"We export happiness."
Yes, Aruba, yes you do.
Situated off the coast of Venezuela, slightly south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, this Caribbean delight is everything I've needed to escape a fast-paced world that glorifies busy.
Weather? 365 days of sunshine guaranteed.
Gluttony? Five Star nom nom nom.
Beaches? Crystal clean and host to sailing, snorkeling and kite surfing.
Hurricanes? Not a chance; the Dutch Colony conveniently falls below the hurricane belt, and with just a two and half hour flight from Miami International, it's no surprise its #1 economic stimulant is tourism.
Aruba doesn't just import tourism; Aruba exports happiness.
Whoever said happiness is a journey, and not a destination, clearly hadn't been to Aruba. Paths in life are not always happy. We feel pain, we suffer, we lose, we try and we fail. Maybe some more often than others, but we all have to deal with some form of anti-Jolly. Emotionally defining life factors can be outside of our control, yet other influencers, as chosen, directly impact our happiness-scale.
We can choose to be happy.
What are yours? What makes you happy?
Sunshine, the outdoors, scenic views, smile-with-your-eyes and-teeth people, being physically active and trying new things top my list of happy pills. Therefore, Aruba makes me happy.
I had put my emails on hold, and ninja re-scheduled my meetings for a spontaneous trip to the Aruba Marriott TRADEWINDS Club.
I found myself doing the things I love, in a place I love because I love myself enough to do things for me.
Above all, travel is a form of self-love.
Here are three more reasons, we deserve adult playtime.
1. We should be working to live, not living to work.
We spend anywhere from eight to eighteen hours a day working. Not to mention any form of home cleaning or organization, and trivial obligations that can feel like work more than that for our employer (or clients).
So yes, whist spending a third to half of our adulthood working is a reality, what's the point of financially progressing (or surviving) if you aren't even enjoying it.
I sure enjoyed this view...
2. If we don't take care of ourselves, who is going to take care of us for us?
No one can love you, unless you love yourself. No one can make time to work out for you. No one can force feed you tranquility. If we should treat others the way that we wish to be treated, we first set the standard with ourselves.
So treat yourself.
And rest. Sleep in. Gorge. Or indulge in your partner.
"Dinner in Bed" at the Screaming Eagle Restaurant and Balinese Massage at the Mandara Spa.
3. Time is irreplaceable.
As a child spoiled by Southern California's "seasons," I used to think that everyone in the world gets a sunset, and what a shame it is -- that not everyone stops to enjoy it.
Well, not everyone gets a sunset and sunrise. People spend entire seasons in darkness or sunshine. Others have the glowing, setting star, just outside of their window, but forfeit the view daily. As time slips through their fingers, they one day wake up and realize, they missed too many sunsets. They surpassed a time they can't get back. They subcommand to "glorified busy."
So do it now. Meet the sun's encounter with the horizon; together they serve as an icon to happy times well invested, or time poorly spent.
What's stopping you? How will you treat yourself?
You shouldn't need a reason to justify your happiness. You deserve to be happy. Life is short, book the trip.
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Stephanie Be is an award-winning writer, photographer and travel expert. Having traveled to over 200 places, the entrepretraveler and UCLA Alumna has a passion for adventure, lifestyle and motivation. Learn more on Travel-Break.net, follower her on Instagram @StephBeTravel, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat: TravelBreak.