I got back last night from an impromptu weekend trip to the Puerto Rican island Vieques. My girlfriend found an airline service Taxi Aereo where she chartered a private flight for the two of us for something like $350, which was awesome. On the way back we had our flight booked at 1 pm, but we got to the airport in Vieques at 11:30 am. I called the pilot, who was in San Juan at the time, and he picked us up 15 minutes later to leave early!
I really enjoyed our trip to Vieques on several levels. It was far more touristy than I realized, with many Chinese, Europeans, and in particular Middle Americans. This didn’t bother me though as nothing was crowded, and probably helps create the necessary demand for some of the great food trucks. I talked with a lot of random people, mostly from Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, and places like that. I was born and raised in Michigan, and grew up in a small semi-redneck town (our high school mascot was spelled “Bronchos” with an h ), but I’ve lived in a big city bourgeois bubble for most of my adult life. I travel a lot and try hard to understand the cultural norms, aspirations, and psychology of different countries inhabitants, but I’m pretty disconnected from the type of people I grew up with. It sounds weird or pompous to write this, but I haven’t lived in the US for several years now, and even then I was in the Bay Area/LA/Chicago, which are their own ecosystems. I liked talking with a lot of the Midwestern people as I felt like I had more to learn/rediscover from their lifestyles than my usual New York/LA conversations.
Vieques had beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise water, and I never saw a crowded spot. I definitely enjoyed laying out and swimming in IG worthy locations, but I couldn’t help but leaving the present moment and thinking that I should be more appreciative that I normally live walking distance from beaches that are only slightly “worse”. The internet and reception was spotty though, and this was great to force me to unwind. I’ve been (still am) working pretty intensely on my latest trading projects, but I know that I need to get some sun and mental relaxation too if I want to keep the progress going. I got a nice overdose of tan, just on the cusp of being sunburnt, but luckily avoided that for once.
The last thing that comes to mind that I got from the trip was to remember how joyful a simple life is. Going to the beaches, riding around the island in a golf-cart (I’d probably rent a small car next time, but it was a fun novelty), eating BBQ, and trying to feed the wild horses and cats didn’t get boring.
I’m excited for my next set of work projects for February, most of which will be focused on applied Machine Learning research. I’m sorry that it doesn’t provide the most thrilling blog content, but hopefully it will pad my wallet so I can keep meandering around the world as usual. Have a great week, and I’ll leave you with a few Vieques pics.