“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Life should be lived by this quote. Born and raised in New Jersey I always have wanted go far away to college so I chose Arizona State University. One night at a party I ended up meeting John who turned out to be one of my best friends. As the night went on and many vodka shots later John proposed the idea to me of going to Mexico in the morning. John was a native to Arizona and has been to his friend’s house in Mexico many times he claimed. “It’s right on the beach, there’s always stuff going on, it will be great.” John says slurring his words.
“Let me get this straight,” I say. “You have a free place for us to stay in Mexico and all I have to do is drive?” John again repeats “yeahhhh” enthusiastically. The more alcohol I consume the better the idea starts to sound, until I give in and agree with him. “Yeah why not I figure, I have never been to Mexico.”
The next morning after stumbling out of my bed I head off. It was a short drive to our destination so I figured we would be there in no time. We cross over the US-Mexico border with ease and follow the road that says toward Santa Ana. Everything was actually going according to plan, we are making great time and should be there early afternoon. “ROCKY POINT” John screams as he sees a sign. After a quick break and getting gas we make a turn down the road, which starts to turn into sand. Keep in mind that there is nothing around after the main highway. All we see is desert and John looks like he is starting to get a little confused. “John, do you even know where we are?” “I think” John says.
From the turn off the highway we should have been there in twenty minutes and it has been two hours. We are now driving around the Mexican desert in my front wheel drive sports car. “John, we are lost, aren’t we?” John nervously looks at me and gathers the strength to say “maybe”. “WAIT” John yells, all of a sudden he thinks he spots a “road” that should lead to the beach. Now when I say “road” I mean we are in the desert and this looks like it is a path a car once drove down ten years ago. I remember thinking to myself “well maybe he is right “, but in the back of my head I knew we were completely lost. As we continue down the road the sand gets deeper until finally the front end of the car slams into a sand trap and it’s utterly and completely stuck.
“GREAT” I scream at John. “Calm down” John says. “We will figure our way out” in a nervous voice. “John, my car is stuck in the middle of the desert, in Mexico, in 110 degrees, with a couple hours of sunlight left, and no cell phone service.” No one even knows we went to Mexico. We weight our options and decide to leave the car and walk. We take an educated guess as to which direction is towards the shore, pick up a half drank soda, and start the journey to who knows where. I just remember looking back at my car and seeing the club I bought sitting on the steering wheel and thinking “who would really try to steal my car out here?”
After about ten miles of hiking we make it to a mansion on the beach. I look at John and reluctantly say “we were only 10 miles away the whole time”. There were vacationing American’s and they gave us a lift on their quad a couple of miles down the shore where John’s friend lived. It turns out that we made one wrong turn in the very beginning and followed the “wrong” dirt road. John’s friend’s father drove a Tahoe and was nice enough to tromp around the desert with me the following day to find my car and tow it out.
I learned that good friends are born out of disaster and that adventures are only created when you get out there and live life. John and I remained friends throughout college and I am sure we will for a long time, and now that I have my car back, I can even laugh at the story. This memory has taught me to never say no to something that sounds like an adventure and to always keep my eyes open to exploring the world. Hopefully my next adventure will be in Costa Rica.
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