A few years ago I asked my husband to buy me a Vespa for my birthday. This is a small motor scooter whose top speed is 40 mph. I have fantasized about riding into the sunset on a Harley Davidson ever since I watched Easy Rider more years ago than I care to count. A Harley may be too much for me to handle but a motor scooter like this would be the perfect compromise. Especially because I live on a small island where riding something like this is not a death wish. My husband was appalled. He emphatically told me there was no way he was going to buy me something that I was sure to wrap around a tree killing myself in the process. The final gauntlet he threw done was: “Don’t you think you’re a little too old for this?” That was all he had to say. “Fine” I told him between clenched teeth. “I will buy it for myself.” I did and despite his warnings I did not cause myself any bodily harm and I have been happily riding it for five years.
What this scooter has done for me is to bring out my inner wild child. I feel like I am on an adventure every time I take it out for a spin. I am cautious…I wear a helmet but the freedom I feel while I am riding it makes me giggle. When I rode yesterday, the sky was an incredible shade of blue and there was a rainbow that seemed to join two clouds high in the sky. Not at all typical, the colors were brilliant. I would have never noticed this awe-inspiring sight had I been in a car. Everything just seems more vibrant when I am riding and I observe it all. A turtle crossing the road, an osprey flying over head and the majestic pelicans going to catch their lunch. Sometimes a song will play in my head and I will sing out loud while merrily riding along. I must admit I get some strange looks but mostly I get huge smiles and I feel happy from the inside out.
I have found that driving this Vespa has given me the confidence to try other things. I will admit I am not a big risk taker but I also won’t shy away from things just because I have never done them before or someone may think they are not age appropriate for me. The next thing I am going to try is paddle boarding. Paddle boarding is when you stand on a surf board that is wider than a normal surf board and paddle around the water. I have watched people do it and it seems a wonderful way to get some great exercise and see the water up close and personal. Again I am getting those too old for that looks. My family laughs at the idea telling me I will never be able to stand on one of those things and if I do they are sure they will see me on the evening news paddle boarding to Cuba caught up in some mysterious Gulf current. Let them laugh I think; I will not be deterred. I will learn to paddle board. I will also learn to speak Spanish just in case.