Dushi — (adjective, kinda): “sweet, nice, fun, tasty, good, sexy, etc”. A word I saw all over Curaçao, had no idea what it meant until some of my hostel-mates informed me on my last day…should’ve used it more when I had the chance.
Curaçao is part of the “ABC” Dutch Caribbean Islands, full of breathtaking nature and great people from all over the world. Solo travel can be extremely daunting, but I was very lucky to stay there for 5 days as this experience was unreal.
For those considering a similar trip but on the fence, here are some takeaways from one of the best trips I’ve ever had:
Honestly, the fact that a lot of Americans (myself included) didn’t know much about Curacao was a big factor in my choice over Aruba. Using the limited days I had in between jobs to just relax, immerse myself in a different environment, see minimal tourists, be uncomfortable and avoid the general “hustle culture” I partake in daily was the goal here. Curacao passed with flying colors, Bonaire might have to be next.
Solitude is vital
I went to Curacao by myself, last minute. First time staying at a hostel, first solo trip. Naturally when I landed I was stressed and a bit nervous. Hearing everyone speak Dutch while having no idea how to get to my hostel from the airport was a great start. Regardless, forcing myself to be uncomfortable was well worth it at the end of the day. Isolation on an island surrounded by people I don’t know was surprisingly addicting. Having time to go deep into my mind, learn some new things, go up to strangers to have deep conversations and explore a different part of myself was revitalizing — adding new levels to my perspective.
Exposure is everything
I befriended a taxi driver on my 2nd day who ended up driving me all around the island during my stay. Her punctuality, english and hospitality were honestly very impressive. We ended up having some deep conversations about how her businesses were affected by COVID-19, her family, up-bringing, and career aspirations. Most of my life I always felt a bit like an “under-dog” due to my socio-economic experiences. However, where I am now and having these conversations with community members in Curacao harshly reminded me of my own privileges, whether I earned them or not.
Having exposure to information, resources, and technology are things that I take for granted like no other.
All this woman needed was some social media presence for her business via Instagram and a payment platform like Venmo (takes us minimal time to set this up in the US), yet others she met never offered help and she genuinely did not know where to go next. Working with her on WhatsApp to get this done now, no way in hell I charge her for something we do mindlessly every day.
Financial freedom is still the goal
Anyone that knows me is aware that money has always played a big part in my life, for valid reasons. That being said, Curacao reminded me that having nice things is fun but true wealth stems from having the knowledge to achieve financial freedom — letting you do whatever you want in life — like travel the world. Unfortunately, this “system” we live and work in makes it very hard to detach and experience elevated levels of freedom. My goals have definitely shifted to not working for anyone at some point in the not-so-distant future, regardless of the amount of capital I can generate in the industry I am in. For me personally this means making changes from within and living life a bit differently, finding ways to disrupt the world that I work in and the way growth opportunities are sourced with technology. This is different for each individual when they reach a certain point of clarity at the intersection of their professional and personal lives. Money can accelerate your pursuit of happiness and purpose, but it really depends on how you use it and where your focus is.
TLDR: Take a risk every once in a while, go on a solo-trip, do something crazy, reflect on yourself as much as possible, pursue opportunities outside of your comfort zone and realize how lucky you are to be where you’re at.