St. Thomas is Calling

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St. Thomas


One of the reasons I love the United States is that there are so many different places you can visit without actually leaving the country.  Can you believe that 40% of Americans have never left the country, or even own a passport? As much as I recommend investing in that pretty little book that gives you countless of opportunities, there are many places you can travel to without needing a passport.  As a United States citizen you can take a short flight from Miami, to visit one of the prettiest Caribbean islands know as St. Thomas. 

 This was my second time to visiting St. Thomas. Both times I visited through a cruise-ship.  This time, however was different than the last time. Unfortunately, St. Thomas fell victim to hurricanes Irma and Maria this past year.  Many Caribbean islands suffered from the hurricanes last year and a lot of US cities as well, including Houston and Miami.  Fortunately for me, I was traveling when the hurricane hit Miami however, I think it’s the guilt I had that we barely had any damage but hurricane relief has made a huge impact on me. 


When I visited St. Thomas my first question was “how is everyone doing after the storm and what can we do to help?” Fortunately for them a lot of tourism boards and cruise lines have helped them by cleaning up their beaches and the cities however there are still some issues. For example, the phone lines and internet lines are still down as are some homes.  

St. Thomas has countless beautiful beaches on the island.  We definitely had a hard time choosing which beaches we should check out.  When you’re on a cruise you have a lot of information coming at you from the employees, trying to sell you different excursions. One thing I’ve learned, is to ask several employees if they’re getting off on the island and if they are, where do they go.  Usually, they’ve been to the ports several times so they are the best guides.  After speaking with several crew members, they told us that Magen’s Bay was the 2nd best beach on the island. Emerald Beach is actually the best, but it was still badly damaged by the hurricane and has not been restored yet.  

We set off to spend the day in Magen’s Bay, where we found the cutest bar and food restaurant.  From the cruise port, we took a taxi that cost $6 to get to Magen’s Bay and back.  Magen’s Bay is run by the government, which means they provide lifeguards. This also meant that it costs $5 per person to get in.  That payment also gives you access to the bar on the premises and the restaurant as well.  We were able to spend as much time as we’d like on the beach being that our ship didn’t leave until 7:30 p.m.  It really was a perfect day in paradise.

After our perfect day on the beach, we wanted to stay near the port since my biggest fear was our ship leaving us after we had had such a great day. We were starving! Thank goodness there was the most delicious BBQ restaurant in the port.  After having cruise food for the past few days, BBQ food was a good change.   After our delicious meal it was time to get back on the ship and head to our next port Antigua!!!


Get to Know Me!


Hey there travel lovers, I am Michelle of 193 Life.

At the ripe young age of 6 months old I began traveling. My parents, specially my mom always had a love of traveling, and I guess you can say she rubbed off on my dad.

My family and I began travel the US by car. Road trips kinda became “our thing”.

After years of so many people coming to my mom for advice and help with their travel plans, she decided to open up her travel agency, and thus MCH Vacations Inc was born!

I was only 7 when I took my first international trip and in 2010 I traveled to Europe for the first time. From there on I caught what my mom likes to call the “Europe bug”. Because I shared the love of traveling with my mom, I decided to jump on board and help her with MCH Vacations while I was in school.

After my first Europe trip, about a year later, I was helping a couple with a trip for their honeymoon and I saw an incredibly cheap cruise to Europe, which to this day I believe was an error on their part haha lucky me! I decided to submit my name and $100 deposit and book the cruise without giving it a second thought. My sister and I had a “gap semester” before we could graduate with our Bachelor’s degree, so I talked her into joining me on the trip.


Because we had so my frequent flyer miles and did our research for the most affordable prices and locations, my sister and I were able to travel for 21 days, visiting 10 different countries on our own.

While we were on that trip, she had mentioned how great it would be to move to Europe some day, even if it was just for a few months. Seemed like just a dream, so life continued as usual once we were back home. I move to Charlotte, NC for law school, and she went on to teach 1st grade in Miami. Unfortunately, I got sick and had to move back home, still reminiscing on our 20 day adventure, and how far fetched the idea of living in Europe seemed to us.

6 months later, my sister went off to Brno, Czech Republic and I went off to San Remo, Italy. We both stayed in our respective cities for 1 month and traveled throughout Europe. We lived in Europe for a total of 3 months.

I mentioned to someone that I had a dream of wanting to see the whole world, not just the main tourist attractions, but I wanted to visit every country in the world, to see how they work to experience how they’re different. I was told it was impossible, so of course being as headstrong as I am, I said I’ll do it WATCH ME!

As of 2011 I have been working to make it a reality. I have attempted to visit as many countries as possible. It’s not always glamorous, and can definitely be exhausting, but it’s something I’ve set out to do.

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Traveling has become my lifestyle, not just a hobby. Traveling is something I plan my life around and I’ve been very fortunate that my job and circumstances have allowed me to do that.

In 2015, I was misdiagnosed with Lupus. My inflammations levels were so high that the doctors could not fully understand what was going on with me (which in all honesty has been the story of my life). As a result of constant testing and trying to put all of the conditions together, I was diagnosed with severe case of psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

I was in a doctor’s room with my mom and I was told I had 4 different auto-immune diseases. In a moment, I saw life change drastically. I refused to let my illness change my life, and the plans I had for myself. I had 5 trips planned for the rest of that year, and I was determined to go on and fully enjoy myself. My doctors were also aware of my lifestyle, and they knew how much it meant to me that nothing would change.

Yes I live my life in constant pain, and I’ve had to acclimate my travels to accommodate my conditions, but I refused to let it stop me from traveling. It has taught me more about life, and myself than I ever thought it would. I have come to realize that at 30 years old, every day is different with my pain level and some things might need to be adjusted and that’s okay. It has taught me that life is short, and we don’t have that luxury to wait until later to visit the places we’ve dreamed about. We need to make our dreams happen for ourselves, and see as much of the world while we can.

In life, we all need to adjust to curve balls that get thrown our way, and this is my curve ball. I will go into more depth into each of my conditions in hopes that I can help someone struggling with it as well as to bring awareness, because not everyone understands what auto immune diseases are, or how they can affect someone.

My hope is to someday help find something that can cure them or help make them manageable so people with auto immune diseases, like myself can continue living a happy fulfilled life.