Dominican Republic has it all

Happy New Year! I welcomed 2018 in my motherland of Dominican Republic. It had been 12 years since my last visit and I was beyond ready to see all of my family again!

To say that the visit was anything less than overwhelming, would be an understatement! My little cousins are now adults getting married, the babies I met through photos are now teenagers, and my aunts and uncles haven't aged a bit ;). The heart-warming moments lasted from the moment we landed to the moment our flight departed. Seeing my family was just the frozen ice on my cerveza though. It was rediscovering the island that opened up a hidden perspective for my new year.

The DR, came out with a new marketing tag line campaign for the country: Dominican Republic Has It All.

The words couldn't be more accurate. They have everything you could want for paradise, except snow, if that's your thing. ;)


At its very core, the people are warm, friendly, and beyond helpful. A jovial spirit fills the streets 24 hours a day, even more so during the Christmas and New Years holidays. It's party time, all the time. Neighbors are always looking out for one another and family comes first above all else. Witnessing this kindness amongst friends and strangers reminded me once again why traveling is so beautiful. It is because most people are inherently kind and beautiful, if you allow them to be.

So what do happy people do in their country? They act like tourists, I think! They go to the beach, play in their rivers and appreciate the vegetation of their country side and coast lines. My family and I unfortunately did not get to visit the country side due to a death of a close relative. The majority of the population is roman catholic here, and follow a certain mourning process when a loved one passes.

After a few days though we were able to bask in the Caribbean sun on the beaches, drink the delicious local beer (which tastes completely different in the US!) eat fried fish, and walk amongst nature through out the city. The beaches have sand as soft and as white as cotton, with water as clear as a cloudless day. The island breeze cools you down during the day as you sweat along, exploring, eating, drinking. As it started to rain on our beach day, like it does every day, we ordered fried fish, sweet yams, and a local favorite - yaniqueque! Pronounced yah-knee-k-k, this heavenly piece of thin fried dough is enjoyed by young and old during any season.


On a cooler day we embraced the nature and went to explore underground caves in the city. Los Tres Ojos, or The Three Eyes, is a limestone cave with three lakes on the inside. The cave sits within a park in the middle of the city. So it is quite a treat to be able to escape the city havoc without having to drive to the mountainous jungle. We marveled at all three "ojos" and enjoyed the raft ride, a boxed palate maneuvered on a pulley system, that lead us to the hidden lake. It costs $100 pesos to enter, about $2 USD per person and $25 pesos for the ride, also per person.


On days when we weren't visiting and reminiscing, my sisters and I were privileged to have our own personal tour guides through friends and families. From traveling solo and often guiding myself, it was a welcomed reprieve to be able to just wake up and say "hey, what are we doing today?" or to just be taken away to somewhere surprising! My favorite spontaneous day trip was on new years eve day. My cousins brought me along to a block party with live music and of course a ton of whiskey and beer. Comically enough named El Rally del Borracho, The Drunkards Rally.


To say that is was fucking amazing fun and grade A people watching would be an understatement. Listening to merengue, dembow, reggaeton, and salsa in the streets brought out my inner Dominicana. Though it was the EDM and House music that really brought a smile to my face. Dominicans don't really get house music, hahaha, or at least dancing to it, it just wasn't working out... So after hours of drinking and dancing in the streets we high tailed it before closing to change for our own new years eve party.

We drank, we danced, we ate entirely too much plantains on this trip! But I wouldn't change a single moment. I'll certainly be back to DR very soon. This visit awakened something in me. I understand now why I love to have fun, be happy, and party so much, it's because I am Dominican. And Dominicans love to enjoy life that way! I don't need to have an explanation, it's a part of me. 


It also showed me that I have two homes, the US and the DR. Both are mine, and I haven't explored either one of them enough. I've always loved the United States, but I forgot about Dominican Republic, where I was born and somewhat raised. ;)

My island home has so much to offer. I hope one day you're inspired to see all that Dominican Republic has, because lo tiene todo. ;)



21 days till the end of my 20s

My 30th birthday is around the corner. Before arriving to this year of life, I anticipated feelings of regret and resentment for not achieving all my goals.

For not starting to travel sooner, for not living abroad for a year, for not going on the round-the-world adventure that I've had on my mind for the last 10 years. 

But here I am, at 29, and I could not be more excited for all my plans. Plans to continue traveling, to live abroad, to explore more, to grow my blog into a full-time business; I. Can't. Wait.

I stopped beating myself down and realized that life doesn't happen when you want it to or expect it to, it happens when you make it happen. I started later in life (27 yrs young) and I know now more than ever that this is the life for me.

A digital nomad, a wanderer of continents, making money online and spending it on the memories instead of the things. I am smiling as I write this. One of the greatest love stories is the one you write yourself, for yourself. I'm in love with my life and the life I'm paving, because it's revolved around my goals, my outrageous dreams, my wants.

Are you doing what you want? Do you think you're too old? Or too invested in your current career? Well, wake up. Life is short, unnervingly short, and no one wants to have regrets on their deathbed.

Yesterday my best friend sent me a message saying this:


I love you

and believe in you

you can be whatever you want!!!

our talks made a huge different in my outlook of life."

Her message was the perfect reminder for me. When you have an off day, or doubt yourself, don't stop! Keep going! Who knows who else you could inspire by embracing your life's purpose. And how that inspiration can aspire you to do better, be better. So I say the same to you. You can be whatever you want to be and it is NEVER too late to start, so why not now? Don't doubt your ideas, no matter how wild they seem!

I'm planning another trip this week for the 30th bday. As I opened my laptop these thoughts came to mind and I wanted to share them with you. I hope at the very least it has opened a little space in your mind (or heart) to question yourself. 

Are you living YOUR life?

Let me know, I always love to hear your thoughts.



1 month-6 countries-$100 A DAY!

You read it right! 

We traveled from:

Los Angeles, USA - Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen - Brussels, Belgium

Brussels - Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki - Prage, Czech Republic

Prague - Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona - New York City, USA

NYC - Los Angeles

 including flights, trains, buses, metros, food, Airbnbs/igloos, wine, beer, admission fees, getting lost, more beer, and everything in between for 100 a day per person!

Now, some may say, hey Vane! That's still a lot of money Boo! Yes, I'd agree, if I were in perhaps Thailand. But to travel during the Christmas & New Years Season, and to some very touristy places (Santa Claus town on Christmas Day), in western Europe and Scandinavia, well I don't think it's all that bad... Leave me a comment on what you think down below!

If you agree with me, that this was a deal, then keep reading! If you don't agree with me, keep reading anyways! 

Whenever I travel I always have a goal of what I'd like to spend, per day, in mind. Sometimes I spend less, and sometimes, I have to spend more. This trip had A LOT of surprises (my beloved and I are now engaged!) so that made my budget go boom boom boom (Supernova girl, anybody? Disney channel circa 1999). Of course, it was all worth it! If you'd like a detailed breakdown of every city, just email me. For now I'll leave you with the average cost of each city to prove that travel does not have to be expensive!

Denmark - 8 nights

 Going back in time

Going back in time

Accomodation- free thanks to a traveling friend I met in Thailand :) 

Food- $10-15 at a restaurant, $6-10 fast food shops/ 7-11

Drinks- avg $5 beers

Transportation- It was cheaper to buy a tourist card actually! It included entrance fees to many of the castles, museums, and other attractions, as well as unlimited transportation throughout Denmark. Ours was for 4 days and cost $125 per person. We were in Denmark for 10 days

Belgium - 4 nights

 To be bad, or to be bad?

To be bad, or to be bad?

Accomodation- Airbnb split between 4 people $87

Food- $10-15 at a restaurant, $6-10 fast food shops/$4-8 street food/fries!

Drinks- avg $4 wine/ $5 beer

Transportation- We walked EVERYWHERE! Our Airbnb was in the center of Grand Place- an extremely central location. We took the metro only to the Atomium and back.

Finland - 7 nights

 Snow, snow, everywhere!

Snow, snow, everywhere!

Accomodation- pricey...massive price gauging because of the dates (12/23-12/26). The first night we spent on a train (included in Transpo cost). The next night was in an igloo which cost a whopping $927 for one night, split by 4= $238.5. Then we went to an Airbnb, split between 4 people =$ 168.75. And our last Airbnb split between 2 people (this was after our friends left)

Food- $15-20 at a restaurant, $10-15 fast food shops, eating out was very expensive here. We did groceries and saved a lot of money this way.

Drinks- avg $2-3 beers

Transportation-We purchased a Eurail pass to travel from the south of the country, Helsinki, to the far north, Saariselkä. In advance this cost 800$ total for 4 people and 3 days of unlimited travel; $200 per person. We took 2-3 bus/metro rides in Helsinki $3-4 each, but mainly walked in the capitol (Helsinki), Rovaniemi, and Saariselkä.

Czech Republic - 5 nights

Accomodation- Airbnb, per person $286

 Walking in Kutna Hora

Walking in Kutna Hora

Food- $10-15 at a restaurant, $6-10 fast food shops/ 7-11

Drinks- avg $3 beers

Transportation- Again, walk walk walk! Prague is also designed to access everything quite easily. We took only 1 train to the town of Kutna Hora, which is 1 hour away, to the Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Bone Church. This ticket cost $10.

Spain - 4 nights

 Parc Guell

Parc Guell

Accomodation- Airbnb split by 2 people= $91.5

Food- $10-15 at a restaurant, $6-10 fast food shops/ 7-11

Drinks- avg $3-4 wine/ $3-5 beers

Transportation- Your average metro ride is about $3 USD; but if you've noticed, we LOVE to walk. We rode the metro about 4 times, including to and from the airport.

And there you have it! Of course buying beers and bottles of wine was and always will be cheaper at a grocery store/market, but it's all about balance! We saved a lot by eating breakfast in and lunch or dinner on the go, then alternating with eating out either one. 

When we arrived to NYC it was for a family visit and we stayed in and regrouped for a week. We also had the pleasure of staying with a dear friend! When we went into the city it cost $6-10 with the Jitney bus and metro. The Jitney bus picks you up in New Jersey and drops you at Port Authority for only $3! All of our meals were home made.

 Little baby Mofongo =)

Little baby Mofongo =)

If you have an idea for a trip in mind, let me know! It would be my pleasure to help you plan it, but more importantly, to save you money!


Vietnam, me gustaste, no me gustaste, y me sorprendiste.

Vietnam, me gustaste, no me gustaste, y me sorprendiste.

Hola mi gente!

Ah pasado DEMASIADO tiempo! Eso si lo se, y no se preocupen que eh pasado las ultimas 3 semanas haciendo sentir mal, para que no tengan que ezforsarcen. :)

La semana pasada estaba en el norte de Vietnam. Tuve muchas emociones de gusto y des gusto, que me puse muy confundida! No sabía cómo describir mi experiencia, y por eso quise reflejar un poco para poder analizar exactamente mis sentimientos.

Accept what you don't Expect

Accept what you don't Expect

Traveling, as I'm sure you've heard, opens your mind in a lot of different ways. It makes you calmer, respectful of others, curious, patient, and usually kinder, depending on your personality. ;)

Although I know all these things, I still am surprised by my travels, things that happen, and how I react or don't react, to everything.

Sawadee ka, Bangkok!

Sawadee ka, Bangkok!

My friends, it has been one week since I've written and truly that is too much time! I have seen so much, eaten food I can not pronounce, and produced more sweat than I've ever seen come off of my body! It is H.O.T., and I mean HOT, here!

I'd like to tell you about my first few days spent in Bangkok, but I must keep this short since I'm rushing out to chat with monks!