You can take the girl out of the island, but you can’t take the island out of the girl. All 7,641 of them. As of the latest official count.

Due to the unexpected and last minute nature of my trip to the Motherland, it wasn’t like I was able to make plans nor was it a vacation in the first place. (Refer to my previous post.) Nonetheless, I was able to squeeze in a well worth breakfast by the beach at an island where majority of my childhood memories were made as it was my family’s favorite summer getaway.

I’ve traveled around the world enough and I’ve seen my fair share of islands. Some were made for fancy resorts and spring break getaways, but those I prefer are the off-the-beaten-path-local-faves kind. Starting with Samal Island, where the local fave, Paradise Island Resort is located. True to its namesake, it truly is a paradise.

“When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes”

I try to live my life without regrets, but my one genuine regret is not having spent more time traveling to the Motherland. It’s not too late though. Time to change that.


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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.