The concept of this website and blog have come to me as I’ve traveled throughout the Caribbean and Central America in the past year.  I realized that life and experiences in these places can be very different for people who stay “inside the resort” compared to those who stay “outside the resort”.  My view of the Caribbean was much different before I started traveling there.

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The best beach I have been to in my travels.  Lighthouse Beach on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Driving a dirt road is required, but you enjoy pristine snorkeling, beautiful water and sand, and virtually no people. March 2016. Photo by Tristan Nelson.

I’ve realized that information is lacking online for those wanting to research and experience life “outside the resort”.  A lot of what you will find when researching travel to the Caribbean and Central America are staged photographs of property and beaches put out by the travel industry. This is fine, but what are those locations really like? Advertisers and marketers can gloss over the true depth of culture and what life is like at these locations.  I am not trying to get anyone to stay or visit any one place.  My photographs on this site are not changed or staged. I try to show you the real deal.

Staying at a resort can make travel more convenient in some aspects;  you don’t have to research or plan much of anything yourself because your resort will take care of providing all of the activities, dining options, and transportation for you.  However, there is value in experiencing life outside the resort walls. Not only are travel expenses much lower when you stay outside of the resort, but you also gain a “richer” experience with the local culture and people that truly enhances your world experience, and in turn your knowledge of yourself. You may feel nervous about doing it on your own, but it can be done.

The freedom to be on your schedule and not at the mercy of a resort timetable is worth the extra time in trip planning and another benefit of staying outside the resort. But it can be difficult to find the information you need in order to feel confident in your ability to plan and travel on your own. I share my first-hand experience outside the resort walls to help you acheive the type of travel you desire.

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View of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea on Eleuther Island, Bahamas. March 2016.

My travel to these places is part of my work creating map data for OpenStreetMap.org.  In order to accurately map these places, I drive and travel as many roads and side roads as possible. I try to find as many “points of interest” too to help complete the map data and make it more useful.  I believe my perspective is unique as I get to see a large portion of these places that many don’t see when they travel.  Come explore with me!