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Seeing the Rainforest for the Trees

I love to travel. So when a friend asked if I’d join her on a two-person birding trip to the rainforests of Belize, I said yes, despite not being a birder myself.

The rainforest is a surreal environment, teeming with wildlife. If Instagram had a “green” filter, that’s what it would look like—flowers everywhere, air plants growing on power lines, insects, lizards, rodents scurrying wherever you look, and lots and lots of colorful birds.

Over the course of our trip, we spotted about 130 different species of birds. And while we were excited to see some of the rarest among them, the effort it required—hiking in 100% humidity covered in long sleeves while trying to cause as little of a disturbance as possible, and keeping our eyes on the canopy—took its toll.

So after a few days, we decided to relax and take in a little more of everyday Belize. It saved our trip, and taught us an important lesson.

Life can be stressful. Vacations shouldn’t be. Sure, go on a wildlife trip to see animals. But once you get frustrated, don’t be afraid to change course and do something different. Because at the end of the day, that experience is all you’ll have to take with you. Shouldn’t it be a great one, instead of one you need a break from when you return?

Della Fencl | May 24, 2016