Nassau, Charleston, and my First Cruise

I call it our “5 years late honeymoon.” My husband and I just got back from our anniversary cruise from Charleston, South Carolina, to Nassau, Bahamas. I have so much to say, so I’ll try to add pictures to keep things interesting.


First we drove from our home in the Midwest to Charleston. We managed to hit major cities during rush hour because that’s just what we do.

We boarded our new ride, the Carnival Ecstasy, and set sail for the Carribean.

The swaying and rocking of the ship didn’t make me nauseous, thankfully, but it did make my head feel fuzzy and disoriented. I slowly got used to it.

The first day we explored the ship and discovered that it was absolutely huge and that it was essentially an entire city floating in the water. Whatever your vice, you could entertain it on this ship. Food, drink, gambling, shopping, pampering, or exercise, it was all available. There were 14 decks to explore and we navigated all of them. The luxury was strange to us at first.

All the food and drink we tried were fantastic. There was a taco bar, a burger joint, 24-hour pizza and soft serve, and a fine dining room that was probably the nicest place I’ve ever eaten (we ate there every day!). All of that food was both free and seemingly unlimited. We had to pace ourselves to ensure we could still move the next day.

My husband and I have never gambled, so we thought this would be a nice opportunity to walk through the casino and watch the excitement (we’re both wayyyy to cheap to actually spend any money on gambling). We spent a few minutes watching some of the table games, and it was fun to see the clapping and excitement when someone did well, but we walked away with no more knowledge of gambling than when we entered.

On the formal dining evening, we got all dressed up and excited for our nice dining experience. I convinced my husband that we should take some photos while we were looking so fancy, and he decided the front of the ship would be a good place to start. Allow this photo to explain how windy it is there:

So I didn’t get any nice formal pictures of us, but I do think that one is a keeper. It’s a bit more realistic and a whole lot more fun. I was laughing so hard the whole time.

 

Nassau was not what I had expected. Getting off the cruise ship was like running through a gauntlet. There were all sorts of people hollering for my attention and my money. Within the first mile of the city, I was offered hair braiding, tee shirts, cuban cigars (I later discovered that the man with the fake cuban cigars was also the man to get other… ahem… smokes… from), coconut drinks, painted canvases, key chains, jewelry, liquor, and any other touristy thing you can think of. It was an experience, but not exactly the experience I was looking for. We walked far enough to find a nice beach and set up camp to float in the crystal clear water for a few hours. It was absolutely beautiful. We applied sunscreen 3 times that day and still managed to return with some nasty sunburns. I’m beginning to believe that the sun in the Carribean is not the same sun as the one that shines on the Midwest.

Back on the boat we went and back to the days of indulgence. We attended some amazing singing and dancing shows and some very funny (although raunchy) comedians who made you do that thing where you kind of look around before laughing to make sure you’re not the only one. There was also an extremely talented pianist who played at a fun singalong piano bar which I really enjoyed.

I even tried escargot. Hide your snails, or I might just come after them.

Then, we arrived back at Charleston and discovered what I think was the strangest part about the cruise- getting re-acquainted with solid ground. I felt perpetually dizzy and somewhat confused for THREE DAYS after arriving on land. It felt like the ground was moving. The brain is a powerful thing.

In Charleston, we spent a day exploring and took a tour of Fort Sumter. I joke that it wouldn’t really be a vacation for the two of us if it didn’t involve a museum of some sort.

Fort Sumter was jam-packed with history and amazing information about the Civil War. I learned a lot and am always fascinated with the idea of standing in locations that were monumental in history, like this fort which was the location of the first shots of the Civil War and changed hands throughout the war between the Union and Confederate troops.

We then stopped on a scenic street in Charleston and walked around a bit.

We found a delicious lunch spot and some really neat architecture. History seemed to be everywhere.

 

I’m thankful that we were able to save up the means to take this amazing trip. It was a wonderful celebration of our 5 year anniversary, and I had a really great time enjoying some wonderful places and fun relaxation.

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Saying “No” to Something Good

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It’s been said that we sometimes have to say “no” to something good in order to say “yes” to something even better.

Anytime that we say yes to something, we are essentially saying no to something else. We can’t be two places at once, so for everything we do, there are an infinite amount of things we can’t do.

I can’t go see a friend and clean my house at the same time. I can’t go on a vacation and save that vacation money for a vehicle at the same time. I can’t spend every waking hour busy and be in tip-top physical and mental health at the same time.

For every “yes,” you are also having to say “no,” even if you don’t realize it.

The problem arises when choosing between two good things. There are many times I don’t really want to say no to anything. I wish I was career Barbie, who was simultaneously an astronaut and a teacher and a veterinarian and a flight attendant and a million other things. But this isn’t Barbie’s reality, and in my reality, I have to say no to a lot of things I really enjoy.

Today the thing I said “no” to was my job. I would like to point out that this is a job I absolutely love.ย But, I said “no” to something good in order to say “yes” to something better. Although I would have been happy to stay in that position for the rest of my life, furthering my education was a high priority for me and would also afford me the opportunity to have more choice in how exactly I served clients. I knew that staying where I was would be good, but furthering my education would be better.

So that’s what I did. Today was my last day of work and I will be starting classes soon. I think it’s helpful for me to frame this transition in this way, because the quitting part just isn’t much fun at all. Going after something better, though? That’s something I can say “yes” to.

Decisions

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Why do we make the decisions that we do?

I’ve been thinking of this lately. It’s interesting what motivates change, and soon I will be experiencing a lot of it.

For starters, I quit my job. Yes, the job that I love so dearly. As it turns out, it’s easy to quit a job that sucks the life out of you (been there) but quite a bit more difficult to quit a job that you look forward to each day. I’ve been working as a therapist at a community mental health agency for nearly two years. I would be entirely content to stay in this position for the rest of my life. And, you see, that’s the problem.

Although I would love to stay in this job forever, I would not have any opportunity for advancement. I also wouldn’t have a lot of options if something changed and I needed to look elsewhere for work. The only way to advance in this career is with more education.

I’ll be attending graduate school beginning this fall. The program that I chose will allow me to go in a few different directions after graduation: back into the counseling field, into a college teaching role, or into a PhD program. I would be thrilled with any of these options.

It was a big decision for me to make, but I feel it was the right one.

Another decision I made recently is to be open to the idea of blogging again. This may seem strange since I’ll be entering into a very intensive educational program in less than a month. What I’m considering, though, is blogging with a bit of a different end goal. Before, I was hoping to improve the lives of those in my audience. Now, I’d like to use this blog to improve my own life, and maybe it’ll improve yours in the process. I enjoy blogging, but trying to crank out content on a regular schedule to appease the masses is exhausting. Blogging is an outlet for me because I love writing and thinking about ideas. If I’m no longer doing that, it’s not helpful for anyone. Plus, I want this to be true to me and not some sort of manufactured clickbait.

So, yes, I hope to begin blogging more again. It’s probably going to look a little different than it did before. It may not be consistently posted on the same time on the same day. With my schooling starting up, there may be gaps with nothing posted because my nose is in a book. It may not even interest you, and that’s fine. I’m shifting my mindset to think of it as self-expression. You’re welcome to come along for the ride!

Taking a Break

After much consideration, I’ve decided to take a break from this blog for some time. 

Right now I’m not sure when or if I will be returning. I love writing, but I don’t know if blogging is the right path for me. I have so many vastly different interests, and I’d like to free up some time to pursue them and to write more creatively or just for myself as a hobby. 

This blog has been so much fun. I sincerely thank each and every one of you, my readers, for being so supportive and awesome. It means so much to me. 

– Megan

Preparing for Easter

This Sunday marks a very special day for Christians. Easter! Easter is the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, making it possible for anyone to come into a relationship with God and experience eternal life in Heaven and a fulfilling life here on earth.

If you’re like me and hadn’t gotten around to doing anything refreshing to prepare yourself for the Easter holiday and all that it means, you can join me this week as I do.

I’ve decided that a fun way to do this will be to explore 6 verses, one each day until Easter, and to journal each day as well. You could even turn this into a fun conversation starter for your family each day.

If you would like to join me, here are the verses and questions that I will be focusing on:

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