Rediscovering Magic on MV Azura

P&O MV Azura Cruise Review Body Positive Travel Blogger

Two years ago I went on a truly life-changing holiday. For once the over-used, cliche phrase was correct - I became a travel blogger, got addicted to cruises and most importantly I was finally happy with my life. But it seemed that nothing lasts forever, when I revisited the ship that started it all and experienced my first ever bad cruise - I never knew there was such a thing.

In all honesty, I thought the magic had gone. For a minute I considered that maybe it was my fault - maybe I’d become so used to travelling that I expected more. Maybe I just wasn’t a cruise person anymore (I was definitely wrong on that last one).

Then I went on P&O Azura.
P&O MV Azura Cruise Review Body Positive Travel Blogger

It’s quite funny to me - we’ve come full circle. When Mum and Dad went on that first cruise all those years ago they nearly chose Azura but got talked into booking a different cruise line. Maybe they should’ve trusted their gut all along.

Last month I felt a little disappointed when I turned the corner to see Azura occupying an awful lot less space than our usual favourite ship. I know that every liner is different, but when you are used to sailing on tiny ships from your hometown and reserving Southampton for trips on mega-ships you can’t help but judge as you drive into the port.

Despite lacking the usual “cruise ship buzz” we boarded with an open mind, grateful to be going an a holiday at all after a few particularly stressful months. I deleted my social media as I do most times and settled in to cruise life. I expected to enjoy the break, but I never expected to repeat the holiday of a lifetime from two years ago. Azura truly was a magical ship - she achieved in a week what took two the first time. 

I’ve been so stressed recently, like crying ready to pack up and move countries stressed. It’s fair to say that I really needed a holiday, and maybe that’s why it was so magical. Maybe you need to be so miserable that the holiday is magical because you’re reminded that there is an end to things. 

P&O MV Azura Cruise Review Body Positive Travel Blogger

Just like before, a week of paradise away from home taught me all about what to do when I got back. 

First of all, no matter what’s happening or how awful someone is being, it’s probably only that bad because you’re in it. When you’re given the opportunity to step away and view your life from the outside you really start to see what matters, and bullies, fake friends and anyone else trying to drag you down suddenly become really insignificant. If you don’t allow things to stress you out then it won’t.

Despite spending my entire life hearing “treat others how you want to be treated”, it’s clear that some people just didn’t get that memo. It’s easy to say it when you’re out of that situation, but the way someone treats you really is a reflection of themselves, not you. Deciding you don’t care and it won’t affect you is so difficult, but it is doable.

Just like the cruise, everything has an end point. Be that friendships, work or personal life. You’re growing all the time, even my parents sometimes admit they don’t know something and it shocks me. Sometimes growing up means your old life just doesn’t fit your new self. That’s ok, you just need to recognise that and find what you’re going to do next.

P&O MV Azura Cruise Review Body Positive Travel Blogger

Everyone says that “time flies when you’re having fun” and that’s true, although with my 23rd birthday just gone I’m beginning to feel like time flies however you feel about it. One of the most important things I’ve learnt is to be present in your life. I feel like as an influencer I shouldn’t be saying this, but when you look back at what you’ve done over the last year you’ll remember the incredible things you did, not the amount of likes you got from posting it. Go have fun and take all of the pictures, but don’t have fun so you have something to take pictures about. It’s a fine line but it’s there.

The next thing I learnt is to always appreciate what you have, rather than worrying about what’s missing. Even with the stress I had in my life, I still have the most incredible family and friends that are willing to pick me up and dust me off when I need it, or to simply sit there and let me rant for hours until I feel better. Sometimes you need to take time to evaluate your life, but even when you feel like there’s nothing you’ll find something that only you have, and when you do you need to treasure it. 

The final thing I’ve learnt is that magic isn’t always there, but it’s because you don’t always need it. I’ve been lucky to have some incredible experiences in my life, but only two trips that made me rethink what I was doing, and those two trips have something in common - they both happened at a point in my life where I felt stuck. 

P&O MV Azura Cruise Review Body Positive Travel Blogger

Over the course of a week I met so many incredible people who, just like before, encouraged me to be my best. This time it wasn’t so much because they were happy and I wasn’t, but because they were inspired by my story the way I’d been inspired by others. 

Azura was beautiful and the people were incredible and I’m sure that played a role in how I felt. I felt like I’d lost my sparkle quite a few months ago, I just needed a little helping hand to find it again.

Thank you Azura, you did everything that I couldn’t do alone, and for that your 115,000 tonnes have earned a permanent place in my heart.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
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