Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with long distance relatives in Puerto Rico for my Grandmother's 70th birthday. I flew out of JFK on a midnight plane with my Grandfather, Mother, Elizabeth, my two brothers and their girlfriends. The seven of us would arrive in Ponce, the second largest city on the island, at 5am. After stuffing all seven of us into the rental car, I navigated the dimly lit and winding roadways of the countryside. After an hour of driving we finally arrived in Guanica, a small town off the southern coast of the island. I opened the sand covered door of our family friends beach house and we all made our way to beds in order to take a nap and recharge our batteries. Hours later, with the Caribbean sun falling on my face, I was woken up by my youngest brother holding a mixed drink. "It's Vacation" he said and with that began the weekend in Puerto Rico. I spent my days walking the beaches and partying with family I haven't seen in quite some time.
As I grow older in age, I find myself needing to travel to the island that holds my families heritage. The mix of music, food, and their outlook on life has all played a part in the way I look at the world in my later side of my twenties. My family also never seizes to teach me something new. To quote my relatives "America teaches one how to work but Puerto Rico teaches one how to live". I feel this idea can be true about all of the Caribbean and Latin America. Sometimes its easy to forget when you live in New York City and your working towards your career goals.
Thanks Puerto Rico for reminding me once again. All in all, I had a great time skipping out on the hot New York City summer and taking in the nice sea breeze of Puerto Rico for the weekend. Stay tuned for some new stories in the next couple of days!