Dream Trip

If I had to put into words what our trip to Cozumel, Mexico meant to me this year, I'd have to say that it was FREEDOM. Surprisingly, not necessarily a freedom from being a mommy for a week, although I must admit that was a nice little side benefit. I mean, who are we kidding? But really, it honestly was not about that type of freedom at all.

It was about:

a)freedom to be me and who God designed me to be.

He made me with this insatiable desire to explore and do local and love adventure and ride on a motorcycle with the wind blowing on my face and through my hair - with my Jack man by my side. He tells me this is one of the reasons he fell in love with me. That's sweet, now isn't it? And here I thought, "No guy will ever like me because I'd rather be out climbing a mountain than making a meal."

God made me to love sitting on the top of a boat just watching the landscape meander by.

HE made me like that and I think HE finds pleasure when we take time to enjoy the things HE wired us up to enjoy.

HE wired me up to simply LONG for His beautiful creation. I really don't think I can put into words the feelings that sweep over me when I walk off the plane and the tropical heat slaps me in the face and the palm leaves wave hello. And then, the first glimpse of the teal-blue ocean.  
Takes my breath away. 

And then you throw into the mix the ocean life that we saw and I'm left in awe of my Maker's incredible creativity. I mean, come on. Some of the colour and pattern combinations of these fish He created. Seriously, I think He was laughing His silly head off up in Heaven when He said, 

"Okay guys, check this out. I'm gonna put little dots with fluorescent circles around them, and then throw a little purple stripe and electric blue zig-zag onto their spines, oh, and maybe a splash of yellow whimsy, oh, and then I'm gonna make this little fishy's lips SUPER puffy with a rim of white lip-liner. Oh, and let's set his fins way toward the back of his body so that he looks like he's just a wee little bit tipsy. AND IT WAS GOOD. That's what He said." Here's just one of the tonnes of super creative fish we saw: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/parrot-fish/  (National Geographic photo)

b) a mental freedom to not always be multi-tasking and list-making and one-step-aheading of everything.

While there, I could think and dream or lay there and not think while I sipped my ice tea and looked at this incredible view.

I could sit and listen to the waves crashing and my mind never went to "Oh wait, I have to get up and get the meat out of the freezer for the next meal and I was going to switch the load of laundry from the washer to the dryer and I need to quick return that one (or ten) phone call."

I could simply BE. And for a highly task-oriented, driven, "over" gal such as myself, I don't take enough time to simply BE. I am always, always on the go. And 90% of the time I'm completely fine living in a multi-tasking world. But on this trip, I learned that maybe I need some balance in my life which would include sitting and being and not doing. Even for 1/2 an hour each evening. {I'll let you know how that goes - old dogs have a hard time learnin' new tricks. Or so they tell me.}

c) freedom to conquer some fears of scuba diving that transpired last year. When you're free of a particular fear, the freedom you experience is truly unbelievable.

When you scuba dive you have to be able to clear your mask way down deep, if it should get kicked off, or if it should get water in it ... and that skill has always terrified me. I did it when I was scuba certified back in 2001 but hated it and probably barely passed that section of the test. Makes me panic and hyperventilate to just think about it.

And the fear of going way down deep diving has terrified me. There has been this scary part that says if you go down too deep, you might be just out of reach of flying to the surface in an emergency. And yet this year, I was freed from those fears. I am FREE to explore the underworld and loved it.

I dove 8 times and I'm very proud of myself; that I didn't let my fears get in the way of seeing some of the most incredible things I have ever seen. One particular dive I made it down to 95 feet and I threw caution to the wind waves and let my depth gauge lead me down to 100. As in one hundred feet below the water's surface. Creepy. Cool. And I did it just to say I had hit the triple digit under-world so that next time I would have confidence to try again. I think I caught myself doing a happy dance after that accomplishment.

And the whole mask thing. I took a refresher course Monday morning with Alfonso and when we got to the part where he said, "And one of the skills we'll practice when we go on our dive will be the clearing your mask skill" Ya, when we got to that part, I burst into tears. Such a loser.

Fear, be gone. 
Freedom to dive in confidence. 

d) freedom to capture stories that moved me. I captured plenty of stories on 'film.' But I was also able to capture the story of a guy we'll call Kit. He opened up to Jack and I with just a few minutes before our boat docked after our morning dives together. His story moved me to tears. Jack cried too, so it wasn't just me being a cry-baby. We both sort of gasped. Instantly. As he shared his recent story of deep tragedy. {I'm going to blog about this guy in the coming days because after my interaction with him I left saying to myself and to Jack, "I wish we could have heard more of his story. And I wish I would have shared this thought with him. And I wish I could remove the pain and tragedy in his life."}

And so I came home feeling filled up. I sometimes wonder what the key is to feeling this way year-round, even when I'm not in a tropical location? Because I know that the feeling filled up thing isn't just about your external circumstances. I know a big piece of it is finding God in my daily life here. Intentionally looking for His fingerprints goes a long, long way to feeling freedom. Feeling filled right up to the brim. Consistently.

So that was the longer version of the answer to the question, "How was your trip?"

I'll leave you with a just a few pictures ... more coming for sure, but for now, just a taste of Cozumel through my lens
and my heart.

Still taken by the colour of the Island of Cozumel. Always drawn to vibrant, over-saturation, which IS the essence of this island.

Never seen these flowers before - fell in love with them.

Somehow, Jack talked me into holding "Iggy" on the side of the road. Our little stop to see this creature brought us an afternoon of local fun with a family that invited us to have a picnic with them on the ocean beach. One of our vacation highlights. {It deserves a post unto its own.}

Self-portrait with the point-and-shoot at El Moro restaurant.

Jack coming back from one of his 11 dives. As always, he's making friends with whomever he's with, making them laugh. I love that boy.

Happened upon this little snippet of colour. Nature's beauty and a teal building - can't beat that combo.

So much more to share. Stay tuned for more stories.


Oh Alysa. What an amazing, wonderful, experience. I'm so happy for your revelations of Freedom. What a gift!! You look AMAZING by the way.
becko said…
Oh I am so jealous! But so happy for you both to have escaped to such beauty. The last two pictures are my favorites. BIG TIME blow up and frame. Can't wait to hear the stories in future posts.
Jack said…
BTW - on that picture of me and the moto bike, I'm not wearing any pants.

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