The Trip that Changed my Life Book Project

If you have read my list of 7 Destinations to Visit in Your Lifetime, you know that #5 is to Visit a Place of Poverty and Hardship – that is exactly the idea behind The Trip That Changed my Life book project championed by Hung Thai from comedy travel site Up, Up, and a Bear.

ChangeLifeBookAbout Project Alpha: The Trip that Changed My Life originator Hung Thai has always had an intense love for the travel and the ability it has to transform one’s life, and he started traveling seriously five years ago. In an effort to join forces with those around the globe who share his same joy for traversing the world’s landscapes, he had the idea for The Trip that Changed My Life, nicknamed Project Alpha, in early 2016. With the intention to recruit a dozen or so writers to contribute to a small book supporting two charities Thai is passionate about—Unbound and Save the Children—the charitable project quickly grew to more than 50 collaborators from around the world. Thai, founder of travel blog Up Up and a Bear, which has six regular contributors, is thrilled that global book Project Alpha has been embraced by backpackers, jet-setters and everyone in between of all ages and backgrounds from around the world.

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Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona

Old Town Cottonwood, affectionately still known as Downtown or Main Street, is a little town with a lot to offer in the heart of Arizona.  Cottonwood is part of the Verde Valley, and close neighbor to the Ghost Town of Jerome and ever popular Sedona, each accessed from the 89A highway.


Old Town is a few shorts blocks along Main Street, perfect for a few hours and up to a few days!

Come hungry!  Cottonwood is building a reputation for fantastic local restaurants, with new ones opening every time I visit!  The “new” bakery smelled divine and received glowing recommendations from everyone I spoke to in town. Continue reading Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona

How to Sell Your Car

Due to our recent move, I have sold two cars in the last 3 months.  Both cars were sold private party (not to a used car dealership or reseller), and as luck would have it, to women.  Sell Car

I was in a bit of a time crunch for both cars, and probably could have held out for a bit more money, but both cars were sold to good families and everybody was satisfied with the transaction.  In fact, both women buyers gave me a HUG and thanked me after buying my car(s).

Selling a car to private individuals is a very different process than car trade in to a car dealership or used car lot.  Here are a few tips and recommendations to get the best deal when you sell your car, and to make this as easy and quick as possible! Continue reading How to Sell Your Car

Spirited Ghost Town of Jerome Arizona

2016 Jerome JPerched on top of Cleopatra Hill in the heart of Verde Valley, Arizona is the old mining town of Jerome.  Once a bustling copper mining town, Jerome officially became a ghost town in the 1950’s and finally a National Historic District in 1967.2016_JGH2

Jerome is a family favorite for me since the 1970’s.  Every time I visit Jerome, there is something new to see!  This little ghost town is a hidden gem bustling with activity.  There are hotels, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, museums, and old fashion saloons!2016 WInery

The views are stunning throughout the town!  Customers line up at the various restaurants and wineries that showcase the view. One of the most popular spots is the delicious Haunted Hamburger restaurant.

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First Visit to El Yunque Rainforest

First Visit El YunqueAfter Living in Puerto Rico for 3 months, we finally went to El Yunque rain forest on the Northeast corner of the island.

What to Wear?

Shoes:  Wear study hiking/trail shoes for any of the moderate, difficult, or very difficult hikes.  Water shoes and sport sandals with tread are fine for the easy trails.  La Coco falls is on the side of the road and Yocahu Tower is next to the parking lot, no need to even get out of the car to see either!

We planned to hike Big Tree Trail to La Mina falls for the hiking and waterfall combo, so I wore my hiking trail shoes and packed my water shoes. Plus, flip flops for the beach stop after our hike.  In reality, I only needed my trail shoes for everything.

Quick dry clothes:  It is a rain forest, even if it is not raining at the moment, it is humid and moist.  We had light rain in the afternoon as we were leaving the park.

Swim suit:  There are a few bathrooms to change, but most locals wear swimsuits with a lightweight (quick dry) cover up.  La Mina falls is a popular area to swim and cool off in the water.

Towel:  Bring a towel to dry off after your swim, afternoon showers, or a particularly sweaty hike.  It is a must have item for sitting around the rocks near La Mina falls.

Pro Tip: Bring waterproof bags (Ziplock bags work great) for car remote, phones, camera, and any electronics that are not waterproof.

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Fun and Interesting things to do…