There have been several articles circling the Internet that have been brought to my attention with various opinions regarding dating girls who travel, read and write. Definitely inspired by the collection of articles (listed below) surrounding why one should/should not/do/do not date these types of free-spirted, free-thinking girls, I think it's time for me to write my own response.
Visiting so many different places may keep your mind off of the sweeter, better things Traveling across the globe and being able to visit new places regularly is a great adventure that everyone should experience at some point in their lives. You learn so much from the different people you meet, and you get the chance to reflect on the many things you’ve done as you immerse yourself in different cultures and environments.
But at some point, you begin to miss home, and you long to be in a place that shelters you in the same way the places you visited as a child did. For some, these may be restaurants they’d frequented with their families when they were younger, before they set off on their own exploration of the world. For others, it could be libraries, churches, or even motel rooms. Even stranger, for many others, it could be a bingo hall.
Fancy a luxury escape? Then look no further than Costa Cruises. This sea-faring cruise brand offers a first-rate holiday experience complete with elegant surroundings, superb onboard facilities and a chic Italian style throughout. Across its fleet of comfortable, modern ships, Costa Cruises offers an unforgettable holiday experience across a wide choice of destinations - ranging from the familiar shores of the Med to the paradise islands of the Caribbean.
Now that I have reached 30 years of age... here's the biggest question on my mind: what am I working towards?
That's recently been the main topic of my internal thoughts, mulling and pondering over the purpose of my life and the projects I am working on.
Buses and coaches have got a lot of advantages over other forms of transport. Usually they are cheaper than the cost of petrol and parking cars; cheaper, more frequent and more flexible than planes; cheaper and more reliable than trains.
Even the world’s non-romantics would be hard-pressed not to feel even the faintest of flutters in some of Europe’s finest cities. As far as city breaks are concerned, mainland Europe is full of potential destinations that are alluring, beautiful and full of enrapture.
Whether you’re travelling for an anniversary weekend or you just fancy getting away with your other half for a spontaneous couple of days, these three cities would make excellent locations to while away the hours hand in hand.
Ben Scorah, Head Mixologist of Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make a Porn Star Martini. This colorful and fruity drink with loads of passion is to be chased with a shot of prosecco!
Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make The Windsor's speciality cocktail, the Half Windsor. It's a light and refreshing drink that is only 90 calories!
Personally, I'm not a big fan of watching sports on TV, but if you had to drag me out to watch a game, at least drag me out to a place where I get dressed up nicely and enjoy some great cocktails. This classy sports bar in Midtown Manhattan is a perfect mix of sports and sophistication. In this video, I hang out with Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality to try out some of The Windsor Gansevoort Park's gourmet bar snacks.
After reading Lee Abbamonte's controversial blog post 'I Believe the United States Should Get Involved in Syria', I found myself thinking about my own stance on the matter. There are many reasons that I question the motives of our government in wanting to strike.
As an avid traveler and world citizen, I am not an advocate of war, but I am a strong believer in human rights and this was clearly in violation.
The video evidence of the effects of the chemical attacks I found online were absolutely horrific.
The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Assad began in March 2011.
This number gave me the chills. I hate to hear of anyone dying without just cause, but is this enough reason for a military intervention?
Moaz al-Khatib, a former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was quoted stating: “Ending the massacre in Syria is the responsibility of the international community.’’
I found myself thinking… is it really?
Would an intervention by the US and its allies really help solve the conflict that is going on there? As an American citizen and a citizen of the world, I have to pose this question: Are we really being honest with ourselves with the reasons for wanting to enter this war? Is it really for the said human rights violations and to be the "good guys"? Or are we really doing this because we want to hurt Iran? Syria is Iran’s closest partner in the Arab world and John McCain has been quoted saying, 'The fall of Bashar al-Assad would be the greatest blow to Iran in twenty-five years.’ With Iran apparently working toward a program of nuclear arms, he suggested, an intervention in Syria was not just a matter of humanitarian interest but also one of national interest. (Source: The New Yorker)
Is this declaration of war simply to a way to take advantage of a country's weakness for access to Iran's oil reserves? Proved oil reserves in Iran, according to its government, rank third largest in the world at approximately 150 billion barrels. Even though their oil production has declined due to political unrest, limited investment, and US sanctions, can't it be recovered once there is proper infrastructure, especially if the infrastructure is installed by the United States?
Another reason to question the US military motives:
There are thousands of human rights violations all across the world. I can name several off the top of my head: Genocides are happening today in Darfur, Sudan, Eastern Burma, Congo and Rwanda. So why pick this one in particular to wage an enormous, very costly war against unless we also had other interests other than "being the policemen of the world"?
If we look back in history at the US involvement with Iraq and how it left it —a failed state that will take years and cost thousands of lives to rebuild. Here's another question to the US government: Is this how we are going to leave Syria? Is this how we as the United States of America operate as the so-called "policemen of the world"? By interfering in conflicts that we do not belong in and then bail when the going gets tough, leaving the infrastructure of a country in shambles?
These conflicts that we are meddling with are rooted in thousands of years of history. We should know damn well what we're getting into. And we should also know what we're going to do about it when things don't go according to plan. If the US is going to go interfere in the Syrian civil war, it better plan to be there for the long haul.
Let us not think about war in terms of our country's ego, but in terms of the number of civilians that will have to be involved.
Please do not let this be another war fought for the American ego, our ego as "The United States of America". If we really want to save the civilians of Syria as a noble cause, I encourage it, but if this is a thinly veiled excuse for the US to get a stronger foothold in Syria in order to tap into the Middle East oil reserves, then here's the question that I pose to the US Congress: Is this all really worth the blood of our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters that will have to be deployed there?
Taking into account past actions by the American government in developing countries such as Vietnam and Afghanistan as well as the declining US economy, I'm afraid that their answer to my question may be a firm "yes".
Palace Resorts created the Palace Foundation, which supports the land and people of Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Jalisco and Nayarit in México and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
I quit my full-time job in LA to travel and work freelance so that I could have a flexible schedule to work on my blog. I want to encourage a certain type of travel - a more responsible, mindful, greener art of travel. Of course, when traveling, there's no such thing as not leaving a carbon footprint at all. It's actually quite impossible. However, there are things we can do to travel as green and eco-consciously as possible.
I also wanted to dispel the myth that luxury travel fosters a disconnect between tourists and the land and people they visit. Luxury travel has the potential to be an intimate nature experience, culturally rich, and also environmentally responsible. It's all about finding the right travel providers and doing a bit of research ahead of your trip. My goal is to educate travelers that high-end travel does not have to be exploitative. And when it's not, your experience is all the more rewarding and special. Travelers can have a really fantastic vacation where they stay in luxury accommodations, eat fine cuisine and get the most out of the destination through adventure tours but also have a meaningful experience that does not deplete the resources of the place they're visiting. I hope you stumble upon something in FreshTraveler that will spark your interest in this type of travel and please let me know if you have any questions at all about how I can make this easier for you to travel with a lighter carbon footprint.
By supporting companies such as Coati Travel, an eco-travel company based in Costa Rica, we can travel well and travel responsibly.
In fact, they are currently offering eco-interested travelers the ultimate adventure with a chance to win an amazing Dream Green Vacation to Costa Rica. One lucky winner and three companions of their choice will be invited to experience the pristine natural beauty of Costa Rica with its lush rainforests and idyllic beaches, lodging at a boutique hotel in the hills of San José and the Cayuga Collection’s top luxury sustainable hotels, and regional flights on the world’s first carbon-neutral airline, Nature Air.
Get more information on how to enter online at www.coatitravel.com/dream
A quick glance at the ingredients of a candy bar can show you whether you're eating empty calories. As delicious as it may appear, empty calories are of no benefit to your health or the health of the people around you and I urge you to use the same analogy with travel. Be mindful of your travel choices and do not become an empty traveler.
As someone who has traveled my whole life, believe me when I say, eventually you will come to see that most five star hotels have the same amenities - 24-hour room service, cabanas by the pool, several onsite restaurants with a seasonal menu crafted by a celebrity chef, an in-suite jacuzzi tub, and luxe toiletries that make your skin tingle all over. After a while, keycard after keycard becomes almost impossible to differentiate.
What makes a quality place in my eyes is not the number of amenities it offers nor the number of shopping boutiques that are available onsite, but the quality of what is available. The quality of service and the quality of the food. This is why I tend to like boutique hotels over larger ones. They are small enough where you know the name of all the people who work hard to ensure that you have the best stay possible. In my experience, at a smaller place, you also get the privacy and space that you need to decompress and rejuvenate from the stresses of work or city life. However, I don't rule out larger hotel groups either. But when I choose to stay at a hotel chain, I like to know their values are aligned with mine and I stay at the ones that encourage a healthier, active and mindful lifestyle.
A mindful traveler takes the time to be conscious of his or her surroundings and is curious about life beyond the walls of the hotel. I urge you that when you travel, be more mindful in your travels and expand your horizons any way you know how. I believe that if we are all mindful travelers, seeing from an ever-curious, dynamic and fresh perspective (as FreshTravelers!), tourism can be a powerful force in both helping developing economies grow and also in helping depressed economies get back on their feet. Together through travel, I believe we can cultivate a higher level of understanding, open-mindedness and bring more peace, to both ourselves and in our world.
It's as simple as biking or taking public transportation instead of renting a car
or renting the most fuel-efficient car possible.
It's about a little prior research to find a locally-owned boutique hotel
or purchasing items from locally-owned businesses
or supporting the bigger hotels that treat their employees well and take the time to invest in the surrounding community.
It's about supporting the businesses who contribute positively to their surrounding community, regardless of whether they are big or small. It's not a 'BIG versus SMALL' or a 'ME versus YOU' mentality. It's about creating a win-win situation for everybody. This is the mindful way that I explore life. This is also the way that I choose to travel. I choose to travel to hotels and support travel businesses that are socially-conscious.
Since 2005, the adventure travel sector has grown. It is currently the fastest growing sector of the travel industry. Even during times with economic challenges, people who can afford to travel will travel... but they travel differently... for educational value, for learning, and they do it responsibly. In a way, the economy is forcing people to make more conscious choices.
Eco-tourism will continue to grow and expand. What Mother Nature offers is more fascinating than what theme parks can create. When you vacation in nature, you become grounded, your creativity increases, you are healthy and feel much better. Then when you come back to the concrete jungle, you bring what you learn back to others.
In terms of changes in the eco-travel industry since 2005, there are now more options available for luxury travel and more tourism properties are interested in getting their sustainability rating as a marketing move. This is a positive trend, with many luxury oriented properties being serious about sustainability. Boutique travel is growing, as well as luxury hospitality with a cultural aspect to it. Another change is that there are more and more people that are interested in understanding sustainability. Before, clients were mainly just interested in being in nature, now you have to educate your client on your sustainability practices to maintain your credibility as an eco-property. Also, more people are willing to pay for that education.¨
------ Steve Jacobus, the CEO of Coati Travel
Until August 31st, 2013, Coati Travel is offering a FREE eco-trip to Costa Rica for four people. See below for details on how you can enter! Best of luck and I hope you win! And if you do, please share your photos or stories with me. I'd love to feature it on FreshTraveler!