The cruise ship had dozens of entertaining options to choose from each day – too many for someone who had decided to use the week away for mainly relaxation and rest, and some family together time sans technology.

As my son and I waltzed by the art gallery promoter one day, we almost passed up the opportunity to guess the sale price of a small Peter Max painting but then couldn’t resist the challenge and game of chance. We put in our best guesses and I popped the tickets and future gallery event invitation into my purse and went on to enjoy the quiet calm of the sea.

Several gloriously leisure days passed on our trip aboard the Crown Princess. We were sailing to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao just north of Venezuela to soak up the sun on snorkeling excursions and catamaran rides. We reveled in gorgeous sunsets from our balcony and just as beautiful sunrises.

One evening after dinner, as we wandered through the musical options onboard, we stumbled again upon the art gallery guy- this time offering a chance to guess the weight of a sculpture on display and take home a masterpiece.

I was curious about that Peter Max painting price as we had forgotten all about the gallery invite since our first encounter. As we approached, the promoter looked straight at me and before I could speak he turned to me and said, “Hey lady, you won- you guessed the correct price of the painting- but you have to be present to win.”

His clear voice rang through my brain and electricity ran up my spine with this metaphorical message. Could there be any more brilliant piece of advice for me?

This fabulous reminder to be here now enveloped the rest of my vacation day mindset. It shifted my perspective and magnified every interaction and experience. The simplest moments, whether sharing a laugh with Ajit, our lovely waiter from Goa over my lustful crab cracking at dinner or the late night disco dance party on deck, turned into moments of great joy and pleasure.

I listened more intently to each person’s story; Lizette from Blue Bay Bonaire and her brave move from the Netherlands, Nikolai’s journey from life in Serbia to work onboard a cruise ship and so many more. I relished in sharing experiences with the other passengers over great meals, luxurious spa treatments and morning yoga.

As the trip came to a close, I wondered how I would hold on to this new awareness when back home. I vowed to try to incorporate some intentional rituals into my daily practice to help bolster this feeling of staying in the moment. It would be an effort that would sustain me until my next travel adventure.

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  • Dr Sharon Ufberg

    Dr. Sharon Ufberg is a freelance writer, entrepreneurial coach, founder of Borrowed Wisdom and hosts Force of Nature on NPR’s 51% radio.

    Dr. Ufberg is a radio host and freelance journalist who writes and talks about human spirit, people and places that make a difference, women, musicians and philanthropic initiatives.She creates and teaches online personal growth courses and privately coaches individuals as the senior consultant for Borrowed Wisdom and Good Advice Works, companies she created to assist people to turn their dreams into reality.