I’m sitting in Venice drinking an espresso thinking about all the amazing stories I could share from my family workcation. And I hate the fact that this is the story I know I must share. Ugh.
Let me start with the photo.
A few days ago I took the family on an adventurous day trip from Florence to the medieval town Siena. We had a phenomenal day.
I was tired at the end of the day and wanted to take the 75 minute bus ride back. However, my 17 year old daughter Emma had been on Instagram and had determined that about 15 minutes away was the largest sunflower field in full bloom. She wanted some epic photos.
I was reluctant but figured this adventure would quickly fizzle when she learned it wasn’t possible. We went to the taxi stand to realize none of them spoke good english and no one knew where the flower field was.
At this point, I said no. What I saw was a waste of time (at least an hour), a waste of money (40+ Euros), and an impossible feat (like finding a needle in a haystack). It just wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do.
Even the taxi driver thought it was a bad idea. Everyone but my daughter. So she messaged the stranger on Instagram, who incredibly gave us some generic landmarks.
My daughter decided to pay for the taxi ride and found a driver who agreed to take a shot in the dark. Off we went, with me grumbling from the back seat (don’t judge me!).
Fifteen minutes into the ride I was even more certain this was a waste of time and money and that we were going to miss our bus ride back to Florence.
And then we saw it.
We turned the corner and there it was…the largest and most beautiful field of sunflowers I had ever seen. The setting sun reflecting off the yellow flowers was one of the most beautiful sights and like a painting.
For 30 minutes we took photos…some serious, some curious, some just silly. My daughter had her epic Instagram post.
So what’s the point of my story?
It’s about taking risks. It’s about adventuring off the beaten path. It’s about lying to ourselves about doing the “responsible” thing.
The responsible me had every reason to say no. It was late. We already had an epic adventure in Siena. The probability of success was low, and all I could see was an expensive ride in a Taxi. The right thing to do was to pass and accept the flowers were just not meant to be.
I meet a lot of people who live their lives this way. They use the excuses of time, money, and being responsible to miss the most magic moments of life. Life always rewards the risk takers. All good things are off the beaten path.
So what can you take away from my story? Here are some questions you can ask yourself that I ask my clients:
In the end, I apologized to my daughter and I used it as a teachable moment for our entire family. I want my kids to learn to take risks and carve their own path. I want them to know that we always have time and money for what’s important. That life is abundant, not limited.
I’d love to pretend that this didn’t happen and hide in all the times I do take risks and live boldly. But then I’d steal the lesson life is teaching me…from you and from me. We all are presented with opportunities to grow every day. This photo has left an indelible mark on me because it reminds me to take more chances, carve new paths, and role model it for my kids. It’s going up in my office.
If you’re interested in me helping you carve some new paths, send an email to my client care manager Ericka (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she can book a time for us to talk.
Live boldly. Create adventures. Carve new paths. Learn from your teenagers. And take a lot of photos along the way.
P.S. Leave comments below if you have a similar story. I’d love to hear about your adventures too.