I have a passion for travel. You could say it even runs in the family! My sister worked in the travel industry and loved it and I enjoyed many of her great perks, traveling to popular vacation destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. So many people started asking me for travel advice that I started my own travel agency and never looked back. I'm so passionate about sharing my adventures and tips with my clients that I figured I should start a blog to share my favorite tips, pictures and more with even more people.
I’m a bit of contradiction when I travel. I like luxurious, all-inclusive resorts where I can be pampered (think massages every day and lounging on the beach while people bring me cocktails), but I also love to leave the resort and find authentic places to eat and visit within the area (think dive bars and flee markets).
My husband and I were in New Orleans with friends last summer (that place has the energy of Las Vegas x 20) and stayed at a nice hotel on Bourbon Street. We left our hotel and just kept walking one day. We met some great people and saw some interesting things. We could have eaten at Pacal Manale’s (which is apparently awesome) but instead asked every local we could find where they eat. The favorite restaurant of locals in New Orleans is Coop’s, so off we went. Best Jambalaya I ever had! I love meeting local people and eating local food.
Last week we packed up the kids for a family vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you to the Riu Vallarta and the Marival Residence for hosting us. We really enjoyed both places for different reasons (and of course I got my pampering in).
Before we went, I did some research and found out about a fishing village only accessible by boat. Electricity has only been in this village for the past 10yrs. That was something I wanted to explore. We took a day trip from Puerto Vallarta and landed on the shores of Yelapa, a small village of about 1500 people. We sat on the beach and talked with the locals. My kids were amazed! There are a lot of lessons to be learned in a place like this. My 13yr old son watched other boys his age helping their fathers unload their goods from boats. My sons has chores around the house but never has he had to contribute to the level of helping so we had food on the table. This made him pause. My daughter was sad that people seemed so poor and were begging for money. This gave me the opportunity to share with them how fortunate they are. This is real! This is Mexico!
In my searches I came across the Yelapa pie lady, a woman who walks the beach with a Tupperware container selling pie. I bought some that she told me was banana. It had ham in it! So, my kids and I ate a banana and ham pie that came out of a green Tupperware container that reminded me of something my grandmother used to have. We bought trinkets from the vendors that walk the beach. We listened to stories about how it rains for 4 months out of the year so the entire town shuts down. No one can get in or out. I enjoyed the day in that village and wonder what it is like to live there so simply but with struggles we don’t understand.
So the next time you are somewhere, keep walking. Go as far off the beaten path as you can and are comfortable with. You will meet some amazing people and come away with some wonderful experiences.
Life is short. Pack your suitcase. And don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path!