St. Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” With a full ignorant heart, I agree. Up until this past spring, I was only a single page reader. Growing up in the Upstate of South Carolina, the words “exotic lands” or even the thoughts of pursuing them were never typical or even rational. In my 17 years of existence the most “exotic” locale I’ve been to was the Biltmore House in Ashville, North Carolina. Not that the Biltmore house isn’t marvelous and exquisite, just knowing you’re 45 minutes from home, makes the trip ever less exciting. Furthermore, I must add, I have never been farther north than Tennessee. The farthest west I have been is Alabama. A virgin to the world abroad, I was. I yearned for more; however, the opportunity never presented itself until one fateful day when a friend asked me the ground breaking question, “Wanna go to Mexico?”
After combining all of my resources, I finally got the means to go. Next thing I knew I was on my way to my very first airport to get on my very first airplane. After going through my first rigorous security scan, I made my way onto the plane. What a marvelous machine it was. After four hours and 2 flight connections later, I was in Houston and boarding the bus which would take us to Galveston which we would then board the colossal cruise ship, “The Voyager of the Seas.” The moment I got through yet another security check and got checked into my room, I was terribly jetlagged. I slept right through our departure and when I woke up, we were cruising the Atlantic with nothing but pure water ahead of us. Our very first stop was about two days away and that stop happened to be Cozumel, followed by Roatan, Honduras, then it was off to Costa Maya.
Cozumel approached fast and the moment we got there, it physically hurt to keep myself from running off the boat. “My first time on foreign soil,” I thought. We took a guided tour through the city and visited quite a few elegant powdery sand beaches. Not to mention, I held my very first iguana in Cozumel. The shopping, however, is what stood out. The shopkeepers clearly value American business in the highest regard. Money is definitely meant to be spent in Mexico. In Roatan, the terrain was quite mountainous which differed drastically from Cozumel. Driving styles also differed quite dramatically from place to place as well, with Roatan having the most rabid drivers, at least by American standards. It was green and luscious. It was Costa Maya; however that had the most stunning beaches and the bluest water I’ve ever laid eyes on. In Costa Maya, we visited the Mayan ruins. It was beyond surreal to be standing upon such a plethora of history.
The entire week was filled with stunning scenery which I am incapable to explain in words. I was fascinated by the culture, the architecture, the geography, and the history. The culture was especially captivating, and yes, Mexican food is better in Mexico. The entire trip truly showed me that I have only seen one tiny corner of the universe. I broke ground in my life and in my travel career. Experiencing new things allows one to ponder, “What’s next?” This phenomenal excursion opened my eyes to the countless possibilities, and I simply cannot wait until my next venture, be it up state or overseas; I want to see it all!
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