Two thousand sixteen was the year I broke free. My dream began and now the path to take has been paved. The year dawned under the Mayan skies of Yucatán. A brand new Nikon D5300 was waiting for me to take it on adventure. I never could’ve imagined where that first post would take me. Soon, 2016 became the most-travelled year of my life.
Kyoto is quite unlike any other place I’ve visited. The city is growing day-to-day, yet it still remains humble, with a great devotion and respect for its history and ancient faith. It is a place where I would like to live for a couple of months and explore, because it has such a rich past, full of mysticism, culture and tradition that still awaits to be discovered. It is also an incredibly beautiful place, located in the heart of the mountains. It is one of the most explorable places on earth; you’ll never run out of mysteries.
Wow, it’s already been five months of blogging! So many things have happened in between, so many new places and people, so many experiences… Wow! It feels like yesterday I was trying to figure out what to name this blog, and now we’re here, 5 months in and counting. I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to write about for this milestone, and in the enormous brainstorming I did, I landed on the simplest yet most rewarding idea: 5 ways becoming a travel blogger has changed me so far.
I knew I couldn’t go to Japan and not visit this historical place, even if just for a day. Out of all the places I researched before the trip, Nara was the one I read about the least because I wanted to discover it by myself. I did not look at pictures, and I did not read about the best ways to visit Nara in a day. No, I chose to just walk and see what I found.
The surreal island of Naoshima is just a train ride away from either Osaka or Kyoto. None of us knew what to expect, we’d heard so many things about the island. More specifically, we were told over and over that this was one place in Japan that we couldn’t not go. I was skeptical, and a lot more excited for the upcoming day trip to Nara.
I am back! First things first, an apology for last week’s hiatus. As part of my college work experience, I have been working in a student-made film festival for the past year. The festival (check it out here!) took place last week and it was work, work, work. Now that the festival is over, I took the time this weekend to finally review all the photographs from my travels in Japan, and without further ado, let’s get started:
During the last week I have been travelling Japan’s cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. It has been incredible, and I can’t wait to write about all of it. I am going to start by telling you about what it’s like to go to a sumo fight as a tourist, and having never seen one before.
Although getting around Tokyo hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, being in a foreign country with a language so different from any that I speak can get difficult at times. In Japan it’s been even more so because literally everything is in japanese, every single thing, and not a lot of people speak or understand english. I bought a small dictionary for travel in Japan a couple of weeks back, and I started thinking what the best way to use it would be because sorting through the pages every time I need something is just not practical, and decided that the best way to explore Japan easier, and learn something really awesome at the same time, would be to keep a list of the most basic phrases at hand. It turned out 1) Japanese is a really beautiful language, and 2) Japanese people find it really entertaining when you try.
It was the end of our first day exploring the secrets hidden in the Chetumal jungle. We’d visited the jungle reserve of Chichan-Ha in the morning, followed by a visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Kohunlich, and now it was time to explore this portion of the Mayan world by night and water. After reaching what would become our home base for the next few hours, the equipment was unloaded, the bright orange life vests passed around, and one headlamp for each two people. The sun would disappear below the horizon soon.
You’ve seen the pictures and Instagrams of this wonderful place – Bacalar is a tropical paradise known for its beautiful, pristine and crystal clear, mineral-filled, jade coloured waters. But there is more than one way to explore Bacalar and take breathtaking pictures…
I am back home after three incredible days in the jungle. Our trip to the Explorean was a blast, with so many discoveries and activities that kept us on our feet and exploring the beautiful Mayan World in entirely new ways. It was also a trip filled with opportunity, where I was able to fulfil three things on my bucket list, and try new activities that I’d never done before. It really was an adventure!
One of the most intriguing travelling experiences you can encounter on the road are ancient ruins. These places are full of legends and stories, each stone and artefact telling history of the people who once inhabited these incredible places. Sometimes it’s hard to picture people once living in these majestic cities, or to imagine their buildings covered in beautiful colours that have now been washed away by the elements. The mystical aura that surrounds these sites is something that has always appealed to me, ever since I was a little girl.
Full disclosure: this post is not full of pink flamingoes. But that doesn’t mean it’s not full of beautiful pictures, and a couple of flamingoes. We’ve left Yucatán after spending an incredible week exploring some of its many beautiful places and spending a fantastic last day in Campeche (in the neighbouring state) and a great New Year’s Eve. Even though we’re gone from Yucatán, I still have a lot of stories and pictures to share about the many places we visited, and that hopefully, you’ll get to visit one day too. One of those places was the coastal town of Celestún.
When I was told that on our way to Uxmal we would be visiting some beautiful ‘grutas’ (grottos), I never imagined a massive underground cave system. The grottos I’ve been to before were quite small, usually made up of two or three interconnected caves, and not so deep in the ground or in the wild. I remember one of these specifically, which was actually the first time I visited Yucatán when I was a lot younger. We were driving down the highway in our rented car towards Chichen Itzá when we saw a sign saying “Visita un cenote natural” (Visit a natural cenote). I guess my parents were feeling up for a little adventure because we pulled up in this desolate parking lot with three houses that looked pretty worn down. It seemed like no one was around, and just as we were about to drive off, a lady and her young kid came out. “Are you here to visit the cenote?” She spoke with that peculiar accent that Mayan Yucatec people often have, her boy …