Showing posts from April, 2014

"Why didn't I talk to you before????"

The other day, I was wrapping up a networking meeting and got to chatting with a fellow community member. I made mention to the fact that we had gone on vacation to Costa Rica and how cool it was and she informed me that she took her family on a cruise. As a curious minded travel specialist, I asked her how the cruise was and the heavy sigh, droopy shoulders and frown on her face said it all. She went on to explain to me that they took their children on this trip so as to be able to spend more time together but she said that her kids were older and ran around the ship without them. She said, "I'd have an occasional child sighting in the hallways." She went on to describe her experience similar to that of being at Wal-mart on a Saturday and that was not what she had signed on for nor had she expected.

She felt like a cruise would be a great way to keep everyone together and really connect but what she really wanted out of a vacation was to be in the mountains, away from t…

Wellness travel. . . What the heck is it?

I think that when most people think of "wellness travel", they envision people lounging around spas with volcanic mud masks detoxifying their skin after they just spent 2 hours sweating in a  Bikram yoga class. Wellness travel is not all about spas and yoga. If you think about it, everyone has their own sense of what wellness means to them.

According to some travel experts, myself included, wellness travel consists of these five tenets:

1.) Physical activity
2.) Stress reduction
3.) Spiritual connectedness
4.) Food education
5.) Cultural involvement

When we are ready for "more"out of life and out of our vacations, we tend to "do" more on our vacations. In my travels, I've met several people who are in the doing mode of travel ~ they are snowboarding, they are volunteering on horse farms, they are teaching abroad, and they are getting their hands filled with the countries cultural richness, they are partaking in culinary classes and they are finding th…

A travelers perspective on introspection

Introspection ~"a reflective looking inward :  an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings."

In our regular, chaotic, mayhem filled daily lives, we are rarely afforded the time for introspection. On the contrary, we may find ourselves riding the fringes of life, barely holding on and often times forgetting that we are individuals with dreams, passions and interests that have been buried beneath the daily grind of 12 hour work days, household chores and childrearing. I have seen this all too often in my past career as a social worker, especially in dealing with people who are living in poverty, those struggling with mental health issues, or simply those over worked and spread too thin ~ time for introspection is a luxury and not a necessity. I myself, neglected my own inner self for many years, doing what was supposed to be done ~ perfecting the American dream : buying a house, getting married and raising children while saving for the day when I could retire and REAL…

Glamping in Costa Rica

I have never been one to be known for camping. The idea of staying in a nylon tent while sleeping in or on a sleeping bag directly on the ground has never really appealed to me nor has the idea of lugging along all of the supplies required to prepare and cook the food ~ outside. The other downside of camping for me was outhouses or the lack there of and having to forge my way into the dark of   night to relieve myself freaked me out.  Nope, as Mother Earth loving as I am, camping has never been something I've appreciated.

When the concept of glamping (glamorous camping) crossed my path, my interest piqued. I liked the idea of tents that were already set up with everything I would need for a cozy nights rest along with a bit of ambiance given by cool lanterns and oriental rugs. THIS is my idea of camping! The other part of glamping that interested me was that it was run like a hotel/resort ~ complete with planned activities such as surfing and yoga and meals that were prepared for …

Costa Rica ~ Part 2 : The Journey.

I'm coming off of a 10 day trip to Costa Rica with my family and the first three days were near the iconic Arenal Volcano. This volcano has been active, slowly spouting out lava here and there, wowing the tourists with it's trickling lava flow. As of late, Arenal has been dormant but is never the less, an inspiring and humbling site to behold. It's perfect cone shape rises above the land and is a clear symbol to all that witness it that there are much bigger forces out there than ourselves.

We drove up, down and all around dusty roads through crater sized pot holes to get to our first place of rest for the next three days. We arrived at Leaves and Lizards Retreat. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere but claims it's town to be Monterrey, which is a sleepy yet quaint town down the road. Leaves and Lizards Retreat is a special place; owned by some U.S. Expats who wanted to escape the confines of the U.S and start something new, they opened up Leaves and Lizards…