“Not all those who wander are lost.” –J. R. R. Tolkien
Few are the pleasures that ignite my sense of adventure more than traveling…I love the excitement that comes from even before you take your first step foot into a foreign place, the sense of adventure, the packing, or more often overpacking, planning, dreaming, hoping…they are all mixing into a great amalgam and I can honestly say, I never-ever had a bad trip! Even when things were a little less than expected, I always managed to find the silver lining, and at least one redeeming feature that turned the vacation into a cheerful memory…after all, we are here as collectors of memories, some happy, some sad, may you always seek to add to your collection the happiest and most meaningful ones, the ones that help you grow and give you a better perspective.
My most recent Caribbean adventures, started right before Christmas and lasted well into the New Year. There is something fascinating about immersing yourself into the turquoise waters and white sands of the Caribbean, the sound of the sea, the Calypso music, the lush vegetation, the slow pace and beauty of the Island living make you easily forget the everyday worries. I took a two week cruise and circled the Caribbean, and I can happily say that I felt just like a Princess aboard the Caribbean Princess! Each island had its own charm, and I want to encourage you all to include them in your future vacations: Bahamas, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Aruba and my absolute favorite, the Mermaid Paradise, Curaçao …English, Spanish, Dutch, French, African influences, all these islands with the exception of Aruba at one point or another were colonies, which more often than not passed hands, one day English, next Spanish, etc., but the inhabitants found a way to forge their own identity and maintain their uniqueness. I loved this concoction of influences, the sound of the different languages, the local cuisine, the beauty of the people, and the amazing sites. I can see the appeal for all the Westerners that decided to trade their mundane living with a slice of Paradise…yes, the Internet is slow at best or lacking entirely, and there is always the threat of hurricanes, but living on the edge of the world sure beats another day when you’re stuck in traffic. Would I trade my living with an Island living? Hard to answer, especially now when the music of the emerald waves harmoniously mingling with the Calypso drums is still haunting me, and the Caribbean colors are still dancing in my mind…
Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so, my humble advice to you, is to forget the ordinary and let the extraordinary inundate your existence! Leave behind the safe harbor, and sail away…Dream. Explore. Discover.
Not long ago, I read a few words in a traveling magazine that best sums up my views on traveling: “We travel initially to lose ourselves; and we travel next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe where riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and to fall in love once more.”
I lived for two weeks in Paradise, I breathed in the wild beauty of the Caribbean, I enjoyed the places and the people that I encountered, and upon my return, I couldn’t help to whisper, “What a wonderful world!”