Hellooooo! I haven’t been able to write in a couple days becauseeeee – I’M IN ARUBAAAAAA!!!! But I finally have a quiet moment to myself so I can write and update accordingly.
Okay so, before I left I had about 3 work shifts but honestly I checked out after the last weekend LMAO. Those 3 shifts went by in a complete blur, minus the last one which was super fun because Daniella and Marilyn were in and one of our other cool coworkers was spinning some good music over the speaker so we were dancing around and having a good time for the majority of my shift hehe.
I probably shouldn’t have left the packing until the last minute, because I ended up packing well into the night and we had to wake up at 3 am in order to get ready on time and make it to the airport around 4:30-5 am! Adrian stayed over by me, so once 3 am rolled around, we packed everything up real quick and Ubered over the airport.
Honestly, everything went quite smoothly with customs. And while the airport seemed rather busy, no one seemed paranoid or weary about the current virus situation that is on-going; in fact, to our surprise, the TSA workers weren’t wearing masks at all! And they come into contact with ALOT of people, so weirdly enough it was rather reassuringly to some degree.
I must admit – I was pretty afraid to fly, for one of the first times in my life. After experiencing that insane stomach-churning turbulence with Adrian on our way to New York where it felt like the plane was dropping out of the sky and tumbling sharply towards the ground and we both genuinely thought it was over, and after what’s happened to Kobe, his daughter and the accompanying families/passengers (who were simply on a 45 minute helicopter drive across the county), my fear levels were quite high.
Life is so unpredictable and as much as I adore travelling, I was afraid of that turbulence and I was afraid of that uncertainty. Hopping on a flight is literally putting your life in the hands of the pilots, and God really. Heck, leaving your house at this point requires a certain level of faith that you’ll make it back home safely.
But you know what I thought, as we barrelled across countries and the Caribbean Sea to get here?
“I will not bow down to fear and allow it to stop me from loving the things I love with all my heart. I will not let fear stop me from doing the things that fulfill my soul.”
I asked the Universe for a sign that everything would be okay on the second flight, as there was beginning to be some light turbulence that made my heart skip beats. I ended up catching a glimpse of my phone at the exact moment that the time turned to 10:18 (my birthday and one of my chosen Universe signs) and when I looked over at the backpack of the girl sitting next to us in our row, the pattern of her backpack was “Starry Night”, my favourite painting. I immediately felt calmer and some part of me knew that despite my surface fear, that everything was going to be okay and that the Universe would deliver us safely.
I can’t let fear stop me from living my life. If I did, then I wouldn’t be here on this wonderful, magical island experiencing the sun, the sea, the sand and beautiful tropical breezes the way I have today.
At the end of the day, you have to sometimes face your fears in order to curate a life worth living, a life you can look at and say, “Hell – if do end up dying tomorrow, at least I know I have no regrets, and I’m actually pretty damn happy with everything I’ve done and accomplished.” And that’s what I aspire to do with each and every day that I’m given.
I AM happy with everything I’ve done and accomplished thus far. I obviously don’t want to die – I have so many more things I would love to do and see through to the end – but so far, I do feel like I’ve spent my time on this Earth manifesting and working towards the exact life that I want and dream about. And so, I am happy and I am content. This happiness allows me to fear death just a little bit less, which may sound absolutely crazy to say.
But I mean, if every day we take one step closer to that inevitable moment, then I sure as hell am gonna make sure that every single moment that takes me there is beautiful, full of life, full of love, and full of courage. “Courage is not the absence of fear – it is feeling the fear, and doing it anyways.”
ANYWAYS! Heck of a tangent there, LOL.
So, safe to say we landed safely (THANK YOU UNIVERSE!) yesterday, and our super kind and wonderful Airbnb hosts picked us up from the airport to bring us over to their apartment complex.
When I first saw this apartment on Airbnb, it wasn’t just the super reasonable price that got me. It was the home-y feel to it, the vibe, the cozy little garden filled with knick-knacks and little couches, the upper patio perch they built overlooking what was bound to be stunning sunsets, and the fact that it was basically a cluster of studio style apartments, which meant total privacy and freedom.
My gut did a little dance, and honestly even though I looked at other locations, I’m sooooo happy that I went with my gut. This place was exactly what I thought it would be, right down to the little details. It was warm, home-y, cozy and everyone here is so nice!!! It’s got that local-feel which I love – plenty of people who have been here often or been here long who know the island well and know its hidden gems.
AND THERES A DOGGO! (Had to add that in there, hehe).
So yesterday, we landed in the late afternoon and being sleep-deprived and hungry, we decided to do a little grocery shopping and settle into our place. Our hosts actually took us on a mini tour of the neighbourhood and showed us how to walk to the beach, the supermarket, and where to take the bus into town or further into the island for other beaches – SO KIND AND SO SWEET OMG.
We picked up some supplies and headed back to settle in, and managed to make it back in time to witness the breath-taking sunset from the upper porch level with a couple of beers. Later in the evening, we stopped by a local restaurant in the neighbourhood for some stewed chicken, ribs, plantains, rice, and Johnny cakes – lordddddd local food is GOOD! Ultimately, our first day was a perfect success and I couldn’t stop telling Adrian how happy I was (and am!) to be here with him.
And today, OH TODAYYYYY. Oh man. Oh boy. We got up early and got a ride to the beach from our lovely hosts, and basically spent the entire morning and afternoon just sun-tanning, swimming, and drinking LMAO. Like, legit vacationing.
The beach was super quiet (just how we like it), so we picked a perfect spot near a pier and near the water. I spent a perfect balance of time split between swimming in the ocean amidst all the blue-turquoise water, and sun-bathing with Adrian on the white sand. We kept saying how grateful we were to be there, and it just kept getting better!!! Two big doggies came over to us and they were swimming and coming up to us to be pet and playing with each other and running around it felt like they were ours for a brief moment, ahhh. It was just… heaven.
Eventually we settled onto the little dock to sit and dip our feet in the water as we talked and talked, and lucky for us we basically ended up seeing National Geographic unfold in live action right before our eyes – two MASSIVE fish zoomed in from the ocean towards the pier and scattered all the little minnows that were near our feet into a frenzy!! We saw purple and gold fish, yellow and black striped fish, needle fish, even baby barracudas it seems. Needless to say, but despite our day being rather straightforward and simple, it ended up being quite fun-filled and adventure packed.
We bought alcohol from a beach bar close by (I got the local cocktail “Aruba Ariba” and Adrian got 6 of their local beers for a deal of a price) so we drank those by the ocean side and just relaxed. After all our lounging, sun-tanning and relaxing, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the beach bar (which also had a pool-bar built in!). It felt like we were at an all-inclusive without the ridiculous pricing of an all-inclusive.
After we had our fill of the sun and the sea, we headed back to the apartment to get all cleaned up and do another grocery run (as well as grab some alcohol) and we had a cozy night in with some Mario kart and lots of drinks, true to our vacation style living. I love us, I love how symbiotic we are when it comes to our travel habits, needs and wants, and I love how well we get along with each other as we live together in smaller spaces. He truly is such a perfect travel buddy and such a wonderful boyfriend.
My heart is so happy. I am so, so incredibly grateful to be here, to be doing what I love most on this earth. Travel fuels me, my heart yearns for it more than it does anything else in this world. But, I’m also happy that I’m happy exactly where I am when I am where I am, too. Did that make sense? Like when I’m home, I’m happy to be home, and I’m happy with everything I’m doing back home as well. Wherever I am, I am content. I am doing my best to make the best of wherever I find myself to be.
I think I captured more than enough lessons on facing fears and gratitude in this log, so I won’t reiterate any important lessons, aside from… stay fearless. Live as fearlessly as you can, and if you can’t do that at times, then live as courageously as you can.
Love always and in every way,