I was 25 years old and was still living in Mar del Plata, Sebastian and I were living together and the marriage subject had come up occasionally (we had been dating for 8 years, the last 3 living together) but he told me he didn’t believe in marriage and he would never get married. I wasn’t going to give up my dream wedding, a celebration to share with all my loved ones, but wasn’t in a hurry either so I let it be because I knew I had time to change his mind. At the time I was in a job I hated with all my guts, every day as I stepped into the office I felt the air running out of my body and came back home like I had trouble breathing. I needed some fresh air, I needed to travel badly. I grew up by the sea and it always filled me with energy, dreams and happiness. As a child I used to stay long hours diving in the sea dreaming I was a mermaid and feeling the sea salt burning my skin along with the sun. But it was July (Winter in my city) and risking to enter the freezing water was out of the question. That’s why I needed a different sea, more clear and unknown to me, so after convincing Sebastian we decided to take a trip to Cuba for 15 days.
It was my first time at the Caribbean sea and I hyperventilated every time I imagined that ocean full of life. Our first stop was Coco Key, we got around 5 p.m. to the hotel but the day was windy and the sky had some grey clouds. After we checked in and got to our room I left the bags and the first thing I did was to run to the beach to stare at the sea. To my disappointment that perfect picture I had in my head torn to pieces in 2 seconds, the sea wasn’t that natural swimming pool I expected but endless little lambs dancing on a green dark canvas. I didn’t lose hope and went to explore the hotel and then have a well-deserved rest after a long trip for a fresh start the next morning.
After a good night sleep, I never sleep as well as on vacation, I woke up early without the alarm, one of my favorite things when I travel, and I went to have breakfast. I had a feast of tropical fruits, waffles and scrambled eggs (I can’t eat like this at home, but on vacations I love it!) and afterwards I went to the beach again, with waves or no waves, with a quiet or raging sea I was going to dive in. The sky was clear and the sun burned from early hours. As I walked towards the beach I started to glance pieces of aquamarine water that stood out through the thick green vegetation. When I finally got there I couldn’t believe my own eyes, that picture I had seen so many times was standing in front of me inviting me to be a part of the landscape. I left my clothes and ran out to the sea with a despair only comparable to when I was a girl and after an endless trip by car to the beach, without air conditioning of course, we arrived and I ran not only because the heat was unbearable but because the sand of Mar del Plata at summer is as hot as walking on burning embers. My heart was filled with joy, I jumped, dived and make all the silly pirouettes I felt like in the sea and became once again a careless girl far from grownups problems.
One of the times I dived, I carried a snorkel mask and spent more than 2 hours swimming with the most colorful fishes I’ve ever seen and pretending again I was a mermaid when suddenly I saw it, almost imperceptible, camouflaged among the white sand. It called my attention, it seemed like a white Stone with a flower carved to perfection. I picked it up and turned it around and saw a Little hole where I imagined used to live a little sea creature that wasn’t there anymore. To me this Discovery or to have found a treasure chest was practically the same. I pulled it out, shared my secret with Sebastian and then carefully put it away in my luggage. Later in time I learnt that my Discovery was the remains of a sea urchin. At this point of the trip I no longer remembered that I had a job that I hated, I was fully connected with the enjoyment ad happiness I was feeling.
But this vacations had one more surprise for me: one night we had a reservation at one of the hotel’s restaurants and Seba insisted that I posh myself up. He never used to make this kind of remarks so I found it strange but I was having such a great time that I didn’t pay it more attention. We had a great dinner, in a relaxed atmosphere and when I opened the dessert menu I found a handwritten note that just said “Would you marry me?”. I was in shock, for a brief period of time I thought it could be a cruel joke, but when I looked up I saw him with a beautiful smile holding a ring that he had secretly purchased and hided in our luggage without me noticing it. It took me like 1 second to say “Yes!” with all my heart. What touched me the most of the proposal was thinking how this man could asked me to marry him in one of the most complicated moments of my life (let me be clear, I wouldn’t have marry me back then). Definitely this was and still is good love.
I spent the rest of the journey in an idyll, all that anguish that I felt prior to the trip was in the past. I came back with a wedding date for the next year and determined to get a new job. Two months later, not only had I change my job, but Seba and I had moved to Buenos Aires and were planning our wedding to be held in Mar del Plata, I wouldn’t have imagined that in a million years but is a decision I have never regretted.
I miss the sea every day, that is a fact, but it is always there for me like an old friend when I decide to pay it a visit anytime I feel like it. Today my treasure rest in a glass bowl together with other seashells and stones that I brought from other journeys. Every time I look at it I remember that moment when I felt so lost and how a trip made me so happy that made me change my perspective and little by little all the pieces fall into place and lend me to my new life.