FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Approximately six o’clock this morning boarding began for Swoop Airlines in Hamilton at gate 3, leaving for Halifax. It was my first time on this airline, and my first time going to Halifax. Swoop Airline is new, has ultra low fare, and takes you anywhere around Canada. For a one way fare from Hamilton to Halifax, I paid $99. The fine detail is that everything has a price, and you decide what you need. My carry on cost $30, which was still at a reasonable $129. Boarding was on schedule. I took my seat in a somewhat confined space. I had the corner seat, fourth row from the front. I stealthily took my jacket off, trying to avoid hitting the lady sitting in the middle seat in the face, then tucked it under the seat in front next to where my purse was sitting. The flight attendants came with their food tray about an hour later. I didn’t bother asking about the price, as I had my french vanilla from Timmys that I purchased earlier. It was only a two-hour flight, from take off to landing.

 

For the first time since I’ve been flying, more than 20 years ago, I had a chance to go inside the cockpit to meet William, the pilot and the co-pilot, all thanks to the flight Attendants, Danielle and Nicole. This marked the beginning of an extraordinary day, even if I didn’t know it when I stepped off the plane.

There is a first time for everything.

I stepped into Halifax on a mission. I was going to learn as much as I could about the City. First, I had to pickup my Rental Car from Enterprise. Mark was soft spoken and weaved in personal information about himself as he conducted the business transaction. Without looking up from his computer, he responded to a question I had asked about his wedding band. No, I wasn’t trying to pick Mark up! His wedding band was nothing I had seen before. Like a flower shaped diamond on the top of a thick band. My Dad had given it to me before he passed, and my wife insisted that I wear it. I’ve only seen one other person wearing the same ring. Mark was also wearing a logo of the Chicago Cubs as a cufflink. I didn’t bother inquiring about that. I could see that he had a few sentimental pieces, that he was proud of wearing. After he completed the transaction; my request of a seven day rental, and a free upgrade, he directed me to sit in the waiting area. Kayla would call you when the vehicle is ready, Mark informed me. 20181002_102154Kayla marched to the area with her iPad in hand, called me by last name, and walked me into the parking lot. We gave you a free upgrade, it’s sort of like a SUV and it comes with a built in GPS. I don’t care what kinda vehicle it is Kayla. We both laughed. This is it. She pointed to the blue Nissan Rogue Sports vehicle. This is perfect. After the typical routine of walking around the vehicle and checking for damages, I signed my initial on her iPad. Kayla did a quick review of the general car features (upon my request), then sauntered off to the next customers. We’re here if you have any questions. Have a great trip!

I loaded the vehicle with my one luggage, took out my cell phone to view my itinerary on the travefy app: A Tour of Africville museum.

Face the Facts

Sometimes the heart makes the best decisions. The first time I returned to Jamaica, I fell in love. And I simply could not stop thinking about going back. It was this recurring daydream. After a series of events, I made up my mind that I would return a second time, and I would have a real purpose while there. I decided on writing a book. It turned out that pursuing an MBA and becoming an author were not realistic to pursue together. So, the MBA took precedence. The thing I love is that, it really didn’t matter what I did, I just needed to live and breathe in the tropical, sacchariferous paradise.

Face the factsNow it’s been more than a year since I have been in Jamaica, and the culture and the people are growing on me. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a length of time, but there is this magnetic pull I feel here that is simply too potent to resist. It’s hard to make up my mind to leave, though I see the months dashing by. I continuously have to answer the questions: “Do you plan to leave when you’re done? or are you planning to stay here?” with hestitation. I seem to be waiting for the sky to open up and to declare: Follow your heart. This I know all too well already, for my heart really does make the best decisions. Yet it is hard to trust it sometimes without facts.

Related: Follow my heart?

Following the heart almost sounds like a musical note in the distance pulling you in the direction of its melody; or the smell of a savory meal calling you to indulge. With grace you are allured to this place of satisfaction, and perhaps, there is nowhere else you’d rather be, at least for that moment.  Reality eventually set in and you have to face the facts.

Face the facts?The fact is: I will need to make money to live and sustain myself. But this is not necessarily encased to any specific geographical region. There is nothing pressing to hurry back to that can’t be taken care of at a distance. But as it stands, I am legally not allowed to work here. However, this dilemma can be resolved. So, what is my heart really telling me? Months ago, I made a decision. I would pack my bags and go home as soon as I completed the program; yet my resolve is shaky- that is not what my heart wants.

I am in love and it’s hard to ignore my heart in this decision, facts or no facts. Living in Jamaica has given me a deeper purpose in life to pursue, and a deeper desire to relish. My heart has made its decision, but my mind is having trouble choosing to follow the heart or wake up to reality. Sooner or later life will unfold in its own special way. Perhaps, my heart will win, but if it doesn’t, I will forever remember Jamaica, and I vow to come back.