Last weekend, I went on a thrilling adventure to Cusco to climb Rainbow Mountain. There was no special event, no long weekend, no holiday. It was simply because I wanted to go and climb it. I had been yearning to explore Rainbow Mountain since the day that I heard about it. The vivid colours of the mountain, seen at breathtaking (literally) altitudes, almost appear to be a surreal painting in front of you. However, the only problem was that I never seemed to have time for it. During summer holidays, I always seem to be busy visiting family or occupied with other commitments. But why not go during the weekend? Sure, I have a few school assignments to keep track of, but I could always make time for that on an airplane ride or during the night. So, that Friday when everyone was leaving school to head home, I was checking my luggage at the airport desk to Cusco.
One of my biggest idols in my life is my older brother Chris. For some reason, he always seems to be doing something spectacular in his life, like getting interviewed on TV, having meetings with important people, and organizing big events. I thought it was so unfair that he kept getting so lucky in his life. I would always look at him and wonder: “Why is it that opportunities always seem to be running to him?”
It wasn’t until I finally spent some time with him when I realized how wrong my view of him was. Opportunities didn’t just appear for him out of the blue. They appeared because he always left his doors open. He reached out to others. He was spontaneous.
I remember one time in drama class in 8th grade we had a lesson on improvisation. There were a bunch of props scattered across the stage and you had no time to prepare an act with your group. You simply stood up without saying a word and began your scene. So, what’s the secret to creating an amazing improv skit right on the spot? Well, the answer is quite simple: never say NO. If your group member trips and falls on the stage, don’t whisper at them and say, “No, get up, you are ruining the scene.” Instead, pretend that you are a janitor mopping the floor and they had accidentally run over a wet spot on the tile.
Just because something doesn’t go according to plan in your life doesn’t mean it is a mistake. Sometimes we get so fixed in our own routines that we forget to escape the bubble that we live in. Why was I so focused around the stigma that I couldn’t go on hiking adventures over the weekend because of school work? If I hadn’t decided to go to Rainbow Mountain that weekend I probably would have gotten so carried away with life that I would have never visited it. Hiking up into the clouds that weekend, laughing with my family, taking in the gorgeous view, and challenging myself both mentally and physically was such an empowering experience. I am so glad I made that last minute decision to travel to Cusco. When I returned to school on Monday morning, I came back feeling energized and excited — a feeling completely different than if I had just stayed home that weekend.
Have you ever turned down an opportunity because you were too nervous? Too lazy? Thought it wouldn’t work? I realized that if I want to be like my brother Chris, I need to shut down that little voice in the back of my head telling me all of the reasons not to say accept an opportunity. Just like that day in drama class, it is so important to never say no. There are so many reasons in life to be spontaneous. Life itself doesn’t have any plan. Why should you?