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When I was 6 years old my family went to Expo 67 in Montreal.  I remember walking over a huge bridge in an enormous crowd of people when I reached up to hold my mother's hand. Grasping her hand, I then looked up at her face -- but it was a stranger's face, and I was holding a stranger's hand. Fear took hold of my entire being as I realized I was lost in a sea of people. I remember the sheer feeling of terror: ALONE IN A GREAT BIG WORLD!

Is this why I hate the idea of being lost to this day?

Except, I think I'm finally getting over it, at age 50, in part, I suppose, because my husband who also served the role of my navigator, is no longer here to take the wheel, read the maps, or guide me along the strange pathways I have to take if I want to keep exploring the world. You see, I love to explore but I've never felt comfortable not knowing just where I am--unless I'm with someone who has greater competence and comfort than me when in strange and unfamiliar places. So what to do when I am the captain of a ship with two children as my passengers and I am committed to showing them, and myself, the world?

Well, first step for me was to get a GPS. I did that a few years ago. And despite the scorn I felt emanating off some of my dearest relations, I knew it would open up passageways for me, ones that would otherwise be blocked by my own fear. Tools! Use them. Everyone doesn't know what you need. GPS saved my scared little travellin' soul. It also allowed me to embark on a 2000 mile road trip with my kids a few years back when my widowhood was new. Liberating. GPS freed me from the irrational fear that I could somehow be lost, and never find my way back.

This year for Spring Break, we headed off on another road trip, same GPS. Me: a little different. At first, just before we left, I felt just slightly down, a little low, a bit sad. Road trips were supposed to be with my husband. Mother, father, two kids. To me, travelling with the hubby and kids is one of the great perks of marriage, especially when your kids become great travel mates who don't wear diapers or go to bed early. So just before we set off, I was feeling a little sorry for my single parent self.

But then, the road beckoned, the GPS (I call her Garmeen) spoke her sweet words to me, Adele sang to us from the CD player as we sang along, and I realized that I don't care nearly as much if I get lost anymore. In fact, I think there may even be a new part of myself yearning to be lost, to not know, to explore a few trails with destinations unknown and untried.

Even my daughter noticed a difference in me when even the GPS kept leading us the wrong way in a city we'd never before visited. "Mom," she said, "You didn't seem to mind this time when we didn't know where we were going. You were laughing and relaxed."

New parts found, old parts lost. I want to go where I've never been.

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Comment by twinsmum on April 16, 2012 at 6:24pm

Hey Jill - I was thinking about taking the kids to NZ next January holidays to show them where Craig grew up.  Basically I was going to rely on his relatives to put us up in different places.  Plans have slightly changed but I don't think we are going to stay or rely on relatives accomodation as much.  They mentioned have we got an itinery, are we hiring a car, where do we want to stay etc. etc.  Then I started thinking I don't know if I want to do this.  I was always so reliant on Craig knowing where we were going, doing the long drives while I dozed in the car.  I don't know if I want to be the one that organises the whole trip, has to know where we are going, drives all the time etc. etc.  I am a member with a 4wd trip and we did a big trip at chrissy but again I just followed the crowd - if I got stuck someone was there to help me - I didn't do the itinery.  Now it is scary thinking about it.  I don't know if I want to do it.  So some food for thought for me! Do I or don't I.  Big difference is that it is in another country!  Might shelve that on the backburner for now.

Anyway glad you are feeling more inspirational and it's ok to be lost LOL.

Comment by Jill on April 16, 2012 at 6:16am

We found two this weekend. It's a nice little rush of excitement when you find it! I went with my 13 yr old son. That was really an excellent suggestion for me. Thank you!

Comment by kimkirt (KK) on April 16, 2012 at 5:56am

Yay! Have you found your first one yet??

Comment by shattered 1(Karen) on April 14, 2012 at 7:07am

  I love the idea of the geocache!  I will be embarking on a journey from Southern tip of Texas to Delaware at the end of next month.  I'm thinking a few trips to the beach between now and then could be really fun to hide some things up north.  :)

Comment by kimkirt (KK) on April 13, 2012 at 5:34pm
Oh Jill I 'm so excited that you liked it! Remember to bring little trinkets or treasures to leave! Some of the caches have a leave something/take something theme. I can't wait to hear about if you liked it or not!
Comment by Jill on April 13, 2012 at 1:53pm

Hello all. Jean, you're nice! Glad you too see the value of the GPS Joyce, and kimkirt: I AM IN LOVE with the idea of geocaching. Just checked it out. Thank you so much for suggesting it. I think it's perfect. My son and I plan to do some this weekend. Turns out there are just tons of them in and around where we live.

Comment by kimkirt (KK) on April 13, 2012 at 12:01pm

Jill, do you geocache at all? Sounds like it would be right up your alley!


Comment by Joyce on April 13, 2012 at 11:42am

Oh I so enjoyed this.  I also love my GPS, never leave home without it.

Comment by jean on April 13, 2012 at 10:46am

Good to see you back Jill, I've missed you!  :)  Love this. Thanks.

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