My husband Justin and I returned last week from our honeymoon in the Bahamas following our beautiful wedding on Oct. 20.
I was determined that I wouldn’t let Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) deter me from doing the things I wanted to on this trip. I also didn’t want to experience the fear of missing out, known a “FOMO,” because of my physical limitations.
Being a Hyatt employee, I receive some fantastic benefits when I stay at any of the chain’s hotels. These benefits include complimentary nights and discounts on room rates, food, and beverages. We booked our hotel room at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar located in Nassau, Bahamas. The resort was a perfect choice for us because of its location and facilities.
Before my trip, some co-workers who had stayed at the hotel warned me about the long walking distances within the resort. The hotel consists of two towers of 1,800 guest rooms, six swimming pools, a beach area reserved for resort guests, a 100,000-square-foot casino, several restaurants, and more. That’s a lot of ground to cover.
Instead of feeling anxious about missing out on some of the resort’s facilities, I thought of a practical solution. I reached out to the hotel’s concierge and received a contact for a company that rents out rollators. I am glad I did this because it made the trip more enjoyable for Justin and me. I used the rollator on the hotel grounds, on the beach, and on walking tours.
I didn’t let FA hold me back. We spent time at the hotel’s marine sanctuary, where we fed and swam with nurse sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays. We had a private session so I felt comfortable using the rollator to get around. We also went kayaking in the ocean. I rarely engage in sports because of my diminished physical strength and balance. However, the beach staff was very accommodating, helping me in and out of the kayak, and Justin was very patient when we were paddling.
On our third day, we made a reservation to swim with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island. This activity has been on my bucket list since my diagnosis. I thought that if I was in the water, supported by a life vest and helped by staff, then I would be fine. I had difficulty keeping my balance in the water and using the small steps to get in and out of the water. However, the attendees helped to make the experience possible.
On our final full day, Justin and I booked a beer and food tour hosted in downtown Nassau. The tour was on foot, stopping off at three different breweries and restaurants. We had called ahead to check the distance between each stop, and I decided to bring my rollator to save energy and for safety reasons.
Our honeymoon to the Bahamas was incredible and unforgettable. The hotel was beautiful, the food and service were exceptional, and the memories of our experiences will remain in our hearts forever.
Remember, when planning a trip, don’t let FOMO get in the way. If I had, I wouldn’t have made those wonderful memories with my husband.
Justin and I are already planning our one-year anniversary trip.
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