Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

Articles

The Right Way To Experience Puerto Rico

map_of_puerto-rico

“April showers bring May flowers. What do May flowers bring?” If you answered “pilgrims” you’d unfortunately be mistaken. While “pilgrims” may be the answer when you’re in elementary school, as you get older the answer becomes warm weather!

With summer just around the corner, I find myself yearning for a place immersed in sunshine and encircled by aqua water, where time is hardly felt and replaced with freedom and my only worry is making sure to apply enough sunscreen. My heart craves for life on the island. For life on Puerto Rico.

On Dec. 30, 2014, I landed in Puerto Rico with two friends, Jonny and Micayla, by my side. Eager to get away from the incoming blizzard and cold weather in Colorado, I stepped out of the Puerto Rico Airport and was greeted by a tropical breeze and the shining sun. This was a trip that had been an idea for months but then one night, in a spur of the moment pep talk, became a reality.

Jonny, Micayla and I have been friends for the last two years along with our friends Mandy, Ozzy and Caroline. Since the near beginning of our friendship, taking a group trip to Puerto Rico was an activity high on our “friendship bucket list”. While Jonny, Micayla and I hail from the United States Mandy, Ozzy and Caroline were all born and raised in Puerto Rico.

It was if we had our own personal native tour guides during our 10-day trip. Since Mandy, Ozzy and Caroline know the island from all angles Jonny, Micayla and I got to experience all the unique parts and spots on the island that tourists normally wouldn’t visit. But that doesn’t mean we let ourselves miss out on the better known tourist spots either.

During our time in Puerto Rico we visited virtually every side of the island. Puerto Rico is 3,515 sq. miles so it only takes a person between six and eight hours to travel around the whole island. Since we had native tour guides, we got to experience scenic routes by mostly using back roads. This usually isn’t recommended for tourists as most of Puerto Rico’s back roads can’t be located using GPS. Most people who travel these roads only know of them by word of mouth, being shown by a friend or by stumbling upon them.

Some of the most memorable places we got to visit would be Cayo Caracoles, San Juan, Rio Tinajas, La Cueva Ventana and we also visited six different beaches around the island. During the whole 10-day trip, there was only one day that we stayed home to recuperate. By the end of the trip, we collectively agreed that 10 days wasn’t enough time for us to complete all the activities that we wanted to do.

This trip to Puerto Rico is one that not only confirmed my love and desire for traveling and experiencing different cultures, but by sharing this trip with people that matter to me made the experience that much richer. Puerto Rico 2015 trip planning is already in progress and it’s looking to be even better!

Photo of the natural waterfalls and the 50 ft cliff that we jumped off at Rio Tinajas.

Photo of the natural waterfalls and the 50 ft cliff that we jumped off at Rio Tinajas.

Mangrove we swam through at Cayo Caracoles

Mangrove we swam through at Cayo Caracoles

Photo of the beach we visited at Arecibo

Photo of the beach we visited at Arecibo

Photo taken of the view at Cueva Ventana

Photo taken of the view at Cueva Ventana

Photo of the cove we docked at in Cayo Caracoles

Photo of the cove we docked at in Cayo Caracoles

Me walking along a cobblestone street in Old San Juan

Me walking along a street in Old San Juan

By: lnorris26

Having a passion for media and writing since she can remember, Norris worked towards a double major in Journalism and communication. She enjoys traveling and discovering new cultures and hopes to use that in her career.