“Travel with the mindset of a local instead of a tourist. Every local I met named new hidden gems that opened up endless possibilities to learn why people fall in love with Puerto Rico all over again.”
Hey everyone, I’m Kamerin! Thanks for joining me on my journey during this takeover. I’m a Chicago native and the Founder & Editor of Where’s She Going?, a travel blog highlighting local hot spots, hidden gems, art & culture, events, inspirational human beings under my “Keep Shining” feature series and travel excursions my readers too can be apart of. There’s a ton of travel blogs out there highlighting the luxury side of travel like food pics from Michelin starred restaurants or the yacht they just hopped on to explore a private island. “Where are these travel bloggers getting all of this disposable income to do this?!” I too enjoy the finer things in life, but what’s important to me is inspiring the everyday multi-passionate professionals like myself to explore their freedom to live the exact life they want TODAY.
I’m also a Marketing & Communications professional, a Millennial Contributor for Fete Lifestyle Magazine and an iStock Contributor building my photography portfolio one candid at a time. I don’t want to bore you with a long intro, so I’ll take you through my trip to Puerto Rico this past week and dive into some things that define who I am.
Expat at heart: Since my toddler days, my parents took me everywhere. Being on the go is ingrained in me. When I started traveling overseas is when I developed a deeper love for travel. Being in another part of the world, meeting people different from you, new cultures, and overall experiencing a life different from your own. So there’s no surprise that I wanted to spend my 27th birthday in Puerto Rico. I feel more at home away from my native country. I came to terms that I’m destined to be an expat. At some point of my life, I want to live overseas as a digital nomad.
The Local Experience: Don’t get stuck in your resort/hotel, go explore! Travel with the mindset of a local instead of a tourist. But be safe of course. Every local I met named new hidden gems that opened up endless possibilities to learn why people fall in love with Puerto Rico all over again. I was told to check out La Placita de Santurce, La Respuesta, Flamenco Beach and the list goes on. My friend and I got an opportunity to travel to Viejo de San Juan (only minutes away from Old San Juan) to visit Castillo San Cristobal.
Castillo San Cristobal is a massive fort built over 150 years ago to protect El Morro and the city from land attacks by rivals England (1598) and Holland (1625). Designed by Irish-born Chief Engineer, Thomas O’Daly, Castillo San Cristobal is the biggest European fortification in the Americas. From the cracks in the walls, to the dry moats, every section of the fort told a story.
Not Having A Plan Is Not Always Bad: I’m not much of a planner when it comes to organizing activities. I blame my spontaneous personality to stumble upon the unplanned. Castillo San Cristobal lead us to multi-colored buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, art galleries and authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.
Meet Old San Juan. We stumbled upon La Bodega Del Viejo to grab tapas and white sparkling sangria at Triana Tapas & Flamenco to Cafe Cuatro Sombras because you can’t say you’ve been to Puerto Rico without trying some authentic Puerto Rican coffee. Highly recommended.
Visiting Paseo de la Princesa was another beautiful, yet unplanned discovery. An 18th century European style promenade, surrounded by vibrant colors of rustic buildings, hanging trees and songs from the Coquís. Just ahead was the monumental Raíces Fountain.
Positive Vibes: My friend and I stayed at the San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel in Isla Verde – an urban oasis home to beaches, resorts, nightlife, bars and the perfect intersection between tourists and locals. Here is where I met some awesome natives that welcomed us with open arms.
From being beach bums at Isla Verde Beach with colorful frozen cocktails thanks to El Alambique, grabbing the red snapper at Zest, to feasting during Sunday brunch at Mist Rooftop Bar + Kitchen, positive vibes from everyone we met was on an all time high. You attract the type of energy you put out into the universe so I always try to keep a positive mind and encourage you to do so too! The beauty of positive energy is also allowing the universe to put amazing people into your life and I’m grateful for the people I met here.
Thanks again for backpacking with me through Puerto Rico. If you haven’t been, visit. Trust me. Reach out to me for recommendations while there if you need them) I’m with you on your journey just as much as you are with me on mine. Until next time.
GET CONNECTED WITH KAMERIN CHAMBERS
Kamerin Chambers a Chicago native, the Founder & Editor of Where’s She Going? travel blog, a Marketing & Communications professional and iStock photographer. Her blog’s main intent is to inspire everyday multi-passionate professionals to explore their freedom to live the exact life they want to live today.