I met my husband in college at the age of nineteen. We were both involved in greek organizations on campus and had a tendency to play the part of the wallflower at events, which made it inevitable that we would bump into one another while seeking refuge on the outskirts of the mass of party-goers. We are both soft-spoken and making conversation that first night over the roar of the dance music was difficult, but we learned that we shared a dry sense of humor, an interest in science, and a love for people-watching and horror novels. He walked me home that night, and every one that followed until the home we retired to each evening was our own.
The time between that first meeting and the birth of our son was less than three years and packed into it was our college graduation, a wedding and all the planning that went along with it, and the beginning of our careers. While the speed with which we tackled life’s milestones was rapid, our college roommates — a couple we helped bring together — followed close behind, marrying the year after we did.
The four of us were close throughout our years in school and we made a point to keep in touch after graduation. This was no easy task given we lived over two hours apart and were immersed in our new jobs, new homes, and new babies. Frustrated by the inadequacy of e-mail as a means of catching up, we decided to plan a vacation together. We wanted to go somewhere that would allow us to relax, reconnect with each other and our spouses, somewhere with great food we had no hand in preparing. We wanted a vacation that was equal parts adventure and afternoon nap.
We narrowed our choices down to a stay at an all-inclusive resort or a 7-day cruise of the caribbean. Over dinner one night we compiled a list of the pros and cons of each. While both vacations offered the opportunity to explore a foreign locale, taking a cruise would allow more variety. Instead of waking up to the same scenery each day we would have the opportunity to visit several locations. This appealed to us as a group who loved to travel, but had yet to see much beyond our own country and Europe.
The western caribbean cruise we were considering stopped at five ports of call including Belize, Isla Roatan, and Cozumel, and each one boasted a long list of excursions. In one week we could go cave tubing in Belize, explore the Mayan ruins of Mexico, and snorkel off the coast of Honduras.
While a stay at an all-inclusive resort would be lavishly relaxing, in the end we opted for the vacation that would allow us to be both lazy (something we decided we could indulge in on the two days at sea) and adventurous. We had such a great time on our vacation we booked another together the following year.
It has been two years since our last cruise with our college buddies and, now that our children are older, we are hoping to make the next one a family affair.
Do you ever travel with friends? Do you prefer a fast-paced or lazy getaway?