Long before I ever had the idea to put my thoughts into a blog, I used to travel journal. There’s something about being on the road that always gets my creative spirit moving, and I am able to put my inner dialog down onto paper. Often, the worse a vacation is, the better the journalling. There’s something funny about my angry written word, and I’ve always found it to be cathartic in situations where I’ve felt powerless.
When my husband and I embarked on our honeymoon, it was after almost a year’s worth of stress, planning, drama and pain. We entrusted a travel agent friend to find us a suitable hotel within our budget, and boy did we fail there. The island of Aruba had been battered by the same hurricane that ruined our wedding day, and the hotel where we were booked really didn’t give a fuck.
The beach was scattered with broken pieces of coral from the reef, which were the same color as the sand, making the seemingly walkable surface a minefield of razors. The hotel restaurants never opened on time, and the snack shops were overrun by mosquitoes. The room we were given for our honeymoon was two double beds overlooking the parking lot and dumpsters, and at night the party scene that took place outside meant that no rest could be had until about midnight.
We hated every minute of our stay, except for the hobie cat time we could book each day. That one hour we spent tacking up and down the cost of island was probably the best memory we had of our stay there. About halfway through the trip, we looked into adventure elsewhere, booking excursions and trips, which were fun, but by that time, it was too little too late. The island of Aruba is supposed to be one of those iconically beautiful places, but we couldn’t wait to get out of there.
In order to cope with my misery, I wrote sarcastic and angry postcards to my friends at home. I didn’t mail them, because at the time, I found them to be hilarious and thought I might turn them into a travelogue style book in the snarky vein of my heroes like Hunter S. Thompson or Douglas Adams. So I tucked them away to work on them “someday.” I’ve dug them out a few times, and never gotten around to writing them up until today. And as I began to transcribe them, I’ve realized that my writing style from 12 years ago is so very different and outdated from the way I write now that their punch was gone.
I’ve read before that ideas have shelf lives. I think this is true for writing. I found a novel I’d never finished as well and had been working hard to try to revise it in the current voice I write with now. But again, as more than a decade has passed, the glimmer has faded and I’m ready to cut them loose. So, unfortunately, as much as I’d hoped to form these old snarky pieces into something fun, they just don’t hold up over time. I’m okay with letting them go, because it was a warm up exercise to where my writing is now. My voice is so much better defined, and I think it’s best to leave the past where it is.