The end or a new beginning?

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“I’m really sad.”

“Me too. But somehow I think being sad right now is a good thing.”

Marina looks at me through teary eyes with puzzlement.

“It simply means we had a fantastic time during the past 3 months, right up until the very end. We left on a good note.”

Marina goes back to nibbling at her muffin as she considers my suggestion.

“Think about the alternative: if we were now sitting here discussing how relieved we were to head back to Canada, it would imply that we prefer stability and comfort to the uncertainty of adventure.”

I finish off the last of my yogurt with granola, as we sit together in a silent and empty Starbucks in the Miami airport, waiting for our connecting flight to Toronto.

It is approximately 6:00am.

We had just gotten off our mostly sleepless red-eye flight from Rio, and we’re both a bit knackered.

This may explain why we’re getting a bit emotional.

Alternatively, it may simply be that we really didn’t want this adventure to end.

I would be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that had money not been an issue, I would have easily stayed in Rio for much longer, if not permanently.

On the other hand, over the past week, while we were enjoying ourselves lounging on the beach, it struck me that I had gotten out of this “life detour” exactly what I needed: perspective.

The clarity I was desperately missing back in April I have more or less achieved (for the time being).

It is certainly sad to put an end to what I consider to be the best 3 months of my life.

However, rather than an end, I see this adventure as merely the beginning of the next chapter of our lives.

Let the fun begin…

Peter

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Hang Gliding over Rio de Janeiro

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“Are you ready, Peter!?”

“Yes!”

“Three!”

After 5 days of cancellations due to dangerous wind conditions, I can’t believe I am finally here; standing over half a kilometer above the ocean-side Barra da Tijuica district of Rio, strapped to what appears to be a giant kite.

“Two!”

Although the car ride up the mountain certainly revved up my sympathetic nervous system, in this moment I am surprisingly calm and focused.

“One!”

As practiced mere minutes prior to the actual takeoff, I begin to sprint as fast as I possibly can towards the cliff edge.

Running alongside me is Paulo, my hang gliding pilot.

Within about a dozen frenzied steps, there is no more ground beneath my feet. My body goes from an upright running posture to a horizontal one, lying suspended in my harness.

Hundreds of meters below me are trees, a highway, some homes dotting the mountain side, beach-side high rises, and the Atlantic ocean.

Surprisingly, I don’t make a sound as the reality of the situation sinks in.

Instead, I say calmly to Paulo:

“This is phenomenal.”

As we get closer to our beach landing, I look up towards the cliff from which we launched and see Marina flying down after me.

After about 7 minutes of flying it is time to land on the beach, a process that goes more smoothly than I would have ever expected.

Above me Marina and her pilot, Marcus, are circling above the beach, getting close to make their landing.

Just as my own mere minutes before, Marina’s landing goes off flawlessly.

“I want to do that again!!!” yells Marina as she runs over to me.

And if it wasn’t for the cost, I’m sure we both would have.

Next time, we’ll have to up the ante; skydiving is definitely in our near future.

(Enjoy a short video of my take off below)

Peter

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