To boldly go where massive dust storms block out the sun for months at a time and the atmosphere is only suitable for breathing if you’re a little green man. And while it may look much like Tatooine from Star Wars, apparently it feels a lot more like Hoth. Brrrrr!
The red planet. Mars. Never had I wanted to go anywhere so badly! Well, except maybe Antarctica. Or possibly Russia… I have a thing for cold barren landscapes apparently. The point is, however, that like so many others that have heard the call to adventure, I was stuck, not knowing how to to answer it.
One of my many travel dreams growing up was to live in a camper on top of a pretty grass green pickup truck and to travel the continent, just me and my dog. Well there I was, in my late twenties, I’d been living in a camper for three years. I had my dog (Bree!). But there was just one problem. My camper was severely lacking in the wheels and motor area. Meaning: where was my bright green pickup to carry it?
As I said, I was stuck. Living in a little travel house but unable to move it. Just scraping by day to day and wasting my time dreaming about future adventures instead of actually having them. Time zoomed by but I stayed where I was.
Then IT came. The most important email of my entire life. I sat in my camper, surrounded by the Endor-like forest that was home, Bree next to me, curled up with her Yoda doll. It was a dreary morning just like most others during winter on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.
I read the words before me and my jaw actually dropped. Then I read them again. And again. I sat staring at the screen of my laptop, dumbfounded, amazed, indescribably whoa’d. And then came on the perma-grin. I had been accepted into the Mars One program.
For those of you that don’t know, Mars One is an organization that plans to settle humans on the planet Mars. For real. And wait, what? I could be one of those humans! I had applied for the program months before not only because I was an adventurer at heart but because I was also a die-hard trekkie. One who had never gotten over the fact that she could not go to Starfleet Academy (due to the fact that it doesn’t actually exist) and earn her rightful place within the great federation of planets!
Obviously, I couldn’t not apply to go to Mars. But being accepted? That was a shocker. Still, this is not a post about my experiences with Mars one. It is about how Mars One changed me and my life here on Earth. It’s quite simple really…
Suddenly, I could do ANYTHING. If it was possible (however remotely) for me to go to another planet, then maybe, just maybe, my dreams closer to home were possible as well. Maybe all those obstacles that had kept me trapped for so many years, maybe they weren’t obstacles at all, maybe they existed only in my head.
Hope. It felt like a foreign object invading my skull. Not hope for the future, as I had always been an incurable dreamer, living in a grand future that never came about. But hope for the present, a very different thing. The other feeling that hit me like a spaceship traveling at warp 9.5, was fear. A big squelching heap of it. Strangely, I wasn’t afraid of going to Mars on a one way trip (yes, the people that made it through the program would never return to Earth). Instead, the fear that plagued me in the following weeks, was of losing time.
That was it. It was time for action mode!
I didn’t go out and get a pickup truck to put my camper on. Maybe one day I will, as she is still waiting for me faithfully in Endor. Instead, months after I received that wonderful email, I hugged the pale green wall that I had messily painted myself and said goodbye. I was off to live my adventures.
From walking 300 miles alone across Vancouver Island to hurricane damage duty in the Caribbean to surviving a storm sailing to Bermuda with my French lover… my blog will follow my adventures that started (and continue) from that day. The day I realized that not only do dreams come true, but that they can do so right now. Today. And all those obstacles that seem so insurmountable, maybe, just maybe, they are only in your head.
“Maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.” Miguel de Cervantes
Check out the story my first Adventure! A Walk across Vancouver Island!
Or if you prefer sailing to walking: Start with…