¡Hola mis queridos amigos!
I cannot tell if time is moving quickly or slowly here. Perhaps this is what living in the moment feels like? In addition to volunteering with Ecuadorian children, building bamboos houses, and going on hikes and adventures the past two months, I’ve also had a birthday! Celebrating a birthday amidst such a wanderlust time in my life was interesting. I knew it was my birthday, but in a lot of ways, it didn’t really matter. Every day here I get to celebrate life. Every day I find myself grateful for the opportunity I have to do this, for the new friends I’ve made, and for all the memories I have yet to make.
Having a birthday in Ecuador at an extreme party beach in Montañita did not do me wrong, however. (I’m also reminded of celebrating my 21st birthday at an iconic party beach by the name of Ibiza…but I digress.) I made a birthday weekend out of it and celebrated (a little too hard) with several volunteers from the All Hands project and my usual Kiwi crew.
When people asked how old I was and I responded with 33, most of them just stared at me in disbelief. I have gotten that I look young for my age most of my life, but even more so here on the road. Perhaps it’s my playful spirit? My face without makeup? My genes? (Thanks mom and dad!) It could also be that so many people down here are in their 20’s and assume that everyone else is too. While it doesn’t matter how old I am, I will say that it was fun to pretend like I was 25 for a bit. That was the most popular age guessed for me over the past few weeks, so at one point I just went with it and never revealed my true age (sorryyyy Max). But again, does age really matter? I don’t think so. I think what matters is as simple as just living your life, and not letting it go to waste, because time waits for no one. For me, right now, that means following my calling to travel.
In the wise words of one of the wandering souls I have met along the way: “If you have the opportunity to travel and don’t do so, you’re an asshole.” Well, I might not call you an asshole, but I will say that I agree to a certain extent. If you have the opportunity to do something in your life that you’ve always wanted to do, that calls to you, and that just feels right…but that is also a little bit scary and perhaps a bit risky…you better do it. Now. Consider it an early birthday present to yourself. Por favor. Reminder – time waits for no one.
And so as I reflect on a new year ahead of me, I feel content. I am reminded of how turning one idea into reality – to drop everything and go travel – has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far, at 25 or 33.
The Ageless Birthday Girl