This past weekend I went to Butano State Park with the intention of backpacking one night, relaxing under the stars, and getting a hike in, finally some physical activity since hurting my leg.
I decided to try to take an alternate route to the regular one suggested by google maps, something a little more remote and a little twistier.
Boy did I get lost, and man did I have to take a roundabout way of getting to Butano SP. It took me about a 3.5h trip for what should have been roughly 1.5h.
Did I care? Not in the least. It was fantastic. I managed to drive through small communities like Bonny Doon that I have never seen before. I saw beautiful shoreline panoramas from Highway 1 that would have previously gone unnoticed.
I came to a self realization with all my time spent under the stars, and that is that if I had gone on this trip with other people, probably even just with one other person to accompany me, chances are my screw up would really piss them off. Unless they like driving endlessly to something not that far away, but I haven't really met that many people who enjoy that. The atmosphere would have been a little tense, and the trip nowhere near as memorable.
However, the situation I was in, everything about it put a smile on my face. Meeting the old man on the tractor, saying hi to his faithful Golden Retriever, coming to every intersection in the road with a sheer look of "wtf" on my face, stopping on the coast, realizing the vast expanse of ocean that lie before me and how little I actually come to visit it, arriving to the park late and having to hike under the light of my headlamp, all of those things were experiences. Each one was a vital part in the sum that resulted in a fantastic weekend trip.
I've come to realize that I screw a lot of little things up in life, not horribly, not to a negative effect, but often to the point where my daily routine might be just a little more difficult.
Boy, am I glad I do. I have so much fun overcoming challenges, even when I needlessly create them for myself. I know as a person that I strive on problems, I prefer life to cause me to think, react and overcome, rather than cruise along and enjoy. I attribute a lot of that to my upbringing, the way that my parents taught me to deal with problems. My dad is an extremely thorough person, and often times when my family would be upset or frazzled because of a problem, he was there to just save the day and keep things going along. I try to emulate his actions, and apply his cool head to my issues, and I find it lets me enjoy everything, have a laugh about it later, and not worry that much more.
Next time you go somewhere, maybe you can try leaving the map at home. Expect to get lost. Pack in a hurry, forget that pillow and use your sweater. Turn down that foreign road that looks stunning, because chances are, it is.
As my old soccer coach said, over and over:
"Don't worry about it."