An NYU Student Who Studied Abroad In Florence Hated Every Aspect Of Her Semester Abroad…

three-day weekends are the standard for NYU’s study-abroad programs, almost everyone chose to take $20 Ryanair flights to places like Croatia and Munich for Oktoberfest. To me, this seemed like an exhausting form of escapism

We have always heard about college study abroad programs. Many have experienced and squealed about their tales of travel, new experiences and memories of lasting thrills. But not so for one college student. As the Insider’s article flashed across the screen, I was compelled to find it and dig deeper. I was curious to know why? Here’s an excerpt.

Since three-day weekends are the standard for NYU’s study-abroad programs, almost everyone chose to take $20 Ryanair flights to places like Croatia and Munich for Oktoberfest. To me, this seemed like an exhausting form of escapism. I was convinced my peers were doing it only to freshen up their social-media profiles and make their friends back home jealous.

I, on the other hand, wanted to travel to learn more about myself and explore ways to shape my life after graduation. Since most of my classmates were looking to go to sex shows in Amsterdam and getting wasted in Ibiza, I traveled alone. I went to Nice, France; Lugano, Switzerland; London; Malta; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. But most weekends I stayed at home in Florence.

Read more from the Insider here

Tales of her experience included:

  • Living with 7 people was not easy
  • The pressure to travel on weekends was not easy.
  • Italian people were hostile towards her
  • Her life in New York went on without her

Caused me to think how tales of dreams and travel experiences differ among people. As we experience life, it looks different from person to person. One can only imagine an essay from her roommates and what that would look like. Hmmm…

What are your thoughts? Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

To Read, To Read, To Build Your Writing Creed. 7 Books On Writing…

Success Strategies

grayscale photo of man sitting on brown wooden bench reading news paper during day time Photo by Craig Dennis on Pexels.com

Every Secret of a Writer’s soul; every experience of his life; every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. ~Virginia Woolf

Here are 7 books that will help to strengthen your writing craft:

  1. Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
  2. Working People Talk About What They do All Day by Studs Terkel
  3. How Fiction Works by James Wood
  4. The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
  5. Kill All Your Darlings by Luc Sante
  6. On Writing by Stephen King
  7. Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield

Happy Reading!

Cheers!

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Mid-Summer Trek To Find The New…

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are

J.P. Morgan

My youngest turned and asked if we could go on a road trip. Absolutely yessss! Until she said she wanted to go immediately. It was Christmas Day. Brunch with the family was divine. An experience we relived year after year. Thought the little one would be satisfied. But she wanted more. Time with her mom right after the family gathering. Mid afternoon. Christmas Day.

So I sat next to her. Shared how much I loved her. Then explained what a Road trip meant. Planning. Knowing where we’re going. The path we would need to take. She was disappointed. But I used it as a teaching moment. I told her to search ski resorts (yep, she wanted to go skiing) and come up with the top 3 places she would like to visit. That turned into a yearlong project.

In Search Of Snow

There were many places to choose from but we wanted early snow just before peak season. She had never skied before so that meant even more research. We chose Breckinridge Ski Resort in Colorado. Early December. Just as the season was about to begin. We found A beautiful cabin near the peak. We invited her older sister and her two boys.

Being from Florida we had to get the right gear. Rented the ski attire but bought everything else. It was an experience that lasted a life time and kick started our many holiday rendezvous.

Strategies To Find The New

But can the same strategy be applied to other things? Indeed it can.

Investigate. Research. Study. Whatever your goal its important to find information. New knowledge opens minds. Personally I find new things amazing! Are you curious about a different career path? Job search (yes there’s a difference), a research project, a new house, new car? Whatever your prowess, the new is exciting even when it’s dreaded. Here are tips for the novice.

7 Tips for the Novice Researcher

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. And who knows where you’ll end up.

Unknown
  1. Know what your needs are. What do you want? Think about it
  2. Start with a general Search to see what’s out there. What exists
  3. Do a quick scan of key resources found on your topic or area of interest
  4. Compile the most useful pieces found
  5. Do a deep dive. Read through and highlight things that are important to what you’re searching for (YouTube videos, articles, discussions) whatever works
  6. Organize the flow. What’s important. What’s nice to know. Discard the rest
  7. Then Act. Gathering data is nice but putting it into action is what’s important to any project or task

Hope these tips will help to kickstart your next project. Any missing that you would like to add? Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

A Late January Evening By The Seashore…

By the sea I couldn’t wait to be. To sit causally on the sand. Me, towel, book and birds all in one as the mighty waves thundered and splashed against the seashore. The weather forecasted it would be the coldest day of the season. Disappointment soared at the spoilt prospect yet still I was determined to chill (literally).

I sat still gazing in the distance. Cold yet relaxed. It was as if there was not a care in the world. I watched the little bird hunt its food fighting against the rushing waves as it eroded the shore. “Give up,” I shouted. But it didn’t as it tried again and again to grab another peck, and another peck. It’s little body was no match for the cold windy weather, but it was yet to give up.

That Smile

That smile… my smile, as usual with it’s pleasantries drew in passersby. Many waved hello and flashed smiles in turn. Then along came an aged one. She spilt her life story in 20 long minutes. Deflecting, I was pleased to have been there to allow her tales of melancholy. A journey of sickness, travel and friendships throughout the years. Amidst her quiet tears and outstretched arms, a flash hug ensued (but alas what of Covid?!) she eventually walked on.

As the sun set, what more could I ask for? A late January evening of peace and quiet. Distant laughter reigned from sultry beach lovers against the sounds as the mighty sunset waves splashed!

Do it again I mused. Tis pure bliss of memories made in tow.

4 Tips Before You Quit Your Job

Ditch It! Switch It! Yep, many are doing just that. In the book Your career, Ditch it Switch it, I encouraged you to reflect on the pandemic and switch your career. It’s the best time. Now more than ever many are doing it. Here’s CNN Headline news top tips to do it right.

  1. Don”t tell your boss first
  2. Don’t slack off
  3. Leave “transition document’
  4. Two-weeks notice is still standard

Here are my own Tips to do it right. Also featured in research from book Your Career: Ditch It. Switch It. Read more 5 Strategies To Do It Right.

How To Leave Your Job: 5 Ways

  1. Don’t leave (yet)
  2. Start your search to see the job options available in the market place
    • Like your current career? Stay with it
    • Hate your current career? Plan an escape
    • Take into consideration your current skills, qualification and experience.
    • Upgrade skills if needed to suit your new role
  3. Update your Resume to match the job you’re looking for and review your social media profiles to make sure nothing unprofessional exist
  4. It’s time to begin your search to Ditch it for the ideal career you want
  5. Keep Motivated. Prepare yourself psychologically. The going can get rough especially while you are still in the same miserable job. So plan an escape while you wait. This can be:
    • Bathroom run (to breathe while on the job) but balance is key…. Don’t overdo it
    • Mental escape to your happy place (vacation getaway, home reno, time with family, time alone, time with your favorite hobby)

Experiencing that itch yet don’t know how to do it? Ask a Coach or let’s connect.

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

Stories, Flags, Anthems, And Meanings…

Nowhere is this felt than at events such as the Olympics. Countries gasped in awe when athletes step out flags in hand to represent

A Flag is a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities.

There is something special when you hear the national anthem being played with flags flying high. It speaks to unity, respect and achievement. Nowhere is this felt than at events such as the Olympics. Countries gasped in awe when athletes step out flags in hand to represent. I decided to share the original stories of those countries where I have lived. Learning more sparked my interest and I hope the direct extracts listed will cause you to reflect on your own homeland and countries where you too have lived, visited or your favorite writing place.

Canada

Canada - Wikipedia

On February 15th, 1965, the modern Canadian flag, bearing its hallmark maple leaf, was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Today, the maple leaf is a recognized symbol of Canada; it has also come to symbolize unity, tolerance, and peace.

Jamaica

Jamaica - Wikipedia

The legislative committee responsible agreed that the flag should have the colours black, yellow, and green. … These stood for the difficulties faced by the nation (black), its natural wealth and the beauty of its sunlight (yellow), and agriculture and hope (green).

United States

What was the first state in the USA? | Travel Trivia

The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag or the U.S. flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”) bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S.[2] Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes,[3][4]Old Glory,[5] and the Star-Spangled Banner.

source: wikipedia

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!

Wanna Getaway? 5 Workation Hotel Stays You’ll Love…

Workation is the concept of a place to getaway for business and pleasure.

Forbes Travel Guide which gave 26 Ideas of Workations to take right now. It’s not really a new concept as I have always traveled for business. However, in my workaholic haste to return home, I regret not taking the time to chill and relax after my meetings and/or conferences….essentially, to smell the coffee.

Enter the advent of the worldwide COVID Pandemic. Hotels suffered grave hit as travel took an unfortunate plunge. As creativity stepped in, hotels have had to come up with innovative ways to stay afloat as individuals stay indoors to do the traditional yet now expanded survival work-from-home strategy. Unfortunately, as this tactic has becomes more common, misery stepped in at the end of the day. So this is a cute idea to take a deliberate action to getaway, work, relax and play after. Who can beat that 3-in-1 deal? I’d only suggest you ensure there’s WiFi! To give you a push start, here are 5 hotels that I have worked from which drove my own writing passion.

1. Disney’s Contemporary Resort

2. Sundial Beach Resort and Spa

3. Sonesta

4. GalleryOne DoubleTree Suites By The Hilton

5. Hutchinson Island

Hope these selections have opened your appetite to change things up a bit. But be very careful and disciplined with your selections. Your productivity may be compromised.

Happy Workation and keep Safe!

Books: Readers Share Their Top Getaway Reads…

Readers Read. Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.

Anna Quindlen

Success Strategies

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~Ursula K. Le Guin

We have all had our favorite books that we have read from a young age. Some have left an impact on our lives. On a  B&N public forum, a reader asked “What Book has stayed with you long after you’ve read it?” Fellow readers poured in with responses. Here I share a few that may prove worthwhile for your vacation, getaway, or a mid-summer night’s read.

  • Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Pecan Man
  • The Power
  • We Were the Lucky Ones
  • The Book Thief
  • Before I Fall
  • The Lovely Bones
  • It Ends with Us
  • The Sparrow
  • The Lovely Bones
  • One Hundred Years f solitude
  • The Alchemist
  • Harry Potter
  • We Were Yours
  • East of Eden
  • The Chrysalids
  • The Bible
  • The Savage Song
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • The Notebook
  • The Outsiders
  • A History of Loneliness
  • Tell Me Your Dreams

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Writing Inspirations From The Beach

Footsteps

Inspirations come alive at the beach. Writers write. Children play.  Musicians compose. The depressed are relieved. The sick can be healed.

A person can listen to the waves, cry, laugh, read, yawn, sleep. Such lazy waves forces peace, quiet, and welcomed relaxation.

The beach… a place where moments come alive. Steal away and bask in the sun, sand, and sea.

Swoosh….

Travel Afar: A Moment’s Notice…

It seems like a Dream. But many are ready to board at a moment’s notice. I can name a few…

Success Strategies

By the way, wanna come?

Leyan was out with her friend buying last-minute items for the apparent Silhouettes of a trip to Europe, when suddenly they asked if she wanted to come. She thought about it. Being away from work for a few weeks she had nothing planned. Like a Trill without thinking too long she turned and said…oh why not.

Immediately they called to book travel arrangements and the next day she was off. Coincidence…don’t you just love ’em?

Have you ever done it? I mean thought about doing something way out of the blue at a moment’s notice? Here, we are not thinking about life situations where you have no choice such as sickness, and others. We’re talking here about just getting up and going somewhere that will benefit and relax you …

Just Because

Just because you’re you. May I challenge you to try it one day…

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