Musings from Turks & Caicos – my first island solo trip

Edit: this post was from 2019, well before the pandemic! it got lost in my drafts but it’s a great one so here it is😉🏖

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Accelerated classes are finally over, but it seems like whenever one time consuming goal ends, 3 more pop up in it’s place that I need to catch up on. New residents are starting this month and we have twice as many surgeries a day, so work has been incredibly busy and I’m picking up extra hours. Life never seems to slow down, but I prefer it that way. And even though I love a packed schedule that leaves me with little sanity and even less sleep, even I need to relax, so I finally decided to give my mind and body the break it needed and booked a last minute trip to an island in the Caribbean.

Turks & caicos, the things I could say about you. This island has left a lasting memory with it’s glowing turquoise waters and hot white sand, but more importantly with it’s friendly and exciting locals.

This wasn’t exactly my first solo trip, I’ve traveled alone both in and out of the states, but this was my first spontaneous, completely unplanned, fun party beach trip all on my own. When I first booked my ticket less than 2 weeks before I left, I thought I would just get a relaxing break from my hospital shifts and school. But I ended up learning how to scuba, swimming with sharks, meeting people from Canada to France and all over the rest of the world. I went swimming at night and saw the brightest florescent plankton, ate all the pineapple and lobster my body could handle and I experienced a lot of other crazy firsts here in Turks that I’ll remember forever.

A lot of people think that going on a solo trip (or travel in general) will change your life, and little by little it does each time. This trip brought me way out of my comfort zone and the people I met changed my perspective on a lot of things in the best way. I have so much going on sometimes with school and work, the apartment and my pets that I forget about all of the other things I love. I love my studies, but when my nose is buried in my books for 14 hours a day I tend to lose track of time and connection to the outside. Scuba and skydiving were 2 things I always wanted to do, and I did the sky in Australia nearly two years ago and it took me until now to get myself to the bottom of the ocean. (I talk like I’m 50 but I’m only 25). I met some life long friends here and of course, I got to swim in one of the worlds most breathtaking beaches

I felt disconnected from the world in the most natural way. And I don’t just mean social media. I wasn’t sitting there actively making an effort to remain offline, but I was genuinely enjoying not having to answer to a single text, phone call, or person, period. Even though I did, when I wanted to. When you live in a big city you get used to the noise and the chaos and the crowds; removing myself from this gave me space and clarity I now know was necessary for me to recover, from my ling nursing shifts to my endless studies.

I don’t think there’s ever a wrong time to rediscover independence and boundaries, and how good it feels to respect your own.

There’s something about traveling and meeting people along the way that makes you realize just how small you are and how big the world is, and it’s wonderful. I love knowing that there will always be something exciting out there for me to explore and something beautiful for me to see.

To my surprise, all of my colleagues were supportive of my trip, but so many of them said they would never have the courage to do it. The best thing I have to say here is approach solo travel like you do anything else you’re maybe skeptical or nervous about, be careful, keep your guard up, situational awareness is key and make the most of it, safely.

All my love,

Selma

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