2022 Travel Dreams? 7 Best In The World Road-Trips…

Workaholic. Yep, that’s me. It’s strange that I am dreaming of a getaway so early in the New Year. But guess what? It’s actually carried forward from prior years. Been dreaming of my favorite getaway space but haven’t had a chance to take it. So here I go dreaming as I was asked to share a road trip that I would like to take.

Conde Naste shared the best Road Trips in the world. Amidst the pandemic and all, I shook my head against international travel. Too many requirements. Then on a whim, I mused… hey why not? As the saying goes:

If you can dream it, you can do it

Walt Disney

7 Dream Road Trips

So I let my mind wonder to the list which includes several but my top faves are:

  1. Highway 101 Oregon
  2. Namibia’s Desert
  3. Hana Highway Hawaii
  4. Norway
  5. Ireland
  6. Iceland
  7. Tuscany Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Why not Tuscany? This is my favorite place that I dream of. Renowned travel expert Samantha Brown challenged us to plan a trip that we are excited about. So as I perused the list, I selected my dream place-Tuscany, Italy. Ireland comes closely second, but Tuscany is my preferred place. I decided to pull the full details below for ease of access for both myself or any who wish to get the information. If Italy isn’t for you, then other destinations can be gleaned from them here

Tuscany’s bucolic, vineyard-dotted landscape makes for the quintessential Italian road trip. Start in Florence and cruise south on the SS22 for 30 minutes until you reach the heart of the Chianti wine region. Take your time winding through Strada and Greve towards Siena, stopping at cantine along the way (we recommend these ones). Depending on how much time you have, spend the night in Panzano before circling back up to Florence the next day, or head further south to Montalcino, Montepulciano, and the spectacular Val d’Orcia—arguably the most beautiful stretch of countryside in Tuscany.

Where to stop: Ruffino’s sprawling Poggio Casciano estate for truffle hunting and tastingAntinori nel Chianti Classico for its Instagram-worthy glass-and-steel winery and equally show-stopping wine; Tenuta Il Greppo, where the first Brunello di Montalcino was bottled in 1888.

Where to eat: Officina della Bistecca in Panzano-in-Chianti for the best steak in all of Tuscany; Re di Macchia in Montalcino for its classic, hearty Tuscan cuisine like white bean soup and wild boar pasta.

Where to stay: In castles, always. We like the intimate, art-filled Castello di Ama in Gaiole in Chianti and the lavish, hilltop Castello Banfi il Borgo in Montalcino, which has an infinity pool overlooking the vineyards.

Your Turn

What’s your dream travel designation or road trip for this year? Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

Italy Photo by Stan Swinnen on Pexels.com

Avoid The Grinch Syndrome This Christmas…

Avoid The Grinch Syndrome

The president for one of the biggest and most successful companies called a zoom meeting and fired 900 staff all at once- just before Christmas. When the media asked why (he was so mean at Christmas) he said they all work 2-hour days and report 8. Hmmm… Yea, the boss may have a case but it’s in the how he did it and when he did it. No matter the logic, he will still be seen as a Grinch.

So who is a Grinch? A person who spoils the fun of others. A spoilsport. A drag. A party pooper. That’s the Miriam Dictionary’s meaning. So here are 7 Suggestions on what you can do to avoid being a Grinch this holiday season

7 Ways To Share Joy This Holiday

  1. Do something kind for someone you don’t know
  2. Watch your favorite holiday movie
  3. Get festive. Decorate your home
  4. Give a Gift to someone in need
  5. Get social. Hang out with friends and family
  6. Give of your time
  7. Volunteer for a good cause

Personally, I love the holidays and wouldn’t mind celebrating all year round. But yes there are always those who are sad and down at this time. Reach out and lend a hand. Give a word of encouragement. Try any of the 7 ways shared and give love this Christmas.

How do you combat the Grinch Sydrome during the holidays? Do share, we would love to hear.

Cheers!

Traveling? Top 11 Things To Do Before You Board That Flight…

We love to travel! The warmth of new places brings smiles and memories that last. But getting to the pleasures of our vacation destination often comes with a nightmare. Travel and Leisure shared their top 25 Things to do before getting on a plane. Here are my top 11 Favs, which by the way makes business travel a breeze.

Pre-Travel Stress Reducers

  1. Get the airlines credit card which offers perks like priority access and other rewards
  2. Download your airlines app. No check-in and free onboard entertainment
  3. Signup for TSA Pre-Check. Forego It’s a smart strategy for a smoother walk through and some airlines refund you the application fee
  4. Check your bags size and dimensions. Airlines are reducing the space. Rid yourself of the headache and follow the rules before you leave home
  5. Compile your gadgets. Being organized makes your life easier
  6. Lounge around the departure lounges instead of sitting at the gate. Life’s simple
  7. Wear comfortable clothing. But I dare say remember airline rules. For example Sometimes short shorts makes the morning news when tempers flare
  8. Disinfect. Need I say more?
  9. Reserve airport parking before you leave. Works like magic and you will walk away looking at cars circling the garage or squeals at missed flights
  10. Grab and Go is a great idea for starving passengers. Get the app and order ahead
  11. That wretched life-saving Mask. Don’t forget it.

BONUS

Read. Bring a book

So these are my top favs. What’s yours? Do share. We would love to hear!

Cheers!

13 Ways To Get Out Of Your Head…

13 Ways To Get Out Of Your Head

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky

I heard a TV host who was showing a young lady how to use a piece of equipment which she was actively trying to learn. She went into a what if scenario to which he retorted with the question… “are you pre-planning your mistakes?” She laughed.

It reminded me of how we often act. We think of everything that could go wrong instead of thinking of the things that could go right. What if I go after the entrepreneurship venture and fail? What if I apply to the job and they turn me down? What if I invest in the relationship and it doesn’t work out? What if scenarios play over and over in our head. It gets us nowhere. Get out of your head and take the bull by the horn (so to speak). Here’s a brief list of things you can do to get out of your head.

13 Things To Do To Get Out Of Your Head

  1. Breathe
  2. Pray. Meditate
  3. Exercise. Go for a walk/run
  4. Recite a Mantra. Motivational Quotes and Positive Affirmations work
  5. Recognize the signs of the negative and create an action plan to beat it
  6. Write it down. Get the negative thoughts out of of your head
  7. Focus on your end-goal
  8. Watch an inspiring movie. Laugh. Comedy puts you on your lighter side.
  9. Make a list of inspiring movies, songs, or anything that will help you beat the downward mood trend
  10. Talk it out. Have a trusted friend that you can share your thoughts and insecurities with.
  11. Have an accountability partner who will check in with you continuously about your goal
  12. Let go of negative people, environment or things. Anything that holds you back.
  13. Keep learning. Learn something new. It builds your confidence.

These are just a few of the things you can do when you start to question yourself. Remember life comes with its ups and downs. So it is important to take the time to grow in spite of the things that may try to pull you down. Keep yourself motivated to achieve.

How about you? What do you do to keep yourself motivated when the negative thoughts threaten? Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

Follow me on Instagram for daily motivation

Is There A Place For Victory When Mental Issues Rears Its Ugly Head?

When is it okay to throw in the towel? To give up? Olympians have started doing it. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka withdrew citing mental issues. For decades Olympians withdrew without choice due to physical injuries as was the recent case of Serena Williams. But what of psychological? Is there a place for commitment, dedication? Determination? Better yet, if you withdraw, does it mean that you’re not?

Olympic Woes Amidst Success

Let no one define what Success Means to you. Define it for yourself.

Dr. Shelly C

The Olympics has always been a love of mine. Personally, I did track most of my school years and was naturally good at it. Sadly, no one told me that my natural talents and discipline was worthy of pushing forward to compete at a higher level. So once I got to the nationals, that’s where it stayed. I didn’t rise to higher heights.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Questions arose in my mind as I thought of my early life’s athletic prowess amidst the current Olympics situation. Furthermore, my study and research of success made me even more curious. Leadership traits such as determination, discipline, resilience were all attributable to success… be it in sports, business or life in general. When there is a goal that drives, we do whatever it takes to achieve. But when the going gets tough and society takes over (your goal), as is the case when athletes compete on behalf of educational institutions, organizations, or globally as in the Olympics, we ponder where does it stop? Where do you draw the line? When the goal becomes not only that of the athlete’s personally but that of his/her team, state, country (not the world yet though space tourism has become an appetizing delectable), whose decision is it?

Oh What Peace We Often Forfeit

Indeed as a colleague shared, it has become a complex situation especially when the values and socialization of societies differ. One competitor may never give up. Another may say ” hey it’s okay”. Millennials and Generation Z (iGeneration) think survival. They’ll retort, “I don’t want this anymore no matter the consequences. I will do me. You do you. Keep your award, your attributes, your contracts, your medals and forgive me but I will keep my sanity. That means more to me.”

Mental Issues Are Real

I dare say, mental issues are real. It was previously thought of as taboo to share inner turmoil for fear of being seen as weak, but these days when the British Royalties have brought mental issues to light, it is now more recognized and many in fact do understand.

As society and individual goals evolves, where do we go next? Let’s be prepared to not only wait and see but to also get ready to do something about it. Check-in with a neighbor or friend going through stuff. Be mindful of the silent ones. Offer support. Refer them to get help. Let’s do what we can in our small corner.

Cheers!

Virgo Wellness Reset…

Virgo: Wellness Reset and Holistic Spa in Arizona

We know what matters to you the most Virgo — your health and wellness. How else could you get everything done, you overachiever, you? So take a moment to give yourself the best spa package and fine dining to match with a desert getaway in the heart of Arizona. This world famous resort has an Aqua circuit like no other, with state-of-the-art amenities to boost your body’s ability to heal and overall well-being. Take advantage of the sound healing classes in the evenings to give you the ultimate night’s sleep, and then wake to practice yoga on the lawn. In between, you’ll have the chance for a massage, a reiki session, and a deliciously rejuvenating smoothie by the pool. With gorgeous weather for most of the year, you get the maximum amount of Vitamin D in this sunlit state, so you’ll be sure to feel the lasting results of good health even after you return home.

Travel and Leisure

What’s your sign? Mine is Virgo. Read where you should plan your trip based on your own Zodiac sign

15 Authors Tell How To Spot A Hater…

A person who has an intense dislike for another person or thing

dictionary.com

A hater is someone who speaks trash…said a 5th grader. This term was not as rampant a decade ago. These days, the media shares stories which spread like wild fire at the click of a button. All you have to do is simply tune into any channel. Suffice it to say, writers on a social media forum was asked to Explain what a hater is or tell their experience. Here are 15 extracted.

  1. Someone who despises anything contrary to what they think is right.
  2. A jealous, envious, bitter person angry at another’s success
  3. A person projecting his/her shortcomings to the other person. Unwilling to accept his/her role in the incident in case it is directed at a person or racist/nationalist when directed towards a skin color or a country
  4. Those who can’t do it, teach or complain
  5. The process by which a miserable and/or failed person attempts to achieve equality with a happy and/or accomplished person not by improving themselves but by ruining whatever achieves beauty or virtue. In short an egalitarian of the latrine
  6. Literary folk who discover you write genre
  7. Those who latch out with with vitriol to mask their fear
  8. One who is experiencing the absence of love – the result of serious disconnection
  9. They are those who are so broken inside that they only find joy in causing pain to others they envy
  10. Someone who repeatedly expresses their dislike of someone or something which dislike is firm and unshakable despite any evidence tending to show its inappropriateness or error
  11. Severe dislike or disgust, abhorrent
  12. Someone whose self-esteem is so low, they can see the good in those who are different from them
  13. A person who due to bitterness, envy or jealousy, looks at others with disdain, being incapable of showing them support, compassion of kindness
  14. A person who is obsessively negative about a particular target
  15. Someone without kindness, tolerance or forgiveness

When Haters Hate Fill Them With Love

It’s crazy that we look at such terms these days. In a recent Instagram post, I shared a quote to which a fellow writer expressed surprise that she shudders to think that there are those who wish to see her stagnate. Sadly, as the above definitions show, there are indeed many who dislike the progress that others make. To them it would be wise to not dwell on it but fill them with love.

Ever had a dissatisfying experience with a so-called hater? How did you handle it? Do share. We would love to hear!

Cheers!

The Sea. The Beach. The Waves. Quiet Reflections…

The sea. The beach. The waves. It’s my safe place. I never want to leave. I sit coiled at the edge of the lazy beach chair, gazing in melancholy at the morning’s sunrise. All is still as time stops. As the sun began its heated quest, I sat pensively not wanting to leave.


Still fast asleep there’s no one in sight. Just me, as the waves batter the shore. My heart tugs as I long to rid life’s woeful work-related stress. I just want to stay to listen to nature’s quest. In quietness is where the heaven’s awake and gives me the strength to reach forward to start a new day, a new chapter, a time of serenity. I pray that I’ll listen as the spirit quietly leads, guides and directs my path.

In stillness is where I find my strength. Strengthen me lord, strengthen me. Speak and make me listen.

Blessing overflow.

Self-Care: 9 Ways To Sharpen The Mental Blade…

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”

Stephen Covey

The concept to sharpen the saw highlights the point that when you have been going, going, and going …and you can’t seem to see any results. Acknowledge that it’s time to stop. It’s time to refresh. It’s time for a break to get the rest you need to start thinking so you can be productive again.

Here are a few suggestions that Brett and Kate McKay shared in their article on how you can fuel your brain’s recovery and sharpen the mental blade:

  1. Read the Great Books
  2. Write a position paper on a topic of your choosing
  3. Listen to a stimulating podcast
  4. Listen to a Great Courses course
  5. Take an online course
  6. Attend a lecture at a local college
  7. Join a discussion group (synergizing mental and social domains!)
  8. Visit a museum
  9. Watch a documentary

Did any of the above inspire you? Are there one or few that’s missing that works for you? Do share, we would love to hear.

Cheers!

7 Movies To Enjoy This Easter…

I love movies! Movies tell stories or teach us something. Most people watch movies for entertainment or to have fun. Movies make us laugh, cry, feel inspired or simply getaway from the here and now (Wikipedia). One of my favorite is Under The Tuscan Sun. That’s because I am a writer and it inspires my own personal growth to do something different. To explore, dream but most important to do something to make a difference. Here are 7 Easter Movies for your binging pleasure.

You may also like 9 Movies That Inspire Self-Discovery…

Movies That Move You

  1. The Passion Of Christ
  2. I Can Only Imagine
  3. Risen
  4. The Greatest Story Ever Told
  5. The Dog Who Saved Easter
  6. Steel Magnolias
  7. Ben-Hur

Relax and indulge your movie pleasures with family and friends this Easter. Your favorite not on the list? Do share, we would love to hear!

Prefer to retreat to your favorite space and read? Here’s my newest book just released “My Safe Place”. Grab your copy and experience peace.

Cheers!

5K Run. 4 Tips To Prepare…

Finish it, then take two Advil”. Words of encouragement from the point-marker.

At Five o’clock each morning, I’m up and running. Yep, that was me during my high school days. I was on the track team. Funny thing is I never did it as a requirement. Just thought I’d go with my dad (a professional boxing champ) and worked out while he worked out. 100-meter sprint, 400 or 800 meter distance running was nothing. The preparation worked. I captured many awards which I sadly I did not keep to show my kids. Why? Because the value was not in the awards received, but in the talent I used it to benefit my school’s track and field events. The value was in supporting my teams at school, business house athletic championships and in the community.

The Prep: How to Prepare For The 5K

Here are Tony’s tips for how to prepare in 4 Weeks

  1. Week 1: Brisk walk for 5 minutes. Jog slowly for 1 minute, and then walk for 1 1/2 minutes.
  2. Week 2: Brisk walk for 5 minutes. Jog slowly for 1 1/2 minutes, and then walk for 2 minutes.
  3. Week 3: Brisk walk for 5 minutes.
  4. Week 4: Brisk walk for 5 minutes.

In addition, Judith front-line head Nurse and 5K Expert shared her top 3 Points:

1. One thing that I tell people to do is download the App “Couch To 5K”. That App trains you to run. 2. Make sure you eat an excellent breakfast for energy (oatmeal with blueberries; a big bagel with some protein – peanut butter is great if you like it. You need the carbs for energy). 3. Hydrate well during training and also the day before the run (I alternate with water and Gatorade for the runs). Happy running!

How I Prepared

How did I prepare? Nothing. Nada. Actually, I decided I would go to support the worthy cause, take a picture and move on, back to the safety and warmth of my car, then return home. My mistake? I walked with the crowd of runners to the starting point. Then I decided to walk on just a little further…and a little further. As I progressed along the journey, the crowd seemed to have disappeared and my car was nowhere in sight. Father help! But then with no option to get back to my car on that very cold and windy morning, my high school coaching motivation chipped in. I walked slower and hydrated. Though the journey seemed never-ending, I got to the finish line …police escort and all.

Walk. Pray. Strategize

Yep! That’s what I did. I walked. Prayed and Strategized my year’s goals. This feat reminded me of my resilience. It started with my desire to support a worthy cause and ended with my learning to always be prepared (my girl scout motto). Although the journey seemed never-ending, the cheers and smiles of point-markers made it so much easier.

That said, be encouraged. Find your own point-markers to achieve your life’s goals–be it work, education, family or other. Keep advancing to your own finish line. Success awaits.

Cheers!

The 23 Most Zen Cities In The World…

Zen…

Relaxed and calmly accepting a situation

When we think of a getaway, pictures of peace, quiet, adventure and great experiences come to mind. A social media group was asked to share the most ‘Zen’ city in the world. Here are 23 of the top cities as the audience excitedly chimed in:

  1. Kyoto
  2. Hardwar, India
  3. Sedona
  4. Bagarchhap, Nepal
  5. Sicilia, Perth, Ubud
  6. Kerala backwaters
  7. Evita/Dominica
  8. Costa Rica
  9. Blue Lagoon, Bali
  10. Spoleto, Italy
  11. Aukland, New Zealand
  12. Rishikesh, India
  13. Santa Fe, NM
  14. Isle of Korcula, Croatia
  15. Engelberg, Switzerland
  16. Asakusa Tokyo
  17. Bargarchap, Nepal
  18. Iceland or Azores
  19. Dahab, Egyt
  20. Lake Bohnj, Slovenia
  21. Kawai
  22. San Diego
  23. Le Castera

Makes you want to start booking that getaway… right? Are there any that you would like to add? Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

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