My Tips for Empowering Yourself By Defining Your Own Identity

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I am almost always the biggest (fattest) person on almost every single travel media trip I am on. I am sometimes almost always the oldest too, but that’s not as obvious sometimes. Definitely not as obvious as my physical self.

I was recently on a trip where the tour guide didn’t know I could speak Spanish and referred to me as “la gordita” (the fatty), when speaking to her partner. I said nothing. 

beaches TCI

The People of Beaches Turks & Caicos

When I was a girl living in the Dominican Republic, I spent a lot of my weekends in all-inclusive resorts. These resorts are not just tourist havens, but also weekend getaways for many wealthy Dominican city dwellers looking for beach time without the fuss.

My father, who works in the hospitality industry, worked often with management and executives of these resorts and so I became familiar with them, how they run, and what to expect.

I also noticed how often times the very people who work so incredibly hard to make sure that every guest had all they could ever need during their stay, were often invisible.

Gentrification in Our Communities and Travels, and Our Role In It

I must’ve have been 10 years old. I had just moved to the Dominican Republic from Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I was spending the weekend at our family’s beach condo.

My father had said I could venture to the beach across the street on my own. That it was safe. I only needed to go through the hotel which was built in front of the beach and had since claimed it for its guests. I just had to let them know I lived in the condos across the street and I would be given a wrist band to wear to show that I belonged there.

As I sat on the beach, I noticed security guards along the premises and asked one of the women serving me my cold lemonade, why they were there.

Project Sunlight

Share A Meal, Project Sunlight, & Feeding My Community

The new face of hunger represents people that you and I would never dream would be faced with this situation.” – Lisa Houston, FIND Food Bank, India, CA.

I was a lucky child growing up. Even when living in the poverty stricken area of La Perla in Puerto Rico, my single mother managed to always find food for my sister and I. I remember, still, almost 38 years later, the face of hunger in the other kids where I lived who weren’t always as fortunate and the stress my mother experienced almost daily. Because I didn’t experience much hunger growing up, I can think back at our poverty and not be sad about it.

Morey's Pier_girlgonetravel

Bunking Down at Morey’s Pier and Camping with The Family

This past weekend, my family and I hauled some rented camping gear (which we later purchased) to take part in the very first Morey’s Piers Boardwalk Bunk Down.

We weren’t sure how the weekend was going to turn out, it had rained through the night and even while we drove the 2 hours to Wildwood, NJ.

musicians in france_girlgonetravel

Behind the photo: Les Musiciens de Poitiers

It’s was July 21, 2014. I remember because it was the Fête de la Musique, Music Day in France, and there were performers everywhere, on every corner, playing music of every kind.

I was in Poitiers and remember giggling at the sound of salsa playing along one of the streets I was passing by. I felt as if my worlds we colliding. I had been in France for some time at this point, and was starting to feel like I need to be re-energize as I still had a long way to go before I reunited with my family there.

I walked around the corner, and there, in an outdoor café, were the musicians. I knew immediately I wanted to get a photo, but it mustered the courage to use my very lousy French to ask.

Gifts for The Foodie

Last year I highlighted some great gifts for the travel lover in your life. This time around, I’ve come across some great gift ideas that I think the foodie you love will enjoy too. Of course, this could very well be the same person, which in that case means you have gift ideas galore!

fall in nyc_ girlgonetravel

From Parade to Hot Chocolate: November Fun in New York City

It’s a busy time of the year already here at the Cains. We have one big family trip still up our sleeves this year and I have a few solo trips on my own before hanging my wings, as I do every year, to celebrate the holidays at home with my family.

My kids are all about Halloween and yes, even talking about the Thanksgiving menu already. I know people are finalizing their visits to New York City right about now too, which always gets me excited because it truly is the best time to visit!

I wanted to get a little list of favorites in New York around Thanksgiving to help plan your trip.

The Mohawk Trail photography_girlgonetravel

Fall Road Trip Through The Mohawk Trail in The Berkshires, MA

The Mohawk Trail, a route that the Native Americans used to trade with Atlantic, Upstate New York, and other tribes, turns 100 years old. Today it is known as Massachusetts Route 2 and it is one of the most scenic drives you can take in the East Coast, especially during the fall. The peak for foliage season is between the first and second week of October and I had to take the 3.5 hour drive from New Jersey to photograph it.

I was able to convince my darling friend Corine of ComplicatedMama.com to join me on this fun day trip. We left at 4:30AM and arrived to Williamstown, MA just as the town itself was waking up.

weekend in Corning, NY_GIRLGONETRAVEL

Family Weekend in Corning, NY

The last time I traveled to the Finger Lakes was on a foodie road trip with my girlfriends. It was the dead of winter and we drove through a blizzard most of the time. But I have been to the Finger Lakes before, and have enjoyed my experiences there and when the weather is not so cold, it can be a lovely place to enjoy the outdoors and all the different areas have to offer.

This time around, I wanted to experience the area during the fall with my family. The colors come alive sooner up North than they do closer to the city, and I just couldn’t resist checking it out.