My first ever vacation outside of the country was to The Bahamas back when I was a senior in college. I didn’t think it was real, my mom kept sending me ideas of places where we could go over my winter break, she’s never been so serious about a trip before. But still, I didn’t think it was going to happen. But one day I got an email with all the bookings and where we were going, I couldn’t believe it – my roommates couldn’t believe it but it happened.

It was a much-needed vacation and looking back I can see why my mom planned it. We had gone through a rough two years – my dad passing away first and then my grandfather (my mom’s father) the year later. I think it was time but I was still young (and poor) so a vacation wasn’t even in my vocabulary. It was in my mom’s though, so for 5 days and 4 nights we headed to Paradise Island, Bahamas in 2010.No automatic alt text available.

Man, was it Paradise. Again, it was my first vacation out of the country, and while I had seen pictures of the clear turquoise ocean and white sand beaches, I still didn’t believe it was what I was going to see when I got there. I remember looking out the window on the plane and being in awe of the water and the fact that it wasn’t all a lie. I was here, I was seeing this crystal blue water and I hadn’t even gotten off the plane yet!

We made this vacation the epitome of vacation too, we stayed in Riu Hotel, an all-inclusive that had the most delicious food ever. We had a view of the pool and the water, could sit out on the beach all day in 70-degree weather. The locals were cold and said we were crazy when we got in the water but honestly, we couldn’t help it! It was Paradise!

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We didn’t just sit around either, don’t worry. One day we went out to The Blue Lagoon to swim with dolphins. It was an experience I will never forget. I love dolphins but being up so close to them was a little intimidating to be honest. My dolphin liked me (yeah, I’ll brag a bit) and went to the bottom of the ocean to give me a rock, I still have it, it will follow me everywhere because who knows when I’ll swim (and fly) with a dolphin again. To get to The Blue Lagoon, you had to take a boat from the main Island, after we swam with dolphins we stayed there for a bit and just enjoyed the quiet. We were the only people who stayed so we had out little Island to ourselves (minus the lifeguard on duty)!

Other adventures outside of relaxing on the beaches and seeing the gorgeous water and sunsets was our walk around The Atlantis and the hotel’s aquarium. They also had shops where we found the best Rum Cake. We still buy it occasionally from Amazon.

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That’s all I have for reminiscing on Paradise Island, Bahamas. I can’t wait to go back, it’s still one of those vacations where I could go back again and again. I feel like I have an itch for the Caribbean and that clear turquoise water.