Day 8 – January 8th, 2018

Hello from Antigua!!!! (Which is actually pronounced “An-ti-GAH”, not “Gwah”, which I’m now trying to get used to saying LOL).

So I’m currently in our room, lying on the bed while Olivia is gluing eyelash extensions to her eyelids, and my mom is in the next bed. I want to capture this moment in its entirety so that when I look back and read this, I’ll remember exactly how things were.

I’ve been doing a really good job of living in the present moments though, while I’m in them! And all of the moments that have passed this far have been absolutely amazing.

Yesterday once we got in, Lionel was there to pick us up from the airport. Lionel is the owner of the apartment complex we’re currently staying in, in the heart of the island! And it’s such a nice little suite that we have – it’s got a fully furnished kitchen, fridge, stove, microwave, cutlery, you name it. We’ve been able to cook our meals and eat together and it’s so, so incredible.

So once Lionel picked us up, he even brought us by the grocery store so that we could stock up. One thing I love so far about this island is that everyone knows everyone, and everyone is so genuinely friendly. There’s only a population of about 100,000 people on this island so pretty much everyone knows everyone.

By the time we got to our apartment, it was already too dark to do anything since our flight was delayed so we settled in and lightly planned the week.

But after today, I now know that everything happens exactly as it’s meant to and spontaneity can lead to pretty amazing occurrences.

This morning, we made up our minds to check out a beach called “Darkwood”, known for snorkelling. However, since our complex is directly in the heart of the island, we have to learn the transit system and some of the roads in order to get to the main city. As we were making our way to what we thought was the bus stop, turns out we had gotten a little lost LMAO.

BUT. As we were climbing up this massive hill, a woman pulled up to us and asked us where we were going. Once we explained the situation, she explained that we had been heading straight for a dead end! Too funny. And just our luck, she kindly offered us a ride to the city because she was on her way there too.

Honestly, it was meant to be. She even said that at the end of our day, she wouldn’t mind giving us a ride back home if we met up with her at her store by the evening. The kindness of the people here, I can’t begin to explain how truly friendly everyone is.

Once we got to the city, we were initially going to head to the bank to exchange some money so we began to walk around the bustling roads in search of a bank. But then, we ended up running into this big group of Italian tourists led by a tour guide guy who said he could bring us to the beach for five bucks and pick us up whenever!

I was a little hesitant at first, but then I was like eh, why not! And I’m so glad Olivia and my mom were so down too, because it turned out to lead to the perfect day. Spontaneity is always for the best.

We all clambered into a 12 seater van, and off we went! Turns out the big group of Italian people had come off of a massive cruise ship in order to explore the island. This one really funny guy named Maurizio sat next to me, and we ended up talking (mostly in broken english) and we ended up exchanging numbers because he said that if we ever ended up in Italy again, that we should visit!

That’s one of my favourite things about travelling – meeting new people, making new connections and new friends all around the world. It’s so much fun, and it leads to brand new opportunities to travel! It truly pays to know people in different countries and to be friendly.

Anyways, once we got to the beach we all went off in our own directions. But oh man, that beach…

It was the perfect way to begin our trip. The beach was called Jolly Beach, and it was STUNNING. Crystal blue waters accented by a clear azure blue sky, set off by the iridescent sparkling white sands. The sun was beaming hot, and water was the perfect temperature. My heart and soul were so full and content to be reunited with the ocean, I can’t begin to explain.

We alternated between sun-bathing and swimming for hours, and even though it rained for a brief moment, the day was still perfectly perfect; I actually love the feeling of swimming in the ocean while it rains, it’s so peaceful and calming.

After a good full day of beach, we headed back to the city with our new Italian friends and then bid them adieu. (Their cruise was going island to island for about two weeks).

Our new friend gave us a ride back home once she finished with her work day, and we just had a delicious home-cooked meal courtesy of my mom! Which leads me to where I am now, still lying in bed with my mom beside me in the next, and Olivia is still gluing little fibres to her eyelids (she’s going to kill me for writing this, I know).

So, thoughts on today!

Honestly, I’m having the time of my life. What I love most about travel is the authentic experience, the culture, the people, the adventure and spontaneity.

But, I think my mom kind of wants to do an all-inclusive kind of thing next time around, where food and stay and activities are all included for one set price. The tourist-y, relaxed and indulgent kind of travel. And that’s totally okay!

I know Olivia and mom are both having a lot of fun too. But this trip is definitely more so my kind of ideal trip than theirs.

On one hand, I’m kind of proud of myself! I now know that if I were to travel on my own, I could figure things out for myself and plan accordingly.

I love relaxed all-inclusive trips too, but… I’m living for this kind of adventure, the spontaneity of it all. This is the kind of travel that I want – meeting new people, ending up in places you didn’t quite expect or intend for, getting friendly with the locals, finding hidden gems through them, the thrill that comes from it all.

At least I know now for future reference, what kind of trip to take with my mom! I’m still going to make sure to do my best to make sure both her and Olivia have the best time ever.

There’s hundreds of beaches to choose from on this island, not to mention I intend for us to go zip-lining as well as visit the stingray city!! It’s going to be amazing.

But for now, I shall enjoy this present moment in our quaint little apartment that we are currently calling home. My heart is happy. There truly isn’t anything like travelling. I hope I get to do it to my heart’s content.

Until tomorrow! Here’s to the next adventure.

Love always,

Me.

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