Surrounded by Water

Intro

Every year on my birthday I travel download app-somewhere I never been. It is more of a yearly tradition. One thing that I like doing is to experience things that is different and challenging. This time, I made a trip to St. Thomas Island which is considered U.S Virgin Islands. I made a trip to Puerto Rico and booked my ticket from San Juan to St. Thomas for $131 round trip which is about 35 minutes flight.

The Norms

A normal person will book a hotel room in a resort to enjoy the services and luxury of a nice expensive stay. However, I am different. I used to do that but after traveling many places, I started thinking about budgeting my travels and focusing on spending money on more important things such as activities and transportation. Mainly these are fixed prices. What about to tell you may not fit every person that loves to travel. Some like to have that luxurious service, some like medium and some just want to have a place to sleep and shower nothing more nothing less.

Drive Safe

After landing in St. Thomas, shuttle took me to the rental car place, and here are few things you must know:

  1. It is better to have your insurance upon renting the car. Call the rental place and make sure they accept your current insurance. If not buy cheap one online while renting the car.
  2. Renting a car is cheaper than taking cabs to go places on the island. It might seem small on the map but you will be surprised. Traffic gets bad, especially when the cruise ships passing by and dock.
  3. Driving is on the left side. Unlike normal driving in most countries, driving can be little challenging on the island.
  4. Do not get sand in the car, you will be charged at least $100 for cleaning. It is better to keep it clean.

The challenge was to get to the location where I had rented my sleeping, luxurious and comfortable place to stay on the island for the next 4 days. Driving on the left side was little dangerous if you are not paying attention because your left is right and your right is left. The location was about 1 hour away. ARE YOU READY?

Challenge yourself

I rented a sailing boat to sleep in for 3 nights and 4 days in a gated marina. Does this sound cool? Wait for it. At first thought, many people think it is cool and easy, but you will be surprised. It takes an adventurous person to take such chance to sleep in a sailing boat alone. To me it was a great experience, and loved every single moment of it. However it is not meant for anyone and here is why:

  1. Although sailing boat was in a gated marina, that does not mean it is 100% safe.
  2. The sailing boat will fit maximum 2 people although there are beds for 4.
  3. Phone connection with internet was very weak and most of the time was not working. If you have ATT service, it might work.
  4. You have to be quiet because there were many boats around with people sleeping in them, so forget about boat partying.
  5. You might be sleeping and storm comes, thankfully did not happen while I was staying.
  6. You will be sleeping like a baby sleeping in a rocker.
  7. If you are not used to sleeping in a boat, you will wake up sea sick and dizzy.
  8. It will get really hot if you sleep in the main bed, I had to sleep in the middle space.
  9. Bathroom is very difficult to use. You must follow instructions or you will face major problems with the owner of the boat.
  10. Make sure you tell the owner to fill up the water tank for the boat day in advance, and try to save water usage because you might run out in the middle of taking a shower.
  11. You have to be careful walking on the boat, lots of wires and ropes.
  12. You would wish for the water to be calm and smooth while sleeping, else the boat will be rocking left and right all night long preventing you from a good night sleep
  13. Buy snacks and water, collect trash and take care of it, else you will be charged for cleaning fees.

Create your moments

I had an amazing time waking up in the morning on a cup of green tea, and a book to read before I head out for activities. Water is clear and you can see fishes swimming around. Sunrise is beautiful, cool breeze is relaxing. I loved every single moment of it and definitely would do it again.

Life is Beautiful

All the above were things that I didn’t know prior booking. However, it was a great learning experience and wanted to share them with you. In the end, traveling to me is all about challenges along the way that teaches you how to handle situations in real life. Over all I had an amazing time in St. Thomas. The island is beautiful, people are nice, and lots to explore. I hope this information will help you with your next trip.

BON VOYAGE!

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White Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

Intro

It is the largest Mosque in UAE, located in Abu Dhabi State. For some of you who may know that UAE has 7 states. Dubai is the most famous among all of them. The mosque was constructed between 1997 to 2007. Most know it as Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Grand White mosque. This mosque represents the Islamic religion, culture and combination of old and modern architecture.

Entrance

If you are riding in cab or have your own car, you are allowed to enter and park in the designated spots. There are two separate entrances for males and females. It is recommended for females to bring their own “Abaya“-to avoid renting one– as you are not allowed to enter without it. You will be searched before you walk in. No cigarettes, lighters, or any hazardous material allowed in the mosque. Believe me they are very strict. The mosque is huge, lots of barefoot walking, bring a small bag so you can place your shoes inside that bag and carry it on your back. If you wear expensive shoes, ask one of the security guards to put your shoes inside a private room with shoe racks. Not too many people know this but I did it.

Gate

After 5 minute of walking, you will see a water fountain, with two pools on each side of the entrance. The gate is very high and beautifully designed in the arc shaped islamic architecture. Before walking in, take off your shoes. Place them on the shoe rack and remember their spot.

White Mosque

As you see in the pictures above, beautiful architecture, high ceilings, clean, shiny marble, flowery designed walls and floor. It is a great piece of art and recommend it to every visitor in Abu Dhabi. Best time to visit this amazing place is before sunset depending on the time of the year. Remember that UAE is very hot during summer times. Avoid noon time on a any Friday, unless you are going for prayer. The mosque can fit 40k people, and it is mainly for praying at that time. There are security guards monitoring the areas where you can walk. Follow the rules and watch for signs as you walk around.

Fun Facts

  1. Carpet was made by 1300 Carpet Knotter, it weighs 35 ton , there are 2,268,000,000 knots in the carp, and took 2 years to complete
  2. Mosque took 10 years to build
  3. More than 3000 workers were used to finish the project
  4. Gold, precious stones and Swarovski crystals were used in the mosque
  5. Rihanna the singer was asked to leave after taking inappropriate pictures with the mosque in the background back in 2013

It was a great experience. The Grand White Mosque is the 2nd most visited landmark rated on Tripadvisor. ENJOY!!

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ALUX Restaurant

Perhaps one of the most amazing restaurants I have ever experienced was ALUX in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We were a group celebrating a friend’s birthday where we decided to pick a nice restaurant and ALUX came through. I have to say our minds were blown up after we left. It is very hard to find restaurants with a unique experiences that combines nature, experience, and food all at once.

Entrance

We were welcomed by two Mayans as soon as we walked in the gate. They were reciting some rituals “I HAVE NO CLUE”, and playing some instruments. According to what I heard something has to do with Sacrificing a Virgin. I might be wrong but again it was very cool to experience such warm welcoming. As soon as you walk in, the stairs for the restaurant is on your right. Entrance was nicely designed, although it will not occur to you that you are walking inside a huge cave.

Dining

Atmosphere, ambience, lighting, and setup are all very nice and well designed. We were sat next to a falling water from the limestones next to a small spring. It was very soothing and relaxing. I loved every single moment of it.

Menu

The menu is in two languages, English and Spanish. I love restaurants that have the courtesy to make it easier for their customers. I believe it is very important since management know that people from all over the world would come and visit. They serve appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, and Steaks. The variety is there so no worries when it comes to selections. Wine selections are from all over the world, ask your waiter/waitress to take you inside the “CAVA”.

Recommendations

I would recommend to take your time, do not rush if you are visiting ALUX. It is not only a restaurant but more of an excursion, and great experience. If you are planning to go after party, call and reserve early. It is highly recommended for couples and special occasions. Garden salad, Portobello mushroom, and Bone ribeye steak are delicious. If you are looking for cool dessert, as for the flamin coffee.

BON APPETIT!!

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Salsa Dancing

Snapshot 3 (9-25-2017 8-48 PM)

Thank you for Stopping By!! I have something really exciting for you, ENJOY!!!

Here is a video of me dancing with one of the world dancers from NYC. A little teaser for some of my hobbies. Something I do while traveling also. I will be posting more videos often.

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Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey-Tropical Storm

Houston August 25, 2017

Here is what you need to know about Hurricane Harvey,

  1. 2 million people will be affected with this Hurricane.
  2.  Harvey started as a category 3 and will grow bigger with winds up to 125 mph by Friday night.
  3. 34 inches of rain, flooding, and a force to make serious damages to houses and public areas in addition to uprooting the trees.
  4. It will hit the gulf coast from Corpus Christi, Texas  to New Orleans, Louisiana.
  5. Estimated 5 billion in damages.

Are you ready for this ?

Many people have been preparing to face Hurricane harvey for couple of days. Here are some tips:

  1. 3 gallon of water per person for cooking, drinking and oral hygiene.
  2. Freeze some water in a or ziploc bag, and fill coolers with ice last minute (you don’t want ice to melt).
  3. Buy canned food such as meat, fruits, vegetables, juices and check the expiration dates.
  4. Buy boxed milk
  5. Cereal, soup, oatmeal and granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter, jelly, beef jerky, bread, crackers, cookies, fresh fruit and protein bars are all good to have in case of emergency.
  6. Don’t forget to buy baby food if you have one, also pet food.
  7. Flashlight with extra batteries, car charger and bank for mobile phone, battery operated digital TV with car charger adapter.
  8. Grill with extra propane and charcoal.
  9. Place matches and lighters in waterproof container.
  10. Manual can and bottle opener.
  11. Cleaning supplies, heavy duty gloves, duct tape, heavy duty outdoor extension cords, waterproof tarps, plastic sheeting, rope, basic tool kit, smoke detectors, and carbon-monoxide detectors.
  12. Battery 2 way radio in case cellphones don’t work.
  13. Fire Extinguisher
  14. Place all your important documents, such as medical papers, insurance, bank statements, social security, passports, jewelry and expensive personal items in a waterproof container.
  15. First aid kit, enough supply for prescription drugs, vitamins, pain reliever, antibacterial soap, toilet paper, tooth paste, shampoo, mosquito repellent, lotion, and antibacterial wipes.
  16. Buy a generator
  17. Secure your windows, and doors.
  18. Remove all your items from the backyard and place them inside the garage.
  19. Fill up your gas tank.
  20. Cut the extensions of trees around your house to minimize damage.
  21. If you are in a flood zone, buy sandbags and place them on the doors to minimize the water coming in.
  22. Clean your drains from all the debris and tree leaves to ensure proper water drainage.
  23. Stay in and don’t walk or drive when the hurricane is in full effect.
  24. In case of flooded areas, DO NOT walk around especially next to bayou areas because many could have snakes, and alligators which can be harmful.

Don’t Panic

For many who like to evacuate, it is better to start acting early before it is too late. Back in 2005, Hurricane Rita caused a mass evacuation estimated around 3 million people. Between 90-120 people died in this evacuation. I remember it took me 6 hours to leave from Houston Downtown area to the woodlands which is 20 miles. On the way I witnessed the burning of a bus, people suffocating from heat, others as a result of hyperthermia in their cars and many more tragic incidents.

If you are planning on evacuating, follow these steps:

  1. Fill up your tank
  2.  Check your tires, make sure you have a spare one.
  3. Buy some food, water, and personal items incase you had to stay in a hotel, or be stuck in traffic.
  4. Turn off your car if you see the traffic is not moving, and keep windows open.
  5. Check the traffic, roads safety, and make sure it is safe to take that route.
  6. Don’t drive in the HOV lane, as many people were stuck due to traffic after hours, they run out of gas.

Stay safe and hope Hurricane Harvey will pass with no damages. Remember safety and preparation comes first.

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Envy VS Jealousy

 

 

 

 


In our time where social media is big part of our daily life, people tend to reveal their daily stories, personal life, even their family, friends, location, restaurants, travel and the list can go on. Social media is a double sword. It can be used for good or bad cause. Bottom line, a little education can get you far in your life if social media is used carefully.

What are the differences between Jealousy and envy? In this blog I will go deep into explaining most differences and impact on our society. I will analyze the correlation in between those two bad habits that people tend to do without previous thoughts.

What is Jealousy?

Jealousy is when someone is wishing to have what others own at that moment. Acting jealous mainly can be very abroad such as between friends, family, strangers, superstars, singers, and actors, anyone you see on social media or TV.  It could be beauty, status, position, or something tangible like a car, house, etc.  You can be driving a car that some of your friends will comment and say “nice car, man I wish I had that car.” It is nothing bad with being honest when it comes to close friends. Another scenario is when a girl is actually staring at another girl because her boyfriend is looking. That is another type of jealousy which most of the time causes arguments between couples. Do you see the differences between these thoughts that goes in the mind of human being? It could be vice versa. Let us not go deep into couple problems, we are focusing on jealousy here. Another scenario which most moms notice that when big brother playing with little brother at younger age get into arguments and end up fighting. Big brother does not want his little brother to play with his favorite toy. Mom comes in the middle and most likely little brother gets what he wants. Funny HA! Most of us went through and you know exactly how it ends up. Little brother wins, then jealousy hits, and big brother thinks his mom loves little brother more. Honest jealousy is another thing. You can tell someone that you are jealous because they are traveling to your favorite place that you cannot afford at the moment. But if you start wishing that person to have the worst experience and hopefully something comes up so they won’t travel, it becomes envy and this is what will discuss next. Notice that there is a thin line between Envy and Jealousy.

What is Envy?

Envy is when you wish harm to someone because either you don’t have what they have, or you own it but you don’t want others to obtain it. Mainly this horrible act is between same circle of family, friends, neighbors, or people we just met. A friend of yours pulls in with a nice car and your comment will be “man!!! How can he afford this expensive car?” Why would anyone want to ask this question? It could be because he knows something is not right about that person, or because he doesn’t want that person to drive a nicer car than him. All this is not important. When you see your friend is driving a nice car, before you make that comment above, many thoughts come in your head which are: How come I don’t have money to buy that car? How do I make more money to afford better car? Why is he making more money than me? I will let that sink in your head for little. Another scenario is when you are in college and one of your friends decided to be a doctor and you choose different path. Ten years down the road you see your doctor friend is making it, nice house, car, money, and beautiful chic to be his wife. Now, here is the tricky part, a family member will point out that your friend is living the life and you just barely making it; In a way calling you a loser. This is where it triggers enviness and you start asking all the negative questions. Going back to the car scenario, if you are not happy with what car you drive, maybe you should do something about it. A better approach will be “congratulations on your new car, I wish you a better one on your next one and maybe one day when I get a nice car like yours, we can go racing.” How hard is that? This will make a huge difference and will change your mindset of seeing things from a different perspective. You will have the motivation to look for better job that will allow you to afford nicer car.

Do Not Compare yourself or let anyone compare you with others

Can you envy or be jealous of Bill Gates on his success? Of course NOT!! Reason is that there is a big gap between a normal person and Bill. There are many steps to become as he is today. We tend to be jealous from people that are same level. For instance, a doctor can be jealous from another doctor because he is more successful. When a doctor is envy of another doctor is because he doesn’t want him to be a doctor in the beginning, and if he is more successful, that person wishes him harm and wants that taken away from him.

Envy and jealousy are bad habits, a soul destroyer and nobody wins at the end. This bad trait can be acquired from the way we were raised by family, or anyone that we surround ourselves with. Therefore, pay attention parents because envy is not a good way of building personalities by comparing your children to others. Some people were born rich, some born poor. Do not say loser, but instead say unfortunate. You can train your kids to challenge themselves to do better in life overall.  It is no one’s fault to be born they are. I want to focus on the parents as a general and normal way of acquiring good manners. Please teach your kids to be happy with what they have. If they want more, they need to work hard for it. Teach them how to help and be happy for others. Kindness and positive energy will create a positive return energy.

Social Awareness

Social media is very tricky. People have access to view their friends and family business. They see all these people with nice cars, travels, expensive cloth etc. It takes a strong and smart person to take control of these thoughts. People are training their brains to think negatively on a daily basis. What do you think this will lead to? This will lead to a shallow minded society with negative thinking, full of envy and jealousy that will create a social disaster.  I hope that people start thinking about being happy with things that they have, because there are people out there  that have 10% of what we have. Parents play a huge role in creating future generations. I suggest you start acting now before it is too late.

A doctor will envy another doctor, a singer will envy another singer, a homeless will envy another homeless, and if  you chose to do the same, you are definitely on right path of destroying your brain slowly. If you want to ne jealous, control it, be truthful in order to be motivated and do good for yourself.

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