My favorite form of adventuring is traveling.
I had the privilege of being raised in a family of travelers. My dad is a pilot and did a lot of ministry overseas. My first international trip was to hand out Christmas gifts to orphans in Russia with my dad. That’s when the travel bug awoke in me and I saw the beauty in new cultures, foreign strangers, different languages…
Stepping out of our understanding of normal is what connects spec-fic books with real life. Think about it. Fantasy/sci-fi novels create new worlds. . .and traveling to a different country is like being immersed in a new world. You’re forced to see things differently, to interact differently, to stretch into a new and adaptable person in order to function.
How It All Happened
Lat week, I had the privilege of transiting the Panama Canal on this pretty little 44-foot sailboat. The same sailboat that instigated my adventure of being a seacook, in fact.
Here’s how it all came about:
At a certain point, in one of my books (no, I won’t tell you which one!) a character travels through the Panama Canal. My dad’s boat just happened to be traveling through the Panama Canal this January as it is being moved to the west coast. In Dad’s words, “You can’t not go, Nadine.”
Well, when he put it that way…
So of I went on a father-daughter trip (I’m never too old for those!) to Panama and I want to share the adventure with you. That’s the whole reason I write Adventuring Author posts — it’s not to brag about getting to travel (trust me, I know how overwhelmingly blessed I am to do this!), it’s not to make you jealous, and it’s not to just “fill up blog space.”
It’s because God is all about story. Our lives are the greatest testimonies we have and it’s important to share our adventures with others. Often times, watching others live active lives inspires us to do the same! Look at Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. It’s a book of stories from his life that completely transforms almost everyone who reads it!
Dad and I were in Panama for five days, most of the time was spent either on the water or on the edge of it. The greenery is pure jungle filled with howler monkeys, snakes, and even some panthers. (No, I didn’t see any of these. Yes, I was hugely disappointed.)
In between the two locks of the canal is Gatun Lake. It’s actually a giant valley that was dammed up and turned into a lake. It took four years for the rainwater to fill it up. Panama gets over 120 inches of rain a year! Gatun lake was filled with crocodiles (no, I didn’t see any…*sigh*) and islands. The islands are actually the tops of former hills that were inside the valley they flooded.
I got to spend the entire trip with a camera around my neck and a notebook in my pocket, story ideas spinning around in my head. Yes, I pulled a rope or two and got sunburned. But I saw giant cargo ships — even and old one tipped over in the sea — the canal locks both at night and in the day time, some cool old buildings, and almost almost ordered octopus off the menu. I was also the ship’s cook, so I got some experience below deck trying to juggle knives and pasta over a swaying stove. Woohoo!
I’m quite proud to say, I did not get seasick once. (I did, however, get Panama-taxi sick.)
During this exciting adventure, I had the honor of meeting three incredibly talented gentlemen sailors who were the ones taking the ship up to the West coast. They’re all experienced sailors who had story upon story to tell. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. Please keep them in your prayers as two of them are currently sailing (yes, as you read this!) up to the west coast.
That’s all I have to share for now without boring your ears off with minor details. I can now cross the Panama Canal off of my bucket list (after I put it on there, of course.) Is there anything else you’d like to know about the trip?
What is one thing on your bucket list?
And, I’m truly curious, what do you think about the Adventuring Author posts? Would you like to see more of these in the future? Or less?
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