When my passport finally arrived in the mail back in June, I was like a child on Christmas morning…beyond excited and filled with anticipation as I opened up the padded official looking envelope. My passport had arrived and I knew I had just moved to another level in my life.
Oh I know, “It’s just a passport,” says the seasoned traveler. I get it. But here’s my truth: It’s a GREAT BIG deal for me. I’m a true New York Bronx girl who rode the subways and buses all of her youth and into adulthood- going back and forth to school, work, shopping, visiting, etc. A Bronx girl who, despite having left years ago, stills feels more at home when I visit New York than anywhere else. I…ME…was about to embark on journeys that extended beyond my front yard, my neighborhood, immediate community, state and country. My United States Passport had been mailed to me – processed like so many others daily. For me, though, it was a key to unlock my dreams of days drenched in sunlight and salt water – the Caribbean.
I caressed my newfound freedom almost daily for the first week. I inhaled the smell of freshly pressed pages and allowed the aroma to conjure up images of oceans and sand in my mind. I stowed my new “key” safely among my most private and confidential “important documents.” I swear, there were times that I’d be sitting watching a movie or reading or even brushing my teeth…everyday mundane activities. Suddenly, I’d rush to my “important documents” and eyeball my passport…just to make sure it was still there! Can you tell that I’d was thrilled to have it? I was…I am.
For years, I’d been talking about going to a tropical place…lounging lazily on the beach daily…drinking some sort of exotic, potent mixed drink, staring out at the ocean! Oh, I’d spent lots of time on the beautiful beaches in Florida: American Beach in Fernandina Beach, Fl (Amelia Island), Cocoa Beach, FL, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville Beach, FL. However, that was the extent of it for me. I wanted more….and I got it. I was tired of talking about it. I knew I had to do it. Life is fragile.
My oldest daughter – Janelle – surprised me recently with a 4-day trip to beautiful Cancun, Mexico! What!! It was a birthday present for me…and wow…just wow! It took a while to sink in. Janelle is our family trip planner – she is skilled at negotiating all inclusive amenities, locking in dates, locating desirable destinations and making dreams come true. Not to mention that she is a becoming quite the seasoned traveler herself, along with my younger daughter, Melissa (who is, by the way, a new flight attendant). You see, Janelle and Melissa have both been traveling around the world for business and pleasure, for several years now. Oh, how I am filled with joy and pride when I think about that! But I am the novice traveler…the Bronx girl who’d never stepped foot out of the United States.
Well, Janelle made the reservations and all the arrangements. She sent me the itinerary, but honestly, I didn’t care, nor did I check it over. I trust her and simply planned to show up where and when I was told. And I did. We flew from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport into Miami and boarded a connecting flight to Cancun, Mexico! We landed in Cancun, went through customs and exited the airport to our awaiting transportation to our hotel.
As we waited to board the van to be whisked off to our hotel, I looked around in childlike wonder – I was here…I was in Mexico. We were greeted by a very polite and professional driver who spoke perfect English and delivered us safely to our beautiful hotel. The next four days were filled with white warm sand between my toes, a seabreeze that sang to my soul, the taste of salt on my lips from the ocean, my light skin has been kissed by the sun and is now a golden bronze which blatantly boasts to all that I’ve been somewhere warm and sunny! Damn skippy!
I have soaked in an outdoor jacuzzi, lounged like a privileged pampered princess by the crystal clear azure pools and embraced and coaxed God’s sun rays to saturate my body with Vitamin D and love. I have felt a tranquil abandonment that I’d never known, and I loved it. For the next four days, I did nothing except exactly what I wanted to do – which was lay on the beach, pool or jacuzzi – have the handsome and hard-working Mexican waiters take my drink orders and deliver them to me with a smile. I had lots of Pesos for tips – they earned them! For the next four days, Janelle and I talked, laughed, ate and soaked up Cancun. My only wish is that Melissa could have joined us, but she is a flight attendant and was busy flying the skies working – next time she’ll be with us. Simply put: It was the first time in my life that this Bronx girl has woke up and wasn’t on United States soil. What a rush that was!
I’m back home now – in Atlanta. I have to do the laundry and go grocery shopping. There is Cancun sand still in a couple of my bathing suits and I’m happy about that. I have to return to the usual things in my life. Well, that’s okay because I’m already thinking about my next trip …my next sun and sand filled, salty adventure…Jamaica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Barbados Virgin Islands, Spain or Cuba… who knows! But my passport will take me there!