one year

without even realizing, it’s already been a year of blogging! this year has been life-changing for sure.

after three months of arriving in turks and caicos, i got the courage to start a blog, (you do need courage – posting things for anyone to see? what is everyone going to think about me?) not really sure of how much i wanted to share, for a start it was a great way to show my family and friends how life is in the caribbean. then i got the hang of it and couldn’t stop.

we had our first visitor, james’ cousin, peter, who took amazing pictures of the island and inspired me to try do the same.

i had my first trip to california, visited james’ mum and met his long time friends. we went to the getty museum, took pictures of the walt disney concert hall and had fun like a kid at the universal studios. we even got out little get away to palm springs, visited joshua tree national park and had cocktails at the pool of the parker!

we moved out from our first home in provo, and sometimes i think if we should’ve stayed – it was so spacious and right on the beach, but somewhat over our budget.

we finally bought a car, and one that can take us anywhere around the island, especially after a heavy rainfall when all the streets are flooded – and also to visit our favorite beaches, which sometimes are on rugged dirt roads.

i started posting some of james’ amazing pictures of his diving outings and after a couple of months he finally started his own column – his dive story.

whilst james is enjoying his diving and i stick to my fear of sharks, i get to enjoy the marine life in provo, sea urchins and ticklish star fish are my favorite discoveries.

we finally move to our definite home in provo, after waiting for 6 months (and living in 4  different homes), we are ready to open our personal stuff, kept in storage in more than 40 moving boxes for the last months.

i am “forced” to go to new york to renew my passport, i stay for a week with my brother who is there for work and have a blast with him and my friends. every time i am more in love with this city, and as i feel more comfortable and have my favorite spots, i just want to come back.

we experienced our first hurricane (irene), i am impressed with the help and team work around the island. when it was all over i was relieved, it wasn’t as bad but i learnt that you can never trust nature, everything can change in a matter of moments, and you are never too prepared.

james and i went on an amazing trip to peru, we try to do one big trip per year, and peru had been on our bucket list for a while. it was truly a fulfilling trip, in every way. we were surprised by the hospitality of the peruvians, the richness of their culture and roots, and how diversified and delicious is their food.

before heading back to provo we make a quick stop in new york, where i attend blogshop – i couldn’t believe that living in turks and caicos we managed to plan it perfectly to attend this workshop, for the first time in new york. i met some amazing bloggers, and learned tons of tips from bri and angela. i wish i could do it all over again!

we attend the annual conch festival for the first time, and get to sample a few options from the different restaurants on island – cracked conch, curried conch, conch stew, conch ceviche, conch fritters…you name it!

it’s finally december and i head home in lisbon, but before, i spent a girls weekend in london catching up with my cousin and visiting my favorite places. i used to live in london, a few years before moving to provo, and i always feel like it’s my second home.

christmas in lisbon was a rush, james joined me for a week, we had family lunches and dinners almost every day – it’s the first time i have been away from lisbon for so long, 10 month record! oh how i missed my family and friends, and portuguese food too. i’m sure i put on a few kilos!

we spent our first new year’s eve in provo, i was so jet lagged i could barely keep my eyes awake. and soon it’s been a year since we moved.

i decide to make a surprise visit back home (lisbon), somehow over christmas i felt time flew and i didn’t get to do half the things i had planned. it was so worth it and so much fun seeing everybody’s smiles when i arrived unexpected!

since my brother is in london for work (he lives in sao paulo), he flies us over to spend the weekend with him – i know, london again, lucky me! we visit the tate modern and the royal academy of arts, spend a morning eating all sorts of goodies in borough market and go shopping to liberty’s and fortnum and mason.

just a few days back to provo and my mum and sister come to visit for easter – i get to spend quality time with them, i enjoyed exploring  the island and getting to see things through their eyes. we went kayaking, snorkeling, visited chalk sound and made it 10 different beaches. we ended their stay with a mini off island get away to parrot cay – we literally felt like we were in paradise!

i am back to “normal” island life, making the most of it, morning power walks on the beach, weekends relaxing in the sun and quality time with james help make up for being far away from my family and friends – i know one day i will miss this place.

it’s been an amazing year, and i am so grateful for all your love along the way – thank you so much for supporting and reading myseastory, as well as my personal journey through life in turks and caicos.

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the power of food

i would love to share this little video about mistura that i found through the world’s 50 best restaurants.

mistura is the food fair we went to whilst in peru, taking place every september and organised by gaston acurio, it has the participation of peru’s most famous chefs and street food chefs.

the video features some of the delicious foodie spots we tried. i like the comparison they make – hollywood has their actors, whilst peru has their food and mistura is their oscars.

for super foodie info about peru, peek here

food adventures in peru

pervian food was a big plus in our trip, they have the freshest fish, fruits and vegetables. did you know that potatoes originated in peru and they have 3000 different types? they also have more than 80 different types of quinoa!

…left to right, top to botton: ceviche from cevicheria don pedrito at the mistura food fair in lima, delicious alpaca carpaccio from el huacatay restaurant in urubamba, beef heart skewers from anticuchos de la tia grima in lima, prickly pear and custard apple juice, fresh in every corner, market and restaurant throughtout peru

this time i made an effort to be (a little!) more adventurous in regards to food and i actually tried beef heart…guinea pig…and alpaca!!

peru

i am finally sharing a few pictures from our trip to peru – i must say its the perfect holiday destination, with a lot of history, rich culture, the nicest people and delicious food (more on this soon!). we spent a couple of days in lima, which is said to be the gastronomic capital of south america, and four more days in the sacred valley. here, we stayed in the lovely and unspoiled town of urubamaba, at the tambo del inka, a unique hotel with its own private train station that takes you all the way to machu picchu!

machu picchu is breathtaking, just being there, 2430m above sea level, and staring at this city built by the incas is so fulfilling – no one really knows how they did it and it is said that they had supernatural powers to be able to build this enormous structures. we stayed a whole day exploring, taking pictures, wondering around and making the most out of it. unfortunately we missed the hike to huayna picchu (the mountain in the pic), as they limit the access to 400 people daily – it must have an amazing view!

the maras salt mines are also located in the sacred valley, near the town of maras. these salt evaporation ponds are managed by the local community and have been used since pre-incan times.

the archeological inca site of moray was used for agricultural purposes, can you believe there are up to 15C difference between the top and deeper crop terraces?

there are so many other places we would’ve liked to visit in peru, i hope we can go back some day to titicaca lake, nazca lines, amazon, and so on…