I've traveled to quite a few interesting places in my life. I spent eight years living in the swamps of southern Texas before returning to Massachusetts. Have hiked the cliffs and canyons of Arizona and Nevada. I've been to Florida a few times before, but nothing could have possibly prepared me for the sheer beauty, serenity, and delightfully kooky atmosphere that is the Florida Keys.
Being in the Keys is like being transported to the Caribbean, without ever needing a passport. Key West itself is literally just two miles of bars and shopping and hotel resorts and places to charter fishing and water sports, like jet skis and kayaks, and snorkeling expeditions. There's history here too, the Ernest Hemingway house is a must-see, and who doesn't love eating brunch at a table shaped like a six-toed cat paw? Its a lot of fun, but I was truly in love with the more northern island we stayed on, the stunning and serene Islamorada.
I rode jetskis and kayaked and snorkeled and swam and fell in love with this beautiful and astounding place. Where freaking iguanas run wild that could give my cat a run for her money, fish are abundant and beautiful, and the locals are simply charming and all around lovely people. My neighbor was burdened with having caught too much yellow snapper, and gave my mother and I two, which I cleaned myself and gave to our chef for the freshest sushi of my life. The Florida Keys are the origin of Pirate Radio, which I would listen to while reading fan fiction on my Kindle in a hammock that swayed in the cool sea breeze while giant crabs skittered about beneath me.
I learned a lot being there, about the sea and myself, and found a new sense of clarity and wonder. I realized just how much I can accomplish, how limitless and infinite the possibilities of my life truly are. I was reminded that to truly move forward, I must completely let go of the things which hold me back, and the people who continue to do so. And that grounding, for me and my energy, should not necessarily bring me to the ground, but to the waves. With that idea I have grown so much stronger, and the idea of witchcraft and power raising and playing in the local ley line has become a bold and exciting one once again.
Leaving the Florida Keys was one of the most difficult return trips I have ever had to make in my life. I didn't want to leave, and the only way I convinced myself to do so was with a simple and bold promise.
I will come back.
And next time, I won't ever be leaving.