IMG_1118On February 22, 2014, I embarked on my first cruise. The experience changed my life. I love to travel but had not gone on an adult vacation to that point. I'd had girl weekends here and there and super cool birthday/bachelorette weekends, but never an escape type vacation. The cruise meant disconnecting from my normal life (cell phone an wifi rates on the water are hefty!) and spending a week away, exploring new beaches (one of my fav activities in the world), eating great food, reading books I'd neglected and just unwinding. This trip also meant bonding with my family as the trip was to celebrate my sister's 21st birthday and was sponsored by my mom! This trip was amazing - relaxing, beautiful, exotic - but it changed my life in a different way. The month before the cruise I had a huge argument/disagreement with my mom and my sister. I had no desire to go around the corner with them, let alone leave the country with these two people that had hurt me so. My grandmother who knows how much I love to travel persuaded me to go. I was still mad but attempted to start getting my attitude together around the trip. I was a bit concerned about money-when I'm mad at folk I detest getting anything from them so I wanted to ensure my financial independence from my mom on the trip. The week before we were set to leave, I entered a contest on Instagram and won $250 - super random contest where all I had to do was share an inspiring quote. Maybe the day or so before the trip, I won $50 on a scratch off lottery ticket. I'd gotten $300 seemingly from no where to go on this trip. At this point, I figured the universe was conspiring on my behalf so I was more excited to go and the night before I was super anxious and excited, barely getting any sleep.

The day we were set to leave, I set an intention to have a peaceful trip  and asked that I can be more IMG_1177forgiving towards my mom and sister while on the water - after all I was going to be sharing a cabin with my sister and I didn't plan on throwing shade toward my mom for an entire week! I just wanted to go and relax and be happy. The cruise was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it - my fav part was parasailing in tandem with my sister. While we were miles above the boat we got lifted from, we proclaimed our intentions to the universe! Our adventures were numerous and I did feel more connected with both my mom and sister as we discussed life at dinner every night. It was again very awesome, but here's the life changing part:

The trip made me realize that the Universe is indeed working constantly on our behalf. One night on the cruise I decided to go get some lemonade alone in the middle of the night. As I walked on the deck where drinks were, I realized I was the alone, just me and the stars. I was surrounded by darkness all around me but I felt no fear (which is odd since I can be pretty scary). I felt calm and peaceful. In this great expanse of the ocean, I knew for a fact I'm never alone and that I'm always safe. I felt protected and surrounded by love. I felt like being there in that moment on that ship was a metaphor for life. I embraced it.

After the trip, life was still life. There were many ups and downs as the year continued to unfold. 2014 went on to be the year full of the most change in my world. And although I'd get scared and freak out as per usual, I'd think back to that night on the cruise often. That was the shift. I no longer wonder if things will work out. I know and believe I'm protected. Always in all ways. Since the trip, I'm closer to my mom and sister (even though we did have a physical altercation months later but I digress lol). That cruise, from the fact that it was provided as a gift to me by my mom and my spending money was taken care of by my winnings, was a blessing. It serves as a constant reminder the Universe will provide and that was one of the biggest lessons I learned in 2014.

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