I turned 45 years old in June, so I made the decision to just go. I asked my daughter. I asked my son. I asked my sister. I asked my some of my closest friends (only 2) and they all couldn’t or wouldn’t because one will not get on a plane or a ship—she only drives. Whoomp! Whoomp!
So, what made me just go book this dream trip that I have been dreaming about since I became a Jamaican Travel Specialist in 2015. I’ve been to Jamaica twice hosting my group the Why Wait Wanderers. Being the host of group, I do the normal tourist things but I would love to travel off the beaten path. So this is my opportunity.
This is why I finally booked.
When I was in the Navy, I met a woman who become one of my closest and dearest friends. We became fast friends being 2 of the 3 women in our department and the only 2 black women in electronics department. She quickly became a part of my little family. While we were stationed in Spain, she traveled all over Europe and she traveled solo. I was in awe of her courage. I had never in my 30 something years on this earth met anyone let alone a woman who had wanted to travel alone or had traveled alone to foreign countries—AND A BLACK WOMAN, TRAVELING ALONE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES (remember now, I grew up in rural Johnson County, GA and my first-time flying was at 28 y.o. when I enlisted in the Navy heading off to boot camp). Welp, she did it! Her stories and photos were amazing. She inspired and encouraged me to travel and to take my kids to see and explore Spain. Not being able to afford 3 plane tickets, we put that 1992 Nissan Stanza on the road. And Black Beauty (Nissan Stanza) took us to many beautiful and amazing places in Spain. Mountains, beaches, castles and we even drove to Portugal. I drove this car up the Sierra Nevada Mountain. Can you believe that? I think about it now and I’m like what were you thinking?
I’m getting off why I booked my first solo trip which is in September by the way.
After a long 2 and half year battle with cancer, I lost this beautiful person at 39 in September 2013. Our last conversation she spoke of regrets. She had regrets. She had been hurt so many times in her life by people she loved that the one thing she wanted most love; she was afraid to try to have. She wanted a husband and children. Her mother and father were both deceased. So was alone accepted for a few friends. She made me promise her that I would live my life to the full and have no regrets.
After she passed away, I was extremely lonely. I missed our many conversations and Saturday outings. Then he started saying hello everyday for nearly 6 months, he was so aggravating. One day I said hello back and it turned into a conversation that lasted for hours that turned into a relationship that lasted 18 months. I believed that God sent him to fill the void of loneliness that had gripped me. For 18 months, I loved this beautiful Jamaican Native by way of Brooklyn. At 37, his life was snatched away in the summer of 2015.
In the spring of 2018, I was ready to host my first group to Jamaica and found that my childhood best friend was dying. She died the day before I flew out. She was 45.
I dream of travel. I breathe travel. I book other people’s travel every day. Why am I not living out my dreams???? Because no one will go with me…. I am not keeping my promise. On 45th birthday, I booked my first solo trip. The first of many.
I am little scared, excited and anxious. I think my biggest fear is that I will be too afraid to do anything and stay in my room. I am so accustomed to being with people. My plan is to hike a rainforest, parasail, and rent a jet ski. Why? I have a fear of being in water and a fear of heights so I plan to face my fears.
I hope that I will find peace for my heart and leave the past in the past.
Wish me luck!
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