Travel bucket list status: In a sea plane, sexy PR motels, waterfall restaurants

Welcome to another edition of Travel Bucket List Wednesdays. Today I’m excited to talk about certain items that I’ve recently crossed off my travel bucket list, in addition to inspiration anew. I’ve been stumbling upon great things to do and, naturally, added them to my extensive list. Hope you are inspired, share your own travel bucket list items on Mr. Linky below, tweet all content with #TravelBL, and spread the word! Let’s help each other realize all our travel dreams together, no impending-death-pass required ūüėČ

Small plane ride over the ocean

This item has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Yet, I must admit that I was quite afraid to cross it off. While I’m not afraid of heights nor of planes, I do fear turbulence. It frightens me–a lot. And so it was my perception that a small plane = bad bad scary turbulence. Oh boy, how wrong I was! I passed my own fears and insecurities on a short plane ride with VAL (Vieques Air Link) from mainland Puerto Rico to Vieques Island. I even got the copilot seat!

Travel bucket list aerial Puerto Rico flight

VAL flight over Caribbean Sea: San Juan – Vieques (Puerto Rico)

Waterfall Restaurant, Philippines

Inspiration anew! This amazing¬†Waterfall Restaurant in the Philippines was added to my travel bucket list last week. Just looking at those pictures makes me feel refreshed. Wouldn’t you love for your local coffee shop to look just like it? Great office space!

travel bucket list, waterfall restaurant Philippines

Take a dip mid-meal at the waterfall restaurant, Philippines

9 Places to See Before They Slip Away: National Geographic

This article by National Geographic made me think. It is one topic that has been a little overdone and yet, it should be. I’d like to think that every time one of these lists is published, people sit down and think about their impact on the environment, etc. I can only hope that these places will be protected further upon publication of one more article of this kind. On the other hand, I also feel a sense of urgency to visit these idyllic places and cross them of my travel bucket list ASAP. Fortunately, I can say I have visited one on this list: The Dead Sea. Many more left to go, though!

Maldives travel bucket list

The Maldives (Nic Adler, Flickr)

Stay at a sexy motel in Puerto Rico

Shhh–don’t tell momma I did this. Part of my press trip to Puerto Rico this month was to research and write an article about the sexy motels of the island. Notoriously, the “forbidden” ones on infamous Calle N√ļmero Uno (“Street Number One”). My willing partner and I stayed at two different ones and enjoyed most of its “sexy” amenities. The experiences were quite different at each establishment, plus I have taken glimpses at other ones, making for a quite interesting article pr√≥ximamente. Shame? Heck no. I’m damn happy I’ve crossed this one off the R-rated travel bucket list (even if I had never mentioned it before) *place fresh mischievous grin here*

travel bucket list, sexy Motel Villa Arco Iris

Suite at one of the sexy motels.  Side, ceiling mirrors. Jacuzzi on the far left w/ mirror too

What’s on your travel bucket list? Share your links!

Zip line videos: My thrilling travel bucket list rides

Welcome to another edition of Travel Bucket List Wednesdays. More adventures await this week, as I upload some of my first travel videos. Zip line videos? Absolutely!

Zip line videos Toro Verde Puerto Rico

Me in the middle of The Beast zip line: Among Top 2 Highest ones in the world!

I’m quite busy writing articles for one of my clients, as¬†my press trip to Puerto Rico last week was part of an assignment. Yes, I also happen to be a freelance travel writer part-time ūüėČ

So! For the time being, I want to give you a taste of some of the exciting activities I crossed off my travel bucket list. What better way to do so than to post some of the zip line videos and photos we captured?! Hope you enjoy the rides!

Toro Verde Adventure Park zip line videos: Orocovis, Puerto Rico

BEST zip line ride and among Top 2 Highest in the world: THE BEAST! Unfortunately, it was quite windy, meaning I would stop half-way through the zip line and had to be rescued. So wait…who shot this video, then? My partner in crime Mr. B! I’m the tiny woman he passes mid-way through the ride ūüėÄ He did a good job capturing the amazing views:

Zip line ride: Flight of the Phoenix!

One of our first zip line rides: Canopy # 2

Got thrilling zip line videos or other travel bucket list items? Share below!

Travel bucket list adventures: world’s tallest zip line and rappelling Puerto Rico

The items on my travel bucket list have always been pretty crazy–you know that by now, right? No, I’m not going to talk about the rest of my R-rated travel bucket list today ūüėČ but I do have an equally-exciting announcement to make!

Next week I’ll cross two amazing adventures off my travel bucket list: The world’s tallest zip line in Puerto Rico and even some rappelling! How unbelievable is that?! I’ve always wanted to partake in such heart pumping activities. However, due to the universe and its mysteries, I did not have the opportunity to do so until now.

Video in Spanish – time to practice! ūüėČ

World’s tallest zip line: The debate

South Africa tries to claim that title, at over 918 feet high. However, I give the title of the best and tallest zip line in the world to Puerto Rico’s The Beast anyway!¬†I might be slightly biased here, but I’m sure many of you agree with me on this one: Breathtaking beaches, a Spanish-speaking culture,¬†and¬†exhilarating adventure all in one place? Sign me up!

Where in the world is this magical place?

The Beast zip line is located at the¬†Toro Verde Adventure Park. It is a new eco-tourism reserve where you can not only go zip lining, but also go climbing, rappelling and/or walking across rickety bridges over tree canopies. Needless to say, the scenery is breathtaking. I can’t wait to see my Puerto Rico’s beautiful, lush mountains again — I’ve missed them dearly in Florida!

Special thanks to special people

Thanks to Marta (Puerto Rico Tourism Company, PRTC) and Sylvia, I will cross¬†The Beast off my travel bucket list,¬†in addition to several other zip lines and repelling throughout the park. It’s a dream come true and I am grateful for this opportunity.

In passing, I want to thank Marie from¬†Ogilvy Washington for connecting me with the tourism board and other local establishments. This adventure budget travel writing assignment wouldn’t be the same without her amazing support and staff. Once again: ¬°Gracias!

My adventure begins Sunday, July 1st

While I’m not going to Toro Verde until next Thursday, I leave for my travel assignment to Puerto Rico in 4 days. Can’t wait to share all those articles, photos, and pictures with all of you!

travel bucket list, world tallest zipline Puerto Rico

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” ~Robb Sagendorph (Toro Verde Facebook page)

What’s on your travel bucket list? Share your posts below!

1. Submit a link related to an item you crossed off or plan to cross off your travel bucket list on a comment below. It can be any type of travel inspiration, Pinterest board, photo galleries, blog posts, etc.

2. Tweet all your travel bucket list ideas and inspiration with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

Travel bucket list ideas: Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New Zealand

Today’s Travel Bucket List ideas post will be short and sweet, as I am not feeling very well ūüôĀ Not only did I barely sleep last night, but also my RSI (thanks, American work culture!) is coming back to stab my hands :/

Still, I would love for you to take part of this week’s Travel Bucket List Wednesday by telling me about the new travel bucket list ideas and items you’ve come up with lately. Please share your links, blog posts, and photos on the Mr. Linky, found at the bottom of this post! As for me, I only have the strength to write about one new travel bucket list idea this week:

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New Zealand

The name speaks for itself: In Waitomo, New Zealand there are caves filled with wonderful glow worms. What’s most interesting about these worms, however, is that the more hungry they are, the brighter they glow! To see these beautiful critters, one may go black water tubing for three hours, go¬†rappelling and climbing for five hours or simply go by lazy boat. Judging by how adventurous yours truly is, I definitely want to cross this item off my travel bucket list via option 2 ūüėÄ Unless they come up with a more daredevil way of doing this by the time I get there‚Ķ ūüėČ

travel bucket list ideas, rappelling Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Two great travel bucket list ideas: Rappelling @ Waitomo Caves *and* seeing the glow worms in one day. WOO! (Photo:colincookman, Flickr)

travel bucket list ideas, 1977 WAITOMO GLOW WORM CAVE NZ

"NZ WAITOMO GLOW WORM CAVE: 1976 Pugh family photos" (by DON PUGH)

travel bucket list ideas, Waitomo glow worm caves

Glow worms Arachnocampa look like glow-in-the-dark pearl necklaces dangling from the top (Photo: Markrosenrosen, WIki)

travel bucket list ideas, glow worms New Zealand North Island

More glow worms! These look like shiny blue stars (Flickr Commons)

Got any travel bucket list ideas? Share them below!

1. Submit a link related to an item you crossed off or plan to cross off your travel bucket list to Mr. Linky below. It can be any type of travel inspiration, Pinterest board, photo galleries, blog posts, etc.

2. Please, leave a comment on this post, sharing why the content of your link/post is on your travel bucket list.

3. Tweet all your travel bucket list ideas and inspiration with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

Silk Road overland trip: on my travel bucket list! What’s on yours?

Hi all! From now on, Travel Bucket List Wednesdays will likely be short and sweet, as I’m quite busy! In fact, I want YOU to share your travel bucket list items. Submit your posts, photos, dreams, and any other type of travel inspiration on a comment below. Invite your friends–let’s inspire the world! Here’s how it works:

1. Submit a link related to an item you crossed off (or plan to visit!) from your travel bucket list below. It can be any type of travel inspiration, Pinterest board. photo galleries, blog posts, etc.

2. Tweet all your travel bucket list items with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

This week, I’m adding Silk Road overland to my travel bucket list! Why?


travel bucket list, Silk Road routes map

“Silk Road extending from Europe through Egypt, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Java-Indonesia, and Vietnam until it reaches China. The land routes are red, and the water routes are blue.” (Wikipedia)

Any type of epic journey always gets my attention. Take Mr. Graham Hughes and The Odyssey Expedition, the first official Guinness World Record‚ĄĘ attempt to visit every sovereign state on Planet Earth without flying (and some territories in between). That’s a total of 201 nations visited overland/overseas. Or Family on Bikes, who cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina. One day I wish to complete several travel feasts in the likes of those epic adventurers, and a Silk Road overland (and oversea!) journey is¬†definitely¬†on the shortlist. It’ll be particularly interesting to cross the pirate-infested waters around Horn of Africa as part of an international flotilla. Just imagine those blog posts, photos, and videos…! Speaking of which, check these out. Now tell me you don’t want to go there with a straight face ūüėČ

travel bucket list, Bukhara Silk Road

Also on the Silk Road: Bukhara, Uzbekistan (Guillaume Pelletier, Flickr)

Can you blame me? ūüėČ Maybe this will be my first epic journey after all…

What’s on your travel bucket list? Share your posts!

Travel bucket list: Fulfilling the dreams of mama and papa (share YOURS, too)

*To share your own travel bucket list, scroll to the bottom of this post*

As I thought of what to add to my travel bucket list this week, my mind was suddenly flooded with memories of mama. And papa. Maybe spending Mother’s Day away from her (and the coming Father’s Day away from him) contributed to this, but I digress…

travel bucket list, my travel photos

A few of my travel photos

I want to take mama & papa on an epic journey to realize their dreams.

Mama is an avid adventurer who married too young (though loves dad to pieces), so she couldn’t explore the world how I do now. Instead, she has held multiple jobs for decades, working up to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to sustain my sister, my ill dad (muscular dystrophy), and me. You’ll hear her fantasize about the day she finally gets her full pension (just a few years away!) and has the means and time to explore the world and volunteer full-time. You see the hidden tears in her eyes when she sees my travel photos: Both of joy/pride for her daughter and of unfulfilled dreams.

I wanna change that. I wanna take mama to every site she wants to see.

That’s the newest item on my travel bucket list, which happens to be item number 1 as of today. In addition to…

Taking papa to Vegas.

travel bucket list, Vegas strip

Vegas strip at dusk (Nevada Tourism Media Relations on Flickr)

That’s item # 2 now. You see, dad hates flying and gets sea sick easily, so cruises and extensive travel are not for him. However, he would always hint to Vegas when I first wanted to get married…and has never stopped mentioning Vegas ever since. He even said “I would be brave enough to hop on a plane…just to make it to Vegas one day!” Then, as I recollect memories through the years…I remember dad would always mention Vegas in any conversation about fun, dreams, etc. And while he’s like the brother I never had (he knows some deep secrets I would never tell any other friend of mine, let alone mama!), he has always been secretive about his own dreams.

Except Vegas. He just can’t help that one.

I want to have cousin Sergio joins us, take papa to a few strip clubs (why not!? Just look and don’t touch!), take him gambling a little, maybe even fly the rest of the family over, drive and have a week-long vacay on a house boat on Lake Powell at the end of the trip. No motion sickness here, so it would be perfect for papa, too ūüôā

travel bucket list, Lake Powell houseboat

View of Lake Powell houseboat from the restored Three Roof Ruins (jah~ on Flickr)

When I go back home (Puerto Rico) in July, I’ll make sure I have extensive conversations with both mama and papa, mental pen in hand, to make sure I cross off as many items from their travel bucket list as possible. Not now, as I’m currently struggling, but hopefully in the near future.

I want to get to know them more.
I want to give back to them as much as I possibly can.

Love you mama and papa. Los extra√Īo mucho. Can’t wait to see you and start to cross off my our new travel bucket list items, together.

My sister has a baby + is finishing college. I already told her Titi Mar√≠a is taking Jayden on his very first trip: Disney World. We have a few years until then ūüėČ

travel bucket list, Disney World fireworks

Disney World fireworks (Joe Penniston, Flickr)

For more travel bucket list inspiration, click here

What’s on your travel bucket list? Share yours below!


Remember: Travel Bucket List Wednesdays are every week!

1. Submit a post related to an item you crossed off (or plan to visit!) from your travel bucket list on Mr. Linky above

2. Please, leave a comment on this post.

3. Tweet all your travel bucket list items with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

Dali Museum Florida and its Tree of Wishes: Photo essay

I also have this Dali Museum Florida post under “Inspiration” category of my travel blog, as this is one of my many (successful!) attempts at enjoying local tourism and dealing with my life after travel. Hope it makes for a good Travel Bucket List Wednesday photo essay as well! ūüôā

Salvador Dali Museum Florida: Finally crossed off!

For years on my travel bucket list, it wasn’t until February of this year that I finally visited the Dali Museum Florida. Located in beautiful St. Petersburg, the “American” tribute to the famous surrealist artist was founded in (year), but was recently remodeled, expanded to more than twice its original size and reopened in 2011:

Old Dali Museum Florida

Dali Museum, FL before remodel (2010 Jinjian Liang, Flickr)

Interesting fact: Did you know Salvador Dal√≠’s full name is Salvador Dom√®nec Felipe Jacinto Dal√≠ i Dom√®nech, Marquis de P√ļbol!? *catches breath* Whoa!

New Salvador Dali museum Florida at night

“The new Salvador Dali museum is the permanent home of the world’s most comprehensive collection of the renowned Spanish artist’s work” (Ron Ciervo, Flickr)

The Salvador Dali Museum Florida is only one of 5 Dalí museums worldwide, which include the Dalí Theatre and Museum (Figueres, Catalonia), Dalí Universe (London), Espace Dalí (Paris), and a permanent Dalí exhibition in Berlin.

It is impossible to see all the works in one day, obviously.

As “the world’s most comprehensive collection” of the eccentric artist (see caption of image above by Ron Ciervo), the Salvador Dal√≠ museum in Florida has over 1,500 works.¬†Thus, my first visit simply included a very informational scheduled tour¬†to get a gist of all the exhibitions. While I’m usually against group tours, our guide was incredibly¬†knowledgeable. Not only did we enjoy learning about how each of the works presented came to life (i.e. painting techniques used, how it was commissioned, etc.)–but we were also graced with additional information about the personal life and emotional background of each painting. I learned so much about Salvador Dal√≠–and came to fall in love with my favorite eccentric artist of all time all over again.

My favorite parts

I loved learning about his love affair with Gala Dal√≠. I was not aware that Gala left her husband (and her kid!) to stay with Dal√≠ in Paris. In turn, Dal√≠ made her famous, became his muse and one of the most painted models of the time. How did she repay him? Stayed with him all the way through his (alleged?) dementia and until the day she died. It’s funny, though, that the guide didn’t mention the several extramarital affairs Gala, and even Dal√≠, had. Apparently, Dal√≠ practiced candaulism. Still, I’m not gonna lie–this eccentric love story, albeit sinful, captivated me…

Dali Museum Florida, Gala Lincoln painting

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea: A panting whose name–and reflection at a distance of about 20 meters–tells a bigger story (dasoaz, Flickr). Dali Museum Florida now houses the original piece.

Funny enough, my other favorite part of my day at the Salvador¬†Dali Museum Florida was the “Tree of Wishes” or Wish Tree.

Dali Museum Florida Wish Tree

My man (in purple) and the Tree of Wishes at the Dali Museum Florida


It is tradition to take off your museum admission bracelet once you are done with your visit, take it to the “Tree of Wishes” in the backyard, write a wish on it, and tie it to a branch of the Tree–then, believe it’ll come true! The kid in me was very excited ūüėÄ

Dali museum Florida building and wish tree

Wishes from all over the world, hanging by a tree

Our wish at Dali Museum Florida

Our wish <3

All in all, an enjoyable day of local tourism (Florida)

I’ll have to repay a visit and perhaps even take a scheduled tour with a different guide–I’m sure the experience will be totally different. It’s refreshing when one sees the attractions close to our current base as exciting as any other outsider does!

Dali Museum Florida, building

Dali Museum bench and part of the bldg. (Matthew Paulson, Flickr)

Have you been to a Dal√≠ museum? What’s on your travel bucket list?

Travel bucket list ideas, photos: Aogashima, Dali’s home, and more!

It’s Travel Bucket List Wednesday again! My favorite daydream time of the week. My travel bucket list additions today are mostly places that I have never seen a blogger talk about (minus the Dal√≠ house, perhaps). How new they were to me (first time I ever saw most of them!) made me quite excited about this post. See my entire travel bucket list here¬†and share yours by the end of this post!

Aogashima island – Japan

Located in the Philippine sea, Aogashima island literally dropped my jaw! I mean, just look at that photo *points below*! Whoa! What’s more is that despite its 4 submarine calderas, it is actually¬†inhabited.¬†By the by, this island also made it to my travel bucket list because of how difficult it is to visit (and to leave). The population and its culture must be different feasts in themselves. Seasonal sports fishing and tourism, in addition to agriculture, sustain the few dwellers in Aogashima island. Another interesting fact: There’s only one school in the island, with grades from elementary school to junior high.

travel bucket list ideas, Aogashima island


Salvador Dal√≠’s house museum – Cadaqu√©s, Catalonia

I absolutely adore Salvador Dal√≠. Ever since I first spotted one of his paintings in Spanish history class back in elementary school, I was intrigued and never forgot his name (or eccentric works). So if you tell me you are able to visit his home, now turned into a museum in Catalonia, I’ll be all over it! His work in an actual building he designed himself? Yes! As you would expect, his quarters are a reflection of his paintings and sculptures, plus the museum also features some of his unfinished works. I can’t wait to finally cross this item off my travel bucket list! I’m sure my camera will run out of memory that day…

The Door to Hell – Turkmenistan

Really looks like the door to hell. And it is in freakin’ Turkmenistan?! Heck to the yes – in fact, I want to take a micro-flight over it! I¬†wonder¬†if that’s possible…

travel bucket list ideas, Door to Hell

Whoaaa! (flydime, Flickr)

Thor’s Well РCape Perpetua, Oregon

Yet another natural wonder joins my extensive travel bucket list this week. I’m not quite sure whether it is as impressive as the picture below suggests, but I still want to make it there. Plus, there’s always Portland…which I haven’t had a chance to visit yet either…

travel bucket list ideas, Thor's Well

It is best, and naturally the most dangerous, to visit during the winter storms. Woo!

Remember: Travel Bucket List Wednesdays are every week

1. Submit a post related to an item you crossed off (or plan to visit!) from your travel bucket list on Mr. Linky below

2. Please, leave a comment on this entry before you leave.

3. Tweet all your travel bucket list posts with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

What’s on your travel bucket list!?

New travel bucket list items: Celebrating International Monument Day

Happy Travel Bucket List Wednesday! In celebration of International Monument Day, travel bucket list inspiration today is all about monuments around the world. Below are my favorites and new additions to my lengthy list.

Remember: Travel Bucket List Wednesdays are every week!

1. Submit a post related to an item you crossed off (or plan to visit!) from your travel bucket list on Mr. Linky below

2. Please, leave a comment on this entry before you leave.

3. Tweet all your travel bucket list posts with #TravelBL and I promise an RT.

It’s that simple! Now onto the continuation of my “monumental” travel bucket list!

The Georgia Guidestones

I am going “local” for once! Alright, I’m currently in FL, but still — Georgia is pretty close. I stumbled upon the Georgia Guidestones as I looked for monumental travel bucket list inspiration. Dubbed as “the American Stonehenge,” this 5.87-meter monument granite monument consists of 6 slabs, an astounding combined weight of¬†110,000 kg, and has 10 “Principles” inscribed in eight different languages. Its construction? Under a pseudonym, it was commissioned to the Elberton granite Company. Thus, its designers are still a mystery. Below are photos of the English slab and the whole monument itself. Fascinating!

travel bucket list, Georgia Guidestones monument

whole monument

travel bucket list, Georgia Guidestones

Hmm, I wonder who wrote those?

Wat Pho, The Reclining Buddha, Thailand

Ever so popular, the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Thailand has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time, yet I had not shared it with all of you. How come!? Anyhow! It’s grand scale and bright golden glow is what I love the most about it. And being a woman who loves anything of epic proportions…you know, I just gotta see it!

travel bucket list, Reclining Buddha

Photo: Terry Kelleher

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Another epic landmark. Couldn’t help myself! Although I’m a devout Christian and love my Jesus, I have to admit that I’m more excited about the views and photo ops from this point view than the¬†monument¬†itself. But who knows, Jesus might amaze me again, like He always does ūüėČ

travel bucket list, Christ the Reedemer

Glorious view of Christ the Reedemer, compliments of the sun (Photo: Peteris, Flickr)

Corcovado mountain, Christ the Redeemer view

one of the many gorgeous views from the top! (Jason Pearce, Flickr)

Christ the Redeemer, view from a boat

View from a boat (Nick Herber, Flickr)

Harmandir Sahib, Punjab, India

I don’t know if a temple is considered a monument, nor do I plan to start a debate here.¬†However, I saw the Harmandir Sahib on an Awe-inspiring Monuments post somewhere int he blogosphere and knew it had to be part of this week’s travel bucket list additions! Also known as the Golden Temple, it is a Sikhism¬†place of worship. Gorgeous eh?

Harmandir Sahib

Harmandir Sahib photo by appaji, Flickr

What monuments are on your travel bucket list? Why?