At the end of last April, I went on a grad trip to Cuba with some of my university friends. We stayed at the Memories Caribe resort in Cayo Coco, enjoying a nice rise in temperature compared to the harsh Canadian weather we were leaving behind. It was all very exciting, as this was the first trip I was taking without my family. Unfortunately, I was about to find out that some things stay the same no matter who I’m vacationing with.
The thing about me and vacations – we don’t mix. I have a real knack for getting sick or injured on every trip I go on. From getting the flu the night before going to Mexico, to twisting my ankle in New York City, bad luck follows me on whatever trip I go on. And yet, for some reason I continue to explore the world and manage to find joy while building memories abroad.
This trip to Cuba was no different. My Irish heritage asserted its dominance and let my skin burn to a crisp the first day we were there. I did use sunscreen, I promise. I even reapplied throughout the day, got my friends to help where I couldn’t reach on my back, and stayed out of the sun as much as I could. But, alas, very obvious burns and a mild case of sunstroke were waiting for me.
At first, I didn’t think it was that bad. I never tan unless I burn first, so being a little red was nothing new to me. But as the day went on, my skin got redder and redder. It was very obvious what parts of my body were shaded from the sun by my hat, as my face and neck were still stark white. The lighting in our bathroom made it look even more dramatic, and honestly, I had to take a second to just laugh at myself.
I will say though, this trip strengthened my photo editing abilities when later posting a photo to Instagram. Although in the photo I still look like I got way too much sun, my body actually appears to be one colour instead of looking like a white head stuck onto a pink body. See for yourself:
The full effect of the sun stroke took a couple days to fully make itself known. After some of the previous night’s dinner decided it wanted to come back up, I took the day off from the beach to stay in bed for the morning. That day happened to line up with a storm coming through so I escaped the rain and thunder and got some much needed rest. All was well again.
Despite the pain of the burn, I think in the end it makes for some funny vacation stories. As ironic as the name of the resort is, this definitely created some interesting *memories* that I will look back on with fondness for years to come.
Have you ever had bad vacation luck, or is that just me? Where do you want to go on your next vacation? Let me know in the comments below!