A broad perspective on travel by your favorite broad, abroad.
Operating as usual
Mission move Lola Mommy back home to the Philippines complete❤️
Cried my eyes out saying “see you next year” to my grandma. But happy I was able to spend the month with her & witness her thrive in the motherland. Something really triggered her brain being back home — eating her favorite treats, feeling the tropical weather, hearing everyone speak Tagalog. She is truly living her best life here.
As a future occupational therapist, it’s so interesting to witness Lola’s physical, mental, & emotional shifts in the Philippines. Just a month ago, Lola’s dementia was progressively getting worse. It’s true when they say that we are our best self when we feel most at home. Sometimes it just takes a change in perspective, sometimes just a change in environment, & sometimes just tasting your favorite fruit. But whatever it is that sparked this glow in my Lola, I’m grateful it guided her back home✨
SWIPE➡️ for Lola Mommy with her favorite Filipino treats: halo halo, mangoes, ube ice cream, mani, & mango juice🍧🥭🥜🌴. Missing her & the Philippines already!
After a hectic past few months & ending 2021 with covid, I finally got to treat myself to a boutique hotel at one of my favorite areas in #NYC. And in addition, reunited with some of my favorite humans, checked out new eats, & danced my anti-bodies off. Felt good to be alive again✨
Some highlights from this weekend in Williamsburg:
After a long hiatus, I’m back on the mat🧘🏻♀️🤸🏻♀️
Incredibly excited to share my practice at Living Yoga— a beautiful studio in Queens + it’s Filipino-American owned!
Teaching hot yoga Friday mornings at 9:30am. Looking forward to connecting with new & familiar faces — see you soon, yogis🙏✨
Couldn’t have picked a better destination to celebrate my birthday week. Saint Lucia’s mystical coastlines & lush mountain ranges were exactly what my soul needed.
31 wasn’t easy — a year filled with lots of transition & growing pains. But no matter how hectic life gets, I’m grateful that I can always rely on travel to inspire, heal, & humble me.
Thank you all for the birthday love around the world — looking forward to more journeys ahead✨
It’s that time of the year again — my annual birthday trip! Shoutout to my mom who’s always down for my crazy @abroadbymarion bday adventures. We’re currently in Saint Lucia, but here’s us on our last trip abroad celebrating my mom’s birthday & retirement in #Mexico — got to revisit Chichén Itzá 15+ years later✨
Can we celebrate your retirement and birthday again Tess Lors Dela-Pena? Thank you Catamaran Experience Cancun for curating this unforgettable day✨
Celebrating a Queen: Private Catamaran to Isla Mujeres for my Mom's Big Day — A.BROAD TRAVELER Mediocre was not an option for celebrating my mom’s retirement and birthday — we were going big (and not going home). So we gathered the entire family, packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Mexico for a celebratory vacation of a lifetime! Soft white sand, glistening turquoise waters, b
My 👑 is OFFICIALLY retired
CONGRATS Tess Lors Dela-Pena! From an Air Force Nurse in the Philippines, to Nurse Manager in the OR, & to a HR boss lady — you’ve touched so many people’s lives during your 40+ year career. Saving lives, serving others, & providing so much for your family — your selfless journey is an inspiration to us all. HAPPIEST RETIREMENT! The world is yours🌎
#TBT to my mom’s retirement & birthday celebrations in Mexico last month. Thanks to Catamaran Experience Cancun for helping me curate the perfect surprise: a private catamaran along the Caribbean Sea. My mom had herself a day🛥
LINK BELOW for more deets✨
Design hotels are my love language💗 @puntacaliza
Once the sun shines on Holbox’s white sand & turquoise waters, the island starts to feel like another dimension✨
#LagunaSantaPaula is one of the stops on Holbox’s famous “whale shark tour”. From May-September, the largest aggregations of whale sharks are found off the coast of Holbox. Unfortunately I picked an unlucky day to see the whale sharks🤦🏻♀️, but this stop made the journey worth it.
Last stop on my mini solo-moon in Mexico — HOLBOX🏝
People weren’t lying about the bad wifi in #Holbox. But it’s one of the reasons why this tiny little island is so charming. Too many island destinations I’ve traveled to have become so connected & developed that people loose touch with the surroundings & present moment. Holbox on the other hand, will force you (in the best way possible) to flow in the now.
Personally, I’ve been drowning in resentments of the past & anxieties of the future — it’s been hard to get out of my head with all the distractions in NY. But the longer I’m in Holbox, the more I realize that the universe sent me here for a reason — to simply be free.
So many late posts to catch up on! Promise I’ll eventually share all the beautiful places I’ve seen + bomb food I’ve been eating, & give y’all more reasons to travel to #Mexico. But for now, I’m on island time🌴✌️✨
The end is near✈️✨
CDC says it is low-risk for fully vaccinated people to travel The agency updates its guidance because of studies documenting the real-world effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines and the rapid pace of vaccinations, now close to 3 million people daily.
WHY I CHOSE OAXACA FOR MY 1ST POST-VAX TRIP✈️⬇️
🇺🇸American passport approved & no quarantine requirements!
• As we all know, traveling abroad is still heavily restricted & there are only a handful of countries, such as Mexico, accepting American passports. Additionally, Mexico doesn’t require quarantines or covid tests upon arrival (but we still got tested anyways). Traveling back to the US requires a bit more effort — negative covid test results are required upon return.
• I love destinations where I get more bang for my buck. So any destination where the US dollar is strong is high on my list. To put it in perspective, I spent LESS than $2K during my 3 weeks in Mexico — that’s including all flights, transport, lodging, food, activities, souvenirs, & several splurges. A trip like this in the States would easily cost twice the price.
🗺 A.BROAD range of landscapes & activities!
• Initially, we only planned for beach getaways to Puerto Escondido & Mazunte. But after extensive research, we added Oaxaca City & the mountainside town of San José Del Pacifico to our itinerary. Oaxaca checks off almost every travel box for me: good food, authentic culture, pristine nature, woo woo stuff, charming cities, unique stays — it’s definitely a destination I’m returning to.
🏝 Less commercialized beach towns!
• Jess & I were in between Puerto Escondido & Sayulita, but chose Puerto Escondido since it seemed less crowded & less commercialized. Puerto Escondido is a bit harder to get to compared to Sayulita & other Mexican beach destinations like Tulum. After chatting with other travelers & experiencing the magic of the Oaxacan coast, we were so glad we made the extra effort.
Aside from the occasional stomach problems, Mexico never disappoints! It was my 6th time in Mexico, & I think Oaxaca became my favorite part of the country✨
Anyone else planning their 1st post-vax trip to #OaxacaMexico? Feel free to ask away!
FEEDBACK FROM MY RECENT TRAVELS ABROAD🌍⬇️
**disclaimer: this is for anyone who is curious about the current travel experience or has travel plans & wants more insight — this is NOT a travel promo**
✈️FLIGHT: JFK was surprisingly crowded before my 6am flight. Lines were slow, people weren’t 6 feet apart — but everyone was wearing masks & facilities/ planes were cleaner than ever. For both my international flights, I had the entire row to myself (except for my 1 hour connecting flights from CDMX). Overall, I was pleased with my 1st pandemic flying experience with @delta.
😷MASKS: When we first arrived to Oaxaca City, all locals & most foreigners were wearing masks. But the closer we got to the coast, the less & less people were wearing them. Regardless, we kept our distance & wore masks everywhere we went. But I kid you not, people looked at us like we had 5 heads. At one point, someone came up to me asking if I “came from the states” since I was wearing a mask.
There are a lot of “plandemic” people “stuck” in Mexico at the moment — & their insensitivity is frustrating. In open spaces/ secluded beaches, with your travel group, or while eating at restaurants — I get it. But it was disappointing to see so many unmasked foreigners & locals on the coast in close proximity to each other. But the local police tries to enforce covid protocols by patrolling around towns in trucks with loud speakers. Some areas were stricter than others.
🦠COVID TESTS: If you’re traveling internationally, you NEED to show proof of a negative covid test result 1-3 days before your flight back to the US. It could be printed or electronic, you just have to show it upon check in. When traveling to Mexico, a negative test result is NOT required — but get tested anyways out of respect to locals & other travelers.
In terms of price, a test ranges from $50-$150 in Mexico. Thankfully our Airbnb hosts helped us out & even came with us to the testing site. Most hosts & hotels will graciously help you (some even have testing on site), but be sure to reach out in advance.
📝MAIN TAKEAWAYS: I personally don’t recommend traveling abroad if you’re not fully vaccinated yet. That layer of protection makes a difference not only for yourself, but for others. I know variants are popping up & there are so many unknown factors. But I do believe traveling can work if you do it mindfully, consciously, & respectfully — like continuing to wear masks/ social distance & spending a bit more money on private transport, accommodations, & activities.
Honestly, it was SO nice to escape the American vortex, get a change of scenery, & not live in constant fear for a few weeks (I wish this feeling upon everyone). So if you’re vaccinated, careful, & aware of the risks — there’s no travel shaming here. I mean, at one point we’re going to have to start leaving our homes & acclimate to talking to strangers again. Plus the tourism industry (who employs 10% of the world’s population) needs us more than ever.
**again, all just my personal opinions**
As always, if you have any travel questions, slip into my DMs! And if you need someone to plan your future travels, I got you too🕵🏻♀️✨
Been back in NY for 24 hours, & already need an energy cleanse. A lot of deep rooted trauma creeping up to the surface after yesterday’s terrifying shooting. Just thinking about the love, joy, & camaraderie #AsianWomen bring to one another — & how it’s almost-always brought down by a perverted, misogynist white man. We’re sick & we’re tired.
#TBT to better days out of the American vortex✨. Loved Mazunte so much, had to convince the gals to go back. Upgraded from a rustic palapa to a luxe beachfront stay — Casa Lú Mazunte was the perfect getaway for our last weekend together on the Oaxacan coast🏝
Hard to process everything today. No words. Just triggered to the core.
To my fellow #AsianWomen, stay strong🤍
On a lighter note, love these fly pinays. In a world that feels so dark & heavy, so grateful for their light & love these past few weeks✨
We prefer the off-beaten path, but appreciate bucket-list attractions. We strive for budget-friendly & culturally-immersive experiences, but encourage the occasional splurge. We'll travel hours for the most authentic mom & pop, yet make reservations for the finest table in town. And even after a full day of mindful adventures, we still love a good party 'till dawn.��
We’re: city slickers, nature dwellers, culture vultures, hungry foodies, & soul searching yogis.��
From the city to the countryside, the mountains to the coast — we love a little bit of everything.
Here’s A.BROAD perspective on travel by a NY broad, abroad.
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