FINDING YOURSELF THROUGH TRAVEL
As I prepare for my 6 week Europe trip in March, it has brought me to reflect upon my very first trip abroad and how those experiences through travel have shaped me.
A couple of years ago, my grandmother took me on my very first tropical trip to Cuba.. She is definitely more of the world class traveller in the family than I am, as she provides missionary work overseas...but I do have every intention of catching up! (my competitive side) The day we left from Vancouver, I couldn't contain my excitement.. after hearing stories told by my grandmother of the beautiful architecture, old cars, beaches, and most important of all the wonderful and kind people.. I just wanted the plane to land so I could experience it all at once!
The flight was about 6 hours from Vancouver, BC and I found myself so pleased with how accommodating SunWing was with us, along with the other passengers on the plane. Their services really helped add to the overall experience of the trip.
When we finally arrived it was late at night, so we checked in to our rooms and fell fast asleep, to catch the sunrise with the day. With the incredible resort, staff, beaches, and tours.. I couldn't of been happier with my stay at Brisas Del Caribe. After basking in the sun during most of the day or venturing out, I would find myself in a routine. I would end every night nestled up in the hotel lobby with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book, while replaying the experiences I had.
I found this spot not only peaceful, but perfect as if I looked up to my right I could see all the new guests checking in to the hotel. Every time, I would look up and smile as I became so excited and curious for what magic their stay had in store for them. When I would look to my left I would stare out into the sunset coloured sky, while listening to the wind dance through the trees and the waves crash against the shore. In these moments, I found complete clarity and bliss, this beautiful yet simple experience had opened my eyes and heart greatly. From there, I vowed to myself from that moment that I would dive into any experience or opportunity along the way with a complete open-heart and mind.
That being said, throughout the rest of the week, I created a ridiculous bucket list and did it all! (or at least attempted too the best I could lol) Grandma, I am so grateful you were open-minded and along for the ride.
My Super Random Cuba Bucket List:
- Riding a camel (yes, a camel in Cuba.. I thought the same thing, on top of it his name was Sebastian)
- Kissing a Dolphin (My love for animals is real)
- Exploring deep into caves
- Visiting a Sugar Cane Farm
- Touring Havana
- Travelling Cuba like a local (way cheaper than a tour bus to Havana)
- Exploring the stunning architecture Cuba has to offer
- Bargaining at local markets
- Riding in vintage cars
- Riding a horse & bull through the sugar cane farm
- Learn more about the cuban culture
- Connect with new people
- Snorkelling in the ocean
(Those of you that know me, know I am a terrible swimmer. However, I did not let that stop me.. I was the only one on the tour snorkelling in the ocean with a life jacket... but the positive side to that situation was.. that made me the safest.)
With the bucket list complete, my favourite thing I got to do was have dinner with a local.. I had so many questions for her about life in Cuba and was so amazed by everything she had to say.
Before leaving to Cuba, I was constantly told how the culture is so different, and a lot of the population is provided less than a fraction of the luxuries we get to experience in other parts of the world. I often think back to dinner with her in Cuba, and I remember realizing how grateful I was to be in her presence. She had so much love and happiness surrounding her, that it would just poor onto others who crossed her path. Regardless, of all the luxuries we had back at home.. she had way more to offer us just with her words. Our lives, cultures, and experiences were so different from one another, yet we still connected in so many ways.
That trip contributed to large changes in my life and how I look at the world. Through travel, experience, and connection you can find yourself impacted in such a positive way, on a level that feels larger than anything else. Just by the environment, you can change your thoughts, emotions, and heart.
I believe in the power of connecting with people and places.
Since then I have travelled to 10 different places(Countries and cities) to experience and connect with everything around me.
What are you waiting for?
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