A Travellerspoint blog

Ello mates

Sitting here at the crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. Just reflecting on my life, thinking how insane it is how far away I am from anyone related to me or friends. (except the one that I know here.) It puts a weird feeling in my stomach. When I have kids, I feel like it would be really hard for me to let them go off alone to a country on the other side of the world! Which leaves me with the question, do my parents really care about me? JUST KIDDING Mom and Dad.

I am actually surprised at how well I can take care of myself. It's pretty impressive. Like, just now I made a pillow out of my purse. It's so... "homeless chic." (?)

After this travel spree, though,I want to really ignite my talents. Sometimes I feel like I do so much traveling that I never really get the time to focus on what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life.I have been all over South America, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, and a bunch of random places in the U S of A.

Just had a free wine tasting while waiting in line for my flight to Sydney. How convenient! I practically had a glass while talking to the lady serving! (She's oblivious to the refills.) Natasha was her name. Probably in her late 50's but in great shape because she was a ballet dancer and now teacher. She traveled to New York for a year to do ballet, and LA for a small bit as well. She was very helpful with my wine tasting and gave me several small glasses;) she almost ran to the bottle shop to get me the one I liked but I told her no worries. ;) (my new Australian lingo.) It was a divine wine though, very smooth and red!

I feel nice, and want another!

Off to Sydney, to have my first Hostel experience! Wish me luck!

Posted by kGoWhereNext 10:42 Comments (0)

Ya Casi Llegamos?

Walking out of the doors of the El Dorado airport in Bogota, Colombia, the cool breeze hit my face. First things first, I need to find my long lost uncle who is in a sea of people who are all here to pick up someone. And it's scary. My vision seems to vanish because I can't find him anywhere!

"KENDALL!!!" I finally hear from behind the crowd, and there he is waving his arms waitin for me just like I hoped for! What a relief because there was no going back in the doors once I was out!

So we have an introduction... First time meeting my uncle Jairo! We walk to the car to pick up the rest of the crew at the other terminal. It is nice to meet someone of my family that I have never even heard of before! He keeps saying he doesn't speak good english, but he speaks so much English! "In Colombia, we only speak Spanish," Jairo keeps saying, but in the mean time... We are speaking English. I am fooling him left and right. My whole family on my dads side does this. They threaten us with Spanish language in English. It's pretty amusing. As the conversation continues, I am speaking in broken Spanish and he in broken English, we are getting to know one another! We meet up with patty, nhorma, Guille, and Cassie, head to the apartment, and mi Es muy hombre (hungry) so Jairo makes me a bomb tasting grilled cheese with mozzarella cheese;) I can't help but feel embarrassed by my terrible Spanish. I have been able to tell a few witty jokes with the little I do know, but it is hard to have a full blown conversation with everyone around me. My brain is going to hurt after this, I just know it!!
Time for bed I am pooped. Until tomorrow!

A Basic Night for a Colombian

-Start out at the supermercado, buy a bottle of Nectar(aguardiente)(strong rum)
-Walk past a heap of cops that all stand in front of the grocery store literally like 200 Police officers. I don't know why they were there?
- Head to a park to drink the bottle along with other people who in America, would be under age to drink. But in South America... already been drinking for years.
-Pop open the bottle of the sweet, sweet nectar. (Totally not sweet)
- Say the traditional toast ===[arriba, abbaho, el centre, y entre]=== before every shot and drink the entire bottle.
- Insert drinking games,
The small bottle we bought lasted for about 4 shots each. Perfect, just enough to get us warm! Wash it down with a little h2O!
- Go to a club to dance
- Take shots on shots on shots.
-Request the strongest ones.
- Dance the night away.
- Shots.
- Get home safe.

Stuff I love in Colombia

Mamoncillo -green fruit
Pitaya- delicious fruit.
Guanabana (juice - yogurts)
Curuba
Stopping on top of the whole city to eat corn and drink canelazo. (Hot tea with aguardiente and cinnamon)
Endless amounts of Beautiful churches. And getting to see the one my grandparents were married in!
AMAZING food, EVERYWHERE.
Culture
Dancing
Did I say food?
Views

Spanish Words I learned in Colombia

Trago=shot
Cerveza=beer
Borracha=drunk
Muy borracha=really drunk
Siempre=always
Siempre muy borracha=always really drunk
No hablo con extrangeros=I don't talk to strangers
El rumba Empieca a las dolce=the party starts at midnight
Ya Casi Llegamos?=are we there yet?

Random Memories

My leaf in Zipatarea
-for some reason I traveled through an store city for over 3 hours with a single leaf that I found on the ground.

We went to a salt mine we went in was 135 million years old, used to be a sea!

Posted by kGoWhereNext 22:01 Archived in Colombia Tagged travel fun life family love bogota colombia careless Comments (0)

Jamaican me crazy! [about Jamaica]

A 4 day raw Jamaican travel experience!

sunny

May 10. 2012.
I believe that was the highest cliff I have ever jumped off of. Not saying I have jumped off many, but after today I can say I became certified in risk taking. The 50+ foot cliff at Ricks in Nigril Jamaica was definitely a breath taker. For the amount of time I was in the air on the way down I probably could have wrote this entry. Good times in Jamaica mon! Prior to this jump, our adventurous day had started at the Blue Hole. Which is about a 35 foot jump into a beautiful hole in the earth down into a natural mineral water pool. Down there we enjoyed the additional spa treatment from the local Blue Hole business boys who showed us a great time. They got the mineral, Lime, from a whole down there in the rocks and exfoliated our skin with a nice mud mask on our whole body! Well, most of it. I made him do my feet! Best back wood experience of my trip! After that we cut up a fresh picked mango that was perfectly ripened and shared it while we watched the professionals do their tricks. On the way to this "blue hole", we saw all kinds of culture, animals, nature, and just raw Jamaican life. Very cool! Huge hogs were being fed as we passed a swamp... Most likely being fattened up to send to the butcher shop. It's the kind of place that will make you want to be a vegetarian! There are lots of wild goats roaming the land too. Cute little goots. They use them for a their meat and I guess use their skin to make instruments. Sad, but true. I played a drum that was made with goat skin. They don't use them for milk or cheese, which I thought was odd!
The cliff

The cliff


May 12. 2012

Well yesterday topped off the trip with a few more cultured Jamaican experiences. Let's summarize what we did here in a matter of 3 days. First off we arrived off the bus at the Samsara hotel, deep in Nigril, West about an hour and a half away from the Montego Bay airport. It was a beautiful drive in by Clifford,our driver, or as we called him, "mister Red bull." Don't remember why but it was an inside joke at the time!

When we arrived, it was on! Jessica, my good friend who I met a few years ago, was waiting for us on her red motor scooter. She was gleaming with her glowing skin and Jamaican good spirits. She is now what we call a Jamerican. We talked for a lickle while in the lobby, (Lickle is the J slang for little) made friends with the hotel staff, upgraded to have air conditioning, changed, and then the adventures began. We were off right away to Ricks Cafe where we saw the cliffs and the guys jumping at sunset, which they do a good job of. Flipping, twirling, handstands, and all that crazy ish they do for good clean fun! This was the same Cliff I ended up jumping off 2 days ago! My courage was strong in Jamaica mon! We grabbed some jerk chicken outside the entrance where there was a guy cooking it up for a good price, and an amazzzzing taste!! After Ricks, we rode over to Jessica's place where we experienced some outdoor craftsmanship that her husband is very much into. She lives in the communities of Nigril. Her husband, Nigel is the creator of Almond World. He makes almond drops, almond oil, and just plain almonds that he finds in the Almond trees of Jamaica. He is always coming up with new things to make out of the almonds. Fresh mon! After Visiting with them for a while, meeting the neighbors and partaking in Jamaican activities...which involved baby chickens, fresh caught crabs, dirt bikes, kerosene, bare feet, dancing, JB's rum and a spliff. we decided to go back to the hotel and get some sleep for our big next day.

Next day was the water day. ===7 Mile Beach===baby! This beach is very well known for its stretch of relaxation across a white sandy beach with crystal clear aqua water. Extraordinary. We were there for about 2 hours baking in the sun so I could finally get a tan and look like I went to Jamaica! When we first got there it was very quiet, and then crowds began to flood in and then the party got started! We decided to take a glass bottom boat tour and go snorkeling. Or as they sounded when they said it, "Snarkeling." Gorgeous water, gorgeous fish and coral, perfect temperature, perfect day! I enjoyed that very much. We picked up some chicken and beef patties for energy before we headed out. Patties are a very common and likable dish for Jamaicans. They are like a meal on the go with protein and carbohydrates to keep you fueled for a while. And might I say, deeeelicious! They sort of look like a big empanada.

Our boat Captain, Marlon and co captain O'Brian (The black Irish man) were very entertaining and helpful on our boat tour. We learned a lot about the ocean floor. And came to the conclusion that if you ever get bitten by anything, just have someone pee on you. Even if its not a jellyfish. It will cure any bite. Silly.
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On the way back we caught a few raindrops, but the good thing about it is that the sun comes right back if you just keep smilin! ;) I picked up a pound of fresh Jamaican coffee on the way out to give to my mom for Mothers Day:) and a few other souvenirs. Then we headed to a mans house named "Thunder."
Interesting character to add to the bunch. Very stereotypical rasta man. Basically lived in the jungle where we hung out and sat on chairs made out of trees, played his goat skin drum, his untuned guitar, and chatted about random stuff. He used to live in Jacksonville, Florida and New York, where he met his wife and brought her over to Jamaica. Then he gave me a pot leaf and a coco bean said "dare ya go muh girl." haha. I love meeting new cultures. Its just so mind opening. He invited us to come back later on for a cook out and party. He was so excited he got to start a fire for us and entertain the American girls. He was a very genuine person and sincerely generous with his pot leaves and coco beans. hahaha.
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Things learned:
1. An almond tree has leaves with a rounded edge and small brown pockets that you crack open! The shells turn from green to brown and thats when you know they are ripe!
2. Sea grape trees AKA Coccoloba uvifera, are all over as well. They use sea grapes for eating raw, cooking into jellies and jams, or fermenting them into sea grape wine.
3. Ackee is a fruit. The edible portion of the fruit is cooked, drained and sautéed with seasonings and codfish to make the national dish.
4. Mother crabs that are pregnant go into the ocean to wash away their eggs and the babies all crawl back to the bush to grow up. At this time there are millions of tiny crabs marching towards the bush, which I witnessed. It looked like a sea of red as they marched together. That's why they call it the crab march.

We got to experience actual crab hunting the next night when we went to the bush with Nigel and a few of his friends. The night was young as we sped our dirtbike of 3 passengers to a random entrance to the bush and entered at our own risk! The rubbish was intense at some parts. Like briar patches and such. But we got through it and ended up catching about 24+ crabs! Catching crabs in Jamaica takes some skill. We all had flash lights but I could barely see to walk much less understand how these guys would see a crab scattering about. We would be walking and all of a sudden they would just dive, grab it by the middle and throw it in the bag. Very paleolithic style. They are big blue crabs. And after they scrub Each one very througlly, get them ready for cooking, and marinate them jerk style... They are ready to boil up for a nice crab fest for all to enjoy in the neighborhoods of Nigril! All of the people here are very friendly, welcoming, and stay true to their roots. Very real people with stories to tell and live their days working hard and partying harder. It's all about the rewards life has to offer. Weather it be a relaxing finish to he day in a natural mineral pool, or time spent conversing with their family and playing some music. Their are no worries in Jamaica. That's why they say "jamaica No Problem." because their really aren't any problems here. They live a simple life, so there is no need for drama and extra baggage.

Overall, the trip turned out to be a success. I was sad to leave, but there must be an end to every story. Or just an intermission. Where will Kgonext?

Jamaican words and phrases:
Meegle- Middle
Lickle-Little
Wha'appen?-What's up?
Bashment -Party
Ley Ley-waste Time

Favorite quote:

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, because none but ourselves can free our minds." -Bob Marley

Meditation

Meditation

Please leave comments :)

Posted by kGoWhereNext 12:19 Archived in Jamaica Tagged waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises beaches art skylines trees animals birds sky boats travel shopping blue black bars soup Comments (0)

Shoppin and droppin in Lima, Peru

My 24 hour layover to Lima

overcast

Arriving in Lima was not nearly as confusing as Chile, thank god. And the best part, no taxes! It was a nice night, cool breeze and low humidity, although it was humid enough for my hair to do strange things. The bus ride to the hotel took us through a few different classes it seemed. Very poor, very rich, and middle class. There was one road along the coast that really intrigued me. Reminded me of Malibu beach in California, with a nice restaurant on the pier. As we made our way up to the hotel, you could see the Ocean with the moon light gleaming. It was beautimus. We arrived around 10pm. Lima is not necessarily a place I want to go out and explore at night. One of those places you would rather just hang out at the hotel bar. I believe day time activities are much safer for exploring! So we went up to the top floor and had a few Pisco sours before retiring to bed. Pisco sours are saweeetttt!

Next day we woke up and did what we came to do. Shop. We took a cab about 20 minutes away to arrive at an outdoor/indoor mall called “the blue market.” which ironically, has a very bad paint job of blue on the cement walls that surround it. Lol. This is a place where a lot of goods are sold. Lots of electronics, expensive brands, pirated movies, collector action figures, phone accessories, toys, hats, basically whatever you can think of. There are infinite amounts of vendors and Peruvian people all around trying to get you to buy their products. We go to get Lacoste and Polo shirts for people back home and ourselves. They give really good prices that you cant beat in the states! And even if they are boot leg, they look and fit the exact same way! Anyway, after we spent about 3 hours of scrummaging around the blue market, a phone cover, 200$ worth of clothes, hats, and belts later, we head upstairs to grab a bite to eat. And let me tell you, just like the ladies and men that fight over your business with Merchandice, they do the same thing with restaurant choice. You will have about 3 or four people giving you suggestions of what to eat. The way I handle situations like that is walking away So i can decide for myself! First of all, it’s my belly and I want to look at pictures to see what looks the best to put in it!! This country is so pushy. I know they are trying to make money whatever way they can, but sometimes I wish being American didn’t mean— “rush
The Americans!” sell sell sell!!! I just want to experience it like a Peruvian lol. Speaking fluent Spanish would probably help a lot, right? Anyway, the food is great. I’m Latin, so I am happy with the style they have. We got 2 thin steaks, rice, salad, and some sweet bananas for $5! That’s a deal doll! We scarfed that down and headed back to the hotel. Afterall, it’s only a 24 hour layover! Crunch time. Side note: Ladies on the streets have boiled quail eggs for sale. Just a little snack! No thankyou! Thank god I had my mom to guide us back. She’s way better at Spanish than I am. We caught a cab back to the other side of town, and hit up the Indian market. This market was more artsy and not as crowded. It was the home made Peruvian souvenirs that people go to to buy the authenticity of the city. We bought a few cute things for my nephew and looked around. Got him a really cute duck hat, they say it’s the new “in” thing for babies.
I just looked around for a minute because if we were there any longer I would have made bad choices and bought everything. One cool thing about Latin countries and I’m sure in a lot of countries as well but don’t see them as often, is the fact that there are a lot of people who play instruments such as the flute, guitar, bongos, on the streets. They have no other way to make money I’m sure, but it makes for a good feel while you tour the city and puts a smile on your face. Kind of like a Venice, Califonia vibe. This one guy was playing the theme song to Titanic on the flutes while we shopped at the Indian market. Jack and rose always inspired me. On the way back to the hotel I saw things like men in sombreros and capes, small candy stands with a man hidden inside, cool architecture, ice cream bikes ( not trucks) schools, restaurants, poverty, music, lots of things happening. Our day was filled with move move move. So the first thing when we got back I did was take a nap, take a shower and then we headed to the airport to come home!

Posted by kGoWhereNext 22:39 Archived in Peru Tagged mountains hotels peru hotel market shopping lima blue breakfast black bars soup pisco fast delta sour Comments (0)

A bottle of wine or seven

A 36 hour lay over to Santiago, Chile that brought me good wine, good weather, and good times.

sunny -9 °F

Arriving in Santiago, Chile— 36 hours ago was not on my list of things to do. But of course, having the incredible flight attendant mother that I do- it turned out to be our Wednesday afternoon activity. And I have to say, it has been a blast. Not only did I get to tag along with an awesome crew but got to fly down in style with a fabulous seat in first class. These seats are sick! They lay completely flat, and have a back massage! This is high-tech.

8 hours later after a few glasses of vino, we arrive.

First dilemma of the trip is at the airport. I get down to customs to buy my Visa for visiting the country ($140), and they tell me ALL the bills I have are unacceptable because a few of them had tiny rips in the top. If you ever go to Chile, make sure you either have acredit card or $$ that is in great physical shape!!

So after switching out my American dollars for Chillayan money, I go wait in line again. This time, I find out it has to be American money! Of course no one told me, they leave it up to you to read the small print. So I have to go right back up to the guy who changed my money for me and ask him for the 140$ back. Of course he gives me 127$ because it was a 13$ fee for exchange. I wouldn't usually be this frustrated, but I had no sleep on the plane and my mothers entire crew was waiting on a bus to go to the hotel. (Not to mention, I did not know how to find them)

So, after a few tears of frustration ran down my face, he ended up giving me all the money back. Problem solved. My next blog will be about- What tears will do to a man- (How to get what you want)

After that panic attack, and a wild goose hunt for my mom, we take the bus ride down the Costanera highway along the Mapocho River to the beautiful Shereton that sits in front of the outstanding Andes mountains. Gorgeous.

First things first, we need a nap. And by nap I mean 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

CHARGED.

We wake up, grab Jerry, one of the crew members, and go on a God sent adventure. I think one of my favorite things about Santiago is the talented artists that reside here. From jewelry to paintings, shoes, hats, scarves, hippie-like accessories, clothing, crystals, wood carvings, music- to sculpture, architecture, and textiles. The work that people put into these hobbies is very admirable, being an artist myself.

This trip we took to the arts and crafts zone was quite the hike! Yet very lovely. The amount of stray dogs is heaping. It breaks my heart to see so many wondering around looking for food. I actually decided to name one of them. A very special one. ¨Chica." :) I figured she was cute and small and it fit for her.

Coming to South American countries is exciting because I get to practice the Spanish language! Not that I am very good at it, but being able to interact with locals is nice. It sort of breaks your fears of speaking out loud in a language not so natural to you. I had a conversation with a man that spoke no English, and it made me feel good about my broken Spanish skills. He understood the point I was trying to get across and I learned a little about him as well! He was a driver for the restaurant, (When people drink too much wine) and originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has lived in Chile for 15 years and loves it here. His name was Braulie. He told me I had beautiful round eyes. Nice guy!

The people here are a little hard to read. I would describe them as either very friendly, or very rude. I just feel like I have gotten a few weird looks That's just the impression I am getting. I'm sure there are people out there with a happy medium. :)

So after the trip downtown, we walked back to the hotel where we joined the rest of the crew for happy hour. Little did we know, happy hour lasted from 5pm to 4am. This group was definitely one of winners. I have to say, the time spent with them was well worth my 140$ visa. (That last for 8 more years)

We hit up a spot called Restaurant Mare Nostrvm. Very classy and RED. I could actually smell the paint it was so fresh in there. We managed to build a table for all of our party of 9 to sit at. It took 9 drunks and a waitress, but we did it!

Vino all around. White and red, Blanco y Rojo. Chile has a very nice selection. And by the 5th bottle, it didn't really matter the taste, red mouthed and gray teeth, we had a flat out great time. And mind me, I am the only one under 40.

We also had a round of gas water and sin gas water. That's water with gas and water without. As the night went on, I began to like the bubbly water. Made for a nice spritzer.

One thing that really surprised all of us, was the cold food. Not until the main course did it seem like they had any type of cooking utilities in the back. Cold mashed potatoes, crab meat, and lobster for a starter, some type of cheese and fish eggs with a cilantro dressing, salad, and to top it off, a SHOT of cauliflower soup. Cold. Muy frio. At this point it didn't matter if it was funny or not, we were drunk. Everything was hilarious. So you can see why cauliflower shots gave us a chuckle. Maybe you had to be there. Either way, the laughs accumulated more and more. Fabulous time had by all.

I will add, the main course of Chillayan Sea Bass was splendid. Topped with a tomato sauce and served with HOT mashed potatoes, my mom and I enjoyed it. And to end the wonderful meal-Flan. With caramel and raspberry sauce, it was dessert for champions. I was pleased!

Let's talk about the walk back. Wow, who would have thought old people were so fun! Just kidding… they aren't THAT old. The people of Santiago could probably hear our howling laughs miles away. Of course, having a few nuts in the group (Me being one of them) to ignite the laughter, had a lot to do with our drunk in public disaster. A disaster that lasted for a few more hours, as we fall into the doors of the hotel. (The ones that spin around of course. Making about 3 rounds in that small space of an entrance, we made it to the hotel bar where we ordered 2 MORE bottles of Vino. Old people can drink! haha, JUST KIDDING, they aren't that old.

As we stumble into the couches of the night, it looks like we are doing a team meeting and having a re-cap about what just happened. For some reason that's how I looked at it.

The bar soon moved out to the patio as we continued to obnoxiously joke around and make fools of ourselves. Matty, one of the flight attendants was cracking me up. She has the voice of a Cuban mixed with a belligerent New Yorker. Shes a nut. The troopers of the night had to be Matty, Jon, Mary, and I. Jon is also a character. His knowledge of wine, and other crazy information about who knows what was great. We must have laughed until 4-5am. The fun finally settled down as the patio closed and we made our way to the rooms.
Side note: I don't know if it was the city lights or the clouds, but I was disappointed in the stars. I used to dream as a child to see the stars in Chile. The internet told me they would sink down into my face. That didn't happen.

Next day, with plans of 10am mountain hike, did not happen. Instead, we woke up at 1, and decided to take a trip to the hotel gym. That was not bad! Sauna and steam room, made it like a trip to the spa! I am rejuvenated and think I will go make one more trip to the city to grab a shot glass to add to my collection. I found a few other souvenirs to bring home including a cute home made sweater for Ayden, my 2 month old nephew. I am very satisfied with the little piece of Chile I am taking home and can't wait to return!

Thank you Santiago, for a great 36 hour lay over.

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Posted by kGoWhereNext 21:30 Archived in Chile Tagged mountains people food travel shopping santiago wine nightlife delta goodweather shereton Comments (0)

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