Travel Guide: A Few Days in Dreamy Tulum, Mexico

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When a few friends of mine and I decided we will be traveling to Mexico, I knew Tulum was a MUST visit on our list. I have heard so many amazing stories about the little town that I set out to plan on spending a few days in the bohemian inspired town.

There are so many things wonderful things to do in Tulum, from the cute restaurants and cafes, to the crystal clear cenotes to visiting Mayan ruins, Tulum is a world of its own.

We ended up staying in an airbnb in Playa Del Carmen this time, however the next time we visit Tulum, since there is a whole street lined up with beautiful hotels overlooking the ocean, we will be staying in a hotel there to gain a full experience.

We left our airbnb relatively early, around 8 am and stopped by for breakfast at a cute hotel overlooking the ocean called Pierda Escondida. The restaurant itself was bright and airy with a beautiful bar and outside patio overlooking the beach. Just a few steps down from the restaurant, there are lounge chairs and hammocks to relax and take in the sun after a wonderful meal.

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I ordered a dish called Huevos a La Veracruzano , three delectable tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs and dipped in a black bean sauce with queso sprinkled on top. Of course I had to have my coffee, so I ordered a cappuccino as well which came in a beautiful glass, garnished with cinnamon.

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After breakfast we set out to explore the Mayan Ruins.

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After exploring the ruins, we needed to cool of and decided to go Snorkling. We were taken to the reef where the water was emerald-green. We were able to see small fish and a giant turtle!
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All the excitement of swimming with sea turtles made us extremely hungry, off to dinner at Ziggy’s Beach Club! The ambience truly awoke my senses. Paradise at its finest, Ziggy beach has an aromatic, delightful menu as well as a mariachi band who sang the entire evening. I could not imagine a more perfect way of ending the night.

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The following day we just had to stop at Matcha Mama for a delectable acai bowl. I wanted to try something new so I chose the matcha colada. Inexpensive and delicious, nothing was more refreshing sitting on a swing and enjoying the ambience. They serve everything, from smoothies to ice cream to raw juices. A must try when in Tulum.

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Right next to Matcha Mama was a coconut stand where you can purchase a fresh coconut.

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We visited the Gran Cenote for a dip and were mesmerized by the crystal clear waters. 

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We decided to have a light dinner at Coco Tulum. The vibe was great, it had a very light and airy atmosphere and the patio overlooking the ocean had a great beachy vibe.

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We ordered guacamole and chips because face it, when in Mexico you just can’t stop eating guacamole. We also ordered a few salads and fish ceviche. The food was delicous, however the drinks were very mediocre. We enjoyed the vibe more so than the actual drinks but it was definitely an excellent place to sit down and enjoy the peacefulness.

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After dinner we headed over for drinks at Kin Toh. I cannot explain how cool place was. The best way to describe it would be a humongous tree house. The minute we walked in, I felt like a forest nymph, climbing up a beautifully lit staircase to the top of the world, surrounded by lush greenery. It felt like a world of its own. Once at the top, there is a large hammock with a gorgeous view where you can absorb the beauty. Looking down you can see the first floor of the restaurant as you are perched hundreds of feet up in the air.

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The drinks were incredible, very tasty and refreshing. Although they were on the pricier side but very well worth it.

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The following day we drove to the state of Yucatan to see one of the seven wonders of the world Chichen-Itza. It was such a magnificent experience.

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When visiting Chichen-Itza, I recommend hiring a guide. There are plenty federal guides on site who are relatively inexpensive.  He explained the entire history of the temple, and this helped understand the history since there aren’t any plaques with information anywhere.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Are you traveling to Mexico? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Choosing Your Signature Scent and Packing it With You Anywhere You Go

Finding the right scent is not always easy, with so many perfumes and colognes on the market sometimes it’s really hard to choose especially when the prices can be pretty steep. Here are a few tips on how to pick the right scent for you as well as a great accessory in which to store your perfume or cologne while traveling or even on a daily basis.  

Let’s begin with how to choose a scent and afterwards I will give you an example of my favorite one. If you are enjoying this post so far give it a like so I know:) Also just a disclaimer, this is not an ad, just something I wanted to share. 

1. Before you even go into the store, you need to think about what it is that you like. Do you prefer light, floral scents, or do you crave a bit of a citrus. There are many categories to choose from. Once you decide on a starting point you can then begin looking into certain brands.  

2. Next spritz a few samples on bare skin. In order to get the most realistic sense of the scent it must mix with your own skin, the chemicals each person produces is different so it may smell great on paper but you may not like it so much on your skin. Don’t be afraid to test out as many samples as possible. Having a wide variety to choose from is a great oppurtunity to discover something new. 

3. Finally narrow it down to your favorites. It could be one, two or even more. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you like something you normally wouldn’t wear, purchase a sample size. That way you have the opportunity to decide how much you really like it and then go back for the larger size.

Now if you can’t quite decide on a scent right then and there here is a tip. Most stores with a perfume department offer samplers. An assortment of perfumes which allow you to test out several for the price of one. What I like about these samplers is that they aren’t too expensive and the containers in which they come are travel size. I always like to refresh my perfume towards the middle of the day because I feel like it wears off and these are perfect to carry with me on a daily basis.

This particular one is from Sephora. It comes with seventeen popular brands and can also be purchased as a gift. withy Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is a great gift to buy. This particular one is $65.00, I would say that is a reasonable price for 17 different scents. However there are other options less expensive and with less options because it can be a little intimidatig deciding between 17 scents. I usually buy them individually and they come out to be pricey per item therefore I prefer to purchase sets such as these. 

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Now in the situation that you choose a scent which you absolutely adore and you want to carry it around with you everywhere but do not have any desire to lug around the whole bottle or constantly pay for the travel size, I introduce to you the Travalo. This accessory has become a must have in my everyday life. A refillable perfume container which is TSA approved and can be replenished directly from the original bottle. It comes in  variety of colors therefore everyone can choose the color that fits them best.  I have to say I am completely obsessed with this item.

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Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post! 💕 Give it a like and comment below what’s you favorite scent and where you purchase them. 

Packing for Iceland

Weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. Thankfully for the duration of my trip, I experienced sunny, pleasant weather, although the first two days after I landed, it was gloomy with random spurts of rain. I stayed in a very cute Bed and Breakfast in Selfoss and the evenings would get pretty cold. The trip itself consisted of many outdoor activities, such as hiking and a lot of walking so staying warm was vital. 

Wearing layers is extremely important. Not only are you warm, but you can also peel off a  layer to cool down. My basic, daily setup was thermal pants and shirt, warm sweater or plaid shirt and my outer jacket. My socks were warm enough to only wear one pair and my boots kept me nice and toasty as well.

Below I have listed exactly what I packed. I hope this list is helpful to you as well. Almost everything I purchased for this trip was from amazon.com to keep my cost low as Iceland is on the expensive side and I wanted to save for the activities there:)

  1. Warm, waterproof jacket: This is extremely important in case it rains, to protect from high winds and waterfall mist. 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XF2LNH1/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2. Several fleece-lined leggings: I would pack 3 to 4 pairs. i practically lived in mine. I brought only black ones, but next time I will include multi-colored ones. They are warm, soft and comfortable. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JBQRWB8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

3. Fleece lined hat/Waterproof gloves: Keeping your head warm is extremely important. This hat I bought from amazon was super cute and warm. I plan on purchasing a few more for future trips.

~And this Swiss mocha was amazing by the way. Perfect end to a chilly hike :))~

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018V1D4MU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4. Thermal top and bottoms: Highly, highly recommend taking several pairs with you. They are thin, I layered them under my jeans and fleece leggings. I doubt I would have stayed warm enough if I had not taken these with me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XDJRHZY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

5. Sweaters: Bring a few. No need to bring a lot, as you will already have plenty of layers. Also make sure they are at least partially wool or cashmere. Synthetics will not keep you as warm. 

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6. Swim suit: You do not want to miss the Blue Lagoon. It is relaxing and beautiful but you need a swim suit in order to get in :). This one I purchased from Target last summer. 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LWX3YEV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

7. Warm waterproof boots: You will most likely trek through mud and water and rain. Therefore a pair of sturdy warm boots is a must. I wore these Sorel boots almost every single day and never once had cold or wet feet. 

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8. Wool Socks: Must have to keep warm.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019FETB74/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9. Denim Jeans: Pack a few for those casual days when you walk around town or if you plan on checking out a few bars. The bar scene is very casual so jeans would be a perfect fit with a cute sweater or top. 

10. Camera Bag: Preferable waterproof as you DO NOT want to get you equipment wet. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQYHZ7G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Happy Travels everyone. I hope you enjoy Iceland as much as I did.

Comment below about your travel adventures 🙂

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Why Traveling with Under 30 Experiences Was the Best Decision I Ever Made 

Traveling was something I always wanting to do.  Seeing new places and meeting new people was always a lingering desire of mine. The problem was, I didn’t know how to get the ball rolling. Sometime in November 2016 I told myself this is it. This was the time to do it,  I was graduating in six months, and after years of hard work I figured this was the perfect reward. I had heard from my friend about Under 30 Experiences about a year before, she had gone on a trip with them and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I have never traveled alone  out of the country, I figured going with a travel group would be my best bet.
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Several days before I was to fly out, I was getting really nervous. Besides the fear of flying, several other things were running through my head. Just to list a few; will I be safe, will I get along with the group, what if I am homesick? Being a young female, you always have various fears about traveling alone especially when you watch the news and social media. Stories of kidnapping and getting robbed, is enough to prevent anyone from traveling.
Let me just say, the moment I landed in Costa Rica my fears dissipated immediately. (Mostly because I realized, I survived flight and was still alive). From the moment I stepped off the plane to the minute I got back to Los Angeles, I felt safe secure and happy. My journey began with meeting a group of the most coolest, sweetest people ever. The moment we met, everyone grew extremely close. Our group was led by three amazing tripleaders, who are smart, witty and very knowledgeable, at the same time making us feel like they were part of the group rather than working
For some reason, leaving my safe, secure home in Los Angeles made me feel brave in a way I’ve never felt before. As I mentioned before, I’m scared of planes, hence heights. Yet with the support of the group I threw my fears out the door, or rather the treehouse of the zip lining spot we arrived at as one of the activities, and zip lined all across the rainforest. I was even able to zip line upside down.
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One lesson I took away from this trip is unless you just take the risk and do it, you will never know what is out there. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, we are constantly bombarded with media and news stories about the dangers outside our homes, but at the end of the day, letting those fears prevent us from living life is a shame.
I am currently preparing for my next trip with U30x, a trip to Iceland which I am extremely excited for. My life motto; there is nothing to fear, but fear itself!

I would love to hear about your motivational tips!!! Leave me a comment below 🙂

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How to not overpack when traveling

Summertime is here, and what does that mean? Vacation time! Whether it’s visiting family, or going to tour another country, packing is inevitable. 

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Now, how do you take enough clothes to last you the entire trip, but also not fill up your suitcase with unnecessary items? 

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That’s it for now friends! 

Have a fun and safe journey and comment down below for any travel tips you have.

I would love to hear them.

BTW shoutout to Bailey for being such an amazing model!

If you like this post please show me some love, like and follow. ❤

My First Time Traveling Abroad

Traveling has always been a goal of mine. Working in a restaurant in Los Angeles made me want to break away from fast paced, traffic stricken days and my desire to free myself from the mundane, monotonous lifestyle gave me the courage to pack my bags and fly to Costa Rica for five days.

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Arriving in Costa Rica, I felt immediate culture shock. At the entrance of the airport, there were tons of people offering taxi services. I felt a little nervous at first, never experiencing such determination from the taxi drivers. I almost felt as though I was surrounded by paparazzi without the cameras.  But having found a few of my travel companions earlier, I felt a wave of relief at not being all alone as I weaved through the crowd looking for the rest of my group.

As soon as I arrived, I dove into the rich culture headfirst . The first thing I did was jump into the water for a refreshing swim as the typical weather in Costa Rica is very humid.

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As I watched the sun set across the horizon, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, is this a dream? I walked to the locally owned restaurant with my travel companions, where I indulged myself in the rich flavors of Casado, a dish consisting of rice, beans, fried plantain, and refreshing salad.

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The following day after a quick breakfast, my travel companions and I took the bus to San Manuel Antonio National Park. I will include the link (http://manuelantoniopark.com). I hiked through the national rain forest, taking in the sights and sounds of a whole new world. White-headed capuchin monkeys, native to this region, climbed trees, one even came up to say hello. I have to admit he was a handsome fella, but a tad mischievous. One snached a bag of croissants from a couple on the beach. I cannot blame him though, everyone loves a treat. The best part was watching a sloth creep down the trunk of a very thin tree. What skill they must have to stay so balanced.

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The cherry on top of this trip was meeting and becoming close to an amazing group of people who have a similar passion of traveling. I never even imagined would become so close with individuals I had just met. Yet as I sit here now and think about my experience, every moment, conversation, laugh runs through my mind clearly. I already miss the crazy dancing, the deep conversations along the shoreline, the jolly bus rides to the next adventure.

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My biggest take away from this amazing adventure was be brave, take risks, get out of the cycle. The world is your oyster.  Pure Vida!!!

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Photo credit for this beautiful picture goes to Marissa Mallen!

I would love to hear some of your experiences, comment below and tell me about your adventures. 

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