So excited to start blogging more now that I have settled (kind of) into the new year! My family and I brought in the new year on a week-long Caribbean cruise that traveled from Port Canaveral (Florida) to St. Maarten –> San Juan, Puerto Rico –> Labadee, Haiti! (there’s a picture of us when we visited Labadee below!) It was an awesome trip and honestly it was so nice to “disconnect” from the world & social media for a few days.
One of the most impactful memories I have from the cruise was at the island of St. Maarten. This past year, Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean islands all of the ones we visited actually. But St. Maarten (just east of Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands) was one of the first islands to be hit by Irma. Nevertheless, Royal Caribbean told us that we would still be making our routine stop there despite being hit just months before. As part of the excursions we had signed up for, my family & I took a bus tour around the small island and saw first hand the devastation of the island. There were half sunken sail boats, houses with tarp on the roof, dismantled metal & shipping containers everywhere, and palm trees bent down to the ground around most of the island. I couldn’t imagine what the island had looked like before we got there.
As an island that generates a lot of their revenue from tourists visiting on cruise ships, their faces were beaming with happiness as our ship pulled up to dock- we were one of the first ships to visit the island since the hurricane. I remember watching the news around the time that Irma was beginning to hit the Caribbean and feeling so sad. It was hard to imagine what the island and everyone living on it was going through. Visiting the island was one of the first times in my life where I was able to actually see the damage that a natural disaster had inflicted on a tight knit community, but I was also so amazed by the resiliency of the high-spirited people of St. Maarten. Despite being “kicked down” by the hurricane, everyone on the island was so hopeful that things were going to go back to the way it used to be. They were optimistic, resilient, motivated, kind-hearted, and determined.
As a soon-to-be student in the physical therapy field, I personally think these characteristics are important to embody. I know that I’ll have many challenges and obstacles to overcome when I’m in school. But if I try to implement these characteristics in everything that I do, I’m hopeful I can tackle any problem and find a solution. In 2018 and for the many years to come, I am going to challenge myself (and you!) to try to be the best version of ME that I can be. I will be optimistic when things might not go the way I planned them. I will be resilient when I’m “knocked down” or set back in any situations occurring in my life. I will be motivated in everything I do- from learning to be the best possible future physical therapist to continuing to work on my personal development. I will always be kind-hearted to not only my future patients, but to the strangers around me that I do or don’t interact with every day. I will be determined to push myself in everything I do. Will you?
What are your top 5 characteristics?