“Great things never came from comfort zones”

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This has been my mantra for this past month. Not only is my big Europe trip right around the corner, but I got a new job and started a new professional journey (basically the reason why I have abandoned this blog for a few weeks) but cry no more, I’m back! (Only to leave in a week, but still!)

I also went home to my beautiful Puerto Rico and got to spend some wonderful days with my family and friends. It was really the perfect way to end a great chapter in my life and freshen up to start a new one. So really, I can’t complain. Sure, I’m peeling from the sun even though I am still technically white and sure, my bank account has taken a hit, but I’m sure I’ll live.

I try to stay away from all things cheesy (except when they actually are cheesy, yum.) but lately I’ve just been feeling like I have so much to take in from life (besides new work information, of course). Sure, I stress about things all the time, that’s just how I work. Who knows? This may be the nice weather talking, but life is good right now. Long gone are the days of miserable weather complaints and in are the sunny, sweaty walks to work. Ah, sweaty summer bliss.

But back to being corny,

Life is crazy, unpredictable and if you let it be, it can also be beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, below are some pictures from La Isla del Encanto that I took during my last visit home (yes, I get to call paradise home). I always love giving out recommendations for travelers that wish to visit Puerto Rico, so feel free to shoot me a comment or tweet me any questions!

IMG_6283Yes, me and my boyfriend might have started a cheesy tradition of taking travel pictures with our feet #noshame – This was before our kayak tour at the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. Tour started during the day, through the canals and into the bay to watch the sunset. Then, I was once again amazed by the beauty that is the bay’s natural glow. Third time doing it and it’s still worth the sore muscles!

IMG_6299Right before our journey! This picture has no filters, you can see how the sunset light glows in the water, giving it a nice natural tone.

IMG_6303Credit for this one goes to my dad (@josenogueraspr)

IMG_6335Hyatt Hacienda del Mar in Dorado, Puerto Rico

IMG_6352Basically, a little corner of heaven, right here.

IMG_6387It wouldn’t be complete without a food picture, wouldn’t it? For my boyfriend’s birthday I took him to a delicious restaurant in Dorado called El Ladrillo (The Brick) – I had been there when I was little and fine cuisine for me consisted of plain rice and chicken, coming back was absolutely amazing. Not only is the food really good and varied for all tastes, but the restaurant itself is beautiful. They have a true art collection within the space.

Be sure to follow my Instagram for more pictures that don’t make it to actual posts – @peaceloveanddietcoke

Main image credit – http://www.etmusiquepourtous.com/2012/11/07/16191/jpeg/

All other pictures taken by Cristina Nogueras ©  Do not copy or repost without attribution

 

 

Wanderlust problems and other itchy feet musings

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Once upon a time, I was blessed to call France my home. I would ride a bike to school, have lunch by the river, come home to a dog and a warm family and drink good, cheap wine with new wonderful friends.

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The thing about wonderful times is that they end, and as sad or exaggerated as it sounds, you never get them back. There’s something so bittersweet about it that I can’t help but smile. Sure, I could technically book a flight to France next week (I do have a credit card) but in reality it can never be the same. People and places change, but most importantly, you change as well.

That’s why we need to keep creating adventures, so you don’t miss the old ones that much. You will never get your old times back, but that is what makes them magical and timeless, the rarity and exclusivity of things that are gone.

It sure didn’t feel magical when I was stuck in my desk studying for a final exam, sad because I had ran out of money and my camera had broken. It sure was not exciting when I had to eat ham and cheese sandwiches for a week because I spent way too much money on my week at Spain, but once you leave and look back, it all sounds ironically perfect.

Sometimes things get even better when you have to look back to enjoy them. It’s almost risky though, to look back too often, as you tend to unconsciously edit the memories, add filters and suppress the mishaps (bike falls, broken cameras, hangovers, dry lunches, too cheap wines, boring lectures, train delays and scary flights).

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Still, you know you would do it all again and in your future attempts to somehow really do it all again, you will get new, exciting adventures that will keep the cycle alive.

Humans are never satisfied and our thirst can’t be quenched that easily, so let’s drink on.

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All photos taken by Cristina Nogueras © – Do not take without permission or credit