In thinking how to write about what I feel were some valuable messages I gained on a recent vacation, I just cannot think how to write them in the form of a blog with tips. It really is more of a short story that you can take your own messages from.
I cannot count how many times on this cruise ship that I was asked, from crew members and fellow passengers, if I was alone. It was usually when I was joining a table of others, or choosing to sit by myself for a meal. It didn’t bother me. The more I was asked, the more proudly I responded, “Why yes I am.”
For the past six years, I have been traveling solo on my birthday to rejuvenate and reconnect with myself. It’s the best feeling I’ve found yet to, “get away from it all”. I get to meet like-minded people doing the same activities, usually have a lot of laughs, do something I’ve never done before that scares me, and hear a lot of interesting stories about people’s lives.
There were so many different languages from so many on this ship I was on. I lost count of all the different accents and languages. But, the most inspiring story came from an older couple that do not live too far away in Florida.
There was an orchestra playing that night. There was an empty chair off to the side, in front, where you could sit and enjoy people from nine different countries playing together. I asked the couple if the seat next to them was taken. They were very gracious from the start.
She was dressed in a black flapper-style dress. He in dress pants and a short-sleeved, patterned dress shirt. They told me they go on this ship all the time because they love it. They choose not to get off of the ship at the different ports.
They got up and danced more than once. They had met at a place where there was dancing because they both loved that. She went to that place one night with a friend from work. Her friend and her had differing personalities. Her friend had propositioned her now husband to go home with her. He had exclaimed, “I don’t think so.” He asked for his now wife’s number because she was shy, and he much preferred that.
They were sweet, funny and pleasant. They were a joy to meet. I met them after a stormy day at sea watching Casablanca in the theater, so I guess this day had a theme.
How many times do we get out of our day-to-day element to meet people that we can connect with, and learn a lesson or two from? If only to hear their story, and have lessons both learned and reaffirmed, my trip was well worth it.
This wasn’tt the first cruise I went on where an older couple dancing up a storm taught me a lesson and affected my choices. I was in a dance club area on a ship years ago and saw an older couple dancing. I said to myself, that’s how I wanted to be when I was older.
At that time, I was dating someone who really didn’t fit me. He was a good person, but not the right person for me. I broke up with him the second I got home.
I learned that I couldn’t settle for less than what I wanted to find. I wanted something from someone that added to my life, where we both brought out the parts of each other that could grow bigger. Dating that person reaffirmeed to me that I just cannot settle. He found someone who fit him better, and is married with children now.
I also had something reaffirmed to me that I say all the time: When you see someone doing something that you don’t like, it’s not for you, or bothers you, try saying to yourself, “I can learn something from everyone I meet, even if it’s how I don’t want to be.” There was also plenty to see from the many people on the ship of how I didn’t want to be. That’s okay. Everyone is free to live their lives in their own way.
I learned from people from different countries that they have the same struggles we do today in the, “States”. I heard stories from crew members of incidents worse than what I saw involving passengers on this trip. It was like when an Uber driver tells you the story of all the passengers they’ve had before you.
The ship was a social microcosm of what it would be like if we all could come together in one place and do nothing but enjoy each other’s company. It was a small moment in time in our lives that could teach us many lessons—if we paid attention to them.
Getting away from it all can be refreshing and reaffirming. So no, it didn’t bother me that I was alone. I was reminded of things I liked, what I was like, and what I wanted to get back to.
I’m happy that I live my life in my own way. I feel we all could benefit from being true to ourselves. Someday, I hope to be an older lady dancing away, being glad to know that I lived! Of course, it’s always good to come home again, and that exactly why I left.
If this story inspired you, please feel free to share it with someone else; or reach out here if you feel you could benefit from working on your own affirmations.
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