Aruba 01.2016

I’ll be honest in saying most of these photos are from my phone. I was lazy, and I’m not going to apologize for it. Sometimes it is just best to see things with your eyes, be in the moment, and whip out your phone real quick and bam. This was one of those vacations. Furthermore I blog vacays for my own personal little time capsule – I’m sure I’ll look back and relive on this blog more than all the other people stopping by. Ha!

Now that confessions are out of the way….January is just my favorite month of all. Both me and my husband celebrate our birthdays, it’s slow time for us, the holidays are over (can I get an AMEN), and it’s the beginning of a brand new year. Clean slate. And for us, there is no better time to get out of town, visit somewhere new (+warm) and unwind. So, instead of any presents all year (I mean NONE, often not even a card), instead of cable, Target shopping, instead of expensive clothes and name-brand-everything, we travel. And really, it’s the best choice we’ve ever made and have been doing this for the 10 years we’ve been together. I turned 34 in Aruba this week and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

This year wasn’t super researched and debated upon. We are working on a #beachboybucketlist ( ya know, Aruba. Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to…) and Aruba was one we haven’t experienced yet, so booked it. Said and done.

While I loved every single second in Aruba, we probably won’t go back unless a friend is celebrating a birthday, I get to shoot a wedding there, or some other exciting moment. But really, we don’t revisit places much anyway – our travel list is LONG and our budgets are less than plentiful, so one and done kind of thing for us.

But, here’s what all I really loved:

Super safe. Everyone was over the top friendly. Body Image there was AMAZING – none of this “have to have a six pack to wear a bathing suit” atmosphere. Everyone rocked whatever they felt like and didn’t bat an eye at it. The drinking water was better than ours here in the US. The beach side was awesome and we visited them all (Eagle Beach had the cool trees and Baby Beach was probably my favorite.) There are some really kick ass deserts surrounded by ocean.  It’s always sunny with a breeze there, so even if it was 90 degrees, you weren’t sweating or uncomfortable. It’s a really navigable island and too small to get lost in. We rented a car for the day and explored on our own and it was awesome. Most every single native spoke English (it’s required to learn in school + Spanish), and no need to change currency. Locals are protective of tourists, no one haggled, not once ever didn’t I ever feel anything but absolutely comfortable.

What I didn’t love: It’s VERY developed in alot of areas (not all, but a ton). Like, made for rich people. Which is cool, but not my favorite scene. There wasn’t a huge historical/archaeological part of the island, this is more for relaxing (which I’m not really complaining about.) Too many things were catered for tourists: food, etc. It was hard to find anything with a super duper local vibe, even though there were some areas we did stumble upon.

We were there 8 days/7 nights and saw just about every street, every beach, had a few “I’m not going to do anything” days. Which was nice. We stayed at the DIVI Tamarijn and it was all-inclusive (our first time for this) and I actually really enjoyed it! The food was awesome, clean and well maintained, AFFORDABLE, service was great, and I could get coffee anytime of the day I wanted with an oceanfront view. Yay for that.

Now that we are home, back to reality. Which I’m ready for. I’ve taken off the whole month to sleep, organize and de-clutter my house, spend time with my family, organize my business, and take this little vacay. And I’m ready for 2016 to be my best year yet! So hugs and love if you’ve read this far and hope these photos warm up your January evening. <3


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