I just returned from a fabulous cruise. It was my first and I had a blast. I think part of the reason my trip was so amazing was that I made the conscious decision to do some different things and go boldly outside of my comfort zone.
Normally, on a vacation, I rest, shop, maybe go out to a nightclub and do some sightseeing. Since this was my first cruise, I decided to make it a cruise of ‘first’ – or close to firsts. I am not afraid of heights but I’m not a big fan of them either. Nor, as a life-long non-swimmer, am I a big fan of water, but when looking at a list of activities to do in Key West, parasailing sounded like fun.
Another excursion that caught my eye was horseback riding. Now, I have ridden before, but not since summer day camp in the 3rd grade, so I counted that as a ‘first’ too – my first time on a horse as an adult!
The parasailing was an adventure. Out of all the people on the boat, only six of us signed up for it. And, all of us were women! There were two pairs of friends and Doris, another solo sailor. She and I paired up. When we got to the boat, there were six other people from another cruise ship that had docked. And our daring dozen set off.
It started with a beautiful and relaxing boat ride. Our guides were two handsome and charming men. They took us up two at a time. I won’t lie, watching people go from the end of the boat straight into the air with legs dangling, gave me a few moments of pause. Before we knew it, it was time for Doris and me to head up. With lifejacket on and harness secured, we were off!
Up in the air, it was truly magnificent – the water, the sky. It was quiet. There was a gentle breeze. And, any fear I had evaporated almost immediately. Doris and I agreed that it was definitely worth the cost of the excursion and then some. Our brief 10 minutes went by quickly and on the way down, they ‘dunked’ us in the water before they brought us in. Amazing!
The next day, it was horseback riding. Talk about fun. I convinced my sister and her friend, my step-mother, and my aunt and her husband to come with me. We were all outside of our comfort zones! My Aunt Linda - known for her impeccable make-up and hair, and flawless nails - had never ridden before, but she was up to the challenge. We rode for about two hours in the heat – laughing and joking as we listened to stories about the Mayans. It was truly a memorable experience.
Oh, and it wasn’t a first but I karaoked. Okay, I have done that before (twice actually) but it was the first time I’d ever sung anything in front of my family, outside of grade school choir. I sang on the first night and actually made it into the Talent Showcase we had on our last night aboard.
My trip was so much richer and so much more memorable because I took a few chances. I don’t think I’ll ever do a vacation, the ‘old’ way again. Now that I’ve gone outside of my normal zone, I’ll be looking for other opportunities to pull a Star Trek and boldly go where I haven’t gone before!