Monday, July 28, 2008
St. Maarten is For the Lover in You
Writers are spoiled individuals. Especially travel writers.
We get these unsolicited invitations to go to exotic destinations, on someone else's dime, to explore, indulge and be pampered. I mean how many people get to go to a Caribbean island for 5 days only to sip fine spirits, soak in the sun, eat good ass food and tan on an 80 ft sailboat?
Not many, I suspect. And yet somehow we seem to find a reason to complain and whine. It's amazing.
I'm not exempt.
Take my last trip. An indulgence and decadence tour to the beautiful French and Dutch island. 6 journalists were promised spa treatments, gourmet dinners, uber chic accommodations and deep water excursions. I'm fine with all that. I signed up for everything, of course.
But I didn't get the spa treatment. And neither did C or A. Someone pitched a fit and ultimately we got it. But not before the chick from OC (that would be Orange County) bitched about wanting to frolick at the beach even though we were on a tight schedule. Or that she didn't want to join us for dinner on the 1st night.
Drama ensued. And individual complaints were coming 90 mph.
You'd think the trip was doomed to hell. 8 am lobby calls started our day. Jump on the bus and instantly fight off the urge to scream out what WE want to do. Not what's on the itinerary. NOT! Oh my goodness, this was a great treatment for a reality show. A beautiful gay man I dubbed "Hollywood", a buff spiritualist, a feminist, a ganja queen, the OC brat and me! This cast simply did not have to audition.
We quickly formed an alliance, put our issues at bay and decided to make the best of an otherwise potentially boat wreck of a tour.
We gossiped about John Travolta and Will Smith. It was confirmed the Mr. likes to swing. I was so disappointed. We found a free phone for calls to the U.S. YES!!! Or how about the conning of the hotel staff into giving us free wi-fi during our entire stay.
I have to remember I'm on a beach, far far away from Atlanta. I'm doing things I would not have money to do otherwise. Like scuba-diving. I've snorkeled pretty far down, but nothing like swimming to the abyss of the sea. It was extraordinary. My personal guide revived me after a temporary anxiety attack underwater. I had to have his email.
(since I wrote this, the scuba guide has made contact with me!)
A 32-course zip line was challenging, but fun as hell. I felt like a cute female monkey trying to get through the mango infested jungle. I didn't eat any.
Quick market trips always make me happy, but there's nothing like talking to the native people. They're so insightful and offer me a renewed reason to appreciate all I have stateside. I'm not a materialistic whore that has to have the latest status bag, but I do love a sexy shoe. They remind me it's not about that what's on my heel. I'm mostly barefoot during my stay, anyway. And it feels good. I see it's about basking in the sun, eating good food, brushing sand off your toes and watching an elderly wise one look at you with glowing eyes that tell a painful or joyful story of a beautiful life.
I fell in love in St. Maarten.
With me and all that's within my spirit.