HOW DID I END UP IN CURACAO?
The travel bug bit me again (and as a result I now have several mosquito bites) but it was all well worth it on my latest trip to Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island full of colorful buildings and vibrant people. Not long after I returned from Morocco, I began looking into cheap flight deals, you know, just to look, when I stumbled upon Curaçao and was instantly sold by its endless rows of gorgeous color combinations amongst the buildings throughout. And hey, it obviously wasn’t a bad idea that it was an island in the Caribbean boasting crystal clear blue waters on its 38+ beaches.
Ding. The light-bulb had barely gone off in my head before I was checking flights and very seriously calculating the time and money. I thought to myself, ‘I would be more inclined to book if I had a travel buddy…hmmm.’ In reality, since I was booking my flight for a trip within three weeks I knew there was a slim chance anyone would be able to join on such short notice. But on a whim, I texted my homegirl Gabrielle (Gabby to me) who lives in Miami and is quite the savvy traveler, always popping up in different countries like Dubai, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Brazil, etc., inviting her to join me:
She said yes! And no, not the marrying yes guys but I’ll tell you later how many people thought that LOL. The trip was a go and soon we were booking our Air B&B room and rental car (highly recommend booking a car to explore all of the beaches and towns) for a few days in paradise.
We met up at Miami airport on Monday morning (me having flown in from NYC on a 5:50 AM flight- worth it) and took an 11 AM flight to Curacao where we arrived around 2 PM. We quickly realized we had booked a stick shift for our rental car (oops) but after some back and forth with the rental agent we were switched to an automatic. Finally, the little white Kia Picanto pulled up to the airport and we could begin our adventure! After getting lost, naturally, and finding our way back to the main road, we made it to Otrobanda, a district in the capital of Willemstad where our Air B&B was located, had a quick but efficient greeting with our host and ventured off into the city.
Our first walk led us into Punda where we discovered exactly what I had seen in the pictures that sparked my fervent interest: rows upon rows of colorful buildings tucked into small streets along the water. But what we did not see coming was the unexpected calm and chill vibe all around the town. People were really just chilling, living life. And it wasn’t tourist heavy, by far, so you could really immerse yourself into the atmosphere and culture without feeling like you were smothering the native community amongst hoards of random strangers. And we wasted no time getting immersed into the new city- taking pictures along our walk from the cabin into town and checking out the scenery along the way.