Several years ago, my family and I took a much-needed trip to Puerto Rico. Unlike my subsequent travels, this was a packaged deal. A huge resort (that was seriously damaged in Hurricane Maria, by the way….check out this video from a stormchaser who was there during landfall), private airport transfers, the whole ball of wax.
This was when I learned that resorts are NOT for me.
In order to at least try to taste actual Puerto Rican cuisine, we had to sneak off the resort property via an unlocked gate and walk about half a mile to Las Croabas, where we found a great local joint that had seriously amazing food. Another night, we called a cab to take us to another restaurant…and the cab was $20 each way just because it took like ten minutes just to get out of the %#$*ed resort!
While locked into this lovely property, we’d drop $50 at breakfast and again at lunch. Five days, $1200 on food and drink. It was stupid expensive and, truthfully, the food wasn’t that good. But having never been to Puerto Rico, I felt like I was less intimated in a “canned” experience than I’d have been out in reality.
But while my family and I were at ElCon, we were surrounded by people who looked just like us. In fact, the NCAA tournament finals were played while we were there, and as we stood in the bar to watch the game, a good twenty or thirty people who joined us lived within 100 miles of our home.
I don’t travel to run INTO people I practically know. I don’t dislike them. But I can see them any time. I travel to see people I don’t know and who aren’t like me.
In hindsight, I wish we’d have found a more authentic experience.
On the other hand, there’s always next time!
Hink is an aspiring traveler plotting global domination and looking for the funny.
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