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Taking Off: Feeding Your Wanderlust

By December 1, 2011 Play, Travel
vintage-air-stewardess

The idea of traveling has been swirling in my mind, making my palms itch with wanderlust and basically harassing me to get out and do something about it.  I don’t know where my need to travel comes from. Maybe it’s my complacency with routine or a need to realize my minute status in this large world, but there are few feelings that rival taking a flight and landing in a place I’ve never been. And my recent trip to the Bahamas only intensified my desire.

I recently made the resolution to pay more attention to this calling and honor it by making it a priority in my life.  So often we ignore the things in our hearts and rationalize them away with excuses. “I’ll travel when my debt is paid off” or “I can’t afford to travel.” Where there are excuses there is inaction and no one ever got to California standing on a dirt road in Kansas.

I totally understand that sometimes life prevents us from being able to get up and go and it is a lot easier said than done. But with anything, if you want it bad enough you (and the Universe) will find a way to make it happen.

Here are a few tips on feeding your wanderlust and giving it the precedence it deserves.

First Layover: Accept your Wanderlust

First you must decide that exploration is for you. If you daydream about distant lands, exotic meals, authentic people and experiences then you’ve been bitten with the wanderlust bug. Take it seriously and don’t allow yourself or others to downplay it. The world is a large, diverse and enriching place and we must see it.

Second Layover: Get a Map and Imagine

One of my great girlfriends Beza is an avid traveler and true inspiration. One day on her table I spotted a book 1,000 Places to See Before you Die. In it she had tabs and pages marked off; where she had been and where she wanted to go. I purchased the book and have been scouting out the locations I am dying to see. I won’t see any or all of the destinations any time soon but it is a great motivator.

{Source}

Third Layover: Get a Crew or Go it Alone

If I could count the number of times I didn’t go on a trip because none of friends could (or wanted) to go I would have thousands of frequent flyer miles. Traveling with friends is an amazing bonding experience and I’m a huge proponent of girl getaways but when the crew can’t come you need to strap on your backpack and hit the road solo. I’m in the works of planning a solo vacation simply for the hell of it.

Final Destination: Plan for It and Hit the Road

Dreams of travel are nothing without fulfillment. Actually buying that plane ticket, booking that hotel or making those arrangements are what seals the deal and gets you one step closer to traipsing the globe. If planning a trip in its entirety seems overwhelming, book your hotel first. Then a week or two later book your plane ticket. Before you know it your travel date will be here and you’ll forget all the things that held you back.

And lastly for all of the wanderlust lasses, daring divas, adventure-hungry chicas who know that there’s more beyond our front door, I leave you with this quote:

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  ~ St. Augustine

Are you experiencing wanderlust? What travel plans do you have in the works?

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Airport Purgatory: What I Learned from my Buddy Pass Debacle

By February 19, 2011 Travel
Airport-Rage

{The Four Stages of Airport Rage: Irritation, Contempt, Delusion, Violence}

So this wasn’t quite the debauchery I expected when I set out bright and early, 6am to be exact, on an unseasonably warm February day to travel to Florida to see my good friend Angelica. Like the procrastinator that I am (what can I say, I’m creative) I waited until the very last minute to get my ticket, when airline prices are akin to the price of a Ferrari.

In the clutch, Angelica pulled through with an airport connection and a buddy pass for less than a pair of Sam Edelman’s was delivered. It all seemed so easy and being my first time using a buddy pass, I was seduced by the allure of inexpensive travel. Well when they say “you get what you pay for” they never lied. During a busy holiday season, all the flights were overbooked and a having a buddy pass is a good as used toilet paper in trying to secure a flight.

Needless to say I never made it to Florida and after spending several hours with strangers and florescent lighting, I began to wonder what the lesson in all of this was (aside from never listening to Angelica again).

{Impromptu Photoshoot… Why Not?}

Ain’t No-Half Steppin’

There is something to be said for being a spendthrift and pinching pennies, but in the end you get what you pay for and cutting corners is a surefire way to get burned.

Can’t put a Price Tag on Peace of Mind

When if comes down to shelling out a few bucks for convenience, I’m normally all about it. If trying to save money will cause you unnecessary stress and strife it’s not worth it.

Airports really are the Gateway to Heaven

Being in an airport always reminds me of Love Actually. People watching, I got to see all of the families happy to see their loved ones or sad to see them go. Airports are full of people rushing off to some destination and it felt like being in a different world.

Read the Fine Print

Sure a buddy pass is inexpensive and is technically a plane ticket, however you spend all day waiting for an opening. I’m normally a patient person, but this was an ultimate test. Had I fully understood the circumstances I was entering in to I would have thought twice.

Your Attitude Dictates your Circumstances

In the end, not making it to Florida wasn’t the end of the world. I got to carve out much needed time to work and save money. Clearly there is a silver lining to this debacle.

What experiences do you have where you had a life epiphany?

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Stylish Thought’s Guide to All Girl Getaways

By June 23, 2010 Travel
girls_getaway

Crazy women setting out for adventure. I’m a firm believer that if you really want to get to know someone, go away with them. Whether for a special occasion or just to get the hell out of dodge, there’s something about being out of your typical element with amazing friends that really opens the lines of friendship and creates lasting bonds that you and your girls will cherish when your all married and saddled with kids. (Remember one creed: What happens on Girl’s trips stays on Girl’s trips)

That said, every girl’s getaway doesn’t need to be table-top danceathon complete with wild, drunken nights (though I’ve had my fair share). Girl’s Getaways can be as varied as the personalities in your group. The idea is to travel to a place that will not only breath new life into your friendships but allow everyone to be comfortable. Going away with friends is about crafting a dynamic that will make for a memorable experience (so if you’re planning a relaxing spa weekend leave the friend who can’t handle her liquor at home.)

When planning a trip with old and new friends alike  here are a few tips to ensure that all ladies involved have the time of their lives and it’s worth everyone’s time (and moola)

1. Set expectations

Make sure that everyone is aware of the circumstances of the trip and expectations are set around it. Some will want to party while others will want to lounge by the pool. Knowing this ahead of time will allow for everyone to do their preferred activities and still be apart of the group. (But don’t be so rigid that people don’t feel they can be themselves on the trip)

2. Set a Date and Budget

Plan in advance and be reasonable. Everyone’s isn’t balling on the same budget. And by having the timing and money discussion early you can target appropriate venues and activities so that everyone is comfortable and not breaking the bank to be included. Additionally, be flexible with dates. Shoot for vacations across Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate everyone’s work schedules.

3. Decide on the Planner

Too many chiefs, not enough Indians? Sounds familiar. In my experience it’s best to let one or two friends (preferably one with a knack for party planning- there’s one in every group) take the reigns as the designated planner. She will gather everyone’s input and get consensus on venues and payments. On the flip side: Don’t take this responsibility if you’d rather just show up with your bikini. Nothing worse than a friend who mismanages the trip; you’ll never live it down.

4. Scout out the Unknown

Who goes on vacation to stay in the resort all day? Old married couples, that’s who. Get out and explore. Research local and off the beaten path events and activities where your traveling. Do things that will have you talking (and laughing) for months to come. Check out the nudist beach, go deep sea diving, check out a shoe museum, meet some men (if for nothing more than flirting). Be safe, travel in groups and try new things (just don’t get busted for smuggling drugs, this isn’t Brokedown Palace)

5. Save the Drama for your Mama

Real Housewives of NY showed us all what a girls trip should not be (Scary Island anyone?). Leave your baggage at home and the cattiness at the door. A trip full of women doesn’t have to cater to the snippy stereotypes. Let your stress melt away, enjoy amazing food, great friends and a beautiful GETAWAY.

Here are some cool trip ideas for your next All Girls Getaway. Send me a postcard!

Quickie, anyone?

For out of town quickies, grab one or two girlfriends (the fewer the better). Festivals, wine tasting or vintage hunting are great incentives to travel for a weekend.
Northern Virginia Wineries
Chicago Weekend Getaways
Essence Music Festival

Beach, Bikini and Booze

Cyndi Lauper had it right all along. Girls do just want to have fun (well at least I do) and what is more fun that hot beaches, hot guys and hot dancing? (I’ll wait)
Ibiza Nightlife
Guide to Cancun

Serenity Please

Let’s face it sometimes you just want to retreat. Get away from all the stress and rejuvenate.
Yes to Yoga
Be a Surf Goddess

Summer’s here, so start planning your next girls getaway! And remember I’m your friend so don’t forget to include me on the invite.

What are some amazing all girl getaways you’ve had?

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