Weekend In Paris…

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess

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I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.

A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.

Travel Across Continents

The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.

Travel’s Cultural Differences

Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable.  TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.

A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon,  were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).

Travel’s Cuisine

Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.

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Transportation

Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.

Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)

Notre Dame

Paris Sites To See

You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.

The Eiffel Tower

So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment.  A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!

I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.

Cheers!

The Plane. The Sky. The Dive.

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Sometimes you have to do it afraid

I did it Afraid. Yes, I was afraid but I did it anyway. A skydive in Ocean City, Maryland. 14,000 ft. in the air! Here I share the jump, the skydive in pictures.

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Meeting my Trainer – Tandem Jump
The ride. The assent
The Coach. What to expect when jumping 14,000 ft. from a plane in the air
Being reminded to pull the chute during jump…yikes!
And Jump!! Feeling the fear!!
Pull! Then Enjoy the Soar
Amazing view
Wow! I am dreaming
Oh what a feeling!
The Air. The Sea. And finally…The land.

Want to see it live? See it here

Dreams can come through if we let them.

The 5 Strategies of Successful Achievers…

They begin with the end in mind
They set specific and challenging goals

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A 2-week getaway to Singapore! For 2 years that’s what she planned. All with the bells and whistles of flight, hotels, cruise, and cultural site visits along the way. She did it with the spirit and taste of satisfying dreams.

But how many of us actually do that? Create our goals, plan it, save for it, and not deviate. Hers was a vacation to a far away land. Ours may be Entrepreneurship, a job, career, exercise, home ownership, writing, starting a family, and more. Often we start off with a bang! Then we stall. Procrastinate or give up.

Marcel Schwantes shared Article that Science Says Only 8 Percent of People Actually Achieve Their Goals. Here Are 7 Things They Do Differently. Of the 7, I like 5. Here I share my favs:

Things Done Differently

  1. They begin with the end in mind
  2. They build a support system around them
  3. They set specific and challenging goals
  4. They recognize when they are procrastinating
  5. They don’t multi-task

How about you? How do you stay on track to achieve your own goals? Do share. We’d love to hear.

Cheers!

Books: Readers Share Their Top Getaway Reads…

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
  • The Art of War
  • The Graveyard Book
  • The Water Stone
  • The Secret
  • Gone Girl
  • Her
  • The Night Circus
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Fallen Angels
  • Unbroken
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Power of Now
  • Beautiful Chaos
  • A Little Life
  • The Leisure Seeker
  • GreenLight
  • Jane Eyre
  • Tuesdays with Morrie
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • The Kite Runner
  • We Were Liars

Does any resonate? Can you add your favorite or two that may be missing? Do share. We’d love to hear.

Cheers!

The Ravishing Benefits of Going To The Beach…

Live near the beach? Grab your swimsuits and go enjoy the slow swooshing sound of the waves as they crash against the shore.

Anne Gherini shared in this INC article research about the benefits of going to the beach (as if we needed another reason …smile). From the points listed, here I share my top 3.

  • Listen to the crashing waves puts your brain at ease
  • Feel the sand between your toes as it stimulates your mind
  • Remove the Blues. Stare at the ocean and get to that relaxing meditative State.

In this world of mad rush, stress and strain, plan a trip or two to the beach for a quick getaway. Then bask in the Benefits to relax, unwind, reboot. Your Brain cells are sure to recharge pushing you further along the Skewed productivity chain.

Cheers!

Planning To Take Vacation This Year? 35 Percent Don’t. Here’s Why…

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Hawaii, Paris, Caribbean, Central America, Vegas, or a Simple Staycation. It’s amazing what a little break can do to our mental capacity. From the planning, organizing and more, all exude times of exhilaration, relaxation and joy!

Yet…The Society of Human Resources Associates (SHRM) shared that over 35 percent of Americans don’t plan on taking all their vacation days this year. A potential year of the Cranks in the making? Here are the reasons cited:

  • 43% Saving time for something later
  • 21% Too much work
  • 15% Don’t have enough money
  • 9% Feel guilty
  • 9% Other reasons
  • 3% Discouraged by their boss

In light of the more transient workforce, employers are trying various options to attract quality applicants. Such measures include a combined databank of employee time off which includes up to 4 weeks off on date of hire. Naturally, employees are ecstatic of this change and proves it’s a great methodology for recruitment. However, this databank represents a combination of paid time off including sick and vacation.

Paid Time Off

Do you plan on taking your vacation this year? If so, great! If not, why not? Does your reason fall into any of the above? Something to think about.

Need help with your workforce plans? Lets connect!

Cheers!

17 Self-Care Activities…

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When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Self care is important. It has become more common these days as the thrust to lessen the Notable stress in our daily lives Meanders. Suddenly, it becomes important when the daring effects plunge in.

Here are 17 activities you can engage (even in small spurts), to take care of you.

  1. Read
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Make a daily self-care plan
  4. Go for a bike ride
  5. Dance
  6. Go to the movies
  7. Go to church
  8. Go swimming
  9. Paint your nails
  10. Jump in puddles
  11. Eat a meal you enjoy
  12. Sing
  13. Exercise
  14. Breathe deeply
  15. Wrap-up in a blanket
  16. Draw
  17. Sleep in

Does any resonate? Are there more you can add? Do share.

Cheers!