Happy New Year island friends! It’s that time of year when we all hit reset and begin making plans to start over again with goals, new and old, as we hoist our sails for success in health, wellness and personal aspirations. With these “reSAILutions”, we chart timelines and expectations, and, more often than not, place an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves for smooth sailing to our desired destination. Inevitably, the compass changes, or we get blown off course while life is happening around us, and we become frustrated, angry or upset. Quite often, we succumb to the sea of setbacks and just abandon ship on the whole voyage altogether. But, just what if you decided to pull out “Plan B” and sail forward, seemingly “off-course” without giving in to the disappointment of the change in tides?
On October 16th, I left home, packed complete for two weeks, to set out on the high seas; an “adventure of a lifetime” on a private shared charter cruise from Nassau to Turks and Caicos—anchoring out, exploring outer islands with new friends, and basking in the incredible blues of the great wide ocean. Unbeknownst to me, however, the Universe had prepared an entirely different itinerary for this trip.
After boarding a boat that was in a condition much less favorable than I had anticipated, as well as spending two nights at the dock in Miami while the captain spent all of his time in the engine room attempting to get it started (notice the first change of plans here—this boat was already supposed to be in Nassau), it was clear that this vessel was not going to leave port as expected—if at all. My faith in both the captain, and the unreliable mode of transportation set to make the eight hour trek across the Gulfstream to begin this journey, lead myself, and the other guests, to begin exploring “Plan B” for the vacation time we had all set aside for this much anticipated experience. We brainstormed ways to get to Turks and Caicos by air and share a condo (where our return flights were awaiting us), while I (now, not so certainly) “joked?” about heading back down to the place I had just said was “next on the list” after this trip—my favorite little island, Key West.
When we awoke to rain and a holding tank that was “full” that second morning, we decided to salvage what was left of our vacations, put “Plan B” into effect, and literally jump ship; each of us heading off in different directions. After a few texts and phone calls, I packed up my provisions and was on my way to (yep, you guessed it!) the Conch Republic; a four hour ride via a Keys Shuttle down the scenic A1A, where good friends graciously hosted me for the remainder of my trip—which was meant to send me packing on the 30th of October. But, I think we all know where this was heading…
After setting foot in this space that feels so much like home to my soul, it didn’t take me more than a few days to know I couldn’t leave, to find my own place, and settle in for the following month…and then some. As this article makes its way to the publishers for the premier issue of the new year, it is actually the first week of December—and I am (surprise!) still in Key West. For those of you who already know my pull to this magical little island, this won’t likely be a surprise at all. From Fantasy Fest to Halloween, and Powerboat Races to Christmas, I have been fortunate enough to see and experience some of the best of times Key West has to offer in one single stay alone!
The adventures I have had here in Key West have far surpassed those that may, or may not, have been awaiting me on my two-week charter cruise. I have connected with so many incredible people from my past visits, as well as formed new relationships with other island friends; all of which have become an extension of my island family. Some of my own family, from back home in the North, also had the opportunity to come down and visit me during my stay—finally gaining a greater understanding for what it is that draws me here. Key West has delivered, yet again, the magic of this place I have etched in my soul.
What I want you to remember from my story is this: Sometimes “Plan B” is just to “go with the flow” and know that something different is okay, release your expectations, and be lead to where you’re meant to be. Keep this in mind when you’re blown off course with your “reSAILutions” or when things aren’t going “as planned” while moving forward with your goals and dreams as you begin this new year. Above all, trust the process. Sometimes the Universe has a bigger plan than even you can dream up! I had the opportunity to reset my journey at Mile Marker 0 and “Plan Key” has been even more amazing than I could have possibly prepared for myself. I can hardly wait to see what’s next as I sail forward and continue charting my course towards my dreams!