As a small child my grandfather instilled in us the value of travel. My sisters and I lost our mom at a very young age, so my dad raised us alongside our grandparents. Every summer we went to Mexico for 3 full months. While there, my grandfather took us all over Mexico to explore different cities, local towns, villages and beaches. We traveled through bus, car and even ferries at one point. We visited churches, markets, long distance family members, and immersed ourselves in the food and culture. I even had the arduous task of taking pictures with our Polaroid camera – I was the designated photographer (go figure). Of course, as a young kid, I didn’t realize the value of such enriching experiences but I do know that having traveled to Mexico brings an abundance of wonderful childhood memories.
Fast forward to adulthood. Even though I had only traveled to Mexico, I had the curiosity to travel to other places, but there was an underlying fear. In 2004, through my graduate program, I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba. I was hesitant and fearful to visit, but I had to do it in order to graduate from the program. It was indeed a life changing experience. All of my childhood memories of traveling and exploring came back to me. I indulged in the Cuban cuisine, made conversation with the locals, and immersed myself in the culture. It was amazing. Then it hit me–the travel bug.
The hubby and I started our travel experience domestically. We visited places like New York and Boston – which we absolutely enjoyed. One day as I was cleaning out our file cabinet, I came across a school paper that the hubby wrote. It was about his dream vacation. He described Big Ben and went on and on about London. There was a tone of enthusiasm in his writing that I had never seen. It was then that I decided we would go to London. He was afraid to fly at the time, but I used his own words to make a convincing case to go. And so we did. We went to London for a week and we fell in love.
Since then, we have traveled to France, Japan, Aruba, Bahamas, Italy, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Prague, and Canada. We’ve also explored domestic destinations such as Sedona, Pheonix, San Francisco, New Orleans, Colorado, Napa and Sonoma (to name a few). I like to keep a travel journal where I just write about our journey and adventures. We love to try new food, visit art galleries, museums, music venues, run through the neighborhoods, visit parks, and just explore.
I myself am geographically challenged, but lucky for me, Juan has a gift of direction. He learns the transportation systems rather quickly and finds the best way to navigate through the areas. It’s quite ideal for me – but I don’t mind getting lost! In this blog, I hope to share some of our travel experiences and favorites memories.
Below are pics of some of our adventures….