We are drawn in by the descriptions that offer so many things we enjoy.
They read something like this: catamaran ride, snorkeling, reefs, beach time, swimming, clear blue waters, lunch.
And one final perk. "Beer and rum punch included."
Ah, the clincher.
What a nice package for the price, right? And once the drinks start flowing during a warm, sunny Caribbean day, you can't help but go with the flow. The music is playing; you're meeting new friends from all over the world while kicking back on the boat; and your worries from real life dissipate.
This has played out over and over for us during our travels. Mexico, Belize, Barbados, St. Kitts, Costa Rica, Colombia.
However, it really set in for me how fantastic it can be to just sit back, relax and enjoy life's wonderful moments during our outing in St. Maarten with Tours SXM by Out Island Charters.
I travel a lot and really enjoy it, but lately I found myself always considering all the photos and videos I should be taking, what story angle I should come up with for this blog and how can I make sure I post enough content to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter to stay relevant for you Loopers. This had been wearing on me a bit.
I suppose it can be like this for a lot of people with new blogs, but I never want to lose the joy from what I do. I don't want to succumb to burnout.
So, this particular morning on our catamaran sailing around St. Maarten was a revelation.
If we live in the moment and simply embrace our experiences with gusto, then life is all good.
We jumped in with both feet during our morning with Tours SXM, by the way.
The crew was so nice and really took care of us. The snorkeling stop was at a spot with a sunken boat and helicopter serving as artificial reef. The crew drummed up fish activity by chumming the waters with bread. I don't care for this too much because the mass of snorkelers all end up crowded in the same area and the water gets cloudy. But we had a pleasant snorkel anyways and just enjoyed cooling off in the water. Back onboard I was among a group recruited to hoist the mainsail (my protests and claims of a sore shoulder were ignored as I was coaxed from my comfy spot at the front of the boat on the trampoline).
We had been nursing rum punches and waters during the morning, but we switched to Presidente beers -- with a Champagne toast mixed in -- for the ride back. Yes, this is ultimately a story about a good Caribbean morning buzz.
These types of experiences always seem to sneak up on us (and require an afternoon nap upon our return to the cruise ship). They also end up being some of our most memorable and fun times -- reminding me just when I needed it the most that travel is meant to be a series of smiles and laughs with fabulous like-minded people from around the world.
Thanks for reading, and always travel happy!