All you have to do is blog about a time you did something wild, something life changing. Jumped from a perfectly good airplane? Quit your job to write full time? I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, or inspirational stories that you have experienced. “Wilde” things you’ve completed on your quest to grow up or move on.
Well, I can't say I've ever jumped out of an airplane or quit my job, but I have had my share of wild times. But life changing? That brought me up short. I've snuck onto a Naval base to crash in the barracks for the night after too much fun (and tequila) in Tijuana. I've streaked across the football field at the University of Maryland on a dare. And I may or may not have made out with the drummer of a famous band. However, none of these events changed my life.
An event that did change my life was one that is a bit, well, mundane. My life changing event happened when I was sixteen. I was in the German Club in high school (if you took German, you were in the club) and when I was fifteen, I got to host a German exchange student for several weeks. The next year, it was our turn to go to Germany. And thus comes my life-altering event.
Getting on a plane.
Now, I had been on planes before. Twice, in fact. Once when I was eight to Disney World and then again at fourteen to Bermuda. However, the plane ride to Bermuda had so much turbulence that it made me never want to fly again. Couple that with the made-for-TV movies about Locherbie, Scotland and I was convinced that all planes were going to plummet to the ground or blow up. And now I had the opportunity to get on a plane. By myself. To go to another country. Where I could only ask, "Where is my pencil?" (Woher ist mein bleistift?)
I hemmed and hawed on going. My parents told me it was an opportunity of a lifetime. My brother told me it would be 6 weeks away from him. My friends told me to go enjoy it. Finally my teacher, in an attempt to allay my fears, took me to a Lufthansa hangar, where the workers there showed me all the precautions they take before they fly the plane and ensured me of their incredibly low crash rate. And so I went.
I overcame that fear and learned the wonders of immersing yourself in another culture, country, language and cuisine. I can now say with full confidence, "I spit in your eye!" (Ich spuche in deine auger) and still have the full McDonald's menu down pat in German (Ich mochte ein sechts stuck chicken mcnuggets mit seussauersaus, eine kleine pommes und eine kleine sprite bitte.) Because really, what else does a sixteen year old need to know?
Since then I have flown all over this country, from Maine to Hawaii, Chicago to Texas. I've gone to 11 countries on 3 different continents. I've eaten all different kinds of food and have continued learning useful sayings in various languages like "il hotel e qui vecino" and "kalimera" and "mahalo". Just don't ask me to translate anything in German, because I may end up insulting you.
So what's your wildest moment?