Packed onto a luxury cruise liner with around 2000 New Yorkers for my wife's birthday was a day I'll never forget.
Eight days travelling from new york to Nassau, Orlando and back to NYC, I crossed paths with all manner of folks. Families terrified of strangers or even saying hello; cruel, vain women hanging off their chiselled boyfriends like kelp on a rock, and a woman with a huge heart whose life story over the past decade would make grown men weep.
I encountered grumpy journos and bus drivers; outstanding PRs; self obsessed frat boy guides with perfect teeth but little sense of who they were guiding, and staff who worked themselves silly for the sake of appreciative guests.
I witnessed stunning variety acts and fine comedy turns; ate all manner of exotic and mundane foods; soared across the skies on a parachute, struggled for air as currents tried to drag me away, and cycled round a semi deserted paradise isle.
I saw sunlight glisten on the ocean and lightning lash its surface; I saw sunset and sunrise, and drank an absurd amount of wine and margaritas.
For eight days I saw the best in people and the worst, treading water between the two as my moral compass steered me on the right course as hedonistic allure threatened to distract me.
It was an extraordinary time, hermetically sealed in a bubble where little news filtered through and dreams were made.
I made new friends who reminded me of old and experienced brief glimpses of happiness that made me realise life can be good, with enough cash and planning.
Life is good, strange, light, dark and usually flows like an endless ocean.
Sink or swim, it's up to you. My advice. Get a good life vest and enjoy the ride.