Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Spring was coming very slowly during what would end up being my last long winter in New England. I yearned for warmth, sun, and the ocean so I decided that my first trip ever out of the United States would be to the dry and sunny island of Aruba...by myself.
I guess I had been pretty sheltered because I had never heard about the disappearance of Natalie Holloway until I booked everything for my trip and let friends know I was going. The story made me nervous, but I planned to use those feelings to be hyperaware of my surroundings at all times and I made sure not to put myself in any situations where I felt unsafe. (The important thing while traveling alone as a young girl is to always have a story. The taxi driver who drove me from the airport to my Airbnb asked why I was alone. He was friendly and honestly might have just been making conversation, but its important to never let your guard down. So I ignored the first comment, and firmly said that I was "meeting my dad". I wasn't, but it was important for him to think that I was not alone in Aruba. Always have a story that you are meeting your dad, brother, uncle, ect.)
I chose #Aruba because out of all of the islands on this side of the world, its climate was dry and hot rather than hot and humid. I was only going for a short stay so I wanted to guarantee that I would get sunshine without any chance of rain. I had never been anywhere tropical or warm, not even to Florida, so I was excited to experience island life, even if it was only for six days. This proved to be a good choice because the entire trip had perfect hot and sunny weather.
I chose to travel by myself because most of my friends were still in school at the time and I really wanted to prove to myself that I could travel solo if and when I wanted to.
The first step for me was to obtain a passport and research where I wanted to stay on the island. I wanted this trip the be a relaxing getaway and an opportunity for me to turn inward and reflect on my life up until that point. I definitely didn't want to be in the crowded and noisy tourist towns, so I chose to book an Airbnb in the oldest finishing village on the island, the quaint #Savaneta.
The neighborhood was quiet and the locals were friendly and helpful. I stayed at Coral Reef Beach Apartments where I had a one bedroom one bathroom unit with a kitchen for a really reasonable price. My apartment was just steps to a private beach and a 5 minute walking distance to supermarkets and a bus stop that could take me to most of the island including the beautiful Baby Beach where I spent a day snorkeling in turquoise water and sunbathing on the softest white angel sand. My host was such a sweet and helpful woman. She gave me great advice tailored to the kind of vacation I was looking for and made sure I always felt safe. The photo above shows a view of the Airbnb from the ocean.
I went diving with hundreds of beautiful tropical fish, laid in the sun all day, ate tons of fruit, enjoyed hours of #meditation, witnessed incredible #sunsets, and wrote in my journal for five days straight in the cutest #Airbnb by the sea. Taking this trip alone was an experience that took me out of my comfort zone and helped to ignite my passion for #worldtravel and exploring.