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Photo By: Aaron Burden, Unsplash

I love to travel. It’s when I am happiest. I almost wrote, most happiest…because yes it is a superlative feeling. However, my next vacation is long way from now, and that can be downright depressing if I don’t manage those feelings.

On top of that, my Instagram feed is not making me feel any better. Since it seems like everybody and their mother is travelling to some exotic destination, trying IG perfect food and of course posting about it. Then there is me. Scrolling through my feed, unhappily double-tapping on each photo…because while I am in serious need of a jet fuel fix, I cannot look away.

Travel Via A Movie Night

Until better can be done, how do I handle my vacation envy? By travelling as far as Netflix and the ‘Movie’ folder on my laptop can take me. Here are some of my favourite feel-good  travel movies.

Under the Tuscan Sun: Though not on Netflix, this is one of my all time favourite travel movies. What would my life be like, if I packed up and moved to Tuscany? Fancussingtastic is what! Diane Lane is healing up from a broken-heart, in one of the most beautiful places I daydream of visiting. Plus, she buys a white dress, that makes me want to buy a white dress and make a big romantic gesture as well!

Wild: Because this is extreme hiking in along the Pacific Crest Trail and it ends at one of my travel bucket list destinations – The Bridge of Gods.

Me Before You: Though not a very happy ending and not your typical ‘travel’ movie, the visuals are pretty and the theme of living your best life while you can, makes this a winner for me. Plus, by the end of the movie, I wanted to visit Paris too!

The 100-Foot Journey: This movie set in southern France makes me hungry every.single.time. And it is a reminder, that my second favourite thing about visiting a new place…it trying the food.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty: This is no Eat, Pray, Love. And I could stop here and that should be enough. But Walter hates his job and daydreams about a happier, more adventurous life. Something I can relate to…not so much the hating my job part. Anyways, Walters goes on a trek that involves some stunning locations around the world.

Up: Because no matter your age, adventure is out there!

Now it’s your turn, help me travel even further and share your own favourites below!

When In Mexico…

I am still very much vacation dreaming and what better way to satisfy this need for a jet fuel fix, than to revisit my most recent vacation memories. My sister and I went to Mexico in April for our cousin’s wedding. And we had the best time!

A standout feature of the resort was the statement pool that ran the length of the it. My camera was not seeing what my eyes were, but the colours were so vibrant. The turquoise water from the pool, framed by the lush green of the coconut trees (they were everywhere on the resort) and blue sky with the little sprays of bright pink bougainvillea in between. This made for a great first impression.

Yes! We did this. We tried six different types of Tequila and learnt a whole lot about the process of making it.

Walking around the resort, not only provided much needed exercise and way to counteract the amount of booze and yummy food we were eating, but it also kept my step count up. I saw some guests running around the resort and kudos to them because there is gym and they also have these little golf cart shuttles the take you around. Walking around the resort, revealed all the little spaces for solitude (or potential wedding locations) and great photo ops.

My cousins organized a catamaran tour as a “break-the-ice” mixer for the wedding guests the day before the wedding. This was supposed to be a fun and casual way to meet and greet each other as all of the guests had arrived by then. But some of us went to a club/cirque du soleil type show the night before and had even more Tequila. So you could well imagine that while the vibe on the boat was nice…it was also very mellow.

This sign welcomes you to the spa! The sauna is free for guests of the resort, so I made sure to make use of the facility. We also had 24-hour room service available to us, this definitely came in handy after our late night shananigans and tummies that demanded to be fed in the wee hours of the morning.

And because I promised you a burro…check out this guy. He served us Tequila shots on the beach at the cocktail hour for the wedding. Our little burro was not very impressed with all our gaiety. But he did make for some interesting photos and puns.

 This was Part 2 of my When In Mexico…shenanigans. You can read Part 1 here.

Have you ever been to Mexico? What was the experience like?

 

When In Mexico…

We finally made it to Mexico! This was a trip more than a year in the planning and it was oh, so worth it. It wasn’t quite the quintessential Spring Break trip, but we were there for my cousin’s wedding. And it was kinda the same in some ways. Let’s just say, I have had enough Tequila to last me a decade.

My sister and I was so excited for this trip. It was the first one together, since my cousin, the wedding we were there for, got engaged. We both were pretty burnt out at work, so this 5-day respite was super needed. Our trips together are always so much fun, we are actually planning our next getaway already.

Our journey started at 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night in April. We took the red-eye to NYC – yes there are much shorter routes but this vacation was a multi-city trip and NYC was the last city we planned to visit. Anyways, 5 hours to NYC then another 5 hours to Mexico. To say we needed a drink when we finally got to our hotel, is putting it mildly.

The hotel did not disappoint, they had welcome drinks on hand to quell the thirsty touristas. My first impressions of Mexico, or rather Playa Del Carmen, is that it is a lot like Trinidad. Sunny, bright, bougainvillea and hibiscus everywhere. I immediately felt at home.

The view at the end of this walkway was absolutely breathtaking.

Calories? What Calories…

When in Mexico, you have to try the food. We had some local favourites: Chilaquiles, a mouth-watering combination of crispy tortillas, spicy roasted tomatoes and shredded chicken and Mexican Ranch-style eggs. Oh so good.

My travel buddy – my sister, the she to my nanigans!

The sun shone the entire time we were there and so we had many a frosty drink in tall glasses with little umbrellas to keep us refreshed. But none was as pretty as the coconut cocktail below. I found out that nothing beats a cool coconut rum cocktail on a sunny day.

 Our first couple days were spent catching up with my aunt and cousins and bonding with our new family. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort. This meant not having to worry about finding food or things to do, since the resort had a plethora of things to do. We were able to focus on quality time with each other, as we prepared for the wedding.

Aaaah this was the start of the perfect getaway, with the very best company if I do say so myself!

Have you ever been to Mexico? What was the experience like?

Stay tuned for the wedding shenanigans in Part 2, I say a poem, there was a donkey and we had more Tequila…

It’s that time of the year, when I’m dreaming of vacations far, far away from my island paradise home. One of my favourite travel memories, was the time I fondly call Loud In Bath. It was a mini getaway to Bath, while I was on vacation in England.

You should know that Bath is small and affordable enough to explore in just one day. And because I had the best tour guide in my friend Lucy, we were able to hit all the high points, which included coffee and a great lunch. And make it back to Bristol with time to spare to get some shopping done at IKEA. All this, in just one day…good times I tell you.

We had an early start with a plan to grab breakfast in Bath. The great thing about being in Bristol and heading to Bath, is the short commute to get there.

Exploring Bath

First up on our plan was a trip to the Roman Baths…cuz hello! We are in Bath afterall! When we got there the line…or queue was already long with groups of students crowding around waiting to get in. Now as much as I would have loved to get a good look inside…that line was insane.

While it does not sound as good to say that I walked past the Roman Baths, that’s what I did. When I visit again, and I will! it’s number one on my list. I didn’t want to waste the little time we had, waiting in line. So new plan, let’s just explore and stop for coffee.

Bath turned out to be a beautiful and quirky, quaint little city. Walking, exploring and turning down random corners and hidden little side streets, the Roman influence is apparent but there is an obvious old world culture that is wholly British. It was very easy to feel like you were in another time in history.

We visited the Jane Austen Center and I was surprised with how small it turned out to be. Still, it was a most interesting experience, since Mr. Darcy greeted us at the door. In fact, it was at this point we were more than ready for coffee, and it was Mr. Darcy who recommended the coffee shop we had breakfast at.

On to Colonna And Smalls for some coffee and a break from all that walking.

I was so happy we waited to have coffee! It turned out that Colonna and Smalls is home to one of the UK’s top baristas. This was information one of the patrons happily shared with us, while we sipped on some great coffee. You see in our exploring we tried a couple coffee shops but when the person behind the counter opens with, ‘we serve americano”, you need to keep it moving. Good job with the recommendation Mr. Darcy!

Caffeinated and content, we pressed on for more exploring. We passed the Royal Crescent and the Circus. We walked along the River Avon, which afforded us some really nice views of the city.

We had a fahncy-ish lunch at Cote: Coq au vin and a dark chocolate pot of creme fraiche.

And then unto a stroll in the park, to walk off that dessert. We spotted mama swan as well.

Exploring Bath, made me feel like I walked into a Jane Austen novel, with a Mr. Darcy thrown in for extra measure! Have you even visited Bath? Or wanted to visit? Please share your thoughts below.

I am always up for an adventure or a new experience. And I will try anything twice – the first time just to try it and the second time to decide if it’s something I really enjoy and will do again. Riding a horse however, I only needed to do it once to decide!

A friend of mine highly recommended trying the adventure beach ride with horses. So on my next trip to our sister isle, Tobago, that was number one on my to-do list!

Before you even get on the horse, you learn about their personalities, where they came from and how to interact with them. And get this, the horses choose their rider! According to their trainer, the horses choose their rider based on personality and your vibes. I was skeptical until the horse that chose me was, Mr. Divo! Ha!

Now it is one thing to observe a horse from a distance, but it is a totally different experience actually getting on the horse. I was not ready! And that was my first lesson.

1. I Have Control Issues

Learning to let go of all my fears and my need for control over a situation and actually get on this majestic animal was probably the most difficult but important lesson to learn. Insert every inspirational quote from every self-help book about facing your fear here. When I sat on Mr. Divo, I was scared shitless!

I approach most new experiences having done some research, but this was totally new. No amount of research could prepare me for this amount of vulnerability, and the sheer power of the animal. You are suddenly very aware that you on a thousand pound animal. And I was so not prepared for the feeling of total unpreparedness for this new situation.

And that was okay. Life and living begins when you are out of your comfort zone. But I really couldn’t see all that while on the horse. Just Saying.

2. I Have Trust Issues and While We’re At It, I’m Also Not Very Patient (especially when riding a horse)

I learned that the world looks very different when you’re sitting on the horse. All your bravado falls away. Breathing through my fear helped a lot! It was more like hyperventilating, but I digress. Here I was, on a freaking horse, in beautiful Tobago, and I missing it because I was too busy being fearful. Mr. Divo? He was patiently plodding along,  allowing me to work through my fear.

If the big, scary horse could be patient with me – and the trainers said that they are intuitive that way – why couldn’t I be patient with him? And trust Mr. Divo to do his thing as well?

3. I Don’t Know How To Relax and Just Enjoy The Ride

When I started the ride, I was tense and afraid. And these feeling exaggerated my discomfort and almost ruined the entire experience. I got in my head about all the times I saw people being thrown from or trampled by horses. And I almost let it consume me. Thank goodness for the perceptiveness and kindness of the tour guide, who stayed with me and talked me through my fear.

The funny thing is the whole experience lasted about two hours, but the time I was on the horse flew by. I spent more time trying to relax than I did having fun. The perfect reminder that all things come to an end sooner or later and you either let go and enjoy the ride or you don’t. But either way, the moment ends.

Life is short and it will be over sooner or later. While I much prefer later, I want my legacy to be that my time here was well spent. And that includes having hella fun every chance I get man!

Not gonna lie, riding a horse was quite the experience, and if that’s something you’ve been wanting to do – I say hell yeah go do it! Check that item off your bucket list. For me, though, I’m good. I’ve learned my lessons well and once is enough. I can live vicariously through you guys now.

P.S. You can check out Being With Horses in Tobago! And all photos in this post were taken by the tour photographer.

Oh and horses love a good sand bath. Who knew!

horse on back rolling in sand

horse rolling in sand

Have you ever ridden a horse, were you scared? How was the experience for you? Please feel free to share below.