Nothing is more eye-opening than traveling and soaking up all the experiences that come along with it. Boarding that airplane and feeling yourself pressed back against the seat as the plane races forward ready to take off into the sky. Looking out of the window and down onto the earth where everything begins to look smaller and smaller as you ascend into the clouds. Touching down onto unfamiliar ground, ready to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things. Traveling has changed me for the better and has made me feel hopeful and full.
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself” - Cloud Atlas.
I will never forget my very first cruise that opened up a whole new door in my life. I had no idea what to expect until we boarded the ship and quickly began to explore around. I was in awe. I ended up meeting a ton of people, but their first language was spanish and only 1 or 2 of them could speak english really well. It didn’t matter to me and i had the time of my life hanging out with them that week. We went to the teen club at night and they taught me their latin dance moves. I even began to sing the words to spanish songs such as gasolina and danza kuduoro that were new and popular songs back then. My love for spanish music and dancing started and grew from there. I had one of the best weeks of my life. Meeting friends on the ship was the most exciting and fun part, but I also really enjoyed getting off at the cruise ports and going on excursions. I couldn’t wait to go on more adventures in the future.
I have been on 5 other cruises since my first one and each and every one was different than the last. I met so many new people from different places all around the world and got the chance to travel to so many different places such as Europe, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Belize, The Bahamas, and The U.S Virgin Islands. The amount of memories I have had are countless, from zip lining in Haiti and deep sea snorkeling in Mexico to roaming the lost city of Pompeii. On my European cruise, I met the guy of my dreams, but I didn’t know it then. One night, I was mingling with a ton of different people around my age until I looked at the time and realized i needed to go back to my room to get some sleep before touring around Europe early the next morning. I said my goodbyes and began to walk towards the elevators until a guy came chasing after me. He introduced himself and walked me to the elevators. At that moment in time, i had no idea how much he would mean to me later on. That next night on the ship, I met this girl named Annette. We quickly became friends and hung out the rest of the cruise. We were hanging out in the “Living room” when all of a sudden the guy i had met the other night walked in. I introduced him to Annette and they bonded over the fact that they both lived in Miami not too far from one another. The three of us and some other kids hung out the following days and nights. Throughout the week, he continuously showed that he was interested in me but i didn’t feel the same way at the time. It wasn’t until the last night of the cruise where I gave into him. He took my hand and led me away from the crowd to a private little area at the very back of the ship where we hooked up. We met back up with the group and hung out in one of our friend’s room. I realized it was getting late and that i should probably say my final goodbyes and head back to my room. Looking back now, I totally regret leaving early and not spending the last few hours on the ship with the amazing people I had met. He walked me back to my room and we said our final goodbyes and he made his way back to his room. I still have never seen him again since that night.
The next morning while I was walking through the airport, i got a text from him. From that point on, Him and I texted and facetimed and just communicated for that whole following year. Texting and talking on the phone every single day all day every day. We grew closer and closer and I began to realize I had real feelings for him, but It was too late. The next year we only talked on occasions such as Christmas or my birthday and so on. And the year after that we didn’t really talk much at all. He is my symbol of hope for good guys out there for me. I have never had much luck with the guys where I live. I’ve never really had a serious relationship before. I’ve had let down after let down and every experience with guys has seemed to just been a learning experience. I think back to him and just hope and wait for another guy like him to come into my life. Traveling is my way of being independent and getting out there without anyone around that knows my name (besides my family). I get to be a different version of myself and escape the reality from back at home. I've lived in the Raleigh area my entire life so traveling allows me to leave the bubble that I live in.
Traveling has had a huge impact on me. I have been blessed with the chance to meet so many different types of amazing people from around the world that I am still friends with to this day. I have seen different parts of the world that are so incredible and different from where I live. I will carry the memories forever. For those of you who may need something to open your eyes, change your outlook on life, or be exposed to something unique and beautiful….. Traveling brings you freedom and empowerment. It changes your perspective and brings you new connections. It changes your life for the better.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” -St. Augustine