Traveling with a girlfriend can make you healthier, Part 2 - Travel Transformations - Meet Lauren!
As you may recall, I am intrigued by articles on ladies' trips being good for your health. I go down that rabbit hole frequently...
I recently traveled to Puerto Rico with my sister, Lauren. Our first cruise. Our first time visiting New York City. Not our first time traveling together. We've been to Ireland, Scotland, and Hawaii, just to name a few past destinations. And Lauren is my best travel buddy!
Here is Lauren's take on our recent getaway.
Lauren - Our trip was fabulous!!
What were your expectations?
Lauren - I didn’t really go into this trip with any expectations other than having quality time with my sister, and seeing beautiful beaches!
What did you hope to gain from your visit?
Lauren - As with any trip I take, I hope to gain a better understanding of the location, customs and people in that area.
What were you hoping to see?
Lauren - I went on this trip with the hopes of seeing the clear, blue water of the Caribbean and the wildlife of the region.
Do you remember how you were feeling prior to leaving? A month before? The week before?
Lauren - About a month before our trip, I was feeling pretty stressed. Then about a week before, the stress was accompanied by the excitement of our upcoming vacation. As I would imagine most people feel, it always helps my outlook when there is a vacation to be looking forward to!
What was the highlight of your trip? Culturally? Food? Favorite activity or site?
Lauren - The highlight of the trip culturally would have to be the foodie tour in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had a wonderful tour guide, who was very knowledgeable and informative about the life of a girl growing up in that area. My favorite food on our trip was definitely the Puerto Rican coffee! It was amazing! I also really enjoyed the passion fruit popsicles and the plantains. It is hard to pick a favorite place from our trip because there were many! I loved the International Lookout on St Thomas. The views were incredible from that high up! The giant orange iguanas were neat to see on St Maarten too. The other place that left a big impression was the fort in Old San Juan. It was pretty amazing to see the 12 foot thick walls with the Atlantic Ocean in the background, and the locals flying kites with their families on the giant lawn was beautiful.
Did the accommodations live up to your expectations?
Lauren - The accommodations were great! The Sheraton in Times Square couldn’t have been better. It had a great restaurant, nice rooms, comfortable beds and a perfect location for the activities we wanted to do. The Celebrity Summit was a beautiful ship. The rooms were plenty big for two people, had comfortable beds and a very nice deck for reading and taking in the sights. The ship was clean, had good restaurants and plenty of activities. The Sheraton and Casino in San Juan was very nice. We were pleasantly surprised by a room upgrade when we arrived and were able to check-in early. The views of the city were great, it had very comfortable beds with lots of pillows and was spacious.
The biggest piece of advice for someone traveling to the same location?
Lauren - The biggest piece of advice I could give about this trip would be to have fun! Forget about the stresses of home and just enjoy it! The tours of St Maarten and St Thomas were perfect. We got to see the islands and spend time enjoying gorgeous beaches. Orient Beach and Magen’s Bay were the best! Definitely do the foodie tour in Old San Juan. Also, the massages on the ship are blissful. I highly recommend having one, or two :)
How did this trip change your life?
Lauren - This trip changed my life in that I came home relaxed and feeling pampered, but even more important was being able to spend time with my sister. We were able to catch up and have fun in a very memorable place!
And there you have it... Straight from the horse-lover's "mouth".
Traveling with someone that "gets" you makes the layovers tolerable, they understand your need for downtime, and you can be honest with each other. It can be intense. Maybe a little hilarious. Definitely unforgettable. There’s really nothing quite like traveling with your friends.
You’ll make so many memories together... And having someone who is there for you NO MATTER WHAT will give you the confidence to totally relax and enjoy the journey.