When most people think of Tahiti, they imagine a newlywed couple snuggling on the deck of their overwater bungalow watching the sunset. While this is certainly true, the islands of Tahiti offer so much more than a romantic escape for couples.
I just returned from the Four Seasons resort in Bora Bora with my multigenerational family group (think infants to grandparents) of 42 and it was the most amazing vacation for all. Yes, we were in the iconic overwater bungalows and yes we saw breathtaking sunsets and even a rainbow or two, but we also experienced so much as a family. It started with a private group check-in and breakfast at the Otemanu Pavilion especially for our group. That evening we enjoyed a special private welcome dinner on Otemanu beach complete with local musicians and Heiva dancers. The dancers were wonderful in getting the group to join in and setting the stage for a week of fun and relaxation ahead.
There’s a National Coffee Day, National Nail Polish Day and even National Donut Day. So why not have a day dedicated to our health and well being? That’s exactly what Belgin Aksoy Berkin, owner of Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa, created in Turkey back in 2012. Now officially celebrated in 100 countries and 5000 locations on the second Saturday in June, Global Wellness Day is dedicated to living a healthier and better life. It’s a day to focus on creating healthy habits, reducing stress, and connecting with yourself and loved ones.
Most of us lead frantic lives, running from work to home, trying to balance our responsibilities with our businesses and our families. We put ourselves last, promising to take a break as soon as we close the big deal, as soon as we launch the next project, as soon as we… All of this increased stress can lead to physical ailments-obesity, hypertension, sleep disorders, and so much more.
For most people, India is an exotic destination filled with tigers, temples and the Taj Mahal. While this is true, India is also a very diverse land with varying terrain, cultures, food and languages (there are 22 official languages spoken in the sub-continent). The North with its palaces and deserts is vastly different than the South, which has lush tropical foliage, beaches, and towns which reflect their Dutch and Portuguese influences. It’s as if there are a multitude of “countries” within India’s borders.
Every time I go to India, I try to explore a different region. During my most recent trip, I ventured to Rishikesh, in the heart of the Himalayas. Although only a 45 min flight from New Delhi, Rishikesh is a haven for the nature lovers and the active adventurers. The air is fresh, the waters of the Ganges are crystal clear and you’re surrounded by the beauty of the lush mountains. It’s also the birthplace of yoga, so of course you’ll find a plethora of instructors, schools, and swamis. The International Yoga Festival is held here every March and brings in 2,000 attendees from over 100 countries.
I’m pretty adventurous myself, but I’m not in my 20s any longer so I wanted to ensure I came back home in one piece! My first priority was safety and picking a tour operator with a great reputation and a solid track record, so I selected Aquaterra Adventures and the Atali Ganga resort.
I just returned from an amazing 2 week trip to India. Before I left, I was in a frenzy trying to juggle client trips, my own travels and be present for my family. I always felt like I was on a hamster wheel, constantly trying to balance my business needs with those of my family, leaving no time for taking care of myself or having a moment to reflect.
I had also been reading about the benefits of morning routines, yet as much as I tried to get up an hour early to do yoga, meditate, exercise and prepare for my day, I just felt overwhelmed and frustrated. So when the opportunity to visit Ananda in the Himalayas came along, I was eager to experience this world-renowned international wellness resort for myself.
With more and more of us living in close proximity to our parents and still having kids at home (the Sandwich Generation if you will), the rise in multi-generational travel seems inevitable. Instead of just taking our nuclear families on vacation, we are opting to enjoy time away with our parents and our children together. This is a fantastic way for grandparents to spend more time with the grandkids and to enjoy the company of their own children as well.
Depending on how active and healthy grandparents are, there are a variety of options for taking the entire clan on a break. Cruises and beach resorts seem to be favorable for aging seniors who want to unpack once and have a variety of options to enjoy. However, if grandparents are fairly fit and ready to be on the go, a custom itinerary focusing on the desires of each family member may just be the ticket. The key is to find balance between together time and time for each family member to do what they please. Here are a few options for multi-generational travel that will suit most everyone’s needs.
Summer travel is right around the corner and while many may dread the long lines at the airport and the endless waiting in security and customs lines, I have learned how to breeze through these areas so I can focus on the journey ahead.
With my own trip to India coming up in the next week, I thought I’d share some tips to make getting through airports less of a hassle via the various Trusted Traveler programs (including TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry) as well as CLEAR and VIP Meet & Greet Services offered at many international airports.
The goal is to get you from the curb to the gate as quickly as possible and to ensure your time is spent enjoying a cocktail or a spa service rather than waiting in long airport lines.
In my opinion, there are 3 things that comprise a memorable vacation: a fabulous hotel to pamper you, wonderful experiences to look back upon, and of course a great meal that warms your heart and your belly - making you want to return just for another taste.
This week, I want to focus on just that-incredible travel opportunities for foodies (aren’t we all?)! Whether it’s a cruise, and all-inclusive resort, or a private dining experience as part of your customized itinerary - having a variety of gourmet dining options are a must.
As we head into spring, I know many of us are still trying to think of ways to escape the unending rain that is battering the Bay Area. However, summer will be here before you know it and you don’t want to be left without any plans to take advantage of the glorious sunshine and long, lazy days.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been offering travel inspiration to help you select the best summer vacation for you and your family. We’ve discussed cruise options and wellness retreats, dude ranches and beach escapes. It ultimately comes down to what you envision as the ideal way to spend some much needed time off with those that mean the most to you.
Although summer may seem like it’s months away, there’s no better time than now to start planning. It’s not called peak travel season for nothing! With everyone looking for ways to head out and experience new adventures, the best hotels and airfares will be snatched up before you know it. That said, I would encourage you to reach out to me as soon as possible so you can also get your pick of resorts and room categories. I’ll be traveling myself, exploring wellness and active adventures in the Himalayas in Rishikesh, India from April 15-29 (follow along on Instagram or Facebook!). I would love to help you with your travel plans ideally before I leave, but of course I’ll be available in early May again for those of you who are compelled to act at the 11th hour (you know who you are!).
For those of you still deciding, here’s a little extra incentive:
Do you have Havana on your mind? Cuba is on many people’s bucket lists, including my own. I have visions of riding in convertible classic cars with the warm Caribbean sun caressing my face and the ocean breeze gliding through my hair. I imagine myself swaying to the beat of the Cuban drum as I learn to salsa with the locals in the town square.
This December, I’m going to turn these visions into reality! With the help of my travel partners in Cuba, I’ve curated a fantastic itinerary full of history, culture, arts and music. We’re going to meander through the cobblestone streets of Spanish Colonial Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exploring markets and touring the Museum of Colonial Architecture.
Summer vacations are all about getting active, getting out in nature and enjoying the sunshine. Most of us take the opportunity to explore new territory-to go and do and see as much as we can in a very short amount of time, often returning from these trips needing a vacation from our vacation! As tempting as it is to pack every moment of our time off with new adventures, sometimes what we really need is a little quiet time to be still and allow ourselves to recharge. It’s lazy days feeling the sand between your toes and the warm ocean breeze on your face-no agenda, no timelines, no schedules. It’s allowing yourself to wake up with the sun and fall asleep in the moonlight, with maybe even a nap thrown in midday—because you can!
It’s no secret that I’m drawn to water. It’s been my happy place and what allows me to truly unwind, so most of my earlier vacations revolved around islands and beach time. I seek out the clearest waters, the most idyllic tropical locations and of course the best resorts! If you have the inkling to escape to an exotic tropical locale, you’ll love these overwater bungalows in 4 distinct locations-Tahiti, Maldives, Jamaica and Mexico. They represent the best of barefoot luxury and the uniqueness of being able to step right into the water from your room.
Join me through my stories as I travel the world. I hope the experiences and photos I share will inspire each of you to be travelers as well and to go explore this incredible world in which we live.