Three weeks ago my mom and I went on a 5 day Celebrity cruise to Cozumel, Mexico on vacation. It was the best experience of my entire life. While walking around the boat on the first day, I was terrified that I wouldn't find any friends and I would have to spend the week attached to my mom's hip. However, God smiled down on me that night when a 16 year old, Naomi, introduced herself and asked if I wanted to check out the teen club with her. Of course I said yes, but when we went to the club there was no one there. While I was ready to give up and go hang out in my room, Naomi insisted that we wait. To my surprise, and delight, a huge group of teens showed up. I didn't know it at the time, but I was about to meet some of the most amazing people in the world.
Within just a few hours, we had split into groups; I was in the best one. 5 boys and 2 girls who immediately became inseparable. On the boat we had no cell phones or internet, so it was almost as if we were on our own little planet. From the moment we woke up to the second we passed out, all we wanted to do was be together. When we arrived in Mexico, we didn't even want to leave the boat. We had separated from reality and even our family members, so being back with them was a little unnerving.
While I thought Mexico was going to be a great adventure, it actually turned out to be a dud; I spent the entire day waiting to get back to the ship and be with my friends; We knew that our days of hanging out and dancing into the early morning were quickly coming to an end. It was, after all, only a 5 day trip. But we tried to forget about the pending separation and enjoy our time together.
On the last night, we hoped and prayed that we could somehow live on the boat forever; Never go back to school and never touch land again. But still we watched helplessly as we got closer and closer to shore. We stayed up practically all night and promised that we would all take another cruise together; We just couldn't say goodbye. At 6 a.m. we all met for breakfast, and the dread was starting to sink in. As we started dropping people off at their rooms, our beautiful group began to evaporate. I walked down the hallway with tears pouring down my cheeks. When I walked into my room, which had truly become my home, my mom was all packed and ready to leave. I tried to cry quietly so it wouldn't be annoying. I didn't think the tears would ever stop.
It's been a few weeks and the crying has subdued, although I'm not sure if the hurt will ever completely fade. We all keep in touch and it's great to talk to everyone, but it's painful knowing that things will never be how they were. Every once in a while I can forget that perfect week of my life, but when I fall asleep my dreams remind me of what I'm missing. I learned a lot about myself while I was gone but mostly I learned about life. You don't get to pick who sails with you; You aren't guaranteed anything, but sometimes, if you're lucky, God gives you a miracle and blesses your adventure, whether it be a journey lasting one week or ten years.
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