Earlier this month, my family and I went on a cruise, touring the coast of Spain, bits of Italy, Portugal and even Morocco. My parents are such huge fans of cruise tours as they’ve been going on these kinds of tours for a long time and they have always wanted us to experience it for ourselves.

Even when I was much younger, I have always wanted to know what it was like to be part of a cruise tour. It’s probably more influenced by the fact that it has been featured in several children’s books and TV shows. I remember a book in a middle-grade series I loved called The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley (the Trenchcoat Twins!) wherein the twins’ family went on a cruise. I don’t exactly remember the entire story but I do recall that the twins talked about joining this treasure hunt and all the other activities reserved for kids on board. I was also an avid viewer of the spin-off series,The Suite Life on Deck with Zack and Cody on Disney Channel. So, suffice it is to say that I was actually pretty excited for this tour but color me disappointed when I found I wasn’t really going to fulfill some of  the cruise ship scenarios I’ve painted in my mind mainly because, well, I’m 21 and I count as an adult and most adult activities cater to the… well, let’s just say, the adult adult.  Still, the entire ten-day cruise has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I am very, very grateful for this trip.

Aside from the fact that we got to see many historic sites on shore days and when we went around cities in Spain before and after the cruise, my favorite thing about his trip is that I was able to – surprise, surprise -get out of a mean writing slump. You would think that because of all the traveling, I wouldn’t have any time to sit down to jot down something, or anything at all! On the contrary, the bounty of free time on days and nights when we were on sail (and when I didn’t have much energy to join in on the activities) and the sporadic access to wifi both allowed me to flourish a bit in the writing aspect.

It’s funny, really, how I even found it in me to write at all during this trip. It’s invigorating, though, to know that I can still do it. That I can still write. I’m not, in any way, a great writer and that’s not just me downplaying my skills. At best, I consider myself an okay writer. Writing, you see, has always been my biggest frustration. I used to want so bad to become a writer growing up. But then, whenever I write, I always seem to have this voice in my head telling me that I’m never going to be able to write anything moderately okay. In fact, even as I write this post or any blog post for that matter (the amount of drafts I have for this blog isn’t even funny), that voice lingers. But, I’d like to believe that I take it easy these days. I don’t push myself too hard, but it doesn’t mean I don’t challenge myself. It just means that I don’t pressure myself into writing a really eloquent piece cause I know I’m not some writer aficionado.Words don’t come to me as easily as they do for others. But I guess I’m just really, really, really, grateful that I’m still here, that I’m still trying.

So, really, after that trip? I am just so grateful- not only for the fact that my parents were able to let us see some of the most breathtaking cities, but also for the fact that the trip allowed to find that small voice in me that urges me to never stop writing and to block out the bigger voice that’s been telling me that I can’t.

In a couple of weeks, I’m taking another trip – this time, alone. I can only hope that it will further encourage that voice in me. But, really, what I’m ultimately hoping for is for that voice to never ever be drowned out again even when I’m home and in my comfort zone.

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