To Travel is to Live

 “To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.”
           Tenzing Norgay
    You just landed at your final destination.  Departing the plane you can feel the difference in the weather immediately.  There is no doubt you are in a tropical paradise.  You can see the palm tree leaves rustling from the gentle trade winds.  You can see the happiness in everyone’s eyes as they make their way to transportation to take them to the resort they have chosen to spend the next few days enjoying.  For the next few days you have the opportunity to experience and learn.  After all this is the most important reason you took the trip.  You decided to travel so you could experience and live life.
     Now that you have arrived you get your luggage and flag down transportation to take you to your resort.  You are going to stay at a wonderful resort.  The resort is huge.  It’s not just one building it is an actual campus.  You could easily get lost in it.  It has several towers, an underground aquarium, a dolphin cove where you can swim with the dolphins, a beautiful beach, numerous pools, a lazy river, a huge casino and too many restaurants to count.  This resort is a dream resort.  However, it is made for tourists.  It is made to make you feel comfort away from home.  Other than the employees it doesn’t represent the culture of the actual island you have just landed on.
     Because you have come to experience and learn you decide instead of hanging out at the resort your first day you will venture out and experience the local culture.  When you road over in your taxi you had a great conversation with the driver.  You ask him for suggestions on a good place to eat and he tells you to go to the place called the Fish Fry.  When you come downstairs from dropping your bags you ask the bellhop for a good suggestion on where to eat and they too recommend the Fish Fry.  So your decision is made.  You are headed to the Fish Fry.  On your way to the Fish Fry to are informed that the streets will be blocked in several places today because of a parade.  This is a pleasant surprise because it’s another opportunity to experience the local culture.
     You ask more questions and you find out you have arrived during the Junkanoo Carnival Festival.  You’ve never experienced Carnival before and because you decided to venture out you will get your chance to do so.  You are dropped off as close as you can get to the Fish Fry and you learn the parade will be coming through in a few hours.  This gives you plenty of time to eat, have a local beer and get ready to watch the parade.  You order something off the local menu and it ends up being a great meal.  It’s great because it’s not something you can get on the menu in the resort.  It is fresh conch, lobster and fish that were all caught that day.  It’s seasoned with the local seasoning.  It is truly an authentic dish.  You’ve just experienced something you can’t get at home.  There are wonderful restaurant choices on the resort but most of them can be experienced in the closest big city back at home.
     While waiting for the parade you meet some local people, some tourist who are visiting from one of the 4 cruise ships that’s docked at the port and a guy who actually lives in the same metropolitan area as you do.  He tells you the story of how he missed his cruise departure out of Miami so he flew there to meet his cruise ship when it docks tomorrow.  The local people tell you about a concert that is going to be held tonight starting at 10 pm and going until 7 am tomorrowmorning. You are once again excited because of this new opportunity for fun.  As the parade finally arrives you watch it with your new friends and it doesn’t disappoint.  The costumes are full of bright and vivid colors.  There are seas of orange, red, green and blue.  The floats are blasting local music and the energy is amazing.  This is something that you will never forget.
     After the parade you grab another taxi and your experience continues.  There was a local man who asks if he can also ride in your taxi.  He needs to get dropped off in a local neighborhood that’s a little bit off route.  You are in a great mood so you agree.  You end up having a great conversation with both the driver and this random person you’ve decided to let share your taxi.  The three of you talk about how some people just don’t want to improve even though they have the ability to do so.  This kind of conversation is right up your ally because you love to help people achieve their own inner potential.  The taxi driver tells you the one thing his father always said; “People are going to do one of two things.  They will either lie or tell the truth.  It is your responsibility to have to the knowledge to know which one they are doing.”  He wishes more of his people would work to get that knowledge.  He is very passionate and it makes for great conversation.
     After dropping off the other person the driver asks if you want a tour of the neighborhood.  You of course say yes.  This is another opportunity to experience.  The driver then takes you around and shows you the home of the former Associate Prime Minister.  He tells you how she’s help send many people to college in the US and how she decided not to move out of the neighborhood so she could be with her people.  He tells you about the election that is coming up later in the week and how important it is the country.  It is a very interesting discussion to learn about the elections of another country and comparing it to the elections you experience at home.  He takes you by a famous artist’s home who now resided in New York City.  He then takes you by a famous aviation pilot’s home who spent time flying in the Middle East and is now on the Aviation Board for the country.  He explains how he’s help several other people become pilots as well.  You really enjoyed this added tour and great conversation. 
     You eventually make it back to the resort.  You really had a great day.  For the next few days you enjoy your resort.  After all you are paying for the resort so you should enjoy it as much as possible.  However venturing out to experience the local culture is something you will never forget.  Now that you are back at the resort you can eat at one of the great restaurants.  You can sit at one of the bars, have a drink and meet some new people.  You can visit the casino and maybe play a few games.  These are all wonderful experiences as well.  Yet they are the safe route.  It is possible you will have a great experience but it will be hard to be as memorable as your time spent with the local culture.  Venturing out gave you the opportunity to experience things you may never get to experience again.  Venturing out gave you the opportunity to travel, experience and learn.   You now feel more alive than ever.  You are smiling from ear to ear.  You enjoyed it so much you decide to write about it and share it with the masses.  The next time you travel you will make sure to venture out so you can continue to get the most out of your travel.  This trip was a great reminder of how fun it is to live life.  We are all looking forward to hearing about your next trip.  There’s no doubt you will have a story to tell.  As always I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.
With gratitude,

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