Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.
A Family of a Different Kind
I love to travel. I Love the feeling you get from travel. There is nothing like waking up at four in the morning, jumping on a plane at eight, and too many hours and a sore bottom later, stepping off the ramp into another city. Or how about the long car trips? Snack foods galore, fighting over the radio station, and the scenery flying past so slowly you may lose your mind (if you do not lose the feeling in your legs first). Up until recently, my traveling experiences have consisted of both. In June of 2007, I experienced for the first time a cruise, a new form of travel that brought with it a new me.
This story starts with my mother. Since I could remember she had wanted to see Alaska. After considerable amounts of begging and negotiations made with the travel agency in town, all that was left to do was to wait for the ticket date to come. And when it finally did, I did not want the moments to pass.
From Denver we flew to Seattle, from Seattle to Anchorage. A short bus ride and much anticipation later, the humungous vessel lay before me, a giant play set for a wide-eyed girl. We boarded and the excitement had me trembling I could barely hold my camera still long enough to capture the occurrence.
From then on, I was unstoppable. I wanted to see everything, to do everything, to expel all my energy on fun. However, there was one part I was not looking forward to. Like a cage ready to trap me inside, I made my way to the teen room. Not knowing what I would find, who I would meet, whether they would be nice to me simply a blonde girl from Colorado, I stepped inside. In more than one way that one innocent step changed my life. Once I crossed the threshold, I became a different person and better for it.
The people I met were tremendous. I had never met such a great group of beings that were so quickly accepting of others. It did not matter where you were from, what you looked like, how smart you were, or how your background was; everyone was connected through the cruise and the ultimate quest for fun. It was such a relief to release all inhibitions and accept people for who they were, because even if you were not destined to be the best of friends, it did not matter for it was only a 10 day cruise. I have always been a reserved and shy girl when around strangers, but in that room my confidence peaked and for the first time in my life I became a leader not just a follower. I had observed that humans always want someone to follow; the cliquey girls always have the queen bee and the boys always have that one jock to admire. Now, for the first time, I became that girl. They wanted to know my opinions, do what I did, and treat me as someone worthwhile. I made life-long friends. Friends I still keep in touch with today.
I ended the trip in tears but found that my experiences were coming back with me to Colorado. Since this Family vacation I have honed my people skills and more importantly have risen from the shadows and can now lead in the spotlight. On this vacation I discovered a family of a different kind, and I know the skills they taught me will aide me often in the future.