The sunlight slowly cuts his way through the windows of our dark, small bedroom. When I slowly open my eyes my sight straight catches the squeaky and rusting fan which made his turns above my bed. Yawning, I push my sleep out of my mind, while I rub the last bit of my dreams out of my eyes. I sit up, the boys are still fast asleep, unaware of the hangover that awaits them. I feel exhausted, the past few days were beautiful, toured along beautiful bounty uninhabited islands, San Blas and ended the trip in beautiful Capurgana, Colombia. However, I was so tired and busy in my head that I found it difficult to create space for enjoyment during the tour. At the beginning of the trip, Dave, the guide approached me if I had any interest in taking over his position. He would stop in three trips. We discussed that I would make my final decision at the end of the tour. Yesterday I had said yes, yes to guide groups for four days along the islands and then drop them off in Panama City. Stay there for five days and bring a new group to the islands and drop them off in Capurgana, Colombia. “What a dream job. You`ll never get such an opportunity again.” People from the group had replied. They were certainly right about that, but such a job…… I can not do it ....it`s too heavy, away from home from a longer period of time, and my clumsy Spanish .....” “That`s enough Sanne!” I think to myself. “Falling into old habits, aren`t we? Missy gets an awesome job opportunity and fearing that it will lead to a failure, you`ll look for some stupid excuses not to do it; too far away, you're not ready, etc. Now stop pulling yourself down and jump into the deep. You`ve survived the last 4.5 months on your own with your backpack. I`ll promise you, this will be okay." And with a little doubt in my mind I had shaken hands with Fabio, the owner of Slan Blas Adventures, until October the 1st, I would work as a tour guide for them.
Now in my bed, beneath the squeaky fan and one night later, my doubt has now been converted into blind panic. My thoughts and doubts had worked overtime during the night, "What an imbecile I was, this surely was not for me, I'm not nice enough at all to be a tour guide, I don`t have the energy to entertain a group for four days for a period of 4.5 months?” Actually I just wanted to go home, I missed my friends, my family, my room. I was tired of looking a place to sleep every night, figuring out what bus to take, haggling for taxis. I just wanted to go home! The boys had already risen and went on the hunt for breakfast, I'm alone in the room. I burst into tears, feeling deeply alone. “Okay, take it easy Sanne, how are we going to deal with this situation?” I think to myself ...”Corine” shoots through my head, my therapist from back home (see my blog in a `Country far, far away`), if anyone can help me, it's her. Since there is no descent internet throughout whole Capurgana, I decided to grab my phone and call her. Thank God she answers. “Corine, it is Sanne ....”.... it remains silent for a while ... 'Sanne, you must help me, Sanne who? " "Sanne of Ymke, the huge Friesian mare" I reply as I try to restrain my tears.
"Hey Sanne" she replied enthusiastically, with a generous portion of surprise. “Are you back in the Netherlands?” "No" I squeak, even though I really can no longer control my tears, and throw all my dilemmas on the table. Luckily Corine remains calm, she asks how long I already feel like this, where it started and why. "What do you now need to calm down?" she asks finally. “Peace” I reply directly. "Ok, take your rest. Find a place or a beach with no other people, read a book and do nothing. In four days you do your first tour. Dave is still there, so you do not have any full responsibility, then you have another tour with him. If you`re still not ready to do it yourself by then, well then tell them that. If they don`t accept that, you'll just quit.” I smile, loving the way Corine always pulls both of my feet firmly back on the ground. I could kiss her. We hung up and I grab a book and find a deserted beach and decide to go there every upcoming day. All day, doing nothing.
After a burn-out it was time for a change. I quit my job, sold my stuff and bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. What was supposed to be a 4 month adventure turned into 2,5 years and counting......
Photo by: Vanessa Marques Barreto