In the southern Caribbean Sea lies an Island called Aruba. An island that belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. Known for the massive festivals and carnivals influenced by the inhabitants from Venezuela and the nearby islands such as Curaçao, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Maarten, and Anguilla. An island we put on our wishlist, and this time, HelloBali is digging a little deeper about Aruba, with travel couple Zach and Tara Brose from League Travels since we really love their page.
You both are so adorable, can you tell us the story about who you guys are, and how did you guys start your travel blogging journey, because we are so inspired by your travels!
Thanks so much! We’re Zach and Tara Brose, a married couple from America and the creators behind @LeagueTravels! We started @LeagueTravels back in 2016 just for fun, originally as a way to document our travels and keep our families up to date with what we were up to. We were living in NYC at the time, and both had full-time jobs, so we travelled as much as we could, which wasn’t very often. In October 2017, we quit our jobs to pursue building the League brand full-time instead, and bought a one-way ticket to Bali to start our full-time travels! We gave ourselves one year to see if it could work, and here we are two years later, loving the adventure!
What was your first trip together, and what was it like?
Our first trip together outside of the USA was our honeymoon— we went to Thailand and Australia for 2.5 weeks! It was a huge adventure and the moment that we knew that our love for travel was something that we both shared. We travelled so well together and enjoyed every second of the trip. It felt so exotic and so foreign from what we knew, and we absolutely fell in love with travel. It really stirred up the wanderlust in each of us and started our pursuit of finding a way to make a career out of it.
We came across your Aruba trip and really interested in knowing more about it, can you guys share with us a memorable moment when in Aruba?
Aruba is an amazing island in the southern Caribbean Sea, close to the coast of Venezuela. They call themselves “one happy island”— a name that the super friendly locals definitely live up to. We’ve been to Aruba 2 times this year, and one of the most memorable experiences would have to be the time we had dinner at a restaurant built into the ocean called Flying Fishbone. You walk into the water and eat at a table nestled into the turquoise bay with your feet in the water- it was so romantic!
How was your experience sailing the Aruban sea? What do we need to know if we want to do it as well?
Sailing anywhere in the Caribbean is a dream! The water is balmy warm, beautifully blue and there are endless pristine beaches. Aruba is no exception to this, and one of the dreamiest places we have ever sailed! The sunset in Aruba is vibrant and stunning, and the weather there is unbeatable. They have the sunniest days of any Caribbean island and sit comfortably outside of the hurricane belt- meaning you are almost guaranteed beautiful weather and very few storms. We sailed with a few different companies, and there are many different ways to book a sailing trip- one of our favourites was a sunset sail with Pelican Adventures Aruba- it was just an evening, perfect for a shorter trip where you want to fit a to in. Aruba Tourism’s website has lots of great resources for booking sails and all other activities, and we found that a great way to plan our trip!
What are the best-hidden gems in Aruba that we need to know?
Aruba is a tropical island, but much drier than Bali. The majority of the vegetation is small plants and trees, bushes and cacti, and it’s mostly flat. With that said, the beaches in Aruba are among the most beautiful beaches in the world! Bright white sand, the bluest water you can imagine and the perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation. One spot that’s amazing and off the beaten path in the Natural Pool in Santa Cruz— it’s worth the trek!
What experiences do we need to try there, except from the amazing treks?
Aruba’s tourism industry is thriving, and there is no shortage of things to do here. Take a UTV tour through the national park. Snorkel along any of the amazing beaches. Take a sunset sailing trip or a daytime snorkelling trip, and don’t forget to drink the local rum! The Caribbean is famous for rum, and it’s not a true vacation in Aruba until you have tried it. Have dinner with your feet in the water at the Flying Fishbone, try kitesurfing, do a paddleboard yoga class, the list goes on and on!
Those really sound exciting, so how do we get to Aruba from Bali?
From Bali, your best route would be through the USA- fly into Miami or Atlanta or NYC, and then take a direct flight into Aruba’s international airport.
Is Aruba more of a great place for family, honeymoon, or adventurer kind of person?
Aruba is a perfect destination for anyone! If you want to have a relaxing holiday on the beach, visiting the spa and eating amazing food, you can. If you want to spend your days exploring the wilderness on UTVs and snorkelling along tropical reefs and trying your hand at extreme water sports, you can do that as well— and there is so much to do for families. The beaches are mostly flat and calm, so it’s perfect for kids to play in— you’ll find families hanging out on the water on floats and just enjoying being together! It’s truly an island that can cater to any type of traveller!
With a lot of pros and cons being travel bloggers, what are your tips to be legit travel bloggers with integrity?
That’s a great question. When it comes to travel, we do our best to understand and respect the local cultures. We try to learn at least a few words of the local language, know the local customs, and travel in a way that respects the destination and the people. When it comes to the blogger side, our goal is always to offer value for our followers, and to add value to any brand or company that we work with. We aim to inspire people to travel and see the beauty all over the world, and we want every brand that we work with to be represented in an authentic, beautiful way. So many people want to be “bloggers” or “Influencers” just to get free stuff— but that’s where it’s easy to lose integrity and go the wrong way. We genuinely love creating beautiful content and capturing the places we travel in an original way, and we’re passionate about travel. We said from the start that we wanted our brand to represent who we are and what we love, and as we’ve grown, we’ve worked hard to maintain that authenticity.
I’ve read in your facebook, the job does have its perks, but also, it can get pretty hard that you wanted to quit. What keeps you guys moving forward? How do you motivate yourself to do that?
For sure— it’s an amazing life to travel full-time, and we feel so grateful. However, it isn’t without challenges. We’ve sacrificed a lot of comforts to pursue this career like stability, financial security, job-benefits like health insurance and retirement funds etc. We are close to our families, so it’s hard to be away from them for long periods of time. We are our own bosses, so everything is on our shoulders, which can get a little overwhelming at times. But, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. We love what we do, and we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to do it together. Over the last two years of doing this full-time, we constantly evaluated and re-evaluated our priorities, and made the necessary changes when we’ve needed to. It’s a growing and changing the industry, and you have to be flexible and willing to learn all the time- and we love the ride!
If you were to advise our readers about building a career using social media or a blog, what would you tell them?
Be yourself. Be authentically, honestly you. Don’t do it for the likes or follows — do it because you love it and are passionate about it (whatever your “it” maybe). Social media changes all the time, and if you aren’t true to yourself, you’ll quickly resent the life of always trying to please others. Social media platforms aren’t yours— at the end of the day, they are rented space from companies who are looking to make a profit. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Diversify your brand and your platforms. Have your own website, something that you truly own. The social media space can feel overwhelming and saturated, but there’s room for everyone— just be yourself and create amazing, follow-worthy content for the world to see!
What do you think about Bali when you were here?
We absolutely love Bali. We’ve called this amazing island our home away from home for two years now, and come back to rest and recharge between as many trips as we can. We love the culture and the people— Balinese people are some of the kindest, warmest people you will ever meet. The landscapes are amazing, and there is just so much to do and see. We miss it every second that we are away!
“With that said, the beaches in Aruba are among the most beautiful beaches in the world! bright white sand, the bluest water you can imagine and the perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation. One spot that’s amazing and off the beaten path in the Natural Pool in Santa Cruz— it’s worth the trek!”
What’s next on your dream trips and life plans?
This year, one of our goals was to see all 7 Wonders of the World, and it looks like we’ll just make it! We visited the Roman Colosseum and the Taj Mahal last year, Petra and the Great Wall of China this year, and we’ll see Christ the Redeemer, Macchu Pichu and Chichen Itza over these next few months! We’re headed to South America on a really exciting project for the rest of 2019, and then back to Bali at the start of next year. We’ve got lots of big dreams and some dream trips planned for 2020, but you’ll just have to follow us on @LeagueTravels to find out what they are! 😉