Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Belize: Learning to Let Go (Day 1)

Joshua and I were wandering around the international terminal in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. A thousand questions were rolling through our heads. "Why is our flight late?" "How much longer will it be?" "Will our flight be cancelled?" "Should we go somewhere else?" But, more importantly "Where were we going to eat right now?"

We passed an Irish Pub, but shepherd's pie didn't sound good. We passed a McDonald's, a taco hut and more. Nothing looked appealing. We had another 2 hours before our flight was going to leave. We needed a place to hang out. We needed comfortable booths, privacy and solitude. We had decisions to make. Important decisions, too. We had no reservations and no plans. There were no decisions made on what we were going to do when we landed. All we had were two guidebooks and our backpacks. We need to think about plans. We needed food.

There it was, an answer to my prayer. A place where we could spend a couple of hours and hash out what we were going to do. We had found TGIF!

We had passed it earlier while moseying around, but I didn't pay much attention to it. We walked up to the hostess and she sat us down at a booth. "This is perfect," I thought. I put the guide books I was carrying onto the table. Bookmarks and stick-it notes stuck out of many pages. Scribbles filled margins, highlighted sections and handwritten thoughts were scattered throughout. I was rearing to start making a case for a plan.

Then Joshua spoke up, "Jere, I don't want to make decisions now."

"Okay..." My face contained only a blank look. "Do you think we should make them on the airplane?"


"Okay..." Confusion was setting in.

"I just want to see how things go. I think we'll have more fun if we just play it by ear."


I knew that Joshua wanted to do this. It was his intention all along to not make decisions. He wanted to land in Belize and go from there. I had agreed to this plan, even though I was still holding on to the hope we'd know where we were going and what we were doing. I had maps and routes planned out. We were going to be able to see most of the country by my plan. But, this was Joshua's trip. He paid for it. I was just going along for the ride. This was Joshua's present to me, a round trip ticket to Belize City, Belize, Central America.

He was going to be my best man in two weeks. I was getting married and this was my bachelor trip. It was my turn. Our friend's don't throw elaborate parties for weddings, we take vacations. We took my friend Jonathan out backpacking for his wedding. My fiance had already had her bachelorette trip in London with a friend. It was my turn and we were raising the bar.

Something inside of me became nervous. If we were going to be travelling with out a plan, would we be safe? or secure? This notion filled me. After we realized that we'd be landing in Belize City in the early evening, there would be no way we would be able to go anywhere the first day. I became consumed by the thought of thieves, gypsies and sketchy people in a city we both knew to have obvious dangers. We would have to catch a taxi into the city. The buses were already done for the day. What would happen?

"Don't worry about it." Joshua chimed in. He knew what I was thinking. If anybody in our group of friends tried to plan things out, it was me. "Just eat your dinner. We'll be fine."