While the winters don’t make me quite as miserable as they used to, I still find my mind drifting off to warmer days and sandy beaches. Relaxing vacations usually aren’t my speed, as I crave adventure and exploration of the places I visit, but every once in a while, relaxation is not only well-deserved, it’s necessary.
My co-worker and I try to get away for spring break each year, and even though we skipped last year, a very cold winter has led us to dream of warmer destinations. After a few weeks of research and planning, we decided on Puerto Rico. Now, all we have left to do is countdown and keep toasty warm with dreams of the tropical sun, bikinis, and frozen cocktails.
Still, there’s so much to look forward to. What exactly have I been dreaming of these past few weeks?
Discovering the countries I visit through their food is one of my favorite ways to get a true taste of the country. When I think of Puerto Rico, I think of mofongo, arroz con pollo, and empanadas, but I know that’s only the beginning. I plan on uncovering all that Puerto Rico’s cuisine has to offer and will also be taking a food tour with Spoon Food Tours during my stay, which is getting me very excited. I love sampling a country’s dishes and food tours are one of my favorite ways to do this.
In my mind, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a cocktail while lounging on the beach. Puerto Rico seems like the ideal place to do this. While doing a little pre-trip research, I asked for the help of a few friends. Cailin, of Travel Yourself, told me about Barrachina, the restaurant that invented the piña colada, and Chris and Tawny, of Captain and Clark, told me all about the jalapeño mojitos served at the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino, which just so happens to be where I’ll be staying. Bacardi’s Rum factory is also located on the island, which I absolutely plan on paying a visit to. If there’s one thing islands do right, it’s tropical drinks, and I plan on indulging, I mean sampling, several each day.
As far as I’m concerned, a relaxing vacation is nothing without the beach. Palm trees swaying in the wind and the ocean crashing on the sand, as I nap under the shade of my umbrella. My Irish skin does not love the sun, but the rest of me seems to be happiest when near the ocean, and immediately, I relax. De-stressing is definitely necessary for me, and this is exactly what I need to do so.
One aspect of Puerto Rico that I am really excited about is the rainforest on the island. As much as I’ve traveled, I have yet to spend significant time in a rainforest. I know that I won’t get to spend much time there on this trip either, but it will give me a taste of it. Also, this summer, I will be participating in the Mongol Rally, and raising money for CoolEarth, a charity that works to save the rainforest. Having the opportunity to spend time in one is sure to make me more passionate about the cause I am raising money for.
Old San Juan
I remember the first time I saw photos of Old San Juan, and I immediately added Puerto Rico to my list of places to visit. History is so important to me, and I enjoy learning about the history of the countries I pass through. I love the Old San Juan exists, and I am looking forward to wandering down its streets.
Puerto Rico is a destination I’ve been wanting to visit for a few years now, and I am so excited to finally explore the country. Not only are there beautiful beaches, but there are also plenty of opportunities for adventure. For me, it’s a win-win.
Have you been to Puerto Rico? What else should I add to my itinerary?