Making the Best Out of A Poor Travel Experience
When you look at social media feeds of people who visit the Caribbean, you'll see beautiful images of the beach, the sand, and sunsets. This was not even close to what we experienced on our vacation to the Bahamas at an all-inclusive resort.
In October of 2012, my ever so gracious mother decided to take me on vacation to the Bahamas. I have never been on a flight, and not on a vacation that covered that amount of distance. If I were to describe it in one word, it would be INCREDIBLE! The water was clear and refreshing, the temperature was hot, and the food was very good.
But...Have you heard of Sandy? Yes, the Hurricane Sandy.
There was a tropical storm system coming in, which would eventually become Hurricane Sandy. Initially, my mother and I thought it was a joke. Her name is Sandy? We thought her friends on Facebook were just making fun of her, but no, it happened to be a severe storm that caused massive damage to areas as far north as New York city. Although storms are very common in the Caribbean, we didn't expect it happening on our trip. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Bahamas, ripped off roofs and flooded streets. It caused major destruction along its path.
Of course, we're alive.
The resort we stayed at was highly prepared and we were very impressed; though it was still eerie to see windows boarded up and all outdoor furniture was heavily damaged. The resort was adjacent to the luxurious Atlantis resort, which gave us the chance to tour it as well. As a teenager, there were events there that I wasn't particularly interested in (all the shopping) or could not partake in (the casino) but the aquarium there was a sight to see that would not have been on our minds if not for the storm.
Finally, my mother and I were able to dine at all of the available restaurants because of the extra day and didn't have to choose one to leave out. All the restaurants looked great, so I was very pleased that I did not have to lose out on that potential experience. To no surprise, the final restaurant had quality, high-end cuisine and we were not disappointed. Having said that, I couldn't help but think if there was one of the restaurants we should have gone to twice. Regardless, the food was still spectacular.
Hurricane Sandy defeated the whole purpose of our vacation. At least, it also allowed my mother and I to have different experiences and taught us to treasure our lives more. The lockdown provided us with the opportunity to think creatively. We managed to socialize and made friends with other tourists. Gladly, we still stay in touch and virtually meet up on occasion to re-tell the story. I guess it's right, you don't bond over pleasant; you bond over pain, awkwardness, difficulties and discomfort.
Although the experience was different from what we had planned, being able to socialize and connect with people from all over added to the quality of our trip. There is no such thing as a 'ruined' vacation; the better word to use would be 'altered.' For what it's worth, my experience with an 'altered' vacation allowed me to share that experience with you.
Travelling, as with most things in life, is best experienced when viewing it with an optimist mindset and trying to create the best out of all situations, good or bad. You either tell people about the pleasant time you had at the beach or how you survived a bad trip.
- Evan Zinger