During my first international solo trip, I explored an amazing little town of Katoomba, two hours west of Sydney, Australia, by train. While navigating around Sydney was easy, this little mountain town proved daunting. This was before the age of Google maps, Wifi, and cell towers galore.
It was you and a map. Nothing else. No cell phones. No google. No wifi. But, you had an old-school point-and-shoot camera for photo opportunities.
My intention for the day was to find a less-traveled hiking trail to view the famous Three Sisters peak. With only a map in hand, I set off with water and food to find the trailhead and begin a 10km trek.
After walking 1km and not finding where the trailhead should be, I asked a fellow traveler. Then, I went in another direction—still nothing in sight.
Hum… No one was around. Studying the map again, I headed back to the original location. With a deep sigh, I kept walking yet felt as if I walked forever, not even to begin the trek.
With tears slowly dripping down my cheek, all I could think of was, this is day 3 of a month-long trip on another continent in a foreign land. How can I do an entire month of traveling by myself if I can’t even find the beginning of a trail?
An unknown voice said, take a deep breath. See if you can find someone else to ask.
In a heavy Aussie accent, I pointed on the map where I was trying to go. The gentleman saw the distraught look on my face. He smiles. He gently turned my shoulders and pointed my body in the correct direction. He held up two fingers then arched his left hand, indicating make a left turn. Then, go about 100 meters, and the trail is on the right, motioning with his right hand.
I nodded my head in appreciation and went on my way.
After roaming for an hour and a half attempting to find the trailhead, I found it! Hooray!
The trail meandered, went through a forest, alongside big rocks. I came across a group of other hikers from France and Germany. They spoke to me in broken English. We laughed that a famous trail seemed challenging to find. We agreed to stick together. We took and decided upon the same splits on the trail, laughing and gazing out at the beautiful views.
Finally, someone shouted. That’s it. That’s the Three Sisters peaks. We gazed in awe at the sun crisped rock bellowing the unique colors of the sunsetting. A deep sense of relief set in that we found it yet realized with the diminishing sun, darkness would soon be upon us after a long day of hiking.
Hungry as hikers can be after snacks and water ran out, we gathered for our first tastes of a kangaroo at the local pub and delighted in stories and cold beer for the evening.
Little did I know that getting lost and delays finding the trail allowed me to make new friends for a lifetime. Its humbling yet makes the journey mysterious. It’s what adventure is all about. Experience the unexpected.
While you have an intention in mind, allow yourself to stay focused yet enable fun to unravel. It’s in the unexpected (lifetime friends on this adventure) that your focus becomes something greater than what you anticipated.
Let go of the outcomes and let the mystery of the journey delight your senses and bring joy.
Where in your life can you stay focused and allow yourself to have fun along the way?
Take off the blinders and allow the universe to surprise you in fun ways.
How can you allow a relationship to be more amazing? How can learning a new skill in a job be fun?
Be focused and fun. When you’re playful along the way, the world will astound you.
Wishing you a joyful, loving, and prosperous day!
Chief Energy Officer
© 2021. Lora Polowczuk. All Rights Reserved.