It May Rain in the Jungle

We went to Cozumel, which is a jungle-covered island with amazing scuba diving just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. We were staying at a resort there, with the goal of just diving and relaxing. But I often get a little antsy, so I went to see if we could go horseback riding somewhere.

“Yes,” said the concierge, “But it may rain.”

Ok, no problem.

The man began rubbing his arms, adding “And you need…”

“Mosquito repellent? Sunscreen?” I guessed.

Yes, we needed those. So ok, still no problem. He booked the ride for us, and arranged transportation to the stable.

Ready for our ride

We got up the next morning, ready for our ride. The person at the front desk asked if we were sure we wanted to go, warning again that we might get wet, and there would be bugs.

“Well duh,” I thought. “It’s the jungle. It’s raining now, and of course there will be bugs. Probably snakes and other creatures too.”

We got to the stable, and they repeated the warnings too, pointing to the large mud puddles visible everywhere and adding that we might get dirty.

At this point I’m wondering who the heck goes on a horseback ride through the jungle expecting a cone of Disney to follow them around, but I just keep nodding and reassuring people that yes, we know, and yes, we still want to go if they’ll have us.

Mosquitoes and rain

And it was a blast. It did rain, and a massive number of mosquitoes hovered around my arms and hands but did not once bite. (Bite Blocker is amazing, by the way.) We saw birds and butterflies, and a vulture eating something unidentifiable.

We rode through some standing water, and hopped over branches blocking the trail. I got muddy, and had to chase after my hat when the wind tried to take off with it. The horses were having fun too, interested and alert. We had a real ride, unlike the plodding, careful rides you might get in the US.

Why? In large part because we were prepared. We thought about what things could realistically be like, and acted based on that, not based on some perfect world where nothing ever goes wrong. And then we had fun with reality instead of complaining about it. A lot of fun.

Prepare

We do the same thing with our money. We don’t assume it’s ok to spend it all, because we’ll never get laid off or sick. Instead, we have an emergency fund and insurance. We don’t put stuff on credit today because we “know” that we’ll get paid Friday. Instead, while I do use credit cards, I only use them if I already have that money sitting in the bank. Then I pay them off. It goes on from there.

In other words. we prepare for the worst and hope for the best, do our best to act responsibly, and then have fun with how things really are as much as possible.

Make sure your ride through the jungle is as great as it can be.


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