I Got COVID on a Cruise Ship. Here’s What Happened.

was tested positive for COVID on day 11 of our 17 day trans-Atlantic cruise. It started with a scratchy throat, which immediately alarmed me because I knew that was a symptom of Omicron. But, the ship was fully vaccinated and boosted AND all passengers had to test negative twice before the cruise began — 1 PCR test required for Bermuda within 2 days of embarkation and 1 antigen test the day before embarkation. The scratchy throat started the day after only our second port of call: Ponta Delgada in the Azores.  We’d sailed from New York, had one sea … Read the article

To See or Not to See: Medical Tourism in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

After spending last September in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to learn Spanish, we were getting the travel bug again. My wife had been to see her optometrist for her annual exam. She’s presbyopic, and wanted to see if there was an option like the LASIK we had back in 2001 to get rid of reading glasses.

Her optometrist suggested that she could be a candidate for a lens replacement surgery – similar to cataract surgery but replacing the lens with a trifocal lens that would remove the need to have reading glasses. Given our forthcoming travel schedule, she was very … Read the article

Thoughts on Medellín, Colombia as a Long-Term Travel Destination

Recently, my wife and I went to Medellín, Colombia (it’s Colombia, not Columbia) for eight days. When we were in Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we’d heard from other travelers that Medellín was a great place to visit. After sweating through our 2 1/2 summer months in Mexico, we were interested in places that were a) larger, and b) with better weather while still being Spanish speaking and offering cost arbitrage.

Medellín seemed to fit the bill. It is known as the City of Eternal Spring, and the weather is truly fantastic. While we were there, the … Read the article

Where is Better to Begin Spanish Immersion Classes: Playa del Carmen, Mexico or Puerto Vallarta, Mexico?

Recently, my wife and I returned from nine weeks in Mexico, five in Playa del Carmen, and four in Puerto Vallarta. We were there to attend Spanish language classes so that we could become reasonably proficient and travel throughout Latin America and Spain without needing to stick to the heavily touristed regions in order to be with people who understood English. We also wanted to dip our toes into the water of longer term travel and see how we felt about being away from home for so long. My wife had never traveled for more than two weeks and I … Read the article

Estoy Aprendiendo Español

We are currently in Playa del Carmen, Mexico taking immersion Spanish lessons and classes. Playa del Carmen is a tourist city south of Cancún. You might have heard of Cancún. It is a frequent port of call for cruise ships and a very popular Spring Break destination. Playa del Carmen is the more laid back neighbor, although a stroll on the Avienda Quinta next to the beach may put paid to the notion of quiet and laid back.

While my wife and I just spent 12 hours over 3 days speaking solely in Spanish with our instructor about a Read the article