THE RISK & THE REWARD

A few years ago I traveled to Italy with a large group of friends for 3 months. Arriving on a Saturday, after a long 16 hour flight, many people took the next day to rest and recuperate from the strenuous travel… My two best friends and I definitely DID NOT! We told ourselves we could rest when we got back to the US, and right now was a time to maximize every moment of our experience. Leaving at 5 AM we traveled 3 hours by train to Pisa, Italy; making one particularly long stop in Florence — That’s important for later…

Some of the best parts of the day were taking pictures with The Leaning Tower, shopping at local markets, and experiencing history firsthand. When it came time to go back we set a timer for 3 hours and were in and out of sleep the whole train ride. I remember seeing a sign for the stop “Montecatini-Terme”, and for some reason it stood out to me. 2 hours into the journey our train stopped in Florence again, everyone got off — the train stayed stationary for 30 minutes, and then continued on its way. I just happened to be awake when all of a sudden I see a sign for “Montecatini-Terme” again! I immediately woke my two friends up and said, “You guys, I swear we passed that stop 2 hours ago!” I looked at the map and sure enough we were HALF WAY BACK TO PISA!

On the verge of tears, a man sitting behind us stands up, turns, only to say in an American accent, “Where ya’ll trying to go?” At that point… we wanted to hug him! He then explained to us that there is a mobile app for the rail system and informs us we need to get off HERE!…We scramble to grab our things and quickly get off the train, doors still open. My friend and I look at each other and don’t see our 3rd friend, Charley. The train doors beep and we see her scurrying to get off… We yell “CHARLEY RUN” — She LEAPS of the train in the nick of time almost loosing a shoe in the process…

We eventually made it home… Sat on our beds and laughed and laughed for hours talking about the craziest moments of the day and how we would remember this day for a lifetime… All the while, our other friends wallowed in their jealousy of our eventful day while they were busy resting. 

Looking back, the best memories we have of the trip were when we really didn’t know where we were going or doing, but for the sake of an adventure… we did it anyway! We took a risk going to Pisa that day, and the rewards are none other than invaluable memories and monumental personal growth. 

I share this story because I think its a great parallel to our everyday lives. Yes, our everyday lives are sometimes monotonous and don’t involve being in Italy and going on adventures… but I would argue everyday life CAN and should be an adventure. When we realize that the BEST memories we will ever have are when we take the risk to step outside our comfort zone; the reward will be none other than the best version of ourselves…

Not just that; but a life full of everyday adventure.

Sincerely, 

– Rachel Sisson (Digital Marketing Specialist)

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