Dean in UNESCO Arequipa Peru colonial latin america
Me, in Arequipa, Peru

Hey Team, I’m Dean. I’ve traveled quite a bit. For example, I have been to more countries than U.S. States. I’ve been to some of the largest cities in the world (Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City) and all the largest cities in the U.S. and Canada (for example, New York, L.A., Toronto, Chicago, Montreal). Nothing compares to these massive areas of culture, art, and fun. And while many of the very large world cities offer so many exciting things, I often find them lacking charm. Whether it is Bregenz, Austria, old town Kyoto, Japan, or Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia, wandering around the old, historic cities or centers just makes me happy as I’m awash in “charm”.

What doesn’t make me happy is the cost of living in the U.S. Some U.S. cities and towns are “old” and charming. My favorites that I’ve been to: Leavenworth, WA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Galena, IL, Fairhope, AL, Asheville, NC, and Charlottesville, VA. But, as quaint and charming as these U.S. towns are…they are expensive to visit or live in.

It’s finding the hidden charms, experiencing a different take, and getting excited over inexpensive treats that reward me.

Why Colonial Latin America?

Old Photo of Guanajuato Mexico
Old Photo of Guanajuato, Mexico

I first fell in love with Colonial Latin America when I spent the summer abroad in the Spanish colonial city of Guanajuato, Mexico. My parents didn’t have the money to send me to Salamanca, Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage City, so they insisted that since Guanajuato was a UNESCO city also, I’d have the same experience.

Coming from brand-spanking-new Austin, Texas, I was absolutely enthralled with the centuries-old colonial city of Guanajuato.

Fast forward a bit…

Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America have dozens of the best Spanish colonial historical centers for Americans and Canadians to visit. Wandering around the old, historic cities or centers built by Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and British empires takes me back in time but also allows me to enjoy the present-day mixture of cultures.  Many of the best Latin American colonial cities are UNESCO World Heritage cities.  Upon visiting Casco Viejo in Panama City, and having memories of Guanajuato, I made a personal goal to visit all UNESCO World Heritage cities in Latin America.  One day, I hope to live in one of these old, charming colonial towns.

The Best Way to Travel

What I’ve learned from traveling to 50+ countries, all 50 U.S. states (twice!), 100 of the top 100 US metro areas, and countless tourist traps, is traveling as light as possible without sacrificing safety and comfort is the best way to explore new areas.  There’s a vast middle ground between backpacking & hostels and Louis Vuitton suitcases & 5-Star Hotels.  I will share as many nuggets as possible on my travel blog.

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