Finding Adventure: The Tropical Rainforests of Puerto Rico
Boarding a plane isn’t something Jackson Ham does very often, but the airport has quickly become one of his favorite places.
“It means I’m going somewhere I wouldn’t normally go.”
As the Motion Graphics Artist at Groove Life®, Jackson has plenty of opportunities to offer photography assistance at product and lifestyle shoots, but most of those are local to where he lives in Middle Tennessee.
With most of the world still shut down due to COVID-19 earlier this summer, Puerto Rico was one of the few destinations that was accepting outside visitors. It was also a destination Jackson had been wanting to explore for a while, so he and two friends caught a flight to the bustling city of San Juan.
Immersed in Island Life
Jackson admitted he had gotten into a bit of a rut when it comes to travel and added that it was a completely new experience to travel to an island.
“We were quite literally in the middle of the ocean. It’s crazy to realize that you either have to get on a boat or a plane to leave.”
If the feeling of being on an island in the middle of the Caribbean wasn’t daunting enough for Jackson, culture shock soon took over as well.
“The trip in general was out of my comfort zone. Every ad and video you see of San Juan shows only the beauty of it, but in reality, it is a very large city. And even though it is officially U.S. territory, it still functions like a Latin American city.”
Hiking, Sailing, & Piña Coladas
For their first stop, Jackson and his friends visited Old San Juan, a robust and historic side of town. With a slew of local restaurants, classic architecture, and well-known photo opportunities such as Umbrella Street, this was the perfect place for immersing themselves into the Puerto Rican culture.
The El Yunque National Forest, the only rainforest that exists in the National Park System, was on the agenda for the next day. Jackson and his friends hiked trails with breathtaking views, ate lunch at the local beach, and enjoyed a day “off the grid” before returning to the city.
For the final day of the trip, Jackson and his friends booked tickets with Salty Dog Catamaran for a six-hour sailing excursion.The boat took him and his friends to two pristine private islands where they got to snorkel and swim in the clear, blue, warm waters of the Caribbean.
This day of sailing and swimming was what Jackson likes to call “the best $100 you could spend in Puerto Rico.” From the tropical breeze to the white-sand beaches to the all-you-can-drink piña coladas and fruit punch, it was the perfect way to cap off the trip.
In Jackson’s eyes, there is so much beauty in the world and he has an insatiable desire to see it all. Visiting Puerto Rico got him out of his element and allowed him to see a part of the world he always wanted to.
So what’s next?
“It’s been a dream of mine and my friends to take a trip every year that is outside of the usual trips we take. Right now, Iceland is topping the charts for where we want to travel next.”
We can’t wait to hear all about it!
Groove Life.® Ready for Adventure.™