The last month has more than likely been the busiest travel month of my life.
For starters, Sarah and I are married! We managed to fit a wedding and honeymoon in the West Indies into our odd lives.
We were officially wed on May 10th on the beautiful island nation of Barbados by the hilarious Rev. Holder.
Every single person we met in Barbados was warm, welcoming, and went out of their way to make us feel at home. We stayed at a resort, so this is to be expected to some extent.
However, I’m not sure the resort itself had that much to do with the wonderful people of Barbados itself. You can only fake being friendly to such an extent.
There have been many places we have been at ‘home’ where such high service could honestly be expected, but falls far short of expectations.
Everyone from the taxi drivers, the bellmen, bar tenders, and even people at the airport wanted to engage in full conversations.
Much of the same applied in Saint Lucia! Although a major difference that I personally noticed was the temperment. People in Barbados were very relaxed, and smiled almost all the time.
Our two taxi drivers in St Lucia were quite conversational but a bit more direct, if you can visualize this.
“Put your wallet in your front pocket! It is falling out and you are going to lose it. That’s how you lose things, when you put them in your back pocket!”
My Saint Lucia taxi driver shouted this at me on the way to the airport. He had just pulled over unannounced to allow me to take a photo of the incredible valley near the coast.
I can’t help but think this would not happen in many places I’ve been. Particularly in the most relaxed places, even in Florida. Trying to directly tell someone what to do is met with a twisted confused face in many interactions.
People are just too relaxed to even shout out at someone for a small issue such as this. Many people would not even think of this!
Anyways, subtle personal interaction differences are actually indicative of cultural differences! Social norms and rules vary from country to country, island to island, and even city to city. This is the best experience of travel.
There was a bit of an open window for me to fly down to Montevideo for the week, so against better judgement I took the trip and bused around the beautiful and tranquil country of Uruguay!
The first segment of the trip was in Punta Del Este, or La Barra more specifically.
The area was QUIET. In fact, the best way I can convey it quickly is….a Spanish version of rural Iowa with a large beautiful coastline.
It was (and still is) the offseason, so I was one of the very few souls around everywhere I went.
The hostel I stayed at was basic yet excellent, and very quiet. I slept better than I had in many months, removed from the noise and light pollution of lively New Orleans.
Both nights I laid out in the hammock and listened to the many nearby crickets and far away dogs barking to each other while reading. The gibbous moon was overhead, and appeared to be upside down from the Northern Hemisphere!
Later on in Colonia Del Sacramento, I met what may be the most interesting man in the world. Of course, if you are willing to listen, most people are pretty interesting!
More on Uruguay later…
So, I returned to the US from Uruguay, and flew back into Pensacola where I had began this trip.
A trip to Florida was needed in order for me to provide fingerprints for my real estate license, and so this trip was tied into a single package.
Not the actual North Pole! The town of North Pole, Alaska. The two guys that picked me up from the airport in Fairbanks drove the wrong way for almost 20 miles and we ended up on the outskirts of town. That’s pretty much par for the course there, eh?
I have just begun an awesome seasonal job in McKinley Park, Alaska. More locally it is known as “The Canyon”, or the small village of lodges and restaurants immediately outside the entrance to Denali National Park.
Within 24 hours of arriving here, I had my first minor bear encounter. To be continued.
Slow Down the Earth’s Spin
I needed to get all this out for now before I forgot about everything that’s happened in the last 3 weeks.
Quite honestly I’m hoping for an extended period of boredom and monotony so I can recollect all of the adventures the world has thrown in my face recently. It would also be nice to get the finances in better shape!
I have barely even looked through my Mardi Gras photos from early March….
Where has life led you recently? Are you in the game or sitting on the sidelines?