travel

We’re Going to Seoul!

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I’d never given much thought to traveling to this side of the world prior to my move to Guam. When I was younger, I’d always been more interested in traveling to Europe to see family. I never would have thought that moving to Guam would mean I would get to explore Asia and the Pacific Islands. It first started with our trip to Philippines then to Japan (which has been one of the best trips of my life!) and soon Seoul, South Korea!

We crunched the numbers, found good deals on flights and places to stay, and decided to just do it. Although most things in Guam are pricey, flying to Asia has been way more affordable and obtainable in Guam than if we were back in Oregon. We have tried to take advantage of that opportunity. So what better way to celebrate my 30th birthday (O.M.G. I can’t believe it) than with a trip to somewhere neither of us have been, South Korea! It’s been more than a year since we’ve been off island so we are really looking forward to this trip! Very excited to add another country to the list 🙂

If you’d like to suggest anything I should do/places to eat while there, please feel free to leave a comment thanks!

 

 

Things to Do in Guam: Chamorro Village

Chamorro Village is a night market with music, food, animals and local vendors. During the day there are a few restaurants open, but only on Wednesday evenings does the real fun take place. I’ve heard that it’s also open on Friday evenings but every time I’ve tried to go on a Friday, it hasn’t been opened. Recently it has been extremely overcrowded, which hasn’t really made my experience too fun. It’s so crowded and hard to walk, there’s no place to sit and eat and you have to wait in line to do/see anything. Aside from that, it’s a nice place to go maybe once a month and enjoy the music and food!

Locally owned businesses serve food, drinks, sell crafts and souvenirs. You can ride a carabao, drink from a coconut, watch traditional Polynesian dancers, dance the Chamorro cha-cha and hold coconut crabs, snakes and monitor lizards! My dad would LOVE this place because he loves dancing.  Every time I’ve gone to watch the band play, there has been an older man dressed similar to Elvis. He usually wears a red shirt that says, “Thank you Elvis” written in sloppy writing on his back. He and his dancing partner are quite popular with the tourists and very fun to watch dancing.

I go for the food honestly! It’s delicious! I always get a few BBQ chicken sticks, red rice and a rice ball or two. Also, the fruit slushy drinks are AMAZING and the flavored popcorn is good too. The last time I went I tried something called a Latiya (pronounced Lateeza), which is a cake with pudding on top sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s very, very good!! As I mentioned it is crowded so I just go to whichever food stand has the shortest line. This week I decided to see why so many people wait in the LONG line for food. Sometimes the line is so long it wraps around the building. Anyway, I ordered the Fiesta Plate (in Spanish that means Party Plate) which is the standard Chamorro food plate. This was enough for Peter and I to share. It came with red rice, BBQ chicken on a stick, BBQ pork on a stick, pancit, some fried shrimp thing and fina’ denne. I soon realized why the lines are long and why people don’t mind waiting. The food tastes SO much better! Better pieces of meat, better tasting and all for the same price. So just wait in line and you will be happy!

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but Guamanians really love their choreographed dances. At any party, including Chamorro Village, you will here The Cupid Shuffle, Wobble or any other song that has a dance to go with it. People of ALL ages know the dances. Most of these I had no idea came with dance routines ha! One of my favorite things to do is watch the dancers old and young!

 

If you visit:
Bring cash!

Most souvenirs are overpriced like the swimsuit coverups and some of the jewelry. 

It's in Agana near the baseball field
YOU MUST EAT EVERYTHING!

How to Travel the World on a Budget!

When I was six years old I took my first trip abroad to Spain with my family. Ever since then, the travel bug has not let me rest. From that first trip, I knew I loved traveling and it was something that I wanted to do my whole life.  I continued traveling to Spain to visit my family, we also made stops in England and Denmark along the way. Throughout college I worked and traveled whenever I could. Luckily for me, I knew people wherever I traveled that let me stay with them (family/friends) so that cut the majority of my costs down.

With my recent move to Guam and the vacations I’ve taken, I knew that I had a choice to make. Spend my money freely on material things like ipads and clothing or save, save, save. Thanks to my parents, I was always very good at saving and so I continued, knowing that one day it would pay off and it did! When it was time for me to move to Guam, I was able to afford the ridiculously expensive plane ticket and shipping costs. If you’re really serious about traveling and living in different countries, you need to make this decision immediately. I may not have tons of STUFF but I wake up every morning to the most incredible view of the ocean, palm trees, warm weather 24/7 and sun kissed skin. For me, this is a dream come true. I’m not sure how much longer I can maintain this dream, but I’m going to try my hardest.

Letting go of the comfy life you’re currently living might be the hardest thing for most people. If travel is really important to you, that’s not a hard sacrifice to make.

I also suggest getting involved in AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps type of organizations that allow you to travel whilst doing some good. Try not to think in money terms when planning your adventure because you will be discouraged quickly.

Tips on Shipping: Buy giant rubber or plastic bins with a metal clasp and duct tape. Then use USPS Parcel Post and Media Mail services for best shipping prices. Might take a month to receive, but it’s inexpensive.

Start saving NOW and do some research. Good luck 🙂

Ritidian Beach

Hey everyone! Wanted to tell you that I just returned from a vacation (from my vacation) to the Philippines! I’m working on a blog post for that adventure; meanwhile, here is a post on my favorite beach in Guam!

The journey to Ritidian Beach was a long and bumpy one. Most of the road is polluted with potholes and not very well taken care of. The first time I went, the park was closed due to the holiday. Luckily, the second time I went it was a Sunday afternoon and opened. The sky looked a bit sketchy but we thought, “We’ll just go and hope for the best.” I’m SO glad we did this. It turned out to be a beautiful, perfect day. After dodging the potholes and passing through the gate, the most beautiful view of the beach below welcomed us into the park. Down the hill to the other side we drove, finally reaching the parking area. This is a nice place to go with your family. The park has areas that can be used as daytime campsites. Many people were barbecuing when we arrived. We packed a picnic, radio, snorkeling gear and sunscreen. That day it felt as though the sun was hotter than ever before. As you can see from the pictures, the water matched the sky and the sand was white. It was a nice day for swimming and snorkeling because the waves were not rough at all. Most areas in Guam are great for swimming because the waves are broken by the reef that surrounds the island. As a beginner to snorkeling, I don’t like to go too deep into the water. Even in the shallow areas closer to the shore, there was an abundance of sea creatures and tropical fish! There are only a few beaches in Guam that I really enjoy swimming in because I prefer crystal-clear blue water where you can see to the bottom. So, this limits a lot for me. This is by far my new favorite beach and I look forward to visiting again.

The park does close at 4pm, which felt too early and I wasn’t ready to leave. I snorkeled a bit then lounged around the rest of the time until a parks worker drove by in his ATV and kindly told us that it was closing time. This park is also a wildlife reserve. There are newly built fences to keep out Boonie dogs and cats, snakes (not sure how) and wild pigs to protect the natural vegetation and birds of the island. There was a swarm of black butterflies that I tried to capture in the photo, which I’ve been told cause seven years of bad luck if caught!

Things To Do: Guam Jungle River Boat Cruise

One of my favorite things to do when I’m living somewhere new is sightseeing! There are so many tourist friendly things to do on Guam.  I’d been trying to catch this river boat cruise but missed it once. There are two departing times I think the first is around 9:00am and the second is 1:30pm. I caught the later one. Tourists pay $55 per person (personally I think that’s ridiculous!!) while locals/military pay $25 per person.  I definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Guam. At first I thought it might be disappointing and short, but to my surprise it was well worth the money to see parts of the country that I would otherwise not get to see.

Deeper than I’ve ever been in the jungle, the cruise follows the Talafofo & Ugum Rivers. Led by a tour guide, who speaks both English and Japanese, the tour was quite animated and fun. Good for people of all ages. We stopped along the river to feed chickens, throw bread crumbs at strange fish and feed coconut crabs!  We were able to leave the boat and wander through ancient pillars used in homes called latte stone and were lucky enough to see multiple iguanas! I was amazed by everything from the way the trees lined the river to the peacefulness of the jungle.

At the end of the cruise, after seeing the latte stone and walking to a cave we walked to a small covered area. Here, a lady who had been weaving baskets, fans and other items met us. We had ice cream and tea and watched as they set coconuts on fire and had us play rock, paper, scissors to win the woven items! They also had captured and caged coconut crabs, brown tree snakes, iguanas and turtles.

If you’re planning on taking this boat cruise bring bug spray, sunscreen and walking shoes…oh and your camera!!