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I'm Tara.

I'm just a silly little girl who likes to go places and tell her silly little stories.

SLK documents the adventures I've had across 5 continents & who I've become on my journeys. 

You can read my full story here!

what's the deal with resorts?!

what's the deal with resorts?!

I've gotten a lot of questions about why I am so "anti-resort." The truth is I'm not anti. Promise. There is no better way to have a worry-free lounging vacay or a Girls Gone Wild getaway, than to go to a resort.

I just feel like people who go to resorts more often than not never leave the comfort of the resort. And that's not traveling. Not in it's honest form. If you aren't exploring and trying new things and getting a local experience, you aren't travelling you are touring-- on a holiday. And there is nothing wrong with that, I just feel like it promotes a "free alcohol, spring break forever" kind of culture I don't like being a part of.

You see it all the time. People heading to Mexico, especially, to an all-inclusive resort they booked for cheap with no intention of actually experiencing the place. They want to say they went to Mexico, without seeing Mexico. Despite these not so popular feelings, I wouldn't consider myself anti.

I went to a resort back in 2012 with my boyfriend at the time. We went between college semesters and it was the weirdest, but most relaxing experience.

Our suite was stunning. A glass balcony with a view of the pool, separating the resort from the ocean with a gate. Cabanas both pool and ocean side line the place. Five-star restaurants where we are told we can eat whatever we would like and as much of it as we would like during our stay. Also, our drinks were included. Neither one of us were big drinkers, so it wasn't a huge deal. Honestly, it was too hot to drink all day. My lightweight self would have been sick the whole trip.

It's so odd to me, being waited on. Luis brought our bags up to our room and popped champagne to welcome us. He gave us a quick run down and encouraged us to go to the coordination stand in the lobby to sign up for our included activities-- ziplining, swimming with dolphins and sea lions, a tour of the town, the tequila factory experience, and a night time cruise on a sailboat. I never remember being in such luxury. It was relaxing. Absolutely relaxing.

The city of Puerta Vallarta is breathtaking. Each street is colorful, asking to be on a postcard. There are street performers and a lots of police officers patrolling the streets, for what I don't know. However, tourism has taken over as a main form of income for the locals and so souvenir shops are every where. All of the shop owners are claiming that each doll is handmade. I'm not saying they aren't, but I wonder if the woman or child who made the doll was paid fairly for it {obviously, not}. It's not that this ruins the experience for me, it is just something looking back that I'm more aware of now.

Our tour guide was a local, born and raised in PV. He was friendly and knowledgeable. We were all soaked in sweat the entire tour as the bus had no air conditioning. It got to be laughable how drenched everyone was by the end of the tour. Luckily enough, the tour ended at a tequila factory where we learned how it is made and the different flavors they make it in. Also, that tequila {much to my dismay} should be drank over ice in a glass and not as a shot. So many college memories of tequila wrongly consumed...

That same night, after a filling meal, we were taken by a van into town and our sailing guide took us out on the water. We sailed around and drank some wine as the sky turned yellow and orange.

The next days were a blur of delicious food, ziplining through the canopy treetops and swimming with dolphins {you can see my post on what I've learned about animal encounters, i.e. elephant riding, tiger petting since}. Also, that July PV had some incredibly loud thunderstorms late at night.

I think I can speak for the both of us who went to PV and stayed at the resort when I say we enjoyed our time. We had nothing to worry about, it had all been paid for upfront and the staff was there to make our stay the most comfortable it could be. We did fun stuff and the scenery was beautiful.

Sad to be leaving all the Mexican fresh fruit and hot coffee at my last breakfast in Mexico

Sad to be leaving all the Mexican fresh fruit and hot coffee at my last breakfast in Mexico

But, I don't think I'd do it again. I like adventure. I like local. I like getting messy looking for places with a map and not being van-delivered from place to place. 

If you're looking for a totally-taken-care-of-for-you-type  experience, definitely check out PV Marival and Nuevo Vallarta Marival !

strolling by Giant Springs

strolling by Giant Springs

9 cities worth repeating

9 cities worth repeating