FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Finding My Adventurous Side

by Tracey Cullen

Sep 24, 2021

I’ve always been more of a spectator than a participant. I’m not sporty or very coordinated, so I often bow out of activities that require any sort of athletic ability. I can’t swim, so that rules out a slew of fun things to do in tropical locales. I often find myself sitting on the sidelines, just observing my husband and daughter while they enjoy thrilling adventures. And I have never minded before. I loved watching them snorkel from my beach lounge chair in Riviera Maya, Mexico. I laughed from the safety of our boat as they did flips off a water trampoline in the Finger Lakes. Over the years, I became the designated photographer, trying to get a good shot of them on a roller coaster, while I held drinks and bags firmly on the ground at HersheyPark in Pennsylvania. I dutifully took photos of my husband as he hung awkwardly upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland. I have taken LOTS of photos on many trips!

kayakThis year things changed. My daughter left for college, so my husband lost his fun-loving partner as she is now busy having her own adventures with new college friends. And my world got turned a bit upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The past year has been filled with doctor appointments, chemotherapy, scary tests and surgeries and, most recently, daily radiation. Sometimes it’s been a struggle to juggle the ever-consuming cancer battle with work, family and just everyday life. But radiation will soon end, and I’m looking forward to life getting back to normal. However, I decided this will be a new normal. I’m vowing to be open to more. Experience more. Participate more.

This weekend, I started by tackling a fear — kayaks. Since I can’t swim, I feel safer in big boats with a motor. The bigger, the better! But with my daughter away, I knew our two kayaks were never going to get any use unless I went with my husband. So I grabbed a lifejacket and hoped to not end up in the water!Italian food

I was concerned I might not have the strength to paddle as far as my husband can, so he grabbed a rope in case he needed to tow me back. As funny as that was, I was relieved he thought of it!kayak

I hesitantly climbed into the kayak, which sat firmly on a little sandy beach. My husband asked if I was ready for launch, to which I replied “NO!” But he just smiled and gave me a big shove-off anyway. He showed me how to use the paddle, and off we went. The river was calm that morning, and we went early enough that there were few boats. I was worried about being able to handle the kayak when a passing boat’s wake created waves. But after the first boat went by, the waves were barely a ripple by the time they reached us, and I aimed my kayak into the small wave with ease.

kayakAs we paddled near the shore, we saw birds and a turtle and enjoyed the peaceful calm of the river. It was interesting to see the tall grasses and marshland that we can’t get close to on our big boat with a motor. It was relaxing and not nearly as physically taxing as I had anticipated. My husband didn’t even have to tow me in! And I only almost tipped once — when I attempted to take a selfie with my husband and leaned in to get closer. I won’t do that again, but I definitely will kayak again!

I can’t wait to travel more in the coming year and participate in many more adventures!

— Tracey Cullen, art director

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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