This post is in partnership with Hotel Alessandra. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I return home from a trip, I immediately resume the life I'd left off. Seeing wonderful sights and feeling so inspired by the people and culture around the world seems to create an invisible boundary line from the confinements of the old lifestyle and city in which I was raised. Although I keep changing as a person after every trip, the normalcy of my life back home seems to create an even thicker boundary from my never-ending travel bucket list. From working, managing my finances, and being there for my family, I never fully understood Houston's charm in the eyes of a tourist.
That thought changed when I was met with the opportunity to have a weekend staycation at Hotel Alessandra. Not only was it a chance to take a break from my everyday schedule, but it was also a recently new hotel that had the service, amenities, and luxury design that make you see the fancy side of Houston like never before.
It has been a while since I took a Texas road trip...anyone remember my trip to Austin? Now that the year is ending, I knew it was the perfect time to take another road trip to one of Texas's most popular cities! With the massiveness of Texas, there is so much to offer in each area of the state.
San Antonio has some of the most historic sites in Texas History, some of which are the Alamo and San Fernando Cathedral. The settlement of San Antonio began in 1691 when many missionaries and Spanish explorers settled the area in order to spread Christianity and practice freedom of religion. It was these momentous events that have made hundreds of thousands of visitors all over the world witness the landmarks that shaped Texas culture today.
In addition to the significance of San Antonio's history, this was the first memorable city I've vacationed as a child. My fondest memories as a child were family road trips to San Antonio which urged me to take a quick weekend trip back after many years. I remembered being in awe of the live music, artwork, and one-of-a-kind food at the age of 6. Those experiences made me want to re-experience the city as an adult, not only to re-live my memories of San Antonio, but to gain a whole new perspective of the city outside of the populous tourist landmarks I've seen. As a tourist "veteran," read my detailed guide about how you can achieve sight-seeing the best of San Antonio.
This past month, I was given the opportunity to visit the Facebook Office in Austin, TX! Not gonna lie, I was excited outta-my-mind with the offer because I knew that getting the inside scoop of Facebook, the company who also owns Instagram, will give me more insight to being a better content creator- hooray! From the amount of feedback I've been getting from my friends in the blogger community, many ask, "How did you get to visit Facebook?" to which I respond, "I've met the right people who said I can." Facebook tours are exclusively offered to people who are invited from a Facebook employee, and thanks to Instagram, I befriended someone who cared enough for me to visit the amazing company.
As a blogger, my content heavily relies on social media platforms- especially Instagram! With this tour, I was amazed to see the work space of the company who hosts over billions of users who actively use Facebook/Instagram daily. Plus, I had an exclusive interview with one of the Facebook employees to get their personal perspective about the upcoming changes in Instagram.
Thank you to Onyx Hotel Austin for hosting my stay. All opinions expressed are my own.
It's hard to believe that, within a mere 272 square mile city, there's a fascinating charm compacted inside Austin, TX. Yet, with their huge food scene, innovative music events, and thriving tech industry, more people are coming to Austin to get a taste of what makes the city so spectacular. Besides going back and forth from Houston, my home, I don't normally visit the same city twice within a year. However, I've been given more reasons to stop by the state capital of Texas.
Sightseeing around a city wouldn't nearly be as fun without having the best lodging. After traveling for a few years, I learned how important it was to find a hotel that can make me feel right at home. For that reason, I am constantly on the lookout for finding hotels that would provide me a unique experience and comfortable stay. Luckily, I found those qualities at Onyx Hotel Austin's Retro Chic Suite when I stayed for the weekend.
Companies in asterik (*) were mentioned in sponsorship with this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
There's no doubt in my mind that New Orleans is full of culture. The lively crowds, colorful buildings, live jazz music, and rich foods can make anyone who visit the city feel like they are right at home. It's no wonder why people all over the world travel to New Orleans to witness the charm of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and Jackson Square. Being 5 hours away from the city and it's popular destination spots, I decided to travel there for the weekend to discover the best way to enjoy New Orleans within the span of 48 hours.
As a frequent traveler, I try to avoid overpopulated areas that make me spend time in tourist traps. I wanted to get to know the local culture of the city and experience what makes New Orleans, NOLA, so popular. If you want to travel to the most popular city in Louisiana and gain a unique experience from the average, stereotypical tourist spots, then read more about my travel guide to New Orleans.
Another month calls for another trip with Nomoon Travel as I embarked on a brand new adventure: Iceland! Although I am all about the #beachbumlife, I was truly astounded with the beauty of this incredible country. Never have I seen such interesting landscapes, mountains, waterfalls, and hot springs before my eyes!
With the rapidly growing amount of tourists visiting Iceland each year, there was no question as to where the travel squad and I wanted to explore. We decided to ditch the resorts, get on a rental car, and tour the mysterious western region of Iceland.
What people don't realize about the country is that they have so much to offer besides the Blue Lagoon. As I met with the locals, visited the small country towns, and witnessed the most beautiful terrains I have ever seen, I learned a thing or two about their culture and simplistic way of life.
Howdy, ya'll! Although I don't normally say this to people on a daily basis, hearing that greeting always puts a smile to my face; because when it comes to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, everyone is welcome to join in on the country, western fun! And with every Rodeo I attend each year, it brings back old memories of me wearing my cowgirl boots, eating a turkey leg, and watching some of the most intense horse riding competitions. The Houston Rodeo also showcases some of the most popular music concerts! I fondly rememeber my first music concert when Destiny's Child performed at the Houston Rodeo in 2001. It's the one time in the year where I am fully immersed with the southern fun of Texas.
Returning home usually means I'm in recovery mode. And when I mean recovery mode, I....would be wiped out from all the adventures outside the parameters of my country, needless to say. I'll be a complete hermit, going home straight from work as I stay in, watch Netflix with a mud mask, and scope out the next flight deals for my future trip. Sure, I have friends, and I do live in a great city to explore, but my wanderlust would haunt me saying," No, girl. Save money and stay home." I was conditioned to believe that stepping on a plane would be my saving grace, because that's the only time I would ever consider having any fun.
Tada! After performing for the Super Bowl (stay tuned for a blog post recap about it this coming week), I immediately hopped on a flight to another country that I have never been to before: Mexico! What made this trip extra special was that I was going to experience Mexico for the first time with my Nomoon team! I've been an ambassador for this travel company for almost a year, and I am ecstatic to finally meet the people I've been working for months in person! January has been a whirlwind of events (which included getting my phone stolen), so traveling to Mexico has been a getaway from all the work and hustle back home. For a week, I had an eye-opening experience learning about Mexico's culture and amazing way of life. Here's an exclusive view of my trip, along with the details of where I explored:
A lot of things in my life had changed since my last trip. As I was ending the year of 2016, I decided to take a lot of risks in my career and personal life. With that said, I wasn't able to travel and ended up cancelling a lot of my trip plans for the opportunities I was offered back home. During my time back at home, I was thinking about the travels I wanted to plan in 2017, and I instantly thought about LA. Los Angeles was a city I (shamefully) had never visited, which is sad, because I've gone to the Philippines, an island across the Pacific Ocean, more times than I have been to California.
Hi there! My name is Ressa and I am a travel and style blogger enjoying what makes this world amazing.