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ARUBA TRAVELING

14 Travel tips for Aruba

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

I always form a special connection with a place where I go alone, and particularly with one where I stay for a long time and where I learn a lot. So needless to say, Aruba was definitely one of those places for me! Aruba does not need much help in getting tourists to the island, but here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting Aruba to get the most out of your trip and to be a respectful traveler.

  1. The island is full of all inclusive hotels – avoid those to get to see more of the country and its many restaurants and stay at a non-inclusive hotel or one of the many air bnb’s
  2. High Rise is the main tourist area – stay at Low rise to avoid being crammed in between expensive restaurants and tourist shops (though it’s also nice to visit!)
  3. The island has a big stray dog & stray cat problem, but most stray dogs stay away. (If they do not, instead of trying to run away, stop and stare away from them) Contact a local shelter to talk about visiting hours and donations (Sgt Pepper’s Friends, Animal welfare alliance Aruba, Aruba Animal Rights, etc), but do not show up unannounced, with or without dogs.
  4. Rent a car – Public transport is very poor on the island and by driving around you of course get to see more. However, the hotel stripe (so almost the whole width of the southern coast!) has a busline which is quite reliable
  5. The island is very safe – you can leave your belongings on the beach quite carelessly in touristy places, but do take more care in more remote areas
  6. There is no open container law on the island, so you’re allowed to take your alcohol around even in a keep cup from most restaurants! As a downside how ever, locals are relaxed about drinking and driving so be wary of lousy drivers.
  7. Sidewalks are scarce and drivers are not used to people walking on the road so you have to remain careful when doing that, but on Watty Vos and on L. G. Smith Boulevard you can find good sidewalks for jogging!
  8. Don’t skip the nice small hike (on stairs) to Hooieberg
  9. Do not drive on dunes or sand! It’s strictly forbidden as owls and sometimes turtles make nests there.
  10. You can recycle bottles and other products at (usually) blue coloured recycling stands near most beaches – only leave footprints and do not contribute to the island’s trash problem.
  11. The only night club on the island is called Gusto, but there are plenty of nice bars and cafés on the island. Especially keep your eyes and ears out for live music (special recommendation to Tsunami!), and check out Bugaloe for their karaoke nights (bets place for dancing id you ask me)!
  12. Due to the island’s many American tourists, tipping is customary.
  13. Due to its location, fresh fruit and vegetables are hard to find on the island, but you can try be as sustainable as possible and buy local herbs and vegetables that are usually on their own section at the super market (Superfood, Ling & Sons and Do it Center being the main ones)
  14. Keep in mind that there’s a lot more to do than just the beautiful beaches in Aruba! A new post about things to do in Aruba coming soon!

If you end up going to this beautiful island and/or have more tips, please do share!

Love, Anna

ARUBA TRAVELING VEGAN

10 Cafés for a vegan ice coffee in Aruba

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

One of the previously promised posts finally coming up! Our favourite hobby after work, second to going to a beach, was going for an Ice Coffee. I think we tried every single place that we could find! However, afterwards I do have heard of some new names as well – always good to have a reason to go back eh? All these cafés (with one uncertainty) offered vegan milk options.

Dushi delicious

Delicious pancakes, delicious iced coffee, and a beautiful spot covered in plants right next to the center.

Origin

All vegan café with delicious food options!

Les Capucchina’s Café & Eaterie

A beautiful place, barely any vegan food choices and at a strange location but worth a visit just for their beautiful decor.

Santos Coffee with Soul

Quite pricey but very cozy, and perfectly located 50 meters away from the beach.

Butterfly farm

This is obviously not known as a café but offers them too nevertheless, and you can take them in while visiting the butterflies too!

Organic Bodega Café

Probably the best avocado sour dough bread I’ve ever had, and the biggest Iced Coffee I’ve ever had for that prize. Located strangely enough inside a clothing store, but still very much recommended just for the friendly service alone!

Cafe 112

Again another strange location under a residence building, but a cute and affordable coffee spot more inland.

Eduardo’s Beach Shack

Known for their fruit bowls and snacks, they do offer delicious Iced Coffees too – and right by the beach.

Eduardo’s Hideaway

Same as for their sister spot, just more inland and in a beautiful location (with air conditioning!).

Aruba Experience Café

A famous café located in a historic building, with tasty food options (including arepas!).

This makes me miss my Aruban home amongst all the dogs… I hope you might go and visit these spots even if it will take a while longer for me, please do share what you thought and if you have any new café tips!

Love, Anna

ARUBA LIFE TRAVELING

One month in Aruba

Monday, August 29, 2022

Disclaimer; I wrote this 10 days ago so now a month + 10 days have passed! I unfortunately got ill and had some of those worse days but today finally getting back to business healthwise and just got back from a long after work beach session so what a better time than to finally click post x

Hi there!

Time flies when you’re having fun right? I can not believe it has already been a month since I arrived on this tiny Caribbean island. It has been quite the experience so far. I started with a pretty drastic culture shock, went through lonely tired days when I just wanted to go home (where ever that is), spent time thinking about so many things I haven’t even had the time to acknowledge in the past few years, spent a lot of happy happy hours, and have been enjoying my local-ish living on the island so much that on most days the one thing that makes me upset is the thought about leaving (so I try not to think about it).

Apart from thinking about life, I spend my days working 7 days a week at the dog resort, and most of my free time walking around the island or chilling at the beach. Aside from the obviously lovely furry company, I also have very nice collegues. Sometimes after work we have a drink at the resort surrounded by dogs and other times we’ve gone our for a drink with an ocean view, eaten at delicious restaurants such as Eduardo’s hideaway or Poke Ono’s, gone to the VIP movies and ordered a bottle of wine there, done beach yoga at sunset, journaled on the beach in the moonlight, visited a secret beach or taken the dogs to the beach. I’ve spent quite some time journaling, playing beach tennis, floating in the Caribbean sea and also just laying in my room with the fan spinning enjoying the fact that I can be doing that. Of course it hasn’t been all sun & sandy beaches, I’ve also been feeling quite sick for most of my stay here, getting around is quite difficult as we live inland and walking or cycling is not really safe on all roads/at all times, and I have a hard time going to sleep early enough for the 6.30 alarm. I’ve cried once after coming home battling with catcalling, unsafe drivers and stray dogs, feel tired from the almost daily stomach pain, and miss my people on a daily basis. But hey, that’s life! I by no means mean to complain, as always I just prefer to share the reality instead of what people see on social media. Who wants to be posting pictures of the multiple bruises I have all around me because I run into cactuses (to be fair that is quite funny so sometimes I do post that), of the bunches of hair that keeps falling out, or the painkillers I take for my headaches? Just like on social media, I also prefer to focus on the positive. And even if not, I wouldn’t change this experience/anything about it for anything!

 

 

 

Because of living inland, I get much more of a local experience than I would if I lived closer to the touristy areas by the shore. Because of difficulties going around, I also sometimes just take it easy after work, cook a nice dinner and read a book in bed. Waking up early means I get started early every day and have most of the afternoon and the whole evening free. And well when it comes to my health, it is what it is but I’m also learning to pay a little more attention to how my body is doing and what it needs. And all the time for thinking? Oh it’s been amazing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been running around like a headless chicken, aside from the few breaks in between that were always too short. This time I’m not only trying to get a break but also to actually find my way to make a change in how I dance around this planet. I finally have time to think about what is it that I actually want, what is it that I actually like, and to generally reconnect with myself. It’s a long process and I will probably again run out of time even though this is the longest break I’ve had so far, but at least I hope to create ways to be able to continue on the process once I return to the life of a med student. Having the time to think also means I have the time to overthink and question a lot of things, so it’s again not always positive, but still oh so much needed.

 

 

This break has also been very different not only due to its duration, but because of how different it is compared to my previous solo trips. I’ve stayed at other people’s houses abroad before, but I’ve been able to roam around on foot more easily on my aupair trips. Meeting people on my own is much more difficult than on the trips that I spent at hostels for example.  This is also the first time I do have work every day of the week, which is of course an adjustment even though my weekend shifts are very short and even though I enjoy the physical work. And lastly but definitely not least, I didn’t come into the great unknown this time, instead none else but my boyfriend is from here. It’s a weird situation as I’m here and he couldn’t be for now so I do am doing my solotrip as originally planned, but I obviously had heard a lot about the island before and I already had a connection to the place through him, so creating my own relationship with the place has been different this time. Not better or worse, just different! And it is quite funny that I spent time with his family sometimes while he’s not around himself. But I’m oh so grateful for their help and genuinely enjoy spending time with them (I just worry if they do too). So all in all, as said, quite the experience!

I haven’t really been practicing Dutch that much, I still have a very long list of things I want to do here and I still have to make peace with my plans for after leaving the island, but I still have over a month! Over a month of daily dog cuddles, sunshine, and being surrounded by the ocean in all directions. I’m so grateful  to be here, and so happy I put in the work to be here (more about that later, all those people thinking I just got myself here on a lottery ticket I kindly request that you go do some research on media reading skills). And I’m so looking forward to seeing what the rest of my time here still has to offer!

Sending you lots of doggolove and sunshine from this One Happy Island!

Love,

Anna

ARUBA LIFE TRAVELING WORKAWAY

21 days & 21 pics of Aruba

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Bon dia / Bon tardi / Bon nochi, where ever you happen to be reading this! Time flies when you’re having fun they say! Time has definitely flown, I’ve already been here in Aruba for 3 weeks! To celebrate the occasion, here’s 21 snapshots of my 21 first days here. The day I arrived feels simultaneously like yesterday and like a forever ago. This is a peculiar solotrip as I already know people on and from this island, so finding my own place here and my own relationship with it has been different than on my previous workcations or trips. Not better or worse, just different! I’ll get to that surely later. For now I just wanted to share some pictures from the Caribbean actually, to replace the confusion of European views from my last post. We’re on our way to help out with rescue puppies at a puppy proposal (what a cute concept?!) so I’ll keep this short and let the pictures speak for them selves! Good food, good mood, and gosh how much sun & white sand! Also hard work (every single day of every week) so it’s not all holiday and chilling out here, but again, I’ll tell more about my workaway experience and about workaway in general later. P.S. The pup in the picture is looking for an adoptive family!


Ayo! Love, Anna

 

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