Puerto Rico // Day 1: La Cueva del Indio and Cueva Ventana

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted but I felt inspired to keep blogging about my life and my adventures.

I recently took a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend, Sharon. We were only there a few days (May 4th-8th) but the experience was unforgettable. We didn’t get to explore everything that we wanted to but I left satisfied, refreshed, blessed and very burnt…. haha.

Day 1, Sharon and I left early to go explore Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) but little did we know that on our way there we would take a wrong turn and this is what we would find…

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This view is called Lagos Dos Bocas (Dos Bocas Lake). We didn’t get to do this but there is a boat ride on the lake that provides lunch!

Once we stopped admiring the view, we headed back on the highway to Cueva Ventana. When we arrived at 8 AM, we were a little disappointed to find out that they don’t open until 10 AM!!!! Truthfully, it was my fault, I should have done more research. But I did not let that ruin out trip. I started searching for places near by and this is what I found…

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This was 30 minutes away from Cueva Ventana. This awesome place is called La Cueva del Indio and I highly recommend it. It’s not well known but I wanted to share with you all this hidden treasure. The views were completely different from every angle, it was breathtaking.

Two hours later we were back on the road to Cueva Ventana! The whole morning did not go as planned but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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We began our tour at noon and it took about 1.5 hours. You are provided with a helmet and a flashlight. (I suggest you bring hiking shoes as some of the areas are slippery.)

I do not recommend this tour if you fear the following:

  • The dark
  • Caves
  • Bats
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • Slippery rocks
  • The unknown…

But if you are totally cool with it, then go for it! I highly enjoyed myself. There was a moment when the tour guide asked us to turn off our flashlights and at that moment I closed my eyes and a wave of gratitude came over me. But I heard some others squeal in fear..

To end Day 1, we had to explore some of Old San Juan! Below are pictures of the beautiful city!

Lastly, we went to dinner at The Locals on Calle Loiza. While we were there we ran into this cool wall. It’s basically a library, you can take a book as long as you replace it with another book!

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And that folks was Day 1  in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with the island the moment I stepped off the plane! If you are ever in PR, please check out these places, you will not regret it!

I am sending you huge amounts of love from this side of the screen.

If you’d like to check out more photos about my trip follow my travel Instagram account @thewanderersbucketlist

I hiked to Mount Tallac Summit and survived!

About two weeks ago I traveled to California for my cousin’s wedding. I booked my trip for a week and I made sure to squeeze in a couple of days to visit Lake Tahoe and I am happy that I did. Those two days were amazing but I would have to say my favorite part was the hike to Mount Tallac.

When I booked my trip, I was looking for a few things to do and people recommended that one should always try a hike that is difficult. I decided to stay near South Lake Tahoe and when I was searching what hikes I should go on, Mt. Tallac presented itself.

I have never really gone on a hike before, so I made sure to do as much research as possible. Just a couple of months before the trip I purchased my first pair of hiking shoes. I also purchased a Hydro Flask bottle, some sunscreen, bug spray, hiking socks, and a portable charger for my iPhone. I would say I was set to go!

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While I was reading some more about this hike, part of me was ready to take on the challenge and the other part of me was a bit nervous. The hike to Mt. Tallac Summit is 4.8 miles, about 10 miles round trip and it takes about 6-7 hours. There are two paths, one is the easier route which is longer, and the difficult route which is shorter but is slightly more dangerous.

As my trip was nearing, I was getting more and more nervous about doing this hike alone. I told a couple of my friends I was going to send them my locations, just in case something happened to me. But it’s funny how life works though. God and the universe had other plans for me, I wasn’t meant to do this hike on my own.

Earlier this year I met Jake and his brother Lenny in Florida. They are from California and were only in town for a couple of weeks. They love traveling and going on adventures as much as I do! Any way, these two were going to be in Lake Tahoe the same time I was. Crazy, right? I asked them if they wanted to join me on the hike and they said YES, which I am so thankful for!

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The hike up to the summit took us a little under 3 hours. I was following Matt, Lenny, and Jake and they were booking it. There were times I could hear them but I could not see them; they keep me motivated to keeping moving. I didn’t have time to think, be scared or be nervous, I just had time to hike and keep hiking. I did stop a few times to take a breather and of course observe the incredible views and be thankful for the opportunity to hike this mountain!

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On the way up, I saw the sun rising (one of the best views I have ever seen, well after I was able to actually catch my breath), I saw different type of animals, I drank from a small spring with a straw, and I feed chipmunks, it was great!

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The best part of starting the hike at 5:45 AM was the fact that we were the first ones at the top of Mount Tallac!!! The view was breath-taking. I had to sit there for a moment and realized that I just hiked about 5 miles in 3 hours uphill the whole entire time. My legs were burning, my heart was racing, my body was dry from the air, my lips were chapped and I was already getting sun burnt but it was all worth it. Every single ache, every time I felt a bit scared looking over at the edge, it didn’t matter it was worth the feeling of being unstoppable.

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At an elevation of 9,738 feet, I was in awe and proud of myself for accomplishing what I wanted to do. My first hike and my first summit were finally checked off my bucket list. We spent about 45 minutes, looking at the view, talking, laughing, taking pictures, feeding chipmunks, and being grateful.

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The feeling of being up there was something I have never felt. My heart felt like it was about to burst, I wanted to cry, scream, laugh, all at the same time. It was like I was on cloud nine, it was one of the best feelings in the world.

I thought the hike up was difficult but I would say the hike down was. I am a scardy cat at times, and I was pretty terrified going down as quickly as we were. There were times I missed a few steps, times I almost slipped and busted my ass and times where I thought I almost twisted my ankle. I usually never cursed but I probably said the word “shit” about 100+ times on the way down. I may have had weak knees, the dirtiest hiking shoes I’ve seen, and blisters on my feet BUT I made it! I survived.

If you are ever in South Lake Tahoe, I recommend that you hike to Mt. Tallac Summit. I suggest you go with people, they make it more fun and entertaining! Haha.

Seriously though, I am beyond grateful for this experience. This hike changed my view on life, it made me fall in love with nature and the world around me, it made me feel like I was on top of the world. All I want to do is go on more hikes now and be outdoors!

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I hope this post inspires you to go outside, go on adventures that you’ve been wanting to go on and to start checking things off of your bucket list!

I love you all!

 

How to get the best out of Groupon

I may not be the coupon queen but when its comes to Groupon, I would say I get pretty great deals.

If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, then go do it after you read my super simple tips on getting the best out of Groupon.

1. Don’t let your impulses control you!

Before you click BUY, look up that item and make sure that it’s really at a discounted price. Normally, it will provide you the website and you can see. If not, go searching on your own and make sure that you can’t just buy it on some other site or store for the same price or lower.

2. Wait until the prices drop.

This doesn’t always occur but there are times when Groupon decides to knock down anywhere from $3 to about $50 off an item or activity for a couple of days. I bought a Groupon for an air boat ride that was 17.00 and it dropped down to $14.00. (It’s normally about $23.00.) I ended up saving nine bucks instead of six. Sure it’s not much but hey, there’s my lunch money for the day.

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When the price is red, it means that Groupon knocked it down a few bucks.

3. Check Groupon daily

I check Groupon every other day sometimes everyday to tell you the truth. I also get their emails letting me know when an item I recently viewed went on sale. Usually a deal will be there for days, even weeks but there are times when a deal is only on there for limited time. For instance, tickets for a concert or a certain event will only be on there for a few days or a couple of weeks. If it’s worth it, you may just want to purchase it as soon as possible.

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Here are some of my purchases.

4. Wait for the extra 10-20% off

Be patience! About every other week Groupon will surprise you with an extra 10-20 % off a purchase. If it’s near a holiday, they will normally do this as well. The Go Pro I bought was on Groupon for $329.00 plus an extra 10% off dropped it to $296.00. (The price on the Go Pro originally was $399.00) A notification will normally alert you on the top right corner of the app, letting you know if there are any extra deals for that day.

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Click on the bell at the top right corner to see if there are any extra deals. 

5. Just go for it. 

Seriously, don’t over think it and go for it. If it’s a discount on a restaurant, a clothing item, a new  hair do, a getaway trip  or a fun adventure, just buy it! You only live once and Groupon is kind of saying “Let me save you a few bucks and go have some fun!”.

I can tell you from my own personal experience, I absolutely love purchasing off Groupon. I’ve had the opportunity to check off some things off of my bucket list because of it.

Here is a list of things I have purchased on Groupon (Some of these prices were knocked down and some I have used the extra 10% or 20% off):

  • Concert tickets
  • GoPro Hero 4 Silver – $296.00 (original price 399.00)
  • Trapeze class – about $20.00 (original price $50.00)
  • Painting class at Uptown art – $17.00 (original price $35.00)
  • Hang gliding – $60.00 (original price $169.00; when I got there I paid the difference to upgrade and purchase pictures/videos)
  • Paddle boarding – about $20.00 (original price about $45.00)
  • Air Boat ride – $14.00 (original price $23.00)
  • Three different Crossfit unlimited month classes – about $20.00-$40.00 (Original $60.00-$150.00)

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My friends and people around me are always asking how I get to do so many fun things and how I’m able to pay for it. Well, Groupon definetly helps me save some money.

I wanted to share with you all how I get to go on some of these adventures and possibly inspire you to purchase something off of  Groupon and check it off your bucket list! Even if you’re not purchasing it on the app, go do something you’ve been wanting to do. Seriously though, what’s stopping you?

I love you all! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures.

Adventures in Fort Lauderdale

I couldn’t help but share about my little adventure in Fort Lauderdale with my “cousin” a couple of weeks ago. Short story; Amanda is my best friend’s cousin and they sort of adopted into the family after spending every holiday with them. Since Karyna (my best friend) moved away because of work, Amanda and I have become super close and we realized we have a lot in common! Like blogging, traveling, cute coffee shops, the list goes on and on.

Well this sweet cousin of mine invited me to her side of the woods and showed me around.

We started off at the Alchemist, this adorable coffee and food shop.  We shared some delicious slicers. The environment was so chill. We ended up walking around for a little bit. We found this  clothing shop that was in an RV! I LOVED it and it made me want to buy one of my own and just take a road trip around the US. It was the cutest little thing.

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2430 NE 13th Ave Wilton Manors, FL 33305

Amanda has been trying to take me to this coffee shop called Brew Urban Cafe for months and months now. She knew that I would appreciate it as much as she does. When you walk in there’s a long hallway to get to the cafe, it kind of makes the walk suspenseful. Amanda said “are you ready?”, I was really anxious and excited to see this place, that I said “NO!” haha. When we walked in I was speechless. It was beautiful, there was a wall full of books and it made it feel like home. They have this garage style door, which was open and you could see the railroad tracks. Little places like this and having friends like Amanda is what makes life so wonderful and fun.

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We ordered some iced green tea and walked outside. There were plenty of walls with art on them. We picked a wall and I took some photos of Amanda for her blog! Check her out, she’s pretty awesome.[ Click here  ]Then she took some pictures of me, just for fun.

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It was a fun-filled day of eating delicious food, catching up, talking about our dreams and goals, and having no worries. I absolutely love exploring new places and making everyday feel like an adventure.

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Dress: Cotton on (similar) / Shoes: Converse / Denim shirt: H&M / Bracelets: Alex and Ani

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Also, that same day my photo from last year was featured on Canvaswpb instagram! I thought that was pretty cool and I was totally surprised that they choose me. Shoot out to them.

I love you all. Make every day an adventure, ou deserve it.

 

Why create a bucket list?

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My question is WHY NOT?! You’re only on this earth once, might as well live it!

Bucket list # 9: Run a half marathon [ Let’s see if I can get this one crossed off by the end of the year! ]

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Our first Savage Race [Tampa, FL]
I’ve always had an adventurous heart and liked trying new things. Ever since my dad passed away earlier this year, I feel like the light I had in my heart to go on adventures is now a fire. Losing my dad was one of the most difficult things I’ve dealt with but it has also caused me to appreciate my life so much more. I want to enjoy every single day of my life, which may mean trying new things, showing gratitude or making time for self-care.

Bucket list # 18: Snowboard!

With that being said, one of my focuses is crossing off items from my bucket list and adding some new items as well. My bucket list is always growing, it consists of countries I want to travel to, places I want to see, things I want to purchase, activities I want to do, and basically anything that I have never tried, seen or done before. If there’s something I’ve tried for the first time and I didn’t have on my list, I still add it on there to have proof I’ve already done it!

Bucket list #3: Swim with Sharks [This one might be crossed off sooner than we think; stay tuned for this one]

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Wynwood Walls [Miami, FL]
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Sitting on my first shark [Juno Beach]
 

You’re never too young or too old to have a bucket list. If you haven’t started one, or if you have one in your head but never took the time to write it down, I suggest you do. It’s amazing what you will think of when you start writing and if you can’t think of anymore items to add to your list then GOOGLE IT! You think I came up with all of the things on my list on my own?! I’ve used google, ideas from friends, family, other blogs, Instagram, etc.

Bucket list # 5: Go to Thailand [ This one has actually turned into: Travel Asia for about two to three months! ]

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Just a little piece of paradise [Thailand]
Anyways, I’ve been on this “high” to do as many things as possible on my list. Just yesterday I went skeet shooting for the first time, I reckon this wasn’t on my list but you bet I added it on it and crossed it off! I’ve used a gun before but I’ve never handled a shot gun. Boy, I can’t wait to go skeet shootin’ again!

Bucket list # I’m not even sure: Go skeet shootin’

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Skeet Shootin’ [JW  Corbett]

My bucket list also includes things I have a fear of or have feared. For instance, I am not quite scare of heights; I fear the falling the most. But that hasn’t stopped me, I’ve skydived twice, gone zip lining in Ecuador, done a handstand on the sky deck of the Willis Tower, and I recently took a trapeze class, which I recommend all of you to try out! Next on my list of fears to do is swim with sharks, walk with lions, do a handstand with the help of a wall, bungee jump [originally I took this off my list because I was too scared but I decided to add it back on because WHY NOT?] I just read Feel the fear and do anyway by Susan Jeffers, so I’m going to do it someday, in the later future…

Bucket list # 15: Take a trapeze class

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Aerial Trapeze Academy [Royal Palm Beach, FL]
I love having my list and I look forward to accomplishing most, if not all before I die but I also need to remember to live  for today. Life goes by quickly and we never know what may happen tomorrow so learn to appreciate what you have today. I may dream about all my futures adventures but every day when I wake up, I write down or even say to myself what I adore in the present moment. Life can be hard and it will consistently throw struggles your way but stay positive and be happy with the life you are given, no matter what. You can find joy in the smallest of things: in nature, a baby’s laugh, someone’s smile, the smell of food, an old picture with your father, or even writing down your bucket list.

I decided to add yet another one just now.

Encourage someone to start their own bucket list!

If you want to know what else is on my bucket list, you’ll just have to keep following my blog! 😉

I want to give gratitude to those that have checked out my blog and all the love I have received from my first post. Being an open book can be a scary thing but I appreciate the support I have gotten. Thank you.

Remember, whoever you are and wherever you are, I appreciate you. Just know that from the other side of your screen I am sending love your way.

Here are some other things that I’ve crossed off my list….

  • Run the Golden Gate Bridge
  • See the Great Smokey Mountains
  • Go Skydiving
  • Zip line in Ecuador