in West Indies
University is a time in which many people build their greatest relationships, creating bonds that last the rest of their lives. Often these links culminate in one final trip during the graduating year that all of the participants remember for the rest of their lives.
For my friends and I, that trip found us in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Forty students clambered their way on to a chartered flight at 5:30 AM, aware only of the fact that their livers would suffer immensely during the week that followed. After several quick hours the plane touched down just 30 minutes away from the golden beaches and flowing mojitos. A gentleman flagged down our large group, directing us to a private bus that took us directly to the resort. The heat was intense but invigorating, and each bead of sweat signaled an increase in excitement. Within one hour of arriving at the all-inclusive hotel each student had found their room, unpacked their bags, and ordered a drink. Without given order, everyone gathered at the red, ocean-side pillow beds that would become our daytime homes for the next 7 days. Quickly we found ourselves chatting, swimming, playing cards, paddling in kayaks and spiking volleyballs. The sun was high in the sky and little could disturb this incredible private world. The night came softly, a remarkable sunset acting as master of ceremonies to reign in the evening.
Festivities began to unfold as a dance show took place on stage while our enormous group looked on in a spirited state. As the night progressed the group wandered into the ocean for a moonlit swim. It served as a perfect end to an incredible day. The ensuing six days saw little change in our routine. Daytimes were kept busy with sports, contests and endless alcoholic beverages. Evenings brought opportunities to dance at the bars and clubs both on and off the resort. A catamaran ride serving our group brought us to the Dunnís River Falls where all forty of us linked arms and walked our way up the falls. Following this feat was none other than an open bar on the open sea. As we sailed it became clear that these people would forever remain an important memory for me: a marker that represented one of the greatest times in my life and one that I will recall for the rest of my days.
As the sun set on our final night and we departed for the airport we all reminisced about the previous week, sharing laughs and smiles through sobered eyes. The trip may have been over, but its impact has proven to endure.