Maps

Maps take us to wherever we want to go. I for one cannot read one for beans, but I am a bit of an expert when it comes to Google Maps. Not such a fan of Waze, since I have found myself in areas where I pray that it doesn’t stop working!

Recently I was on a boat for a week, where using navigation is crucial. One slip and you can end up on death rock. But we had a trusty Captain and an amazing first mate. I am speaking of my sister and her husband. Their daughter is quite the sailor as well. I admit, I was useless.

I did my part the best I could, making meals, cleaning up, etc. and even managed to keep my room neat, but the first day we were under sail I got sea sick, when I made a lofty attempt to get us all a drink.

The wave of heat hit me in the face like a Mack truck, when I stumbled in the galley to find a lime to cut to put into our Caribe beers. How ambitious was that? I managed, but then came outside and stumbled over to the perch where I remained for two hours, dipping crackers into tuna salad and eating olives. Salt! Must have salt!

I finally came to when we landed in Maho bay and I saw beautiful sea turtles swimming all around the boat. The water, the company, the sunsets and sunrises were nothing short of perfect.

But I’ll never do it again! Never!

I’ve done a few of these sailing trips. I always say I will never do them again and then yet somehow I find myself back on them. I don’t know if it is the adventurer in me or the one who forgets simple details…like how much I hate sailing.

And this boat was tricked out! I was on a yacht with air conditioning. I had my own bedroom, my own bathroom and unfortunately, my own mishegas to deal with.

Rocking back and forth on a boat isn’t fun. Nor is anchoring. Neither is showering with soap running in your eyes because you have to watch how much water you use. I am still exhausted from all that sun (I am really pale naturally), got blisters on my lips because the vanity in me likes a splash of color instead of SPF, have little cuts on my toes from random boat bites, got stung by a bee who decided to take a ride on our dinghy along with me and felt dizzy for 4 days when I came home because I was still rocking from being on the boat.

Did I mention the locals were’t too friendly due to Covid? Most places were closed and despite all that, I gained at least 8 pounds! I don’t know about you, but I was in pretty great shape before Covid. Now…eh.

I was never so happy to reach my return date and didn’t even mind taking the puddle jumper from St Thomas to Puerto Rico!

As I watched the pilot follow the map on his dashboard (I was in the co-pilot seat), I wondered how many times he had taken that flight. He probably didn’t even need a map, yet he followed it anyway.

It made me think about our intentions of going one place and sometimes ending up going elsewhere. It is the only time that a map; one that is not written down, seemingly fails us.

We have no problem following one on radar, paper or otherwise, but when it comes to life and making decisions, sometimes our map steers us off course and we wind up taking a circuitous route to where we really want to be.

We think we want one thing, so we go in that direction and then life gets in the way. It has its own plan. We make other plans, follow other maps and still we wonder how we got where we are.

But its actually so simple. Most of us do not follow our internal map or guidance. We follow our ego instead, which leads us down roads we later regret.

What is your internal map telling you?

Mine is saying that if my sister asks me to sail with her again I probably will. Even though I found the trip exhausting, I liked spending time with her.

Life is funny like that. No matter what we endure, we quickly forget, when love is at the foreground of it all. Some of my favorite pics from our trip.

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gretchenlynnallison

I’m a creative. This means I live in my head, my heart and my imagination; simultaneously. I love acting, modeling, writing and coming up with new ideas to help inspire others.

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