The time I tried to move to New Orleans from Wisconsin in a canoe.

Do you believe in signs?

English: Interior view of one display room at ...

English: Interior view of one display room at the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like, in 2002, when I had dial up internet, I had a feeling it was a sign that it took me three hours to open an email from my friend, Mike, inviting me to go to New Orleans with him on a canoe, like that email was never meant to be opened.

It made sense, though. A straight shot down the Mississippi.

It probably didn’t help that when my dad and I strapped the canoe that had been in my parents garage for 25 years to the top of his van, I recalled  that the canoe had belonged to my Aunt. Who died. In a river. In a kayak, but still, close enough.

Mike  was planning on going alone, but upon recalling that I wanted to move so badly after college, offered accompanying me to New Orleans if I should choose to join him. On a canoe.

Ever the prepared and responsible girl, I found my waterproof neck strap wallet, filled it with travelers checks and a list of homeless shelters in New Orleans, and purchased a practical back pack made especially for canoe-ers.

It was on this trip I learned something that my brain had been avoiding and suppressing for years. That however much I desired a life of adventure, my terrible problems with panic attacks and agoraphobia could no longer be pushed down and ignored. That I wasn’t able to follow dreams in my life because of the weird way my brain worked.

After three nights of sleeping in Wisconsin and Minnesota wilderness, and not pooping or peeing for just as long (until we finally reached a park with port a potties near a small town) I had hit the point where reality set in, or started to (because I tried a few times after this to do other adventures, with the same effect, and finally got it after about 3 times). I called my mother from a pay phone outside another small town, and she drove 5 hours in the middle of the night to come get me.

I felt horrible leaving Mike, and could only justify my behavior because he was originally going to take the trip alone anyway.

And that’s the time I tried to move to New Orleans from Wisconsin in a canoe.

 

8 thoughts on “The time I tried to move to New Orleans from Wisconsin in a canoe.

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