Girls’ weekend seems incomplete without a little spa time. Our adventures included exploring Old San Juan, dining, shopping, scuba/snorkel trip, and plenty of beach time. We headed off to the Waldorf Astoria Spa, located in the lovely El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
My first visit to the El Conquistador resort was last year, but this was my first spa visit. Each previous resort visit included a scuba dive, how had I not thought to follow up with a massage? Hmm. Continue reading Spa Time at the El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico
White Water Rafting is a great way to see the area along a river in an adrenaline fueled activity. Here is what I wish I knew before I went rafting the first time. I have asked for guidance from fellow travelers about their first trip, and advice from a few experienced rafters.
The first time that I went rafting was in Colorado with a very experienced group. They asked me if I wanted to go on a weekend trip, and one full day was going to be rafting. Without asking any questions, I said YES!
I did not know about the area, different classes of rapids, what to expect – I just showed up. Granted, I had a great time, but I was in way over my head, here what I wish that I knew before my first trip. Continue reading Beginners Guide to White Water Rafting Around the World
We recently moved to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I was a little nervous about the culture shock of leaving our hot, dry desert city and adjusting to small town, island life. It sounds weird, but it turns out growing up in Phoenix has actually prepared me for living in Puerto Rico.
Here are 10 ways growing up in Phoenix, Arizona prepared me for living in Puerto Rico:
Close connection to foreign countries.
It is faster to drive to Mexico from Phoenix than any state in the US, Mexico is Arizona’s neighbor to the South. Likewise, Puerto Rico’s closest neighbors are definitely not the US mainland (Hello Dominican Republic and British Virgin Islands)
Everyone is (a little) Bilingual
Anyone who grew up in Arizona speaks at least a little Spanish. I even attended a bilingual elementary school for English as Second Language (ESL program). Everyone speaks a little English in Puerto Rico. Many people are fully bilingual in both Arizona and Puerto Rico. Admittedly, Arizona Spanglish is a different dialect that the Puerto Rican Spanish, but it is a good foundation to build upon. Plus I was always really good at charades, so I can act out many difficult phrases.
There are more Snowbirds than Local Residents half the year
Winters in Phoenix are overrun by people from the Mid-west desperately trying to escape the cold and warm up. Since arriving in January, we have seen the population dwindle as the snowbirds leave the island for summer. I just cannot escape snowbirds!
Continue reading How Growing up in Phoenix Prepared Me for Living in Puerto Rico
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.
About 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.
Continue reading The Trip that Changed my Life Book Project
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