Day 22: Chance 

There are definitely  times while traveling when you feel that you’re not going to make it out alive. Often times you take or granted that fact you are still living. When I look back at some of the close calls that Ari and I have had, I realize that we were even closer to dying than we thought.While we were walking down the trail to our hostel in that terrible rain Ariana’s biggest fear was being attacked by someone jumping out of the forest. I really considered the fear rather foolish until I revisited the wrong path that we had turned down. 

As I walked down the path the day after the storm there were small Pune branches lying everywhere on the path. Then I came to a point on the trail where several thick branches lay there crossed over each other making a barrier of sorts. At first I thought that perhaps it was sometime the Hostel owners had doe to prevent other travelers form wandering along the same incorrect path. But as I lifted 7 foot long branches and flung them into the depths of the forest I began to realize that this little blockage in the path was not man made. 

I eventually cleared enough room to get though the wooden barrier. I ducked through and continued along the trail. 

But moments later I hardly recognized the path any more, because lying in front of me was a full sized tree with its top branches pointing their leaves at my face. It was a deciduous tree with a trunk as think as a beach ball and as long as a pick up truck. I stood in amazement wondering how I could possibly get to the other side of trail. 

I climbed along the elevated side of the path, filled with soggy mud and branches to cling on to. From there I could see that the span of the tree was nearly 24 feet long. I reached a point on the side of the path where I was able to jump onto the trunk of the tree and hold my balance. I said my prayers as I walked the wooden beam of the tree. Eventually I made it to the base of the tree were the roots were completely exposed. It was then that I fully realized what happened. We had tresses through that very spot the night before and now there was a completely uprooted tree asleep on its side in he middle of the trail. This tree had uprooted only hours after we had walked across that place. Had we been there an hour later that night, we would have been crushed. 

The morning after I had seen the uprooted tree, we were ready to make our way to Nice, France. When we woke up both of us had loads of messages on our phone from our friends and family urging us not to travel to Nice. Ariana and I both were in complete wonder as to what was the problem. We later heard of the terrible events that had taken place on the shores of Nice where 84 people had been massacred. The very same shores where we intended to be that day. 

Originally Ari and I had talked about leaving Como a day early and heading to Nice. We thanked God we didn’t because we would have been counted among the victims. This affirmed our faith that we were in God’s hands and under His protection. As I said from the start it is really important to have faith while you’re abroad. So no matter what, travel by faith and not by chance. 


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