Tag Archives: Travel

My Daughter’s Trip to Dubai

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Two years ago, my oldest daughter graduated from high school.  As her mother is from Australia, my daughter took a year off between high school and college, and spent the year traveling and working in Australia.   She really grew from the experience in a number of ways, and it gave me a great excuse to travel to Australia to see her.

At the end of this year, another daughter of mine will graduate from high school. Like her older sister, this one has the travel and adventure gene in her, as well, and wants to set off for her own journey, with Dubai as one of her destinations.   As the protective father, I had to do my research on the most populous city in the United Emirates.  To be sure, I have a very good friend who has been there several times, and he has raved about it over and over.   According to him, Dubai has so much to offer, so many opportunities located in one large city; many such opportunities that most large cities simply do not.

So the Daddy in me did my due diligence and began my research.  As one who used to snorkel in Australia, I was excited to see that Dubai offers beautiful waters and awe inspiring snorkeling off their coast.   Indeed, there is the opportunity to really get a fantastic view of the coral reefs, along with a number of wrecks on the ocean’s floor for my daughter to explore.  Yet, what she wants to do most, it seems, is sky dive. Now, I am not that brave. I have experienced just about everything, but that is not one thing I have on my bucket list. It is on hers.   She wants to jump out of a plane and sky dive.   As one who has lived the motto of Carpe Diem in all I do, I admire her desire to do this, and encourage her. I just won’t join her, myself!

Despite the fact that we know people who live in Dubai, and who can help look after her if she should visit, I needed to check to see if Dubai was a safe for my daughter.   The protective father in me was relieved to see that it is.

When my oldest daughter left our small town of 4,000 people, nestled in the middle of rural Georgia, I had many a person ask me how I felt about my daughter traveling the world and being away from my family for an extended period of time.   My response was that I was excited that she had the opportunity to see the world, immerse herself in new cultures and customs, and learn from a global perspective.  I was excited for the chance for my daughter to grow from all of these experiences.   Since her travels, she has come back, and has a greater appreciation not only of the world, but for what she has in life.  For my next daughter, I am just as excited.  Whether she travels to Dubai, or another part of the world, I am eager for her to discover the world, and discover herself.

Featured Intent: Explore New Things

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Tired of the same old, same old? We’ve probably all been there but the mind is a difficult thing to change. Circumstances aren’t always within our control and that can feel very disabling. At the core, sometimes our greatest fear is that we aren’t capable of change, but what if this year we started thinking about what newness we could welcome into our lives? What new things excite you and get your wheels turning? What has felt impossible and how can you start to move in that direction? Our intent today is to turn our minds to those questions and commit to explore new things in the new year.

You too? Consider these three places for newness in your life: Continue reading

Countdown to Hotel Bliss: Traveling with Adult Kids

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As a mother of two kids who travels for work, our family has experienced a variety of hotels, motels and resorts over the years. My girls are now young adults and it is a very different world when it comes to choosing a great hotel to enjoy during out travels.

We have gone through phases, starting with the classic small, affordable hotel where amenities were not the most important considerations. The kids were small and we didn’t need much.

As they grew older we needed more activities, restaurants and overall space. And finding a location that provided nearby events and things to do was paramount to keeping kids entertained.

However, a major change happened around the ages of 17. Suddenly the typical resort locations became the least attractive option. Hotels became less of a place to sleep, play and hang out to something totally different.

I noticed my kids had 3 primary requirements they had to have in our accommodations and I was surprised to find these factors actually were not difficult to find. We just had to know where to look. Continue reading

Why Making Time for Vacation is Important

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Family vacations were a high point for me growing up. It was a time to explore and learn about the world. We didn’t have a lot of money and that required a bit of creativity. I consider myself lucky that my parents took the time for breaks in their schedule to spend time with us.

A simple definition of ‘vacation’ is a time when someone is away from home, school or work, in order to relax or travel. I like to think of it as an intermission from your normal, daily life.

Many of us have a tendency to push ourselves too much and ignore the chronic stress that comes with that constant drive to achieve something.  In the U.S. we tend to take “time off” for granted and treat it as a type of luxury. It’s not. We all need a break.

Expedia did a study called Vacation Deprivation and found that a vacation for most can just be “a remote office away from the office.” People are still engaging with work, taking calls, and checking email regularly (guilty!).  And a lot of paid vacation goes unused for various reasons.

We’ve all had a conversation about work-life balance and its relevance. But are you actually doing something to create that needed healthy balance?

After our recent family vacation before school started, it was a great reminder that taking a break – a vacation – is healthy and a key part of stress reduction. Here are 7 reasons why it’s important to schedule vacation on a regular basis: Continue reading

The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born to Travel

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If you look at history and the human tendency to travel to far-flung areas of the planet, you may begin to suspect there’s something in the human genome that causes this compulsive wandering behavior. You may become even more convinced of this genetic tendency if you have ever traveled to what you thought was a distant corner of the earth and met up with someone from your very own town or neighborhood. It appears that some humans are driven to explore and seek out new environments, a human habit which has caused some scientists to consider whether there is a “travel gene” that contributes to the behavior. Continue reading

4 Secrets to Banishing Homesickness When Traveling Abroad

A photo by Steven Lewis. unsplash.com/photos/r4He4Btlsro
While traveling abroad offers a host of opportunities and new experiences, it can also get a bit lonely at times. And that longing for the connection and belonging that you feel back home can not only ruin a trip, but it could prevent you from taking another one. Banish the homesick blues with these tips so you can focus on exploring and enjoying your new environment.

Share your new culture with loved ones

While phone calls and social media make staying in touch easy, take it a step further by sending home local delights. Find your favorite sweets, baked goods, spices, candles or health and beauty products and mail small care packages to your nearest and dearest to give them a taste of your new local culture. The mere act of finding these items, packaging them and navigating the local postal system can also help you get more acclimated to your new surroundings abroad.

Make your accommodations feel like home

Whether you are staying in a hotel, a house or apartment rental or a dorm, there’s no reason that your new accommodations can’t feel like home. It’s worth the extra effort to add a few of your favorite decor flourishes, as it can make even the more generic quarters feel cozy and familiar. Here are a few ideas: Continue reading

What’s Your Favorite Quote About Coming Home?

LittleHousecover-300x433When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, “This is now.”

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

– Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods (last paragraphs)

This is one of my favorite passages in all of literature. I think of it often, especially when I come home after a trip. “This is now.Continue reading

Hey, Bono.

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Hello.

I’m not sure who is going to read this, but I do know one thing. It will get to the people who are meant to be called, slightly appalled and never stalled.

That’s you. And you know who you are, so I don’t need to go into great detail to describe you, to yourself, because you already have that description, prescription and inscription infused deeply in your DNA.

You get it, in other words. Continue reading

The Search for Ultimate Happiness

Yesterday a friend dropped an email into my inbox.
It said, “I just have to share something with you …..on Sunday, Brian
and I went to see the feature film, Hector and The Search for Happiness…
we laughed, we cried…it is funny, inspiring, transformational….we just loved it.”

By the end of the day, I’d watched the trailer several times, remembered how much I loved Simon Pegg, and had some great answers to questions about happiness from director and co-writer Peter Chelsom.

May I present “Hector and the Search for Happiness”…

As the man who filmed a man traveling the world in search of happiness, Chelsom seems pretty qualified to offer insights as to what makes people feel whole and satisfied. We’re happy to share the interview and his wisdom here!

Intent: Why do you think “Hector and the Search for Happiness” is important for today’s audience?
PC: We have lost sight of what happiness really is. We have become too “needy.” We are more pre-occupied with being interesting as opposed to be interested. And credit and advertising have made sure that we are never going to have enough!

Intent: What is one thing you think the world doesn’t get about happiness?
PC: Making happiness the goal doesn’t really work but what does work is understanding that real happiness is a by-product of giving yourself over to life, being in the flow, being inspired. What does work is that real happiness is richness. Richness is the full spectrum of all of the emotions, all the colors.

Intent: What/where is your happy place?
PC: Being with my family. And, being with my family at our home in Italy.

Intent: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who starting their own search for happiness?
PC: I say to my sons. “Come on boys, what is the secret to happiness and they reply kindness.” I love that because it’s a mission, a plan, an transitive action, something you can do. The by-product is surely happiness.

Intent: Were you surprised to learn anything over the course of filming- about yourself, about your career, about life?
PC: Very much. How lucky I am. How far I’ve come. As writers, Tinker Lindsey and I had to get personal and look to ourselves.
I genuinely feel that the zero on my axis has risen so that the lows are not as desperate and the highs are more cherished.

Intent: Has there ever been a big risk that you took and ended up being really glad you did?
PC: Yes. Becoming a filmmaker, is a ridiculous risk. What bugs me about non-believers and atheists, they talk about deluding yourself and I say, if I had NOT deluded myself, I would have never become a filmmaker. If I had been a realist, I would have never had tried. You say delusion, I say faith.

Intent: When it comes to making choices about your life, what criteria do you use when deciding yes or no?
PC: The criteria used to be selfish, now that I am a family man, family has become the criteria.

Intent: What fears are left for you to conquer?
PC: Growing old.

Intent: What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
PC: Having children. I wouldn’t have said that I am naturally qualified, now I think I’m pretty good!

Intent: If you could go on an adventure, where would it be and what would it look like?
PC: Having been round the world making this film, my idea of adventure is not a check box of lots of different places, but exploring one place, one area in massive details. Probably, me, the family, the car and 8 weeks to travel through all of Italy.

So go see it.
Go take a couple of hours to rest your brain, laugh, cry, and then ask yourself what you want out of this life. Every day is a day where everything can change. It might was well be today.

Intention in Nature

Dear friends,

I am on safari in the Serengeti in Tanzania as I write these words on my iPhone for this week’s newsletter. The power of intention could not be more powerful here where the circle of life plays itself every day. Watching a cheetah scope out its prey, baboons playing in the trees, giraffes elegantly chewing leaves, and elephant leaving behind downtrodden trees as they slowly walk through the bush, a mother lion suckling its young cubs. Such images are nature perfectly, harmoniously, acting out intention in perfect balance. I feel blessed to be here. Here are some photos which I hope give just a hint of the extraordinary magnificence of the gifts of our planet. Enjoy!

Mallika

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