Miami holds special place in my heart
Whether I'm merely passing through as a traveller or putting down roots as a resident, I develop a special relationship with every city and place I visit.
They all hold a unique allure for me. This connection goes beyond mere aesthetics or tourist attractions; it's a deep, personal bond that enriches my life and allows me to understand the world and people in a unique way.
Bill and I are in Miami right now. Miami has a special place in my heart. Not only does it represent the essence of sun, salsa, palms, yachts and a vibrant mix of Latin cultures, it is also a city with deep-rooted memories of friendship, personal transformation, and healing.
It was where my life-changing journey began the moment I arrived to work on a cruise ship. I will never forget that sunny and windy day.
I looked from the window of my taxi to the windblown waves of the tropical ocean. Slender palms danced overhead. Suddenly, I saw her, the huge and beautiful snow-white ship – my new home!
I breathed softly, “Hello, my ship!”
I stood for a long time looking up at the lofty decks. At that precise moment, I clearly understood that my life would never be the same.
I knew I had changed my destiny and created a new and unique reality of my own. On board, I looked at the cruise schedule. I saw an island I knew absolutely nothing about. The next port of call was Bermuda.
Miami is also where I learnt about the best philosophy on Earth. We visited a museum showcasing huge, vivid, colourful, outdoor murals.
We came across a bright blue wall with a painted portrait of a happy Bob Marley and the word “loveism” in bold letters. What did it mean? I discovered loveism is based on two human rights: the right to know the truth and the right to love.
As a loveist, your responsibility is to ensure love is the emotion you convey as much as possible.
It is exactly what we need right now to respect others, especially when we communicate on social media! It is so in line with my values and supports my idea that the more love we give, the better the world will be.
In this dynamic city, I met my dearest friend Abby Ramirez on a deserted beach, the morning of my 51st birthday.
She is full of energy and sunshine and a willingness to help and support other women. I came that early dawn to participate in a worldwide Laughing Club workshop. Years later, I still lead the first Laughing Club in Bermuda, but it all began so long ago with Abby.
We have both grown up since then. Abby was a kindergarten teacher, then got married.
She bought a pristine plot of forest with spring-fed fresh water lakes in Lake Placid, South Florida and started community work on education of the spirit based on deep respect for nature and the Earth and a women’s empowerment group on Facebook.
It was so timely to get this message from her last night:
“I am sharing your mermaid dance video all throughout South Florida. You are amazing and someone we all need to learn from. I appreciate you! Perhaps I wouldn’t even have stayed on Earth if I hadn’t met you!”
I cried when I read that. I had no idea we both influenced each other on such a profound level.
Our journey to the places we visit is not just about ticking off famous landmarks, but recognising that the true essence of a new place lies in its people.
As we remember our travels, it’s the connections we form and the stories we collect along the way that truly change and influence our lives.
These adventures with new friends and the paths they reveal to us are the shining rainbows that bridge our distant hearts.
This yearning for connection, for the unimaginable friendship waiting around the bend, is why I travel.
The next time you set out on a journey, start with open hands and a spirit of shared humanity. You may find the most casual conversation can lead to a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
• Nina London is the founder of Mermaid Wellness Centre for Women and a certified Chi Gong and Laughter Yoga teacher. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their bodies and mind. Contact her at www.ninalondon.com and on Instagram: @coachninalondon