“Hey Evan, how about this” I said. “Next time you go to your dad’s house, spin the globe. Wherever your finger stops, that’s where I’ll go.”
He looked up at me with those big brown eyes, and a knowing smile lit up his face. He seemed to understand: my life is wide open at the moment. The possibilities are infinite. That blank page before me is, to steal a line from a song, unwritten.
Two weeks later, a telephone call and a sweet 10-year-old voice reveal my potential destination: “Auntie, I spun the globe! You are going to… (hey Adam, what was that place called? Oh yeah)…. Ecuador!”
Ecuador. Hmmmm..... this sounds rather appealing. Can I do it? A quick perusal of my near-empty calendar reveals that the next 5 weeks of my life involve obligations amounting to zero. I am technically without a home (although my sister in Mass has been awesome). For the next 2 weeks, she and the kids will be in California visiting the family. I will be alone in Suburbia, in a big house with a pool, a minivan and cable TV. All this for a gal fresh off the boat from Manhattan. If I don’t make some plans soon, it frightens me to think what might become of me.
Maybe Evan is onto something? Apart from two short trips to Buenos Aires, South America remains one of those continents I have managed to miss for the past 13 years of traveling. And I speak Spanish. No, since you might ask, I have no solid income and very little savings. But I have the time. So if not now, when?
And so it is. Decision finally made. Based purely on economic practicalities, i.e. the cheapest flights available, I now have a semblance of plan. In 5 days time, I will fly into Bogota. One month later, I will return from Rio. Everything in between remains a mystery.
Ecuador itself may or may not happen this time around, but at least the kid got me pointed in the right direction.