It took the husband almost 16 years to get me onto an ATV.  Seriously.  This “Fenced in Momma” wouldn’t say riding in a fast machine without seat belts is high on her priority list.  In fact, it’s no where near any form of list I’ve ever wanted to do.

“Why can’t you just live a little?”

This was my inner voice conspiring with the husband to get me to participate in an ATV tour around the island of Moorea.  I’m pretty sure I would have regretted not exploring this pocket of paradise with the husband, and I’m happy to report my letting loose really paid off.

Not only did I have an amazing morning full of breathtaking views, but I also learned a few valuable lessons from the back of the ATV that (lucky for you!) I’m going to share.

Lesson 1: ATVs turn anyone into an action star.

No joke.  You’d think that little 4-wheeler would just be a means of transportation until you strap on your helmet and climb aboard. Literally, in moments I went from a Midwest housewife to a Bond girl.  Want to know another perk?!?  The husband (as awesome as he already is) also transformed into a sort of Marlon Brando.  It was magical.

If you are having a low self-esteem day, or period in time, an ATV excursion is exactly what you need!!  Trust me, you’ll feel like the bad ass person you are deep down inside.

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Lesson 2:  You are just a small speck in a huge world.

Riding through the pineapple fields and tree lined paths reminded me that we are just a tiny dot on a huge canvas.  There weren’t loud honking trucks, red lights to slow us down or even lines to tell us which side of the road to ride on.  We were just tiny participants enjoying the vast world around us.  The blades of grass seemed bigger, more defined.  The world seemed vast, even more vibrant.  It’s the whole “stop to smell the roses” thing except you’re “slowing down” while going pretty fast.

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Lesson 3:  You can’t sweat the small stuff.

You literally just can’t on the back of an ATV.  There’s no time to worry about the little things.  The “mom worries” quickly faded and I was just a person enjoying the world around me.  It was quite refreshing to lose myself in the ride and the view.

Lesson 4:  Trust is a must.

Trusting the husband to drive me safely was pretty easy to do.  He wouldn’t dare buck me off this thing since it took him so long to get me to go along with the program.  Also, since  he had transformed into an action hero in moments, it was easy to sit back and enjoy him driving me around.

Trusting the other ATVs in our line seemed pretty hard at first to wrap my head around, though.  Right, like that 18 year old kid from Texas behind us was going to listen to the 20 foot space rule once we started going.  Well, to my surprise though, he did.  Why worry about the stuff I couldn’t control?!  It all seemed silly on the back of the ATV.

Lesson 5:  Humanity isn’t dead.

With all the terrible news and the crazy things going on lately, it was so refreshing to see humanity at its best.  Our tour guide was someone I want to take with me everywhere… if only I could convince Louis that the Chicago suburbs were better than the island of Moorea?!  He was hilarious, knowledgeable and kind.  All joking aside, he actually seemed to enjoy spending the morning with 7 strangers from the US.

We also knew no one on our tour at the beginning, and by the end we were all buying each other sorbet and genuinely enjoying each other’s company.  I found myself looking back to make sure the 18 year old was still behind us from time to time.  The older couple in the ATV ahead of us were always the first ones to point out the lime and banana trees to us.  We all were there for ourselves, but by the end we were like the little “dream team” Louis called us from the start.

I truly believe getting out of your comfort zone from time to time is what makes us grow.

It’s what makes us see things through different goggles and helps us realize how both significant and insignificant we are in this world.  I needed this push from the husband to be reminded of this.  I seem to learn the most about myself and the world when I’m out of my comfort zone.

Give it a try!  If you can’t hop on an ATV, go find something that scares you just enough that you’ll grow from facing that fear head on.  I’m also facing my fears today by wearing a bikini in public (post 2 babies), paddle boarding where Louis told us there might be deadly rock fish in the water (ugh!!), and drinking liquor and beer thoughout the day instead of sticking to just one.

Ha, it’s about living a little right?!?

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