It’s a rare opportunity when I can daylight the writing that I do that does not appear in this blog. (In order for literary magazines and anthologies to publish new works, they generally cannot be published elsewhere, including online.)

Last Tuesday, I was delighted to receive notification from Lisa Niver Rajna of We Said Go Travel, that my essay was chosen by judges Richard Bangs and Amy Friedman as the winner of the 2014 Inspiration travel writing contest. The prompt that fueled my essay was:

We are looking for an article about a place that inspires you to spend your time with no regrets. In Arnold Bennett’s book, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, he writes about how time is the ideal democracy. “No one can take [time] from you. It is unstealable. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.” Every morning we have a new day, as he says, “The supply of time is truly a daily miracle.” Where and how do you wish to spend your time?

I had just returned from visiting Brad in Bogotá, our many conversations still fresh in my mind. His friends, Filipe and Nico, had taught me a wonderful phrase over Sunday lunch –echar los perros– which translates to release the dogs, something that hopeful future lovers say at the beginning of a courtship–release the dogs, let’s get together, I desire you, etc. What I love about this phrase, which is basically a sexual proposition, is that it sounds playful and melodious rather than lurid.

Echar los perros encapsulates the feeling of jumping in with one’s heart without hesitation or regret. Like the prompt suggests, many of do this when we travel, but within each journey comes individual moments where a person has the opportunity to release the dogs and become an adventurer.

With that, I invite you to leave the work-a-day world behind for a moment and join me on a secluded little side road. I promise, it’ll just be the two of us. Come on. Or, better said, “Echar Los Perros”