Browsing Category: Latin America

Short-Term Animal Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

Short-Term Animal Volunteer Opportunities Abroad | The Atlas Heart

I’ve always had a big heart for animals. That heart has only grown fuller as I’ve traveled more and seen the amount of animals that need help around the world.

From the many stray dogs I saw roaming around Greece, to the homeless kittens in Thailand, and yes, even dogs who were rotting from the inside out in Myanmar, there is plenty of help that is needed around the world and right here at home.

I’ll be the first to say that before this year I had never volunteered at an animal shelter. And to be honest, I initially did it for selfish reasons. I was going through a difficult time in my life in Thailand, and I just wanted to feel that unconditional love that animals are so good at giving.

Continue Reading

The Best Places Around the World to Celebrate Christmas

The Best Places Around the World to Celebrate Christmas - Holiday Travel

If you dislike Christmas, you may want to pass on this post because it’s all kinds of gooey hot chocolate goodness and holiday fun. I’ve always been a fan of Christmas and winter in general. There’s something about curling up with a good book by the fire, the Mariah Carey Christmas album blasting, and the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.

The holidays may be too obnoxious and materialistic for some, but I really appreciate the family time and Christmas cookies that come about this time of the year. Sadly, I won’t be at home this Christmas, but I’ll be tuning in with a Skype call to still spend time with the family, and hopefully enjoy my own Christmas feast in Myanmar.

Continue Reading

Why Medellín, Colombia is a Destination to Visit this Holiday Season

Why Medellin, Colombia is a Destination to Visit this Holiday Season

South America is a region I’m looking forward to exploring in the not-so-distant future. The only time I’ve really experienced Latin America was with a quick 3 week trip to the green country of Costa Rica. It was my first trip abroad when I was 18. I never made it further south and Latin America as a whole is high on my list for a slow travel destination after Asia & Europe.

But even though I’m not going to South America anytime soon, it doesn’t mean that I can’t still daydream about the place. One location in particular that I’ve heard amazing things about is Colombia. What used to be seen as a dangerous and sketchy country in South America run by drug lords, now has a huge tourism draw, and is seen as an intriguing and attractive place to visit.

Continue Reading

Food to Try From Around the World

Foods To Try From Around the World

I know, there have been a lot of food posts on here recently! What can I say, my experience with Forktown Food Tours must’ve really inspired me to start looking at culture through the lens of food more often.

In any case, I promise I’ll be changing up my posts a bit more after this one, but I did want to share with you all a touch of international food culture with the help of a few friends in the blogging world. That’s right, this is my first collaboration post and I’m pretty excited that it’s about food – one of my favorite things in the world.

Continue Reading

Travel Misconceptions: Bogota

Travel Misconceptions - Bogota, Colombia

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

Continue Reading

Travel Misconceptions: San Juan Del Sur

Travel Misconceptions - San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

Continue Reading

Travel Misconceptions: Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico - Travel Misconceptions

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

Continue Reading

Travel Misconceptions: Montevideo

Travel Misconceptions: Montevideo

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

Continue Reading

Snapshot memories of the week: Costa Rica

Snapshot memories is a new weekly series, giving a visual glimpse into different destinations and unique ways to view them. It’s also a way for me to look back on travels that occurred before and after I started this blog, and to give each place I’ve traveled the attention it deserves. 

This week my memories go back to Costa Rica. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The trip that in a way started it all. My wanderlust, my insatiable need to have new travel plans and a destination in the near future at any given time. Although I wouldn’t travel again until a few years later in college, Costa Rica was the starting point of my love with the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was a fairly innocent 18 year-old when I set out for my 2 week trip, traveling the country from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast with two of my best friends from school.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My dad had the idea that Costa Rica was too dangerous a place for his daughter of 18 to go gallivanting on her own with only two young women of the same age for company.

He was dead set again it, I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I worked countless shifts at the local movie theater in my hometown, knowing that I would be the one funding my own trip.

Even with my dad in a worrisome state of mind, I managed to still make the trip happen, showing up to the airport in the wee hours of the morning with my two other friends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although I knew there would be trials and tribulations, it was a much harder trip than I thought it would be. I should’ve assumed that would be the case, I had no idea what I was doing, and it was my first time jumping into the deep end of traveling with no parental guidance.

panama
Traveling to the border of Panama
Photo Cred: Olive Kersey

Our first morning in Costa Rica, while on a bus to Tortuguero, the first thing that popped into my mind was how incredibly GREEN Costa Rica is. Everywhere I looked was lush rainforest, life at every end of the eco system spectrum, and beautiful shades of green, green, green.

Costa Rica
Photo Cred: Olive Kersey

I saw baby turtles hatching in the middle of the night on the island of Tortuguero, I slept under mosquito nets, took malaria pills, and washed most of my clothing by hand.

I hitchhiked, partied in the discotecas of Puerto Viejo, and got buzzed for the first time off Smirnoff Ice. I learned what it means to be a foreign woman in Latin America, and how scary unwanted advances can be. I burst into tears at the slowest internet I’ve experienced in my life, specifically when I lost an email I had been writing for the better part of the afternoon to my boyfriend at home.

I also realized how petty and privileged some aspects of my life really were.

Costa Rica
Getting “buzzed” off Smirnoff Ice in discotecas

I spent an exhausting and terrifying night in the capital, San Jose, where it sounded like someone was being murdered outside the window, and my travel companion had to sleep on a urine-scented couch. I saw some of the best sunsets I’ve experienced in my life, shared a lot of laughs, and realized sometimes you can’t travel well with everyone.

I held baby frogs, looked up at boa constrictors above me, found myself in a boat that was a foot away from a crocodile, and dealt with mischievous misbehaving monkeys.

Shy sloth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I went skinny dipping, swam under waterfalls, picnicked on the beach, indulged in my love of smoothies, and realized how much I needed to still work on my Spanish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The trip was everything I needed to find my spirit of independence before moving out of the house I grew up in to go to college.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Besides being a life changing trip for me, what I took away most from my time in Costa Rica was how colorful of a place I found it to be, as it seems a lot of Latin America is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That trip was 6 years ago and the colors are still what I remember most about the country. It seems only fitting that my snapshot memories of the week are separated by the colors of Costa Rica.

Without further ado.

Red/Pink

RedPink

Purple/Orange

PurpleOrange

Blue

Blue

Yellow

Yellow

Brown

Brown

Green

Green1

…And More Green

Green2

What’s your favorite way to remember a place?

——————————————————————————————————-

Did you like this post? Follow me on Bloglovin or “Like” my new Facebook page🙂