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Vibrational Food Tour: Raleigh, NC

Vibrational Food Tour: Raleigh, NC

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

A couple of weeks ago I was able to head back to my former home, Raleigh, NC. I love Raleigh and tend to miss it when I am on the road. However, when I left Raleigh I was eating very differently. When I arrived, I was a little concerned about where and what I would be eating for the weekend.

Let me say this, the south has a rich food history that should be praised. It extends beyond BBQ, biscuits, and sweet tea. The Triangle in particular prides itself in locally grown and seasonal produce along with creating wonderful atmospheres for people to dine in.

So what did I eat all weekend?

TROPHYS HAS THE BEST LOOKING PIZZA THIS SIDE OF NYC

TROPHYS HAS THE BEST LOOKING PIZZA THIS SIDE OF NYC

 

Trophy Brewing & Pizza Co

The place I miss the most in Raleigh is Trophy Brewing & Pizza. I used to live right across from the beer and pizza stop and loved ordering a beer and their signature Daredevil pizza covered in cheese while sitting outside. It was to my surprise as I scanned the salad offerings that they offer Daiya (dairy alternative) cheese ! I quickly whipped up my own pizza with arugula, mushrooms, tomato sauce, and LOTS of cheese. It was divine.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR SUSHI LOOKED SO ALIVE?

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR SUSHI LOOKED SO ALIVE?

 

Fiction Kitchen

For date night, my fiancé and I ate at Fiction Kitchen. I had never given this restaurant much thought and I am really sad I didn’t before. This restaurant takes the motto “I can make anything you eat vegan” to the next level. We started with a summer must-have, zucchini fritters with a vegan sour cream, and completed the meal with vegan sushi and vegan lemon blueberry donuts. The ingredients are all sourced daily from the local farmers markets and the plates are almost too beautiful to eat.  The flavors and textures leave nothing to be desired. Next visit I will be ordering their signature “chicken” and waffles.

POKE SO GOOD I WENT BACK TWICE! 

POKE SO GOOD I WENT BACK TWICE! 

 

 

Raleigh Raw

A friend mentioned to me that a new raw spot had opened downtown and I of course went. Twice! Cold press juices fill the fridges and kombucha flows straight from the tap. The coconut ceviche makes you feel like you are in the Caribbean. But the true star was the tuna poke, using sustainable fish piled high with greens. While not a completely vegan food choice, this is what fast casual food should be like. I also highly recommend their blueberry bee pollen smoothie.

 

Whole Foods Market

Whenever I travel in the US I always find the closest Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market on Wade Avenue had their salad bar set up and ready to go by 7 am each morning, which made for delicious salads topped with breakfast potatoes and a side of vegan steel cut oatmeal. If you know how to stick to lighter weight options, like shredded beets, zucchini, and seeds, you can make an impressive salad for under $10.

These restaurants are starting a new movement of raw and vegan food joints in Raleigh. As people start demanding healthier and sustainable food options, I can’t wait to see how the vegan and raw movements redefine the food of this city in the south. 

This piece was written by Travel Expert, Jennifer DeSimone.  Reach out toJennifer via Facebook or via email at Jennifer@theartofintentions.com

Vibrational Food Tour: Bali

Vibrational Food Tour: Bali

One of my favorite things about traveling is the food. I literally get excited just walking by little food markets and looking at all the local favorites. I’ve been known to stand in the chip aisle just to read the flavor options or buy half a dozen candies for curiosity’s sake.

As I’ve been transitioning into a more vegan, high vibrational foods–focused diet, I was a little nervous about spending three months on the road, not having my Vitamix, or even access to a kitchen most days. I made a promise to myself that I would do some research to seek out the best options, but also to be kind to myself if I really wanted to try something outside my vegan diet or just couldn’t get a vegan meal.

RAW VEGAN PIZZA LOADED WITH TOPPINGS AND RAW VEGAN CHEESE

RAW VEGAN PIZZA LOADED WITH TOPPINGS AND RAW VEGAN CHEESE

 

First stop: Bali. Or, as I like to call it, The Vegan Food Mecca.

I mean wow!!!! An entire month flew by as I sipped on avocado juices, slurped down smoothie bowls, and indulged in raw vegan ice cream.

To be completely honest and transparent, I did enjoy some incredible prawn, a few bites of a traditional coconut beef stew, and lots of eggs, but in general I stuck to meat and dairy free eating.

Here are my top 5 picks for vegan eats in Bali:

Ubud

Seeds of Life Café
Located on a side and less busy street in Ubud, this restaurant is a 100% raw vegan restaurant which boosts a tea and tonic bar. Rotating daily specials and homemade desserts like “Oreo” cheesecake round out their all day breakfast options and lunch/dinner menu. My favorite picks include the dragon fruit sol jar, banana pancakes, Pad Thai, and the decadent chocolate torte. If you’re looking for a spot to get some work done, order a pot of oolong tea and savor the health benefits.

THIS RAW VEGAN PAD THAI IS ONE OF THE BEST NOODLE DISHES I'VE EVER EATEN

THIS RAW VEGAN PAD THAI IS ONE OF THE BEST NOODLE DISHES I'VE EVER EATEN

Travel Hack: Traveling with an omnivore? Check out Kafe. Their organic and vegan menu has something for everyone, including seafood, a kids menu, and a daily raw option. Don’t miss the the raw vegan moringa mint chip and maca cacao ice creams!

Seminyak

Earth Café & Market
Our taxi dropped us off at this gem by accident and I am so glad they did. They have a full market with all sorts of whole foods finds, including three floor to ceiling cases full of self serve desserts, many of which are raw vegan. The menu includes a cold pressed juices, soups, and salads, as well as a rotating power foods special plate. I love their commitment to sustainably and the community vibe the restaurant had.

SOBA NOODLES PAIRED WITH CRUNCHY VEGGIES, NORI, AND GRAPEFRUIT

SOBA NOODLES PAIRED WITH CRUNCHY VEGGIES, NORI, AND GRAPEFRUIT

 

Organic Café

If you are anything like me you follow various Instagram food accounts – and drool over them every day. I knew I just had to go after months of drooling over their feed. I began following this spot because of their beautiful smoothie bowls – and their incredible #gardengangters tag. I am talking smoothies served in fresh coconuts, fills with beautiful fresh fruits and topped with your pick of super foods. The bowls are simply filled with happiness. You literally cannot go wrong with anything off the menu here.

UNDER ALL THIS GOODNESS WAS AN AMAZING SUPER FOODS SMOOTHIE

UNDER ALL THIS GOODNESS WAS AN AMAZING SUPER FOODS SMOOTHIE

Travel Hack: Too full for dessert? Ask for a to go box from the register at Earth Café for a sweet ending to the day.

Sanur

Bali Buda

While not a 100% vegan spot, Bali Buda is every traveler’s dream. Along with its market and restaurant, they also have grab go fresh produce, vegan dairy products, and fresh baked goods and homemade snacks. They have some of the best soups and raw crackers I have ever tasted. If you’re feeling a hungry, stop in for a raw pudding pie and a Jelly Belly juice with turmeric and aloe.

SNACK TIME RAW VEGAN STYLE

SNACK TIME RAW VEGAN STYLE

 

Soul In A Bowl

Of all the restaurants we tried, this had the best urban vibe. They offer daily rotating smoothie bowls and insanely delicious vegan (and meat) burgers. Its like cheat day without the guilt. This is the spot you come to drink coffee, get work done, and then stay for lunch. Highly recommended for date night!

DRAGON FRUIT AND CHAI CHIA PUDDING SOL JAR FROM SEEDS OF LIFE: I WAS TOO EXCITED AND DIDN'T GET A PHOTO OF MY SMOOTHIE BOWL FROM SOUL IN A BOWL! 

DRAGON FRUIT AND CHAI CHIA PUDDING SOL JAR FROM SEEDS OF LIFE: I WAS TOO EXCITED AND DIDN'T GET A PHOTO OF MY SMOOTHIE BOWL FROM SOUL IN A BOWL! 

Travel hack: Bali Buda has a large grocery store in Ubud along with a restaurant around the corner. Soul Bowl also serves great mimosas perfect for brunch time!

As with everything in life, enjoy in moderation and order dessert first.

THE CHOCOLATE TART WITH DRAGON FRUIT ICE CREAM FROM SEEDS OF LIFE

THE CHOCOLATE TART WITH DRAGON FRUIT ICE CREAM FROM SEEDS OF LIFE

 

Have you been to Bali and have other food suggestions? I’ll be back this August and would love to try your favorite spot!

Drop me a line at Jennifer@theartofintentions.com

Why Partner Travel is the Next Big Thing

Why Partner Travel is the Next Big Thing

I lived the single girl dream. I had studied abroad in college, lived in various cities, and traveled on my own. I was – and still am – a HUGE proponent of single girl travel. With the world becoming more connected and easier to travel with apps and wifi almost everywhere, there’s no reason why anyone should deny themselves the gift of solo travel.

But all that changed when in December 2013, while traveling with Under30Experiences in Nicaragua, I met my now husband.  Falling in love with another traveler awarded us the opportunity to build our travel lifestyle together. In addition to various one off trips, we’ve lived in Costa Rica, got married in Nicaragua, and are now backpacking our way across Southeast Asia.

To say traveling with your partner is the best thing in the world is an understatement. Here are five reasons why:

1. Breaking Comfort Zones: It’s no secret that travel of any sorts pushes you outside of your comfort zone. But traveling with a partner brings it to a whole new level. When you travel with your partner, you find that you are willing to take steps outside your comfort zone that you may not have been able to do alone. Knowing you’re going to be caught no matter what and celebrating together after one of you conquers a fear? Priceless.

OVERCOMING MY FEAR OF ZIP LINING IN COSTA RICA

OVERCOMING MY FEAR OF ZIP LINING IN COSTA RICA

 

2. Experiencing Moments: Watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean with my husband is one of the most special memories I hold in my heart. Traveling with your partner provides you with experiences you otherwise would never have. You are sharing moments that you simply can’t describe to others, that you two alone own. You understand the impact on the other person without ever having to express one word. 

RICH IN EXPERIENCES - WATCHING THE SUN SET IN BALI 

RICH IN EXPERIENCES - WATCHING THE SUN SET IN BALI 

 

3. Learning About Each Other’s (Not so Wonderful) Qualities: Traveling with a partner teaches you more about one another than just living together does. My husband has learned that I require plans and will read 100 reviews before I settle on something and I have learned that he is content just going with flow. This spills over into other aspects of our relationship. When dealing with differences on the road, you have to face them – together. You only have each other so if you’re mad or annoyed, you better get over it fast. 

 

4. Creating Space Together: Traveling is exhausting – mentally, emotionally, and physically. As such, it’s important for travelers to create space for the mind, body, and spirit to decompress and rest. While we may be sharing a small AirBnb room, giving each other the space we both need to read, write, exercise, and rest is critical to ensure the long stretches on the road. Being able to selflessly give that space to your partner is truly a life skill.

GLACIER HIKING IN ICELAND

GLACIER HIKING IN ICELAND

 

5. Being Home is a State of Mind: Traveling with your parents makes you realize what’s important from the start. For us its actively listening, encouragement, giving each other the space to grow, patience, and always coming from a place of love. It’s the foundation of everything we do. It doesn’t matter if we are traveling or spending a week at home base; home is a state of being with the one you love.

Are you and your partner living a travel lifestyle or are thinking about traveling soon? I’d love to hear your perspective about partner travel.

HOME IS WHERE YOU MAKE IT - RANCHO MARGOT, COSTA RICA

HOME IS WHERE YOU MAKE IT - RANCHO MARGOT, COSTA RICA

 

This piece was written by Travel Expert, Jennifer DeSimone.  Reach out to Jennifer via Facebook or via email at Jennifer@theartofintentions

5 Ways to Handle Grief Through Travel

5 Ways to Handle Grief Through Travel

This year has undoubtedly been one of the hardest years I have endured. My mom passed away unexpectedly in February. We were very close, and I have tried to view life through a glass half full. By this, I mean: I hope she passed in a way that was painless for her, and I hope she knows how much I love her with every breath I take. 

I have been treating each day as a precious gift, taking it as it comes, but I also needed to get to a place where I felt a sense of solitude again. I channel my inner peace by traveling, one of my favorite things in the world. My Mom's memories will always be in my heart, but I have been able to handle grief through my love of exploration and mindfulness.

Everyone process grief differently. My suggestions for you are guided by what I love:

1. Spend Time At The Beach: The sound of waves, sand covering my feet, and warmth of the sun (under an umbrella, of course) has always put me in my happy place. I have fond memories being near the beach, especially growing up in Santa Barbara.  Exploring Playa Del Carmen in May was a new yet familiar experience because the sounds and the smells of the beach made me feel like I was home again. 

THE BEACHES OF TULUM, MEXICO 

THE BEACHES OF TULUM, MEXICO 

 

2. Yoga Retreat: Yoga is a practice where I am truly able to be at peace. Where my mind and body are at one, AND I get an incredible workout. A retreat is on my 'to try' list. If I love every session I have attended, why not make a weekend out of it? 

YOGA IS AMAZING FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

YOGA IS AMAZING FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

 

3. Time In The Mountains: A place where the mountains meet the sky. Another spot that completely inspires me to believe in all the wonders of this world. It is serene, absolutely beautiful, and relatively untouched. It is a place for me to breathe fresh air and to simply smile. 

THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, VIRGINIA 

THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, VIRGINIA 

 

4. Visit A Loved One: Seeing a familiar face and sharing a mutual bond brings comfort to my soul. Being able to talk about my Mom with people who knew and love her is always a good thing. It's an awesome reminder about how she is loved around the world. 

VISITING MY PARENTS IN FLORIDA 

VISITING MY PARENTS IN FLORIDA 

 

5. Go To A Place Where You Have Amazing Memories: I recently went back to Charlottesville, Virginia where I went to undergraduate school. I remember how proud my Mom was seeing me graduate. My roommates and I hosted a party in one of the gardens on the University of Virginia grounds, and I could picture her smiling face wherever I went that weekend. Knowing we shared special moments together, even if it was over a decade ago, warmed my heart. 

Bonus Moment: My Mom loved magnolia trees. To my recent discovery, not only are they planted all around the UVA grounds, the flowers were in full bloom when I was there.  

A MAGNOLIA IN FULL BLOOM ON THE UNIVERSITY GROUNDS 

A MAGNOLIA IN FULL BLOOM ON THE UNIVERSITY GROUNDS 

 

I want to remind you again that everyone processes grief differently and there are no two situations that are alike. Give yourself time to heal, and celebrate precious moments the best way you know how. I will continue to travel, I will continue to be mindful, and I will always remember her everyday through my experiences. 

 

How Eating High Vibration Foods Fuels My Lifestyle

How Eating High Vibration Foods Fuels My Lifestyle

Paleo. Whole30. Vegan. Vegan-curios. There are so many ways people define their food choices these days which can be overwhelming. Most days, I just want to eat a lot while looking great in my yoga pants.

WARRIOR BOWL WITH RAW VEGGIES, CURRY TOFU, AND TAHINI ZUCCHINI SAUCE

WARRIOR BOWL WITH RAW VEGGIES, CURRY TOFU, AND TAHINI ZUCCHINI SAUCE

My philosophy on food is pretty simple: 

1.     It has to taste good and be satisfying;

2.     It has to be ethical;

3.     It has to be cost effective; and

4.     It must be fiancé approved.

In March, as part of the EpicSelf fellowship in Costa Rica, I went (mostly) raw vegan for 30 days. I needed to go back to basics when it came to food. It was the first time I learned about “high vibrational foods” and the affects of these foods changed my entire mindset.

VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE? YES, PLEASE!

VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE? YES, PLEASE!

 

Here’s how eating these foods fuel my lifestyle:

ENERGY

Vibrational foods fire you up with energy because these are foods that eat sunshine! That sunshine literally becomes a piece of you and allows your inner light to radiate. You body takes this clean energy and burns it up. The best part? Some of the most indulgent foods are full of this energy like big bowls of “nice” cream, fatty dressings, and even dark chocolate.

INTENTIONALITY

The more I focus on intentionality, the more I find myself wanting to align my food choices with my lifestyle. Being impactful, conscious, and kind stems from my food choices. Food is a complex matter but knowing how, where, and by whom your food is grown and raised by, empowers us to buy better products.

AFFORDABILITY

Super foods can be pricey but are designed to last. Products like seeds, spices, and powders last since a little goes a long way. While fresh produce needs to be purchased more often, foods grown locally and in season can lead to big savings.

SHARING

Food is designed to be shared and eaten with loved ones. Many diets limit the foods you eat to the point that your social life suffers. Eating real food opens up new eating experiences. Eat with people you love and feed them delicious food. They will support you once they taste how good it is.


With any lifestyle choice, there is a learning curve and I was so lucky to have a teacher guide me through this process. I am not a nutritionist and do not claim to be one – yet I cannot stop talking about the new foods I eat like cacao, kale, turmeric, tahini, nori, spirulina and vegan protein powders The list goes on and on, which opens so many new ways to combine foods.

SUPER FOODS CHALLENGE: HOW MANY FOODS CAN YOU ADD INTO YOUR DIET?

SUPER FOODS CHALLENGE: HOW MANY FOODS CAN YOU ADD INTO YOUR DIET?

 

It has been almost 60 days since I made a switch to a mostly vegan diet. With any lifestyle choice, you will find yourself eating that slice of pizza. The key is balance and finding what works for you. Over the next several months I will highlight my food choices and their impact while traveling and encourage you to join me on this epic adventure.

One note: the food issues this country faces are enormous and I want to be sensitive to the fact that I am lucky to have access to such foods. While food is a basic human right, we need to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and affordable food.

Need an idea for breakfast? Try this amazing “nice” cream with chia jam for breakfast or an evening treat.

WHO DOESN'T WANT CACAO ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST?

WHO DOESN'T WANT CACAO ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST?

 

NICE CREAM

Serves 2
2 frozen bananas, in one each pieces

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

large bunch of kale

1 scoop of raw vegan protein powder like Garden of Life

Optional: turmeric, matcha, cinnamon, or spirulina
Add all ingredients to blender and mix until creamy. You may need to push down mixture or add extra liquid until it blends.

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CHIA JAM

6 strawberries

Optional: mint, basil, cinnamon, or vanilla
Blend 6 strawberries until liquid. Pour into container and add ½ cup of chia. Stir to mix and store in airtight container overnight.

Pour nice cream into a bowl and top with your favorites like cherries, chia jam, unsweetened coconut shreds, cacao nibs, matcha, hemp seeds, and/or cinnamon. Grab spoon and dig in! 

This piece was written by Travel Expert, Jennifer DeSimone.  Find her @theartofintentions on Instagram.

Bagan: A Life Changing Experience in Myanmar

Bagan: A Life Changing Experience in Myanmar

Bagan will be a life changing experience for avid and newfound travelers alike. The ancient land is a juxtaposition between the temples of the past and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the present day. 

My First Impressions of Myanmar

My First Impressions of Myanmar

welcome_to_the_golden_land.jpg

It's not Throwback Thursday, but I wanted to share my first impressions of Myanmar in lieu of a podcast that I will be featured in about Inle Lake  (in collaboration with @stylematicapp) due to be released this week. This trip was a life changer for me, and I will share more about my time in this wonderful country to encourage you to travel more, and worry less.

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Originally written December 12, 2013

Okay friends, it has already been five days since I have landed in Yangon. I thought it would be fun to answer the top three questions that most friends and family have been asking me since I have arrived. ..and here they are!

1. What are your first impressions?  It has been at least two years since I have been fortunate enough to explore a new country. I had zero idea of what to expect. I looked out the airplane window, and as it landed, I felt like I was 10 years all over again when I first landed in Sri Lanka. I saw a lot of lush green trees, land, and water. Certainly more land than people, buildings, or city lights. As my friend Mike picked me up from the airport I took some time to absorb my surroundings, checking out the roads, and buildings in the 90 plus degree weather. One thing I wasn’t expecting: to see Revlon ads posted all around a shopping mall!

2. What’s it like there? People are very sweet and pleasant. Colonialism can still be felt through the architecture of buildings, like the old railway station you see below. Other than that, Yangon is a city that is bustling with opportunity. There are plenty of marketplaces, hotels, and restaurants to experience. I honestly did not expect to see so much commerce here. There’s also the Yangon Bakehouse that not only has exceptional artisanal goodies, but also works to create job opportunities, skills development, and fair wages to disadvantaged women.

3. How do you like it there? It’s pretty awesome. I am already surrounded by some great friends. I’ve already been to my first soccer match: Myanmar v Cambodia. I can’t wait to visit the local pagodas, eat more of the local cuisine (yes, I’ll be trying out all the local places that Anthony Bourdain has).  Most of all I see so much opportunity, and I’m so excited to delve into al the work I envision for Evolvemint’s future.

I realize that I am being general here, SO keep the questions coming! I will do my best to take as many pictures and to capture stories while I’m here. FYI: I’m obsessed with taking pictures of fruit stands and marketplaces…..more to come about them.

Much love…

Papilia is Going to Punta Cana!

Papilia is Going to Punta Cana!

Since February, I have been testing out Papila’s concept by providing travelers with personalized advice on how to pack efficiently and appropriately for their destination. 

The Importance of Travel + Attire #CultureTrav

The Importance of Travel + Attire #CultureTrav

We wake up every morning, go about our daily morning routine and make decisions about our attire according to our activities and weather for the day. This decision is made whether we realize it or not; perhaps because we are aware of our surroundings, and know how to acclimate to our own culture.

What about when we travel? How do we prepare to dress appropriately for another culture? I have to admit, I did not give attire too much thought when I was in my 20s; I wore clothing that I was comfortable in, not realizing it may not have been appropriate for the cultural setting I was placed in. In retrospect, seeing people look at me a certain way, made me feel out of place, and placed me in a dangerous position since I stood out looking like a ‘foreigner’. 

Attire can make or break a personal experience. Anxiety when packing appropriately for our destination can also negatively impact our experiences.

This is why I’m elated to discuss this topic on the #CultureTrav Twitter chat June 25th at 2:30PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) hosted by @Nicolette_O and @JLipowski

Please join us as we ask all you savvy travelers about your experiences regarding travel and attire. 

A preview of our questions below: 

Q1: How long does it typically take you to pack for your trips? Why? What dictates which clothes to bring? #CultureTrav

Q2: Do you shop for attire you need before departing, or wait to shop from local stores? What do you prefer? #CultureTrav

Q3: Have you ever over or underdressed? Share your experience with us. #CultureTrav

Q4: Is there a particular type of attire you really love or appreciate from another culture? Got a pic? #CultureTrav

Q5: What role does one’s attire play in being safe while traveling and is it specific to only women? #CultureTrav

Q6: Share a photo of traditional clothing or attire from your country or heritage. #CultureTrav

BONUS: If you could wear one thing the rest of your life, what would it be and why? #CultureTrav

For the Love of Travel

For the Love of Travel

Have you ever asked yourself what is stopping you from doing what you love? 

Do you even know what you love? 

Do you know what you are afraid of? 

I never asked myself these questions until 2010, and now I ask myself these three questions at least once a day. 

I’ll answer them right now for you.

Have you ever asked yourself what is stopping you from doing what you love? 

Initially, my fear of taking risks and feeling like I had to follow a societal norm stopped me from thinking outside the box. After years of asking myself this question, saving money, and quitting my job to do what I believe in, I’m starting to figure it out.   I started to pay attention to what made me happy and what made me a negative person. What made me love life was exploring a variety of cultures; using all my five senses to maximize each experience. I’ve never looked back and I am the happiest I have ever been, even if it requires a roller-coaster of ups and downs.

Do you even know what you love? 

I absolutely love to travel. I love to be creative, and I love having a flexible schedule that allows me to work hard and play hard. Papilla incorporates all these elements, and I’m willing to work hard to inspire other people to travel more and worry less. 

Do you know what you are afraid of? 

I’m afraid of failure. Intellectually I know it’s the best way to grow, but emotionally I don’t want to fail. I have a mini motivational moment every day. I remind myself that I am doing what I love and the decisions I make are my own. The world is truly my/your oyster.

I encourage you to ask yourself these questions; and I would be thrilled to hear your responses.

Do what you love. Life is too short.

Live an Inspired Life

Live an Inspired Life

My love for travel undoubtedly originated from my childhood.  I was lucky enough to be exposed to a variety of cultures at a young age without even realizing it until my 20s. 

When I was 10, I lived in Sri Lanka for two years; they were the most formative years of my life. I will never forget the first feeling I had as the plane door opened in Colombo. The humidity immediately infiltrated the air conditioned airplane. A ’sea’ of palm trees covered any trace of buildings or people. It was a complete change from what I was used to in California. I had never seen or thought tin structures could get prime real estate on the beach. Everything I thought I knew at that age completely changed. I was exposed to a variety of religions, races, and situations of political unrest that called for frequent curfews. My curiosity to learn stemmed from the lifestyle of Sri Lankan people, along with many beautiful landscapes, rich history, and spicy food (each topic will have to be covered in a separate post). 

These treasured memories will say with me forever, and this is why I encourage you to travel more, whether it is 100 miles or 1000 miles away. 

1. You learn to appreciate everything you have with a fresh perspective. 

2. You will discover something new about yourself

3. You have created memories for a lifetime. 

 Our lives tend to be so fast paced. Traveling brings me back to reality and reminds me to stop, reflect, and appreciate.

Bottom line: live an inspired life. 

Does Culture Matter?

Does Culture Matter?

I am in the beta stages of working on Papilia, a travel app that helps you pack efficiently and culturally appropriate for your destination

Papilia Will Revolutionize the Way you Travel

Papilia Will Revolutionize the Way you Travel

I am more than thrilled to introduce Papilia to business and leisure travelers who revel in the thrill of exploration and adventure as a part of their daily lives.