I remember a time years ago when I was driving a car from Guápiles to San José in Costa Rica. It was nighttime. And for those that are not familiar, the road winds through the mountains in and around Braulio Carrillo National Park, with the road literally cut into the side of the mountain, so that there are steep mountainsides above you to one side, with steep drop-offs on the other side, often directly off the side of the road.
On this particular night that I was driving, my girlfriend at the time was asleep in the passenger seat, while I was essentially alone with my responsibility to get us back to my cousin's house in San José. The key point I want to highlight in this story is the fog, which was as thick as a blanket that night. I could not see beyond the edge of the hood of the car. Literally. It was scary bad.
I remember sitting so far up in my seat that my face was nearly level with the steering wheel, trying to steal every inch possible to see as far forward as I possibly could. But as I said, it was nighttime, so it was very dark. And the fog was so terribly thick that I could not see more than five feet in front of my face. Knowing that I was driving on a precarious road cut into the cliffside of the mountains of Costa Rica further diminished my confidence in our predicament. I'm not gonna lie, it was scary.
All I could do was try my best to align my right wheel with the white line marking the edge of the roadway and follow it as a kindergartner is tasked to trace the line in a coloring book -- for over an hour straight, without any opportunity to let up my concentration.
I remember praying over and over during that drive. Mentally it was draining. And by the time we thankfully made it back to my cousin's house, I was incredibly relieved to have survived and made it back okay.
It's pretty funny because, by the time my girlfriend at the time woke up, she had no idea what we'd gone through. In many ways, it was probably better that way.
Now, years later, it makes for a good story and a reminder that there will always be challenges in life, some different than others of course.