In the spring of 2012, my junior year of high school, I had the pleasure to go on a Royal Caribbean cruse to the Bahamas. It was for four sun filled days spent out near the beautiful clear ocean and three nights bursting with laughter and spontaneous singing. On our cruise we were able to visit a small private island used as a stop for the ship so the passengers could enjoy the white sand beaches with chair and hammocks a plenty to bask in the sun. Or maybe take a dip in the clear blue water to look for shells in pink, bright orange, soft yellow and pure white. Or gaze at the exotic ocean wildlife. Which included some scary fish that looked like they might try and eat you, and for being only about a foot long, it was still fearsome. While my family had been their before we had not taken time to thoroughly explore the island. And walking along at the waters edge we turned around and bend and had miles of ocean front great our bewildered eyes. We then proceeded to walk this newly discovered corner of the once thought familiar island and drank in all we could see. One of my favorite and one of the scariest parts of out journey was the straw market.
The straw market is a market place where you can get many different types of local crafts, such a jewelry, baskets, toy and fans. I am very nervous and awkward around new people and places, and I have very little experience in bargaining. So I usually like to pay the price on the sticker and stay in the corner and be as polite as I can be so as not to travel outside my comfort zone and possible say something unintelligible and make a fool of myself. However I was on a hunt for shell jewelry. As I bartered men and women on their prices to get the prices I was willing to pay. I went home that evening with five bracelets for twenty-five dollars, and an understanding that these people are not so objective to being haggled and joked with.
We are all human and we all want to be happy, to be loved and to love, and to be able to work, to play and to live. And that one silly action will not be the end of your life. It might be a little embarrassing, but making mistakes and gaining experience while doing so is how we improve ourselves. So I was able to shake off a bit of my awkwardness and proceeded to climb aboard a boat that would take us to a reef where we would be able to snorkel and see the native aquatic life closer and see more variety then on the beach the previous day. While anchoring the man said if we were brave enough we could jump over the side of the boat. This was the aquatic version of a British double decker bus, with my new found comfort zone I jumped into the turquoise waters below. Only to find out later the man meant the lower level of the boat. I thankfully did not hit anyone and gained a great story to add to my memories. My family arrived back at the ship tired and sun kissed, and me happy to be able to open up myself a bit more, with the understanding that I was not perfect and that I would make mistakes and have problems. Getting past those is what you help me become a better person.
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