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Moments of Great Stupidity

We all have moments of great stupidity.

I experienced one of my finer ones this weekend while preparing food for the Super Bowl Party we were hosting. Unlike most Americans, I could care less about the Super Bowl. I didn’t grow up watching football, my university didn’t have a team, so I never really got into the sport.

I do, however, love hosting and cooking for friends. The kitchen is a place where I can spend my entire day and forget the world around me. It’s only place I can spend hours without thinking about hunger, ironically. I can come home, exhausted from a long day of work and find an energy boost with my knives and pots and pans. I could read food blogs and look at food photos on Instagram for hours without boredom. It’s one of the few activities where I feel I am an artist, where I can confidently unleash my creativity.

And so, on this Super Bowl Day, I had been cooking since the early morning. With an hour to go before the arrival of friends, I began to make this vegan Caesar Salad. The dressing consists of cashews, seeds, and very little liquid. It’s a thick one. Using my immersion blender to create my desired creaminess proved challenging. With so little liquid, the seeds and nuts stuck to the blender.

I proceeded to use my right index finger to clean out the blade while it was still plugged in.

See where I’m going with this?

My left hand also happened to be holding the base right over the power button. I heard the hiss of the electric current as I unconsciously pressed the button. It was the only sound I heard as I realized what was about to happen. I don’t remember pain at first. I remember blood dripping down my hand and screaming to Dave from the top of the stairs.
He came running and played nurse, calming me by reminding me to focus on my breathing.

I’m lucky to have my finger still attached. It’s a horrific-looking cut. It hurts to do simple things like open a drawer, pull up my tights, and push away my chair. For days, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I had blended my finger.

I had stuck my finger in a plugged in electronic device. I blended my fucking finger.

I’ve done plenty of other stupid things before. There was the time I left my front bike wheel leaned against a tree outside Dave’s apartment as I loaded my bike into the car. Yeah, the wheel wasn’t there when I realized several hours later.

Some might say quitting your job and traveling the world is stupid. They’ll scare you with questions about how you’ll afford to live when you’re finished with your “vacation.” They’ll tell you that no one will hire you when you return. They’ll try to convince you that life on the road isn’t all that glamorous.

Not everyone agrees with our decision to take on a nomadic lifestyle for the next year or longer, with our dog, no less. Most of our friends and family think what we’re doing is awesome and long to do the same.

Sure, we’re scared about finances and what we’ll do to earn money along the way or if and when we return. Of course we know that cycling day in and day out will pose it’s challenges.

But what is even more scary to us is living our lives in fear. Allowing fear to dictate what we do because we don’t know where our decisions will take us. To us, that’s an adventure, filled with possibility.

And so, while I’ve made plenty of stupid decisions in my life, standing behind a desk, rotting my life away is not one of them.

Jen Sotolongo

Jen is the Chief Storyteller and Photographer for the Long Haul Trekkers. Born with the travel bug, she has lived in Spain, Chile, and New Zealand. When she’s not galavanting around the world by bicycle, she is running long distances in the woods, exploring nature, or whipping up delicious vegan meals. She is always planning her next adventure.

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