One of Columbia’s most beautiful and romantic cities is Cartagena.
While visiting Cartagena this past summer, I took a short boat ride and discovered a tiny little island that was large on life. Locals cooking up freshly caught fish over an open flame and serving drinks in carved out coconuts were just appetizers of what made this stop my favorite. Boats of all sizes were casually driving by to catch a glimpse of this perfectly places island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Music, food, drink, sun and a breeze…I never wanted that day to end.
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If I hadn’t made the promise of getting a “flamingo-selfie” to my two young children, this photo might not have happened.
I thought that flamingos were like any other wild animal in foreign countries. That they are just there, walking around freely, for everyone to see. Nope. This tiny private island is owned by The Renaissance.
Here is my tip from one traveler to another. If you stay a night at The Renaissance (marina) in Aruba, your fee of about $100 per person is waived to go to Flamingo Island. When I travel I always leave open days with no lodging just in case I want to move around to another area. This worked out great for me. I booked two nights at the hotel and got my ride for free. The boat drives inside the hotel, conveniently right beside Starbucks, and loads its passengers.
The boat right is short and sweet and you are allowed to lounge around on Flamingo Island as long as you like. There is a little hut serving up tasty frozen drinks and local beer and also a restaurant on the other side of the island.
Was it worth it? Absolutely!
While watching Frozen Planet, over a bottle of wine, one night in January 2017, I had a brilliant (and by brilliant I mean a great wine-buzz) idea. I was going to travel to the arctic! I didn’t know how or where but I was determined. And if you know me, once an idea hits…
With Greenland as my final choice, the research began. I spent days and nights looking at sights on how to make this crazy idea happen. Turns out, it took way more planning and coordinating than I could have ever imagined. By time I was done with just planning the air portion, I had more detailed notes on this one trip than I did for a whole semester of world geography in high school. But I was set on it. I was going to the arctic.
Was I nervous? More nervous than I had ever been in my life. But I can tell you this, my trip to Greenland was otherworldly. This destination is truly remarkable and should be added to everyone’s bucket-list. With no major road systems in place, dog-sledding, snowmobiling and boating (if you can get past the frozen waters), are your means of transportation. The food that you are served is the food that is available that month. I watched a boat turn back around for the third month in a row with much of their food supply.
One of my favorite memories of Greenland was the evening my roommates (from Germany and Switzerland) and I got to spend with a native Greenlandic lady, Maya, and her four year old son. She invited us into her home, cooked us a wonderful, fresh meal with local ingredients and shared many stories of growing up in Greenland. Getting to connect with a culture like this is one you can’t put a price tag on.
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