travel

A Dream Vacation I Have Lost Interest in

Image from Pixabay

Three years ago, or so, I longed for a trip to Maryland doing nature and adventurous activities. I never could find anyone to go with and my mom eventually told me that she wanted me to earn money and not focus on a dream trip.

Eventually, I lost interest in it. I don’t know how—maybe just from naturally drifting apart from it? The first resort I looked at had mixed reviews. So, I considered other places to stay near that same area. But then I discovered that the cell phone signal can be quite weak at times. Also, there is hardly any public transportation. Most people not from the area have to rent a car. And that wouldn’t have been a good option for me. Not just because there are more restrictions and fees for drivers between 21 and 24, but I also wouldn’t have felt safe driving in that unfamiliar area.

I looked at areas in Pennsylvania, as well. While there was a little more public transportation, a lot of places would take about an hour to go to, regardless of where I stayed.

Last year, my mom told me that I shouldn’t have focused on a trip when I didn’t make my own money. At some point, I understood.

While I’m not dreaming about this trip anymore, I still enjoy outdoor activities. However, I will think about them when the right time comes.

travel

When I Visited the Calgary Zoo in 2015

Four years ago, I went to Calgary for my cousin’s engagement party. On what was Independence Day in the US, I went to the Calgary Zoo. It’s kind of like the Bronx Zoo, but more condensed. You can probably see pretty much anything in one day.

After you’re admitted, you’re near the penguin house. Outside it, has different signs, one saying not to touch the penguins. I was puzzled, thinking, why are they reminding people something they already know? Plus, don’t they make it impossible to touch the creatures? Following that sentence was, “We have a no-touching policy.” In my mind, I was saying, yeah, no duh, all zoos do. That’s common knowledge! That’s like reminding people that animals can’t talk. Also, if you put that in a book, that’ll turn readers off. That’s right, I was thinking about something irrelevant.

But when you enter the penguin house, the tanks are, like, five feet tall. So, while little kids wouldn’t be able to reach the top, adults could. Perhaps, that’s why they needed to remind people that basic knowledge that most three-year-olds already know.

Another unique aspect is that they have a restaurant with sit-down service and good quality food. That’s a big difference from the New York City zoos. And it’s indoors.

At the end of the day, it rained, and the small children screamed and cried, even in the tunnel to exit the zoo. Still, no two zoos are alike.

travel

Can Vacations Spoil You?

Image from Pixabay

My family doesn’t travel that much anymore. However, we’ve traveled so much that I have memorized all the airplane safety guidelines. I don’t pay attention to the demos when they’re live because I already know the rules.

Anyway, sometimes my brain has “rotted” a bit when I was out of town. One time, I couldn’t complete a social studies take-home-quiz in high school while I was in Florida, I believe. My mind was in vacation-mode. That wasn’t good.

Family trips have also spoiled me with luxury hotels and resorts, first-class seats in flights, and fun activities. That rarely happens these days. It has been years since I stayed in a fancy place. Now my family usually does cheaper hotels or sometimes apartment-like suites.

But when we did stay in luxurious places, they made me let-down by hostel-like buildings and quick sandwich and salad cafes instead of fine dining restaurants. That was with Girl Scouts when we stayed at a hostel in London and would’ve eaten at a quick café instead of a bistro on a trip that ended up being canceled. It turned out that many of the other girls didn’t have the amount of money my family had. So, in the later Girl Scout days, I was kind of the “spoiled rich kid”. Not terribly, though. But I didn’t like when the others said that hotels were too expensive.

So, can vacations spoil you? It depends on various circumstances. If you barely travel, then probably not. It’s how you handle certain aspects of the trips.

travel

A Place to Stay on a Trip – Should I Book or Should I Pass?

Image from Pixabay

Ah… decisions, decisions. Different factors play into your choice of where to stay on a trip. It could be your taste, others’ recommendations, intention or your trip, or budget.

If you are a student, for example, and your goal is to travel around a city, but you’re on a tight budget, you might choose a hostel. If you’re on a higher budget and your goal is to have fun on an island as well as relax, you might choose a hotel or even a resort.

When I was younger, my family usually stayed in nice hotels. However, when I traveled to London with Girl Scouts, we stayed in a hostel. And I was so bummed and let down by it. It was below my standards at the time, especially because I used to more luxurious places to stay.

Now my family hardly ever stays at fancy hotels or resorts. We usually do suites, cheap hotels, or motels. One time, I stayed in an Airbnb. It’s where you rent part of someone’s house or apartment, kind of like a mini home. They’re a lot cheaper than hotels, plus you might get some more control over your meals (like having a small cooking space and kitchenette). You also don’t have to get out for housekeeping. However, Airbnb isn’t available everywhere.

If you have little kids, this might be a difficult decision. There are some resorts that have children’s activities and are located in child-friendly areas. European touring might be tough for this age group as they are often uncomfortable standing in lines or not getting to run around.

Enough said about that, though. Remember, where you stay should make you satisfied, regardless of how long you will be there.

travel

Wondering About a Winter Resort

Image from Pixabay

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I have been gaining interest in a winter resort. The ideal one for me would include snowtubing, shopping, and indoor activities like a game room.

Why not skiing, you might ask? I’m not really passionate about it. I did it a little bit when I was younger at ski resorts. But I wasn’t that good at it. Also, I didn’t like having to start out without poles. Nor did I like that most of the beginners were toddlers, and I was 10.

Snowtubing is different. You sit in a round tube and get pushed down a hill. No experience is needed. You probably just have to be a certain height, weight, and in good health condition.

Who doesn’t love villages with different shops as well as food stops and even activities? I’ve been to many. And I loved pretty much all of them.

When it’s cold out, it’s good to chill inside with some tea, coffee, or hot chocolate by the fireplace. It’s also nice to occupy yourself with games, like ping pong, pool, or arcade games. Some resorts have arcades. I also enjoy fitness rooms and used to enjoy swimming pools and waterparks. I still admire the idea of waterparks and going swimming, however, my skin has been super-itchy lately. So unless that stops, I am going to refrain from anything with chlorine.

I’ve been doing a ton of research. Sadly, I have not found one that appealed to me. Even if they had most of the things I’d like to do, they still didn’t draw my attention. But I won’t give up hope… or doing more research. Hey—maybe there’s something in the west.

While I usually don’t favor winter and snow (especially when I have to drive in it), I still have an interest in going to a resort with winter activities.

travel

Atlantis, Bahamas, Ooh I Want to Show You (2010 Trip)

During my President’s Week break in my junior year of high school, I went to Atlantis in the Bahamas. It was one of the few trips I suggested myself. My parents didn’t enjoy it too much. However, I loved it a lot.

Atlantis falls

The resort consists of several buildings of accommodations and it resembles the damage of the lost city of Atlantis legend. There is also a tunnel with a tank of fish as well as other marine animals in other parts of the resort, such as turtles and sharks.

Atlantis shark

There are also several swimming pools, restaurants, and shops. But one of the crown jewels is the waterpark. There are two slides that take through a tube where you’re surrounded by the sharks. But you’re inside glass, so the sharks can’t hurt you. The rapid river was fun, although I flipped and got a little cut. But I was okay.

There is a dolphin and sea lion encounter program where you get to touch the creatures, which my family and I didn’t participate in. We did swim with dolphins somewhere else, though. That was Blue Lagoon Island. I read and compared the reviews of the Atlantis one and the Blue Lagoon Island one. The latter had received better reviews. It cost less and had more to offer.

The resort is so big that you can’t really do everything in one day. It’s also costly. However, I had a good time. I would gladly recommend this resort to anyone, whether you’re a childless couple, family, group, etc.

 

travel

Ice… Ice… Iceland – My Trip There in 2017

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Image above from Pixabay

In the summer of 2017, my parents and I took a trip to Iceland. We stayed at nine different hotels during the ten days we visited.

Iceland has caves, waterfalls, hot springs, and lava fields. The bulk of their population is on the coast and especially in their capital, Reykjavik (rake-yah-vik). The inland is pretty much uninhabited.

The population is so small that there is only one prison in the entire country (which I did not see, by the way). The weather drastically varies, even within just 20 minutes on the mainland and not up a mountain. It can be mild in one area and chilly in another, just minutes away.

Iceland specializes in lamb and seafood. They have good lamb soup and stricter food guidelines than in the US. I had a jelly doughnut where the jam tasted really fresh. It was strange, but delicious. I had a chocolate cake where the icing was clearly made with real butter and even tasted buttery.

On the fields, there are sheep, cattle, and small Icelandic horses. In fact, those horses are the only types allowed in Iceland for temperature reasons.

If you go to Iceland in the summer, be aware that the sun is out for about 24 hours. So you should have a sleep mask with you.

Iceland was an interesting place to visit. In the winter, I hear it’s brutal, and the northern lights aren’t guaranteed. In the summer, it’s a nice place to hike and sight-see.

travel

I Went the Distance to Greece in the Summer of 2015

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Image above from Pixabay

Greece is the home of the Parthenon and one of the oldest nations in the world. It also has beautiful islands, water, and architecture. When I went to Greece with my family, we went to Athens and one of the outer islands, which I can’t remember the name of.

We did sight-seeing, walked around, and went on a boat around the other island. We did a Segway tour, too. I was not the best, honestly. I stayed with the guide.

The food was very different than from in the US. The meat quality if higher and fresher. Olive oil is used on pretty much everything. In fact, it’s the dressing for traditional Greek salad. Greek salad from Greece also has no lettuce. The Greek dressing and lettuce Americans use is a tradition in the US.

Another moment that was unexpected was when a stray cat came up to our dinner table (we were seated outside) at a restaurant. My dad would chop up meat and feed it to the cat. We didn’t get caught, by the way.

One pitfall, however, was that outside of Athens, there wasn’t much variety in cuisines. At some point, I got sick of Greek food. I craved gravy, barbeque sauce (when I still could eat tomatoes), and other foods not traditional to Greece.

Nevertheless, Greece was a nice place to visit. It’s great after learning about the country in school. I had to study Ancient Greece in school. Didn’t we all?

travel

I’ve Been on a Trip… to Niagara Falls – 2008

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Image above from Pixabay

In the spring of 2008, when I was 14, my mom, brothers, and I went to Niagara Falls. Another family went with us too. We all rode in my mom’s minivan.

We got to see the falls. However, due to the cold weather, not as many attractions were open. For instance, we couldn’t go on the maid-of-the-mist boat ride.

On the bright side, we still got to do a lot of other fun activities. Where we were was kind of like a mini-Vegas. We did a lot of virtual reality rides and shows, such as a SpongeBob one. We also rode on a Ferris wheel and had Buffalo wings that were just called wings. They did have the same Buffalo sauce, though.

The Canadian side of the area had more to offer than the American side. We had to show our passports to go past the border, even in a car.

After a few days in the Niagara Falls area, we stayed at my uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, not too far from the Niagara area. I don’t really remember what we did then.

I would love to visit Niagara Falls again, especially in the summer. I did do the maid-of-the-mist ride when I was really little, like 5. But now in my mid-twenties, it would be a different experience.

There are a lot of places I would like to visit. I am more into trips where I get to do activities, like boating or ziplining, rather than touring places like historical sites. Because I’m not a child anymore, I have told that trips should be somewhat educational too. Yes, I do agree. But I still like the ones where I can do activities more than touring sites.

travel

That’s Where I Went, You Know… Way Down in Key West

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Above is a picture found from Pixabay.

Four years ago, during my college spring break (and possibly my brothers’ school breaks at the times), my family went to Key West, the most southern section of the continental US. Buildings had flat roofs. It resembled more of a Caribbean Island than the typical US geographic layout. There were coral reefs in the water.

Cuban food was also common there. Near the place my family and I stayed at, there was a little building that sold Cuban food to go, as well as breakfast, drinks, and snacks.

Stray chickens wandered around the town. I learned that it was because there used to be chicken fighting decades ago. It got banned, so those people released the chickens into the wild. I spotted a hen with chicks and wanted to take a picture. But I missed them.

Walking was the best way of transportation. Unlike some cities, bikers did not speed as much on the streets. You could rent a car (that was what my parents did) but for the most part, we didn’t need to drive a lot.

This was actually my second time to Key West. The first one was during the day from a Royal Caribbean cruise when I was ten. At that time, it rained and we couldn’t do much. We’d gone to the aquarium. But that was it.

I enjoyed the second time more. We got to see and do more. The weather was nicer. And I was older and could have more independence.