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On The Road with Rosalyn: Portland, ME! GUEST POST!

One of the things we’re most proud of at Social Butterfly Express is our personal connection to travel. SBE grew from the personal passion for travel of Founder and Lead Travel Consultant Rosalyn Cooper, combined with her planning savvy, and she is constantly on the road scouting locations for her destination wedding couples, honeymoons, and even large group trips!

Our "On the Road with Rosalyn!" series chronicles Rosalyn’s personal and professional travels, giving you the scoop on the best locations, venues, and excursions. And now, we're excited to announce our collaboration with guest blog contributors - friends and colleagues of SBE who are gracious enough to share the deets of some of their favorite all-time trips! (Interested in being featured? Submit an application here.)

In this edition, we hear from friend of SBE Robert Coggins to learn about his Fall 2019 trip to Portland, Maine, including the details on his stay in a hostel (and jamming on plenty of seafood!) Check out Robert’s story below!

I’ve been traveling since I was 12 years old, but it wasn’t until I was older that I was really able to experience and appreciate all that the world has to offer. When I was in high school, I remember learning about Maine in social studies and geography classes. The landscape was always so dope to me! The colored leaves and trees were beautiful, and there always seemed to be a moose in the photos which I was definitely interested in seeing up close and personal. I knew then that Maine had to be added to my travel bucket list.

My trip took place in October of 2019, the perfect time of year to fully experience the changing colors of the landscape I dreamed about since high school. Have you ever thought about something you desired over and over again but never really done anything about it? I’ve been guilty of that before, too. But this Thursday-Sunday solo trip was a celebration of ME...a celebration of finally pulling the trigger on this long-time dream and DOING IT instead of just thinking about it.

There was no itinerary or plans for this trip. I just figured it out as I went along which was an experience in itself. We always “plan” for things, which has a time and a place, but there is also a benefit to going through the unknown and adjusting along the way. In my opinion, it actually works out better that way. Don’t get me wrong, I know that’s not for everybody and that’s fine, but it gives me a high and the lack of itinerary on this solo trip really took the senses of adventure and growth to a whole new level for me.

This laid-back “figure it out as I go” attitude actually worked in my favor when it came to lodging. The original plan was to stay in a hostel - crazy experience in itself complete with rooming with absolute strangers! (See the pics in the gallery below!) The hostel ended up messing up my booking so I stayed for one night and then had to get an actual hotel for the remainder of the trip. The hostel was a unique experience overall, and I’m glad I did it, but there was a tiny sense of relief when it came to checking into my hotel.

I made my trip by plane. The overlook of Maine on a plane is absolutely surreal! There is actually an island which is a part of Maine that requires you to travel by ferry, which I didn’t realize until I saw the aerial view from the plane before we landed. To this day, fourteen families still live on that island, which I learned during a tour cruise later on in my trip. The cruise took us past the lighthouse (one of the main attractions in Portland) and offered a great history course on the area. I also saw a few local lobster catchers in action during the cruise, and even a few seals!

Speaking of lobster, I am a seafood lover so when it came to the cuisine, I was pretty much in heaven! The lobster industry is serious in Maine. It’s how the city thrives, so it’s really hard to find bad lobster if that makes sense. I tried ghee for the first time ever. It’s basically like butter but without the fat. It was so good on my lobster rolls! I went to a few local restaurants (don’t remember the specific names) and the food was good at all of them - including fresh lobster that literally came straight from the water! I had some drinks and just enjoyed myself as I vibed to the beat of my own drum.

For the record, there were not a lot of Black people in Portland. I even asked some of the local Blacks I saw if there was an area of the city where Black people resided that they could direct me to - nonexistent! It was all good, though. The locals were nice and welcoming (aside from some stares, which was expected). I still enjoyed myself and had a great time without a care in the world.

The most memorable experience of the trip was a long drive I took - 2 hours outside of Portland with no destination in mind - just driving. Seeing the lakes and the fall colors on the trees along the way was everything to me. It was just how I remember it looking in my high school textbooks! The only drawback? I didn’t get to see a moose :( I was told by a local that you pretty much have to go into no man’s land in order to see one in real life. A little disappointing but maybe next time! I’m thinking my next visit to Maine will be in the Spring or Summer.

Overall, this was an incredibly dope experience and I would definitely recommend checking it out for yourself...whether you’re into the “figure it out as you go” vibes, or prefer to structure your plans in advance! I’m looking forward to my next trip!

Consider Portland, Maine for your next trip!

Calling all lobster lovers! Portland, Maine is an adorable seaside town complete with its own unique charms. A huge appreciation shout-out to Robert for sharing the details about his trip!

If you're ready to hit the road to Portland or elsewhere, SBE would love to help you plan your next big trip! Consultations are complimentary and obligation-free. Get your quote or book a consultation today, and hit the road with Social Butterfly Express!

Social Butterfly Express specializes in 100% custom travel experiences including destination weddings, honeymoons, bachelor/bachelorette parties, anniversary trips, and more!Get your custom quote here,and let us help make your travel dreams a reality!

Check out the full photo gallery below!

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