The departure day arrives. Having trouble sleeping, you start to get up with the anticipation of an enjoyable time away from the hum-drum life that can consume an individual. You sort out the final details, making sure your passport is packed, along with your camera, computer, books, and essential things you need to go on your maiden voyage.
You take the taxi, bus, or car and hustle away to the nearest airport to take you to your destination. You wait with such anticipation until your flight is called, board on and leave on a jet plane, not knowing when you will be back again (a nod to John Denver).
You arrive at your final destination, check into a five-star resort or settle in a time share, get your luggage and stuff together, and the games begin. The question that is now asked to an individual is how for the next three or seven days can one spend a summer vacation?
I happened to have had the distinct pleasure of taking some down time to attend a wedding in a Caribbean oasis. After a smooth flight, I check into a five-start resort, try to sort out some final kinks, and now the games begin.
So here is what I experienced myself and in relation to others who I met on the trip. The Good, the bad, and the ugly of my summer vacation.
Overall, my trip to the Caribbean Oasis called the Bahamas must be one of the most heavenly experiences that I have had in a long while. I had the opportunity of a lifetime to be pampered at a five-star resort hotel, coming along with all-you-can-eat, drink, Wi-Fi, with top notch service, not to mention the swimming pool and the beach. After working for the past three years non-stop I definitely needed a break, this time recharging my batteries in the Caribbean for a change.
The good that I have also experienced while on vacation is the wealth of friendships I have made from various parts of the world. People ranging from the United States, Peru, Colombia, Belgium, Italy and other parts of Canada to name a few. It literally felt like home encountering multiculturalism when coming from a city such as Toronto. Only this time I encountered the world through my fraternizing in the lobby or kibutzing with passersby in the elevator.
I also encountered a climate being recharged by the creative wonders of my God and King. Walking along a sandy beach while the waves of the glassy crystal sea crash at my feet. Basking in the warm sun and seeing people bathe themselves in the beauty of the tropics. I took a trip to the Marine Aquarium at the Atlantis hotel and was drawn by the wonderful under sea creatures of exotic fish, stingrays, and filter cleaning lobsters. This was a new nature. It is one of the parts of the great world that God created for us to experience, encounter, and bask in.
The ultimate good, was what I came down for, a wedding between two good friends. Seeing true love displayed that is undefiled, pure, wholesome and good. Not about the physical or false pretentions. Inviting others in the backdrop of the Caribbean sunset to enjoy and witness an occasion that only God can bring together in this day and age.
When it comes to vacationing, along with the good comes some bad. I did not experience a lot of bad, but there were some things that I have analyzed and noticed when dealing with an all-inclusive vacation.
It became a little uneasy encountering rich jock men who surrounded me and attempted to coax me into getting drunk. I didn’t give in, yet it is sad that there are people here who come just to get drunk, laid, and get down and boogie, and not experience the pleasure of enjoying creation and seeking wholesome relationships. It was a bit uneasy, thinking that I am one ultimate party animal waiting to be unleashed.
In a Caribbean resort, there has been a lot of what I would call “sex-on-display”, or SOD for short. Scantily clad women. Scores of men showing off their buff, with much bravado for all the world to see. Believe me, if you are not careful, your hormones can rage quickly on a vacation like this. Best to pray, and exercise some God-given self control when participating in a Caribbean paradise.
THE UGLY (WITH A RAY OF HOPE)
The ugly I have encountered would have to be what happens when all-inclusive accommodations are abused to its great downfall. At the lobby bar, I encountered this man who was obviously stone-cold drunk and wasted. Being prompted to serve him water and coffee, after getting him such things he eventually pulled me aside and confessed to me that he has an addiction to alcohol. I just stood and listened to what he had to say and the history behind such things. As a result I felt so bad and sorry for the guy that it bogged my mind throughout the entire night. From that moment on, I felt I had a greater mission before me in a post-modern world. To really see people delivered from such things and into a great gospel that sets people free from within and heals them from the past. My prayer for the addicted man is to find the God who loves him and seek salvation and deliverance from such things.
It was a great time of relaxation, yet also a great time of reflection. Paradise can be a blessing for those who want to positively max it out and really relax and charge themselves after years of hard honest work. Or if not careful, paradise can be a curse that can only add to one’s downfall and demise if one is not aware.