Healing in Puerto Rico

Blog, The Caribbean

I’m not good at expressing my emotions. I tend to hide them and continue with my life as if I have no worries without slowing down. The more distracted I am (I think) the better. But with every traumatic experience, one must come into terms with the process of becoming physically and mentally healthy again.

In January 2019, in Colombia, I had a miscarriage. While we enjoyed our time in Colombia, after a fun-filled day, I started to feel off. We contacted the hotel’s help desk, they called the paramedics and we were driven to a women’s health center.

I was overwhelmed and even more now to have a stranger examine me in another country. “El cérvix esta cerrado”, she said, that gave me hope, but I still had a whole week left in Colombia. While I enjoyed most of my trip, my body and soul were elsewhere and I wanted the trip to end.

I felt sad, confused, and sometimes numb. I landed in New York went to get re-examined and indeed the result was negative. I felt guilty, I thought was it the plane? the boat rides? was it my fault for still going on vacation knowing I was pregnant? The whole year became a mask. I didn’t share what happened, I kept my social life as it was and shortly realized I was at times still confused about it.

In June of last year, my body started to shut down, my menstrual was off and the doctors recommend examining my reproductive organ (scary thought). I was scared to discover what some women fear to know (can I not have kids?). As I proceeded, I was advised that I was healthy with a mild condition of thyroid hypersecretion that should be checked every year. Knowing this gave me hope, God and professionals in the field helped me realized it was up to me to treat my body with love and kindness so, after my trip to Puerto Rico, I vowed to take a break from drinking and eat clean.

So what does Puerto Rico have to do with all of this?

It was our last day in Puerto Rico (Sep’19), it was a day full of sun and love, we decided to finish off with a meditation on the beach. Nanie mi amiga del alma said, “Speak anything you want into existence…” so I prayed and said, “God, you know what I need.” On this date, almost one year had passed from my miscarriage and I found myself once again confused but hopeful. While the waters and sands of our ancestors rushed through us and we heard the sound – it was then when my healing process began.

As we returned to NY, I did everything to get my health, mind, and energy back. I was vegan for 4 weeks, stopped drinking, and took a break from the party scene. Taking control of my health helped me heal and feel better physically and mentally. I was even back on track and going to church and didn’t miss one Sunday that felt so good!

One month from our trip to PR I found out I was pregnant again. All I could think of was, God, was there on that day, on that beach, in that sunset en Puerto Rico. What are the odds that God gifts me what I dreamed of only one month from my prayer.

I will forever be grateful for that day at Ocean Park Beach.

Many of us go through experiences that others won’t understand and many of us have traveled to heal past traumatic experiences. This trip was a little different it was the start and the end of a Zeline most people loved, but now are re-learning her and her new beginnings.

Last year was rough even though I didn’t show it – but my biggest blessing came to my life despite it all, my son Landyn.

For everyone who has experienced a loss remember, no matter how along you are, your pregnancy and feelings are meaningful and valid.

Peace and love,

Zeli

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Meet Stephanie Granados

Viajerx Travel Stories

Hola, I’m Stephanie Granados. I was born and raised in New York and I am a proud Colombian! So far I’ve traveled to over 20 countries and the majority of those trips have been as a solo traveler.

Morocco 2017

Photo: In 2017, I traveled solo to Morocco for 11 days. This was the first time I stayed with a local family during my trip and it was such an unforgettable experience.

I’m so grateful to say that travel has been part of my life thanks to my parents. Both of my parents come from very humble beginnings in Bogota, Colombia. They both were the first in their families to move to the United States to seek better opportunities. Once they met, dated, and eventually got married in New York, their goal was always to chase the “American Dream.” They certainly achieved that when they moved out of the Bronx, buying their first home in Yonkers and then moving into their second home in Hartsdale. My first international trip was as a one year old to Colombia to celebrate my first birthday. Later on, instead of having a traditional quinceañera party, I opted to go on a trip with my cousins to the Bahamas! 

Although my parents gave us an upbringing they didn’t have, they always reminded us about their struggles and to always appreciate what we have. As we traveled once a year thanks to their timeshare at that time, my parents would always make it a point that to whatever destination we visit, to go and see how locals live. If we stayed in a nice hotel/resort, they would make it part of the itinerary to take a day trip to learn about the culture and history of that destination, try local cuisine, buy from local markets, and just explore outside of developed areas. I truly appreciate looking back on those trips because it’s influenced how I like to travel. My favorite trips have always included deep-diving into the culture, forming friendships with locals, shopping at local markets, and trying all the different cuisines.

Once my parents divorced all those family trips stopped. On paper, you may think my upbringing was all rainbows and butterflies but I struggled with many things. As a first-generation kid, I always struggled with not being “American” enough nor being “Latina” enough. I think many first-generation kids feel like an in-betweener when growing up within two different cultures. My home life was very toxic, I witnessed domestic violence countless times. I had to call the police many times and just having to be around negative energy the majority of the time was not fun. Once my parents divorced was finalized, soon after my mom had to sell the house we grew up in. She could no longer afford the mortgage on her own. Having so-called “everything” to then go to nothing was such an eye-opener and that changed everything for me. I don’t hold value in material things anymore because that can be taken away at any time. I now find value in experiences because you will always have that no matter what.

Barcelona 2015

Photo: In 2015, this was taken during my one month European adventure. This was in Barcelona, Spain in Parc Guell.

A few years down the line, I felt like something was missing in my life. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was but I was craving travel again. I haven’t traveled at all for many years at this point. I wanted to go to Europe and was planning a trip with my best friend. After many failed attempts on coordinating dates, figuring out schedules, and planning this itinerary that never was finalized, I realized this trip is never going to happen. I’ve always been into watching YouTube videos, I used to make beauty tutorials back in the day. I was all about makeup back then, but I somehow stumbled upon a few YouTubers on a trip in Europe and all of them were uploading daily videos of their experience. I was so intrigued and fell down this rabbit hole of searching travel videos. I started to research the company these YouTubers used for their trips and found out this company did group tours all over the world. After researching for months I pulled the plug and booked a MONTH LONG TRIP to Europe without telling anyone. I asked myself, Why am I waiting around for someone to go on this trip with me? Why am I depending on someone else’s schedule? What’s the point of planning a trip with someone if they eventually are not going to make it happen? So that’s when I decided to go by myself. This would be my first ever trip with no family or friends. 

Once I told my family and friends, literally no one believed I was going to go through with it. No one I knew has ever gone to Europe before. It was always a far-out thought of actually traveling to Europe because everyone always said it’s expensive. As the trip was getting closer and closer, people were trying to discourage me from going on this trip. Saying it’s too dangerous for girls, you shouldn’t travel alone, you’re not going to have a good time, and so forth. My anxiety hit me the day of my trip and I was freaking out before heading to the airport. I was thinking, what did I get myself into? I got on the plane and jetted off to Europe for a month and it truly changed my life. I met so many amazing people, had the time of my life, and it just made my wanderlust explode because I caught the travel bug. I grew so much from that experience that it also changed my perspective on my life.

Bali 2016

Photo: In 2016, I visited Bali Indonesia and spent two weeks exploring the gorgeous island. This location was taken in Ubud, in the middle of a rice field.

Since returning from that trip, I have continued to travel solo. No one was going to hold me back from seeing the world. If people wanted to join me, great. If not, I was going to make those trips happen regardless. I started my blog, Youtube channel, and Instagram, Wanderlust Beauty Dreams, to share my adventures, give travel tips, and inspire those who want to see the world. At the time I noticed that the travel blogging world lacked diversity. There wasn’t much representation especially when it came to Latinx travelers. I think overall our community has a mindset of following one straight path in life. It’s okay to venture off and follow a new path, we all have different journeys. As a first-generation college graduate, I’ve broken the barriers my family fought for when coming to the United States. I hope to continue to break barriers wherever life takes me and hope to bring my family along for the ride. I want to encourage more of the Latinx community to travel more and be that representation. Our travel dollars matter and needs more recognition within the travel industry. 

Russia 2018

Photo: In 2018, I went to the FIFA World Cup in Russia to watch three live games in support of the Colombian Soccer team.

We live in an age of total access to information and resources. There are so many ways to achieve all your goals and dreams. If you want to travel to be part of your lifestyle, it’s possible. Instead of buying designer items, going out to eat/drink every weekend, or having the latest gadgets, cut back on those costs for a couple of months. Pick up another job on the weekends to save up more money if you have to. There are many ways to achieve that extra cash flow to go on these trips. Also researching locations that can stretch your dollar for a longer period, staying in hostels, and traveling on the offseason. Finding ways to get to your goals is what makes you more of a proactive person as opposed to someone who just talks about one day going on these trips. It’s just up to you to make it happen at the end of the day!

La Gringa: Moving To Colombia

Travel Tips

My name is Lauren (@laurenlagringalatina). I am from Omaha Nebraska, I’m 100% American and I moved to Medellin Colombia in 2017 after developing a profound interest and love for the Latin culture and language. This deep interest was developed over the span of many years from the time I was 13 and began studying Spanish to later years when I traveled to the Dominican Republic (9 days), El Salvador (3 months), and Lima Peru (1 year). 

When you live abroad, every single day is an adventure. It enriches your life to understand the perspectives of others and to witness and share in a culture that is not yours. By being here in Latin America, I can better understand what it feels like to be the minority in the same way that Latinos experience in my country. It inevitably contributes to opening your mind and makes you a better world citizen. While developing a deeper understanding of another culture, you learn more about, not only your own culture and country, but yourself as a human being as well.

The Latin American culture and people have greatly impacted the person that I am today, and I’ve also become hugely aware of the challenges, history, and impact the Latin communities have had on the United States. This may sound cheesy but I consider it my lifelong mission to continue to connect with and learn about Latin American cultures so that one day when I go back to the U.S I can support the Latinx population wherever possible while also making my own community more aware of the challenges Latinos face in our society. 

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Currently, I connect with and work with travel brands that promote travel in the region of Colombia as well as other Latin American countries.

Living abroad is not always easy though, and definitely comes with its challenges. I miss my family and the typical luxuries of a developed country that I was accustomed to having back in the States, such as online shopping, access to a car, and cheap peanut butter. I have also learned along the way as an expat that it can be difficult to grow solid long-term friendships with the people of the country you’re living in, especially when the people of that country don’t always share the same values as you do. We grew up with completely different life experiences and perspectives that we might not get along on those deeper levels for a strong friendship to flourish. This is why all of my best friends here in Medellin happen to be Colombian-American, born and raised in the States but live here just like me.

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I know that it is not common to find a white girl (gringa) like me with such a passion and admiration for a culture that is not hers, which is why I often do not relate with so many other white American girls who move here. I have devoted so many years to learning the language and understanding the people of Latin America, and this isn’t just a “phase” for me. I always planned on settling in Latin America long term, but even when I eventually move back State-side, I know that I will need to live in a city that has a large Latin influence. I hold this culture very dear to my heart and it has become a part of who I am as I continue living out my experiences in the context of it. I love getting to know and connecting with individuals who exhibit pride in where they come from and want to share their culture with everyone they meet. Culture makes us who we are and to embrace that, brings color to our world!

Meet Alyssa

Viajerx Travel Stories

My name is Alyssa creator of ojosextranjeros. I was born in Tunisia to a Cuban mother but raised in Queens, NY after my mom left my birth country with me as a baby. Despite being born in one place and raised in another, I have always identified as Cubana. My family fled Cuba in the ’70s and like many other Cuban-Americans forced to flee, they have a love-hate relationship with the island. Once a Cuban left the island, it was usually for good. That’s why it was a very big deal when I decided to visit Cuba, being the first in my family to do so since they left.

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In 2017, I got the opportunity to visit Cuba and travel around the island. Needless to say, it caused a lot of discomfort with my family. My grandmother was upset and called me a communist for wanting to support Cuba by giving the government my money. My mother was heartbroken that she could not go. She left Cuba as a young girl, and she barely remembers her homeland. This trip was not only for me to connect with Cuba, but also to be a lifeline between my family and our ancestral home. I took this trip for my mother who never returned, my grandmother who left so much behind, and our family who we lost contact with.

I remember landing in Jose Marti Airport in La Habana and heard the unmistakable Cuban accent, feeling like I was home. My family sent me to the island with a list of places and people to connect with, to find long lost primos and find my family’s old home. No pressure, right? I started my journey in la Habana and made the most of it. I was able to track down some primos who have a very well known and successful restaurant in Chinatown, Los 3 Chinitos. I heard stories of my grandfather who had passed and my uncles when they were younger. I remember crying so much that day because we never thought we would meet. While it was my first time in Cuba, there was no doubt in my mind that I had come home. 

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I made it a point to not spend my money in certain areas. Not because they would be giving the money to the government, but because they were complete Americanized tourist traps. I tried to spend my money in smaller, family establishments vs. El Floridita for example. I understand certain areas of Cuba are “must-see” places (Bodeguita del Medio, Ambos Mundos, etc) but this is not the real Cuba. I would be doing my family a disservice if these were the places I decided to spend my time. Instead, I walked around and got lost in la Habana Vieja, Chinatown, and el Centro and I would recommend anyone do the same. I imagined my mother walking down these same streets, and photographed everything for her.

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 2.13.02 PMMy aventura took me around the island, a blessing that I did not take for granted. I visited more places than my mother, and even grandmother have been to. After la Habana I visited the musical streets of Cienfuegos, I swam in posadas in El Niche National Park, I walked the cobblestone streets of Trinidad (Cuba’s oldest town) and eventually made my way to where my grandmother was born, Camaguey. Here, I saw her childhood home and reconnected with family members that hadn’t heard from my grandmother in over 40 years. This visit was especially hard because I met my grandmother’s cousin, who she lived with and they were raised like siblings. He was 91 and every time he looked at me he thought I was her and would call me my grandmother’s name. It was heartbreaking to me, to know what my grandmother left behind and the fact she would never come back.

I am extremely blessed to have visited the island, and that I’ve had the opportunity to return. While I am the only one in my family who has continued to return, it has been a healing experience for us all. My mother, aunt, and grandmother reminisced on their old life over my photos. I have been able to be the messenger between our life in the States and our loved ones on the island. And now, thanks to social media, I was able to connect my grandmother to some of our family on the island. While my family was initially torn about my trip to Cuba, they eventually came around. My family has been more open with their memories on the island, and my uncles are trying to apply for their visas to return. You see, Americans do not need to apply ahead for a visa to Cuba. However, if you were born on the island and left before December 31, 1970, you need either a Cuban passport or a HE-11 visa. I am so eternally grateful that my trip has inspired my family members to try and go back to their homeland.

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My new goal is to take my younger brother, my younger cousins, and my son to Cuba. I especially want my younger family members to understand where our parents came from and the life they left behind. I think it is extremely important for Cuban-Americans to return to Cuba to heal some of the generational trauma that came with the exile of Cubans after the revolution. It is also important for Cubans to understand the island is not as backward as American media, or their own biases, have depicted. I also want my son to grow up knowing his ancestral home. I never had that opportunity as a child to visit my homeland, as many of my peers did during summer vacations. I want my son to know where we come from, and how lucky we are to live the life we do.

 

9 Best Hiking and Waterfall Experiences

Travel Tips

Check out some of the most amazing hiking/ waterfall views and what it meant for of us to add hiking as part of our travel experince!

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¡Eche un vistazo a algunas de las vistas más increíbles de senderismo y cascada y lo que significó para nosotros agregar senderismo como parte de su experiencia de viaje!

#1 Aventura en Pico Rodadero: Yauco Puerto Rico  🇵🇷 

Girasol.Tropical

Aventura en Pico Rodadero 🇵🇷@girasol.tropical

Les compartiré un poco de información sobre el pueblo de Yauco.  A Yauco se le conoce como el pueblo del café y esta localizado en la región Suroeste de Puerto Rico.  Pico Rodadero se encuentra a unos 873 pies sobre el nivel del mar, siendo uno de los espacios mas altos de la región Sur y esta situado en el barrio Sierra Alta.

Mi experiencia y aventura de senderismo en el Pico Rodadero fue muy gratificante.  La caminata es de unos 30 a 40 minutos aproximadamente, todo dependerá de la condición física.  Es recomendable utilizar ropa apropiada, meriendas y bebidas hidratantes. Se logra apreciar la costa Sur y el interior de Puerto Rico.  Luego de una caminata ardua, que mejor regalo que este, lograr estar en completa paz y unidad con la madre naturaleza. Ya situados en el lugar, es un tiempo totalmente enriquecedor para el alma.  Aprecias desde las alturas, la naturaleza y los animales que en ella habitan.

Les insto e invito a que vivan experiencias que te roben el aliento y guardes en tu memoria, momentos únicos y que beneficien tu cuerpo. Gracias por leerme y por la oportunidad de exponer mi escrito. 

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I will share a little information about the town of Yauco. Yauco is known as the coffee town and is located in the Southwest region of Puerto Rico. Pico Rodadero is located about 873 feet above sea level, being one of the highest spaces in the South region and is located in the Sierra Alta neighborhood.

My hiking adventure and experience at Pico Rodadero was very rewarding. The walk is about 30 to 40 minutes, everything will depend on physical condition. It is recommended to use appropriate clothing, snacks and hydrating drinks. On this hike you will appreciate the South Coast region and the interior Puerto Rico. After an arduous walk, what a better gift than this, to be in complete peace and unity with mother nature. Once you are located in the peak of the hike, it is a totally enriching time for the soul. You appreciate the view from above, the nature and the animals that inhabit it.

I urge and invite you to live experiences that steal your breath and keep in your memory, unique moments and that benefit your body. Thank you for reading me and for the opportunity to present my writing.

#2 Cascade El Chiflón: Chiapas Mexico 🇲🇽

somewherewithsara

Cascade El Chiflón -Chiapas Mexico 🇲🇽@somewherewithsara

Cascadas el Chiflón in Chiapas is one of the most amazing places we visited in Mexico. The area offers multiple waterfalls along a turquoise river with small walkways formed by the petrified water. The sight is absolutely breathtaking. 

We were expecting a huge crowd of people so we started the hike at 7am and surprisingly didn’t see another person until 10am so we had time for the 1km hike up to Velo de Novia and took several swims and many photos along the way. I recommend spending the whole day here to fully enjoy the beautiful area. It’s a great place to be and enjoyed by an entire family, both young and old. 

I suggest bringing snacks and a good pair of walking shoes with a bit of grip as it can get a bit slippery but there are railing the majority of the way which saves the day. The whole area is truly magical like taken from a fairytale, and I can’t wait to go back one day!

# 3 Choquequirao: Cusco, Peru 🇵🇪

Latinatraveler

Choquequirao, Cusco, Peru 🇵🇪 – @latinatraveler

When you hear Peru many people automatically think of Machu Picchu because they haven’t heard of a similar Incan ruin called Choquequirao. It requires a minimum 2 day, 1 night hike but even that’s pushing it. It’s recommended to do it in 3 days, 2 nights to be able to fully experience the ruins.

The views along the way and back were beyond impressive and thankfully we had amazing weather. Since this area is much less known you’ll barely run into any tourists so you don’t have to worry about sticking to a route around the site. This picture was taken at one of the lookout points that had this view on one side and the Incan ruins on the other. Hiking these trails and seeing these views and ruins makes me proud of my Peruvian background and culture. I hope others get to enjoy its beauty just as much as I do!

# 4 Lion’s Head: Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦

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Lion’s Head, Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦@cynthia719

Thanks to one of my travel buddies for taking this pic. I was smiling for the camera but I was so scared! A smooth walk in the entrance turned into rock scrambling, then into ladders, metal handles to short metal chains to grab onto to keep from not falling. By far, the most mentally challenging hike of my life. 

# 5 Minnewaska State Park: Ulster County, New York 🇺🇸

cynthia719

Minnewaska State Park, Ulster County, New York @cynthia719

As much as I love to travel, I also love to discover my home state of New York. Hiking up to Gertrude’s Nose made me realize how much beauty my home has to offer.

# 6 Semuc Champey: Guatemala 🇬🇹

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Semuc Champey is located in Guatemala. It was one of my best hiking experiences and favorite, the experience overall was one of a kind for me as I traveled alone, camped out in the mountains, and after hiking to see this view I got to tube down the river right to where I was staying. Semuc is also becoming popular with travelers and a must see.

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# 7 Unamed trail: Gomboa Rainforest 🇵🇦

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Unamed trail and waterfall: Gomboa @suenosdeunaviajera

The Gomboa Rainforest has many unmarked and unnamed trails. We booked our hike via trip advisor not expecting that our hike would be wet, lonely, and a bit scary. 

Our trail was a little off of where most tourists go for hikes. I was very scared! Hiking in Panama is definitely not the same as in many US state parks. We didn’t have a trail to follow or knew where to step. Our tour guide made the way for us while cutting trees and plants with his machete but for the most part slipping and falling was a terrible experience since many of the plants and trees had hard thornes. While it was a scary experience, I would do this anytime anywhere! 

We were also expecting a crowd in our tour but my husband and I were lucky to have a private tour. We made our way around 5am for a two hour ride to the forest. The hike took 2 hours and our end view was this amazing unnamed waterfall (which there are many in the Gomboa Rainforest).

# 8 Bali’s Mount Batur 🇮🇩

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Bali’s Mount Batur @stellula__

I’ve gone on many hikes but hiking Bali’s Mount Batur in the dark, starting at midnight was very a unique experience. As was nearly crashing into a giant spider web, being harassed by mountain monkeys and peeing in the dark worried some mystery creature would bite my bum. The sunrise was breathtaking, something I couldn’t fully capture in pictures or words. It’s an experience I will never forget.

# 9 Raymondskill Falls PA 🇺🇸

@_la.conquistadora

Raymondskill Falls PA @_la.conquistadora 

I’m a girl from the big city, but love being in nature. I’ve taken up hiking recently to ground me spiritually and guide me to my higher self. I aspire to start my own blog to share local hiking trails, as well as my journey to self-growth and self-love. Not far from the NY state line, Raymondskill Falls is located in PA. The falls were unlike anything I have seen – the trail was well pathed and offered three different levels of views.

5 Ways To Stay Travel Motivated

Travel Tips

There are a few things that motivate me to travel. For the most part, when I feel that I am stuck in a day-to-day routine my motivation is to not to feel tired from a routine that can cause anxiety and depression. So, imagine traveling from New York City to Thailand, a place that can change a person’s perspective and spirituality. The secret is in adding a few extra minutes into your daily routine that can allow you to stay motivated. 

#1 Do something new at home, like joining a social club, growth track in your church, a program, or meditating. Untitled design-3

Recently I was brought into a group hosted by the Owner of Latino World Travelers called 21 Days of Abundance. With the recent coronavirus pandemic, staying home on the weekends has allowed me to focus more on my blog and business Viajerx and co. This program is designed to help you develop abundance in your daily life. When I was invited, my original thought was do I even have time? But as I moved along in the program I realized time is something we have in abundance; it’s how you use your time that is important. Being a part of the 21 Days of Abundance program has allowed me to meditate on what I want for my life which of course is Mas Aventuras! 

#2 Planning your escape or making a list of countries Untitled design-3

Working or barely working? We usually have at least 1 hour of downtime in our jobs (daily or weekly) or maybe your job has its “slow seasons”. What I do with my downtime is blogging or adding countries to my online bucket list. I normally have a google doc with a list of places to see, but recently I made an account with bucketlist.org a site that helps organize your goals and aspirations. Check it out here! 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_13f6d#4 Satisfy yourself Untitled design-3

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” John Wooden

So It’s okay to think about you and you only. 

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If you start with a complaint: “she travels because she has it good, she travels because she is rich, she travels because she has the time,” you are implying that someone has privilege you don’t have. While it can be true, many people were born into adversity and had or still feel they have to go against the odds, however, they dreamt/dream big and now have an earned privilege. You can have that too if you motivate yourself and stop putting the odds of reaching your travel goals in the forefront! 

Good things are meant to happen to you!

 

 

Dubai: My packing experince

Travel Tips

I would need to admit Dubai was truly the hardest destination to pack for! Dubai is definitely THE hotspot with a mixture of different cultures and styles, what to wear was my biggest concern!

At times I didnt know what to wear!

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In case you are wondering, I had lots to wear. I was simply overly concerned about being respectful to middle eastern cultures. For the most part, I packed extra-long dresses sort of like maxi dresses, long sleeves dresses, and skirts, BUT it was hot, all the time! It was a little stressful, but packing long sleeves dresses and skirts are a must to respect middle eastern culture and for mosque entry.

Now, where I went wrong was that for the most part there are many tourist areas in Dubai and western fashion is very visible and common. There were many women with shorts, short sleeves, and on some occasions, I would wear long shirts and was melting away!!! I would say I was more concerned about the looks I would get if I wore western clothing.

What to wear in certain areas is important! Untitled design-3

On our trip, we visited Old and New Dubai. Just like its name Old Dubai is the traditional area of Dubai and New Dubai is modern and more western in terms of how tourist dress. We stayed in New Dubai and I do regret not packing an equal amount of modest and more western like clothing.

What I wish I did pack to Dubai! Untitled design-3

Aside from packing clothing and not balancing the amount of western-style clothing vs. modest clothing, here are some items I didn’t pack that in a future trip to Dubai I will and you should too!

  • Mini travel fan: I saw this a lot and boy it is needed. It’s very hot in Dubai and dry. A mini travel fan is a great investment for a trip to Dubai and many other places.
  • Dubai Power Adapter: Belive it or not, I didn’t have one at the time. We lucked out because our hotel also had western outlets. Its a must just in case it’s needed in other areas.
  • Scarf: I didn’t pack a Scarf !!!!!!!!!!! but did buy one in Dubai. It’s needed and should be carried at all times in case you need to cover up quickly.
  • Travel size perfume: You need a refresher!
  • Hat: Will help with the sun
  • Large backpack for water etc: I was too fashionable packed cute purses but nothing large enough to have water bottles, fans, etc.
  • Long Socks: Yes you might need it for no skin show in different areas and mosques.

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Burj Khalifa

I hope this helps you plan better! Do your research! Here are some cool sites to see!

  • Burj Khalifa
  • The Dubai Mall
  • Walk around the Jumeirah Lakes
  • The Atlantis in Dubai
  • Dubai Museum
  • Burj Al Arab
  • Jumeirah Mosque Towers

Planning your vacation

Travel Tips

I get a lot of messages from my friends and family on how I plan my vacations. I know the word planning can cause some stress, but it can be fun, I promise.

Is planning my vacations alone a headache? Hell yeah. Its hard, especially when you are also planning a group vacation where most have to come down to a consensus. In this post I’ll show you my process and the tools I use to organize my thoughts. Planning your vacations helps you stay organize and it may help you with obtaining a better travel experience. FIRST THING FIRST THIS IS NOT FOR LAZY PEOPLE! If you “don’t have time” it’s because YOU don’t create the time. So please leave the excuse and just do what you want to do and make the time.

With the help and experience of many travel blogger I follow these 7 great planning tips:

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# 1 Where are you going?

After the endless nights of searching on the web of course, before your plan a trip you want to know where you want to go. You don’t want to start the organization process and then change your mind to then start all over!

# 2 After you are sure of where you are going, think about the weather and the best time to go and where to stay.

On our trip to Panana we choose to go during rain season primary because it was more affordable. It did rain, but like many tropical countries the sun never fails, it always peaks out and you can soon enjoy the sun and catch a tan.

# 3 Find the most affordable flights

There are a few sites and apps I use! For Panama we booked our hotel and flight via Expedia, but if your booking flight and stay separate these are my go to flight search engines:

https://www.hopper.com

“Hopper predicts prices with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance. No ads, no spam, no stress — just accurate predictions and the easiest way to book and save.”

https://www.skyscanner.com

“We’ve made it our mission to lead the global transformation to modern and sustainable travel. We’re at the start of our journey, but commited to make a positive impact. Here are some of the changes we’re making.”

https://www.google.com/flights

Google has it all!

# 4 Budget  your trip

Did you know there are travel budgeting apps? Well yes, that’s how I started. It was cool in the beginning but can be hard to keep track. Now its easier for me to plan trips 9-10 months in advance and pay as I progress closer to the trip. If you can manage your debt it works to use credit cards that accumulates travel points for future adventures.

Here are some budget apps!  

Last but not least,

# 6 Book and Organize

When all is booked now its time to use Google to Organize your flight, stay, and things to do. Here is how I organized my trip to Panama using Google Slides.

Panama 2019