I visited my paradise once again…
But this time I had a different mindset. After visiting SE Asia last summer, Thailand and Cambodia, and noticing how much people (mostly Americans and Europeans) crave to go to those exotic places, I realize my country doesn’t have much to envy. Okay, we do not have elephants nor tigers, but nature is mostly the same in this side of the planet since we are in a similar latitude. Similar plants, beaches, rivers, mountains…there is so much opportunity in tourism we haven’t exploited yet…but that would be a topic for a different post and it is something I have been thinking about during these days.
I had many things in mind. The baggage I was taking with me to paradise was so different this year. I had a year full of new experiences; a bittersweet year. However, arriving to Puerto Rico brought so many memories and ignited the most invaluable emotions…I was no longer surrounded by expectations, obligations, deadlines. I was home and I felt an overwhelming peace and joy. Nature was caressing my senses. My senses were gratified by a million colors, smells of my past, the sounds that made me sleep when I was a child, the feeling of the sand beneath my feet. The power of nature itself when you go back home is outstanding. Moreover, spending time with your loved ones is invaluable. Just a hug or a kiss can make a change, can heal, and I needed to heal. I needed to find myself again.
I spent a weekend in Culebra with my friends from college. Made our way to Fajardo at 4am that Thursday, December 26th. We were afraid of not getting tickets to take the ferry due to high season, but we had no problem. The cost was $5.00 dollars (it includes bringing 1 bag with you), but we paid $6.00 dollars because each of us had an extra bag. We stayed at Hillbay View Villas, a small apartment for 8 people, but we were 11 and found our way to fit. 😛 The apartment included everything we needed: pillows, blankets, clean towels, dishes, pots and pans, utensils, etc. The view from the balcony was my favorite part…we could see a beautiful bay from which we could appreciate both the sunrise and sunset. We rented a Jeep and a golf cart to move around the island and enjoyed our time exploring beaches, snorkeling, dancing at Dinghy Dock and watching the most beautiful National Geographic type-starred skies. I still have not seen a prettier night sky than the ones I have seen in Culebra and Vieques. It also made me reflect about the fact that I can only see these stars in this side of the planet, which made me remember the stars I saw in Thailand and Cambodia that I keep in my book of memories. This weekend was memorable, and what made it memorable was of course the people and the island full of love for me.