Embracing of Second Chances

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While I am sharing all the fun we had during our #gAdvroadtrip, did I happen to tell you guys about the moment I basically stomped my foot on the ground, walked away from my family, and cried?

No? Well, I told you chances were one of us would crack, and one of us did.

It was right in front of the Monterey Aquarium. We had just walked through this fabulous place (will share more soon) and I was really enjoying my visit. My kids were too, except after almost two weeks of being inseparable, all three of them – from the 15-year-old to the 6-year-old – were at each other’s throat. Granted we had done a lot at this point: a few cities, a couple of national parks, a lot of early morning wake ups, driving, and hikes. We were all exhausted. We exited the aquarium and the boys just would. not. stop. Finally, after hours of warnings and separating and talk to’s, I cracked. I stomped my foot, I looked at them in anger, and started to talk, but instead ended up crying. I turned around and walked away.

They caught up to me three blocks later.

The thing about my boys and husband is that for all the hell they can give me sometimes, seeing me cry or sad for any reason whatsoever seems to be the one thing none of them can stand. It just destroys them. I saw it their eyes, the worry, guilt, and sadness. They stopped me and immediately surrounded me.

And there, on one of the cute streets of downtown Monterey I stood in a ring of boys pleading for my forgiveness, promising to work it out and topping it off with a group hug that must have lasted two minutes.

The moment kicked-off the “second-chance” that we all needed. An opportunity to step back from all the excitement and check ourselves. A second to just calm down and approach the remainder of the day, week, and future with a happier outlook, stronger purpose to be better, and more positive goals. Granted, we will probably have more disagreements and arguments, but it was a good moment for us to have. Of course looking back now, this was but a bleep into what was a really amazing experience for all of us, but one that we still refer to in our minds as we move on as a family. The moment allowed us to continue embracing the joy of our experience.


I am grateful that my family and I can bounce back and continue to embrace life and each other.

I love second chances, the little do-overs that life throws at you from time to time to get you back on track towards a happier place. I have benefited plenty from the belief that a second chance can bring. When in a sad or bad situation in my life, I always held on to the belief that there would be another chance for me, a better chance. Second chances, or better opportunities, or whatever you want to call them, don’t always come easy. You have to be open to them and believe in them. It has helped me to get through some tough times, this belief that there was something happier waiting for me at the end.

As I get ready to set off on a 10-day cruise along the Mediterranean on the Carnival Sunshine with my teen, it is not lost on me how significant this moment is.

When I got pregnant with my son I was a couple of months shy of college graduation. I had saved up $25,000 to quit my job and travel the world. I still remember sitting on my bed (I had called in sick from work) and getting the call from the doctor telling me that what I was experiencing wasn’t a stomach virus, but morning sickness due to pregnancy. I remember that moment clearly and the minutes it took for me to process it in my head, run through the check-list of what to do, and finally committing to having my child, alone. I used my round-the-world money to stay home for a year and raise my baby, my dream laid to rest.

Fast forward almost 16 years and I have yet to travel around the world, but I have traveled plenty. And this trip is the first time I will be taking with my son. We are covering many places I had dreamed to cover before his birth. We fly off to Barcelona early, where we will spend a day exploring the city before heading to the cruise terminal. Other stops include Marseilles (France), Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina, (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia), and ending in Venice (Italy). I’ve only been to a couple of those cities, and never with my teen. He hasn’t been to any.

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise.

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise.

Sure we are going as part of a press group, but all the free time to explore means time to create some once in a lifetime memories together. I had hoped as I struggled through single motherhood that one day, maybe, I would get to see the places I had dreamed of. I never imagined that my second chance would come in the way it did and how incredibly wonderful it would feel to experience it with my son.

girlgonetravel & teen son

And though I have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities to embrace happiness after moments of not, traveling to some dream destinations with my son has got to be one of my absolute favorite one. Never let go of the belief that your chance is out there too.

My son and I will be cruising on the Carnival Sunshine as part of a media group invited to experience their Mediterranean cruise. All opinions expressed here are my own. You can follow our Mediterranean Cruise adventure on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook through hashtag #CCLSunshine


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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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2 Responses to Embracing of Second Chances

  1. Nnenna says:

    Lovely story. Glad you're still pursuing and living your dreams even with your kids & husband. This is an inspiring story for me. Thanks for always sharing and encouraging us to explore the world even with our family…whether we are rich or not….it doesn't matter. Proper planning and having a family goal to mak eit worthwhile would make them all happen *smile*

    • caincarol says:

      Thank you Nnenna! I'm glad you feel inspired : ) And you're right, committing to a budget and plan really helps to make those dreams reality!

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