Beautiful Aruba! Travel Journal + Photos

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Every now and then it's important to take a break from everything.  This year has been one of many unexpected and painful transitions.  Dealing with the loss of a parent to starting my legal practice, it has certainly been a year for the books.  I try to keep a positive outlook and focus my energies on continuing to grow as a business woman, fashionista and writer.  Travelling has become a refuge.  Back in 2014, I was bit by the 'travel bug' and haven't looked back since.  In a little over three and a half years, I've visited over 12 cities in about 7 different countries.  Travelling can be especially difficult for entrepreneurs who are starting out, often you do not have supports in place to cover you while you're away.  But, taking a break is vital and necessary to your success and overall well-being.  This year, I chose to escape to the beautiful island of Aruba! 

Aruba is definitely "One Happy Island!" Biba Dushi! 


where to stay?

The right accommodations can make or break any trip.  This trip was my second all inclusive vacation, so I genuinely did not have any expectations when I arrived in Aruba.  I can easily say that I was blown away by the accommodations at the Riu Antilles.  Everything from the room service, dining selection, amenities, and proximity to the beach-- the Riu satisfied my personal standards for hotel accommodations.  Everyone was friendly and kind, making the experience all the more pleasurable.  If you're not one to leave the resort, then there is lots to do so that you stay  entertained throughout the day.  Aruba is a great island to explore.  Surrounded by the ocean, the Riu offers a number of exciting excursions both on land and on the water.  I laid out in the sun on a Catamaran and took a dive in a submarine to see the coral reef.  


What to eat?

When in Aruba, you have to check out a local hotspot, Zeerovers.  This restaurant is a mom-and-pop fish shack where the catch of the day is deep fried and prepared for you with local sides.  Here's how it works, whatever fish is caught that morning is prepared for you during the day, so you essentially have one, very tasty option.  When I arrived, the morning catch was fresh red snapper and hammerjack.  Later in the afternoon, the catch was barracuda! Enjoy your fresh fish, with a cold beverage as you soak up the Arabian rays.  


Where to go?

For all my friends who love to shop, downtown Aruba has everything to satisfy a fashionista's desires.  With a European flair (remember Aruba is a Dutch Island), there are several luxury brands and local stores where you can shop to your heart's content.  When you're done breaking the bank, I highly recommend taking a tour of the entire island on an ATV or UTV.  Aruba isn't your typical tropical country, it's a dessert island, so most of the inland is dry and hot.  Aruba is also a very small island.  Spanning 30 km long and 9 km across, you can tour the entire island in about 5 hours, the beauty is you can't get lost! 


what to see?

When you're touring around the island be sure to stop by and check out some notable Aruban landmarks -- the California Light house, gold mill ruins, and the natural bridge are at the top of the list   Hop out of your jeep and take a look around. 

If you're feeling adventurous, take a dive into the ocean. Aruba is an island, so there's plenty of water sports and ocean excursions.  Personally, I cannot swim... I'm terrified of water... but I did find a way around my snorkelling/ fear of water dilemma.... I took a submarine.  Other then my trip to Zeerovers, my trip 150 ft to the ocean's floor was a definite highlight!  I have always wanted to take a dive under to see coal reef.  The Atlantis Submarine takes you on an amazing journey to the bottom of the ocean floor to check out the marine life and a ship wreck.  I think I may have found Nemo! 

Usually after every vacation, I'm prepared to head back to Toronto.  But not this time, I truly fell in love with this "Happy Island".  I cannot wait to be back, until next time Aruba! 

Click here for a photo gallery from my trip

Comment below and let me know if you've ever been to Aruba or you have plans to visit! 

xoRaquiyaGrace