2017 was full of adventure and challenges that made for some memorable moments that I will never forget. Some of my worst travel moments include the usual cancelled flights, luggage that went on a different vacation than me, Instagram-famous spots that are a disappointment IRL, and watching some of the best plans crumbled before my eyes.
We are moving to Puerto Rico! Here is the story of how and why we decided to pack up and move.
While on a Caribbean Cruise three years ago, we had a half day stop in old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I immediately loved the brief glimpse of the island, the people, and the food. Spending so few hours in a city, is quite frankly, enough for one decent meal and walking around the restaurant neighborhood. And one meal can change your life, at least for me.
After some number crunching and serious talk about options, we decided our best course of action was to move to the Caribbean. We have secured a year lease on a beach community house in Puerto Rico that will serve as home base so that we can slow down and explore the Caribbean! For the next year (at least) we are going to practice Slow Travel and explore as much of the Caribbean as we can.
The locals are hardworking, friendly, happy people that have welcomed us with open arms, and bent over backward to help us at every turn. There are tax incentives to move our IT consulting business to PR, while at the same time we will be helping the local economy (that is the real win-win situation).
The Caribbean is a great value and has so much to offer. Puerto Rico, while a territory not a State, is still part of the USA. Complete with same currency, same electrical plug, no visa or travel restrictions for Americans, no quarantine for my dog, same phone plan and I am keeping the same phone number. Puerto Rico is the Caribbean’s version of Hawaii’s less expensive Latin cousin, with a far more culturally diverse neighborhood. There are many “foreign” islands nearby with cool stuff to do, places to visit, and new food to eat.
So stay tuned for Caribbean cuisine, adventure, history, culture, scuba diving, hiking the rain forest, travel tips, beaches, and more beaches!
Our first experience with Puerto Rico was Old San Juan, and I was hooked! When planning our next visit, we knew we needed more time, and we wanted to explore several areas of the island. We started in beautiful Isla Verde, just outside of San Juan, then rented a car and headed out to Fajardo for a few days. Six months later, I find myself back in Fajardo.
Fajardo is an hour East of San Juan, at the meeting point for the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on the Northeast tip of the island. Fajardo boasts one of the world’s rare bioluminescent bays, a must-see at night during the new moon, when it is darkest. The ferry terminal in Fajardo offers passage to the nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra and is a popular option for transportation to the nearby islands.
We stayed at the luxurious El Conquistador resort, and after several over-priced resort meals, we ventured out into the nearby restaurants for a local experience. Our first excursion was lunch at one of the small casual dining restaurants with a large patio. On the weekend, the locals have a big party with food trucks, music, and fun.
It is a foodie paradise! There are food stands and small dining options at every turn. A short, brisk walk up a street leads to Las Vistas Cafe for brunch, one of the best outdoor cafes in Fajardo.
Marina Lanais is located in the harbor at the base of El Conquistador. A short funicular ride down the mountain from the resort, or a quick drive around the resort to a large public parking lot, the marina is home to Casa del Mar PADI dive center & luxury charters.
Fajardo is home to some beautiful water perfect for snorkeling, scuba, and fishing. Don’t miss this fantastic little beach town with delicious food, water sports, and friendly people!