Covid has hit us hard. I'd love to dismiss it all and forget about it, but it's been 7 months of been stuck in the same place.

I'm the kind of person who likes to travel and discover new places to gain new perspectives. I enjoy immersing myself in different cultures. Understanding how others live, helps me understand how to live my life. It helps me grow.

Covid put that on hold for me and others, of course.

When I was 17, I left for college in the US and didn't officially come back until two years ago when I turned 28. I returned for personal reasons and decided to stay a short period of time while I was doing consulting work remotely.

That's 11 years that I lived in different places including Miami, New York City, and short-periods in different countries through Southeast Asia. I also traveled far to South America, Africa, the Middle-East, and Europe.

In 11 years, I've seen a lot of parts of the world.

Since I moved back to Puerto Rico, exploring this place again was part of my plan. But Covid accelerated it.

When I was young, I rarely left San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Now, since travel is sort of prohibited, Covid has forced me to go beyond the Capital to places I hadn't seen.

There's a lot of beauty in Puerto Rico. Specifically the nature that surrounds us. Beaches and mountains make up most of the island. There are also 78 municipalities (yeah, a lot!) in Puerto Rico. I had probably only visited about 30 of them.

Since returning, I've already travelled around the island more than 10 times, visiting about 20+ new municipalities. But, there's still a lot of ground to cover.

I'm slowly understanding the realities of this place. We've been taught that we're all the same, just "Puerto Rican".

But what does that mean?

The truth is that we're very different people that are united by a sense of pride for being part of this country. But, not everyone lives like you, not everyone has had the same opportunities as you. The gap between those that grew up in the Capital with those that grew outside it, is big. Very big.

Covid is our new reality and we have to learn to live with it in different ways. I'm learning how to travel during Covid and with that learn new perspectives from this place.

Perhaps in a few months we're able to safely catch a flight elsewhere. Until then, I'll continue exploring what Puerto Rico has to offer.

Not a bad deal.

Old San Juan during a morning run
Sunset near Manatí
Ciales
Searching for waves in Aguadilla
Drive-thru fruit stand in Isabela