Look Alive, Look Alive

Hey, hey, hey!

Its been quite a while and a lot has changed since my last update. My time in Madrid is sadly to an end and I am back in New York.

A year and a half flew by so quickly! My original plan was to stay in Madrid for a year in a half and if I liked it I would extend my time there.  Well guys, I clearly didn’t like it enough to stay longer lol.  Don’t get me wrong, Madrid definitely had its perks but not sufficient to stay away from my babies. (Babies = my nieces and nephew)

During my time here I have traveled to 18 countries and too many cities to count lol. I have always said that nothing can compare to the beautiful Bahama Islands and I can honestly say that there is no place like home. Nothing so far has topped the Bahamian waters, food, people, and atmosphere. (Plus the sun never burns me ; P)

I have tried a lot of different things and learned a lot about myself during my time in Madrid.

I became a vegan for about 4 months without experiencing any withdrawal symptoms or cravings and now I am a faketarian ( which literally means I will tear into some curry goat, jerk chicken, lamb etc. but how often do I eat them. lol) I mostly stick to fish and a little diary. I found during my time as a vegan that even though I was constantly eating I loved the way my body felt. My body felt lighter and not as sluggish as when I was constantly eating meat.  My time as a vegan confirmed that I am not attached to anything and that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to do.

I have pushed my mind and body to the limits in various ways from hiking for the first time a total of 30km in the blazing heat (~95-100 degrees), listening to different music and trying different clubs, to actively speaking Spanish/Spanglish and talking to many random people (I am actually an introvert in many ways, shocking I know).

I wouldn’t trade my time in Spain for anything in world. It is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to move to a foreign land and immerse yourself in the local culture and language. Check out my post on various ways to move abroad.

What’s Next? I have a few trips planned and I am focusing more on building and growing.   I don’t see myself moving to another foreign country long term any time soon if ever again but I do plan to travel for about 3 months at a time.

Thanks so much for your love and support.

Let me know your thoughts and any topics you want me to cover in the comments below!!!

Day Trips from Madrid

A day trip is the best way to do some exploring when you don’t have a lot of time or money.

One of the things I love most about Madrid, is the fact that there are so many awesome cities nearby.

TOLEDO

Are you a history buff? You have to check out Toledo (even if your not that into history). Toledo is the former capital of Spain and filled with history, charm, and a medieval vibe.

You can get to Toledo by bus, bla bla car (the uber of Europe), or train.

  • BusAlsa is the company that will take you there leaving from Plaza Eliptica. A round trip ticket starts 11€at and will take a little under an hour to get there.
  • Train: A round trip ticket on the renfewill start at 20,60€ and takes about 30 minutes to get there. 
  • Bla Bla Car–  A round trip farestarts at 11€. It will take a little over an hour to get to Toledo by car.

*Hmmm, I thought I wrote about my time in Toledo. Guess I need to get on that lol…*

SEGOVIA

Segovia is a beautiful getaway from Madrid. Want a day of the city this is the perfect place to go. It’s not super big but has enough to do and you can end the day by having some bomb food. I especially liked food and atmosphere at Jose Maria (a must do when in Segovia).

You can get to Segovia by bus, train or bla bla car.

  • Bla Bla Car– is an app you download on your phone then you’re ready to go. It’s like Uber where drivers put where they are traveling to and you can join them at a cost. A round trip fareto Segovia starts at 10€. It will take about an hour to get to Segovia by car.
  • Train-AVE high Speed– A round trip ticket to Segovia will start at 34€ but will only take 30 mins to get there. The train leaves from Chamartin Station.
  • Bus-La Sepulvedana is the company that will take you there leaving from Moncloa. A roundtrip ticket starts at 14,21€ and will take about an hour to get there.

Read More: Things to do in Segovia

AVILA

The world heritage city of Avila is a must see. Avila is known for its formidable medieval walls, an intact fortified ring around the old city.

Leaving from Madrid, you can get to Avila by bus or train.

  • Train– A round trip ticket on the renfe will start at 17€and takes a little under two hours to get there. The train leaves from the Chamartin Station.
  • Bus-Jiménez Dorado Autocares is the company that will take you there leaving from Estación sur. A roundtrip ticket starts at 13,41€ and will take about an hour and fifteen minutes to get there.

*Avila is still on my To Visit list*

CUENCA

This beautiful World Heritage Site  is full of charm and historical monuments. Warning, be prepared to walk uphill a lot, like a lot. But other than that it is a must visit.

You can get to Cuenca by bus, bla bla car or train.

  • BusAvanzais the company that will take you there leaving from Mendez Alvaro. A round trip ticket starts 21,57€ at and will take about 2.5 hours to get there.
  • Train: A round trip ticket on the renfewill start at 23,80€ and takes about 3 hours to get there. Whereas a round trip ticket on the  renfe AVE will start at 26,30€ and takes about an hour.
  • Bla Bla Car–  A round trip fare starts at 16€. It will take about 1.5 hours to get to Cuenca by car.

Read More: Things to do in Cuenca

Palma de Mallorca

Ever wonder where to go or what activities you would like to do on vacation. Do you ever feel like you have to choose between a good beach and mountains/nature? Luckily Spain, among other countries, has cities where you can have both.

Mallorca, Mallorca, Mallorca

Mallorca is the largest island of the Balearic Islands.

One of the first things I noticed was how big the Palma de Mallorca airport was. The airport is the first impression you will have of a city/country. The more developed the airport is (i.e duty free shops, Starbucks, McDonald’s) more than likely the more developed the city/country is. Taking the bus from the airport (you can get a round trip ticket for 8euros or a one way into the city for 5) to my hostel I saw just how developed Palma was. My first impression of the city was that it reminded me of Rio de Janeiro. My second impression was thinking how hilly the island was and how its going to suck walking around lol.

I knew my adventure was starting as soon as I was able to put my bags down at the hostel. After dropping my bags off I set off to see the Bellver Castle and then head to the city center to see the sites there.

Lets talk about the adventure I had getting to the castle. The walk to the castle from the hostel was about 15mins but all uphill. I arrived to the bottom of the park I was suppose to walk through and realized that not only was it uphill it was also a series of stairs. (I think stairs are my frenemy) The great thing about this park was that there were a lot of look out points to stop and rest to view the city and harbor. Despite it being a cloudy day I was able to make out the city and yachts/ships in the harbor. I could just imagine it being a clear sunny day. The views would be amazing! Now the heat not so much lol.

Fun fact: Upon reaching the entrance of the castle from the park you feel a sense of accomplishment from walking all those stairs and think finally I can go in and look around. Well that’s a negative. The ticket office for the castle is not at the entrance. Fortunately, the gate keeper/worker allowed me to walk in without a ticket so I didn’t have to go looking for it. (#winning. Saved me 4 euros that I later had to spend on the ticket back to the airport). There is a medieval feel to the castle. It’s totally worth the walk for the unobstructed views of the city and the history.

Walking to the city center was much easier and also very easy to navigate. Once back on the main road it will take you straight to the city center and apparently to El Arenal (the public beach and broadwalk).

Walking through the streets of Palma was clean and pretty empty since I went during shoulder season. Beautiful streets, quirky shops and people is a recipe for a great experience.

I ended my day walking in the opposite direction on the main road looking for Cala Fornaris. This is one of the many beaches on the island but unfortunately I couldn’t find the public access to get to this beach. This lead me to believe that it was a private beach because along the perimeter of the beach was privately owned houses.

Unfortunately, my original plans for Saturday got derailed. Instead of going with my gut and taking the 3 hour bus ride to the other side of the island to explore the beauty there I decided to rent a bike. Yup definitely one of my stupider ideas. For one, the last time I rode a bike was at least 15 years.

Adventure or misadventure I still haven’t decided yet. But renting a bike is super cheap (as long as your not in the city center). Bikes start at $5/day. The shop must be only deals with amazons and giants because all the bikes in the shop were too tall. First sign I ignored lol since its important that you are able to touch the ground with ease. So get this, I thought I was going to bike 64km one way to the other side of the island. Mind you I didn’t make it 6 km before crashing into another biker. Yup, I crashed and burned not once but twice. Luckily, the second time around I only crashed into the sidewalk (an inanimate object). Got my first black and blue eye on this adventure. I ended up only riding 15km to El Arenal and then headed back home.

Moral of the story is that yes it is important to do things out of your comfort zone but to realize that not always will it be a accident free experience.

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My battle wounds!!! But the views were worth it.

Overall, Mallorca is a beautiful island with a lot of hidden treasures and gems. But unfortunately, you either have to be an experienced cyclist or rent a car to get around the island because public transportation isn’t the best.

Leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of Mallorca.

Traveling as a Bahamian Woman!

Oh the joys of traveling as a woman and to top it off being a (black) Caribbean woman. Traveling in itself is an adventure but when you add being a woman, being black, and being from the Caribbean it just spices up your experience even more. Depending on the country you travel to will depict how spicy your experience is. Of course if you travel to a country that rarely has a black female traveler let alone a Caribbean woman traveler, your travel experience will be like eating a whole goat pepper, seeds and all. (Spicy as all hell. Also if you haven’t noticed I do like food a lot lol!!!).

Some things that will more than likely happen to you as a (black) Caribbean woman traveling by continent:

  1. Asia:
    1. First and foremost are the stares. No conversation, no hi, no smile, JUST a stare. I usually smile and wave or stare back with my mean face depending on how I am feeling. But I mostly smile and wave.
    2. Photo bombs anyone!! Need I say more? While in China, natives constantly stood under me. Not next to, but under me because of course the concept of personal space is lost. Most times they won’t even ask for a picture they will just stand under you while a family member or friend takes the picture.
    3. You also get called Beyonce or any other celebrity or singer they know.
    4. Hopefully you are not afraid of babies because you will probably hold at least three during your time in the country.
  2. South Europe
    1. Now while living in Madrid, I have experienced some stares but it’s mostly because Spanish people can be rude at times. The biggest question I get asked is; ‘Are you from Senegal? Are you from Nigeria? Or my all time favorite, ‘Are you from Africa?’ During my time in South Europe I have noticed that there are not a lot of black travelers.
      1. Side bar: South Europe experiences a lot of migrators from various African countries so they assume that every black person they see is from an African country. (Remember, I am not speaking for all Spaniards or all South European people, just the majority/what I have experienced) Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being from Nigeria or Senegal or any other African country. The problem lies in the assumptions and the closed ended question. What’s wrong with ‘Where are you from?’

So these are some things I encountered from these specific areas but in general you can expect to experience some variation of them anywhere you go. Disclaimer: I haven’t been to all of the countries in the continents mentioned but where I have gone I have experienced those things. Some countries are better than others. Extra Disclaimer: I wouldn’t want to change my experiences. The different reactions of people help make it a trip, a trip to remember.

Let’s talk visas. So as a Bahamian there are some countries that I need a visa to enter. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced an issue in obtaining a visa for the countries I wanted to visit that needed it. What I have experienced though is the shocked faces when Border Patrol Officers/Custom Officers have when they see that I have a Bahamian passport. This is usually followed by one of two things; ‘Wow, you’re the first person I’ve meet from The Bahamas!’ or ‘Do you need a visa to enter?’ I find that I normally do their job because like anything most people only remember things that they constantly do. What sometimes annoys me is when the officers don’t have a list of countries that need and don’t need visas to enter their country readily available. Travel tip: Make sure before booking your flight and accommodations that you double and triple check if you need a visa and the process to obtain one. So far I have only needed to apply for and send my passport to the consulate for about 10% of the countries I have traveled to.

Leave a comment below letting me know your travel experiences!!!

Making the most of a long layover…

Time is a luxury we don’t always have while traveling. Some people believe that you need 1-2 weeks to visit a country. On the flip side, who has an unlimited amount of vacation days from work that they can take such a long trip let alone take a trip multiple times a year.  I truly believe that you only need 2-3 days to get a sense of what a city is all about. Don’t get me wrong, to find all the hidden gems in a city you definitely need to spend more time but hey thats what a return visit is for.

With that being said lets talk long layovers. Layovers are the perfect way to get a glimpse of another country when you have a limited time frame and budget. Fun fact, tickets are usually cheaper when a layover is involved. To me a long layover where you can actually leave the airport and enjoy the city is anywhere from 6 hours and longer. Mind you there are a few airports that you will need a minimum of 8 hours but for the most part 6 hours is a good rule of thumb.

During my first European Adventure with my girl Tori, we decided to book a ticket with a 24hr layover in Istanbul, Turkey. We landed late evening and stayed in the lounge for Turkish Airlines (one of my favorite airlines to travel) and left the airport very early the next morning. We had about 12 hours in the city and boy did we do and see a lot. Really its all in the planning but of course things can go wrong so you must be adaptable. We planned to leave the airport that evening but I couldn’t get my visa on arrival because my passport only had I think 4 more months until expiration. So unfortunately we all know the later you arrive to the airport or anywhere the less people working. The people who could override my date and issue me a visa wasn’t on shift for a few more hours that’s why we had to stay in the lounge. But hey, bright side, we stayed for free. The person manning the desk was super nice and helpful and allowed us to spend a few hours in the lounge for free. So overall, win win situation.

Traveling to China from Houston, I specifically looked for a ticket with a long over in another country. Lucky me, I found a bomb ticket (cheap and with an amazing airline). I found a ticket with Korean Air (my first love before discovering Turkish Airlines so now I have 2) with a 24 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. After purchasing my ticket I started researching the airline and airport to see what perks might be there. And let me tell you, my research did not go unnoticed.  Korean Air offered complimentary hotel rooms for persons with a layover longer than 12 hours (this was in 2014 so I don’t know if they still do). Yup, you heard me. I got a free bomb, clean, hotel room on the airport shuttle route and close to public transportation to explore the city. Now it took a little work to get it. I had to email customer service; they responded with a number I had to call. When I called they tried to say Korean Air didn’t offer the service any longer. But with luck and being persistent I was able to find an agent willing to give me the complimentary room. Lesson here is never take no for an answer. Make sure you put in the work and don’t leave any table unturned.

* For some reason I can’t find any of the pictures I took in Seoul. Guess I will just have to go back since no pictures is pretty much like I never went. *

Now don’t just start purchasing long layover tickets without doing any research. Make sure the airport you are flying into isn’t far from the city center or the must see attractions. Make sure you have a general idea of where you want to go, if you can leave the airport, and a general idea of cost. If you prefer leisure travel, a long layover still could be possible but instead of fitting as many sites in as possible maybe you would just want to see one or two sites and eat something.

Remember, always do what is best for you. It is your travel experience so make it work for you.

Leave a comment below letting me know what some of your tricks are when booking flights.

24hrs in Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is hidden a gem with beautiful surprises throughout the city and I’m not even talking about the architecture or sights. I am talking about the murals distributed throughout the city. Glasgow has 23 murals to be exact. You can spend a few hours just exploring and finding the different murals.

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The first mural that caught my eye

I stumbled upon a mural and thought to myself oh that’s cute. Then while looking around I spotted another in the distance. I took a detour from where I was going and walked towards it and boy I was not disappointed at all.

 

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Let’s start from the beginning since I got a little side track talking about the murals.  You might be thinking, is it even possible to see a city in one day. Honestly, you are able to see Glasgow in one day. Depending on the city it’s quite possible to see everything(main attractions) in one day. Granted when you stay somewhere for a while you get the feel of the place and find hidden gems. But if you are on a time constraint never feel that it would be a waste just to visit somewhere for a day.

You want to arrive in Glasgow as early as possible. I arrived at 9 and left the airport by 9:30am.  A must do is to always stop at the tourist information desk in the airport. There you should be able to get useful information, recommendations, and a city map. At the info desk in Glasgow you can also purchase a roundtrip bus ticket to the city center for 12£. The bus has wifi and usb ports. There are 4 stops throughout the city with the furthest stop being 25 mins away from the airport so not bad. It also runs 24hrs so that also a huge plus and savings.

First thing to do even before making it to the city center is to go out west to Kelvingrove. Once there you can check out Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery (for free). Honestly this was one of my favorite stops the whole trip. You will also find in the west different pubs, bars, and cute little shops to stop into.

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In front of Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery

Once you have had your fill of the west, you can then walk to the city center. It is a straight walk on the main road and is about a 25min walk (of course if you are stopping to check out stores or take selfies it will take longer). Once in the city center there is quite a bit to do.

Some of the things you can check out are:

  • Necropolis
    • The gates that lead to the Necropolis covered in pure gold. The rich history inside these gates.

  • St. Mungo’s Cathedral
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      A few of the cathedral from the Necropolis

  • Queen Street
  • Glasgow Green Park

* These are just a few attractions to check out. Of course, it all depends on what you like to do. So if you like to check out museums then add some to the list.*

One of the things United Kingdom (which is made up of 4 countries including Scotland) is known for is Tea Time. I had an awesome experience at the Willow Tea Room. The atmosphere is really chill and chic and the options are endless. I never once felt rushed to get through my meal. Surprisingly, I was stuffed halfway through the second tier of food.

 

Once nightfall hit I looked for a pub to pass my time. I found a little hole in the wall pub called Soulsa to relax and unwind. They serve food there and have student specials. There I met a Scottish young man who befriended me and started chatting up a storm. Did I mention yet that Scottish people are super nice and friendly? Well they are!!! And boy was I glad because I got to go ceilidh which is essentially Scottish line dancing. I had an absolute blast. Check out Avante Grad to have an experience Scottish experience.

Overall, Glasgow is a cool place to visit and can be done in day depending on your style of travel.  Let me know in the comments below what you thought of Glasgow when you visited or other places you think are great to visit for a day.

Is saving money really an achievable goal?

In the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro


Still wondering what it would take to actually and successfully save money. Regardless of your end goal, money is normally a major factor needed in achieving said goal.

There are quite a few articles out there on saving tips but I felt that some of the suggestions were just not realistic enough. For me, some suggestions are a bit radical like suggesting that readers stop going out (to shop, party, buy groceries, pretty everything). That’s just not realistic because for one you need to pamper yourself every once in a while.

The one thing I normally take from those types of articles are that we as human beings do sometimes do things in excess.

I have thought of some ways on how to realistically save for travel or that mansion in Beverly Hills or paying off student loan debt (who’s hoping and wishing that their student loans is just going to disappear one day.)

One of the best and most difficult way to save money is to move home. I know, your probably thinking, “Is Andrometa crazy?” Honestly I definitely understand because if your parents are anything like my own then this might be a tough pill to swallow but is very necessary. When you look at a breakdown of your bills you see that up to half of your paycheck goes to rent, utilities and every miscellaneous thing that comes with having your own space. For example, furnishing your spot can cost up to $5,000 depending on your taste and the size of the place.   Y’all do you know what you can do with $5,000? Here are a few things, backpack across South East Asia, South America (honestly almost everywhere) for about 3 to 6 months depending how frugal you spending is.

No pain no gain is a great saying to memorize when moving. Don’t get it twisted, there is no shame in moving home or shade to those still living home.

I am a firm believer of bringing your lunch and snacks to work with you. This idea leads me to my next tip, which is stop buying your lunch while at work. Lets break it down, lunch costs about $10 a day (and you know depending on where you live or work could be more). With 30 days in a month with 20 of them being working days, you are spending $200 a month just for a basic lunch. Mind you, that price doesn’t include your coffee break to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and snacks. Just by cutting out this habit can save you $2,400 in a year. Do I need to ask again? I think so. Do you know what you can do with $2,400….. A lot is the answer. I spent $2,400 for my first Euro Trip to 5 countries including all shopping money needed, food, accommodations, and other miscellaneous things.

In London posing


I haven’t tried this tip as yet, but I am seriously researching it. Gaining points and miles through a good credit card also seems like a good way to go. But this definitely requires discipline, a lot of it. So if you are just starting out or think you may not be able to control your spending then a credit card might not be the best solution. The points gained through putting your everyday spending on the card and paying it off on time and completely can not only pay for your next flight or accommodations but also help you build your credit.

A part of being an adult is being responsible for your finances. One of the best ways to know what you can realistically spend and save is by keeping track of your spending and setting realistic goals.

These are just a few things that come to mind when I think about saving for something. Let me know what you like to do to achieve a savings goal.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Oh Summer where art thou?

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Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island Bahamas. It just happens to be the deepest in the world, plunging to a depth of 663 feet (202 meters)

Dean’s Blue Hole

 


I have been back in Madrid for about 3 weeks and when I say it has been rough, boy oh boy has it been rough.

First and for most, the weather has been doing the most since I got here. I got back the last week of August. Mind you I thought that it would still be hot when I got here and why wouldn’t it. It was 103 degrees the last couple of days before I left in June. You definitely read correctly, I did say 103. So naturally I thought I would get more of the same in August(one of the hottest months of the year). Welp, that was a bust, it hasn’t been higher than about 85 degrees since I got here. With a few days of low 70’s and pouring rain. Fall has officially arrived.

Do you see these ridiculous temperatures?


Second problem; Housing or betting yet Finding Housing. Looking for an apartment in Madrid is like looking for a leprechaun with a pot of gold and a unicorn at the same time, which I am still looking for. Surprise, surprise. Seriously, you make contact with a potential landlord or flatmate and while setting up a meeting to see the place it becomes unavailable. Literally, that’s how quick apartments go here. I thought I would already be settled in my new place and getting to know my surroundings, womp womp unfortunately that’s not the case.

On a brighter note, coming back to Madrid after being gone for 2.5 months made me realize how much fun I actually have when I am here. I am getting back into the grove of things, walking everywhere and taking the stairs (most times out of necessity not want). I am also excited about the things I have in the works. But don’t let me keep you, I just wanted to say Hi and give an update.

Hasta luego!

P.S: Shoot me a comment down below if you want to know my trails and errors of looking for a place or if you have any suggestions for me.

Caves+Swing Rope+Views….

Semuc Champey… Need I say more?

By far my best experience in Guatemala. From the views to the group I was with to my amazing tour guide, I couldn’t ask for a better day and experience. My whole experience in the small town of Lanquin was great.

Let’s start from the beginning, I stayed in a legit treehouse y’all where I had to sleep under a mosquito net. It was a stay of many firsts. Vista Verde is an amazing hostel with great people and vibes.


Back to Semuc, we are on first name basis y’all lol. The morning started with a 30-40 minute drive standing on the back of a pickup truck. Mind you it was about 20 of us crammed onto a small bed. Did I mention how “amazing” the roads are in Guatemala? The one good thing about these drives is that you are surrounded by nature and crazy views.

Once in the park, exploring the caves was the first thing on the agenda. Y’all I didn’t bring my phone in because Carlos (the guide) said that it would be an hour and a half in the dark with only a candle and that we would be walking, swimming, and climbing. Mind you majority of the time in the cave I was swimming because the cave isn’t meant for short people. The whole experience was amazing though, I climbed up a rope against the waterfall, jumped off the highest peak in the cave, and went through a tunnel where I bumped my left big toe.  So now both my big toes are swollen and are still killing me.

Once we got done with the cave, we walked to one end of the lake/park and saw a beautiful waterfall. Carlos wanted us to jump from the top of the waterfall but the currents were so strong he couldn’t make it to the other side of the lake. Now you know your girl only know how to stay above water. I was not getting in that water lol.  Since that was a bust we headed back towards the entrance and stopped for all the folks who wanted to do the rope swing. Now that was a lot of fun and the current wasn’t to bad there even though Carlos jumped in thinking he needed to save me lol.


Next up was the ridiculouus hike (cause of course nothing in Guatemala is simple). Carlos appointed himself to my boyfriend and tried to convince me the whole hike up how I needed to move to Lanquin and live with him and how he had his own house. The climb was definitely worth it for the views. I even got to taste the fruit cacao comes from, it was pretty darn good.

The purple stuff is what you use to make chocolate

The tasty fruit but your not suppose to swallow it


The last stop was the actual lakes. The water is a pretty turquoise blue and clear.


What a epic day and hopefully my pictures made you want to visit someday.

Hippie Town Anyone?

My next stop on my journey was Lake Atitlan, San Pedro to be specific. Honestly after 2 days in Antigua I was more than ready to head to water. It seems that the trend is to stop for a ‘bathroom break’ even if the drove from one city to the next is 2hrs.  After being on a bus for 2.5 instead of the 1.5 hours promised I made it to Lake Atitlan. I consuls have taken a bus ride to San Pedro but that would have added another hour onto my bus ride. Instead of a longer bus ride I decided to go to Panajachel and take a ferry over to San Pedro. As soon as I saw the lake I knew I would enjoy my time more here than in Antigua. Just seeing and hearing the water was so calming. 

My view for the whole time I was there


One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet. I met amazing people here in San Pedro starting from the long bus ride to the island. I met two older ladies from Malaysia who were actually staying at the same hostal as me. We had good convo and I was fully entertained by all the folks on the bus with me. Once I got to my hostal and dropped my bags off I went exploring.

First stop was to finally get some authentic Guatemalan food. Hmmmm, that was a mistake. I ordered one of their typical dishes called Pepián. It was a lot of food, a spoonful of rice with carrot shreds, corn tortillas, and a big bowl of broth/soup which included chicken, potatoes, and carrots. No bueno para yo. After leaving that place I decided to go and chill at a place with a view of the lake and do some work.  While walking to the new spot I met this couple from the states who are living in Canada but was visiting San Pedro because they were thinking of moving there. We exchanged numbers and said we would meet up later to chill.

Pepián

Lucky me, I came to the island when they were finishing up their celebrations of the Saint San Pedro. So of course there were quite a bit of festivities going on so I wanted to explore some. The people are super nice here on the lake and when it looked like I was lost a guy who spoke perfect English stopped and asked if I needed help. I told him I needed help finding Jarku (the restaurant I started at earlier that day). He told me how to get there then he proceeded to invite me to hop on his bike and that he would take me.  After much persuasion I got on the bike and he took me to the restaurant when I got off, I was reminded that I wanted to check out the festival and started wondering around again.  The same guy helped me again and took me to the c center to hear the live music and check out the locals…

Next day, woke up got some coffee and took in the amazing views. It was another work day for me as I needed to plan my upcoming trip with my mummy and aunt. Later that day while skyping my mum and aunt I easedropped on two couples talking about what they were doing the next day and one of the, was like they were catching the sunrise on Indian Nose. You know your girl went over their and invited myself on their hike because I really wanted to do it but the tour guide told me no since it would just be me (the life of a solo traveler isn’t always glamorous). So luckily they were able to add me and they turned out to be a cool couple. We ended up going out that night and meeting up with the rest of the group. I will be writing a separate post soon about my trek up Indian Nose and ziplining in the jungle. 

But the two pics below are a sneak pic of my day. 


Let’s talk food

So after my disappointing experience with Pepián, I decided to just order regular food. The highlight of my stay there was brunch at El Barrio on my last day. The food was delicious and there was a lot of it. For 40Q you got a four course brunch, all you can drink coffee, and a glass of orange juice. The order was a bowl of fruit, granola, and yogurt, next was a bowl of soup (didn’t have that but my neighbors told me it was good), then the choice of a omelette, frittata, or breakfast sandwich with a side of hash browns or seasoned fries and sausage or bacon(I got both), lastly was two fluffed pancakes with a fruit compote on top. Yes that much food and yes I ate it all but it was over the course of about 3-4 hours. I got there at 10 when it opened and ordered my frittata writhing the first 5mins of being there and got it at 10:50. Ordered my pancakes at 11:20 and got it at 11:55. I don’t remember when I ordered my fruit but I didn’t leave until about 1:30. Needless to say don’t go there if you are in a hurry. Don’t be put off by the long wait because the owner (at least I think so, definitely part owner) comes and check on you and talks to you and the atmosphere of the place is warm and welcoming. It’s definitely worth the trip.  I also tried their chili fries, regular fries, and wings, all of which was really good. 




Honestly I can go on and on about my experience here in San Pedro. It was a great time where I met amazing people and had epic experiences.  Up next is Lanquin for Semuc Champey. I’m super excited about exploring there