That time I…was stranded in Aruba



A small Fofoti tree sits on Baby Beach on the Island of Aruba.

By Mikayla Magdziarz, Columnist

Out of all the beautiful places I’ve visited, Aruba is my favorite vacation destination. I have been fortunate enough to travel to the island a few times as a child and as a young adult. 

Aruba is an intimate island, measuring about 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across according to the island’s website. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, aloe plants, vibrant art, and social scenes. Spending time in the ocean and exploring the beautiful culture and different cities of the island are my favorite things to do when I visit.

It’s such a relaxing island that during my visit in November of 2018, I fell asleep on a hammock and woke to my family sailing away on a boat, leaving me behind. 

On this particular day, my family wanted to take the speed boat shuttle and spend the day on Renaissance Island, the private island for guests owned by the Renaissance Hotel. 

It took us only a few minutes by boat to get from the dock outside the hotel to the private island. The island is a wonderful spot to spend the day, with both an adult side and a children side. The family side has volleyball courts and daybeds, and the adult side has Flamingo Beach, a beach that has real flamingos roaming around.

I spent the day taking advantage of the sun, sand and 18+ drinking age. Before I knew it, I was ready for a nap. My parents, my younger brother and our friends we traveled with were ready to call it a day and head back to our hotel to freshen up before dinner. 

We packed our belongings at the same time but at different paces. My mom and I decided to walk to the dock where the boat would pick us up and take us back.  We found a bench next to a hammock to sit on while we waited for everyone else. 

I suddenly woke to the sound of someone shouting my name. I jolted up from the hammock to see the boat sailing away with my family onboard, everyone waving at me. I walked down to the dock where there were a few people sitting to wait for the next shuttle. 

“Your dad’s looking for you,” a man sitting by the dock said. He jumped off the boat once he realized I wasn’t on board. I assumed when I found my dad he would be relieved to see me and to know I was okay. My dad is awesome, however, he was terrified by the thought of something bad happening to me. 

I expected him to be irate, which he was. On the flip side, I wasn’t alone. I learned a new lesson of responsibility that day. It is always important, especially when traveling, to pay attention to your surroundings. That can be hard to do when napping on a hammock in the middle of an island.