Semester at Sea by Santi| #SASXS

104 Days. 13 Cities. 12 Countries.

Costa Rica–San Diego–Home Sweet Home 

And just like that I have made it to Costa Rica! It was bittersweet walking off the ship into the country because all I could think about was how the next time I walk off the ship it will be for the last time. But all of those sad emotions quickly went away when we got on our shuttle to Jaco Beach. Pretty much everyone and there mother all went to that beach and I would say about 80% of us all stayed at the Crocs Resort because we all wanted to be close to each other for the last port. On our way, our driver asked us if we wanted to find out why our hotel is called Crocs. Being the inquisitive students we are, we all said yes and he pulled over on the side of the road and told us to get out and walk to the bridge and guess what we saw? That’s right, crocodiles! Needless to say it was pretty awesome. One of the locals even tossed it some food so we got to see the go at it!  As soon as we checked in, we did what we do best and that was go right to the beach and to play some good ole American football. The weather was rainy and the sand was damp- just how we like it. We played until it was time to go to dinner. We decided to go to a local sushi bar because they had 50% off and it was some of the best sushi that I have ever tasted. We spent hours there eating roll after roll until we basically rolled ourselves out of there. Our hotel had a casino in the main lobby so wave after wave of people showed up. It felt like it was a private party for all of us. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t stay out too late because I had to be up and ready by 5:45  to go deep sea fishing!

I felt like I slept walked all the way to the pier because I do not even remember getting there, I was so tired. As soon as we got on the little boat I found the most comfortable spot and went right back to sleep. I kid you not, I didn’t wake up until 1 pm. I didn’t even miss out on anything! We had about 10 lines out on the water and couldn’t catch anything. It wasn’t until we were about to head in that we finally got a bite! As soon it hooked on it flew out of the water and this marlin was HUGE. Our guides said it was minimum 400 pounds. We immediately took to the pole and started reeling as fast as we could.  Between 6 of us, we went through the rotation at least 10 times and this sucker still was not tired. We even let our guide have a go at it and he got exhausted. Then, before we knew it, the line snapped!! Just like that Ole Betty was gone. We just sat there in silence because we could not believe what just happened. All of the hard work that we had put into reeling for over two and a half hours was all for nothing. As we looked up the sun was already beginning to set in the horizon, and, with our heads hung low, we had to begin our long journey back to the pier. Later on for dinner we ended up eating fish since that was our goal at the beginning of the day (even though it wasn’t our catch).

Day 3 was the first time in a while that I actually got to sleep in. We took our time getting out of bed and eating breakfast. It wasn’t until 1 o’clock that our guides picked 25 of us up to go on a zip-line and canyoning adventure! We drove out for about 30 minutes and got all geared up and took to the mountains for a 30 minute hike to start repelling down. Of course I thought I was an expert since I had just done this in Banos but boy was I wrong. These waterfalls were way steeper than I expected them to be and I definitely slipped a few times. We got to repel down 4 waterfalls and do this incredible “monkey drop” which was a 50 free fall drop and it was absolutely terrifying but so much fun. At the end of the course we got to do two zip lines and one of them was over a half a mile long! It was incredible and so liberating. I even got to go upside down for a part of it! For it being the last adventurous thing to do on this voyage it was definitely a great way to go out! The guides were awesome and the people were even better. After getting back, we were so exhausted that we passed right out.

Day 4 was really bittersweet because it was our last full day in the great country of Costa Rica. We spent the entire day just walking around the city of Jaco to do some souvenir shopping and get some food. The main strip is actually really cool. There are tons of shops everywhere and you can pretty much see the beach from anywhere. Minutes turned into hours while we were out and next thing we knew it was time for dinner. We ate at one of the best Mexican restaurants around and it was delicious. I ate some of the best tacos and quesadillas I had ever had. There were tons of us there and it was our “last supper” in port. It was exactly what we needed before out last night out as a group. Everyone who was staying in the area came to our hotel and we basically turned it to a SAS takeover. Looking around, all of the tables and machines were filled with SASers. It was great having everyone all together for one last time! The music was blaring and the tables were hot and we were dancing the night away! We definitely embodied the Pura Vida lifestyle and it was a great way to go out!

The next day we had to be back on the ship by 3:00 so we had to wake up super early to make the 2 hour van ride back to the port. There’s honestly no way to describe the feeling of walking onto the ship for the very last time. There was just a weird on the ship because no one wants this to end. As we said goodbye to Costa Rica one final time, all we had to look forward to were the last 9 days we all had together.

On our last and final trek to San Diego, there was so much that happened on board. The most important being the crew talent show. Over this voyage we have gotten so close with the crew and they are the best bunch of people that I have ever met. They are always eager to serve and always have a smile on their face, so to see them perform was a real treat. We saw bollywood dancing, singing, acting, and even a magic act! They did a wonderful job and it was so cool to see them outside of their typical job attire!

Another cool thing that happened was all of the dependent children who were on board got to walk across the stage as they graduated from the Muffin King Royal Academy. Throughout the semester I was a tutor for one of the kids so it was awesome to see how far they have come from the beginning of voyage. There was about 12 of them total, all children of the teachers, and all of us tutors got really close to them.

After their graduation, me and the rest of the students started cramming for our finals. Instead of the typical finals week that we were all accustomed to, we all basically had 4 exams spread out over the course of 2 days. Believe me when I say that the entire ship was in full study mode. The pool deck was basically empty because everyone was nestled away somewhere trying to cram. As I mentioned earlier in one of my posts, you can definitely tell whose grades transferred and who grades were pass fail (me), but fter several hours of stuDYING and reviewing I made it through and passed all of my classes!! It was a weird feeling being done with finals because I felt like this semester had gone by way too quick. Part of it has something to do with the unique schedule we had but I definitely believe that time truly flew by. It honestly feels like just the other day I was meeting everyone for the first time leaving from Germany. Our last and final hoorah before we disembarked was the SAS alumni ball! It was basically a formal where we got all dressed up and partook in the fanciest of dinners. We all felt like royalty looking so fresh and clean and being served by our favorite wait staff. Following our dinner, we had a dance on the top deck that turned out to be a lot of fun. It was almost  like a middle school dance but with better music and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Once the dance was over, no one wanted to go to bed so we decided to camp out on the 8th deck  and we did so until we saw the sunrise. The next day was definitely the hardest day on the ship. Heads were hung low as tears filled our eyes because it was our last time ever being all together at the same time. You don’t really realize how close you get with people until it’s time to say the “see you laters” when you don’t know when the later is. We tried staying positive and focused on how far we all had come since September but all the way up until we heard that the ship was cleared to leave over the PA it didn’t seem real that this was ending. The next thing I know I’m off the ship and I’m greeted by cousin who lives in San Diego. She picked me up and took me to this amazing restaurant where we got to catch up on my voyage and about PwC! Afterwards I got dropped off with my close friends to celebrate our last night together before we all went our separate ways. We reminisced on the past 104 days we spent with each other and it was a great way to end the voyage. And, as an added bonus, we stopped by a Christmas party where the hosts (and their children) were all former SASers. We didn’t get to stay for long, but it was really nice to meet them especially since we had just gotten off the boat that day. 

The next morning I couldn’t wait to arrive home!  I got to the airport extra early and of course my flight got delayed so I spent 6 hours hanging out in the admirals club until my flight finally started boarding. Traveling home was the first time this journey that I ever had to set my clock forward and lose time so yay was a little strange landing and it being super dark outside. But nothing compared to the feeling of seeing my parents for the first time after 4 months!! I was overwhelmed with joy and the perfect ending to a wonderful journey. 

All in all, this voyage was an incredible experience and I encourage anyone thinking about studying abroad to do semester at sea. Even though I’m sad that it’s over, I’m excited to stay in touch with everyone that o became friends with and hopefully do more traveling with them. Thanks to everyone who followed my journey across the world, I really hoped you enjoyed it! If you have any questions please let me know- I am happy to share anything about my experience. Merry Christmas!! 

I ecuADORE this place 🇨🇴

Words cannot describe how much fun Ecuador was! There was never a dull moment from the moment we left the ship to the time we got back on. I literally had zero plans for what I wanted to do and ended up being able to do so much and meet some amazing people and embark on some incredible adventures. 

Our private shuttles picked us up as soon as we were able to leave the ship and we started on our 7 hour caravan to the great city of Baños, Ecuador. We ended up jamming out to all of the throwback jams we knew and before we knew it we finally arrived to our Airbnb, which was right in the heart of downtown Baños. We walked around for hours just exploring the city and trying all sorts of food and found the best donut shop ever! The city itself is pretty touristy and everything that we needed was within walking distance of where we were staying. We got dinner at one of the best pizza places ever called Leoni’s Pizzeria, then went out to a karaoke bar that night. It was kind of a bust since we were the only ones there, but there was also a free concert that was going on just down the street from our Airbnb. So naturally, we went to it for the last 45 minutes and it was really cool. We didn’t understand anything they were saying but there were fireworks so we had fun! 

The next day we got off to a very early start at 8 in the morning because a group of 24 of us all signed up for white water rafting and it was one of the raddest things I’ve done on this trip. We had a blast and I swear we had the best guides in all of Baños. They proceeded to tell us that we were going to be rafting on class 4 waters and then I found out that the scale was out of 5. And just like that we were in the water. The weather was rainy and overcast and the water felt great. Trust me, I know because we flipped into the water not once but twice. It was definitely worth it though and the trip even included lunch and who doesn’t love a free lunch! Afterwards, we hitched a ride all the way to the top of one of the best lookout spots I’ve been to on this voyage called El casa del arbor or the treehouse that has the infamous swing at the end of the world. The treehouse itself was cool and the swings felt great because I felt like a kid again playing on a playground. They even had zip lining, a restaurant, and ton of other places for pictures. Now I forgot to mention this earlier, but the ride we hitched up to the top was from someone with a truck because we rented bikes to use to go back downhill. I have never gone so fast before in my life. The hills were so steep and honestly I felt like I was in the Tour de France. We were zipping past people on four wheelers and it felt amazing because of the wind right in my face. After we got down we got dinner and get ready to go out to a discotek that our tour guides from that morning told us to go to. It ended up being so much fun and they kept us out until almost 3 in morning. Normally that would be okay but I signed up to go canyoning with all of them that next morning at 9am so I was exhausted. 

I had never even heard of canyoning until this trip, and had never even thought about doing it until the day before. I had zero knowledge and zero expectations going into it, but turned out to be a blast! It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost like reverse rock climbing. So we basically use rope to repel down waterfalls and it was so exhilarating.  The weather was also perfect for it and the water was so refreshing. We got to repel down 3 waterfalls and even zip line down one! It was exhausting and hard work but it was so worth it. When we got back I planned to relax for the rest of the day but somehow I found myself back at that same company that I’ve been doing all these excursions with. Except this time, it was to do one of the most extreme things I’ve ever done; bridge jumping. And yes, it is exactly how it sounds. You harness up and literally jump from a bridge straight down to the ground and then you just swing.  I’m pretty sure I blacked out when I did it because one moment I’m standing up taking in all the scenery and the next thing I know I’m swinging back and forth like a pendulum. I would never do it again but I’m so glad that I got to! On our way back downtown we noticed that a lot of the streets were blocked off and that va lot of people were dressed up. Then our guide told us it’s the 72nd anniversary of Baños and that there’s a big parade festival and then a concert! Heading back home, we ran into into a fellow SAS alumni who sailed in Fall of 2013! The Airbnb was in a prime location because we could sit from our porch and watch everything. The parade lasted for about 8 hours so when we took a break from watching we went back to our favorite pizzeria for one last meal. We then made a pit stop at the hot springs for a nice relaxation. We got there kind of late so we didn’t spend much time there but it felt great! We had plans to go back to the same place we were at the night before but got sidetracked by the concert going on right by our place. This concert ended up being one of the highlights of this voyage. They was a group of about 10 SASers of us that grew into a group of almost 20 of us. Somehow we ended up becoming great friends with the headliner who let us go onstage not once, not twice, but three times! He gave a huge shoutout to the great US of A and welcomed us to his country. He even let us go behind the dj booth! It turned into a huge dance party and we led the crown in the Cupid shuffle, the conga line, and even the wave! People were coming up to us left and right asking for our autographs as if we were international superstars! I danced like there was no tomorrow that I ended up tearing my jeans. As we were leaving we found a playground and ended up spending about thirty minutes running around being hooligans. Honestly, it was the best way to end our last night in Ecuador.

The last day we took our day coming back to the boat and literally napped the entire bus ride back because we were just so exhausted. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting our energy back. I also finally had time catch up on all my emails. One in particular was from the Vicarious voyage that I have been apart of since the beginning of my journey. It’s basically a program where you pair up with a classroom and share your experience with them and answer any questions that they might have. I received a some letters from Mrs. PB’s second grade class and want to give them all a huge shout out for following my voyage! My friends and I all loved reading those letters so keep them coming! 

Lastly, the ship offers fancy dinners that we go to for celebrations and on this stretch we celebrated the birthday phone of my best friends, Sarah. The dinner was a multiple course meal that with the choice of steak or salmon, soup, salad, lemon prosecco (pallet cleanser), and of course an ice cream sundae for dessert. They are always served by our favorite waiters and they always make it a great time! 

As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:
Next stop—->  COSTA RICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PERUsing Everywhere🇵🇪

After another long 7 days at sea, I have made it from the Atlantic to the Pacific and I have made it to Callao, Peru! I got a very early start to the first day because I had my last field class (which is basically a field trip) for my Consumer Behavior class. The only way to effectively apply the concepts we learned in class was to go shopping, so naturally we got to go to four different markets across the city to observe our buyer behavior. It was awesome! We went to two grocery markets, a huge clothing mall, and a souvenir market. The grocery centers were filled with all the fresh fruit you could imagine. The shopping mall was really funny to walk through because of all the knock off brands that were there. All the Nike products had a backwards swish and adidas were called fadidas. Valient effort, but they couldn’t fool us. The last place we went to was personally my favorite and that was the souvenir market. We were there for the longest and it’s where I  got the most stuff. I could have spent hours there because there was so much to see and to do. On our way back we stopped off at a really cool lookout point to see the coastline of Lima and enjoy the sunset before heading back to the ship. 

Day 2 got off to a very early start because my flight to the great city of Cuzco was at 3:45 in the morning. Upon landing, our driver picked us up and we embarked on our two hour cab ride to the train station in the middle of nowhere. By this time it was around 7 o’clock and we boarded our train for an hour and a half train ride to the infamous KM 104. The train literally just dropped us off in the middle of a forrest and there our guide met us, gave us our boxed lunch, and we headed across a bridge further into the forrest. There we met up with the rest of our group and just like that we started our hike along the Inca Trail. For this of you who don’t know, this trail is LONG. Also, calling it a trail doesn’t do it any justice because this “trail” is is a trek. And this trek ended up being just over 8 hours long from start to finish, nine miles long, and such an uphill battle. Along the way we saw tons of beautiful scenery, saw tons of llamas,  and took several breaks!  We trekked up through four different cities starting off in Chachabamba and we finally ended up at the great city of Machu Picchu.  By this time is was already late in the evening so we decided to descend down to the city of Aguas Calientas. But, instead of taking the $12 bus down, we took the free walk down which ended up being a one and a half hour hike downhill. Once we reached the bottom, we were greeted by our tour guide who brought us to this amazing reataurant. Afterwards we hit the hay because of the early morning ahead of us. 

Day 3, compared to day two was so relaxing and very enjoyable. We took a bus right back to the top of Machu Picchu (my third wonder of the world to visit). We took a three hour tour and let’s just say if there ever was a time period that I could go back and live in, it would definitely be the Incan era. Aside from their history, just the way that they loved their lives was absolutely incredible. They were full of so much knowledge. There’s evidence that shows that they were capable of performing surgeries, knew that the earth was at 23.5 degree tilt, and the exact day the summer and winter solstice would occur, just to name a few. Everything about the Incan culture completely blew my mind and I am so grateful to have been able to visit. Also, every SASer and their mother ended up being there that day because it was the parents visitation port! Not to mention, it was best way that I could have possibly spent my Thanksgiving since I could not be at home for it. After Machu Picchu, I went to dinner with some friends for the first Friendsgiving meal and since we couldn’t get any turkey we ordered Aplaca and Guinea Pig to culture ourselves. It was absolutely delicious and they tasted just like steak and chicken! Later that evening we took the train back to this train station that I can’t pronounce and then after a two hour bus ride we finally made it back to our hostel in Cuzco. 

Day 4 was the best/worst day of my life to date. My day started at 2 in the morning when our bus came to pick us to take us all the way to nomans land. We arrived at 5 in the morning in literally the middle of a llama/alpaca/sheep farm. Luckily we all brought warm clothes because it was freezing cold as we embarked on our 6 hour round-trip trek to the Rainbow Mountains. The beginning was great! It was a nice steady incline and the scenery was just amazing! Then, all of a sudden, everything switched and it easily because one of the hardest walks of my life. Did I mention that the altitude was over 14,000 feet? If not, well, the altitude was over 14,000 feet. The air was getting thinner and thinner and each step became harder and harder. Others had rented horses to take them, but I didn’t give in until the very end for about the last 20 minutes because my body just could not handle the altitude. All of that feeling immediately went away when I took in the view I had from the top of the mountain.  I can honestly say that I have never see all anything so beautiful before in my life. There were so many colors around me and a wave of accomplishment rushed over me because I could lookout and see how I’ve come. It was so rewarding being just under 17,000 feet above , and then out of nowhere it started snowing and it felt like Christmas! It did make the trek back down to the van way more enjoyable. By the time we made it back it was only lunchtime and our guides fed us the best Peruvian food ever and then they dropped us off back at our hostal. We took the rest of the evening to relax get dinner and enjoy another Friendsgiving with some sushi! Afterwards, we walked around the markets to find souvenirs and it was very successful. Our bartering skills have significantly improved since the beginning of the voyage, so we are basically professionals now. We eneded up getting so much stuff and then went out to explore the local nightlife and it was so much fun! The music was amazing and having so many SASers around always makes for a good time. 

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end because we had to catch a plane by noon to head back to Callao to be back on the boat. But looking back, I could not have had a better time in Peru. I arrived with no expectations and everything I did was so much fun, although my body is still recovering from all the hikes I did. Cuz I has definitely made the list for top 3 places that I WILL be visiting in the future. If you’re ever considering going to South America then I highly recommend going to Peru because despite the minor altitude adjustment it’s absolutely stunning and will blow your mind.

Also, on the way to Ecuador we hosted the first ever Mr.SAS Pageant! Me ad 12 other guys participated in it and after several weeks of preparation I got first runner up! (Although the crowd thinks that I deserved first place) But it was so much fun! For my talent I performed an original hip hop number accompanied by a few of the ships best dancers! It was a blast to be apart of and was exactly what we needed before docking again. As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:

Next stop—-> Guayaquil, Ecuador! 🇪🇨

Home sweet Trinidad 🇹🇹& The Panama Canal 🇵🇦

So I think that I speak for the whole shipboard community when I say that Trinidad has been the best port to date. From the time we were able to access the hotels wifi nearby (yes, wifi availability has a major impact on how we view a country) which was before we even docked we new that the next two days were going to be amazing. For those of you who don’t know, my dad was born in Trinidad and all of his family is from there so I have visited a couple times before and was so excited to be back. As we were walking down the gangway outside, we were greeted with steel drums and musical performers and it was awesome. Once we were out of the terminal my friends and I were greeted by my uncle! He took us to this amazing breakfast place and then we went right to the beach. The beach we went to was Maracas Beach and is hands down one of my favorite beaches. It was the first beach I went to when I visited for the first time and it was everything I remembered and more. As usual, there were several hundered of us SASers there and it was a blast. We got there around 11 and stayed until late in  the evening and there wasn’t a minute wasted. We played volleyball, went swimming, layed out, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It felt like I was on Spring Break vacation with all of my friends (throwback to freshman year lol) and was so much fun. And to top it off I got to enjoy my favorite meal in the entire world which is Bake-and-shark. I know it sounds odd, but don’t write it off until you’ve tried it because I promise you it’s life changing. That was the one meal that I told all my friends and teachers to try and they fell in love. That night I was so exhausted from being out all day that I stayed in and utilized all the free wifi I could get. 
The next morning, my friends and I got an early start and went back to the same breakfast place as the day before and got some bake-and-shark while we waited for my uncle to come and get us. Once he did, we made our way north to his beach house stopping off at the super market to get all the necessary beach essentials. After 30ish minutes we finally arrived, but beforehand went to beach we embarked on what my family likes to call the hike of death. I don’t know if it’s because I’m out of shape, the hike is just really hard, or any combination of the two but it’s intense. My uncle walks it 5 days a week and has for at least the past 5 years so he literally zoomed right up this mountain like it was a piece of cake. Meanwhile, my friends are struggling and taking baby steps up this thing while breaking for water every 5 minutes. The beginning was so easy, we kept up good pace, enjoyed the Bamboo Cathedral, and even saw some monkeys. But shortly after the hike took a turn for the worst and the incline started to increase and we eventually lost my uncle because he was so far ahead of us. Even though it was tough it was very rewarding to make it to the top. It was an abandoned American base to there’s a huge satellite and a bunch of Buildings up there. The descend down was way more enjoyable and as a reward for making it without passing out my uncle got us fresh coconut from his tree and we sipped on the coconut water on our way to the beach. This beach experience was completely different the Maracas because there was so few people here and was so relaxing, expecially after that hike. We hung out for the next few hours until we had to go back to the ship since it was our last day there. But right outside of the port was a party in itself because everyone was hanging out at the restaurant they had in the terminal and there were a ton of vendors outside so we were all buying last minute souvenirs. And, just as in the beginning, the sent of off to the beat of the steel drums. 

Even though we were only there for barely 2 days, I had so much fun! I loved being able to see my uncle and intriguing him to some of my friends. Being able to see my favorite places and eat my favorite made the two days there absolutely amazing! 

Towards the beginning of the voyage, we got divided into “seas” based on which hall we lived in and my sea was the Baltic Sea and our colors were blue! What we didn’t know was that the point of these seas were to help for the Sea Olympus that took place a few days after departing Trinidad & Tobago. We had an opening ceremony where we created and showcased a music video, mascot and chant, and a lip sync battle (which we took home the gold in all 3). Day two was jam packed with tons of events. There was ping pong (which I got first in), egg toss, tug of war, water pong, arm wrestling, three-legged race, hula hooping, and synchronized swimming, just to name a few. We spent the entire day competing and it was a blast. Day 3 was even crazier than the previous! There was only one event that day and it was volleyball which was supposedly going to be the deciding factor for who won. But before I say who ended up winning I forgot to mention the best part about today. WE CROSSED THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL. After going through 6 locks and a casual $100,000 dollars we made it from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacifit Ocean. (Check my Facebook for a really cool time-lapse). The whole experience was undeal. We learned so much about the history behind it and  seeing it in person was just amazing. We got the whole day off from classes to watch the whole process. The best part about it was that we had cell phone service for the day!! 

Now, back to the Sea Olympics.. My sea ended up winning the volleyball tournament and we knew that we were neck and neck with another sea to be the first place champions. Later that evening at the awards ceremony, they announced that there was a tie and the tie breaker was going to be a whip cream and bubble gum contest. So there we were, two team eager to get the first place victory and all of the bragging rights that came along with it. We were all so nervous and anxious that it seemed like forever but WE ENDED UP WINNING!! Our sea went crazy!! We were screaming, yelling, chanting, and being the most obnoxious people ever. 

All in all, it turned out to be a great event and helped pass by the time until we get to Peru! As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:
Next stop—-> Peru and Machu Picchu!!

A Brazilion reasons to smile🇧🇷

After being on the ship for 7 days I was more than ready to get off and take on Salvador. My friends and I spent all day roaming around and saw some amazing views. One of my professors was born and raised in Brazil so he was able to give us some great pointers for what to do and try, one of which was a caipirinha. It’s a Brazilian drink that, according to my professor, should be consumed responsibly. So being the curious college students we are, my friends and I went to one of the local restaurants to try them. It was probably one of the best, most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had!   Aferwards, we wandered throughout the city down random streets and ended up running into some locals who spoke English. It turns out that they were apart of a dance crew and had spent the past 15 years traveling the world with their company. They’ve even performed in Texas. Before we knew it several hours had passed by so we headed back to the ship to be in bed because our flight the next morning to Brazil departed at 5:50 am.

Let’s just say that by no means am I a morning person. There were about 15 of us traveling together so trying to get everyone awake, together, and into taxis was a nightmare but it was all worth it when we landed in Rio. Before landing, I saw the coolest aerial view of Rio de Janeiro. I saw Favelas and there was way more greenery than I expected to see. After landing, our van picked us up and took us to our Airbnb which ended up being a 5 bedroom penthouse suite right across from Copacabana beach. So obviously that was the first thing that we did after we unpacked. We layed out for hours, enjoyed the cool water, and played a bunch of sand volleyball! It was also a Brazilian holiday so the beaches was PACKED with people. They even closed the mainstreet so no cars could drive on it so it was filled with cyclists and pedestrians. The weather was perfect and we ended up staying out so late that we were physically exhausted and ordered Dominos pizza for dinner and called it a night. 

We got off to an early start the next day as we made our way to towards Christ the Redeemer.  It was one of the coolest sights that I’ve been to. When we were leaving from the airport he looked so tiny but once we went all the way up the mountain it was way bigger. There was an option to hike all the way up it, but we found out that it was the equivalent to over 180 floors so we politely declined. Afterwards, our tour guide got us as close as we could to the Favelas while keeping us safe since they are corrupt and controlled by cartels. They are typically the slums of the area and are built up on top of each other.  The coolest part of it all was that it was the same place that they filmed the movie Fast Five! Our next was stop was the Santa Theresa steps. I don’t know the history behind it, but they are so vibrant and colorful. As we were slowly making our way down the steps, a lady who was selling Açai bowls out of her house stopped us. She didn’t speak any English but her Açai bowls spoke for themselves. It was my first time ever having them and holy cow I didn’t want it to end because it was so delicious. Later on, we found out that Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams walked down these same steps. Our last destination was to the infamous Sugar Loaf. I don’t know why it’s called that, but it it has one of the greatest views in all of Rio. They have cable cars that take you all the way up to see everything. Afterwsrds, while we were waiting for out driver to get us, I decided to relax and refresh with some coconut water. My day started off by seeing some really cool sites, and during the evening I moved on to tasting some really good food. From day 1, I was told that I need to eat at a Brazilian Steakhouse, so that’s exactly what I did. Although it is a chain, Fogo de Chão was the number one place to go to and let me tell you, it was nothing short of amazing. We ended up staying for 3 hours and it was filled with good company, lots of laughter, a run in with an MMA fighter, and all the meat you could imagine. Needless to say we basically rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and ubered ourselves home. 

The last two days in Rio were very rainy so that kind of put a damper on our plans. It was the first port of this whole voyage  that we have had bad weather while in country. But that didn’t stop us one bit. We bought ourselves an American football and had ourselves the best 5v5 pick up game of sand football that Rio has ever seen. We were playing for hours while the rain came pouring down and it was so much fun. My team won, obviously, and afterwards we went swimming in the ocean and experienced some of the biggest waves I have ever seen. It was sick. By the time we checked our phones it was dinner time so we went back to the Airbnb and the girls we were with made us a nice home cooked meal. After dinner, we made our way to the samba club that had a live performance by one of Brazil’s best artists. We were there forever learning to dance and having a great time. We had such a good time that we were out until 4:30am. 

The last day was pretty uneventful because we were supposed to go hang gliding but due to the really and weather we ended up waiting for hours at the site hoping the weather would clear up. Unfortunately it didn’t so we just went to the airport 4 hours early and used the free wifi until finally arriving back in Salvador. 

Despite the bad weather the last two days, I had an incredible time in Rio and it is definitely on my list of places that I have to come back and visit. As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:

Next stop—-> Trinidad and Tobago!!!🇹🇹

Ship life, Senegal, and more Ship life 

Part 1: Ship life, 10/15/16-10/21/16            So for the past 6 weeks my “school week” has been completely out of whack. School days have been on Saturday and Sunday and my “weekends” have been Monday- Friday. It has been absolutely amazing. I’ve already seen and done so much and my voyage is only just beginning. Heading towards Senegal is the first time since leaving Germany that I’ve been on th ship for more than 2 days and while it should be nice and relaxing, the reality of school has begun to set in. The entire ship has been in such a frenzy due to cramming for exams, writing extensive essays, and preparing for group projects. You would think that the course load would be a lot lighter, but it’s quite the opposite; I personally had 3 exams and 1 group project. That, compared to what other people had to do, wasn’t eventhat much. You can definitely tell who’s taking the classes Pass/Fail and whose grade actually affects their GPA because some people are hitting the books hard and others aren’t stressing out at all. But after many late nights and lots of terrible ship coffee, I finally made it through. The day before we arrived in Senegal we had game night game night with all of the teachers kids on the ship.  We played Uno, twister, and of course charades! 

Part 2: Senegal, 10/21/16-10/25/16 Senegal, for me was an amazing night experience. The culture was very different than Morocco, but much more representative of Africa. My first excursion was to the Bandia reserve, about an hours drive from Dakar. We got split up into groups of ten and piled into safari trucks and we explored the reserve looking out for animals. Over the course of a few hours we saw hyenas, giraffes, ostriches, rhinos, all sorts of monkeys, horse antelopes, zebras, and even gators! Our driver got us up close and personal to the animals and the animals let us. They were so accustomed to humans that they weren’t even phased by it. Afterwards, we made our way to lunch at this fancy hotel. It was buffet style so we could eat as much as we wants to and it came with one of the best views ever! Later that evening I went to sickest hotel I’ve ever seen. It’s called the Radisson Blue and it’s absolutely stunning and had the best wifi. There were over a hundred of us there, and they opened up one of their restaurants and turned it into a discotek club for all of us where we danced the whole night away. 

Day 2 and 3 in Senegal are definitely in the top 5 of amazing things that I have done on this trip. I signed up for an Impact program which is basically like a community involvement program called the Life of a Fisherman. We started the day off by making our way down south towards Joal Fadioth and Petite Côte. On the way we stopped off to admire the Baobab trees which are the second symbol of Africa (the first being the lion). Upon arriving in Joal we met our guide who walked us across a bridge to the village we would be visiting. Everywhere I looked there were seashells. It was basically a gravel path comprised of all these shells and when we went to the little island they were all there too. We learned all about the culture, religion, and how they live day-to-day lives. As we were walking through, every person thought that I spoke French and much to their dismay I only knew enough to get by. Some of the locals even thought that I was the tour guide liaison because of how I dressed and spoke. It was one of the funniest things ever. We also made our way across another bridge to the sea shell cemetery where the Christians and Islams of the island are buried. Here, we had an amazing view of the entire island. And we got chauffeured back to our original starting point via canoe. It was about a 30 minute ride and we saw so many seagulls and Pelicans. We even saw some of the sea gulls diving down to hunt for fish.  For lunch, we went to a local restaurant where we were fed barracuda, shrimp, rice, and French fries and it was SO GOOD. They gave us so much food it took about 2 hours to finally finish it all. The description of the program made it seem like we were going to be sleeping in huts with fisherman but boy was I wrong. We ended up at this 4 star resort at the beach and it was nothing short of amazing. Good drinks, better food, and the best company! We befriended some locals and other kids from France who were there on vacation who eneded us showing us around and taking all of us out that night. We spent most of the next day at another fishermans village where we learned more about the process of how they catch, process, and deliver all of the fish that they catch. We also saw how they make their canoes. My favorite part of the day was hanging out with all of the kids. They loved taking pictures with all of us and in return they just wanted to hang out. We kicked the ball around on the beach and played lots of tag! While it was so sad to say good bye, we left them with bracelets we had gotten so they could remember us by. Even though I was only in Senegal for a few short days, I felt like I did and saw so much. If anyone is in the area then I would definitely suggest that you stop by! 

Part 3: More ship life, 10/25/16-11/1/16 Well the 7 day trans-Atlantic voyage has definitely been interesting. Luckily I don’t have any test or projects to work on so I have been relaxing and hanging out like no other. Since we are bordering the equator the weather has been amazing and I have seen so many Dolphins! To pass by the time I have been playing so many card games and watching movies. With literally zero access to Internet out here we all downloaded movies onto our portable hard drives prior to boarding, so we have been sharing movies with each other and needless to say, I have a pretty good collection built up. On October 28th we crossed the equator and it was the most fun we have had on the ship to date. SAS has a tradition where we are greeted by King Neptune himself and we get covered in fish guts (slime) and jump in the pool as polliwags and as we get out we leave as shellbacks and have to kiss a dead fish. It sounds weird but it was such an incredible experience. The second part of the tradition was to get your head shaved, so naturally I did it. Not only was everyone else doing it, but it was also a free haircut so I was all about it. Since we were so close to the equator we had perfect weather and spent the entire day outside. The last major thing that happened was our big Haloween party. We celebrated on October 30th and had a big costume party on the top deck It was definitely a great way to end our 7 day Atlantic adventure. 

Anyways, I just arrived in Salvador Brazil and I leave for Rio tomorrow. For more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:
Next stop—-> Salvador, Brazil. 

A Morockin’ good time 🇲🇦

New week, new month, new conitenent. After a month of traveling around Europe, I have finally arrived in Africa! As soon as we docked we had to go through 4 hours of immigration, but it’s ok because I was finally able to get my passport stamped for Morocco. Once we were able to leave the ship, our bus guide took a group of 60 of us to the 2nd largest Mosque in the world. It was built in 1989 and completed in 1993 and remains the largest in North Africa and is the only working mosque in Morocco that can be visited by non-Muslims.  Afterwards we departed to the great city of Fés, also known as the Mecca of the West. Before we checked into our hotel, we got to see a palace that was built in the 14th century. 

After breakfast, our guide picked us up from the hotel and we embarked on a picturesque journey towards Ifrane, through hills covered informers of cork oak and giant cedar in which the Barbary apes live.  We then took the scenic route through the Middle and High  Atlas Mountains. Crossing the Tizi-n-Talremt, we descended into a desert plain along the Ziz valley and headed south towards a huge oasis with over 6 million Palm trees, surrounded by several ksours (fortified villages). After several hours, and I mean several, we finally made it to our hotel in the desert town of Merzouga, but my journey doesn’t stop there. The hotel was just for our baggage because we had to venture 1 and a half hours into the middle of the Sahara Desert by camel that took us to a Berber camp in the middle of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes.  Our evening consisted of stargazing, a Moroccan dinner, and a traditional music show that turned into a dance party in the desert. We spent hours just dancing around to the beat of the drum and guitar until our legs couldn’t dance anymore.  The Berbers set up a fire and we gathered around as they told us more about the Berber culture and way of living. Afterwards we ventured to the top of the dunes to hang out and just reflect on everything. Honestly, there’s nothing as peaceful and tranquil than being out in the middle of the desert, looking up at the stars, and just listening to music. I could’ve stayed up there forever, but they recommended we get some sleep for the next day. 

I can definitely cross of waking up at 8 in the morning to go sand surfing because that’s exactly how I started my day. For having never gone snowboarding in my entire life I actually did pretty good, until I fell of and rolled down the dune. Luckily I wasn’t the only one though. By 9 o’clock we were back on our camels headed towards the hotel where our stuff was to catch the bus to our next destination which was through impressive Todra Gorges, past the eastern slopes of the Atlas Mountains to the Tinehir oasis in the Dades Valley to enjoy some delicious Berber pizza. My journey continued toward Ouarzazate, going off-road through the Valley of Roses, which is famous for its Rose Festival in May. After several more hours of driving we finally made it to the city of Ouarzazate which is also known as the “Hollywood of Morocco”.

The next morning we headed to the Ben Haddou where scenes from several films including Indiana Jones, Gladiator, the Prince of Persia, and Game of Thrones were filmed. So yes,  I walked on the same ground that Khaleesi walked on. This place was absolutely amazing. We walked all throughout the village and got to see all it had to offer. Then we crossed the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi’n Tichka pass at an altitude of 7,415 feet, the highest vehicular pass in Morocco. We ran into a light thunderstorm, but it was perfect because we saw the coolest rainbow EVER! As we descended, we saw three more rainbows! Halfway down we stopped in a Berber village that makes Argan oil from the kernals of the Argan tree. The oil is then used to produce a wide array of beauty products including hair and face products. But more importantly, it’s used to make Argan butter spread that honestl puts peanut butter and almond butter to shame. I also got to try my hand at making some oil and it is way harder than it looks. 

After more driving we made it to Marrakech, the second largest imperial city in Morocco, also known as “The Pearl of the South”. Once we were there we just explored a tangle of winding streets and alley ways where I got to test out my bargaining skills. Let’s just say nobody’s perfect. We then made it to the hectic Djemaa El Fna square, which by day is a marketplace, but by night transforms into an open air theatre and a place for non-stop entertainment. We saw snake charmers and acrobatic monkeys, but what they don’t tell you is that they charge you for taking pictures (good think I’m sneaky). 

The last day here was very relaxing. We were on the road for a couple of hours on our way back to Casablanca and just explored the city until it was time to be back on the ship. My experience here was definitely one of a kind. Thanks to our phenomenal tour guide, Ahmed, we were able to learn as much as possible about the history of Morocco as well as the culture of the Berber people. Even though I was only here for 5 days, I gained so much first hand knowledge that the textbooks will never be able to teach. It definitely changed the preconceived idea I had about Morocco and I can truly say that I want to come back here. As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:

Next stop—-> Dakar, Senegal 🇸🇳 

Viva la España🇪🇸

My first day in Spain was amazing! I had a field trip for one of my Marketing classes and let me tell you, there’s nothing like walking down the street of the Los Ramblas and taking in all of the sights and shops. From the architecture to the scenery and everything in between it was so cool to look at. The second half of the day was spent visiting two companies. The first one was Barcelona Turisme, which honestly was pretty boring. We just sat in a conference room and listened to this guy lecture.  But the second place that we went to was called Starlab and it was awesome. They specialize in Neuroscience and Space science and we got to get a glimpse of their global marketing strategies. Having had no prior knowledge of anything in the Sciencesphere that work that they do was actually really interesting! And yes, that’s my professor with a neuron headpiece on. The next morning I flew out at 6:40am to the wonderful Balearic Islands right off the coast of Spain. I spent the next three days here and it was like a vacation within a vacation. Our hostel was right on the beach and it was perfect. 

We spent hours there just relaxing and eating dinner. The next day was one of the best days on this trip to date. There were about 75 other SAS kiddos here and we chartered a groove cruise that came with a private dj who played awesome discotheque music while showing us around to the smaller islands. We even went to this cove where we went swimming in clear blue water which felt amazing after being in the sun for hours. Afterwards, we took a much needed siesta only to wake up at 11:00 pm to go explore the city. One of my favorite DJs, Martin Solveig, so naturally I had to see him play. What no one told me was that he wasn’t coming on until 3 in the morning. You better believe I stayed up late to see him and he was worth every penny and every second. Our last day there we spent at the beach again just relaxing until our flight. Speaking of our flight, it ended up getting delayed by 4 hours so we didn’t land back in Barcelona until 10:30 that night. 

My last day there I got to visit the infamous La Sagrada Familia. This place was breathtaking. I’ve visited churches in every country that I’ve visited to and this is one of my favorites. And the craziest thing about it is that it’s not even finished! 

All in all, my time here in Spain went by fast, but it was well worth it. I know for a fact that I have to come back because there’s so much to see and do here. 10/10 would recommend. As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:
Next stop—-> Casablanca, Morocco


Bonjourno! This past Monday I arrived in Italy! (I liked it so much more than Greece.) I traveled to 5 different cities in 5 days and there was so much history in all of those cities. We docked at 8am in Civitivecchia and by 8:30 we were already on a bus headed towards Rome. We signed for a Highlights of Rom tour to basically see all of Rome in one day. Our first stop was the Vatican City. I didn’t realize that it was its own city-state within Italy. It was set up like airport security to make it through, but once we did it was absolutely beautiful. We got to see some of the coolest pieces of art in St. Peter’s Basilica as well as walk around the Saint Peters Square. We also got to walk into the Sistine chapel which was amazing. There were so many people in there and all the police kept on yelling at us to not take photos, oops. Later that day I went to the ancient Coliseum on the other side of Rome. This is where the gladiators would fight each other for sport to entertain the rich. The coolest part about this was that I got to enter the Coliseum like I was a gladiator and run down the long tunnel towards the middle of the realm. 

The next day I went to the ancient city of Pompeii, just south of Naples, Italy. Long story short, during the first century a volcano exploded and was covered in 13ft.-20ft. of volcanic ash and pumice. Since it was so tightly compacted together, air and moisture could not penetrate it and so that is how the city was so well preserved. It was way bigger than I thought it was going to be and we were there for hours! We even got to see the casting of one of the people who died during it. Our plan after that was to eventually end up in Florence but with the way the train systems were set up we had to stay the night in Rome again and took a train the next morning and let me just say, Florence is my favorite city ever. I honestly could see myself living there. The first thing we did when we got there was go to this pizza place called Gustas. And let me say, me gusta Gustas. Hands down the best pizza I’ve ever had. Aftwards we went back to our Airbnb and then immediately went to walk around in the city. We visited the infamous statue of David and got to see the outside of the Duomo! I had a friend who had been there previously and took us to this lookout spot where we could see the whole city of Florence and it was such a great view! The night life is also really cool! With 550 of my shipmates all in the same place we always run into each other and have a great time! Someone of the Betas on this trip had been to Florence earlier on in the year and hung up a flag, so they brought me back to it and had me sign it! 

Day 4 was definitely one for the books. We ventured out for about an hour into the countryside of central Tuscany and went wine tasting. We went to a family owned vineyard where our guide showed us around and gave us the history behind his wine and Chianti region. And yes, cheese and salami was served. We also sampled his homemade balsamic vinegar and I knew I had to buy a bottle and send it home (you’re welcome mom and dad). Words cannot express how good this stuff was. And along with the delicious view, we ended the tour with a view of his vineyard. 

 My last day I ended up at the leaning tower of Pisa, because if we are being real you didn’t go to Italy if you don’t visit the tower. Getting there was super stressful because some of the the trains went on strike but we made it! Honestly if the town of Pisa didn’t have the tower I don’t think anyone would go visit it, but it’s a neat little city. Also, I think I might have taken the photo wrong. 

Also, for those of you who missed it, SAS was featured on Snapchats live story for a full 24 hours. But more importantly I was featured on it! So you can say you know a celebrity now because 20-30 million saw me. 😏 

Overall, Italy was awesome. It was filled with unlimited pizza, pasta, and gelato.  If you haven’t been before you definitely need to go and if you have already been before then definitely go back. For more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at:

Next stop—-> Barcelona, Spain💯

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