Sunday, January 20, 2013

Be Fearless

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. 
Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your 
comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. 
The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with 
barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is 
on that road where your character is truly tested 
And have the courage to accept that you’re not 
perfect.  Nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” 
~Katie Couric

Story:  When I was a freshman in college, I lived in Mexico for a semester. Four of us lived with the same family in a rather nice three-bedroom house in the center of Saltillo, Mexico. The Davilas. a nice, middle-class family, had a few local women come in daily to clean and cook.  The house was spotless as the gals cleaned constantly (which might explain why their food was not of equal quality).

About a week or so after we arrived, my roommate and I heard screams from the other bedroom.  We flew through the door in time to see one of the inhabitants of the other room, Karyn, jumping on her bed, arms akimbo while Kathy, the her roommate, pounded the life out of a HUGE cucaracha (roach) that had been hibernating between the sheets of Karyn's bed.  Once the hubub quieted down, my roommate (Joyce) and I headed back to our room and a quiet night of sleep.  Even after the cousin of Karyn's visitor jumped out of the dresser in our room a few weeks later, I didn't give it too much thought.

That, as the saying goes, was then.  I was 18 and pretty naive.  

If that were to happen to me today, I would sleep in their car (which, by the way, was parked in the Davila's "sitting room..." That's another story.) before I'd go near a bed in that place.  I travel with my own pillowcase (or pillow when possible), and I've been known to travel with my own sheets (Don't laugh...too hard, anyway.).  I don't make the bed with them, but I have put them over the hotel's sheets so I can be comfortable.  I cringe at old bathroom fixtures and ask to change rooms if the shower grout is dirty. I never walk on hotel carpets unless I have shoes or slippers on.  I check tripadvisor reviews and always try to stay in newer hotels whenever possible.

I know you're probably thinking, "GERMAPHOBE!"  Yes. Yes. Yes. I admit it.   My good friend Sally tells me that I would probably never sleep in Belize, and another friend, Vivian, tells me I'd probably not get off of the plane in India.  They're both probably right.  My husband tells me I worry too much.  He's definitely right.

So, here's my secret:  I always worry when we travel.  I'm afraid I'll be uncomfortable with our lodging. Going so far away from home (and especially for so long) and staying in unknown places is a bit disconcerting, isn't it?  I try, though, to remember that I'm a little looney about the germ things and that everything will be okay. . . and it usually is.

Now, if I could only be that practical all the time. . . . .

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