Aruba sparkles like a blue diamond being kissed by the sun. Once her magic is experienced, the spell is cast, and one is never the same. And so it is for me.
This year marks my twelfth return to the island. I can never get enough. In fact, I’ve revised my Bucket List to include a second home in Aruba. A piece of paradise to call my own.
Why do I love Aruba more than any other place I’ve traveled? I have been blessed with many opportunities of travel both for work and pleasure. I have been to Europe five times; Mexico six; Canada, including Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal; all over the United States, including Hawaii; and to many of the Caribbean islands. I’ve even been on safari in Africa. I’ve seen the majestic waterfalls of Niagara and Victoria. Still, of all the incredible adventures, of all the fabulous people, nothing comes close to One Happy Island.
A nation of Arawak Indians called the Caiquetios migrated north from the Orinoco Basin in South America and settled in Aruba approximately 2,000 years ago, becoming the first inhabitants. Aruba was eventually conquered by the Dutch in the 1630’s, and the island remains a Dutch colony today, along with the sister islands of Bonaire and Curacao—the ABC’s of paradise.
The name Aruba was derived from the Arawak Indian word oibubai which means guide.
A guide is a person who leads one through unknown or unmapped country. This includes a guide of the real world, such as someone who conducts travelers and tourists through a place of interest, as well as a person who leads someone to more abstract places, such as to knowledge or wisdom. For me, knowledge and truth lie within us because we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Aruba allows one to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world and more easily tap into the inner being that is the guide in all of us.
It is easy point out the obvious amenities and attractions, but I say it is the frame of mind and spirit that Aruba can put a person in that is at the core of its allure. Indeed, Aruba helps me become more connected to my Source—to God and the Universe. If we are connected to the Source, then we will be inspired to live our lives to the best of our abilities. We will be energized, creative and alive.
The past and future exist only in one’s mind, and so the more we can focus on the present, the more we are in touch with where we are supposed to be. To live in the moment is to truly live. The island of Aruba allows me to become alive and aware.
Why is this true more of Aruba than other places? The human experience is elevated to a more spiritual level in surroundings like Aruba, because there is a combined energy on the island that all of its inhabitants create. Aruba has a feeling of peace and calm, of a positive shared existence, which is fueled by its great abundance. This is, after all, an island that was once rich in gold and now in oil refining, offshore banking, and aloe cultivation. It is also home to the second largest desalination plant in the world, providing some of the best drinking water on the planet. In fact, Aruba’s water has been called the “Champagne of the Caribbean.”
It is no surprise that tourism provides the largest percentage of the country’s income. Adding to the many blessings of the island is the fact that Aruba lies outside of the hurricane belt, exhibits some of the most beautiful white, sandy beaches, maintains an almost constant temperature in the 80’s, and is cooled by tradewinds from the Atlantic. Unlike many vacation destinations, one is not forced to drive through horrific poverty stricken areas that the locals call home while heading toward a posh resort.
Why is Aruba so special? The fact is, no matter where one is, it is impossible to completely escape oneself. However, a location and its surroundings can enhance one’s current state of mind. One’s thoughts are the life force and control our state of mind, and the energy of Aruba lifts my spirit higher like a goddess. She is truly a gift from God above. To everyone who has been captured by her enchantment, as well as those who are new to the experience, I say, “bon dia.”
Until I have my second home in Aruba, I will remain content with visiting at least once a year. In the meantime, I commissioned a Florida artist to paint a scene that simply features a divi divi tree on the beach with the magnificent, brilliant blues of the sea and sky. It hangs above my jetted tub where I bubble my troubles away, dreaming of the dushi life.
Paradise is, after all, a state of mind. Paradise is here.
In the picture Rona Coster & Michael Marsh, living it up at happy hour in Aruba.