Prioritizing travel plans and thinking about journeys before and after kids.
Packing for a weekend trip to Saba: carry-on only.
Our final two certification dives take us 65' under the sea.
Getting SCUBA certified in Anguilla with Shoal Bay Divers.
Choosing the right travel destination: what to consider when choosing a locale and planning an itinerary.
In 2009, I embarked on a journey. I left my home in California to begin graduate school in the UK and at that moment, life changed. Since that time, I have had an amazing opportunity to see the world, meet incredible and inspiring people, and enjoy experiences that I never thought possible. As you’ll see from my experiences, it doesn’t take a lot of money, just some planning, a bit of flexibility and willingness to take everything – even the one-star hotels in Istanbul — as an exciting learning experience….
We’re just hitting the tail end of the wedding wave that hits all couples in their late twenties. We have 10+ weddings this year — plus our own! — and next year begins to taper off slightly. Next topic of discussion? Babies. Sure, some couples will have had kids in their early 20s and some will choose not to have them at all, but generally babies become the next wave of things that happen in our lives.
When we’ve had those baby talks, we’ve been talking in terms of travel (naturally). Like many other wanderlusts out there, we have a list a mile long with a slew of places that rank high on our list. From Laos, Cambodia and Nepal to Chile and Croatia, we’re covering the spectrum in terms of luxury vs. adventure travel. Now, when it comes to prioritizing those travels — a hard task, to be sure — babies help draw this invisible line in our travel schedule. Read More
I’m a chronic over-packer. I’m genuinely well-intentioned when I’m piecing together items for a trip, but somehow my weekend trip to San Diego will involve 50 pounds of stuff. I bring typical musts but then stash additional pairs of shoes, old dresses that I’ve never actually worn (with the hopes that maybe — just maybe — I’ll wear it on this trip), accessories for any occasion, plus every single hair product that I own that I never actually use. It’s one of those ‘I’d rather be safe’ mentalities that translates very poorly in the packing world. With our trip to Saba coming up on a teensy tiny plane, I’ll be working on packing a carry-on like a pro.
A friend of mine in Anguilla, a frequent international traveler, has mastered the art of traveling with solely a carry-on. A true talent, in my book. This is a woman who travels for meetings (i.e. needs to bring corporate wear), is a social butterfly (i.e. needs to pack versatile clothing for going out at night), and travels on multiple occasions to cold weather locales (i.e. coats and scarves are helpful). She gave me a quick run down on how she’s mastered this Black Magic and I’ve seen the error in my ways: 1) I don’t have the best carry-on luggage, 2) I haven’t planned properly (something I’ve known but been hesitant to actually fix). Read More
After finishing our confined water skills on Saturday and our shallow water (20′) skills testing on Monday, we were finally ready to go on two final dives to gain our certification. Both dives were around 60′ deep, much deeper than we had been previously and involved real exploration time underwater. In addition to our certification group of three, we had a fourth diver joining us, a more experienced diver who captured the footage of our dive. Read More
You’ll recall that I began my eLearning with PADI a few weeks back in my journey to get SCUBA certified. Our upcoming trip to Saba was a catalyst in this process and finally got me working towards my SCUBA certification in Anguilla. After a couple of weeks of self-paced coursework, I was finally ready to begin the practical component in the water. Read More
If I’ve learned one major thing while traveling, and can give one piece of advice for those choosing the location for their next getaway, it’s this: be true to yourself.
When someone returns from a getaway with a sub-par reaction and an unenthusiastic response about the place, I see one of two major issues at play (perhaps both). The following happened during their planning process:
Having a couple of mediocre experiences myself juxtaposed with a whole lot of great experiences, I’ve learned how to navigate the destination-picking phase of travel. Newsflash: it involves some work. Read More
I’m excited to announce #CaribChat beginning January 2014. We’ll be chatting about all things Caribbean to gain a better understanding of the diverse destinations that make up Caribbean region.
While people refer to the Caribbean as a homogenous group, we know better. Each island has its own character, its own charm and its own spirit. From the food, the topography and the music, to the types of travelers each island favors, each destination has its own nuances and idiosyncrasies. Together, we’ll delve deeper and learn more about the charm and appeal of each island with the help of regional co-hosts, tourist boards and island dwellers. I’m a firm believer in the fact that great research and a decent understanding of your chosen locale can help create a magical and memorable trip. On the flip side, ‘understanding’ a location based on a glossy ad can leave you with unrealistic expectations and a sub-par experience. Learn from others to find the right destination for you or discover a new locale that flew under the radar previously.
We’ll be focusing on a new topic each week to give all Caribbean lovers (and dwellers!) a chance to share their thoughts, experiences, favorites and photographs from around the region.
#CaribChat will take place every Thursday at 11AM PST / 2PM EST and is open to all Twitter users that are interested in listening in or contributing! If you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat before, read my previous article on how to engage in a chat like this. Join in and engage with a group of like-minded individuals who want to share their love, passion and insight into a diverse region.
Interested in co-hosting a weekly chat? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: #CaribChat Co-Host to tell me a bit more about yourself and how we can work together to highlight the Caribbean region or a specific island.
While it doesn’t remotely resemble the holiday season, it’s now the night before Thanksgiving. Normally I’d be home with my family right about now, eating late night ice cream in my dad’s kitchen, exchanging stories. It would be cold and I’d be wearing a coat by day and pajama pants by night to stay warm. I’d have brought all of my Thanksgiving must-have foods and be ready to join in the prep work for tomorrow. Yet this year is a very different incarnation of Thanksgiving; a warm holiday a deux in lieu of the traditional holiday escapades. Regardless, it’s no less of a reason to give thanks and remember the incredible year that has come and (nearly) gone so quickly. I’m so grateful to have so many incredible friends and family members in my life, and to have created such great relationships and opportunities in Anguilla. I’m grateful for island life, a new way of living that has given us a bit more depth and perspective on life and priorities. I’m grateful for the gift of travel that has helped me better understand myself and the world around me.
As you can see, my new site design is now live and I’m currently in the process of working out the tweaks and updating it to better reflect the style I’ve been envisioning. Part of that process has included re-formatting old posts which has had me work through each travel-related post with a more critical eye. The process has been an interesting one.
I’ve had a chance to relive some of my travels and my thoughts during those experiences. I’ve been able to see my writing style, my perspectives and my expectations change as I began traveling more. I realized how many posts I never actually re-read. For many of the journeys that I embarked upon, I clearly stated what I was hoping to achieve, to see or to do while experiencing a certain country or culture. Looking back, I can see how many of those goals I actually achieved and where I fell short. Plus, it’s been an interesting looking back at how I felt immediately after completing a trip versus how that same trip resonates with me now; how I remember it years after the fact. Read More
Last year I wrote all about Omololu’s Give and Get fundraiser with a great deal of excitement. The whole concept, essentially a large-scale raffle, was a fundraising initiative that I could get behind. This year, being part of the Omololu International School, I get to write about the Give and Get with even more excitement. Plus, I get to provide a discount code for anyone interested in purchasing tickets! Read More