When Travel Throws You Lemons and You Try to Make Lemonade

Waves splashed up around us. I was holding onto Jina’s feet as she leaned over the side, desperate to throw up and ease her stomach that the waves had tossed around. We were in the Caribbean Sea on a small sailboat, and yes, the theme song to Gilligan’s Island was playing through my head.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip, That started from this tropic port, Aboard this tiny ship.

Oh, and did I mention a storm was brewing and we saw dark clouds and rain headed our way? The singing continued…

The weather started getting rough,The tiny ship was tossed, If not for the  courage of the fearless crew, The Minnow would be lost, the Minnow would be lost.

Jina was a travel optimist though. She was smiling through a disappointing snorkeling trip. The storm brewing off the coast had made for poor visibility and we weren’t able to get to one of the best spots in all of the Yucatan to snorkel. I did see a baby stingray and a statue of Jesus in the water, but nothing compared to what we thought we were seeing that day. Jina just kept smiling. She was on the sea. She was happy. Meanwhile we were sailing back to the resort with a strong headwind, a captain who didn’t really know how to sail, and I had made the mistake of drinking too much coffee just before we left on our excursions. Oops!

jesus in the water Cozumel

Being stuck at sea is a bit of a nightmare scenario for me. Somehow, as we drifted along, the wind pushing us back more than it pushed us forward, I felt claustrophobia take hold… on a small sailboat…in the middle of the open sea. We could still see the shore, but we couldn’t get there.

Jina kept smiling. She commented on how amazing the water felt, wasn’t it great that the sun was behind a cloud so we weren’t getting fried. If we had to pee, the sea was right there. No one would judge.

The optimism started to wear on me, but I appreciated it. I wanted to be cranky and just get back to shore, shower and call it a day. Jina held our little band of friends together, knowing someone had to, so even when waves were splashing her in the face as she tried to puke over the side of the boat, she was still laughing and smiling, taking the lemons we had been thrown on this adventure and making as much lemonade as she could.

sailing around cozumel

It was in that moment that I remembered travel is all about flexibility. If you can’t roll with the punches (or waves in this case) you are in for a real shock. And we all learned to take Dramamine that day no matter how rock solid you think your stomach is.

And now for your viewing pleasure… a little reminder of how life really isn’t all that bad. At least we made it to shore and no deserted island had to become inhabited in our tale.

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