My week in pics… going paragliding, potluck fun, visiting the local prison, speaking to another group in Medellin, and then an epic hike and an epic ride through the Colombian hills. Read on!)
Level 3 Fun, Explained… (and getting lost in the Colombian hills… )
Yesterday, while hiking in the Colombian hills, I got a tad lost.
And the day before that, while driving through the Colombian hills, we got totally lost.
Now although the situations were very different, and one perhaps more out of my control than the other, both were trying, taught me some important lessons, and eventually allowed me to experience a little bit of level 3 fun.
Allow me to explain.
When we first began Remote Year, at our orientation one of the staff introduced us to this concept of ‘level 3 fun.’ When you find yourself in a totally unexpected situation or location, or having a random unplanned experience, you may just find yourself getting completely enraptured in the moment. That’s level 3 fun. (She used the example of her once falling asleep on a train ride en route to a town she was excited to visit, ending up waking up in the middle of nowhere, and found herself frolicking with lamas.)
Well, I found myself to be experiencing my own level 3 fun in these two challenging situations… (although it didn’t feel like ‘fun’ in the moment!)
So we were en route to the Medellin airport, as I had been there for a few days delivering a presentation to another Remote Year group. Bless our little Uber driver, who looked about 18, and clearly had no idea where we were going. What was supposed to be a 45-minute drive, ended up taking us over two hours, causing us to miss our flight. Oops.
But that wasn’t the worst part.
It was the drive up and through and then down the mountains, totally unnecessarily, taking the curves and corners and hairpins at what seemed like 100 miles an hour.
He was likely stressed, we were definitely stressed, and at one point we were holding on for dear life and hoping not to hurl!
There’s a hike not far from the city I’ve been wanting to do for a little while now. And seeing as how today is my last day in Bogotá, I knew yesterday was my only chance to do it. So I got up at 5am – hoping to catch the sunrise – after a long day of travelling, determined to make it happen.
I got there alright, was making my way up (I must have been a little sleepy, however, as it was harder than I had anticipated!) when all of a sudden I found myself in a shaded forest, soft and crunchy ground beneath my feet, and no path anywhere to be found. I went right, left, up, down – and panicked. I debated turning back, although at this point I didn’t even know where that was, and then thought about how defeated I‘d feel if I never actually made it to the top.
Suddenly, I heard voices (not those kind of voices, voices from real people, thank goodness!) and began to make my way towards them – through the bush, up a steep slope, clinging onto trees and roots as I went, and luckily got reacquainted with a path. Phew. It kept going, and going, and going…
Eventually, however, I made it. Hallelujah. What I then found out, however, was that I made it to the ‘Point of the Cross’, a beautiful tip with a breathtaking vista, however totally not the tip of the hike I was supposed to be at!
No wonder it was tougher and longer than I thought!
When I finally made it back down alive (I actually somehow managed to get lost on the way down, also… in fact even worse… and yeah I may have been fighting back tears!) I realized I had had a little bit of fun.
And same was true of the crazy drive the day before.
In moments like these, which I know you’ve experienced too, you have a few choices.
You can get all worked up, feel your blood pressure rise, feel like screaming or crying or both… OR, you can give in to the moment, and to the experience.
You can let go. Surrender. Breathe. Trust.
And fortunately, that’s what I did. And that’s what got me through. And I’m happy to report I’m still here to tell the tale.
So next time life hands you an unexpected event, or you find yourself lost somewhere in the woods (or the Colombian hills!), simply surrender and allow yourself to experience that level 3 fun. I dare you.
Have a FAB week!
Have you ever experienced level 3 fun? I want to hear about it! Share your stories in the comments below.