Reminisce

I was thinking about my previous travels and I really wanted to look back on my trip out to D.C. I decided to go out with a program NYLC (national youth leaders conference) where I would meet up with hundreds of other students across the nation and we would visit the D.C area as well as discuss political issues, talk with speakers, and of course interact with everyone. My favorite part of the trip was heading out to Capitol Hill where I got to meet my representative Ben Lujan and discuss situations and problems with our hometown. I also had the opportunity to explore the Supreme Court building and learn about the history behind the planning and layout of Capitol Hill. As you enter the building you have to go through basic security and if you leave you have to go back to the front and through security again. Seconds after I had walked out of the building with a friend I had made it started pouring, and not just calm rain, pouring, so fast it started to flood within minutes. After about an hour of waiting for the bus, soaking wet, we headed back to our hotel. Needless to say it was the most interesting and fun day on Capitol Hill.

National Monuments

If you are not a person who would enjoy, or could afford, going out of the United States there are many things to do and see in this wonderful country. There are national monuments and forests across the country that are great for site seeing or hiking. A few years back I traveled to the east coast for my first time to D.C. and it was awesome to PTDC0041see the difference in climate change and culture. Of course I saw the George Washington monument, Lincoln memorial, went to the Arlington Cemetery, and walked past the Vietnam Memorial. It was interesting having learned the history of all these places and actually seeing it in person was amazing. The history behind our country is unbelievable and incredible to see in person. I highly recommend every American head out to D.C and see for themselves these beautiful monuments that represent our history throughout time and change.

what’s the point of Traveling?

If you’re a person who enjoys simply going on a
walk, or hiking a nearby mountain traveling should be something you want to do,
mix up your usual routine. By exposing yourself to new ideas there is a better
chance you can come back with new ideas on how to live your life, and if not
you had a new experience that no other person also has had. Traveling should be
a relaxing time period, and if it becomes stressful for you, maybe it’s not the
right type of traveling. Being able to see a different culture on the other side
of the world can be very eye opening and everyone should have the opportunity
to try it at least once. I encourage a person to even take a small trip across
the country, a place where it is different from your social norms. Traveling doesn’t
have to be a faraway place, just somewhere different. A place where you can
change your view on the world and enjoy yourself at the same time. Express yourself
in a new way.

Traveling is too expensive… WRONG!

In the modern world things are not cheap, eating
out, shopping, groceries, bills, so why would anyone save up money to travel? What
can be so exciting about going to an unknown place, in a different culture,
perhaps where they speak a different language, and eat strange food for
enjoyment? But that’s just it, why wouldn’t someone want to do that? Often times
people get over involved in the cost of things, they can’t do something because
of money, or don’t want to do something because of money. The fact of the
matter is, money shouldn’t limit the opportunities you can expose yourself too. Why
should money be the reason you don’t take your dream vacation to Greece? It shouldn’t
be. Money can easily be saved and if you’re willing to try something new, which
you shouldn’t be scared to do, all these unknown things can open a door to a
new beginning of exploring.

Proper Plane Etiquette

When flying it is important to understand proper plane etiquette and avoid getting into trouble on accident. There are items that are not allowed in an airport, besides the obvious bomb. Many airports are very strict and security can be hassle and scary for first time flyers. Shoes, electronics, and anything metal must be placed in bins, and random body searches are subject to people. While on the plane it is important to know if your flight has assigned seating or boards by class. If the plane boards by class it might be more in you interest to get to the terminal early. Once inside the plane all belongings must be placed inside the overhead storage or under the seat in front of you. Getting comfortable can be difficult especially if you’re on the plane for a long period of time. However, service brings drinks and at times meals but as long as you bring entertainment, books, music, a pillow, your flight can be safe and enjoyable.

I believe I can fly!

Worldwide people depend on flying to get from destination to destination. Flying is the fastest way to get around the world, although it is costly it saves time, and time is money. It is important to plan a trip ahead of time so plane tickets are significantly cheaper. It is also important to keep in mind that around holidays and certain times of the year tickets will be more expensive or they might sell out more quickly. A benefit of the world is that they are plenty of airlines to choose from. It is vital to check multiple airline tickets for prices to ensure you are getting the best deal. Granted, many will be specific to what airline they choose because of the service provided which may be a priority for some. It is your vacation after all.

Vamos a La Playa!

I know when I decide to go on a vacation the first thing I think of is a beach! Those of us who live inland feel they must go to a tropical place with a beach because that’s our desired get away. It can be really fun to head out to a beach, be lazy, play in the sun, get a tan, and of course mess around in the waves. It can also be the cheapest place to spend your time at. If you pack a lunch it can ultimately be free. Plus its entertainment for everyone, for hours!

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In Spain the group of girls I was with decided to rent some beach cruisers and ride out to the beach. We started in the heart of Barcelona, the corridors off of Las Ramblas and rode the bends of the city out to the beach. We went through a small park located by the local high school and went right past the zoo to a famous fountain Parc de Ciutadella where we had a small stop. Every few minutes the fountain turns on and the creatures seem to come to life, it was beautiful.

 

After we went straight to the beach, passing numerous sculptures and

1463376_698910730121435_2146391661_nstatues built for the olympics, we finally made it to the sandy paradise. There just happened to be a sand volleyball tournament so we sat and watched a few games, had some tapas at a nearby shack, and played in the water. Well, until we spotted a group of poisonous jellyfish, then we were out in a second. After we played around we hopped on our bikes and rode on the boardwalk for a couple of hours. We passed a giant sand castle, I’ve never seen anything like it, bigger than me for sure, and it stood so elegantly near the shore. Riding to the beach was definitely one of my favorite parts of going to Spain, plus the beach was beautiful and the water was clear, cold, but clear.

 

Money, money, monaaayy!

Saving up for a trip can be very difficult but well worth the investment. My trip to Spain was a little over 4000 including flight, hotels, activities, food, and of course the shopping. Although it seems pricey I wouldn’t change it for the world. When you travel out of the country you have to think about the change in currency, which granted can be tricky. However, this means you might be able to spend less money when you get there, win-win situation eh?

It may be easier to use a credit card because you won’t have to worry about carrying around a lot of Euros, there is a small fee granted. In Spain I used my card as much as possible, the only place cash was needed was at market places or local stores occasionally. Many people will actually keep Euro dollars or coins as a souvenuoir which is also fun. I happened to bring back a two dollar Euro coin and some extra change. But when you’re using your card there can be a downfall. Europe doesn’t have a tough security blanket on their ATMs like America. Which means they are very easy to hack. It has been six months since I left Spain and my identity has been stolen twice and purchases over $700 were made both times. Luckily my bank has caught both of them before the money was taken out of my account. Which unfortunately for me means they have to send in a new card, that takes about two weeks, also that means I am out of money until the new card comes in. So although it is more convenient to use a card make sure you are using secure areas before pulling out money or spending it at a sketchy place.

Packing, Oh the necessities!

The best and worst part about going on a trip is packing and unpacking a bag. What are you going to wear, what items will you need, are you going on a plane, how many ounces of liquid are you allowed to take, how many bags will you need to pack? There are so many factors to think about when packing that it can be stressful. For some reason, girls have the hardest time packing. Am I right? Guys feel they only need a slim amount of clothing and toiletries, while girls need to take an entire bathroom, closet, and makeup.

The best advice I can give, is do your research! What is the weather going to be like? Are you going some where hot and exotic or some where cold? Is it going to be rainy or extremely humid? Your best bet is to find out the weather for the time that you will be on your vacation and pack accordingly. Bring any necessary items, such as sunscreen for a hot location, or plenty of jackets if you are hiking up a mountain. In less of course you plan on doing plenty of shopping, because then you don’t want to come back with too many clothes.

When I went to Spain, I left Memorial Day and stayed till the middle of June, I figured it was summer weather. Our leader also said the weather was very similar to New Mexico, which meant it can go through all four seasons in one day. However, it had been plenty hot in NM, I packed a lot of shorts tank tops, summer clothes. Granted I did have a light jacket or two and a couple pairs of jeans. Stupid girl.

Caught up in the RainThe weekend before we left it snowed in the Pyrenees Mountains, thus sending a cold front all the way across Spain. I was poorly packed and was caught in many cold rainstorms in a cardigan sweater, shorts, and Toms. Again, Stupid Girl. On a few occasions I would run into stores late at night off the plaza minutes before closing time to buy a jacket or jeans because I was too far from my hotel and was too cold to just put up with the weather. Take it from me, because it sucks being ill prepared. Watch the weather reports before you leave on your trip!

Swimming in the Pacific

If anyone is interested in going to Hawaii and planning on going to O’ahu you’re in for a treat. I visited the beautiful island of O’ahu this past summer for two weeks with my mom and sister. Beaches on beaches on beaches, shopping for days, and not to mention the wonderful tan you’ll get.

We stayed at the Wyndham resort, which miraculously was a two minute walk from the beach off of Diamond Head. Immediately after getting settled into our hotel we had a quick wardrobe change and headed out to the beach. With endless umbrellas for shade and plenty of sand to play in we spent the rest of our day at the beach. We stayed until dinner where we found a local Steak Shack with authentic Hawaiian cousine that did more then satisfy your hunger. Later that night there were fireworks off the beach we were at, it was beautiful to say the least.

 

 After staying at the beach for a couple of days we decided to venture out on the other side of the island. Hanuama Bay was calling our names. Venturing into a hectic Wal-Mart we finally found snorkeling gear. We headed out to Hanuama bay where it was packed of tourist but the bay was crystal clear and full of sea life. If anyone wants a cheap place to snorkel and admire the life in a coral reef this is the place to go. From the beach we swam out maybe twenty feet and were already surrounded by tiny fish of every color. I ended up going out in the deeper water in hopes of seeing bigger fish. But I found something way more intriguing. I came across a pack of three giant sea turtles, probably as big as me, and one baby. They didn’t seem to mind my company and for about an hour I followed them around the reef thoroughly fascinated by their interactions with each other and the other fish. They really are beautiful creatures. Four hours later we slugged back up to the beach and went to find lunch. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I didn’t put any sunscreen on my back and let me tell ya I have never been so red in my entire life. It was painful to even twist my body. But it did turn into a nice tan eventually!

One day as we were driving around being curious we came across a small bay that had a giant rock off the shore that led into deep water. Sure enough the water was deep  and the bottom was sandy for people to jump off the rock into safe water. I was the only courageous one out of the three of us, so I climbed this rock that was at least thirty feet high at the very top. But it looked way higher when I was up there. After a few minutes, before I could sike myself out, I took a leap. The adrenaline was unreal and easily one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Who else can say they cliff jumped in Hawaii?

There were many more beaches that we went out to. Waikiki and North Shore are a must see in O’ahu. But honestly the beaches you find on accident are the most fun. It takes you by surprise at what you can find when you’re being adventurous and curious. If you want a tropical, beachy trip head out to O’ahu I promise, from experience, that you won’t forget it.