Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Recently, I took the trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica. This wasn't the typical type of trip that our family takes where the six of us pack up our car and drive fifteen hours to my brother's house. No, this was a surprise Christmas gift from my husband where I pack only my bag, get on a plane with friends, and travel to a tropical getaway. The kind where I am forced to relax, work on myself, and find adventure in a new place.
See, when you have spent the past year working in a human trafficking safe home, your husband can see that you carry some of the trauma and brokenness that happens in the home. At Wings we believe in mutual brokenness and all of us (staff and participants) bring ourselves to the table on a daily basis. Each of us have wounds and by acknowledging and opening them up, we let light in and bask in the healing that comes with it. This is emotionally hard work and also very rewarding which results in the lowest of lows and highest of highs.
So, off I go to Costa Rica scared to death and elated at the same time (but I'm used to highs and lows). We arrive to our luxury private villa for our fitness retreat (oh yeah, did I tell you that this is also a fitness retreat with Fit & Fly Girl). It was a beautiful tropical getaway with 13 other like-minded women, a trainer, a hostess, and a chef...I told you -once in a lifetime!! We all arrived from different walks of life to look for adventure, relaxation, and health.
The second day we were there they told us that we were going surfing. Surfing? Really? Me? That would be the type of excursion I would set my kids up for on vacation, not myself! I picture my kids out there getting a surf lesson and having a blast out in the waves while I sit on the beach perfectly content taking amazing pictures of them. My idea of fun would be to to relax and stay on the beach safe and dry while they have an awesome adventure learning something new. Well, this was different because this was the vacation that I signed up for (well...the one my husband signed me up for). Surfing... Sunday morning... it's all set... just show up. I needed to go because I was there and my husband would want me to. Gah, I didn't want to! I would rather have sat on the beach safe and dry taking pictures of the others. Well, guess what happened? I took the lesson. I did it. I got in and I got wet. I fought the waves. I surfed. I stood up on the board and rode the wave all the way to the shore, several times. I surfed for the first time at age 46, boom! I conquered my fear and was brave enough to do something that was different and unsafe (and wet)!
The first day I was back to work they asked me how my trip was. I told them about the beautiful country, the amazing accommodations, the delicious food, and the fabulous people I met. It truly was an amazing trip of a lifetime that I will never forget. As I was re-telling my vacation, I realized the part that stood out was where I forced myself to get off the beach and into the waves. It made me think of the trafficked women that we work with in our home and how they face hard challenges on a daily basis. They stare their trauma in the face but continue to show up and do the hard work in order to get to the other side. This is how I want to live my life. No more sitting on the beach safe and dry! I want to get wet and dirty and do the hard work to see what I can accomplish. Life's adventure lies in the waves where things are unsafe and unstable. I challenge you to get off the beach you are sitting on and get into the waves. How can you use your life and your skills to go further and do more? Get out there and fight the ocean to find out what's on the other side! Imagine if we all did the hard things and got wet? Small attempts at making a difference could change your life, someone else's life, or possibly even the world! Learn something new, help your community, or click here to find out how you can help us fight human trafficking. Whatever you decide, let the ocean take you to where you have never been!
Karla Damiano In-House Creative