! This is going to be unlike any other trip we have taken. It will be full of new experiences in a country we have never visited. I am excited to take our next adventure, and thankful for another opportunity to see the world together.

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