Life Stories


The world is way to big to change!  Instead, I bought a cruise package for two, and I did it on impulse!  My inner self screamed “do it! do it! do it!”.  So I did it.  The cruise takes us to The Bahamas.  Very radical but right in line with my nature.

What happened.

I got the opportunity.  Then I spoke to myself,

Look, gabriela, you’ve been working your ass off for two years and haven’t even left Ithaca, except to go to Austin where I just stayed at home so that doesn’t really count. WTF am I doing wasting my life away not going on adventures! Hello! This is not you!

Wake up call…

Once I bought the vacation I had to find someone to come with me, because it was for two.  Also, I had to find a way to pay for it…I don’t have a thousand dollars to just blow!  I work in a cafe, remember? And I’m not selling art (at the moment).

The person who decided to come with me is my awesome roommate, Tanja! Best decision she ever made in her life! And then guess what else happened? I discovered I could pay for it.  I worked overtime for six weeks back to back.  Remember when I thought working thirty-five hours was my max?  Well, I worked forty-five for six weeks in a row! And I didn’t die.  My social life ended up falling through some very wide cracks though.  Sorry guys!

So it finally came time to leave.  Tanja and I packed our bags, went to the Ithaca Airport, and caught our flight to Ft. Lauderdale.   Our ship would depart from West Palm Beach two days later.  Upon arriving and unpacking in our hotel, we went to check out the bars on the beach and had a nice time.  The next day we drove down to Miami and spent the entire day there.  We walked up and down the art deco district and Lincoln Rd. Mall.  We also walked up and down the strip on Miami Beach,  and went into a bar that someone had recommended to us–Mango’s Tropical Cafe.  The salsa dancers were amazing! More amazing–and what caught all the attention–was a 90ish year old woman rocking it! That lady could dance!

Finally completely exhausted, we drove back to our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.  The ship left the next day at 4pm, which gave us time to go swimming and lie in the sun a bit.  While Tanja lied on the beach, I went in for a long swim.  The ocean was amazing!  The waves were perfect for floating on your back, the clouds grayish and large and the skysrapers that lined the shore looked perfect.  I think I must have stayed swimming and floating on my back for 2 hours straight.  I couldn’t get enough!

Then it came time to board.  What a FUUUUUNN!! moment! There is no way I can express to anyone what it was like.  It felt like a portal to a different world.  In fact, it was.  But that world was all inside of me.  I had been yearning to be out at sea for such a long time!  Although it was a short trip to Freeport, to me it was way out to sea!  I stared at the ocean for hours with the wind blowing on my face.  The western horizon which was becoming smaller and smaller slowly hid the sun, while coloring the sky with every shade of pink and purple.  Then Tanja came to me.  Do you want some wine?  She had met some women who spoke her language! And they knew all about wine and what to get us.  Since they had hit it off so well, we got special deals & treatment.  We promised we wouldn’t tell or mention their names, so as to not get them in trouble.

The deck we sat on was on the west end of the boat, so we were able to smell the salty air and watch the last gleaming lights of Florida’s coast as we sailed into the night.  There were all kinds of crazy activities going on on all the 9 levels, but we were interested in only one–the comedy show.  It had us dying from laughter!  We finally decided to go to our shared cabin and get some rest.  I woke up just in time to feel the ships motors shift into break mode as the ship docked.  Outside our cabin window was another majestic cruise ship!  Sleepy headed, we got up to get coffee.   The 5th level had the best view and the best breakfast, so I hung out there while the crowds got off the boat.  As I watched the scenery, what impressed me the most was the water! It was so crystal-clear-turquoise-teel-blue!  Then I had all kinds of baby flash-backs, with where I had been, how hard it had been, and that this was my first real vacation.  It was so impactful that it made me cry!  Of course, I didn’t let anybody see.

Finally off the boat, we hitched a cheap ride to our super fancy resort.  It had its own beach and about 4 beachside pools with benches inside of them and bars along the side.  There was also a hot tub, tennis, volleyball and other things to keep tourists entertained.  Tanja and I made the best travelmates.  Neither of us wanted anything to do with that tourist crap!  In no time we were out meeting the locals and eating what they ate.  Then we met a tour guide who drove us around a whole day for $40.  He was so filled with information and history about the Bahamas, it was great.  Then he took us to an isolated beach where we could lie in the sun and swim in total privacy.  As Tanja walked up and down exploring, I decided to sit and meditate.  It was all I wanted to do at that moment!  Then I remembered that back at home there was a picture on my dream board of a black haired woman meditating on the beach.  I was doing it!  Of course i told Tanja, and I showed her when we got back home.  Day two at the Bahamas and our tour guide took us to see more local neighborhoods and a secret cove that stored a ship they said was used as The Black Pearl.

Day three was our departure day.  Back on the ship we sailed back to West Palm Beach, and drove to our following destination: Disney World.  We both chose the Magic Kingdom and did not regret it an ounce!  Luck was following us everywhere we went, and in the Magic Kindom, it began to rain so intensely that everyone evacuated en masse.  Only a few stragglers stayed behind in shelters, and Tanja and I were among them.  Soon the sky cleared, all the rides came back on and guess what? There were no lines!  We were like crazy children jumping on every ride and doing it again if we loved it!  It was so fun!

We boarded our planes the next day and flew to NYC.  We stayed 3 days there exploring everything!  Villages, Piers, Galleries, Food, Chinatown, Little Italy, you name it.  It was fantastic, and oh, so exhausting!

Finally back in Ithaca I felt like I was trying to land my flying saucer and but my spacecraft had a mind of its own and was too snobbish to touch earth.  Or it was like trying to force the liberated genie back into the bottle.  Instead of being high on vacation energy, I was straight pissed-off!  Fuck this bull-shit, un-magical reality!  On top of that my feet hurt for days.  When people asked how it went, I had to force the words because, truthfully? I was speechless.  It was so much more than a vacation.  It was a journey that ripped me and all my roots completely out of my comfort zone and planted me in different soil.  The vacation ended up costing much more than I had anticipating, and I was not about to hold back.  I let go and let myself soar!  Again, I found I was able to pay for it, and it was no big deal.  But the soaring changed me, and now that I’m back, I’m loving this new soil!  Leaves are starting to bud and my little flowers are stretching out their petals taking in the new rays of light.

I can get used to this.  Getting used to it already.

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