Antigua: A Trip of Unexpected Lessons

Antigua: A Trip of Unexpected Lessons
Last month, I shared about our short trip to Antigua. While it wasn't the idyllic getaway we planned, it turned into a journey of self-discovery and a deeper appreciation for my husband.
 
The Warmth of the Antiguan People: Despite our last-minute cancellations due to Rob's allergic reaction, the Antiguans impressed us with their remarkable grace and generosity. Every accommodation and excursion provider readily accommodated us and offered full refunds.
 
A Glimpse into Antiguan Life: We witnessed a unique aspect of local life – goats roaming freely. Apparently, they're let loose for grazing and return home when thirsty (although some never return home). The island's past was revealed in the remnants of sugar mills, once the backbone of the economy. Interestingly, locals often vacation on nearby islands. Also, we discovered that their water supply is often turned off without notice - they are very resourceful people, many homes housed huge cylinders of water on their property in anticipation of the water stoppage.
 
Travel Tips and Hidden Gems: We were told about "Odomos," a recommended insect repellent from a helpful taxi driver that, apparently, staves off sand flies (unfortunately, we did not learn about this soon enough). Sadly, we missed swimming with pigs at the Pigs Paradise excursion - it's now on my bucket list!
 
Strengthening Our Bond: This trip sparked important conversations with Rob. It reaffirmed my love for him, reminding me of the strength of our bond despite life's challenges. For me, the experience, also, highlighted the importance of carrying emergency medication while traveling.
 
Reevaluating Priorities: The trip's cost prompted us to question our travel motives - why did we choose the Caribbean over Mexico or Hawaii? Mexico & Hawaii would have been significantly more cost effective and shorter flight destinations. More importantly, it served as a wake-up call to solidify our life plan. We're working on ensuring we both have access to all financial accounts, passwords secured in one place for easy access and addressing other crucial matters that aren’t always easy to talk about, like sharing our last wishes with each other so we know how to handle things when each of us pass away.
 
A Holistic Life Audit: We're taking a comprehensive look at our lives - business, health, finances, and our relationship. Regular communication and planning will ensure we support each other's goals and navigate challenges together.
 
Grateful for Life's Lessons: Though not the planned anniversary trip, it brought us closer. We're more grateful than ever for life, another year together, and the fresh perspective this experience has given us.
 
A Love Letter to My Husband:
"When we married, Rob & I dreamed of adventure, family, and shared experiences. While we've had that, the reality is that marriage is hard. There have been unexpected challenges and moments when showing up for each other felt difficult. This trip, with its disappointments and Rob's allergic reaction, reminded me why he’s my person. He’s accepted me with all my flaws, and past trauma & hurts and I’m still amazed that his love for me is unwavering. With his permission, he’s allowed me to share the anniversary gift I gave him..."
 

We hope some of these lessons resonate with you as well.
 
With love and gratitude,
Rica

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