How does one describe paradise on earth? A cold refreshing ice cream on a warm sunny day. A whole day spent in a huge shopping mall with unlimited funds. A comfy mattress after many crappy nights sleeping on the floor. A glass of red wine paired with French baguette and cheese, after months of eating noodles and white steamed rice. A nice long hot shower after a long exhausting day. A sweet ride on a motorbike across gorgeous landscapes. A whole stress-free day with no obligations, no responsibilities, and no to-do lists. A day spent at a luxurious spa, being pampered and taken cared for. A day spent with your best friends and love ones, just chilling and talking…
All the above are very very close ones… but as of now, my definition of paradise consists in two words: El Nido.
Imagine an exotic little island with miles and miles of white sand beaches and palm trees.
Imagine super comfy beach bags where you can spend your days just relaxing, working on getting the perfect tan, and taking a quick dip in the water when the sun gets too hot.
Imagine beautiful breath-taking sunsets, amazing snorkeling spots, and fun island hopping tours by boat.
And, paradise was a perfect place to turn the big 3-0 on January 30th!
Don’t get me wrong here… I’m not one to be all dramatic and sad about switching decades! But it is a milestone in my life, and I have to admit it got me thinking…
When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up, to turn 12 because it meant being a little more independent. I could choose my own clothes, take public transports and go to the movies or out with friends without any adult supervision. When I was a teenager, I was in a hurry to turn 18 because then, I would be old enough to be taken seriously, to have the right to drink and to drive. I would be solely responsible of my decisions and acts. I would finally be an Adult. When I was in my twenties, I had big dreams and hopes. My world was a openbook and only the present day counted. I didn’t want to grow older anymore, and I certainly didn’t want to think about my future even though I had glimpses at what real, working life was about — Relationships, jobs, responsibilities, stress,… Everything seemed so much more complicate and serious when you’re no longer a student. And once I graduated from college, I had to think about where I’ll be in 5-10 years from now, and what I would be doing, and how I would look like,… People say that time goes by faster as you get older. This is clearly an understatement! At the eve of turning 30, I felt that time had not only flown by as a snap of fingers, but that I should have done something by now… something bigger…more meaningful…than what I had achieved so far.
On my thirtieth birthday, I was enjoying for breakfast some chocolate pancakes and a big cup of coffee, while sitting outside on the beach & looking at the ocean. Perfect breakie!! And, I realised that the prospect of turning 30 seemed to be worse than the reality. My life was pretty good at the moment. Even if I didn’t revolutionize the world (didn’t invent/create anything), didn’t win the nobel prize, nor earned my first million by the age of 30 (like other people on this planet!!), my life was pretty good at the moment –I was fulfilling my long-time dream, a solo trip around the world, and meeting so many amazing persons along the way. Moreover, I was a lucky girl celebrating my birthday in paradise (El Nido). I had never been filled with so much emotion and a peace of mind than at that moment.