Emilie in St. Thomas
Let’s take a little quiz.
Do you drive through a new town and:
- Pay complete attention to road signs, because heck, you’re on your way elsewhere
- Look for familiar shops and restaurants in case you have a few minutes to enjoy yourself
- Examine architecture and look for historic buildings
- Imagine what it’s like to live there
When you’re on vacation do you mostly:
- Visit the tourist attractions
- Enjoy the boutiques and nightlife
- Revel in whatever nature has to offer
- Drive or walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods to see what you can learn about the town and its inhabitants
I won’t go on. Of course you know where I’m going, right? Even on vacation many of us revert to type.
If we rush through life to get to the next destination, then on vacation we’ll probably rush from one place to the next. We will have our itinerary planned and most likely we won’t deviate. Those folks are the number ones among us.
If we heavily learn toward hunting and gathering and appreciate a good meal and a good time, we will probably look for shops, familiar and unfamiliar, to see what’s a bargain or brand new for us to purchase. And in the evening once the shops close, we might hunt and gather a little fun and a few good memories. Those folks are our number twos.
If scenery, either natural or man/woman made brings us peace and joy, and if we marvel easily over the accomplishments of others or of nature? Those folks are the number threes.
But if we drive through neighborhoods, or on unfamiliar highways, and wonder about the lives of the people we pass, even the ones zipping by in cars or sixteen-wheelers, if we yearn to hear the history of a place, who settled it and why, how it grew and what it’s hoping for in the future? Those folks are the number fours.
A slightly heavier me (the photo attests) got back from my cruise last week with a mountain of laundry, a lot of paperwork on my desk, and a happy smile. I also came back with lots of random thoughts.
- Suppose a passenger were sitting on her balcony minding her own business and a body floated by. What would she do? Not to mention who was the “body,” why was it there, was the person still alive, could a rescue be attempted, who would hear the person’s final words if they expired afterwards, and if foul play was suspected, was the foul player on board?
- What if the heretofore happy passenger was now worried that said foul player KNEW she’d heard the victim’s last words and wanted to be certain they were never repeated.
- Why does the port authority require identification for individuals driving through the gates to the ship, but a parking garage shuttle didn’t have to show identification for any of its passengers. Could a terrorist use that to his advantage?
- What would happen to a passenger who was robbed in a foreign port and left with no identification? And what if that person strongly resembled someone the local police had been looking for? And . . .
There’s no right or wrong way to BE on vacation. Many of my fellow cruisers were thrilled to visit the multitude of Caribbean jewelry stores so that they could avoid paying duty and taxes on their purchases. Others reveled in the most strenuous shore excursions, scuba diving through shipwrecks, climbing mountainsides. Still others had carefully researched where to go, what to see, and never dallied at the markets or docks.
Then there was me. When I wasn’t wondering about murder on the high seas I spent the trip wondering what it was like to work on a ship, and what my steward went home to when his time on board was finished. What did his family look like? Did he make adorable little lobsters out of beach towels for his children? Was our wine steward working her way up to a higher position? And why did the captain and most of his top crew members come from Greece? Were they from the same island? Is this a family biz? What does this do to a marriage?
Are you a 1, 2, 3 or 4? Or a mixture? Since I’m a 4, I’d love to know all about your vacation personality. We fours want to know everything. After all, there might be a book in it.