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Chelsea Harms is one of our much-appreciated Local Experts, an unabashed lover of Puerto Rico. She’s posted some really great Highlights of her adopted home (check out her Wanderlist of local Highlights).

She’s currently living in Mayagüez, doing a PhD on lionfish—an invasive species that has proven very hard to eradicate. When she’s not contemplating control methods of this spiny beast, she explores with her travel partner Evan Tuohy—she says that the natural adventures, the hidden trails that lead to gorgeous, deserted waterfalls, are what she loves most about the island.

She filled out our travel questionnaire, so you can get a sense of her as a traveler. Browse Chelsea’s Wanderlists, and use her local savvy to plan your next trip to Puerto Rico. (My pick? The Gozalandia waterfalls in San Sebastian.) She’s a great resource!

Right now I’m in Rincón, Puerto Rico.
Though I would much prefer to be nowhere else!
Occupation: Marine Scientist/ Ph.D. Student
My next trip is to East Texas and Yosemite National Park (again).
My last trip took me to the West Coast and all in between (July 2012)
First international trip: southwest India, Dec. 2008
A now well-worn pair of leather shoes from India is my most treasured travel souvenir.
Favorite hotel: I prefer to camp.
Favorite restaurant: Café Coconut Cove, South Melbourne, Florida
iPhone or DSLR? Both
Backpack, wheelie, or trunk? Backpack
Plugged-in or unplugged? Either. I like to share photos in the moment.
Public transportation, cab, or bike? I’ll walk!
If you’re in Tyler, Texas during fair season don’t miss Trinity Lutheran’s Pie Lady homemade good ole Southern pies.
Preparation: guidebook, online research, or seat of your pants? Online research
Talking with bartenders, waiters. and baristas is the best way to connect with locals.
Five things you can’t travel without: My CanonT2i, iPhone charger, travel log, chapstick, Texas Longhorns ball-cap
Jet lag: Nap, power through, pills, or herbal remedies? Nap it up!
Three travel apps you can’t live without: Currency Converter, AirBnB, Urbanspoon
First thing you do when you get home: Entertain excited pets
Where do you always take out-of-town friends? Cueva Ventana in Utuado, Puerto Rico—my favorite view on the island!
Favorite travel book: Sibella Court’s Nomad
Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home. Took part in an Indian wedding while in India, wore mehndi on my arms and danced to Indian music for an entire night.
If I had a whole month to travel, I would go to Mexico.
If I had a whole year to travel, I would go to Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Tibet, and Australia.
Favorite foreign tradition: afternoon tea
Travel has taught me to be open-minded and embrace new cultures!

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