Tulum | Mexico

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Tulum was the first place I’ve visited purely based on social media reviews but it certainly did not disappoint! Easily doable in a short weekend but with enough natural beauty to keep you busy for weeks, Tulum has something to offer every traveler.

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The small road that winds along the coast combined with the boutique hotels and restaurants immediately reminded me of my favorite island in Indonesia, Gili T. We stayed in a beautiful bungalow but wished we had stayed along the beach. Be advised, there is only one way in and one way out the beach road so the further down the road you stay, the longer it takes to get out.

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Cenotes of the Yucatán | Mexico

Cenote Ik Ikl was the first cenote we visited and it’s well-worth the stop if you’re near Chichen Itza. Words cannot describe and pictures cannot do justice to this natural beauty! We were fortunate to arrive in between tour buses and didn’t have to battle the crowds. Felipe even overcame his fear of heights and jumped off the top step!

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We also visited Gran Cenote, which as the name indicates, was large. It honestly wasn’t my favorite out of the ones we visited because it was rather crowded and a bit lackluster. But, if you, like the other 50 people there, are dying for a great profile pic, this is the place for you.

Also, more instagrammers on the right…

Also, more instagrammers on the right…

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Cenote Azul was the most tranquil, perhaps because we arrived just after it opened and we had the place to ourselves for a good 30 minutes before anyone else showed up. It’s on the way from Cancun to Tulum so whether you’re on the way in or out, it’s a quick stop well worth the time!

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Uncorked Cooking Workshop | Santiago | Chile

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While traveling the world, one thing I have come to appreciate is the vast choice of spices that are available in different regions. Exploring those flavors is one of my favorite things to do while traveling. When researching cooking classes in Santiago before our trip, Uncorked stood out from the rest. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the cost for the package but in the end, it was well worth it!

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Our tour started in the market district of Santiago. Read more about our tour of Mercado Central here. From the markets, we took the train back to the kitchen. We were immediately impressed with the beautiful, spacious facilities. Since we were in Chile in the off-season, it was just the two of us in our class but this gorgeous kitchen could comfortably accomodate larger groups.

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Mercado Central | Santiago | Chile

Despite the major setback of being robbed in Valparaiso, we forged on with the rest of our trip. Up next on our itinerary was the Uncorked Cooking Workshop. As it was the off season in Chile, we had the whole tour to ourselves and after our previous day, it was just what we needed!

We began our tour by meeting Eliana outside of the Mercado Central and had a tour of the local, fresh seafood. Each vendor had their own stall and and tried to entice the passersby. The lovely gentleman in the hat below told us the folk tales surrounding the historic space as we browsed the fish in his stall. We walked through the restaurant area and continued across the bridge to the other market areas.

Because it was a down time in terms of holidays requiring flowers, the next space we visited was rather empty but featured beautiful floral arrangements nonetheless.

We continued wandering through each of the other market stalls and saw new varieties of fruits and vegetables. Every time I visit a new open air market, it amazes me how many varieties of tomatoes and potatoes and peppers there are all over the world. And oh, the color! I can never get enough.

We purchased a few fresh items and headed back to the kitchen for our cooking class, which should definitely have a spot on your itinerary in Santiago. More on that in the next post!

 

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Below: pumpkin tomatoes, dried seaweed (which is apparently a popular vegan protein substitute), black corn that is a staple of Peruvian cuisine and the coolest potatoes you've ever seen.

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World Cup | Brazil

This summer, I was reflecting that during the last World Cup, I was packing up my life in Indonesia and moving to the host country, Brazil. I didn’t know Felipe yet and had very little interest in soccer. It’s crazy how much life can change in four years!

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We landed in Brazil this summer just in time for their first game and boy, was everybody ready! The streets were strung with colorful flags and the city felt alive.

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One tradition that Felipe has done since he was a child is to paint the street for the World Cup. I was all over that! We went to buy paint (which we had to mix ourselves) and got to work. Felipe painted the World Cup logo and I worked on a Zentangle-inspired flag. While Brazil didn’t have a favorable outcome, we sure had a blast!

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