• Cruising Cocoa

Feelings Caught, No Flights, Now What?

“Catch flights, not feelings!” Isn’t that how the old - well, relatively new - saying goes?

I’ve spent the last five years building a steady relationship with travel. I’ve been dutifully collecting those stamps. It has been 222 days and counting since I left the country, with no trips booked in sight. Of course with a global pandemic among us, it’s for my own safety. But I do miss having an adventure lined up to look forward too. Check on your travel junkie friends, we aren’t okay! After graduating from high school, I began dancing to the beat of my own drum - so to speak. I did whatever I wanted and went wherever the wind blew me. I was in my early twenties, this is usually a crucial time for making memories with your best pals before adulthood really kicked in.

My social circles at the time were making different moves than I was and it seemed like we all had varying goals. That's when I was faced with a decision to make. Did I stay with my friends? Or venture off on this new journey? If you know me, you know I like excitement. So it was a clear choice - new journey, here I come!

It was August 2015 when I got bit by the travel bug. [Travel bug; a strong desire to travel. To be bitten by the travel bug - a way to say when someone begins to want to travel. After the "bug" bites you, you will really want to travel. to wander- to go from one place to another without any definite plans].

I got a job working as a retail sales associate onboard a cruise ship on a six month contract. We sailed through Spain, France and a few other countries within Europe. Then Mexico, the Bahamas and off we went throughout the Caribbean. Having studied Hospitality and Tourism Administration in school, I had an idea of what the world had to offer, but boy was I in for an even better surprise.

What I crave most from my travel experiences is education. There is always something to learn wherever I go. From cultural wisdoms to what the locals do to have a good time or where the spots with the best views - knowledge is everywhere. What satisfied me most about travelling was the sense of growth that I felt after visiting every destination. I was adding tools to my life’s toolkit. But throughout this pandemic, I’ve realized that maybe the passion for catching flights was part of an excuse to not catch feelings.

I came back from my first contract out at sea feeling left out. Everything had changed from my household to my social circle. All the memories had been made in my groups, life really went on - it just went on without me. I learned that FOMO is a very real thing, even when you’re living the dream out at sea.

After three months of being home, I left again for my second contract for another six months. I didn’t like feeling out of place in an environment that I once had a place in. That was really hard for me to deal with, so off I went. Being uncomfortable in a new environment made me feel like Dora the Explorer. If you’ve ever watched the show, you can just feel Dora’s excitement about whatever adventure she was about to take on for the day. It’s that feeling of having something to look forward to - it’s so exhilarating.

Feeling uncomfortable at home terrified me. It’s something I’ve been running from ever since. But being home for the last several months, I’ve been forced to face what my life has become - and I’m finally beginning to enjoy it. I’m exploring my spirituality, loving my own company and the things I can do with all the free time on my hands.

So what’s next? Sure - I have some travel ideas up my sleeve. Even amidst the madness of the pandemic, I haven’t been turned off of travelling - simply because I thoroughly enjoy it. A YouTube channel might even be in the works.

Keep an eye out and…keep Cruising with Cocoa :)

Much thanks to Custom2Fly for my custom waist bag. Check her out for your travel accessories. They take your image, and turn it into a drawing! Custom2Fly products can be used for work, school and even going to the gym. 

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