Tulum, Mexico

TL;DR: Tulum was awesome. You should definitely go for the food, adventure, and culture.

My motto has been “Might as well.” I’ve applied this to mostly every place that I’ve visited so far and it has always been an interesting journey. This phrase has definitely given me the courage to try new things and be a bit spontaneous.

When I told my parents that I was going to Mexico by myself, they freaked out. They obviously were worried for my safety since this was the first time I was going to Mexico, especially on a solo adventure. But I convinced them that I would be ok and that I’ll be back in a week.

So the adventure begins. I flew into Cancun International Airport and it was a dreary day. The rain was pouring like no other. I thought that this would dampen my time by the beach (pun intended lol). The best way to get around Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, is to utilize the public transportation. To get to Tulum, I took the ADO bus, which only costs about $8.00.

When I arrived to the Tulum bus station, my Airbnb host met me and we walked to where I was staying for the week. Once settled, I decided to explore downtown. The main street is one of the main highways, HWY 307. It’s lined with many gift shops and restaurants.


The vibe of the small city was relaxed and “chill” to say the least. I did make time to go to the beach before the sunset. It was picturesque. I’ve never seen whiter sand and bluer water than here.


Pretty sure there are other beaches that have better views than this, but it was outstanding.

The next day, I decided to go ziplining. There is an amusement park in Playa Del Carmen called Xplore. This had about 14 different zip lines throughout the park.


During this trip, I’ve learned that it’s easier to make friends while traveling solo. It’s pretty great.


I’m not able to post videos in this post, but the zip lines were exhilarating. There was a course that you went through a waterfall, which was definitely fun.

On the third day, I decided to go snorkeling with turtles and see the Mayan ruins. The turtles were so cute but we weren’t allowed to touch them because the oils on our skin affects them, negatively. Other than turtles, we were able to see stingrays and other fish.

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Enough of what I did. The most important thing is what I ate.

As I’ve mentioned before, the street of Downtown Tulum was lined with many restaurants and bars.

There was one specific taco place that was only open during the night. And when it opened, there was already a line out the door. This was a hole in the wall that wanted to be discovered. Tacos here were about 7 cents USD or less than 15 pesos. It was unbelievable.

Their al pastor was what everyone came for. And it didn’t disappoint. Ugh, my mouth is salivating just thinking about it.

Other than the food, the beach was all the rage. The white sand against the cerulean (tell me you thought about Pokemon when this work came up) blue ocean was a sight. The pictures speak for themselves.

All in all, Tulum was a great getaway from the cold days of North America. It’s culture is enticing and the food makes you want to stay. Here’s a picture of a palette, which was out of this world.

Seoul, South Korea

TL;DR: South Korea is definitely a beautiful country. It was a little rough for me to get used to, but once I did, I had a great time.

After hearing the adventures that my roommate had experienced in Seoul, I wanted to experience it myself. The food, nightlife, and scenery attracted me to go to the capitol. 

Throughout this trip, I unfortunately, was sick. It sucks to be sick on vacation because all you want to do is just stay in bed. But I knew that I had to muster up the strength to go out and see the city.

The main attraction of Seoul are the palaces. These palaces were huge. Not only huge, but beautiful. The vibrancy of the colors grabbed your attention. I mean, I I’d want to buy a palace when I was there.

There were people who would dress up in traditional garments and they would be able to get in the palace for free. I would have definitely done it, but it was hot as balls and I was not about that life. 

The palaces were humongous. There was a sense of serenity and a bit of class when walking through the buildings.

The colors were the main attraction as the buildings were decorated with bright and playful hues. It definitely captures your attention. There are two main palaces in Seoul that you can visit, which are Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung Palaces. Make sure to buy the tickets online before visiting as it is cheaper and you can get them as a bundle.

In addition to the rich history of the palace, Korea’s landscape is beautiful to explore. I decided to go on a hike at Ansan Mountain. Holy crap, there were so many stairs as this hike was literally up a mountain. 


Of course I decide to go on a mountain hike.  What was I thinking?! This is the part where I tell you that at the end of it all, it was worth it. Well, it actually was. The view from the top was amazing. 


It was also cooler, temperature wise, at the top. As Drake would say, “Started from the bottom, now we here.” 

Now it’s time to talk about the food. Throughout this trip, I was very budget focused. So I stuck with the street food and I have no regrets. 

I went to Myeongdang for the street food and to see all the hype around the beauty industry in Korea. 


The street food definitely lives up to the hype. There was everything you can possibly imagine on a condensed radius of Myeongdang. You can even get lobster on the street. These lobsters were bomb though. 


There was cheese, garlic, and lobster and it was torched to perfection.

All in all, Seoul, South Korea has been quite an adventure but it’s a country worth exploring.

Iceland

TL;DR: Iceland was amazing and anyone who tells you to go, you should take their advice.

Let me tell you about Iceland. It’s absolutely magical.

This was my first solo international trip. I was excited but also a bit nervous. Only because I was going to an unknown place that was an ocean away from home. It was exhilarating to think that I would be in Iceland. A place that I’ve been dreaming about visiting since college. A place that you can really lose yourself in because the landscape is awe inspiring.

As this was my first international trip, I decided to rent a car. Renting a car gave me the freedom to explore the island anyway I wanted to. I mostly stuck to the southern half of the island. 

One of the must see attractions that I would recommend are the different waterfalls that makes Iceland so magical. TLC would definitely be disappointed as I chased too many waterfalls on this trip. 

Day 1: But before exploring the many waterfalls, I had my eyes set on the Blue Lagoon. This geothermal hot spring lived up to my expectations. The milky blue hue of the pool mixed with the above 100 degree temperature made it a relaxing morning for me after a red eye flight. What’s more relaxing than a huge jacuzzi and sparkling wine at 9 am?




I set some time to wander around Reykjavik. First thing on the agenda was to get some food. Since Iceland is known for their fishing industry, I had to get some fish and chips. There’s a small fish and chips cart by the harbor that is known for this particular dish. From there, I ventured out to downtown Reykjavik and walked through the center that’s lined with shops. There were many gift/souvenir shops that filled the streets, so finding something to take home from Iceland.


Day 2: I woke up early to get a head start on chasing some waterfalls. From Reykjavik, I trekked south and the first waterfall that I visited was Seljandfoss. As this was the first waterfall, I was overtly excited. There were many tourists that had the same idea as I had. 


The next waterfall that I trekked to was Selfoss. This was the biggest waterfall in southern Iceland. You could hear the roaring water. You’re able to get up close as you want and feel the mist from when the water hits the rocks. 


As the day progressed, I headed towards Vik. Vik is known for the Black Sand Beach. This beach definitely matches the color of my soul. It was a bit cold and misty but it was definitely worth the view.

Day 3: This day was filled with adventure. I kind of wanted to live out the Justin Bieber music video he shot in Iceland. With that, I made it a goal to go to the glacier national park. As it was off season, there weren’t as many glaciers to photograph. 

Aside from the glacier national park, I had booked a tour/lesson on ice climbing. I was a bit nervous to do this activity as I have never done it and a bit anxious about my shoulder because it could potentially dislocate.


But to my surprise, I did ok. Ice climbing is a lot more intense than rock climbing.


During this tour, we were able to rapelle into the glacier through a small hole and see what the inside of the glacier looked like. This was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. The crystal blue color of the glacier is very prominent and beautiful. 


As we climbed back to the top of a glacier a rainbow was waiting for us. It was surreal.

 Btw, they always turn the rainbow on at the end of the tour.
Day 4: It was my last day in Iceland. I saw a picture on Instagram of a waterfall that I haven’t visited and knew it was in the Justin Bieber video. So I woke up early and left to find the last waterfall in southern Iceland. This was by far the best one that I’ve visited. 

​I had to walk through a crevice to get to the magic. 


Anyways, I was able to live out my college dream and it was everything and more than what I expected. 


All in all, I survived my first solo trip and I would definitely do it again. I’m going to leave you with some liquid nitrogen ice cream I got in downtown Reykjavik.

The Pacific Northwest {Part I: Portland}

This was a hard post to write and a bit overdue. It’s about to get real… Although this trip was an incredible one, I shared it with someone who was a definitely different person from the person I fell in love with. Life definitely introduces you to people who change your way of thinking and life. Anyways, enough about this stuff…onto writing about the PNW!

If there is one place that has impressed me, that is both Portland and Seattle. I’ll talk more about Seattle in another post. The PNW has a reputation for being the capital of hipsters. In essence, there are many types of people that make up this great part of the United States.

On my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I ventured out to Portland, Oregon, home of the most microbreweries per capita. This place is a beer buff’s and foodies’ dreams, and it definitely was a great trip.

If you’re ever in Portland, you have to at least go to one microbrewery. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate beer as a craft rather than just drinking it to get a buzz (i.e. college). Anyways, this brewery is well known for their innovative craft beers and spirits.

Aside from the beers and spirits, Rogue brewery has one of the best poutine. This poutine is made with french fries, cheese curds, and a gravy made with short ribs and and Shakespeare Stout. When you eat this dish, it is literally heaven in your mouth and is paired well will any of their beers on tap.

Moving on from Rogue Brewery is Widmer Brothers Brewery and Deschutes Brewery. These two breweries are known to have Oregon roots and great beer. The atmosphere of these two breweries are welcoming with a hint of the Oregonian nature feel. Each brewery is known for their owns beers, such as Widmer Brothers is known for their heffewiezen beer.IMG_0246

Enough about food and beer, let’s talk about the nature that surrounds the great Pacific Northwest. As much as there are microbreweries per capita, there are many natural destinations that you can explore. I decided to venture out to Cannon Beach. This beach is known for being part of the set of The Goonies. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Portland, but it is totally worth it. The drive to the coast is filled with rows and rows of lush green trees and shrubs. It was breathtaking.

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Being from a city that lacks a waterfront, I was kind of a kid around this area. It was gorgeous. There are no words to really describe this place. It was magical yet serene. We spent the day walking by the coast and exploring the city of Cannon Beach.

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The town of Cannon Beach is quaint and has a small town beach feel. The roads are lined with beach houses, small hotels, restaurants and gift shops. There’s plenty to see and do around the town.

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I couldn’t leave Portland without having some ice cream. The most popular ice cream shop in town is Salt & Straw. They had some eclectic flavors but knowing me, I kept it simple and went with the vanilla. Although it is a plain flavor, it was done right. Definitely recommend going to Salt & Straw if you’re in Portland.

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All in all, Portland has stolen my heart and I would not hesitate to go back. From here we trekked to Seattle.

P.S. Here’s a pic of me at Eastburn Restuarant with their swing seating. #YAASSS

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Portland, Maine

Being in the city for so long can make you go crazy sometimes. It’s nice to be in an area where you can just drive a few hours and you’re in a different state. For this year’s 4th of July weekend, I decided to drive up to Maine.

Going to Maine has been on my bucket list of places to visit. This trip was different as I had my mom join me and turned it into a girl’s weekend trip. The drive up to Portland, Maine was quite long. Granted it was only suppose to be a 5 hour drive, but then it turned into a 12 hour trip (including train time). Anyways, driving on just 5 hours of sleep was an interesting experience.

After 12 hours of traveling, we finally made it to Maine! The first thing on the list was to get lobster rolls. We ended up going to a cute place called Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. The view was amazing from the restaurant but the weather was not playing around.

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Although the view was spectacular, the lobster rolls were the maine event (see what I did there??). There was more than enough lobster meat on it. Also, they served the lobster on a toasted, buttery flat top bun. It was incredible. Although the lobster roll was the star, the crinkle cut fries and coleslaw were a great addition to make it into a filling meal. I would definitely go back through the hassle of finding a parking spot to get these lobster rolls again.

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The next thing we did was pass out in our Airbnb. We stayed in Scarborough, which I believe is a suburb of Portland, ME. It was a great place to stay as it was only a 10 minute drive to downtown Portland. In addition, it had a quaint small town feeling, which you don’t get in the city often.

My mom and I decided to grab dinner in downtown Portland and walk around to experience the nightlife there. Portland had a pretty small downtown as there was a strip of restaurants and shops along the marina. We ended up at Portland Lobster Pound.

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This place was pretty packed as they had live music. Aside from the music, the atmosphere of Portland Lobster Co. was lively let alone the food was amazing.IMG_0123

As we had lunch at an abnormally late time, we opted for the fried clams. They were fried to perfection and pairing it with a local beer like an Alagash white is just heaven.IMG_0124

Other than eating our way through Portland, we did do some sightseeing. We ended up at a few lighthouses and a private beach.

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Ok so one more photo of food…

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These donuts were sent from heaven. They came from Holy Donuts and are made from potatoes. I didn’t even know that was possible! Anyways, we mostly ate it on the drive back home.

All in all, Portland, ME stole my heart and I would definitely consider retiring there one day. I was also able to teach my mom how to use Snapchat so I think that was an accomplishment in and of itself.