Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes Essay#19

I live in Chicago, IL. At 6:30 am, my alarm sounds, I roll out of bed, check my email, check my voicemail, unload my dishwasher, squeeze on heels, fill my car with gas and prepare to battle my way through snow or construction to sit behind a desk, inside for most of my day. My job is interesting. My city is filled with fun places and new people. But somehow, between remembering online passwords for paying bills and sales data to quote at work, it is easy to forget what it means to be human. I forget what it’s like to wake up because of sunlight and a breeze sneaking through the window. I’ve forgotten that a ringing phone does not require me to stop my conversation – just to check who is calling. We all forget that the pace of life can slow to a wonderful crawl where an hour or two hike clears your mind more than your last 5 weekends.

Luckily, remembering our humanity is easy; Belize just helps jog our memories. No one wants to check her voicemail while snorkeling on the barrier reef. Howler monkeys don’t require business attire. I won’t honk at a single thing on a horseback ride through the jungle. Mayan temples are proof of our capacity to create new structures and ideas. The rainforest will humble us.

I’ve been planning this escape from my reality for awhile, spending countless hours online reading reviews, looking at pictures, checking out maps and trying to learn something about the local culture. Chaa Creek comes up again and again as the best. Escaping from the city to nature isn’t going to happen in a 500-room hotel with high speed internet and HBO in every room. Chaa Creek seems to balance my comfort perfectly with stewardship for its surrounding wilderness. It will be the ideal place to forget about the grind of daily life and remember the important things in life.

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