Boarding the Plane to Puerto Rico

Boarding the Plane to Puerto Rico

So last this past week I got back from a trip to Puerto Rico with two of my friends Luke Galbo and Louis Kobetz. We wanted to take a trip to go skiing in Utah with some family but after realizing the cost of a ski trip would be greater than anticipated and the chances of an injury from skiing before I undertake my hike in April  would be a possibility we decided it would be best to change plans. The idea to travel to Puerto Rico came about when I threw out the possible ideas of visiting central/south america as the flights are cheap but my friends did not have passports. Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA we were able to travel there passport free thus why we chose this destination.

Luke and Louis in the Hostel Courtyard

Luke and Louis in the Hostel Courtyard

It was a short trip but great trip put quite simply. We stayed in the capitol city San Juan at the Mango Mansion hostel through our four night stay and made many experiences and friends during the short stay. I must say I was sad to come home as the trip had me itching to travel again. It really was a tease but I look forward to my upcoming adventures which will begin in about 6 weeks!

The trip was very different for me as it was the first trip I have ever taken like such and not been solo. I really enjoyed my time with my friends and wouldn’t have changed it for anything but the trip definitely made me realize how special solo travel is to me. Having that utmost independence with choice is a very unique experience that I want to continue to have.

A cove in Northern Puerto Rico guarded by huge rocks

A cove in Northern Puerto Rico guarded by huge rocks

There was one or two times where I contemplated going off on a separate journey with some hostel mates I made simply because I wanted to be free and try new things but I ultimately decided that since I came with friends I was going to keep it that way. I don’t think I would’ve regretted any of the decisions I would’ve chose. I definitely try to make the most out of any circumstance I am in as most people probably do therefore choosing to stick with my buds worked out great. We honestly had a lot of laughs and a lot of invaluable experiences and its something I think us three will carry with us for the rest of our lives and have as a bond.

The beach in San Juan

The beach in San Juan

SO what did we do?! Well I’m glad you asked. Before I get into what we did, I have to tell about how my friend Louis nearly lost his laptop and other valuables at the start of the trip. So when we flew into the airport at San Juan we were a mix of tired and excited and ready to see what this place was all about. We got a taxi for $21 to our hostel and upon arriving we were welcomed by a friendly volunteer who started to check us in. Louis all of a sudden says “I left my bag in the taxi” with a very ghostlike face. In all of the excitement he forgot to grab his backpack out of the backseat which was carrying very valuable items. SO now his bag is driving around with a taxi driver who hardly could speak any english at all and we had no way of contacting him. After grabbing some food and trying to calm Louis down (not that he was freaking out) , Louis called another taxi to take him to the airport so he could try to talk to the company we got the taxi from. Luckily for us the taxi driver who picked us up was the coolest guy named Eric who after hearing our story was on the case to helping us find the bag. He was calling his friends and speaking to other taxi drivers trying to find the driver. We finally got a lead and got the suspected drivers number who claimed to have the bag. We told him to bring the bag back to the hostel and he agreed but said it would take an hour. Louis waited patiently at the hostel hoping he wouldn’t be having to buy a new laptop while Luke and I decided we would go check out the beach. I got a call from Louis and the bag was RETURNED! I must say I did not think he would get that bag back at all. It was a huge relief for all of us especially Louis as losing items like such can really be a downer for a trip. SO thats that story.. now on to what we did, ill keep it brief. 

We found a field by the beach and had a session

We found a field by the beach and had a session

We hung out on the beach in perfect 80F degree weather. We bought a soccer ball and juggled and played endlessly which was probably the most fun thing for us as we all really enjoy soccer. We went out probably every night we were there and the first night being the most interesting. We went to a Salsa bar, and no not one that has chips and salsa, with some friends we just had made at the hostel in San Juan and watched people dance! I gave it a go, just for fun, and boy was I terrible. I am definitely glad I did it though. We watched the Super Bowl on Sunday in a small bar with some friends and had lots of raw conversation about different cultures and ideas. On my birthday we took it easy for the most part and then Luke and Louis made a very kind gesture by taking me out to eat at a nice Italian restaurant. A polish girl we befriended named Paulina joined us on this dinner and it was full of a lot of laughs and a good time. We went out for my birthday with some Norwegian girls and some other people and ended up all chilling on the beach listening to music. The next day we rented a car and took a road trip with a swedish girl name Mikaela who was an incredible wild child. We visited beaches and had late lunches and jumped from 30 foot waterfalls in the middle of the rainforest.

Gozalandia Waterfall in San Sebastian

Gozalandia Waterfall in San Sebastian

Long story short the trip was one for the books and I hope to have many more that were so rich with good people and good times. Turning 22 in Puerto Rico wasn’t that bad. 🙂

-Cole Brian

The Crew, Luke, Louis, Mikaela

The Crew, Luke, Louis, Mikaela