South East Asia is CALLING…See you in 2 days! :)

The time has FINALLY come, and we could’t be more excited!! Sean and I have decided to, once again, pack up our stuff, put it in storage, and FOLLOW OUR DREAMS. This time our dreams are taking us across the Pacific to beautiful South East Asia!!! We will be traveling for four months, and upon our arrival back to the states, we will be relocating back to our hometown of Sunny South Florida!!!

We are so excited for a number of reasons:

1) We are following our hearts!!

2) We are exploring the world!!

3) We are reuniting with the best family and friends a young couple could ask for!!

Why are we leaving San Diego you ask?! It was a very tough decision, and something we struggled with for a long time. The truth is, we ABSOLUTELY LOVE San Diego. Let me put it to you this way, if San Diego was a city in Florida we would live there in a heart beat! However, it is not, and with that sad realization, comes the fact that we are thousands of miles away from our family, friends, and people we love most. This leaves a constant un-fillable hole in our hearts. San Diego, was however, the BEST decision Sean and I could have ever made for our relationship! We had 2 beautiful years in the height of our relationship as a newly engaged couple transitioning to newlyweds. We built a great foundation, and I am eternally grateful for that.

During our time abroad, we plan to visit:

SINGAPORE, VIETNAM, THAILAND, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, and HONG KONG!!! As of now, we do not have return flights scheduled, or a set itinerary, so all we can count on is strong wifi connection, each other, and our backpacks!! Don’t you worry though, you guys know I am a HUGE planner, and have a pretty good map of where we will be headed, in true Christina fashion.

I will try to post as much as I can while I am there, so you can follow our journey across one of the most gorgeous areas of the world.

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See you on the other side.

XO,
Christina

TLB

 

Sting Ray Helmet Dive: Moorea, Tahiti

Tahiti is a beautiful place. Sean and I were so shocked to see the vibrant & drastic blues of the water. What shocked us even more than the crystal clear water, was how abundant the sea life was. Not only was there so many fish and sting ray, but the way the sea life interacted with human beings, was absolutely mesmerizing! Our tour guides treated the animals like pets, and need I mention, these animals were NOT pets, no where near it. In fact, they were wild animals in the middle of the ocean. What was truly astonishing was the way the animals reacted when they saw our tour guides. It was also amazing to witness the tour guides navigate and find their favorites rays, eels, and fish in the middle of the deep blue.

 

Sean and I chose to do our Helmet Dive with AquaBlue in Moorea, and we are so glad that we did! We loved it so much, we plan on getting scuba certified (more details to come). I will admit, I was incredibly scared to do this dive. I could not wrap my brain around how the water would stay out of the helmet. Needless to say, it did, and we all survived. The helmet was weighted, so it allowed us to walk on the sea floor amongst the wild life. The sting rays came right up to us, along with other fish, and they were all so majestic. They are soft, yet slimy. Very curious little creatures. One of the rays was over the moon in love with our tour guide! She would not leave his side, and even tried to get in the boat with us after we left. The loyalty reminded me of our dog, Tucker. Isn’t that a crazy thought?

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My FAV EuroEats…Hello, delicious!

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about traveling is having the opportunity to EAT my way through a new country. Who else gets super excited when they think about all of the yumminess they are about to experience before going on vacation, or traveling throughout a new country? Grabbing drinks and bites is the best way to meet new people, and probably one of my favorites. Whether we speak to someone who works in a restaurant, or the table directly besides us, I have found it is one of the best ways to meet new friends, and discover fun things to do in a new area.

SO, without further ado, (this list was very hard to consolidate), my must haves and FAVORITES in EUROPE, in no particular order, as they are all very equal.

#1 PIZZA

These slices are coming to you from Nice, France, and Florence, Italy. We found that pizza changed throughout Europe, and our favorite slices varied greatly.  We were shocked to find the most delicious pizza, and our favorite in Nice. We met many friendly locals in Nice who educated us on “French food.” They told us specifically that there is NO such thing, and the French adopt recipes from their neighboring countries. Naturally, Nice had great pizza, since it boarders the Italian Riviera. We were also told that consuming your own personal pizza is a right of passage in Italy. Families order their own pizzas, rather than share. Seriously?! That is my kind of place! I was in heaven.

3 of the slices are thin & crispy, from Nice, and the other 3 slices are simply perfection from Florence, where the sauce is sweet, and the mozzarella is fresh and decadent.

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Shark Fishing the Palm Beaches, Tips & Tricks!

Growing up so close to the water, or shall I say practically on the water has given me such a love and respect for the ocean. As beautiful as the deep blue is, it is a dangerous place, and must be respected. One of the very first lessons I ever learned from my dad was to listen to the signs the ocean sends you. Understand the warnings, stay away from the rip currents, and never push your comfort zone. Most importantly, respect the wild life, and NEVER liter. Throw back the fish you wont eat/ need. Always abide by the rules and regulations in regard to amounts and types of fish you can catch and keep.

South Florida is a magical place. As a native Floridian, I love my hometown. I love being on the water, and I love a good thrill. It is quite easy to find sharks in South Florida, and it is a thrilling experience all adventure seekers thrive off of. We can recreate our very own shark week at any given time throughout the year. The warm waters are a breeding ground for the scary  creature, and you can find them almost anywhere. Shark fishing can  be a very long and rigorous process. My husband and father fought long and hard for 45-60 minutes to pull in their first shark. As you can imagine, they are STRONG & MEAN. They will take your bait faster than you can think to give your rod the first tug.

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My LOVE/HATE relationship with Barcelona, Spain.

There is no doubt that Barcelona is an absolutely gorgeous city! I mean Gaudi did wonders to the culture, look and feel of the city. To be honest, I really did like my time there. However, when you visit so many other gorgeous cities in Europe (like Amsterdam, Paris, Santorini, Venice, for example) Barcelona (to me personally) falls short. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I visited the busy city prior to hitting up so many other places in Europe? In fact, I wouldn’t visit Barcelona again unless I went FOR FREE (if it’s free, it’s for me). It was unfortunately disappointing, and left us underwhelmed beyond belief. There are simply way too many beautiful places in the world I need to visit before I ever even think of going back to Barcelona.

5 things I absolutely LOVED about Barcelona (in no particular order):

1) The ARCHITECTURE

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2) Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi. Did I mention GAUDI? I mean did you see Parc Guell? 

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3. Barceloneta Beach 

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4. La Boqueria 

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5. FC Barcelona Futbol 

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5 things I absolutely HATED about Barcelona (in no particular order): 

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In a world full of hate, it is easy to find kindness.

You hear it all the time, and I definitely wont be the first or last person to bring up what a sad time in history it is. With all of the darkness in the world, especially now, it’s hard to think love and kindness can be found in someone you do not know. A stranger, to be exact. We are all guilty of judging others. I unfortunately know I am, especially while traveling. It’s like you’re always second guessing yourself: Should I talk to that person? Will they like me? Are they nice? Will I be safe? Can they speak English? Can I say that one phrase I’ve been practicing well enough? Are they going to think I am a dumb American? These thoughts are normal, and a huge part of exploring abroad because traveling makes you vulnerable, and that is the beauty of it. 

Traveling also causes you to get lost… a lot…which I highly recommend. Get lost willingly and purposely, get so crazy lost, you have no choice but to ask a local, and THEN find your way!! AND while you’re finding your way, you’ll find yourself, which ends up being the absolute best part.

Sean and I have been awe struck at how many times complete strangers have shown kindness to us while traveling abroad. Whether we asked, or not.

During our first extended travel trekking through Europe, we found kindness in Paris, and then it happened again and again and again. 

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Where am I now? What does IT mean?

December 29, 2014: The last blog post published to this page. WOW! Where have I been, and who am I now?! Although highly embarrassed at the thought of how much time has passed since fulfilling my passion of creative life-style writing, I have been doing a lot of living. And by living, I mean getting married, changing my last name, traveling (I guess I wouldn’t be the Traveling Love Bug if I didn’t), and making it happen each and every day. Wait a second, what do I mean by it? IT means life, IT means loving, IT means laughing, laughing really hard until I pee my pants (yes, that’s happened before too, and no, I’m not ashamed), IT means cherishing every moment,  IT means taking in every day as if it were my last, and most of all, IT means slowing down and living for now. LIKE, RIGHT NOW, and that my friends, is what I have been up too.

Something special happens when I begin writing, and after re-vamping my page (you like?) and diving back into it, I have finally been able to put my finger on it. Reflection. Reflection happens when I begin writing. Why is this so important? If we don’t take time for ourselves to reflect, to be grateful, to re-imagine and dream, we don’t move forward.   It is so hard to stop and take a second to breathe it all in, relax and enjoy. When we do this, we allow our bodies to fill with gratitude, re-charge and most importantly, dream. I have so much gratitude for God, my husband, my family, my best friends, and most of all this beautiful life. I love taking time to reminisce and remind myself how incredibly thankful I am to be living this wonderful life.

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