A while back, I was going through a rough patch in my personal life. So when a close friend of mine lives in Corpus Christi and invited me to take a road trip across the great state of Texas with her. I never could have guessed that it would be exactly what my soul needed!
My trip began with a horseback ride along the Gulf. Though it had been years since I’d ridden, I bonded with the beautiful chocolate mare I was assigned and was immediately put at ease. I’d arrived in Corpus Christi with my mind still preoccupied from my personal woes, but our relaxing ride down the beach cleared my head. I decided to focus on only the here and now — the sound of the waves against the shore, the sparkling blue water, and the gentle stride of my horse. Before I knew it, my worries had drifted off into the breeze. I left the beach feeling more relaxed than I had in years and grateful for the sense of peace that had taken over my mind.
My friend insisted we go to one of her favorite spots, a blues bar called Rockit’s. The atmosphere was friendly and laid back, and we easily made friends with the girls at the next table. The live band was rocking and the urge to shake our groove-things strong, but my shy side convinced me to stay in my seat. It wasn’t until one of our new girlfriends threw me on the dance floor that I decided to put my insecurities aside and just have fun. The feeling was liberating! I’ve always been a believer in the healing power of music and that night was a perfect example: people of all ages and backgrounds put aside their stresses of the real world and differences from each other to dance and sing together like there was no tomorrow. There was something special about the people and atmosphere that made me feel right at home, like I was in a room with dozens of my closest friends.
We did a little roadtripping throughout my visit, and one of my favorite parts was our journey to Six Flags. On the way, we spent a day in San Antonio, making an afternoon visit to the Alamo and spending the evening walking along the beautiful Riverwalk area. I was humbled at the rich culture and beauty we saw, and we made countless friends along the way. I’d always heard the south had its own charm, but experiencing it first-hand was beyond what I could have imagined!
When we finally made it to the theme park, I was determined to break out of my comfort zone of strictly bumper cars and carousels. I decided the best way to do that was to immediately go big before I could chicken out, so we jumped in line for the Mr. Freeze rollercoaster first. Not only was it crazy fast, the ride starts out moving backward so you have no idea what’s coming!
Admittedly I was terrified as we stood in line and watched the riders shoot out of the station in the blink of an eye, but I was also excited to push my personal boundaries. I hardly had time to reconsider by the time we were seated and had the absolute thrill of my life! My adrenaline rush lasted the rest of my day, and I ran around the park to as many rides as possible like a little kid. I never realized how freeing carpe diem could be, and I don’t think I would have been able to embrace it so fully if I had been anywhere else.
Texas made me realize how important it is to appreciate moments as they come; we all have struggles, but if we make them our focus we’ll miss out on amazing beauty and friendships. The Lone Star State feels so much like home, I’m even considering starting a new adventure and moving here! Whatever happens next, I’ll never forget the way Texas saved my soul and brought me back to life.