I don’t know my neighbors. I never have, and I probably never will. I never brought them brownies when they moved in, or volunteered to babysit their kids, or waved to them when I happened to be in the yard. However, in South Carolina, the neighbors don’t just wave at you from across the yard, but they have keys to your house and stroll in to say hi and leave their dogs there to hang out and best of all, they take you out on their boat.
My aunt’s neighbor, and his two 5-and-under sons, took us out tubing out on their boat on Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina, which is about 30 minutes away from Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff isn’t a lake or a collection of islands that’s just sitting next to the road, stuffed full of million-dollar mansions. Instead, it’s a homey, hidden paradise, stocked full of Southern glory and an almost eerie quiet. After driving down their driveway for ten minutes-literally, ten minutes-we arrived at the Bluff, tucked away behind weeping willows with birds, moss, and dolphins scouring the area.
I knew I was getting old when the neighbor asked if we wanted to go tubing first since his sons were nervous and I was actually the one who was scared, maybe more than these little kids were. Nervous of riding behind a boat in a tube. Puh-lease. However, as I climbed into this tube clearly made for children with a borrowed t-shirt on and hoping the thunderstorms didn’t come through, I just thought to myself, Do it for journalism.
Because that’s it, isn’t it? Today, I’m in South Carolina with my friend, hanging out at pools and shopping at the outlet mall, pretty standard stuff. But tomorrow? Tomorrow I’ll be zip lining in Belize, screaming for my life. Visiting psychics camped out in the forest in Cambodia. Wondering how the hell I’m gonna get down from a mountain in China. So for today, I’ll do every little scary thing I can, even if it’s probably not even that big of a deal. I’ll do it for journalism.