EP33: Kristina Tisellano and the Playa Linda

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Kristina Tisellano an Aruba traveler who has been visiting the island nearly her entire life. First visiting the island at the age of 4, Kristina, now 26 spends multiple weeks each year on the island. I guess you could say she grew up on the island.

Typically Kristina and her family stay at the Playa Linda, the resort property where her parents purchased that first timeshare many years ago. Not being familiar with the Playa Linda, Kristina painted an incredible picture for me, highlighting the family friendly atmosphere of the resort. One thing I thought was particularly cool is there way the families the Kristina has met over the years gather year after year becoming a sort of vacation family. She also mentions several of the staff members who have also become part of her Aruba family over the years.

As you could probably guess, a 26 year old who has been visiting the island for more than 20 years knows all of the ins and outs. Kristina was kind enough to share with us many of her favorite restaurants. One part of the interview that will be of interest to those who struggle searching for nightlife is where Kristina talks about some of her favorite night time hotspots.

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EP32: Marlene Nichols-Scherrenburg Shares What It’s Like Living on Aruba

Today on One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Marlene Nichols-Scherrenburg. Marlene is a Chicago born but raised in California girl who has been living on the island of Aruba for the last 15 years. Over the course of those 15 years Marlene has experienced the island in ways that most of us will only ever dream about. I met Marlene on my latest trip to Aruba while visiting Cheryl Talcof (from episode 19) and asked her to be on the show. Just like some of you at first Marlene didn’t know she was the right kind of person for the show but as you will find out she was actually a fantastic guest.

On this episode of the show Marlene gives a glimpse into Aruba from the point of view of someone who lives and works on the island. As an Aruba vacationer we do things one way but, when you are living on Aruba things can be quite different. Listen as Marlene explains what adjustments she needed to make in order to get used to life in paradise. Also find out what restaurants earn Marlene’s seal of approval as awesome values. You may want to pay special attention to the food part as in addition to Marlene being a foodie she is also married to one of the best chefs on the island, Jan Scherrenburg of Barney’s.

While most of the episodes of One Happy Podcast are geared towards vacationers this is a must listen for those considering someday making the move. As many of you can attest it’s quite normal to dream about moving to the island while on vacation. Marlene did things a bit differently as she moved there without having ever been to Aruba. On Episode 32 you will not only hear why this isn’t the best way to go about things but Marlene also shares valuable advice for the right way to decide whether or not Aruba is the right place for you to relocate to.

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EP31: Aruba! Off the Beaten Path with Nancy Gallagher

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Nancy Gallagher. Nancy is a listener of the show who you may recognize if you are a member of any of the popular Aruba Facebook groups. Known for her stunning photography and insightful posts I asked Nancy to be a guest on the podcast a couple of months ago, but she was reluctant. Fearful that listeners wouldn’t be interested in her version of Aruba, Nancy asked in one of the Facebook groups what they thought. The support that was shown was overwhelming and as a result at fantastic podcast episode was born.

Nancy has been visiting Aruba since 1990 and over the course of that time she has seen it all… literally. I am sure you will agree that most visitors to Aruba actually only see a small portion of the already small island, but not Nancy. Over the course of the 26 years she has been visiting the island of Aruba, Nancy has made it a point to get off the tourist trail and to actually get to know the island we all love so much. Although the bulk of her vacations are spent at the Divi Dutch Village, Nancy’s trips usually start out with a couple of days booked at a lesser known property out of the tourist area. This practice that has exposed Nancy to the Aruba that locals live.

Listen as Nancy tells us about her version of Aruba which starts at the Coral Reef Beach villas in Savaneta and finishes in her timeshare at the Divi Dutch Village, just 32 steps from the beach. Over the course of the interview Nancy tells us about those two properties as well as about some of her favorite restaurants on the island, many of which you don’t need to make reservations at even during high season. We also learn about some of Aruba’s off the beaten path treasures such as Seroe Crystal and Aruba’s National Art Gallery which is a great way to learn more about the culture of this very special island.

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EP30: Aruba Flight Volunteers with Marie Geerman

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a repeat guest, Marie Geerman. You may remember Marie from episode 15, “Rescuing Dogs with Marie Geerman”. In that episode Marie took us on a journey to her Aruba. Marie took us all the way from her first exposure to Aruba, through taking on the task of feeding Aruba’s homeless animals, all the way to her present day work of trying to completely eliminate the stray animal problem in Aruba by educating and informing Arubans on the benefits of responsible ownership.

I asked Marie to come back onto One Happy Podcast to not only check up on the status of her spay and neuter campaign but to also learn more about Aruba Flight Volunteers. Aruba Flight Volunteers is a Facebook page that was started to better organize the animal transportation efforts from Aruba to the United States.

For a while now I have been aware of the generosity many tourists show in helping getting adopted dogs and cats from their birthplace of Aruba to their “fur-ever” homes back in the states, but like many of you I was completely ignorant of the process. This lack of information really struck home on this last trip to Aruba when I made my first trip to the Aruba Animal Shelter. Visiting those puppies and kittens really makes you want to help and although we did make a donation we wanted to do more. Maggie came up with the idea of possibly transporting a puppy home. The only problem is we had absolutely no idea how to go about setting something like this up.

When I arrived back home I promised that I would find out more about the transportation process and figured what better place to turn for that information than Aruba Flight Volunteers. That I when I got in contact with Marie to set up another interview. It is my hope that this newest interview with Marie answers not only my own questions about animal transportation but also the questions of so many others that have the inclination but not the information to help save a life.

While I hope every episode of One Happy Podcast is informative, this one goes the extra mile to provide focused insight into the topic of Aruba Animal Transportation. My hopes are that it can be used as a primer for those curious about transporting in the future. Both Marie and I realize there are questions that weren’t answered in the podcast and can’t be answered in this format due to everyone have different circumstances but it’s a start. Your next step next step should be to go to the Aruba Flight Volunteer’s page and like it on Facebook; there you will be able to find even more information about transporting.

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EP29: Aruba Curt’s Top 5 September 2015 Vacation Takeaways

On today’s episode of One Happy Podcast I am trying something a bit different. This episode is actually my first ever solo episode. So what does that mean? Well today instead of having a guest on the show it’ll just be my talking as I am recapping my September 2015 vacation to Aruba.

The trip itself was pretty uneventful as I usually have a pretty solid game plan going into vacation. However, even though I have now gone to Aruba several times I am still learning different and better ways to enjoy vacationing there. That learning process is a central part of this podcast as much of this trip was spent evolving as an Aruba vacationer.

So even though this podcast episode is a recap of my trip, I am not going to give you a complete play by play. When we vacation in Aruba we are all over the place so a complete rundown of everything would be impractical. Besides I really doubt you guys want to hear me drone on about hopping from Palm Beach to Eagle Beach to Arashi Beach every day. So, instead what I am going to do is countdown my top 5 takeaways from this latest trip to One Happy Island.

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