Did I ever think that one of my middle-aged travel adventures would include zip-lining across a Costa Rica rainforest canopy? Nope. But then again, I never imagined that I’d be an expat, middle-aged, international teacher either. After teaching in Bangalore, India and watching my husband recover from a near fatal ski accident in 2010, I’ve chosen to step outside my comfort zone as often as I can. Zip-lining in Costa Rica is one of these memorable moments.
When I reviewed a potential Costa Rica travel itinerary that included a forest canopy ride, I shook my head in disbelief.
Was I up for this new challenge?
If I can still ski expert runs, why couldn’t I zip over a rainforest canopy?
Hmm… Fear of heights. Yep. Decades ago, I conquered my fear of chairlifts and gondolas. The fear occasionally returns. Somehow, I am able to redirect my fearful thoughts. Would I be able to use the same technique while zooming from one tree to the next?
I did have the option of riding tandem with a 20-something young man. No way! If I was going to experience the thrill of this adventure, I was doing it on my own terms.
Standing on the first platform, my mind began to race. The harness and cable seemed secure, but could I handle the ten rides? Some of my fellow travelers were opting for a taxi, an assisted ride. They were considerably older and less adventuresome. Deep down, I knew that I could do it.
As I jumped up, an attendant attached my harness to the wire. Within seconds, I was on my way. The canopy became one mass of green as my body flew toward the next platform. A surge of excitement filled my body. Before I knew it, I was eagerly standing in line for the next wire.
The ten segments passed by quickly. I became less and less tense as time went by. Pure joy filled every inch of my body.
On the final leg, our youthful tour guide, Laura, demonstrated how to zip upside down. This stunt was not in my repertoire. I simply followed the all too familiar routine and glided toward the last platform with my legs tucked in front of me. My facial expression tells the whole story.
Surprisingly, my daredevil husband couldn’t resist the challenge. I looked back in disbelief as I saw him gliding toward me upside down. I couldn’t stop laughing. Ira and I both felt considerably younger than our biological ages. This exhilarating experience will be something that we will talk about for many years to come.
I encourage all of my followers to consider stepping outside of their comfort zone whenever they can.
Do you have a memorable outside your comfort zone moment that you’d like to share?
Photo Credits: All of the above photos were taken by Buena Vista Canopy Tours, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon. Sandy’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandy is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and received an Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.
If you’re interested in travel, follow Sandy’s latest adventures on Examiner.com.