The author and expert cruiser report from Olivia’s Western Caribbean cruise.

Some days turn out to be bigger than you imagine. Today was one of those days. We got up and out bright and early to meet our bus that would take us on our zip line excursion at BioMaya.

The ride was about an hour and 15 minutes long and our guide was terrific at telling us a bit about the area as we made our way on the main road through Costa Maya. It was a dreary day, cool and wet, which turned out to be perfect for zip lining in the rain forest.

We arrived at a surprisingly beautiful property, with groomed trails and large palapa-like structures with a reception area, lockers, bathrooms, a small shop. It was really lovely and organic. Not at all what I expected.

There were about thirty-four of us on the excursion, all from the Olivia cruise. They got us all geared up and ready to go in no time and before we knew it, we were all piled into a truck for our bumpy yet scenic ride into the jungle. And, man, was it bumpy. Definitely not for the weak of the back, neck, or stomach.

When we got to the first tower, we climbed up in groups of five to begin our canopy adventure. Our guides for the day were some of the most efficient, friendly, safety-conscious, and generous people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

As we climbed the circular stairs to the top, I started getting really nervous. I’d been zip lining before. But for some reason, I started getting myself all in a tizzy.

“I can’t do this,” I started thinking. “I have to get down. I don’t want to do this. I’m too scared. I don’t like this.” But instead of saying anything out loud, I tried my best to work through it in my head.

What was interesting was that all around me, I could tell some of the other girls on the trip felt the same way.  Couples were supporting one another. Friends were acknowledging one another’s fears. There were women in their 60s checking off their bucket lists. It was incredible, really. So much more than zipping through the rainforest canopy.

By the time it was my turn, I had decided to just suck it up and go for it. I’m so glad I did. It really isn’t that scary once you’re up there in the air.

It’s an amazing feeling to fly over the trees. After that first line, we did five others, two of which we were hoisted via “Mexican elevator” to the top of. That freaked me out a little, but the zip lining itself was amazing.

Everyone congratulated the girls who had been scared and did it anyway, and everyone seemed really excited and even empowered by the whole experience.

By the time we got back to the dock, the wind had picked up even more and the temperature had dropped even further. We got back to the boat and crashed for a while before the night’s entertainment. Then it was time to get ready for the Mad Hatter’s Ball.

It turned out we had things a little bit confused it seems. The intent of the party theme was evidently to wear a crazy hat. Not an Alice in Wonderland party. But there we were, dressed as Alice and the Mad Hatter. So, we figured “what the heck”? No point in going back now.

Thank goodness. People seemed to think it was a hoot. And we had a blast dancing at The Crow’s Nest (the ship’s nightclub). We danced the Wobble and sang along to every word of Born This Way. And then, in the middle of all the revelry, I had kind of a moment.

Pink’s Raise Your Glass came on.  As I danced, I watched all of these incredible women dancing and singing around me, every single one of us a perfect freak in our own right. Doctors and lawyers and professors and military officers and CEOs.

All sizes and shapes and races and backgrounds. Tons of singles and couples. Tons of people from all across the globe. Like a big lesbian UN. It’s amazing. People come from far.

And it’s no wonder really, I can’t think of anywhere else where you can have this experience of difference melting away as it did this week.

There on the dance floor, our differences didn’t make a bit of difference. And it felt really great. The rest of the world should take note. It’s hard to imagine people being as awful to one another as they sometimes are when they’re all having a great time on the dance floor.

Too much of the world still doesn’t get it. And I wished they could have watched us all that night. Maybe if the people who hate us so much actually knew us, actually saw us silly and proud and happy and dancing they might hate us a little less. Just a thought.

It’s something I learned through practising Nia actually, a mind, body, spirit dance class (and kick-ass workout) that I do. Dancing really does have the ability to free people in a way that few other things can. It certainly gets my wheels turning.

That night, as we danced together, with our own personal anthem of sorts rallying us, I felt really happy and really proud and really strong. I just wish that everyone could feel that way, at least for a minute.

Maybe if everyone felt included, no one would feel the need to exclude anyone else.

Didn’t mean to get so philosophical. But being in this amazing vacuum that Olivia has created seems to have that effect on me!

Until tomorrow…