An inside look from the locals on San Juan

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Condado beach

As with many places in the Caribbean, thousands of tourists stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a day excursion while on their cruises. They come ashore to enjoy picturesque Old San Juan, a quick tour or a good meal and then they head back to the boat.

However, there is so much more to see, do and experience in San Juan than just a day can afford.

One of my favorite aspects of San Juan was the people.

We met so many great people during our five days exploring the city and each one made our trip that much more special.
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Don’t do that, do this in Barcelona

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A quiet corner of Barcelona

Some news organizations recently stated that tourism numbers in Barcelona are skyrocketing. With that, the city’s mayor said he didn’t want Barcelona to become like Venice and The Guardian recently wrote that some locals don’t want tourists anymore.

Seasoned travelers may be turned off by the idea of visiting Barcelona because the city may seem like a tourist trap and all the streets could be packed with people donning selfie sticks.

While that may be true is some areas of every major tourist destination, there are places where you can enjoy the real Barcelona, like the locals do.

Here are some tips to see the area with A Local’s Look: Continue reading

About A Local’s Look

A day in Aix en ProvenceEver since I learned my first words in French and heard the stories of my parents’ time in Europe, I have wanted to strike out on as many adventures as I can. Now, with a husband who loves to travel as much as I do, we are trying to experience as much as we can all over the world and right in our own backyard.

As a journalist for the past 10 years, I love all things new and exciting.

I love travel and experiencing all the wonders the world has to offer.

This blog takes readers on a journey in which a local, who lives in Myrtle Beach, rediscovers the tourist area called/known as the Grand Strand and takes “A Local’s Look” at other destinations around the world.

Follow me on Twitter @heathergale. To reach me, please email alocalslook@gmail.com.

Where have I been?

United States:
Asheville, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Washington D.C.; Baltimore, M.D.; New York City, Wilmington, N.C.; Winston Salem, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Aiken, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Greensboro, N.C.; Gatlinburg, TN; San Diego, Calif.; Bismarck, N.D.; Medora, N.D.; Newcastle, Wy.; Eureka, S.D.; Fargo, N.D.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Chicago, Il.; Tuscon, A.Z.; Yellowstone; Minot, N.D.; Louisville, KY; Anderson, S.C.; Banner Elk, N.C.; Boone, N.C.; Spruce Pine, N.C.; Blowing Rock, N.C.; Bardstown, KY: Nashville, TN; Charlotte, N.C.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Greenville, S.C.

Europe:
Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Cassis, France; Aix en Provence, France; Rome, Italy; Pisa, Italy; Orvieto, Italy; Venice, Italy; Pompeii, Italy; Florence, Italy; Sorrento, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; Howth, Ireland

Mexico:
Ensenada

Canada:
Winnipeg

 

Top 10 tips on saving money for travel

Money. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. It is sometimes hard to come by and it is often hard to save.Money-clip-art

In order for you to be able to travel, you have to make some sacrifices in your day-to-day life, but, in the end, they are all worth it for the experience of seeing a new place.

Here are some tips of what you can do in order to save for travel: Continue reading

Within driving distance…

Road trips are by far one of the best ways to travel and see new places. You can easily pack up the car in the morning and in just a few hours you are in a completely new place with plenty to see, eat and explore.

The husband and I love to go on road trips.

Here are just a few that we have been on recently:

Music city is more than just music

Music city is more than just music

Having a drink in Bourbon Country, Kentucky

Having a drink in Bourbon Country, Kentucky

 

Looking back at Savannah, Ga.

Looking back at Savannah, Ga.

A short drive away: Charleston, S.C.

A short drive away: Charleston, S.C.

A foodie’s look at Asheville, N.C.

A foodie’s look at Asheville, N.C.

A quick trip to Wilmington, N.C.

A quick trip to Wilmington, N.C.

A day in Columbia: shopping, food and fun

A day in Columbia: shopping, food and fun

Autumn colors in the North Carolina mountains

Autumn colors in the North Carolina mountains

North America

north_america_large_detailed_political_map_with_capitals North America is a wonderland. From the bleak landscape of Canada to the multicultural United States and finally down to hot Mexico, there are many different landscapes, cultures and sights to experience and enjoy. I have been able to visit each part of the North American continent and loved every part.

Being from North Dakota, a trip to Canada wasn’t out of the question. When I was little, we made a few stops at the waterpark Kenosee in Saskatchewan and while in college, my roommate and I did a road trip to Winnipeg.

Also in college, I took my first spring break trip to California to see my grandmother and we went to Ensenada for the day. It was a wonderful trip.

Growing up, we didn’t take a lot of vacations. Whenever we did, we went somewhere to see family. However, because our family lived in different states including California, Arizona and Wyoming, I was able to see most of the West Coast with my family. I really didn’t write about these trips, but I wish I would have so I could remember all we did.

Since getting married, the husband and I have made a point to travel around the East Coast.

Some day, I hope to explore more of Canada, more of Mexico and to visit all 50 states of the United States.

Until then, here is what I have written about some of the places we have been:

Road trips

Puerto Rico

Foodie finds in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a tourist destination. People come from all around to enjoy the beach, sun and fun.Farm Fresh produce

In a tourist town, it is sometimes hard to find a restaurant doing something different or a place where you can get items actually grown/made with love and care instead of for the masses.

When we first moved here in 2008, there were only a few places that really took pride in locally-sourced foods and homemade recipes. Continue reading

European Adventures

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Courtesy photo

Europe. Nearly every person, who loves to travel, dreams about visiting Europe. It is full of history, great food, wonderful people and spectacular sights.

My first trip to Europe was in between my junior and senior year of high school. We started in Venice and ended in Rome. The 12-day trip really opened my eyes to travel and gave me a strong wanderlust that I can’t control to this day.

It would be 10 years before I would make it to Europe again. Life got in the way, but we knew we wanted to get to Europe, so we started saving and by 2013 we had enough to go to France and Spain for two weeks.

After those two weeks and nearly every day since then, we have been planning and plotting our next adventures to Europe and to different places all over the world.

In 2014, we spent a week in Ireland and in 2016, we plan to spend some time in Italy in the Emilia Romagna region where the food is the best.

After that, who knows! We will just have to see where the road takes us.

Until then, please check out these three countries we have been to:

France

Spain

Ireland