Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Travel Tips for Couples

It was a match made in heaven for my husband and me when we discovered that we were both blissfully afflicted with wanderlust. Our case is so severe that we need a fix at least once a week, even to travel to a new destination for our weekly Sunday afternoon coffee date.
Canoodling aside, travel is a big part of our lives, and we're hoping to travel full time as soon as possible. For some like us, the idea of traveling around the world with a partner 24/7 is bliss, but for others, cramped quarters and too much togetherness bring anxiety that could derail even a week's vacation. 

Here's how we do it. 

1. Obviously, shared interests are fabulous, but celebrate your differences. You're a beach girl. He's a mountain man. Or vice versa. No worries. Do some research and find locales that allow you to do both. Compromise.

2. Plan together. This is how you can be sure that both of you have the opportunity to have your needs and wants met. Discuss expectations about budget, activities and accommodations. Both of you will be emotionally invested and excited for all that awaits you. 

3. Travel light. No one wants to feel like a pack mule. Organize your stuff and then take out at least 10%. Don't pack for What if?. If you need it enough to carry it on your back for x hours or days, then keep it; otherwise keep pruning until you are happy and won't lament carrying your load...on your own...for the duration of the trip.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff. When you're together all the time, or at least when you're traveling together, your partner's habits may start to creep up on you when you're tired, frustrated, or hangry. Recognize that your frustration is really about you and your reaction; you control it. Is it worth it to alienate your partner? Doubtful. Don't take him or her into your world of crazy, because then, you'll have two problems. There's little that a snack, a nap, or a good belly laugh can't fix. And then kiss and make-up. 

5. Share the load. Are you driving? Offer to drive and give him or her a break to snooze, catch up on email or social media or to just look out the window. He or she will appreciate the break and your willingness to share the load.

6. Don't feel like you have to talk all the time. Share space and be confident in your quiet time to think, meditate, wonder at what you see and play with naughty thoughts to make your stay-over that much more fun.

7. Plan ahead. Pack a snack. Pack water. Pack tissues. Pack medicine for a pop-up headache. Pack antacids. It's better to be prepared. I eat every 3-4 hours, but my husband could eat once or twice a day. Know thyself, and I do, so I pack a protein bar. Then, I'm good to go and a much happier camper. 

8. Alone time is okay. Do you want to go for a run? An early morning dip in the pool? If one of you wants to do something in which the other simply has no interest, don't worry. Sometimes the time apart is the remedy for when you're getting on each other's nerves or it saves the other from resenting having to do something or go somewhere he or she really doesn't want to do or go. Plus, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. You can meet up later and share your experience. 

9. Don't be afraid to start small. Maybe a round-the-world trip is not your cup of tea. Start by playing tourist in your own town. Or travel to the closest biggest city. The first big date my husband and I had was to New York. We went for the day and it was magic. Central Park, the Met, tapas and sangria...how can you go wrong?

10. Make it a date. Hold hands. Kiss. Take goofy photos. Picnic. Play. You love each other; make loving memories to hold dear when you're not able to travel as much. 

Whether it's a weekend getaway, a day trip to the city, an afternoon at the museum, traveling around the world, or even a Sunday afternoon coffee date, travel with the one you love is an amazing experience. You connect in a way that may go unchecked in the craziness of chaotic days. Take a chance and see the world. And be sure to kiss all along the way. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring Seasonal Goals 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm a long time reader of Life According to Stephand I'm excited to participate in her seasonal goals linkup

New season, new goals. 

Here are my seasonal goals for Spring, 2017.
  1. Book summer travel and enjoy at least one long weekend away. 
  2. Eat sustainable fish twice a week and try three new vegetarian recipes to add to the repertoire.
  3. Read 2-3 personal development books. Any recommendations?
  4. Reorganize spring/summer clothes and pack up winter clothes; donate what I don't love or didn't wear. 
  5. Get in a morning walk at least three times per week and do yoga at least once a week, to complement my current weight training schedule. 
Are you a goal getter? Please share what's on your list of goals to accomplish this season. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

10 Travel-Inspired Date Night Ideas

When you love to travel, it permeates every fiber of your being. When you're lucky enough to have a partner who loves to travel as much as you do, feeding the wanderlust is a daily event. 

Looking to add some travel-inspired date nights to your cache of good ideas? 

Pin this for future reference. 

  1. Choose a different restaurant featuring cuisine from around the world. 
  2. Watch a foreign film from a country you want to visit or a film featuring that location. 
  3. Take a foreign language course from a local community college and download the free DuoLingo app to practice with a meal out at that country's restaurant. Try to speak only that language. 
  4. Be a tourist in your own town; find out what your town is known for and enjoy that. 
  5. Spend a weekend in your state or provincial capital city. 
  6. Cook themed dinners; choose a different country each month. Listen to a Pandora channel from that style of music. 
  7. Take a cooking class from a country you want to visit. 
  8. Take a road trip. Drive out a reasonable distance and meander back on the state roads instead of the interstate.  Stop at a cafe or local shop on the way home. Pick up a collectible
  9. Take a photo walking tour and see an area through a different lens. 
  10. Peruse the travel section of the bookstore; choose a new memoir to read or plan your next vacation. 
BONUS: Use your travel collectibles and mementos to create decor for your home. 

What's your best idea for a travel-inspired date? Inspire me. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Inspiration #21

Before you can achieve your goal, you have to know your why. 

The clearer the vision, the more you will fight to make it happen. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ahora 21: Now in My World

In true New England fashion, March entered like a lion, with cold and wind biting enough to send the heartiest of groundhogs back underground in search of a warm corner. 

The early days of March were a harsh transition from the sun and warmth of Florida we had enjoyed only days prior, but onward we move, pining for our own warm, sunny days, which, eventually, will find their way north. 

Here's what's happening ahora in March. 


  • Follow the Yellow Arrows by Suzanne Ball. This is fun reading for me because the SeƱor and I hope to do the Camino Frances in 2018. This book has practical advice and insightful commentary for anyone thinking about doing the Camino de Santiago. 

And, if you've ever considered doing a Camino yourself, or know someone who has, this film, The Way, will feed the wanderlust. Even if a Camino is not in your future, this is a beautiful film about forgiveness, compassion, and tolerance. It's worth a watch. 


  • Like many other people, I am watching and loving This is Us. I also love the soundtrack, and this site has all of the tracks from all of the episodes. 
  • The Golden Girls...the entire series is streaming on Hulu. 
  • Documentaries like these and this one here, The Smog of the Sea, which just crossed my feed this week. 

  • A lot of oatmeal. I've been making a pot of steel cut oats on Sunday nights and eating it with fresh berries and a handful of nuts. Delicious! Or, I use the whole, dry oats and make a pancake.

Listening to...
  • On Pandora, I've been listening to a lot of Ray LaMontagne, Jack Johnson, and Michael Franti. 
  • On Sirius, for some strange reason, I have been loving 70s on 7. I'm an 80s baby, but for whatever reason, disco is my jam these days. 

  • Glasses. For the first time since I was a child, I am wearing glasses full time. They're tri-focals and they take some getting used to. My reading glasses, apparently, weren't cutting it anymore. 

Looking forward to...
  • WITS17. I will be traveling to Milwaukee next month to attend the Women in Travel Summit. Want to learn more or join us? Register here. This is an amazing experience for women interested in travel as a hobby, a blog, or a business. 
  • Che Malambo, a male Argentine dance troupe is coming to Boston. Rooted in the gaucho style, the show involves precision footwork, drumming, and song. Here's a preview. 
  • Jack Johnson concert. He's my go-to Pandora channel. I can't wait to see him live!
  • Wicked. The touring company swings through Boston in late spring. This has been on my short list for a long time. And we got discounted tickets through Goldstar. Even better!

So that's about it for me this month. What's new with you? What's happening ahora in your world?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Scenes from a Wedding

In a ceremony as lovely as the sunset, my brother married his sweetheart in a Gulf-side ceremony in St. Pete Beach, Florida. 

It was a perfect day. It was warm, but not too hot, and not a cloud in the sky. 

The view from the bridal suite at the Grand Plaza Hotel, St. Pete Beach

With everyone in their "resort chic" finest, we gathered to celebrate; and celebrate, we did.

My parents and my niece.

With parents and children...a family blended in love. 

A beach-inspired cake

My hungry nephew, with the best seat in the house. 

My parents delivered the toast. My Dad was the Best Man.

A special family dance. 

Coincidently, my Patriots-loving brother married his sweetheart on the same day as Tom Brady married his beloved Gisele Bundchen...February 26th. 

She was ready. 

Cheers to the bride and groom. Cheers to love!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

Here's to the pioneers...the unbreakable...those who forged their path and followed their curiosity. 

Want some inspiration? Keep reading...

International Women's Day: Celebrating 15 Remarkable Women Who Will Inspire You to Be Your Best Self. 

10 of the World's Most Inspiring Female Travelers

One of my favorite badasses...Amelia Earhart in 1928

Are you Wanderful?

Give a shout-out to the women who inspire you. I celebrate my sisters around the world, each making a difference in their own way. Cheers to you!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Streaming Now...Documentaries

In the winter, I tend to hibernate more, and lately, I seem to be streaming documentaries, in between the nightly rotation of news and political commentary, of which my husband never tires. 

There are a lot of noteworthy documentaries available on the various streaming channels, and here are three that we have watched recently. 

The White Helmets. 
This 40-minute documentary about a group of first responders in bomb-ravaged Syria is streaming now on Netflix. 

Also streaming on Netflix, this documentary, named after the 13th U.S.Constitutional Amendment, is about the American criminal justice system, tracing from post Civil War to current times. 

Where to Invade Next
Streaming on Amazon (and Hulu, I think), this was Michael Moore's look at European public policy that he would like to bring to the United States. 

What are you streaming these days? Any recommendations? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Are you Wanderful? See What's New for Women in Travel

They invited me with travel, but I stayed because I'm wanderful. 

If you have never heard of Wanderful, it's time. 

Wanderful is a community of women who embrace the transformative power of travel. We gather annually at WITS, (Women in Travel Summit) for community, networking, and professional and personal development through the lens of travel. This year's conference will take place in Milwaukee, April 21st-23rd.

A group shot from WITS'16

The Wanderful membership community also connects women around the world through meet-ups in over 22 cities, a thriving social media network, domestic and international travel, admission to special events around the globe, discounts to the WITS conferenceand an influencer program. 

And new for 2017, Wanderful has launched the world’s first ever homesharing network exclusively for women. I am thrilled to be partnering with them for this exciting launch!

This homesharing network is just one part of Wanderful’s new membership program. I enjoy staying connected with other women from the international community while I’m traveling. Community members can provide their availability for meeting up with other travelers in their hometown to show them around, grab a bite to eat, or hit up some sites.

I have been a Wanderful member since 2014, and if you are a woman who loves to travel, like I do, this is the community for you, too. 

In fact, I am excited to partner with Wanderful to offer you $15 off when you sign up for membership using the code LOVELYLIFE. Click here for more information.

Wanderful is the real deal for women travelers around the world. Whether you travel solo, with a partner, or your family, this community has something to offer you...resources, location experts, professional networking, or friendship. I ave made dear friends through Wanderful, and I'm happy to share this great opportunity with you.

In April, I'm going to WITS myself and I have a fun giveaway planned before I go. Stay tuned.

Are you Wanderful? Join me today.