Friday, December 6, 2013

Cruise Recap & Manifesting Dreams

Cruise Recap & Manifesting Dreams

Hey there! I have been MIA from the blog & social media the past two weeks while my family, boyfriend & I went on an amazing cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas & the Dominican Republic. I haven't really blogged about anything personal so I thought this would be a great time to introduce myself more thoroughly and let you have a peak inside my world!

I started off this blog with the dreams of becoming a Naturopathic Physician. What was I thinking? School is NOT my thing, especially math and science. But hey, we can all dream.. right? I decided quickly that medical school was not the route for me. I don't need a lot of money. I dream of being self sufficient, catching rainwater, having solar panels, a huge garden, and living a modest, simple life. I have always dreamed of moving to the Caribbean and those thoughts got even stronger once I fell head over heels in love with The Friendly Island. But before we discuss manifesting dreams, let's recap my vacation, shall we?

This was my second cruise and my boyfriend, Zac's first. I love cruising as it is a great way to see multiple places in one trip. We took the Norwegian Gem out of NYC. The top deck had two pools, four hot tubs, a water slide, outdoor bar/buffet & more. 

Our first stop was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We walked around and shopped a bit as we were only in port for six hours. It was a great time, we went site seeing & I even bought some organic lotion! It came in handy after being in the Caribbean sun!

The second island we visited was St. Maarten. What a breath taking, beautiful island. It's no wonder why it's called "The Friendly Island" ~ we made so many friends! I found it interesting that St. Maarten is owned by two countries, the French & the Dutch. The Dutch actually spell St. Maarten as such and on the French side it is spelled as St. Martin. It is the smallest land mass divided in two countries, how cool!

Just before the above picture was taken, Zac's eyes lit up as he gasped at the beauty. The picture below is the view from the cruise ship. He was in love and so was I. We both felt an immediate connection to The Friendly Island. Could this one day be our home?

Our first stop on the island was to a perfumery and boutique called Tijon. My Mom had found it on and it was said to be the #1 rated non-water activity in St. Maarten, and let me tell you… it did not disappoint. Tijon is likely the only perfumery in the world that allows customers to create their own scent. My family of 8 had a private "Mix & Match" class where we were taught how to formulate perfumes. It was easily the most fun we had on the entire cruise and I definitely recommend checking them out if you ever visit St. Maarten!
Here is a picture of Zac & I in the laboratory creating our custom fragrances
 And here is my entire family (and Zac!) after completing the course, it was such a rewarding, fun & unique experience!
What made the trip to Tijon even more special was the fact that the owner, John, had written a book titled "A Beach Less Traveled" in which he explains the process of ditching the corporate chaos life for one of a flip flop islander. John and his wife Cyndi, were fantastic and answered every question we had. I purchased the book and can't put it down, it is so inspiring and motivating! They made the move from the USA also, which gives Zac and I the confidence that where there is a will there is a way. 
The second activity we did on St. Maarten was an obstacle course and zip line at Loterie Farms. I was extremely proud of myself for completing this course as I started having a panic attack when I reached the first obstacle. It was exhilarating to overcome my fears, not to mention it was a great workout and team building activity for Zac and I. 
Zac saw a monkey in the trees, I'm still a bit jealous that I didn't get to see!

Our third stop was to St. Thomas which was definitely more industrialized and "American" than St. Maarten. We went snorkeling and had a fantastic light lunch & delicious strawberry-banana daiquiris at a beach side restaurant
Our view was amazing ~
I could get used to the Caribbean weather. It rained a few times, however it was a warm refreshing rain which only lasted five minutes. I will personally take that any day over New England weather.

I ordered a garden salad with mango vinaigrette and it was to die for. I'm definitely going to be attempting to create a dressing like this!

St. Thomas had more of a "strip mall" commercialized shopped center rather than the small, quaint shops. Overall, it was a beautiful island filled with happy people.

I didn't obsess over eating completely clean or plant based. Vacations are a once in a lifetime experience and I was sure to enjoy the authentic foods many of the islands offered. I did however, fill up on fresh fruit from the buffet every morning. It was a great way to carb up and fuel myself for a busy day without feeling bloated or tired.

The last stop on our journey to the Caribbean was the Dominican Republic. We decided to go on the private island of Cayo Levantado. It was a lovely beach day filled with pina coladas served in pineapples! 

It was truly a beautiful and fun-filled vacation with my family. It opened my eyes to the real beauty in life. This trip also got me serious about moving to the Caribbean. My skin cleared up, Zac's asthma got much better, and the sunshine was fantastic. Coming back to the New England winter was more depressing than ever.

So.. what do I do? Follow societies guidelines, stay in college, get a degree in health science (along with boatloads of debt!) that is virtually useless in the Caribbean? Or do I follow my dream and become a waitress, save up money, and move much sooner. For me, the choice is clear. 
Zac is an electrician thus his trade can get him work virtually anywhere. Many islands, including St. Maarten, only accept outsiders to work if no islanders have the qualifications for the job. The electrical in St. Maarten could use help, and we were told that many electricians down there don't even have a license, never show up, and so on. My reliable man could make a great living down there.
As for me, there are many hospitality and serving jobs as St. Maarten is a big tourist island. I also plan to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach and personal trainer, with hopes of someday opening a wellness retreat in paradise.
 I want to catch my own rainwater, use solar panels, have a garden, and live a simple, self sufficient life. I don't want any cars, just a scooter and bike.
I know it won't be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

I can't wait to update you on our journey. It is definitely a few years off, but we are heading in the right direction!

Have you ever pursued a dream and followed your heart?


Jane said...

Ahhh seriously every picture and every line is better than the one before! I completely understand you guys wanting to up and move asap! I miss Hawaii and island life SO much. It seriously hurts thinking about because I want to move back so badly. Stupid husband's job! I am really excited to read more of your journey!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love your dream!
Your trip looks amazing! I haven't been to the Caribbean since I was pregnant with my first. I definitely miss the warm sun and tropical waters.

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