Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Have you guys ever had a dream awakening epiphany before? I did, and let me tell you, this realization pushed me to limits and boundaries that both equally terrified and excited me. One night, as I am mindlessly laying in complete darkness and solitude in my dungeon, aka my bedroom, I realized I have never left or ventured out from the state of Massachusetts. Okay, that is somewhat of a lie because I occasionally, and when I say occasionally I mean every other day, travel to New Hampshire to shop (and I am very sure all of my fellow Massachusetts citizens do this as well because of how NH is a no tax state).

Any who, back to this epiphany, I realized that I need to get out more. I am a young 23-year-old young adult who lives comfortably in the suburbs of Andover who has a somewhat decent paying job and has friends who are somewhat crazier and more so eccentric than I am, which is honestly very surprising (them being more crazy and eccentric, not the whole idea of having friends but that’s also really crazy too, who would be friends with someone who would rather nap all day? My crazy friends apparently thats who).

Okay, I am getting terribly sidetracked. Let’s continue! So any who, around 3 am that night-morning, I created a list of places I wanted to visit. To make things easier, I made a list of places in New England, eastern Canada, along the East Coast, and basically any major places or cities that were easily accessible through car, train, or bus. I created this very concise and detailed list, all together there were about 26 different cities and towns I wanted to visit, and slowly but surely I was able to visit 20 out of 26 places. And let me tell you, from someone who would rather stay home and very far away from other people on the road, or people in general, that is a huge milestone for me.

As I visited these breathtakingly beautiful places, I had another realization. I love traveling! I love going to new places, seeing different landscapes, buildings, clock towers, roads, whatever is unfamiliar to me was so strikingly beautiful and awe inspiring! Out of all of the places I went to, the most memorable place I visited, which was not on my list, was Puerto Rico. The island of Puerto Rico is by far the most magnificent, exotic, and overall enchanting place I have ever been to. As an impromptu vacation, my best friend and I booked a 16 day vacation in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico being where she was originally born and raised and we had the best time of our lives (cheesy, I know). The island has so much history, so much poise, just so much to offer and every day I was shocked at how painstakingly beautiful this island was!

While my stay, I visited many towns and cities, castles, historical land marks and islands, however, the traditional, historic, and rustic feel and appearance of Old San Juan was my favorite place. The pictures below, which unfortunately I was so absorbed with basking in the beauty of the island, I did not take much pictures so the pictures below do not do this beautiful island any justice!

From this trip, I came to realization to how lucky and blessed we are to be able to travel different towns, states, and countries and be exposed and experience things that are so beautiful and different to what we are used to. I had a newfound appreciation and passion for traveling and vowed to myself that I will continue to travel and admire the endless amount of various places I am willing and able to travel to.

Due to my lackluster skills in photography and my very limited number of photos. Sadly the photos I have on this blog are the most decent pictures I took with my Iphone while on vacation. In order to not scare any future travelers and adventurers away from my mediocre photos, I have included some amazing blogs, videos, and featured images of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico!

Here is an amazing video of Old San Juan created by the talented Lonely Visions, a homegrown travel documentary YouTube channel. Check out their video below:

 

Meet Cassie, a blogger, wrote an amazing little trip report about her time in Old San Juan. During my flight to Puerto Rico, I read her blog and was even more convinced on wanting to visit this quaint little town! Check out the link below!

https://hisugarplum.com/trip-report-old-san-juan/

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The Traveling Ginger Blog Review

OVERVIEW:
The Traveling Ginger (http://www.thetravelingginger.com/) is a blog by Nikki that is dedicated to her various travels and cooking/eating experiences on those travels. Nikki has been posting on her blog since 2014. Nikki posts travel destinations around the globe and specifically the United States are she tries to visit all 50 states before she turns 30. The blog is very comprehensive on the travels Nikki has taken over the past years with detailed information on the sites she has visited. Nikki has also reviewed several places which a travel can visit in the areas she blogs about. Her post include a wealth of knowledge on the places she has been, things to do and cost to several things during
ANALYSIS:
I looked for a blog on traveling since this is something I really enjoy. I found The Traveling Ginger in my search. When I clicked on the blog link from google I was immediately directed to a post regarding visiting Six States in Seven Days New England Road Trip USA. She used a catchy tag line on how she did the road trip in seven days and visited the six states. I really enjoyed reading the trip that Nikki took and seeing the sites she highlighted in her post.
The header is very simple with a photograph, the blog title and photo of a redheaded lady.Under the header on each of the posts is the title of that post and date of the post. This header is very similar on all the pages with the exception sometimes the photo does not contain the redheaded lady. The title of this blog “The Traveling Ginger” was very catchy when I was searching for a blog. The title of this blog made me want to click and find out more about it.
The layout is very simple and minimalistic. This layout caught my eye and made me want to stay on the site and look around. The white background makes the photographs and posts stand out. The photos that Nikki uses seem more vibrant with the white background. There is also a header bar with a menu at the very top of the page which allows the viewer to switch between pages very easily. I really liked the layout and the use of the menu bar at the top of the page allowed me to jump around the website very easily.
The layout of each destination section is set up differently. Some destination sections, such as, Asia has very large thumbnail photos and large titles with a summary horizontal. This layout is pleasing to the eye and allows the viewer to glance and review quickly. The layout on the Africa destination section has smaller thumbnail photos with large titles with a summary horizontal. The layout for Central and South America, USA, Europe and the Middle East have smaller thumbnail photos in a grid pattern with the title and summary underneath the photos.This grid pattern is still pleasing to the eye but makes the page feel clustered and cluttered. 
Nikki included links to several of her other social media pages. These links were locatedat the top right hand side of the menu tab. Each link took you directly to that social media page,which allowed me to find out additional information on Nikki. I clicked on the Pinterest link andsaw she had lots of pins regarding traveling.
The about me page for Nikki was very comprehensive. I felt that I was able to get to know Nikki as a person and why she started this blog. The work with me section of her blog offered a different look into Nikki. Here I learned that she does product reviews yet I did not see many on her page under her review section. The review section felt like an afterthought that was created on a whim to fill more space on the blog.
The photos used in the blog are amazing and they seem to all be photos that Nikki has personally taken on her travels. I looked up her most popular post which was a trip she took to the Taj Mahal. http://www.thetravelingginger.com/traveling-ginger-blog/tips-for-taj-mahal-visit looked to be Nikki’s most popular post which had roughly 16 comments. It was a very informative blog with fantastic pictures. I actually learned how to get to the Taj Mahal if I were to visit which I appreciated. 
There was a place on the right side of each blog post to subscribe to her blog but I did not see a section to share a post. I really liked that the blog was about the experience and the photos not about trying to get additional subscribers are every click. This made me want to stay on the pages longer and actually read her travels.
In conclusion I felt that Nikki’s blog was very informative and visually pleasing. I really liked the non-commercial aspect of the blog. I felt the blog was something that Nikki was using as a creative outlet and not as a money making tool which appealed to me. I found her photographs to be stunning and her post to be full of very useful information about traveling to that area, expenses and information on the area.

Blog of “Young Adventuress”

Overview- 

The blog that I chose to write about is called young adventures. This blog caught my eye since it is all about a young girl on her own and traveling the world. Liz Carlson writes this blog and shows us her Instagram perfect pictures throughout her travels across the world. Liz tells her audience how she quit her job to travel around the world full time. She just thought her traveling around the world for a year would bring her back to college to later become a professor. She never thought that she would end up loving it so much that she became an English teacher in Spain. She then studied abroad and got to travel more of the world. She has stated multiple times throughout the blogs that she loved her life and wouldn’t change it for the world.

https://youngadventuress.com/start-here

Analysis- 

This blog is very clean and simple when you first open to its page. The main picture is of her on a vacation and a main statement that states “Get to know me”. Below this is all about her and how she become a young twenty-eight year old traveling across the world alone and loving life. One thing that I really love about coming into this blog is that she has a clean looking logo that describes her whole adventure. It is an arrow with the statement ‘young adventuress’ with mountains across it. I think that logo alone could explain her whole blog. It shows what she wants to do and explains who she is without going into much detail. The first main page is all about her and how she became this travel blogger. When you get to the bottom of the page, she has tabs of each place she’s been. Liz also put all of her social media accounts on the bottom and her email. In her paragraphs about her, she described her blog audience as her friends in a weird way and wanted to keep that friendship going by becoming friends on Facebook or any social media platform.

When looking through the rest of her site, she has a lot of blogs that are tips on what do to in a certain city you are in. Whether this be travel tips, what to do, any attractions to see and so on. In every post she creates there are a ton of picture about the topics and also links that are to some of her other posts that she made about a similar topic or the same area. Every page is clean and colorful, making this blog be very adventurous. At the bottom of a blog is a section where it says “related adventures”. I think this part of the blog is a really interesting view,  I would never think to do this. People all the time are searching for related activities or places to be and go and see. This helps people find their way around more and become even more interested in her blogs and certain subjects. All of the images that are on Liz’s blog and pictures that she has taken on her numerous adventures across the world. The most popular post that I have found based on comments was the blog called “Troving around New Zealand’s South Island”. A lot of interest took place for this blog and I’m not sure of what reason. Many of the comments that were on there didn’t explain very much to get one clear answer. A lot of the blog post titles were based on what place she was visiting then. Each post was different when it came to the place she was writing about and what the content of the place was.

Conclusion- 

I thought the blog did especially well when it came down to the layout of the site. The beginning of the website really caught my eye and made me want to stay even longer to try and find things out about this author. The pictures were incredible and made me want to go to all the places she had went and visited. The way the author wrote was also something I enjoyed. She wrote like she was talking which gave it a cool friendship role. It felt like I had someone reading it to me as I was reading it. I did think that the important information like the type of blogs and sections could be placed in a more reachable area to show the audience the different options they have when first going onto the site. In some posts I felt that there were a lot more pictures that text on the blog which I would feel the opposite of what it needed. Some people may not agree but she still made me interested by grabbing me and pulling me into the blog more by showing so many pictures.

“Enjoy life and live the Adventure”

Quote by Louis Cole

     Your twenties are the prime age for experiencing life. Whether that means traveling, finding yourself, meeting new people or trying something different, living your best life should begin now. With balancing a minimum wage job and going to school, my days off used to consist of never leaving my bedroom. You can say that my social life was pretty nonexistent. A 21 year old college student with no social life? Something wasn’t adding up. Thankfully, after limiting my online shopping addiction, the only thing that was able to add up was money! This meant that the days of watching other people live their lives (while trying to live vicariously through their Instagram posts) were over! Or at least toned down quite a bit.

     Once I turned 21 earlier this year, I knew that something had to change. I needed excitement in my life, I needed to be spontaneous and start living. I mean, life is too short to be trying to live someone else’s life. This meant that I needed to tone down on binge watching Youtube and Netflix. Although it was hard, I think what inspired me the most was seeing all these video influencers documenting their life and travels. In particular, videos of people around my age experiencing the world made me want to do the same. I stumbled upon this video and listened to her personal experience abroad. Not only did I attempt to journal because of it, I also realized there was a world out there waiting to be explored and experiences out there to help shape us as a person. Continue reading ““Enjoy life and live the Adventure””