Listening to My Gut

To Go or Not to Go... With

There are many things to consider when traveling to foreign countries.  One of the most important things to consider is safety.  One can never be fully prepared for the unexpected.  This is why it will never hurt to pack your gut (and not with food :-).   Our gut, otherwise known as our ‘intuition’ is priceless.  It’s also theft proof, light-weight and it can easily fit in your bag.

For quite some time before departing on this adventure, I was having inexplicable fears.  Some were reasonable.  Some I could not explain, no matter how hard I dug into the answer.  A month before our departure I began having vague premonitions of getting hurt early in the trip; something to do with my ankle or leg.  However, I had no details how it might happen.

During the first week of our travels I had a conversation with one of my best friends.  We hadn’t talked about my premonition; however, just before hanging up she professed she had a dream that I got hurt badly doing something like skydiving and she asked me not to do anything that involved flying.

As I recalled Karl’s plans for us to go paragliding in Patzcuaro in the following weeks, I had an “ah ha” moment.  I could finally put my finger on the premonition.  I asked if Karl would be safe, and she confirmed, yes.  In that moment, I decided I was not going to go paragliding, and the unexplainable fear and premonition ceased to exist.

Weeks later Karl went paragliding.  His tandem guide was very experienced, but the unpredictable winds wouldn’t stop them from experiencing a full-frontal collapse only 500 meters above the ground.  Had he not to been able to recover in time during their emergency landing on someone’s private property, Karl would have broken both of his legs.

There were many gut feelings I experienced leading up to our paragliding day I otherwise would have ignored.  Instead, I utilized one of the greatest opportunities I had to slow down and observe my intuitive process, while feeling solid in my core that I had made the right decision in not going paragliding.

Learning to listen to my gut hasn’t been easy in a world where “facts” rule and gut feelings or intuitive guidance is considered “crazy” (or can land you in a psychiatric ward).  But hey, at some point we need to let go and “go with our gut” (or let a trip to the hospital with two broken legs ruin a trip).  I choose my gut.


I am a non-practicing psychotherapist with a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I will be working towards licensure after our travels. During our journey through Mexico and Central and South America I’m exploring other cultural and community value systems and environmental and relational dynamics that influence mental health and happiness. I am also writing a book about anger. The book includes research collected throughout my clinical and academic studies in psychology, as well as personal thoughts and life experiences as a heavy metal musician, and other’s thoughts on and/or experiences with anger.

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