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  • Writer's pictureCory Morrison

My Standout Vacation Memories

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

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As I will head to St. Maarten next week, I created a list of vacation memories and how they are relevant to my autistic traits.

1. At Panama City Beach, Florida, when I was 10 (March 2004), we decided to go to Applebee's for dinner on the first night.

I was hyper-sensitive to getting sick to the point that I didn't want to drink milk because I had a stomach bug roughly 10 days prior. My parents. then reassured me that I was fine to drink milk because I recovered over a week before the dinner, but I was still panicky.

My tendency to fixate on trivial things and my sensitivities were how my autism contributed to this behaviour.

Mont-Tremblant tourist spot
Mont-Tremblant (Photo credit: JackBespalov from Can Stock Photo)

2. I went to Mont-Tremblant in June 2005 (I was almost 12) with relatives to celebrate my paternal grandfather's 80th birthday.

When we visited a restaurant nearby one of the nights, I tried steak for the first time because I wanted to try more foods on the menu and not eat chicken fingers and fries all the time.

I didn't like the steak as I was a rather picky eater back then. I still don't like steak or most red meats in general, despite not being a picky eater now.

Niagara Falls Canada
Canadian side of Niagara Falls (Photo credit: Sumners on Can Stock Photo)

3. When my paternal grandmother turned 80 a year later (I was 13), we had a belated celebration (Over a month later) at Niagara Falls and Burlington with relatives in July 2006.

We stayed at the Hilton Fallsview hotel and we decided to eat at the Tony Romas on Radisson around the corner.

There was a massive thunderstorm during our walking commute. Therefore, I spent the entire walk freaking out over the storm.

As people with autism can be sensitive to loud noises, the thunderclaps certainly triggered me.

4. When I and my family went to Cuba (Cayo Coco) in July 2007, we met another family from the GTA who we would spend time with at the resort.

My brother became friends with the daughter and took part in a water polo team. In addition, my father would frequently joke around with an older couple. I on the other hand was almost terrified of initiating conversations with others then to the point that despite me having a great time at Cuba, I was socially isolated.

My autism made it trouble for me to make connections with others. Everyone we met there seemed super nice, though.

5. We went to Florida (Orlando area) with some friends of ours in March 2008. I mentioned in Autism: Motor Coordination Quiz how I developed a limp bounce in high school.

My parents first picked up on it at a Walmart parking lot, and this was an issue for the rest of the trip and for at least two months. My father wanted to check my feet to see if I needed to go to emergency, but I assured him I wasn't hurt despite the walk.

My motor coordination issues and a poor shoe I had contributed to this problem. I still am self-conscious about my walking today but it's not a major problem.

Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach, Florida (Photo credit: Robhainer on Can Stock Photo)

6. Another minor mishap occurred during this Florida trip. We went to Cocoa Beach one day.

I decided that because the forecast said 21°C and cloudy and that I wasn't oversensitive to hot temperatures, that I didn't need to wear sunscreen at the beach.

The weather turned out to be about 26°C and sunny. Therefore, I had one of the worst sunburns of my life. My mother gave me a long lecture about it and I learned my lesson.

According to, some people with autism can be undersensitive to temperature.

7. We went to Mexico for a cousin's wedding in April 2009.

One day, my father asked me if I wanted to join him and some others on a boat trip. I said no because I was nervous about boat movements and I wanted to do my own thing with the internet.

My father and at least one other person got sick multiple times on that boat, so I have no regrets about not going on that boat ride.

Sensitivities and wanting to do my own thing contributed to my decisions.

8. By March 2010, my paternal grandmother (My paternal grandfather was gone by over a year at that point) briefly rented a condo near Fort Myers, Florida. We spent a week or so at her place.

Most aspects of this trip went well, except for one thing: My room was on the top floor of the condo. The only way my mother could get a good tan was to sit on that floor's balcony and not the others. This annoyed and angered me because I wanted alone time in my room and she was right there to see anything I was doing.

According to The Roots of Loneliness Project, any people with autism often value alone time despite not wanting to feel isolated.

Philipsburg St. Maarten
Boardwalk in Philipsburg, St. Maarten (Photo credit: Cory Morrison)

9. Asides from a few arguments with my mother, I had a great time in St. Maarten with my family in March 2017.

One thing I frequently did was walk around Philipsburg as a routine during the morning and afternoon hours.

As people with autism love routines, this explains why I liked to take those walks.

St. Maarten birds
Bird bites my hand at St. Maarten (Photo credit: Nancy Fincher-Morrison)

10. We went to St. Maarten again in November 2019.

One day, we visited a bird place. A yellow bird kept biting my hand like crazy.

If this were a decade before, I would've been terrified of birds biting me, but I overcame this fear of touch at least with birds biting me.

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