It was like nothing else I had experienced before. Floating in the center of the ocean created some sort of an exasperating feeling. It's the kind of freedom you cannot forget; the kind that makes you believe in yourself; the kind that tells you that you are able to spread your wings and take flight just to land on the most exotic island. These feelings were just what my cluttered mind had needed. Although I was young, only 15 during my trip, I was still able to learn so much about the world.
At breakfast, I sat next to the savage waves and the soaring eagle in the sky as well as the dark skinned male with a shocking amount of children. Each of them so nice to tell me they liked my floppy beach hat. My dad faced me from the other end of the table and a spoonful of eggs accompanied a cream cheese saturated bagel on my plate. As I sipped my orange juice, I eavesdropped on the conversation of the busy family next to me. Through the broken english and the occasional food muffled words, I was taught about this family and why they had came here. I heard the father tell his children about how their mother and how amazingly gorgeous she was, he compared her to the deep blue water. He talked about her like she put the stars in the sky. He spoke about how each of the children had their mother's eyes. This statement brought the biggest most delightful smile to his face. While my dad was running my ear off about a whale swimming free under me, I couldn't help but feel remorse for the man. A beautiful woman, the love of his life, was swept away, quite like my floppy beach hat was when the wind picked up. This opened my eyes to just how fortunate I was. Being young, we forget to think about how much we have because we get distracted by the long list of things we want. I am grateful for this family, although we have never even formally met. So, to the man who loved life for what it was, thank you.
For lunch, orange juice was yet again my choice as my sister and I sat on reclined beach chairs nearing the pool snacking on fresh fruit. A towel lay across my legs and my toes peaked out the bottom. The blazing sun brought joy and laughter from all of the children splashing around in the pool. Not to my surprise, my toes were covered with chilled pool water, but then I felt a strange pull on my pinky toe. I bounced up to see who kindled the tickle in my foot and a small, maybe 3 year old girl delightfully looked up at me. Her smile was more blinding than the sun and her petite hands that had latched to my toe were filled with adventure. I saw my young self in this puny person. I remembered the way I lived life, only doing the things that sparked my curiosity. At this little girl's age, I found it quite amusing but not shocking that a pair of toes could bring such pleasure. This girl, who wore a black and pink striped swimsuit with ruffles on the butt, reminded me to never lose my inner child. With just a touch of an innocent hand, I was told not to forget about where I can from; to not lose a sense of innocence. From this point on, I have never failed to remind myself to see the world in color and let myself be curious, for that is how we learn so much. So, to the small girl in the tutu swimsuit who carelessly adventures, thank you.
For dinner, my dad, my sister and I were sat next to a family quite similar to ours. There was a daughter around my age and a son around my sisters. We had no problem adjusting to this family as we discussed past travels and favorite foods. Each bite I took of my shrimp and pasta, a new story was told. Even though we were all clothed to the occasion, wearing our finest black dresses and suits, these wild experiences I was processing reminded me of just how much this beautiful world had to offer. Each story spoke to me, as if to say “see the world, travel.” I had ambitions to travel, but this also reminded me the importance of going on trips. These stories reminded me to stray far away from home, but to not forget where you can from. They told me to always drop bread crumbs in order to find myself back home if I were to get lost. So, to the family we ate with and the stories we shared, thank you.
Because of my vacation over the waves, I learned so much. I am forever grateful for the short time I was able to spend looking at how freely the whales race through the water, seeing how bright the sun could get and how red it could make me, watching the people walk place to place with either a purpose or none and for being taught everything that I was. So, to my temporary home on the water, thank you.