Puerto Rico 2017
Puerto Rico holds a special place in our hearts because we visited only months before it was devastated by the infamous and violent hurricane Maria, which has become regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Puerto Rico and one of the top 10 most intense hurricanes ever.
Puerto Rico and it’s neighboring islands were eerily positioned dead center in Maria’s path at her strongest phase. Our hearts broke as we watched such a beautiful place with even more beautiful people fall victim to this unforgiving storm that gripped the Caribbean in fear and turned it upside down.
Puerto Rico’s warm waters and steady trade winds are the perfect recipe for a kiteboarder's paradise, which is part of the reason we visited. As a kiteboarder, I love to watch weather systems, specifically the wind patterns in them. I remember looking at wind meters in disbelief as Maria passed over Puerto Rico and sustained wind speeds reached unimaginable speeds, as high as 175 MPH.
Puerto Rico is also special to us because it planted a deeper desire for Sarah and I to experience the most we could together and spurred the idea to journal those adventures together as a family. And so The Dream Chasing Family was born, if for no other reason than to record memories of our life we wanted to remember forever.
It's been a year now since our skin was insanely burt by the Puerto Rican sun and the desire it planted to adventure together more has only grown, but of the 9 adventures we have been on since, Puerto Rico still has a particularly dreamy, even emotional place in our memories.
I don't know if it was being alone together on a perfect island in the middle of the ocean where we were strangers to everyone and everything? Was it the free spirited people or amazing food? Was it swimming with a sea turtle? Could it have been the world class kiteboarding and surfing? Was it hiking in El Yunque- the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System where over 16 feet of rain falls annually? Was it the picturesque coral reefs, white sandy beaches and sunsets? Was it learning how to properly execute the Puerto Rican Sneak? Or was it helplessly watching a place where all these amazing memories were made go through a tragedy like Maria?
Whatever it was, this trip has become our golden standard of a getaway. A memory we recall in the middle of a stressful work week when we would rather be living on slow paced island time exploring Puerto Rican paradise from the Caribbean Ocean floor to the top of the El Yunque Rainforest canopy!
With such a great footprint on our hearts, we couldn't help but be inspired as we watched the Country recover to what we hope is some sense of the overwhelming beauty we remember Puerto Rico for.
It goes without saying, Puerto Rico is a special place you need to put on your list! Perhaps the most comprehensive words ever spoke about Puerto Rico were;
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Kiteboard and kites
Snorkeling mask and fins
Music, audiobooks and/ or movies for the road
Hat and glasses