Puerto Rico is a place filled with Hispanic culture. The Caribbean island is home to much more than history; it’s a place of relaxation.
Elle Folk, a young American looking for a cheap and reasonable place to spend a week, stumbled upon images of what looked like a peaceful Puerto Rico and booked a last-minute flight and hotel room, leaving the rest of the world behind her. The solo traveler hadn’t given herself enough time to plan activities before leaving for her adventure; however, the hotel she was staying in had a spread of activity options at their customer service desk, like many other tourist hotels.
Adventures ranged from bioluminescent waters to horseriding on the beach. But as unique as all those activities sounded, Folk couldn’t afford them.
Instead of the glowing water, Folk sat by the beach with a drink until she heard muffled screeches followed by laughs. As her interest peaked, she rose her head from the towel and saw three heads popping out of the water with something that looked like a banana attached to a boat. Folk saw a cabana that she said looked like a tiki bar and learned of what would become the highlight of her trip, Banana Boating.
After watching two groups go out, Folk learned the Ins and Outs of Banana Boating. She watched as the boat sped and bumped people off a Banana Boat; she also noted that each time someone would fall, the rest of the group and the sailors basked in their amusement. Each ride seemed to last between twenty to thirty minutes. With a price as low as fifteen dollars per person, Folk couldn’t resist taking a ride of her own.
From her observations, Folk noticed how each group consisted of approximately ten people; she’d assumed there needed to be an even amount of weight distribution on the banana boat. But what fascinated and ignited Folk’s desire to go was what seemed to be an immediate outcome, “As each group got called up for their turns, they got on the boats as strangers and left as friends.”
Anxiety echoed to her skin, giving her goosebumps as she swung her legs between the ‘bump’ that was a banana boat. Her trip took out a few couples; one in particular only lived thirty minutes from her. The ride started slow and turned into something Folk described as “more than a whirlwind.” She fell off the boat so many times, each time with a smile, and each time she got help getting back up from her new friends.
The Puerto Rican culture is riddled with history and culture. “Warm people are everywhere on this island.” With the primary language being spoken there being Spanish, Folk was in what felt like an entirely new world when people would approach her and speak their language. Her favorite thing she ate was mofongo, a Puerto Rican Plantain dish. With culture on her tongue and in her memories, Folk was ready to go home, delighted with her spontaneous trip.
Folk has every intention of going back to Puerto Rico and “doing things the right way,” She has intentions of experiencing the island in a completely different way; she still plans to order a Mofongo when she gets there.