I’m off on vacation. It’s my most amazing vacation ever, and I’m very excited. When I first booked the first part of it in early October, I realized it was the first time all year that I had been truly looking forward to something. If we say that it is not only important to stand up for the girl with her doctor, I think we can also say it is worthwhile saving money and using it for the things that make you feel alive. For me, one of those things is international travel.

Thus dear husband and I are currently en route to Ecuador, where we will spend three weeks having aventuras. We’ll arrive in Quito (currently killing time in the Atlanta airport) tonight and be there through the weekend. We’ll explore the old city and a museum and maybe some of the indigenous markets within an easy bus ride. Then on Monday we’ll fly to San Cristobal, board a boat, and spend 8 days cruising the Galapagos. I know, isn’t it amazing? This was something that has long been on my bucket list, and I thought it would never be possible. But for those of you with similar dreams, let me tell you that if you look in early October for boat trips in November, you can stumble on opportunities to take the last two spots on a 20-person tour for half price. Also if you, like me, travel a lot for work, you can get your plane tickets for close to free. It’s actually way easier than trying to use those frequent flier miles to get to Europe.

I am dreaming of giant tortoises.9 giant tortoise

After that part of the trip, we fly back to Quito for a couple of days, where I’m hoping to meet a teenage girl that I sponsor so she can stay in school and finish her education. Then we take a bus, small plane, and dugout canoe into the Amazonian rain forest to stay at a small ecolodge for five days, learning about the indigenous people who live there, their way of life, and their fight with giant oil companies to protect the forest.

I am hoping to see anacondas from a distance and monkeys up close.

As an added bonus, my husband is a delightful travel companion and is as excited about this trip as a little boy. I’m excited too and just love the emotional lift I get out of this journey. I can feel the presence of the littlest girl and of Anxiety, and they are both going to be fine as long as we take our malaria pills and avoid all close contact with snakes and jaguars. I am committed to making time, even in the midst of playing explorer, to listen to them and my other internal parts.

What I don’t know is how much I will be posting or reading and responding to your posts. Please don’t feel slighted if I’m not following you as closely as usual. I will have less time, and I may not always have internet connection. But I will be send healthy, loving, life-embracing thoughts to you all regardless.  Abrazos.