No matter how many fun excursions, crystal blue seas, cute exotic animals, amazing plates of food, or fantastic accommodations I experience in my travels, the most beautiful and memorable exchanges are with the people I meet.

Nothing holds a candle to those who offer smiles, advice, genuine help, laughs, and hospitality just for the sake of humanity.

And for that reason, I made a habit, this time around, of remembering the names of almost everyone I had the pleasure of engaging with.

Ricardo who vented with me after also missing his flight to Miami.

Janelle, the sharp hotel attendant who gave me my replacement toothbrush and made my lost bag situation a little bit better.

Ramon who’s easygoing nature made our days at the beach that much more pleasant.

Winston who gave us the scoop on where to get good ice cream.

Christine – I wish her the best in the hospitality program she applied for admission to. Her customer service skills are primo.

Tenisha & Keisha – they were also very good to us and helped us with whatever we needed to feel comfortable.

Jovan & Hakim – for letting us experience the horses up close.

And to the Three Wise Men:

The Guyanese attorney on his way to a new assignment in Belize.

The Bajan transplant to New York who turned a municipal career into early retirement.

The Philly native who managed to visit Cuba under the excuse of “Support for the People”. (I’m sure I know which people.) Regardless, if that Miami layover had turned into an overnight, we definitely could have gone dancing. Rain check it is…

Thanks to everyone who kept us safe, informed, and entertained…

And to Friend whose buddy pass and swift hotel accommodations planning made the whole damn thing possible!

I hope to have many more adventures like this in the future and to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the miraculous details right here.

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