I can’t think of many of my own experiences where I was alone. Good or bad experiences I definitely have learned from them. We all need experiences to gain knowledge, to grow, and to mature. It’s those risks we take that help us learn what our bodies and minds can truly do.
I can remember a lot of experiences with my family. We never did a lot of worldly traveling, but I do remember all our camping trips we did (even if it was in the back yard). I learned what it was like to step away from the busy schedules of everyday life, and to have no distractions, and to truly “be” with my family. Those experiences still have an impact on me.
A month ago my family (who never really take big vacations, and are from Iowa) took a chance and flew out to see me here in Coloma, California. They had never been whitewater rafting, they had never been to Northern California, and they had never (mainly my dad) booked a flight for just 5 days and experience something new. I picked them up from the airport and you could already feel the excitement radiating from their bodies as we headed back to the tents I set up for them.
Settling down for the night, we quickly were reminiscing about the days we camped before. The storms we survived, how dad wakes us all up at one point of the night because of heavy snoring. We ended the night with laughter, and started the morning with a wonderful breakfast down by the river. The sun was shining, and already my mom and dad were sitting next to the water with a cup of coffee discussing our adventures for the day. Relaxed, but ready for that the day had in store, we explored the lower part of the South Fork, then the Middle Fork the next day.
Watching my family quickly learn how to raft was a proud moment. It was like a team building activity. We were lead by Nick who guided us through all the rapids. We encouraged each other, splashed every boat we passed, and jumped in the water as often as possible. The best moment was swimming into Turtle Pond. We all had yellow helmets on and my mom pointed out we all looked like Minions (from Despicable Me) floating down the river. I don’t know why that was so funny, but for about 10 minutes straight our guts were busting from laughing so hard. Immediately we were making Minion noises. We cheered on our guide who bravely went down Ruck-a-chuck drop on the Middle Fork. There was whooping and hollering when we went through tunnel chute and under the mountain. My dad being a teacher in agriculture was in love with all the different plants, he tried to remember all their names. It’s pretty sweet when you get to experience the vast knowledge your parents can have. Every evening we ended the night with playing songs on the Ukulele and singing around the campfire.
So if my parents didn’t take the risk they never would have experienced something Northern California had to offer. We bonded over all of our experiences. Yes, there were some times we had to be patient with each other, but we remember what made us laugh more than what made us frustrated.
I hope you get to create experiences with those around you. They will never leave your memories, and teach you life lessons you will never forget!
(Office Manager at WWC)