For most of my life I have considered myself an adventurer. However, during my past trip to Georgia, I met someone who's spirit for wonder and excitement dwarf mine like a mountain towering over a pebble. This was someone who would go out in nature and hike for days on end, making her own trails where there previously had been none. When there was a river, she would swim. When there was a rock wall, she would climb it. And when there was a sea, she would sail across. And with that, let me introduce Mariette (or Jet, pronounced with the soft J).
I first came across Jet during one of my shifts working at Why Not Hostel in Tbilisi. Most people who happened to be checking in that day seemed a bit tired and worn out from travels, but she was different, beaming with excitement having just arrived from a trip in the mountains. And since I was planning on heading to the mountains in just a few days, I asked if she had any recommendations or advice. I was expecting to hear something like, "Oh, this place is cool." or "Make sure you do this trek," but instead I got a full rundown of villages off the beaten track, hidden trails that were left off the map, and pictures of unbelievably beautiful scenery. She even gave me her own personal map where she had drawn on all the secret routes she found. It was awesome!
She had this uncanny ability in finding unique and interesting places that would slip under the radar from the standard traveler, and this ranged from hidden waterfalls in forests to literally the coolest coffee shop in all of Tbilisi. I kid you not, the place was on a secluded road up a hill and had amazing coffee, a super friendly staff, cafe cats, and a weird yet awesome, artistic decor. Had I know about it before, it would have been a daily stopping point (finances depending) for the duration of my stay.
It didn't matter if it was raining out or if the weather plummeted to frigid temperatures. To her, these were not obstacles but enhancements to be used for play. Run around in the rain, roll in the snow and laugh at the bumps in the dirt road. This was her life and not only did she know how to enjoy it, but Jet eagerly shared every experience she had and exciting thing she came across. Since, after all, happiness is always best when shared.
Be like Jet: Whenever you feel nervous about a new experience, remind yourself that everything will be alright. Then put your full self forward and enjoy the whole journey along the way.