Snorkeling with Sea Lions

During our last full day in the Galápagos, Juan and I rented snorkels and headed to the “hotspot” for animal watching. We were greeted by sea lions who wanted to swim and play with us!

Pro tip: buy an underwater camera before you visit the islands. I instantly regretted not having one…

A Treehouse Tucked Away…

During our time on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, Juan befriended a local taxi driver named Manolo. Of course, the two of them had a lot in common: Spanish is their native language, they grew up in Ecuador and they seemed to laugh at the same things (probably at me)!

Kidding aside, Manolo was one of the coolest locals we met on the island. Why do I say this? Not only was he a “salt-of-the-earth” kind of dude, but he became our private chauffeur and took us to some unique places.

Our first stop on our “non-touristy” tour of San Cristobal Island was an eco-friendly treehouse. A family generated this treehouse – as well as other rooms on the property – from 100% recycled and sustainable materials! The hippie in me loved this and never would’ve known about it had we taken another taxi…

Have you ever befriended a kind stranger while traveling? And if so, do you still keep in touch? 🙂

Snorkeling at Kicker Rock

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!

So Much Fun – and fog – in Finland! (March, 2016)

Two students during my 2016 study abroad adventure were from Finland and downplayed Helsinki so much; I was amazed to find out that Helsinki had quite a bit to offer.  All of us (especially the Americans) LOVED Finland’s capital. Helsinki had the most unique churches, which were actually made of rounded wood and rocks. Surprisingly, this city had one of the best Mexican restaurants I have ever experienced! Who would’ve expected that from such a small country in Scandinavia?