I just returned from an incredible trip to Turkey, where my husband arranged for our family to take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. My twelve year old daughter threatened to stay on the ground and in all honesty, I wouldn’t have minded if she did, as that would have gotten me out of doing something that was way out of my comfort zone.
On the day of our flight, the balloon company sent a van to our hotel at 4:15 AM to pick us up and take us to a huge hall for breakfast. Frankly, I would have gladly given up breakfast for one more hour of precious sleep. It wasn’t until after breakfast that we were told we may not go up that day, as there was weather in the area. I prayed no one in the hall would see me smiling for joy. A few minutes later, we were informed that we were going to take a drive out to the launch site on the off chance that there was a window of opportunity to take flight.
I sat in the van thinking this could be a win-win situation. My daughter could see how brave I was overcoming my fears by agreeing to go and I wouldn’t have to go up in a larger version of the basket that Dorothy carried in the Wizard of Oz. And then it happened. The announcement was made that we were going up!
I climbed into the basket managing not to fall head first and took my place among a sea of tourists, with my daughter besides me. I closed my eyes and waited for lift off. We slowly floated up and over Love Valley and viewed the many fairy chimneys below us. The flight was smooth and less scary than a turbulent plane ride. In fact, I found the experience to be very calming as we quietly floated across Cappadocia, with our eyes upon the many beautiful balloons that were surrounding us.
Every now and again, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Risk is good and brings about growth. So the next time opportunity knocks, get on board. If you are lucky like me, the experience will be a once in a lifetime moment for you.