It’s hard when traveling to keep track of all the places you enjoyed long enough to come home and then write about them.
When we took our road trip this summer, I tried really hard to make sure that I covered a lot of the places that made us smile and that I would love to mention to you, but alas…it’s taken me a bit to get around to them all.
In addition to the places I have already written about, here are some other spots, especially some really great lodging spots that we reserved before our trip, have never stayed at before, and walked away feeling like we would definitely want to return.
Even though, for the moment, I am more than happy with the chilly weather in New York City, it won’t be long before I start wanting to escape to the beach again.
My list of favorite beach destinations is getting longer and recently I added another favorite: Anguilla.
Anguilla is a British island in the Caribbean. With a population of a little over 15,000, this is the kind of place where people really know each other, and if you visit enough times, will really get to know you as well. It is friendly and welcoming. During my visit, I had the opportunity to really experience the people, but most importantly, the food.
I did my best to eat as much as I could while in Anguilla (because, you know, research) and discovered some pretty great spots along the way. Because it’s not a very big island, with enough planning you too can eat you way through Anguilla and see why it has become one of the most celebrated culinary destinations in the Caribbean.
This month marks my 5th year as a blogger.
Five years. In blogging life, I suppose, that’s nothing. Especially when you think about how many people have been doing it for decades and decades. For me it feels as if time has flown by, except so much has changed and I along with it.
I think back at my very first post and though it is way longer than most of my posts today, written in the third person, and focused heavily on my adjusting to a new life as a stay-at-home mom, it still has elements felt in my blog today: I felt the desire to share what my neighborhood was like, what it had to offer, and what I loved about. It touched on my unease with the changing face of New York City, the gentrification of the same, and my inability to reconcile with it. And it touched on how out-of-place I felt in my new role when compared to others – though I was still very much trying to embrace it.
During my travels I try to point out to my kids the areas outside of our lovely hotels and comfortable stays that represent the reality of many of the people who live and work in the places we visit – not as something to feel sorry for or stare at, but as something to be aware of and remember when they look at their comfortable life.
Not having a lot at times in my life really helped to give me a good sense of the world and of myself. I enjoy the things I have more. I appreciate every detail that helped to reward our work and offer us the life we have, not just in material things, but in the affection and warmth of our family.
The holiday season is in full effect and the streets of New York are as crowded as ever. Personally, I can’t get enough of the energy of the city now – with its festive, happy vibe – though it’s important to note that I make sure to clear my head and place myself in total zen mode before hitting the streets to take it all in.
But, taking it all in can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t exactly know where to start. This is when taking a list can be extremely helpful in not only getting you to the best spots to see in the city, but also to highlight some other things you might have not noticed or known about.
I took a couple of days of playing tourist in the city to check some fun tours and happenings in town.
Thanksgiving is one of our most celebrated cooking holidays at home. For years my children have associated Thanksgiving as a day when our family enjoys dishes not only from their father’s American culture, but also from their mother’s Latino culture – and it’s a great way to get them excited about where we both come from, even if we aren’t traveling there for the holiday.
One of the ways in which I have been able to get my boys interested in not just feasting, but also in preparing for Thanksgiving, is by explaining to them why each dish is so important to us. So, for example, my husband loves green bean casserole, a dish that he enjoyed growing up and one that I make only around that time of year. Explaining to our sons that this was a dish that their father enjoyed when he was their age not only encouraged them to give it a try, but also to learn to shop for all the ingredients when at the store and help in the prep work in the kitchen.
buildOn is a non-profit organization that has worked tirelessly for over 20 years in mobilizing rural villages in some of the poorest countries in the world to build more than 500 schools. To date, buildOn has completed nearly 200 schools in the region, with more than 24,000 children attending buildOn schools in Mali on an annual basis. What I love about this organization is that, although we are focusing on a building project in Mali, buildOn donates a lot of time and effort to our own urban neighborhoods in need of support and help, such as Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and more.
This past year in travel has been really great in opportunities to explore several Caribbean islands. A Caribbean vacation offers a lot of what we expect, such as sandy beaches and warm ocean waters, but because no two islands are ever the same, interacting with locals and exploring the scenes always leads a new adventures and experiences.
As the weather gets chillier, more of us are daydreaming of getting away and enjoying all the warmth the Caribbean has to offer, making this a peak season for Caribbean travel. But before you start worrying about the costs, you will be excited to know that Starwood Hotels and Resorts has launched its Cyber Monday sale running today through December 6, 2013!
It’s been over a year now since my site name changed from NYCity Mama to Girl Gone Travel. Yup, I’ve expanded my horizons and had adventures beyond the boundaries of my hometown.
But, every once in a while, I go back to the basics of why I started writing and sharing NYC with my kids remains the one thing that continues to bring me immense joy.
No matter what I do throughout the year, I always make time to be home for the holidays and that’s because this time of the New York City is my absolute favorite. Yes, it’s cold, and yes, it’s crowded, but man oh man, is it festive, fun and awesome.
I love photographing people when I travel. I am also very sensitive to doing so, in great part because having grown up in a touristy Caribbean destination for a portion of my life, I know what it is like to have someone aim their camera at you as if you were an animal in the wild.
My friend and photographer Lola Akinmade often discusses the topic of ethics when photographing people in your travels, and I really do hope you will give her a read and take pause before pointing your camera at strangers when on the road.
All the being said, I love the opportunity to photograph someone when I travel. People can be so beautiful and a photo gives a human face to the overall environment and destination. But also, it’s the perfect ice breaker. A wonderful way to sort of just say hello, without it being too weird. What I have started to enjoy even more though, is the moment when I ask them to smile.