I have a question for all of you; when is the last time you swung on a swing? Do you remember how fun it was? How fun it was? That feeling of letting go and the wind blowing in your face, kicking back and forth going higher and higher?
Let’s go on a journey. I have a story to tell.
WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME!
I took a road trip in Dominican Republic to swing on a swing at the top of a mountain.
We loaded up our car and began our journey. As we headed in the direction of the mountain where the swings are, Google maps took us on a dirt road. Believe it or not there was an easier and faster way considering how slow we had to drive through the dirt road. But thanks Google maps I enjoyed it. Being the skilled driver that I am, that road wasn’t a problem for me.
As we proceeded on the dirt road there were many dips & bumps, and even streams of water cutting across. The further along we drove, those streams turned into puddles. If you have ever driven through puddles of water you know it’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes it’s 3in other times it’s 7. Then there’s those puddles, you wouldn’t have guessed it but, you have water almost up to your window and you began to pray to god that he allows your car to keep going so you don’t have to climb out the window on to the roof and wait for a rescue team to come save you from; that 1 and a half feet of water. What’s even scarier is when the puddles get so big, it’s about a 100ft down the road and you start out at 6in but it gets 2in deeper and you begin to pray, “Lord I can’t see when this water ends but please guide me through this and don’t let it get any deeper” lol.
Then, somehow you get through it pass the water and come to a huge dirt mound covering ¾ of the road and you have to drive up partially on it and around it. Scary shit. But I navigated around it. Remember I’m a really good driver lol. Then we came to a bridge. The bridge was covered in metal slabs that were about 3 by 4ft but the entire bridge has huge gaping holes. You ever watch one of those movies and someone is riding a horse over and part of the bridge breaks and one of the legs fall in? Yeah that’s what we thought was going to happen to one of our tires. But remember I told y’all I’m a great driver. So we crossed the bridge that lead into a beautiful open field with high grass and a beautiful mountain back drop, literally something out of the movies. We stopped for photos; it was incredible! Getting through safely was all due to GOD. He deserves all the praise.
As we continued our journey to the swing, we drove a little further, up a steep dirt road and finally made it to the main paved highway. Then the clouds came in, it began to pour but we continued and then we randomly had to make a quick pit stop. Everyone got out the car and began to dance, except for me; I was recording and capturing everything. It’s moments like these in the middle of nowhere in the Dominican Republic on a long stretch of road where you forget about your hair and the rain. You forget about not breaking the rules, you forget about thoughts like “should we be doing this”. We got back in the car and continued our drive for another 30mins.
Driving through beautiful mountain passes and small colorful Dominican towns, I drove past the entrance to the mountain where the swings are. I quickly put the car in reverse (y’all still remember I’m a great driver lol). Then pulled into the dirt parking lot. First, stopped for more pictures. Then we paid to be taken to the top by truck (I’m not skilled enough to drive to the top of the mountain though). It began to rain again, everyone loaded into the cab of the truck but I chose the ride the outside. Nice choice. So we began to ascend the mountain and the truck instantly began to slant vertically while driving. The truck is completely leaning on the way up and I had to hold on for my dear life with one hand, phone and camera alternating in the other and my foot against the latch. It was quite the experience. All the while it was raining, so I was getting wet but it was an experience worth experiencing.
After about 10mins we reach the top. Still raining, but I’m excited. The view was incredible, nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Everyone stayed in the truck but I chose to stay out there. It was too much beauty to allow rain to stop me from experiencing it. In fact the rain was part of the experience. It was the rain hitting my skin that allowed the experience to seep into my pours. After about 10mins the rain stopped and everyone else joined me.
We took pictures and headed up to the swings. We lined up to swing. After letting 2 of my friends go first I got my chance. I sat on the swing, there was a cloth strap that went across my back nothing in my front, nothing strapping me in. I sat down, lifted my feet and the man grabbed the swing by the straps pulled me back and pushed me. At that very moment of the first push I thought, WTF but as the swing swung forward I looked over the valley and was completely blown away by what I was seeing. One of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen in my life, completely, incredible and breathtaking. At that moment I forget my fear of heights, the fear of somehow forgetting how to swing and fly off down the mountain lol. As I swung back and forth I was just taken back, completely captured by what my eyes were taking in. Captured by the idea of a being who has the power to create such beauty and the many dynamics of our world. What I was experiencing, the wind in my face, going higher and higher, I reached new heights! Swinging at the top of “Montana Redonda”!
Adil Ismaaeel Authored Breaking Borders, an inspirational guide to embolden black men and men of color to travel and gain access to opportunity & success around the world. Adil Ismaaeel, an avid traveler and border breaker, wrote Breaking Borders to embolden black men and men of color to shift the perspective in their minds through travel. Encouraging them to Positively challenge the norms in their community and society overall.
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