What better way to start the new year than to travel?
Before this trip, I don’t think I’ve ever been on vacation in the first month of the year (apart from having winter break seep into the first few days of January). However, it’s definitely something I’d like to continue doing. I was able to relax and have fun, but I was also motivated to come back home and turn my positive energy into actions.
My sister and I joined my mom’s dear friend Hayley, who is absolutely precious and equivalent to a second mother, and her awesome family on a five day cruise. We left from Jacksonville, Florida and then stopped in Freeport, Nassau, and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.
The first day on land was in Nassau. Both the whole first day sailing and the day in Nassau had rather gloomy weather, but we didn’t let that stop us from having fun. When we got off the ship we were surrounded by an assortment of stores selling a bunch of different souvenirs. Some of us decided we wanted to explore a little further so we took a van to a larger market square area and bargained with some of the locals for better deals. I didn’t end up buying much, which might have seemed very odd a few years ago, but I’m really trying not to buy things that I don’t need or really, true love.
The second day was in Nassau. Oh, beautiful Nassau! The sun finally came out and made the most clear and magnificent blue water even more magical. Most of us decided to do a snorkeling excursion and so we got off the boat early and loaded onto a smaller boat that took us out somewhere in the ocean, about thirty minutes away, and stopped to let us swim around and look at the coral reef below us. Now, I have never actually ben snorkeling before. I have used snorkeling gear maybe four times in my life and have always hated it because breathing underwater, whether with proper gear or not, seems highly unnatural and kind of freaks me out. But hey, I figured being a grown adult now I could put my fears aside, and I did! In pretty freezing cold water, each of us plopped into the sea. After a slight panic and multiple efforts to get the hang of breathing normally through the snorkel, I let myself drift away with my life jacket and enjoyed the fish, different sea plants, and even some small manta rays pass by a few feet below me.
The last day was in Half Moon Cay. As opposed to the other stops, this one was right on a beach with loads of soft sand and translucent waters. While the sun continued to shine, the water was just as cold as the day before, but I sucked it up and enjoyed being able to swim without worrying about a shark sneaking up on me. A buffet was served right on the island and I enjoyed listening to tropical music and watching games and competitions take place. One competition involved a hairy man contest where we watched older men do their sexy run into the water and then do their best dance moves. It was entertaining to say the least.
I am forever grateful to Hayley for bringing my sister and I along on the cruise. I’d like to go back to the Bahamas one day and experience more of the many beautiful islands it has to offer.