Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hopping on a cruise ship out of Puerto Rico and cruising around the Caribbean for a week. During that time, I learned a lot about not only the history of these small islands, but about myself. Nothing says “Cruise’ like getting drunk with your cousins and getting looks from your parents.
One, I know I am terrified of storms (more so wind than anything else), yet I flew into San Juan while Tropical Storm Bertha was rolling through. All in all, it just seemed like a rain storm, which is good for everyone (apparently most of the Caribbean is in need of rain). I am happy to note that I did not freak out once, even when we were flying through the storm. For me, this is a big deal.
The picture above was taken at Isla Verde Beach in San Juan, PR, the day after Tropical Storm Bertha.
Two, I learned what it means to travel in a group. There were ten people total in our crew. I had to learn that waiting for one another is a large part of traveling with so many people and everyone has different demeanors. Yes, we were all adults, but it is still necessary to have a leader of the pack. Patience was definitely needed on this trip, along with a bit of calming down on everyone’s part.
Three, I learned that I need to put myself out there. Where ever ‘there’ may be, I need to make an effort to participate in activities that are beyond my comfort level. I had so much exploring and trying new things. For example, one night a few of us went to the Chef’s Table. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is basically a dinner prepared entirely by the head chef. You are given foods that do not appear on any cruise ship menu. There was a tour of the galley (kitchen of a cruise ship) and a seven course meal to follow. I ate foods like raw tuna, salmon, stuffed dates with chorizo, a salad/soup combo, and pumpkin fudge. In the beginning, I was not sure if I would enjoy any of the food that Chef prepared, but I went into the dinner with an open mind. I came out enjoying most courses. I surprised not only myself, but my family as I am typically a picky/bland eater.
Four, talking to strangers is rewarding. I am not a social butterfly (sober), so it was challenging for me to talk to strangers. With the help of my family, I felt comfortable enough to have multiple conversations with people who I just met. And I would end up talking to this same group of people throughout the entirety of the cruise. I even got a picture with the cruise director, which I am pretty proud of.
Let’s just say, I look forward to more trips that challenge who I am as a person and encourage me to grow.
The picture about was taken onboard, looking out onto St. Maarten, NA
Until next time, with a less extravagant post, the one and only (and 62 others who share my name),
**Photos courtesy of my cousin