Hurricanes aside, 2017 was not a bad year. Especially not when it came to travel. I got the chance to visit a new-to-me island in the Caribbean, which brought me closer to my ultimate goal: Caribbean Domination [insert evil laugh here], I got to meet a bunch of really amazing island women on an epic girls getaway and I got to meet and touch some animals in their own environment. All in all, not a bad travel year.
Here are my top 5 most memorable travel moments of 2017:
5. Chasing murals on Curaçao
The street art scene on my birth island of Curaçao has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, mainly due to the stunning work by local artists like Garrick Marchena and Francis Sling. Murals are gaining popularity and they are popping up everywhere, one more colorful and stunning than the next. I found out through Instagram about a new and very bright mural in the area of Scharloo by my new favorite artist Francis Sling. A mural of a Kibrahacha tree in full bloom. Kibrahacha, ax-breaker in English is a local tree that bursts into full bloom in the months of March and June. Finding this piece of local art and others were definitely the highlight of my Curaçao trip and I cannot wait to return in 2018 for some proper mural chasing.
4. Biking on Key Biscayne
I visit Miami often, normally because of shopping necessities but mainly to see my sister. We usually meet at a restaurant or at her place but this time she and her partner picked me up to go biking on Key Biscayne. This ended up being my favorite travel moment #4 for this year. Mural chasing is what I do whenever I travel, and even though I was in awe of all the beautiful street art in Wynwood, I have to say that biking up to the Cape Florida Lighthouse was one of the most amazing things I have done in Florida so far. It could have been the great company or the sense of adventure, who knows? All I know is that this ended up being one of the best days during an all time favorite Miami trip.
3. Wild monkeys on Nevis
That moment when I got the unexpected invitation from Winair and the Nevis Tourist Board to visit the island of Nevis and its famous Blues Festival was one of the happiest moments of my life. As a blogger you strive for recognition that your blog and writing skills are good enough so that people would hire your services. Little did I know that the island of Nevis itself would blow me away more than the actual invitation did. I was mesmerized with her rugged beauty and amazed by her history. The food and the people did not disappoint one bit either. Nevis turned out to be the best new destination travel I have been on so far. But what got me squealing with delight every single time during my 4 day trip was the sight of theAfrican Green Vervet Monkeys in the wild, whether they were crossing the roads with babies on their backs, chilling in trees as we drove by or just looking for trouble on the resort grounds.
2. Flamingos and wild Donkeys on Bonaire
Then it was time to de-stress after hurricane Irma and I did that with a short trip to Bonaire, where I met up with the amazing Liz from The Adventures of Island Girl. Bonaire has always been close to my heart and this trip just reinforced my love for this not-so-small Dutch Caribbean island. There is so much I loved about my visit to Bonaire this year that it is hard to mention it all. You will have to stay connected to my blog to see my upcoming tell-all post about my Bonaire trip. One thing I can reveal now is my most memorable travel moment #2: the sight of flamingos in the wild and my encounter with wild donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary, where I got real up-close and personal with some of its inhabitants.
1. Petting manatees in San Juan
I don’t know where to begin to describe the different levels of awesomeness when it comes to my trip to San Juan, where I hooked up (sounds dirty, I know) with 9 Ah-Mah-Zing island writers, who then became my tribe, my sisterhood, my closest friends. It was a whirlwind 4 days of greatness, fun, laughter and instant connections and while we did get to learn a thing or two on how to better our writing, we also had enough fun adventures. One of them was on a SUP tour of the Condado Lagoon. While the paddle boarding itself was a great adventure on its own, nothing could have prepared any of us for the epic moment that followed next, when we discovered manatees in the lagoon. These friendly cows of the sea were as excited to see us as we were to see them, and then it happened…..the most awesome travel moment of the year: I got to pet a manatee. Boom!
It’s amazing what happens when you say “YES” to new adventures. So, remember this in 2018. It doesn’t matter if you go on one adventure in the new year or a few, all that matters is that you go. Don’t just dream about that epic trip, plan it and go! Make it happen. It really is all in your hands.
What was your best travel moment of 2017?