The tone of the trip was set before it began. On our first morning in Albania, Erika, Angela, Maureen and I met for our trip orientation to discuss how to best travel together in a small group. As a travel host, I’ve learned from past experiences that everyone's mindset needs to be on the same page. So this morning, we mutually agreed to expect the unexpected. In the words of John Edwards, "Of course, plans are subject to change. Only in this case, upwards."
The one thing all of us have in common is a desire for health and happiness. But, obtaining it is the hard part especially when the guidance of society leads us astray. So, we have to learn from our experiences, which creates struggle along the way. Is there a way to make these transformations easier?
TRAVEL TIP: It can be scary to stray from one's comfort zone. But when traveling, this is when the magic happens. How does one get comfortable and trust the unknown? Start by taking small daily adventures. Dare to listen, taste, see and try new things. Then, see what happens.
We were honored recently to be interviewed by Wanderful, a community of international women that travel. We gave them our thoughts on being an entrepreneur, traveling, and our upcoming trips to #Turkey and #Morocco. Read our interview here.
For many, the new year brings many resolutions to better ourselves and our lives in one way or another. Recently, I was reflecting on a simple philosophy I learned not so long ago to be open to new adventures and just go with the flow.
My imagination carried me to visions of polar bears flying through the air, when a friend in Finland shared with me via Messenger the concept of Polar Bear Pitching. I had just said to him, "I signed up for our local Polar Plunge in Chicago!" An annual event in March that requires jumping in Lake Michigan to raise funds for the Special Olympics. I'm feeling fairly confident to plunge since, on a recent visit to Finland, I did just that. Jump in the Baltic Sea after a sauna.....
Anywhere you travel in the world, when it comes to safety, each person's comfort zone will be different. But, it's important for everyone to be a smart traveler. Our upcoming trip to Colombia has certainly raised eyebrows and questions, "Is Colombia safe? What precautions do I need to take? And, why are thousands of tourists flocking there each year?" Read to discover a few common sense safety tips when traveling to Colombia, as well as around the world.
Growing up in Seattle, I learned to enjoy the rain. Rain actually makes me happy. But, recently on our hiking trip in Valbona Valley National Park, Albania, we were met with several days of rain and thunderstorms. After five hours of hiking joyfully in the rain one day, I learned my rain jacket was no longer waterproof anymore. I was soaked through. How did this happen?
Packing can be a fun challenge because the needs of each destination are different. It's a bit like a puzzle to analyze, edit and minimize the essentials of what is required for each trip. As we prepare to venture off-the-beaten-path in the mountains of Albania, one question begs to be answered. How many pairs of socks do I need?
As we take leaps together from North America to South America, Asia and Africa, unexpected events are things we can certainly enjoy. From getting lost in the alleys of Venice, Italy, to roadside car repairs in Morocco, these unplanned events lead to off-the-beaten-path experiences and memorable travel stories to share. But, will I need medical coverage for the Alps? If there is a trip interruption, will I be able to cancel or reschedule my flight? Is trip insurance worth it?
Travel and meeting the real world can be exhilarating. And for some, uncomfortable at the same time.
Stepping off-the-beaten-path means visiting places that may not fit a standard hotel star rating system. So, what do you do to prepare yourself for the unexpected when your local guest house, mountain refuge or camp site under the stars pushes you too far out of your comfort zone?
International travel and the documents needed to enter or exit a country does not have to be complicated. You already have a passport but, what are the additional documents required? Knowing a few things ahead of time will help you sail through any country's customs line with ease.
As Americans, we have a wealth of privileges compared to other countries, from the freedom to building dream homes, buying dream cars, and getting those dream jobs. We work hard for it. But, it’s mind boggling that we take less vacations than anyone else in world. Why are you not taking your vacation?
Water: A basic human need. We take it for granted but, can't survive without it, for more than three days. And, a little bit of the wrong water when traveling could ruin one's trip for days. To stay healthy when traveling, here are a few traveler rules of thumb you may or may not know.
When traveling, I think about gratitude quite a bit. Especially as a guest in a foreign country where local people coordinate their lives to make our stay feel welcome. One question which consistently comes up from travelers, is about tipping. So, how much? To whom? And, when is appropriate?