During Spring Break 2017, I had the luxury of being on a cruise vacation. We traveled to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Falmouth, Jamaica. This was our second cruise, going to these locations, and as usual everything was great! From the cruise ship, to the destinations. Our favorite place out of the three locations was Grand Cayman. It reminds me of a smaller version of the Bahamas… “the place where God resides”.
While on the island we toured some of its tourist spots on land and by sea, by way of the Amphibious Bus Tour. It’s a bus that drives on land and becomes a boat when in water. We were able to see ship wreckages, their coral reefs, and many of the beautiful fish that live in the ocean, and places that pirates had once roamed. We waded in the water at their renown 7 Mile Beach. We ate the best Conch Fritters at Rackams, a local seafood restaurant. I haven’t had any conch since being in the Bahamas 13 years ago (Mudda sic dread! Dats a long time ago).
I noticed that many of the people of Grand Cayman seem to be from all over. I saw Asians, Hispanics, White British, and Blacks…all living there. I appreciate seeing the locals because all of these different cultures are what make up this beautiful island. They are the ones that help keep the island afloat. I enjoy seeing God’s creation of people, land, and sea with my handsome Chunk of Caramel! We learned some of the islands history, like how they believe Columbus was the worst illegal alien too (That topic will be in another blog post); and that the Cayman Islands is a part of an underwater mountain range. One of the most important things I learned on the island was after the tour.
While inside a watch store, a store representative came over to ask us if we needed any help. Let’s call her Mandy. I could tell that she was possibly not a native of the island, but maybe she was living there from England. The Cayman Islands is a part of the British West Isles, and we had just eaten Fish and Chips around some wonderful British people, so it was a possibility. While in the store she asked us how we were doing. My husband and I heard that she had an American accent. We began a conversation and talked about how beautiful the island was. We began to ask each other where we were from. She told us she was from Arkansas. Now out of all the states in the U.S., Arkansas was not a place I was expecting to hear her say. My mind began to flutter with wonder about how she ended up working at “La-De-Da” selling their watches.
Before I could ask Mandy myself, my husband asked her why she moved here. She said, “After visiting the island, I fell in love with it, so I packed up and moved. I’ve been here for 2 years and I love it!”
My husband and I were both astonished. I thought she was going to mention something about how love brought her there, or mission work, or a great job opportunity. My husband had just been talking about living on an island, in another part of the world, although I know the real truth about that happening (Picture of my face looking at my husband with the side eye would appropriately fit here. He know he ain’t goin nowhere. He gets hyped up from watching International House Hunters).
Still intrigued, my husband then asked, “So you just came here on your own?”
“Yep.”, she replied. “I figured if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to Arkansas.” I stared at her aware of my mouth being fully opened and that I now had the big eyes. I should have given her a standing ovation right then and there, because what she had just said was powerful!
What a different way of thinking. That’s a completely different mindset. People are so afraid of messing up or things not working out, that they forget to live. We forget that it’s okay to mess up. This way of thinking can be like a foreign language. Sadly, depending on where you live, it could be like someone saying a bad word… “Sshh, we don’t talk like that over here, or that type of thinking is getting above yourself”.
All I could say when we left out of the store was continue to say “Wow”! How beautiful it is to be able to say that I’m going to leave everything behind me, and move to England. I tell my husband that at least 5 times a month. He is always talking about moving to an island…and I have been working on my accent. As of right now, it’s wishful thinking, but I’m still believing.
So, all in all, Grand Cayman was great, but I must say that the most memorable part of the trip wasn’t the fish, Conch Fritters, the Amphibious Tour, or the M.A.C. Store, it was talking to Ms. Mandy. It was only a 3-5 minute conversation, but oh such a powerful one.
I pray everything works out for her and that she continues to live happily on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman. Thank you, “Ms. Mandy”, for teaching me to not be afraid of messing up, taking chances, and dreaming big. Amen, Amen.