A few nights ago I was asked what our families thought of our cruising lifestyle. As this was from another cruiser out of Dana Point who mentioned their family thought they were crazy for heading to Mexico; it started me thinking of how best to describe the general feelings associated with hanging on the hook in well-known and exotic sounding places like Puerto Vallarta, Espiritu Santo and Animas Slot! This analogy may tend towards the longish side but please stay with me.
Many of you have experienced a week at a resort in say… Puerto Vallarta. There to catch some sun and drink a few margaritas whilst trying to relax and rid yourself of the daily stresses of work and commuting and it usually goes something like this… Friday night you stay up much later than you should to finish your packing; deciding how many bathing suits to actually take, only to get up at O-Dark-30 to get to the airport for that 6 AM flight. “I’ll sleep on the airplane” you tell yourself. Famous last words for sure!
You finally arrive at the PV Airport where you stand in a long line of people waiting for Immigration to stamp your passport. You can almost smell the sea breezes! After you have your stamped passport securely in hand it is time to find your luggage with the 5 pairs of swim trunks and go through Customs! Oh what fun awaits you as you stare at the red light that means your luggage gets to be inspected by a 16 year old in a uniform? No one really knows what they are looking for but they look diligently through your luggage and leave you to repack as they move to the next person. By now, not only can you smell the margaritas but you can practically taste them as well! Next up is the timeshare and taxi gauntlet and finally, somehow, you are at your hotel; the check in line is only half as long as the Immigration line! Yahoo! A couple shots of tequila and you will be ready to par-tay!! At last, at last!!! You are in your room; you have checked out the all tile bathroom, the view from the balcony, and even opened your suitcase to start unpacking! “I think I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes…” and Saturday is now in the books.
Sunday you wake up refreshed and ready to work on your tan so off you go to find a sun lounger poolside. Your kindle is fully charged, you look great in your new swim suit and so with lotion in hand you wander down to that magnificent, gorgeous, aqua blue pool with the swim-up bar. In your mind is the beautiful, glossy picture from the brochure you posted on your wall at work that you have been staring at for months! The pool exceeds your expectations… except for all of the people that have already claimed every lounger from there to Punta de Mita! Oh well, maybe breakfast and the beach is a better idea! Where to go, where to go? You finally end up on the beach with a towel and a great view of the Mexican family from Guadalajara… all 15 of them! It must be time for a margarita by now! Sunday slips by while you are working to find that sweet spot and relax. Dinner in the hotel, the Welcome Party poolside and off to bed. Plenty of week left to enjoy!
Monday and Tuesday you finally get into the swing of things! Snorkeling, parasailing, boat rides to the islands, a few cervezas; even getting up early enough to scrounge a lounger poolside! Ticking off the items on your Mexico to-do list.
By Wednesday you are finally relaxed enough to enjoy practicing your spanish with the bartender; to check out the restaurants you have heard about from the folks that are now into their 2nd week at the resort. Maybe even a nightclub run and cantina crawl. Ahh, this is the life! Exactly what you have been waiting for; the opportunity to detox and be at one with your surroundings. That zen moment where all the pieces fit together so smoothly. You know where the best seat is in the cantina, where the best tacos are out on the street, which concierge to ask questions, how much a taxi should cost… Bienvenido a Mexico!! Let’s go get another margarita!
Thursday when you wake up, you realize it is only 2 more days before you need to head back to the airport and make that long trek home. Now it’s time to go souvenir shopping, get more sun so you don’t go back home looking pasty white, the sailing lessons might have to wait… oh nooooooooo!! There’s still too many margaritas to drink, more reefs that need to be snorkeled, and I need to get that cute chick’s email! Aaaaaargh! Only 2 more days!!! And before you know it the shuttle is there to take you to the airport where you will stand in line for a ticket, stand in line for security, stand in line to board the aircraft. That feeling I had on Wednesday has deserted me for reality. Now it’s, “where did I leave my car keys… heck, where did I leave my car? I’m going back to the daily grind. Oh woe is me…”
Does that sound like a typical vacation week? It vaguely looks like a getaway from my past; but what I want for you to take from that tongue-in-cheek look at a vacation is the Wednesday feelings of finally finding peace, being happy with where you are and what you are doing. A certain sense of familiarity but still tinged with vacation excitement. A day that exudes happiness and contentment. These are also the feelings from a cruising lifestyle; where most every day is a Wednesday! Days that allow one to slow down and enjoy the reds and oranges of a sunset, days where the entertainment is watching blue-footed boobies dive from the sky into the sea and then popping up a few feet away, opportunities to not only know where the best tacos are but to get to know the vendors themselves. Others see pelicans lined up on the pangas and pilings, I see a pelican that got a fish stuck on his beak and doing his best Elvis impersonation trying to remove it (which he eventually did). Dolphins! Need I say more?
Not every day is a Wednesday as there are a few Tuesday’s and Thursday’s thrown in; but fortunately many, many Wednesday’s! So, thank you for bearing with me in my long winded analogy and may your every day be a Wednesday!