I arrived in Freeport, Bahamas last Saturday night. After ten months of working full time (including 3 hours of commuting into the city each week day) and nearing the end of a cold, long, dark winter, it was definitely time for a much-needed break! Not to mention the extreme snow storm we experienced in the Edmonton area last Thursday, which resulted in a 100-car pile up on my route into the city and 300 people being rushed to the hospital. Luckily, I had driven in hours before the accident had occurred, however, the highway was closed for most of the day. It took me three and a half hours just to get home that evening, only to get stuck in my own driveway and then spending the next hour plowing myself out. You can imagine how much easier I was able to drive the distance and then plow the endless heavy snow with a contented smile on my face… Not only because I knew that it was the end of March and spring thaw was just around the corner… but because in just another day I was boarding a plane and heading to a tropical paradise.
Freeport has been a gift of warmth, humidity, intermittent sunshine (we’ve had some cloud), fresh seafood and a completely laid back attitude to life. I spent my first day here like most travelers, just reminding myself to RELAX and not OVER-PLAN, to STOP BEING IN SUCH A HURRY TO GET SOMEWHERE and to surrender and go completely with the flow. I deliberately did not pre-book any tours for this reason. The purpose of this trip was to rest, relax, play, explore, swim, walk, read, write, and generally take stock of my life- something I naturally do on most vacations.
Another personal reason for traveling is to experience an entirely new place and to appreciate a different way of being in the world. I love how small, yet interconnected I feel, especially when the local culture is different from my own. I love how much I can learn just by keeping myself open and watchful to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures around me.
It’s been a lovely time so far, here in Freeport, Bahamas. While enjoying the local culture and natural surroundings, I have plenty of time to contemplate and reflect on this previous year while making plans for the coming year ahead. One of these plans includes taking a leave from work at the end of June and then segueing into a consultant position where I can write from home full time. This is very exciting for me as this has been my main goal in life since I was in grade three- to be a successful full time writer (‘successful’ in the sense that it makes a living). It has only been in the last few years that I have finally had the courage to start making it happen (or perhaps it simply was just the right time to act on it), which is how I found myself at the cabin.
And so I express gratitude… for dreams coming true… for jobs that teach and push one purposefully onward… for vacations and the helpful distance away from home to gently examine one’s life from a new and different vantage point… for time away to rest and recharge… for salty sea air and new discoveries… for quiet balconies and delicious privacy… and for the kindness and affection of locals who remind me daily that we are all related.