Does anybody else feel like the years go by faster now or is it just me? This year felt like a marathon and a sprint all in one. Going off the beaten path and doing new things were definitely the theme of my year. Let’s go over it all in this 2023 recap!
I started the year on a plane heading from New Jersey to Budapest, Hungary. I would call Budapest home for half the year and it’s the first time I lived with Bebino. It was really nice being able to spend that time together in a way we hadn’t been able to before. In addition to exploring more of Budapest, I also got a chance to visit new cities such as Miskolc where I got to experience their unique cave baths. I also found a real life Friends cafe! If you know me, you I’m obsessed so it was really cool finding one in an unexpected place. This is the month of FITUR, a travel trade show in Madrid, which I finally got a chance to attend.
Working at home doesn’t allow me to be as productive as I’d like so I started visiting lots of Budapest coffee shops to find the best ones to work at. This was the month I pitched my first travel magazine story and had it accepted! This small city in southern Hungary, Mohacs, has a unique Carnival celebration that I got to experience. I definitely recommend if you find yourself in the country during this time!
The month started with me returning to the US for the Women’s Travel Fest in NYC. Use code ‘LATINATRAVELER’ for $25 off the 2024 fest in Playa del Carmen. After an amazing weekend connecting with other travelers, bloggers, and creators, it was time to head somewhere new, Guatemala. I spent a week exploring this new country and seeing as much as I could during that time. After returning back to the US, I got to see my college bestie get married. Then it was time for the Latino Travel Fest where I spoke for the first time in public at a travel conference. This weekend was such a great opportunity to connect with Latine creators. Before heading back to Budapest, I applied for the Portugal D7 visa.
My sister got a chance to visit me in Hungary where we got to visit Holloko during Easter and Eger for a day trip. Within a couple of weeks of handing in my paperwork, I got the email that my Portuguese visa was accepted! This month I made it to another new country, Malta. This was also for a travel conference, Keyframe, focused on video. Bebino joined me afterwards and we got to explore even more of the islands that make up Malta.
The weather finally started getting nicer, so Bebino and I headed a bit north of Budapest to Szentendre for a city escape. Another new country was visited this month, Puerto Rico. And yes, I know it’s technically part of the US but it’s very different from the mainland. This was my first FAM trip experience where I got to visit La Parguera all covered as a WITS attendee (use this link for $80 off the 2024 conference).
I returned back to the US where my sister suggested we go on a spontaneous trip to Atlantic City. This was the last US outing before moving to Portugal. The plan was to live in Lisbon, but due to unforeseen circumstances I ended up in Evora where I had a yearlong rental contract. I headed back to Budapest to spend more time with Bebino and I got to visit Tihany during the lavender festival. By the end of the month, I was back in Evora.
In the past I’ve worked as a tour guide for a teen travel company and this summer I decided to do it again. This time I was given Costa Rica where I spent 3 weeks. Most of the places I had visited during previous years, with a few exceptions. The majority of the month was spent here.
The first few days were spent in Costa Rica and heading back to Portugal. Moving to a city where I don’t know anyone can get pretty lonely. Because of this I decided to go to Barcelona via land so blablacars and buses.
The start of a new month with Bebino in Lisbon. It was our first time being in this city together. From then I only went back to Evora where I would be spending the majority of my time due to the requirements to maintain my visa.
After a new Peruvian American friend visited me in Evora, I went to see her in Ericeira, a beach town city of Portugal. My first group trip launched this month with Yenelsa for the WOC Wellness Era Retreat in Costa Rica. Towards the end of the month I was back in Budapest with Bebino.
Now that I was back in Evora I had time to work on my business and work with clients. My parents were supposed to have visited me this month, but there were some changes and I ended up making an impromptu visit to NJ and NYC during the holiday weekend. This month I launched my Dominican Republic and Morocco Group Trips which will happen in October and November of 2024 respectively. The last day of the month I headed to Prague.
What was originally only going to be 3 days in Prague turned into 8 days. Bebino and I got to really experience the city and even made a day trip into Dresden, Germany for the Christmas markets there. Once our winter vacation came to an end, I was back in Evora until Christmastime. I couldn’t imagine not spending the holidays with my family so off I went back to NJ. Now that the year is coming to an end, I am currently at a friend’s place in Connecticut.
Before being able to move into a new year, it’s important to look back on everything that has happened. This 2023 recap allows me to reminisce on the good and the bad that has happened as well as what I would do different the following year regardless.
Now that I’ve finished up my 2024 vision board, I’m excited to see what happens in the new year!
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Viaja more y live más,