Simply ‘Ah-Maine-Zing’!

With only a few hours from the heart of New York City and less than two hours from Boston, Maine is a fantastic, quick getaway from all the chaos of the city! This is a brief overview of not only the most amazing seafood that Maine and the New England area has to offer, but also, the most scenic wildlife, beaches and trails to hike at one of the most beautiful national parks.

Did Somebody Say Blueberries?

Food in the state of Maine is focused mainly on seafood, chowder and bisque, but to my great surprise, it’s all about the blueberries! – blueberry pies, blueberry jams, blueberry ice cream, blueberry pancakes, blueberry everything! The reason for blueberries is that at one point in history, there was an over growth of wild blueberries in the area. The solution was to simply cook and eat all of them!  

2 lb Lobster from Stewman’s Lobster Pound – Bar Harbor, Maine

Good Eating

Speaking of eating, let’s talk about lobster. The lobsters are large (up to 3 lbs in some restaurants) and in charge, but if you have a large appetite, you may need to order the lobster dinner, complete with clam chowder (or lobster bisque), potatoes, corn, mussels, and blueberry pie.  

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park – Bar Harbor, Maine

National Parks

Let’s get into the real beauty of Maine and the New England area – the many national parks and wildlife. There is more wildlife than humans in the upper northeast for a number of reasons including the harsh winters and that they are protected by the U.S. government.

Acadia national park can be compared to that of Yosemite national park in the West and Yellowstone national park in the North. Its vastness and views are breathtaking! There is a little bit of something for everyone to do such as sunbathing or if you so dare, jump in the ice cold, glacier waters of Sand Beach. And if you are feeling a bit more energetic and nimble, you can also take a more rigorous, rocky hike on Beehive trail.    

Portland Lobster Co. – Portland, Maine

Where to Stay, Eat and Entertain

Here are some recommendations:

Portland, Maine     



  By the Beach



  • What to order:
    • Vanilla Glazed (your plain glazed donut!)
    • Maine Apple Cider
    • Sweet Potato Coffee Cake



  • What to order:
    • Lobster Dinner (choose from 1 1/4lbs, 1 1/2lbs, 1 3/4lbs, 2lbs)
    • Lobster Bisque and/or New England Clam Chowder
    • Shrimp Scampi


Bar Harbor, Maine     









A True Getaway

Maine has so much to offer that you are going to need more than just one long weekend to truly feel satisfied! That’s a good thing!  

If you would like to plan your next trip to Maine or anywhere else for that matter, click here or if you want to continue dreaming of your next vacation, download your free sample itinerary here!

15 Countries Open to United States Tourists During COVID-19

Now that we are more than 6 months into the pandemic, have you ever been wondering which countries you are allowed to enter as a U.S. tourist during COVID-19?

Well, you have come to the right place to find out! Right now, this is a continuous moving target as it relates to COVID-19.

Currently (as of September 2020), U.S. tourists are “allowed” to travel to (15) countries. There is a another (67) countries “partially allowing” travel to their countries with a bit more stringent restrictions.

Here is how it is broken up:

  • Allowed (15 countries) with some COVID-19 requirements & restrictions
  • Partially Allowed (67 countries) with more stringent COVID-19 requirements & restrictions
  • Banned (114 countries)

Total Countries: 196

What are those 15 countries open to U.S. tourists?

Here is the current list of the (15) countries open for U.S. tourists: 

  1. Albania
  2. American Samoa
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Djibouti
  5. Dominican Republic
  6. El Salvador
  7. Haiti
  8. Macedonia (FYROM)
  9. Maldives
  10. Mexico
  11. Palau
  12. Serbia
  13. St. Lucia
  14. Turkey
  15. United States

One of the most lenient countries to travel to, as of July 15th, 2020, is the Maldives. Global travelers, US citizens included, will not have to enter into a mandatory quarantine upon arrival at Velana International Airport in the capital, Male. Nor will they need to produce proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19.   

Partially Allowed Countries for U.S. Tourists

Now, you are probably wondering, what does “Partially Allow” mean and what are those countries? “Partially Allow” means that countries are “open” to travelers, but under tight screening and requirements before an individual is allowed to enter the country. Without a vaccination in place, these requirements will also continue to change.

Here are the top 5 COVID-19 requirements before entering a country:

  1. 14-day Quarantine/Self-Isolation
  2. Masks required in public spaces/public transport
  3. Swab test upon arrival
  4. Negative PCR test / proof of a negative result for COVID-19
  5. Complete an online health form (i.e “Electronic Health Visa”)

Here is the current list of the (67) “Partially Allowed” countries for U.S. tourists:

  1. Antigua & Barbuda
  2. Armenia
  3. Bahamas
  4. Bahrain
  5. Bangladesh
  6. Barbados
  7. Belarus
  8. Benin
  9. Boliva
  10. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  11. Brazil
  12. Brunei
  13. Bulgaria
  14. Burkina Faso
  15. Cambodia
  16. Chad
  17. Comoros
  18. Croatia
  19. Cote d’Ivoire
  20. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  21. Dominica
  22. Ecuador
  1. Egypt
  2. Equatorial Guinea
  3. Ethiopia
  4. France
  5. Gabon
  6. Ghana
  7. Grenada
  8. Guatemala
  9. Guinea
  10. Honduras
  11. Iran
  12. Iraq
  13. Ireland
  14. Jamaica
  15. Jordan
  16. Kenya
  17. Kuwait
  18. Latvia
  19. Lebanon
  20. Liberia
  21. Mali
  22. Mauritania
  23. Moldova
  1. Mozambique
  2. Namibia
  3. Nepal
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Nigeria
  6. Northern Mariana Islands
  7. Pakistan
  8. Papua New Guinea
  9. Republic of the Congo
  10. Rwanda
  11. Sierra Leone
  12. Slovenia
  13. Somalia
  14. South Korea
  15. St. Vincent & Grenadines
  16. Syria
  17. Tanzania
  18. Togo
  19. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  20. United Kingdom
  21. Uzbekistan
  22. Zambia

Please check back for further updates regarding countries open or banned to U.S. tourists. For further assistance with traveling in today’s world during COVID-19, reach out to Nomada Travel via email @ or DM us @travelnomadaco!

Taiwan – A little bit of politics goes a long ways…



Did you know that Taiwan is not recognized by the United Nations as country. More specifically, the United Nations does not considered Taiwan a member state or as a “qualified” country. It is also not currently controlled by the People’s Republic of China.


It’s a bit confusing but the short story goes as follows:


The island of Taiwan was ceded back and forth between China and Japan. While under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. A civil war broke out between the mainland Communists (PRC) and the ROC in which the ROC fled to Taiwan. The ROC and PRC negotiated an agreement in order to have a  “pause” in the civil war. The ROC once represented China as a member of the United Nations until 1971, when it lost its seat to the PRC.


The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy, the PRC refuses diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC. Today, 18 countries maintain official ties with the ROC including Swaziland, Vatican City, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Haiti, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay.


That’s the short end of the story. You can certainly do more research on your own but it’s important understand the status of Taiwan – currently not a country.


Ironically, though, Taiwan is one of the leaders of gay rights. Taiwan (along with Japan) is one of the few countries in Asia which has truly started to accept and protect its gay community to the point where it’s opened the door to gay civil unions.


This is one way Taiwan is working towards being recognized as a separate nation from the PRC on its own – by recognizing that the LGBTQ community have civil rights and are recognized by the Taiwanese government as members of society at least within their own country.


Wow! Talk about really trying to be independent!


228 Peace Memorial Park

I learned some of this information while living in Taipei for month and going on a free walking tour. It really inspired me to write this blog post as it’s something that needed to heard by the rest of the world. One iconic landmark, we walked through was the 228 Peace Memorial Park.


Established in 1908, this historic park became a symbol of LGBT life after it earned its reputation as a gay cruising area in the 60s and 70s. Although not exclusively a gay park, it hosted Taiwan’s first gay pride festival in 1997 and was the setting for Pai Hsien-Yung’s (白先勇) renowned gay novel, “Crystal Boys (孽子)”, making the park an iconic space for LGBT culture.


Following the historic court decision in May (See quote below) ruling the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, marriage equality in Taiwan is expected to be implemented in two years.


“On 24 May 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the Constitution and that the Legislative Yuan has two years to amend the marriage laws to align with the Constitution. If this is not done, same-sex couples may have their unions registered as marriages and be treated as such by law.”


Until then, we can be sure that no matter what your orientation is, there will always be a place for the LGBT community to enjoy themselves in Taipei.

How the Peruvian people reminded me of my ‘Why’


In the Beginning…

Upon arriving to Lima, Peru, I was excited to venture into and explore a new city! I knew nothing about the people except that they are Spanish (like myself) and they know how to make really yummy food (again, like myself)!


Lima has some of the world’s top chefs and Michelin star restaurants (i.e Central, Maido, and Astrid & Gaston) that will blow your mind! Peru is known for their incredible national seafood dish – Cebiche or Ceviche, and their Pisco Sours. Delicioso! Oh, and, of course, Machu Picchu, but that’s in the city of Cusco and another story for later.

My Inspiration

I went on a free-walking tour and discovered something that I had not even realized until then. After taking in all of the marvelous, story-filled, vibrant colorful street art of Lima, our tour guide took us into a little art gallery and showed us one of his favorite pieces of art.


It was by a Peruvian artist (his name is unknown) who painted his self-portrait but divided it into four panels that represented each of his Peruvian ethnicities – Spanish, African, French, & Japanese. I immediately became enthralled and a burst of energy came through me. I was so inspired, that this masterpiece confirmed that I was on the right track to fulfilling my true purpose in this world. It compelled me to continue on with my own journey. To put on my oxygen mask first before helping others, so to speak.

My Why, My Power

The reason why I was so moved and captivated was because “my why” was revealed through this portrait, as a reminder. You see, this portrait reminded me that my why has to do with who I am. Who am I? My why is me. My why is you. My why is all of humanity. My why is the knowledge and understanding of who I am and where I came from – my roots, my ancestral history, where I am today and where I’ll be tomorrow. By understanding my family history, I can move forward from the past to the present for the future.


This is where the concept of ‘putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others put on theirs’ comes into play. This reminder is counterintuitive. It’s in our nature to help others before helping ourselves. In order to help others, you have to take care of yourself first. By knowing and understanding who I am, I can ensure that I have the ability to give the best part of myself to others.


As a Puerto Rican with mixed ethnicities of European descent (Spanish, French, British), African, American Indian, and Asian, especially within my own family, I can relate a lot to the Peruvian people ethnically.


Peru is a multi-ethnic country formed by the combination of different groups over five centuries including Spanish, African, French & Italian, Japanese & Chinese, Portuguese and Germans and British. Because of this, they identify with their citizenship as Peruvian and not their ethnicity.


So next time you visit Peru, don’t ask to take your picture with a ‘real’ Peruvian. Know that they are all Peruvians.


What is your ‘Why”? I would love to hear what your reasons are for your ‘Whys’! Please comment below.


All the pictures were taken with YI Technology Mirrorless camera

“The Paris of South America”

City Life

With its uneven sidewalks, screeching buses & European architecture (French & Roman influence), you are immediately thrusted into the throws of the hustle and bustle of Argentinian life in this cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Most Argentines get by on little sleep and rely on mate to power them through the day. Most take advantage of the mid-day siestas and late, late night dinners, which most restaurants don’t open until 8pm or 9pm.

Food Scene

Once its time for dinner, you have a choice of a wide variety of cuisines, beginning with world famous grass fed steak, (where they will offer up any cut you can imagine!), sushi, tamales and tons of pasta and pizza, thanks to Argentina’s proud Italian heritage. One particular restaurant, La Cabrera, will even give you 40% off the entire meal if you arrive between 6:30pm – 8pm. Perfect for those hungry Americans who prefer an earlier dinner!

Argentine Politics

This melting pot country, also known as the “Paris of South America”, became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. It was the second country in the Americas to do so, and the tenth in the world, making it a world leader in the recognition of gay rights.


For a little thrill, visit the ‘City of the Dead’, in ‘El Cementario de la Recoleta’, where you will find the crypt of Eva Maria Duarte de Perón, otherwise known as, Evita, the oh, so beloved wife of Argentine President, Juan Perón and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her untimely death in 1952. There’s even an entire museum dedicated to her – Evita Museum

Street Art

Oh and by the way, the street art scene is unreal! As in, don’t overlook all of the amazing graffiti art as you walk down the street to grab your café lattes (or how the locals say it – “café con leche”). This is where you will need to bring out your nifty compacted YI M1 Mirrorless Camera by YI Technologies to capture the bright, vibrant colors of the street art. The best location to shoot street art photography is in El Palermo and La Boca neighborhood, home of the beloved local fútbol (soccer) team – La Boca Juniors.

Cultural Experiences and Must Do’s/See’s

Anyways, with its eclectic mix of culture, Argentina does not disappoint when it comes to cultural activities.

  • Tango is possibly Argentina’s greatest contribution to the outside world. The steamy dance has been described as ‘making love in the vertical position.’ Watch a tango street performance in Buenos Aires.
  • MALBA or the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, is Argentina’s premier contemporary art museum, featuring pieces by iconic Latino artists including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as well as lesser-known local talents.
  • And what about fútbol (soccer)? Argentines are passionately devoted to this sport and, if you’re a fan, chanting and stomping alongside other stadium fanatics should definitely be in your plans. Just make sure you capture those raw thrilling moments with the 4K Action Camera by YI Technologies like I did at the La Boca Juniors last match.

Experience the La Boca Junior fan action below.


Everyone should take the opportunity to see at least one of La Boca Juniors (one of 28 different Argentinian teams) matches on a Sunday evening before their season is over. You will definitely get your heart pumping! But more than that, its an experience of a lifetime!

New Zealand: The Land of Rainbows


“Simply Magnificent! Wow! Stunning! Impressive! Spectacular! Blessed! A site to see! You have to experience yourself to believe it” – These are all catch phrases that were said during my trip to New Zealand. Everyday, I literally saw a rainbow! New Zealand is truly the land of rainbows!


New Zealand is very clean, sustainable and where the old meets the new seamlessly. A lot of things that they have done with this country such as energy efficiencies and super clean outdoor toilets, other countries are still trying to figure out including the United States. NZ is a great example for this modern take on sustainability that works for them!


The best way to see NZ is by flying into Queenstown, renting a campervan and driving from Queenstown to Christchurch in the South Island or if time permits go up to Auckland in the North Island. You will need a good week to see each island but definitely start with South Island!


And don’t forget to take your best camera and action video camera as this is definitely the place to bring it out. I recommend investing into the latest YI Technology Mirrorless Digital Camera with (2) lightweight lens and/or 4K Action Camera with a gimbal stabilizer.


By far the best thing to see is Milford Sound, anytime of the year, but best in the summer time when it’s a bit warmer. Take one of the many ferries available in and around the fiord (Milford Sound), particularly the Southern Discoveries Cruise Line as this one will take you near and into one of the waterfalls for a splash of fun! Keep in mind that New Zealand is located in the South Hemisphere of the world so the seasons are flipped from that of the Northern Hemisphere (US, Europe, parts of Asia).


Anyways, take a look below at the itinerary I used to get around the South Island but you can do this trip anyway you want.


Here’s my 8 day itinerary:


  • Wait in line for 25 mins and eat a delicious burger at the famous Fergburger
  • Lamb shoulder take out dinner at Pedro’s House of Lamb
Fiordland National Park
  • Park overnight at the Holiday Park here and power up the campervan while get refreshed at the showers here.
Mt. Aspiring National Park / Te Anau
Milford Sound
  • Take a ferry trip (Southern Discoveries) down the fiord and make sure to get splashed under the waterfalls!
  • See #thatwanakatree. A tree located out in the middle of the lake. Not sure why this is a sight to see but it is.
Mirror Lake
Mt. Cook
  • Hike up one of the many trails along Mt. Cook for spectacular views and photo opps
Lake Tekapo
  • See the beautiful blue glaciered water in Lake Tekapo and visit the small Lake Tekapo Church along side the lake.
Jackson’s Retreat  – Holiday Park
  • See the Glow worms at the Jackson Holiday Park
  • Get powered-up again and refreshed at their showers
Mt. Te Kinga
  • Hike up Mt. Te Kinga for about an hour hike or longer.
Hanmer Springs
  • Take a dip for a couple of hours at the Hanmer Springs heated pools. You will certainly come out rejuvenated and refreshed.
  • Show your respect to the Christchurch 2010 Earthquake Memorial Site that killed 185 people

End the trip by opening up a bottle of champagne and toasting to an amazing trip! Drop off the campervan to the Christchurch or Auckland airport location on your way out of town. If you would like more information, please comment below.

Nightlife: Best 3 LGBTQ Bars in Tokyo


My last night in Tokyo was an epic one as I visited some of the best LGBTQ bars in the gay district of Tokyo – Shinjuku-Nichome!

Tac’s Knot – Gay Mixed

Location: 3 Chome−26−11, 12 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan (on 2nd floor with a sun on door)

Hours: Daily 8pm – 3am


I started out my night at Tac’s Knot – This 35 year old bar was ahead of its time, hence why the location is so hard to find. You got to have a knack for playing the game of scavenger hunt in order to find this spectacular bar! Spectacular because Taq, himself, (if you can catch him on some nights as he only works 2 nights a week), is not only a genuine person, but truly a talented and amazing artist with works in the British Museum! See his website here. And if you ask, he will show you his portfolio!


Taq’s in-house mixologist, Taihei, will also make you a special drink, if you ask nicely! The drinks were great, but a little expensive. But who cares when you meet so many wonderful individuals in one “small gay” hole in the wall!

Bar Goldfinger – Gay Mixed/Women’s Only Bar (every 3rd Saturday)

Location: 2 Chome-12-11 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

Hours: Daily 6pm – 2am/4am (on weekends)


After about 3 drinks in, it was time to move on to Bar Goldfinger, a mostly lesbian bar, hence the name! Every 3rd Saturday, men (gay or straight) are not allowed to enter the bar as this is a special night for women only. I must say its about time. Men, I love you all, but sometimes you crowd our spaces and we just want to have a little femme time!

Campy! Bar – Gay Mixed

Location: 2 Chome−13−10, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Hours: Daily 3pm – 5am/8am (on weekends)


Lastly but not least is this all time classic gay bar, specializing in drag queens, is by far one of the most popular gay bars in Tokyo with late, late hours (3pm – 5am/8am) or early morning hours (whichever you prefer). Watch out NYC!


So if you ever find yourself in Tokyo, not only is the Shinjuku District nightlife popping for everyone, it’s also a nice area for shopping and for resting your head as there are a ton of hotels here. Check out the hotel I stayed at for an affordable price as Tokyo can be pretty expensive!

Places To Stay: Hotel Stage, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Genre: Hotels

Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5 stars

Hotel Name: Hotel Stage
Hotel Type: Boutique Hotel
Hotel Location: 1 Chi Wo Street, Jordan, Kowloon District of Hong Kong
Hotel Room: 1 King Size Bed Suite
Contact Info:


  • Phone: +852 3953 2222
  • Email: /
  • Book directly with Hotel Stage to enjoy attractive rates and free breakfast!
Hotel Stage is a new contemporary boutique hotel with a soft, ambient modern glow that is inviting yet playful. Its location is ideal near the Jordan MTR Station and only minutes away from some of the must-see city sites including the International Commerce Center (ICC) Observation Deck, the Temple Street Night Market and the Tin Hau Temple.


Upon arriving to Hotel Stage, you are greeted by the friendly hotel staff after traveling about 30 mins via taxi from the Hong Kong International Airport (You could also take the MTR train and picked up by a shuttle service). Your room showcases magnificent views of Hong Kong including the Jockey Club Innovative Tower by famous architect Zaha Hadid. The creative tone of the hotel plays on modern aspects of modular furniture and functional lighting. The so-called kitchen is blended with the bathroom sink and toiletries behind hidden walls and rolling counters while the closet doors act as a room divider further increasing one’s privacy.


The feel of the room is not only spacious but every square inch was thought through as far as how the client intends to lives in the space, from locations of outlets & usb ports to office supplies and hotspots to complimentary KitKat bars to snack on holding you over before dinner!


Located at the hotel, you can enjoy one free drink at the Muse Bar, compliments of the hotel and/or enjoy a solid menu (created by Chef Justin Yeung) of different cultural flavors from Spanish to French to Italian cuisines where you will eat to your hearts delight at Kitchen Savvy restaurant.


Hotel Amenities:


  • Free WiFi
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant – Kitchen Savvy
  • Bar – The Muse
  • Art Gallery
  • Library/Sitting Area
  • 24 hr gym
  • 24 hr concierge service / laundry service
  • Walking distances to tourist sites


The Many Faces of Myanmar


What do you call it?

Myanmar; Burma; No, to be politically correct, its called Myanmar. But then again no one is going to know what I am talking about so i’ll just call it Burma. Ok, fine, out of respect to the people and to keep up with the times with what the country is trying to do after its recent unpleasant history with the current leader, Aung San Suu Kyi – its Myanmar!

A little history lesson

So now that I know exactly what country I am visiting, its time to understand what cities to go to and what is there to see in Myanmar. Myanmar is one of those recently politically democratic reformed countries, in which tourism is just now starting to play a major economic role. Its a very poor country with extreme classism separation. The poor is very, very poor and the rich show off their wealth with their fancy cars.

Where to go & What to see

Yangon, is one of the busiest, densely populated cities of Myanmar, as it use to be the capital of Burma and was once called Rangoon. Today, the new capital is Naypyidaw and is just north of the old capital. Everyone goes to Yangon to visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa.

Its selfie time with the locals

As an Afro-Latina walking through the streets of Yangon, Bagan, Nyaung Shwe and Ngapali, I felt pretty safe. The people of Myanmar don’t get many folks of color, so there were a lot of gawkers, especially among the kids. Then people started asking for a selfies with me, which of course, I gladly said “Yes!” because I also wanted a selfie with them, right?! I even had one group of folks stop their car and jump out just so they all could take their photo with me. Lol! I felt like a celebrity at this point! 🙂  Frankly, I didn’t mind the attention because you just have to understand where they are coming from; understand their history; understand their situations.

In 7 days…

After 24 hours in Yangon, I flew the next morning to Bagan, (pronounce Ba-gin), where there are thousands of ancient Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries from the Pagan Kingdom period (9th-13th century) to visit. You’ll need about 48 hours (one recommended place to stay is The Hotel @ the Tharabar Gate) to see the many ancient ruins that equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Just hire a tuk tuk for the day to get you through Old Bagan and New Bagan. And don’t forget to watch the sunset from atop one of these ancient buddhist temples. Its a glorious site to see!

Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar, located in Nyaung Shwe. It is a must see as it showcases those famous fishermen in the skinny boats with large fishing nets – a truly picturesque moment! You can rent a boat for a day (hint: make sure to negotiate your price) and speed down the lake to see the sunrise, the early morning market, the pagoda, the long skinny next women, the cat monastery, the water garden, and so many other funny things you haven’t even thought about until I told you right now!

Also, in the city of Nyaung Shwe, you can also rent and ride a bike, 30 mins each way, to the local winery, Red Mountain Winery in time to watch the sunset while trying not to taste the not-so-tasty wines. (You don’t go there for the wine, you go there for the sunset view only!)

I ended my amazing trip to Myanmar with another quick morning flight to one of the most underrated places and beaches on earth – Ngapali Beach in Thandwe! This hidden gem is by far one of the best kept secrets showcasing hotels and resorts steps away from the beach overlooking the Bay of the Bengal. Spend a night or two at the Amata Spa & Resort. There is free shuttle pick-up from the airport, which is only 15-20mins away. Upon arriving, I received a refreshing, cold, cucumber scented hand towel to clean my hands before sipping on a glass of lemongrass juice. (Bourgie, right?!) While waiting for my room to be ready, I enjoyed lunch overlooking the beautiful ocean waves from the Bay of Bengal that connects India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. After getting settled, in my room, I explored the beach and found a restaurant called Pleasant View Islet (PVI) on a sandbar islet where you had to cross over the water to get there! Super cool! Eh?

Each city and village had its own distinct flavor of Myanmar, but what I truly got from this beautiful country were all the smiling faces and positive energy from the people of Myanmar!

For further information…

If you are ever looking for a secret destination in this small world, Myanmar (Burma) is where its at! For more detailed information on flights, airports, places to stay, places to eat, feel free to contact me here!


Surf, Eat, Sleep, and Repeat…

Surf/Yoga Retreat – La Pura Vida!


Surf, Eat, Sleep, and repeat, Surf, Eat, Sleep…like a wash cycle. This was my fantastic schedule for 7 days with the folks of Pura Vida Adventures! Not only was I improving on my surfing skills, but also, I was losing a couple of pounds and getting toned very quickly! The meals were mostly meatless with chia-seed, spirulina bowls, fish tacos and/or veggie omelets. We were constantly eating but we were also constantly active with surfing and restorative yoga. I was definitely living the life! – La Pura Vida


The most fulfilling part of this profound experience were the wonderful, strong, intelligent, powerful women I met. From journalism to educational entrepreneurs and English teachers turned amateur surfer, these women were more than just surfers, they were shakers & movers within their fields. We had a small, intimate group of three women, where normally it’s about 15-20 people. So with our small group, we definitely made the most of it while getting to know each other pretty well! Our group of 3 strangers left as 3 friends!


About surfing

The best time to surf is usually early in the morning, 6am-9am or when the tides are high enough for catching a good wave following the moon and tide schedule. Check out the surf report at Magic Seaweed for tide information. Personally, I prefer the early morning hours before the rush, get my workout in and out of the way and still have time to do some creative work and take a nap later in the day.


The hardest part about learning to surf is simply getting out into the water with your board. You need the physical stamina to paddle out and keep going. And then the fun begins. After standing on the board a few times in the whitewater near the shore, its time to paddle out into the green waves to really get some momentum. And now you’ve become a surfer!


Surf Comedy

There’s comedy in surfing too! One of our surf instructors from Pura Vida Adventures, UK native, Helen Bowditch, started a blog called “Kook Bitches”. The word “Kook” is a surfing term for a novice surfer who pretends to know how to surf but don’t follow the rules of the surf lineup. Ask Helen to tell you the full story of how she came up with the name!


The blog essentially showcases these surf shenanigans including surf wipe out videos to complete your entertainment. Helen also provides informational surf instruction videos and tips and tricks on surfing. Check out her hilarious blog of “Kook Bitches” here.


Why Surf

For me, surfing is a meditative experience! Simply just sitting on the surf board out in the vast ocean is restorative, rejuvenating and energizing. The experience of surfing and being in the water is my life. I always need to live near a body of water in order to fill alive otherwise I would wither away into oblivion.


And let’s not forget, surfing is a great full body workout. Fighting the rough, vigorous waves is THE BEST resistance and cardio workout on the planet! Do it for a week at Pura Vida Adventures and you’ll loose a few pounds instantly!


For more information about surfing, Costa Rica or Pura Vida Adventures feel free to comment below.