“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Seven years ago, I traveled from Bogotá to Buenos Aires, mostly by land. The first leg of the trip was to be a twelve hour "luxury" bus ride. On the way, the television, bathroom, and air conditioning broke; the bus nearly fell into a ditch; two dogs on the bus started to whine incessantly; I was searched at gunpoint by the military; and the bus was forced to stop when the road was blocked by a political demonstration. Twenty-five hours after our departure, our beleaguered bus driver asked all the male passengers to gather behind the wounded bus and push in order to continue our journey. As I walked down the center aisle, I muttered, "No lo puedo creer - I can't believe it." A distinguished looking women lost no time in responding, "Vívalo y créalo - Live it and believe it."

I plan to live my life according to that woman's uncommon wisdom. I want to always remember that braving life's twenty-five hour bus rides provides some of the greatest adventures and richest lessons. Most importantly, I will remember that plenty of people are ready, willing, and able to join me on these journeys... and often I don't even have to ask.

— Patrick McGinnis