Friday, August 26, 2016

TRAVEL // 10 Life Lessons I Learned at Caye Caulker

 

I learned some vital life lessons the last half of my Belize trip. Vital, I tell you. So here I am sharing them with you. Without further ado, here are the

10 Life Lessons I Learned at Caye Caulker:

1. It's very important to go slow. To soak in every moment as it's happening instead of stressing about what's coming and is never even promised to arrive anyway. The rat race lifestyle so many Americans grow up in has no place on an island. Let go of those thoughts, focus on the present, and remember: go slow.

2. Hammocks are a necessity and should be placed in every possible seating area. Especially airports and those horrible departure gates.

3. While on the topic of seating options, every bar needs swings. Yes, I said it. SWINGS. Because what better combination could there be than giving a tipsy, grown ass woman the option of swinging while riding that buzz? Nothing, I tell you, nothing.

4. Reggae music is one of my favorite genres. Who knew? I certainly didn't know this.

5. Kreole is one of the most underrated sexy accents for someone to have. That, or it was the Caribbean setting in combination with it...

6. Some things really do need to be seen in person to believe.

7. Walking around barefoot is incredibly freeing.

8. I don't need makeup to feel confident. I ended up going the whole week without so much of a hint of my trademark winged liner or any other speck of makeup, and I never gave it a second thought.

9. The best way to get over something is taking the plunge. Literally, whatever you are facing, dive in with an attitude that is committed to accomplishing your goal. Once you're in, everything else tends to come easily.

10. Dancing really is the best form of exercise. Especially when it's done barefoot, in the company of new friends who were strangers just minutes earlier, and to reggae music. Because this is your new favorite genre, of course.

Friday, August 19, 2016

TRAVEL // The Calm After the Storm

 

 I arrived in Caye Caulker one day before the storm, on a mild Tuesday evening. The island was in the midst of bracing itself for the storm to come, with many tourists fleeing the island as I was arriving. I found out later there had been an alarm sounding out a "voluntary" evacuation. 
It was a long night, one spent in countdown mode. Lights flickered towards 9 o'clock, before finally going out, plunging the cabana I was staying at into darkness. All I could hear by this point was the howling wind and rain striking down at the windows. I gathered all my possessions into the bathroom, with my laptop and charged up iPhone the only source of light I had. Close to midnight, my laptop finally went out on me, preventing me from being distracted from the natural disaster at hand. I crawled into bed, phone in hand, eyes wide and incapable of sleep.

Or so I thought. Within half an hour, I inexplicably slipped into a sound sleep, falling asleep with prayers on my lips. 
Lord, please...keep us safe...
 
I woke up past 5 AM, confused as to where I was. Then everything clicked back into place. I bound out of bed towards the front door. The entire place looked untouched from the inside, but as I peeked outside, my heart sank to see all the destroyed foliage. I peeled the towels I'd lined the door with (a very good idea, mind you) away, and stepped outside. Everything was so quiet. So still.
  
I threw on a pair of shorts and wandered further outside. 
Let me tell you...witnessing the power of a hurricane makes you feel so small. Something that happens in nature can cause so much destruction to these man-made things we put so much  pride into. It's so belittling. From ripped up docks to roofs that were peeled off, the power of Hurricane Earl certainly didn't leave Caye Caulker untouched. However, as I walked around, I saw these hardy islanders already start cleaning up, merely shaking this disaster off as another part of life. At the end of the day, there was still laughter, the smiles were shared just as freely as before, and we all rejoiced that no lives were lost. 
 
It was a rough start to this trip, and while most people would say it ruined their trip, I'd say it only enriched it. To pull through a hurricane with strangers is bonding. You become a part of the community. So while I traveled alone, I never felt lonely.

See more of my trip through the first 2 vlogs from Belize below:



Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE for more updates!

Friday, August 12, 2016

LIFE LATELY // Surviving Hurricane Earl

Hello again. I'm back.

This photo was taken about a week ago, when I was sitting blissfully on a damaged, slightly tilted dock in the Caribbean. Hurricane Earl had just swept through, leaving much of the island I was staying at in upheaval.

As many of you know, I took a trip to Belize this past week. Is it cheesy if I said it was unBelizeable...? Because truly, it was.

Because I ended up going alone.
That's right. I didn't go with friends, a group, or under any organization. It was me, my passport, and my two carry ons that hopped on that plane, with only faith and hope driving me towards my destination.

And it's the best decision I've ever made. I'm glad my friends bailed. I don't think this experience would be anywhere close to the same if I'd gone with a group. I never would've been so open to meeting new people, trying new experiences, and end up discovering a side of myself I didn't realize had been there all along. A bolder, more carefree, and fully alive version of myself.

However, all the glory goes to God for this trip. Honestly, the night before I left, I lay in the dark, anxieties and worries threatening to drown me. Was I really going to do this? Should I? Everything pointed towards me canceling the trip. From friends unable to make it, a tropical storm forming, and the threat of being stuck in Belize City (a city reknowned for its crime rates), I was crazy to push through with this, right?

Finally, I started praying. I gave over my desires to God, and that is when a calm certainty settled over me. I was going, and that was that. As long as I had trust in Him, He would provide. And you know what? He went above and beyond in doing so.

When I landed in Belize City, I tried rushing through customs only to find out I had missed the last flight out to Caye Caulker. It was all I could do to fight back the tears. It looked like I would be spending the night in the city alone.

Bless Maya Island Air though, because their employee took pity on me, offering to call a driver who would take me straight to a hotel and bring me back in the morning for the next flight. However, in the next ten minutes, right when the driver arrived, the same employee came running out.
"We may have gotten you a flight!"

My heart about exploded with relief. Somehow I knew that if I could just make it out to Caye Caulker, I would be alright. So God provided, and a plane that was going out to San Pedro (a neighboring island) made a special stop just for me!

So from missing my last flight out, surviving Hurricane Earl (that tropical storm formed into a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday), and regaining power after just one day when I'd been told it would be a week, this trip was a powerful example to me of experiencing God's presence. I know I don't always "preach" on this blog, because that's not what the Dragonfruit Diaries is necessarily about. However, it is a huge part of me and what makes me who I am. So I hope you won't be annoyed and at least appreciate my stories that I share with you. Because that's what a diary is for, is it not? This space was once filled with so much of my personality and a peek inside my heart.

Lately, it's been a bit of a desert, and while nothing wrong with that, I'd like to take it back to when I could freely share my thoughts and stories.

So stay tuned for the next post. You'll probably be hearing quite a bit about Belize for a while and my incredible experience visiting a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

OOTD // I have a thing for rompers

Romper: c/o AMIClubwear   Clutch/Wedges: thrifted
Quick disclaimer on this romper: it was sent to me from AMI Clubwear, is selling for $13.50, and trust me, you'll get what you pay for.

I love love love this romper - the print and off-the-shoulder design is summer perfection!
However, keep in mind that the material is super cheap, is a little more sheer than comfortable (AKA: wear flesh toned underwear), and I've already spotted a few stray threads on the ruched sleeves.

But I mean, if you want a quick and trendy romper for the hot months while we have them, it's not a terrible option, honestly! I personally am planning on taking this cutie with me to Belize.

That's right, Belize. Because that's where I'm heading in a few weeks!

A few months ago, while daydreaming about what trips I should take during the summer, a friend sent me a link that said you could buy a round trip ticket to Belize for under $500. Naturally, I pounced on the idea. I'll be taking plenty of photos and more than likely will vlog the whole trip, so stay up to date and subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE!

What travel necessities would you recommend?
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