From Venice, with Love

When we first arrived in Venice, I was ecstatic. I had been dreaming about visiting this city for years and I was finally making that dream come true. As soon as we stepped outside of the train station and onto the steps of the city, I was in awe. Venice was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. The photos I had seen previously had not done it justice.

Taking it all in, I let out a long sigh of relief to finally be there. The tourists were busy taking pictures, while the locals were going about their business. I could see the gondolas from where I was standing and immediately longed to be sitting in one. I could also see the Ponte degli Scalzi bridge ahead of us.

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Traveling in the age of Social Media

Not that long ago, the majority of the world was not privy to obscure and far away lands like Slovakia or Estonia. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in your orbit who had been to Budapest, let alone Bratislava, Slovakia. How many people did you know who had whitewater rafted in Jaco, Costa Rica? Now, with the onslaught of #travelgoals, you have tons and tons of “wanderlusters” who make it their mission to go to the places that “no one” has really been to. In doing so, they turned so many places into tourists traps.

Gone are the days of real wander and meaningful travel bucket lists. Social media is saturated with accounts galore dedicated to the #travellife. Sure, we’re guilty of it ourselves here at OMPT. However, during some of our most recent travels, we have found that desire once more to be in the moment. We stopped taking so many pictures for our social media accounts, and decidedly took them for ourselves. You’d be surprised at the amount of photos we have from our last major trip; South America, which we have yet to share online – and that trip happened nearly 5 months ago!

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A Day in Bratislava

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When people think of Europe, they think of the major countries and their popular cities. While visiting the main tourist attractions that Europe has to offer is sure to be a treat, don’t lose out on the possibilities and charm that the lesser known cities and towns have to offer.

During one of  our multi-country trips we ventured out to Slovakia’s capital; Bratislava. An hour’s drive from Vienna, we embarked on a day tour of this quaint and charming city. We were looking forward to seeing what this capital had to offer.

After arriving a little over an hour ahead of our scheduled tour, we walked towards Hviezdoslavovo Namestie. A tree-lined plaza with restaurants, bars and embassies; this was the perfect location to begin our tour.

We decided to have a quick breakfast before meeting our tour guide. We headed to one of the plethora of restaurants in the vicinity and thanks to doing this tour in the middle of the week and the lack of clientele, we were seated pretty quickly. The dishes were light and fresh, the ambiance was warm and thanks to our table being next to large windows, we were able to watch as people came and went through the streets.

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Barcelona Talk

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When we first set out to plan our epic European itinerary, we thought going to Barcelona wouldn’t be an issue in terms of a language-barrier. Boy oh boy, were we wrong!

Lets start at the beginning of the planning. Eldris was looking into things to do in the other cities we were going to be visiting and preparing her excel sheet (yes, she does excel sheets! more on that in a future post LOL). I started my research on the first leg of our trip; Barcelona.

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The Perfect Photo-Op

We all look forward to seeing that one famous monument or architectural marvel and some of us even plan out the perfect photo-op. However, when we finally get to our desired location, we encounter a throng of tourist trying to take the same photo-op as we are.

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San Marco Basilica

You start to panic a little. You came all this way, perfected your pose and all of these other tourists are standing in your shot! Frustration may start to set in at that point. We’ve been there, plenty of times.

One of the most popular sites in the world is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There are so many potential Instagram-worthy shots you can take with some of the craziest poses possible. Imagine getting there super early to beat the crowds, as we did, and finding out that the other tourists had the same idea! We literally spent most of our time trying to take the perfect shot and let me tell you, it is NOT easy!

 

Despite the plethora of people, we made the best of our time at the Tower and came out with some decent photos lol.

Ultimately, the best thing to do to get the perfect photo-op is to not stress it so much. There will always be tourists around. Find your angles and take the shot. You’d be surprised how many amazing photos you can take when you aren’t trying to perfect them or waiting for people to get out of your shot.

The memory that photo will preserve will always be worth it.

Costa Rica: Embracing its Ecosystem and Fueling my Adrenaline

Costa Rica has always been high on my bucket list. My mother, whose Nicaraguan, briefly lived in Costa Rica and always spoke wonders of it. The more and more I researched it, the more and more I wanted to visit. Luckily, a friend of mine was getting married and the bridesmaids (I was one of them) threw her a bachelorette party in… COSTA RICA! Country #5.

As soon as we arrived in San Jose, we were greeted by our “party bus.”

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San Jose, Costa Rica

Our driver was so nice and attentive; he took us to a local market where we bought liquor and snacks; it was going to be a bachelorette party to remember! As we made our way to our hotel, Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Gulf Resort, which was about an hour away from the airport, I could not help but to stare at the horizon. I was so scenic, unlike anything I had ever seen before! Miami may be considered tropical to some, but I consider it a sort-of concrete jungle. Maybe I feel that way since my career is in finance and I’m always crunching numbers.  Continue reading

No Fort Worth, TX isn’t the Wild Wild West

For most of my life I lived in sunny Miami, Florida. It was pretty cool, I loved my city. Naturally, everyone assumed that I was from there. However, the reality is that I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. I had almost no memory of my time there since my parents moved our family when I was about 3 or 4 years old. In my mind, I had no other hometown other than Miami.

When my peers would assume that I was born in Miami, I would correct them and tell them the truth. None of them had ever heard of Fort Worth. They had, however, heard of Texas and automatically assumed I was from the Wild Wild West. SMH. It would irk me to no end. They’d ask: do you ride horses to get to places? Are there any actual roads? Did you live in a farm? Were you born in a farm??? How many cowboys do you know? And my favorite (sike!); did you have to milk a lot of cows?!

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A real Cowboy…I think

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6 Holiday Travel Tips

Like many people today, I had to work a normal work day. Also like most people today, I had to brave the inevitable traffic home. On days like these, near a holiday, I always check my GPS to see how long my commute home will be. I wasn’t surprised when it said there was more traffic than usual.

What did surprise me was that out of the three typical routes, two of which are through two different highways and the other is through the streets, my fastest route was going to be through the streets!

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