Like many other people around the world, I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately. The unimaginable tragedies which have unfolded around the world in recent weeks left me wanting to gather my loved ones, enter a bunker and stay there until the madness had ended. But then I realized that it is unlikely the madness will end anytime soon. Because the world, my friends, is an increasingly scary and potentially dangerous place.
Every day, we hear about incidents designed to leave us cowering. Bad people are creating havoc both here in America and around the world, whether it be via shootings in a nightclub or bombs detonated in crowded overseas markets. Our natural reaction is to see the world around us differently, because we are viewing it through fearful eyes. So on Monday morning, when my anxiety was off the charts and no amount of happy pills was going to calm my nerves, I decided to cancel the cruise that I have booked for this September.
This, I decided, was no time to venture out into the world.
But then, as will happen, the day got busy. Even in the worst of times, jobs have to be done, and mine was no exception. “I’ll cancel the trip tomorrow,” I told myself as I fell asleep Monday night.
Instead, come Tuesday morning, I booked a second cruise.
No One Will Steal My Happy Place!
I literally made the decision at the last moment, while on hold with the travel agent who had booked — and who I intended to have cancel — the first trip. As absolutely ridiculous, possibly even trite, as it sounds, I heard a voice in my head saying what we’ve all heard countless politicos, pundits and people say over the past few days in regard to madmen and shooters and terrorists of all kinds: “Don’t let them win.”
I’m relatively new to cruising. I took my first voyage just over two years ago, and was immediately hooked. As my best friend joked at the time, “Drinking, gambling, eating… these are all things you enjoy doing! Shocker!” In the time since that first trip, cruising has been the thing I turn to when I’m having a bad day. (To be fair, I also turn to it when I’m having a good one!) I look at the menus on ships I’ll soon be sailing on, I read about around-the-world voyages I’ll likely never be able to afford, and I spend more time than is probably healthy trying to figure out not only which trip I’ll take next, but where I might like to sail to in 2020. (Hey, you can get some great deals when you plan ahead!)
Without really even trying, cruising had become my happy place.
And yet here I was, considering canceling a trip I’d been looking forward to for months because something horrific had happened in the world, and more bad things might happen in the days and months to come. It suddenly occurred to me that unless I intended to spend the rest of my days curled up on my couch, watching movies in which other people lived life, there was no way I could keep world events at bay. And if I did lock myself in a theoretical bunker, then the bad guys would have – by default – won. I wasn’t about to let that happen. Or, in the words of Bianca Del Rio, “Not today, Satan. Not today!”
And so, instead of cancelling, I booked another cruise. And I’ll book another after that and then, you know what I’m gonna do after that? Book another dang cruise. Because the world can be awful, terrible and scary… but it’s going to be that way whether I’m cowering under my covers or sipping cocktails on my aft-facing balcony. And I sure as heck know which I’d rather be doing.
How about you?