Ever since I took my inaugural trip abroad almost exactly three years ago, I have been itching to take more trips out of the country. While there is plenty in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that I have yet to see (and I am definitely planning to see as much of that as I can!), my travels to and in Australia really made me catch the international travel bug HARD.
The lessons I learned from experiencing a whole new culture, a whole new way of life, truly changed me. And I want to have as many of those experiences in my life as I can. Hence my ever-growing list of places I want to visit on my bucket list. (Although with all this unrest in Egypt, maybe I should remove that one from the list for a while!)
On Sunday, after much anticipation and planning and impatience, I will finally be adding another stamp to my passport! I will be traveling to Jamaica along with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my two-year-old nephew, and my best friend from college, Kim.
My parents first mentioned this idea in July. They told me to block out some vacation time in February. “Why?” I asked. “Because we have decided that since it will be a long time before you or your sister can afford to take a trip like this on your own, we would like to take you.”
Ummmm…OK! (I think the guilt trips we gave them when they went last year may have helped.)
Then they told me that I was welcome to invite a guest. As I have no significant other, I decided to invite Kim, who has been one of my nearest and dearest friends since we met freshman year of college. And hey, she’s pretty significant to me. And my family adores her. So she was the natural choice.
We’ve been counting down the days since the flights were booked…three months ago. 96 days was the first countdown message I sent to my traveling companions. And now, it’s TOMORROW! I am absolutely thrilled and I wasn’t sure it would ever get here.
I cannot wait to spend almost a week with my family and one of my best friends enjoying the beauty and the wonder of Jamaica. Granted, we’re doing it all-inclusive resort style, so it may not be the “real” Jamaica, but it’ll be wonderful nonetheless. We are making the trip to climb Dunns River Falls (watch the video linked there! are we crazy?!) and doing a dolphin touch excursion (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), so we’ll be seeing some amazing things for sure.
I am going to try to make the effort to see the Jamaican culture as much as possible and not get too sucked in to the resort lifestyle…although we’ll see how that turns out once I get a taste of those cocktails as I’m floating down the lazy river.
Regardless, I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing week and I can’t wait to get that oh-so-coveted second passport stamp after all this time! (I’m still bummed I couldn’t get a stamp in Sweden and Malaysia when I had layovers there on the way to Oz…)