Relaxing, Reflecting And Rejuvenating
Miami was my first vacation in 4 years, having dedicated the past 4 years to my startup, to building credibility as an individual and towards my entrepreneurial endeavors. My decision to travel to Miami was an impulsive one, that I made simply to get some well-deserved (so I believe) time off. Susan Ho, founder of Journy was kind enough to help plan my travel itinerary [https://www.gojourny.com/authors/117/b3e0f6a8-1847-4ed9-bcbb-069189d03e45] and also benefit me with discounts on water sports b
Miami was my first vacation in 4 years, having dedicated the past 4 years to my startup, to building credibility as an individual and towards my entrepreneurial endeavors. My decision to travel to Miami was an impulsive one, that I made simply to get some well-deserved (so I believe) time off. Susan Ho, founder of Journy was kind enough to help plan my travel itinerary and also benefit me with discounts on water sports by leveraging their partnerships. It was my first visit to Miami where I spent 5 days relaxing, rejuvenating and reflecting. See as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to reflect time and again on your purpose and mission, and have a reality check on your performance, while avoiding burn-out. This is why taking some time off was most welcome in my quest for what's next!
I stayed at an AirBnB rental, to make sure I was not confined by the luxuries of a hotel that would restrain me from stepping out and exploring. There’s a comforting authenticity to feeling like you’re staying in a real home instead of a room mimicking a home. My host was a very sweet woman, named Ambra who made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable. The rental was in the heart of South Beach, with close proximity to the beach, restaurants, clubs and shops.
- UberPool in Miami is awesome. I made a mistake not using it when I landed, and ended up paying $46 for the ride to my rental. UberPool would have cost me $9.60. Following that I always UberPooled my way around, if I needed a ride and the average ride cost me $3.60. This also helped me meet and connect with other travelers who I shared a ride with, and make local friends.
- CitiBike has many locations around South Beach and it is healthy to bike as well. So don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to explore the city on a bike while staying healthy!
- Hoverboarding around Miami is the coolest form of transportation. It was a fun and exciting way to discover South Beach by renting one from Miami Hoverboard, who has a truck full of hoverboards that drives around South Beach. They trained me within 5 minutes to ride one and it was fairly easy to get comfortable with the same. I did ofcourse get carried away by speed and fall off my hoverboard, to bruise my elbows and knees..but as a friend pointed out to me later, it only gave me an awesome story to share about the experience. Check out my hoverboardingvideo!
The first two days of my travel were all about watersports. My intent to do this was beyond adventure, it was to get over my fear of heights and to get comfortable with being submerged in water, without panicking. Funny as it sounds, there is no better way to learn than put yourself on the spot.
- Scuba diving - Susan helped me sign up with South Beach Divers to experience my first ever scuba dive, which turned out be a day-long affair. We went through training at the scuba center in the AM, post which, we drove to Key Largo and then took a boat ride to two reefs with beautiful blue waters and the most prolific corals and tropical fish life.
- Parasailing - The third day of my travel was filled with cool watersport activities at Miami Watersports. I went parasailing with another family from upstate New York. It seemed fairly easy to get done, but I really started to feel a sense of panic when I was suspended in air, at a height of 600 feet. The biggest concerning factor to me was the insecurity of bolts unstrapping and me free-falling into the ocean from such a height. I had to bring myself to trust the equipment and finish what I started. This turned out to be a very memorable activity eventually and I was able to capture the entire flight on my GoPro!
- Flyboarding - Looks easy, but it was unbelievably difficult to stay suspended mid-air for longer than a couple seconds. I realized I need to join the gym and have a leg day, to do a better job flyboarding in the future! I even lost my GoPro midway and only realized after I was done flyboarding, that my camera was missing from its strap (Tip: Buy the floating accessory for your GoPro, if you intend to watersport). Thankfully, a local diver offered to dive and try to retrieve my GoPro, which he was able to successfully execute!
- Jet-skiing - After my flyboarding session, I was scheduled to try out the Jetpack (ironman) but 30 seconds into the activity, I realized this wasn't something I could do. So incredibly challenging. So I decided to go jet-skiing instead and even managed to hit a top-seed of 47mph. Not once did I fall of my jetski, something I take a lot of pride in :D It was exciting to try some cool stunts with the jetski as well!
- Kayaking - The last activity was Kayaking, which I was completely drained out but still excited to do. This ended up being the best workout for someone like myself, who doesn't have the discipline to go to the gym.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to visit all the restaurants, cafes and bars that Susan recommended in my itinerary..primarily because I fell in love with some of the places I visited and couldn't help myself but revisit them.
- The Front Porch Coffee Shop - I went here each morning for my breakfast, amidst an outdoor seating and packed crowd. The fresh breeze at this ocean facing coffee shop made me fall in love with this spot. Each day I interacted with a new set of travelers, the most memorable being an elderly couple from Long Island, now relocated to Miami. We connected as they're in the real estate business as well and shared with me tips on how they started and grew a modest but successful family-run business with no outside funding. I was refreshingly surprised to hear about how they focussed on business fundamentals, which are often overlooked in silicon valley startups because there tends to be a trend wave that attracts investors.
- Panther Cafe - Located in the heart of Wynwood Art District, this chilled out cafe served me the cutest cappuccino. It's a shame I wasn't able to visit them again.
- Cecconi's - My first evening in Miami was spent at Cecconi's, which has some incredible vegetarian options. Do NOT miss out on the avocado & chickpea crudités! I'm craving it as I type this. As expected of a Soho House restaurant, the place oozes sexiness in its ambiance.
- Driftwood Room - I enjoyed this restaurant a lot thanks to my bartender, who was a great companion for the evening. I ended up having 2 glasses of wine with my meal and sending a lot of text messages! The cauliflower stake here is delicious!
- Oh Mexico - Hands down, this is my favorite Mexican restaurant. They provide you with portable chargers to charge devices, which made a tech geek like myself fall in love with the place! Great music and food as well!
The last takeaway from my travel was the most important one - relaxation. I spent an entire day at the beach, and another day exploring the neighborhood.
- Spa Treatment - Right after my watersports, I was scheduled for a Hammam massage, which released me off all tension and allowed me to slow down.
- Ocean Dr - Ocean drive is magnificent, vibrant with energy and full of beautiful coconut trees. I spent an entire day at the beach, reading my copy of the book Papillon.
- Wynwood Walls- The Wynwood Walls are a major art statement to graffiti and street art and brought the world's greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami. The talent on display here is very inspiring!
- Lincoln Road - Located between the 16th and 17th streets in South Beach, seemed to be the shopping hotspot in Miami. I ended up exploring this fun and colorful neighborhood on my CitiBike!
I am grateful to Susan Ho for helping me make the most of my travel plans, by understanding the kind of activities I was seeking to do, along with recommendations that would appeal to my spiritual side. Journy is a game changer for individuals like myself, and I hope to use them for all my future travel plans!