Instead of working a 9-5, Juan and I decided to spend a full day snorkeling in the Galápagos Islands!
Kicker Rock has an abundance of angel fish, sea turtles, sea lions and hammerhead sharks! Not only did we have amazing views, we were also welcomed by the nicest crew members and were able to meet three scuba divers: Anne-Marie, Lorraine and James.
Always try new things, because you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll see along the way!
La Campana National Park is located in Olmué, Chile. Charles Darwin actually hiked here after his visit to the Galápagos Islands. It’s a must-see if you’re in the area!
Juan and I hiked the 7-kilometer trail, but only made it to the 5-kilometer mark since it was the most difficult path. Going uphill was incredibly difficult and put my physical and mental stamina to the test. With that said, however, going downhill was even worse on my hips, knees and ankles.
The hike itself provided Juan and I with a modest 6.5-mile exercise! In total, we walked 12.4 miles yesterday, and boy am I feeling it today…
Pro tip: don’t go hiking if you have the flu. This made my hike much more intolerable than it needed to be!
Pro tip #2: go hiking with someJuan special. It’ll be double the fun! 🙂
Tuesday afternoon my husband surprised me with a trip to Piedra de Agua, a thermal spa in Cuenca, Ecuador. I’ve never been to a spa back home, which made our afternoon together even more special (I don’t even get my hair or nails done)!
First, we had a private experience in different underground pools. The pools are very popular because Piedra de Agua is built on a volcano! We started in a hot pool with red clay, then moved into a warm pool with blue mud (Juan was daring enough to put this in his hair)! In between we washed off in the most amazing shower I’ve ever seen and exfoliated with salt and coffee.
The next part was probably my favorite (mainly because I was entertained by my husband’s fear of cold water)! We spent ten minutes in a hot bath, then spent one minute in a cold pool. Juan was so cold that I spent over two minutes in the freezing water, because she started timing once he fully submerged his shoulders. We repeated this process again, and of course Juan acted tougher the second time. My husband often acts really tough, but when it comes to handling sickness, pain and the cold, I always win!
We ended our day of relaxation in a sauna and Japanese cleansing pools. I would 10/10 recommend Piedra de Agua if you’re in Cuenca!
Exactly three years ago today, I was galavanting around Ireland with two good friends. The beauty of these cliffs is insurmountable and sometimes on the windiest of days, I feel like I’m sitting right where I was on this day in 2016.
My family drama is so bad that I’ve been losing sleep over it for weeks.
My job and responsibilities are constantly changing against my will.
Many friendships that I thought would last a lifetime are ending right before my eyes.
I’ve been living day-by-day, going through the motions all while hiding my hurt. Reading Kaila’s letter taught me that I do have great friends around the world, even though we may not speak or see each other often. Her kind words showed me that no matter what I’m going through personally, I’ll always have support from my truest friends!
Seeing this picture of us together took me back to that weekend in Chiang Rai. I have never felt better about myself or where I was going in life; I was confident, passionate and carefree.
Today’s post is for some of my favorite women that I’ve either met abroad or are from another country (or both)! People are the reason why I love travel as much as I do; it’s about immersing yourself in new cultures and creating strong friendships along the way. In case you’re reading this, thank you for all of the fond memories, laughs and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences with me 🙂
Saskia – friends since 2011 (met through foreign exchange)
Carolyn – friends since 2014 (met as roommates in France)
Anwar – friends since 2015 (met as coworkers at our SVSU Writing Center)
Bethany – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)
Jacomijne – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)
Gloria, Jagoda & Hui Jun – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)
Kaila – friends since 2017 (met as volunteers in Chiang Rai, Thailand)