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I got up for the last time this morning to enjoy my customary mango, Puerto Rican coffee, and peanut butter toast. As I sipped on my coffee as others grumbled about how hungover they were or itchy from the bug bites they got in the rainforest. No sound came from me. I sat quietly, focusing on taking it all in.
I didn’t want to believe it. Why leave such a beautiful paradise for a frozen wasteland? I didn’t want to go back to bitterly cold Minnesota were a tundra of ice awaited me. At the moment I couldn’t understand why I would even board that plane home.
Many of us agreed that we should soak up the sun’s rays. For many of us, we were nearing the end of our vacations. I joined them, disposing of my pack by the door, where it idly waited to go to the airport with me.
I walked with my Swedish friend to the beach — she was also leaving today. We walked past the book wall which I had seen many times before, but this time I stopped. I browsed the titles and picked the first one I could read in English, “The Savage Garden.”
I made her take a picture of me with the book and told her my grand scheme. How this book was going to travel the world. I was just giving it a push.
At the beach I sat in the sand and let it collect in my shorts and sandals as I read my newly-found book. My friends jumped into the waves, only this time as I sat by and watched. I was usually the leader of the pack at battling the waves. I was a warrior who tried to tame the surf. But not today. Not now.
Then my dreaded alarm went off and I walked back to Mango Mansion for the last time to catch my Uber to the airport. I tried to take it all in. Oh, how much I would miss my beloved island. It had started to feel like a second home to me.
In the airport
I sit in the airport, uncustomary early for me. I scrolled through my snaps of the trip I just ended and wanted to bust out of the airport. This airport felt like a prison. It caged me from paradise.
But the further back I scrolled, I came across photos of friends back home and loved ones. I smiled and knew it was OK that this adventure was ending. Another adventure would soon begin.