I remember it as if it were yesterday. A good friend heard about the opportunity to participate in a congregational trip to Israel and he thought it would be cool for us to. I thought he was crazy but then again, it did sound amazing. It never crossed my mind that I would travel so far away from home. However, a simple invitation is all it took and I was in. It didn’t take long for me to figure out; I most certainly wanted to see what was outside the Bronx and NYC.
Imagine that, a young kid from the inner city was going to embark on his first trip outside of the continental United States. I liked the sound of that.
The challenge became the obvious; how to convince my Puerto Rican parents to allow me to go to the Middle East despite it being a risky time to travel. In our culture, our custom is to always ask for our parents’ blessings before we do anything. Not doing so, would always somehow bring misfortunte; really!
I recall just turning 20 when I asked my pops that this was an opportunity of a lifetime. The first thing he said, with his rough accent was, “we don’t have any money for that…”, followed by, “you crazy or what?”. My response was classic, “I am not asking you to pay for it. I am asking if I can go.” When he gave his blessing, he wasn’t counting on me raising the money on my own but I was going to make this happen. I started creating various types of arts and crafts that I learned to create in my Boy Scout days to sell at parades, beaches, on the street and at religious conferences. Determination was driving me to what would eventually become my career. Before I knew it, I hit my goal and paid of the entire trip myself.
Needless to say, that summer was the first of many international adventures. We visited the most breathtaking sites in Israel, floated in the Dead Sea, climbed up see the sunrise at Mount Sinai, waded in the river Jordan and experienced the incredible ride up to the city of Masada. Having grown up in NYC, I thought we had it all but I was mistaken. It didn’t take long to know I wanted to see more of the world and I wanted to bring other people with me. My mission became to enlighten others to take the time to explore the world. Upon returning from Israel, I drew up a travel list that included Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Italy, China, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, France, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Peru, all of which have already been checked off.
Traveling continues to be one of the greatest gifts in my life. Creating this platform for others to live the types of experiences I have, has been rewarding for me; to be able to be a part of someone’s transformation is priceless. My greatest passion will always be to share with others the beauty that exists in La Terra (The Earth)
La Terra Travel, Inc. is a travel service company with over 18 years of experience. Though we specialize in leading customized private groups around the globe, our countless trips to the Iberian Peninsula have created an opportunity for us to lead more and more groups throughout southern Spain. Our tours are based around the needs and interests of our clients. Whether you are looking for a wine and tapas tour, a cultural and language immersion experience, relaxing time at our finest resort or a full adventure with our active tourism affiliates, we will provide your group with the best service. Our professional guides and licensed staff will make sure all of your travel needs are fulfilled.
La Terra Travel, Inc. has spent many years forging relationships with local restaurants, professional guides and other adventure tour operators to provide the best experiences possible. Our tours are based around having an unforgettable experience and being comfortably immersed into the culture. Our team is comprised of world travelers and we know what you are looking to experience. Let us bring you there.
I was inspired by something Kent Nerburn, an American author, teaches in regards to his life’s journey. He concluded that travel was a necessary element of life. Without this crucial yearning element of discovery, our reality would surely fade around us. Our senses would dull and our world would become insignificant. He said we would slowly lose the senses that once gave us life. Within that lost of our senses was the most important; our sense of wonder and curiosity. There is something about outward exploration that fulfills our inward journey. Having discovered this at a young age, my mission has become to share this gift with the world.