As you are well aware, I love to travel. I'm a bit of an addict. And since there has been a serious lull this summer (mostly because we went to visit family in May and scheduled our "summer" vacation for September) I am in a bit of a nostalgic mood today. I've mentioned before (probably more times than you care to remember) all the places I have been. Or well, I've mentioned a number. I've mentioned 30 countries/territories. But I don't know that I've ever TOLD you what they are. So, this is a two part series... a little run down of all the amazingly awesome places I have been lucky enough to step foot.
I had a trip to New Zealand scheduled for this year, but when Kimhead and Rach said we needed a girl's trip, I signed up. Why not pick up two new countries in one year? We took a quick cruise over to Nassau and Freeport and had lots of girl time!
Puerto Rico (2008)
Yes, I know it's weird to label this as a "country" so this particular island is the reason I always add the "territory" disclaimer. When The Ex and I broke up, we had a cruise planned. My good friend, Meg, jumped on board and we had a weeklong "lesbian extravaganza" in some of the most gorgeous tropical places on the planet!
US Virgin Islands - St. Thomas (2008)
We spent this day lounging on a random beach, so we didn't really see much. But hey, when you're at the beach, what else do you need to see except sun, sand, and water?
Dutch St. Maarten (2008)
Of course when I found out that St. Martin/St. Maarten was split into two, I had to pick up both sides. I count them since they are governed separately, have their own currencies, etc. We docked on the Dutch side in Phillipsburg. This is one of my all-time favorite travel photos I've taken, and it was literally steps from the water taxi!
French St. Martin (2008)
I basically forced Meg to go on an excursion through the cruise ship so we could hop over to Marigot so I could pick up this new territory. I'm ridiculous. And anyone who ever dares travel with me should understand and be fully prepared.
In all my planning for this trip, I was most unsure about Antigua. I just couldn't seem to find any decent info. Since Meg and I were two ladies traveling alone, I felt safer booking a beach excursion through the ship. (Which I would never do if Puff were with me... it's a waste of money!) However, I am sooooo glad we did! When we were walking off the boat, I felt like we were going to be attacked by the swam of taxi drivers. Watch your space!
St. Lucia (2008)
Awww... St. Lucia. This is where Meg and I fell in love with Roger, our zipline guide. Seriously... if you have never been ziplining, it will change your life. I had no idea I was such an adrenaline junkie until I did this. Now I can't get enough!
I was less than impressed with Barbados. It just seemed like any other beach town. I was also a little bit over the beach, since I hate sand. But still, I wouldn't rush back. Glad I tried it, but once was enough.
Puff likes to point out that we were not in "real" Haiti, but rather "Royal Caribbean Haiti." Yeah, I get it... we weren't out in the areas you see on TV, but we were technically on Haitian soil. Plus... since we ziplined, we did actually leave the compound and risk death driving up a gravel road on the side of a mountain. Puff is just mad that he wasn't able to donate blood for a year after he went there and didn't get a free t-shirt!
Cayman Islands (2010)
I have to give credit where credit is due and say that Grand Cayman had very gorgeous beaches. The water was perfection, calm and nice to swim. The beaches were clean and pretty. However, it felt like Florida. The island had no personality. There were no buildings with any charm. And it was FLAT. ::yawn::
I was definitely excited about Jamaica... there was going to be so much to do there! We took a trip up to the mountains to look at a coffee plantation and check out some amazing views. And then we climbed Dunns River Falls. Yes, I know it's touristy, but it was worth it. Do I need to do it again? Eh... maybe not. But I know we'll eventually go back to Jamaica since there is so much to do there!
Puff and I visited Cozumel and Playa del Carmen on our honeymoon. Tulum = amazeballs. We cannot wait to get back to that gorgeous water and check out all the other cool things there are to do there!
Canada (199? & 2001)
Yes, I realize Canada isn't a Caribbean nation, but it won't fit in the European post next time either! I don't have any photos, since I went there prior to digital cameras. The first trip was into Ontario at Niagara Falls. I was less than impressed. The second trip was a trip with my best friend and Mr. Smith. We went through Detroit (scary) and stayed in Windsor (blah) to go gambling and drink underage. I have a feeling once I can get out to Western Canada I'll have an entirely different view on the place!
So... there you have it! The first of 13 countries/territories that I have visited. I hope it's inspired you to think of your own trips you may want to take! As far as where I want to go next in that area? Turks & Caicos is probably tops. Followed by Curacao and the Dominican Republic. Fingers crossed it will be sooner, rather than later!