Another work trip, and this was definitely my favorite one! This one felt like a major milestone for me because of all the firsts that took place. It was my first time on a cruise, the first major event that I was in charge of, the first one that I was the only supporting staff for, the first time I spoke on a real estate panel, and the first time feeling truly confident travelling and networking by myself. And this trip was especially important because it everyone there for the event truly bonded. Even after leaving AREAA, I'm still in contact with some of these people and have friends from all over the world now. Another cool part of this trip was that it was the last trip of my already amazing, travelling summer, and the day after I returned home would be my first day at SDSU.
First thing's first, I went from San Diego to New Orleans where I stayed at the beautiful 'The Mercantile' hotel. And full transparency, theEDGE leader who put the event together with me had a little bit of an emergency with expected number of attendees. We had to powwow the day before the cruise event that night in New Orleans where we rearranged the entire schedule and put together a new program to better fit the audience.
The next day was boarding day. We were on a Carnival cruise heading to Cozumel, Mexico. We took the time to meet with a few of the attendees for drinks while we waited for our rooms to be ready. This is when I got to meet some of our sponsors for the first time and they quickly became friends. The rooms were ready and they were beautiful. It was a nice touch to send out event attendees a bottle of champagne, a bottle of wine, and some chocolate covered strawberries. Then I had to hop online and work remotely for the majority of the day before meeting everyone for dinner.
The following day was the day of the event. I woke up early, made sure our conference room was set up, and then was thrown to speak on a millennial real estate panel... I was so nervous because I really don't know anything about real estate. I'm only an event coordinator after all. But then the conversation started, the questions were asked, and I didn't do half bad. After, I asked one of the guests what they thought and they said that my perspective was refreshing... I was shocked. That jolt of confidence helped me for the rest of the trip. I was networking, kept the show running, and proved myself as the youngest person there.
The following days passed almost too fast as we had a great, relaxing day at sea and then an excursion at Cozumel. I paid to go to the Tulum ruins, an anthropological site (I figured it would be a great way to see an important place before starting my semester at State), and a few of my new friends joined me. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of excursions if you have the money. We were a little cranky towards the end of the excursion because of the heat and we felt we were left at the site a little too long. We would've liked to see more of the surrounding area near the port, which our other friends did and had just as great of a time.
Our free time on the boat was filled with tanning, lots of food, drinks, laughter, and great memories. By the way, definitely splurge on the unlimited drink passes. They aren't really unlimited but you get 15 drinks a day which is more than fair for all the drinks you could get. I can't believe how much fun we had and how close we all got. We hung out at the pool deck, the water slide, dinners every night, we went to a comedy club, the piano bar, the actual club, and just hung out all the time. It was refreshing to have such a great experience while doing so many things that I've never done before.
If you have the opportunity to travel with a group of people that you only know through association... do it! You could make friendships that last a lifetime and many memories that certainly will.
Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.