7 Destinations to Visit in Your Lifetime

Here is my ultimate travel list of 7 destinations that everyone should visit in their lifetime.Hawaii_silhouette

  1. Connect with family – Visit where your parents were born and raised. Learn how they grew up, listen to childhood stories, and get to know the experiences that shaped your parents lives. Look at the photos from their childhood and visit those locations to see how they have changed.  Ask questions about achievements, struggles, silly stories, and the mundane daily tasks.  Find the storyteller in your family, and just listen.
  2. Research your ancestors and stroll through your homeland, as far back as you can discover. Learn your history and culture.  Try the food.  What is the national activity or sport?  What traditions have carried over into your family?  Watch for all of the faces that look like you.  Find gravestones and landmarks with your family names (maternal and past generations).  Walk through the living history of your ancestors past.
  3. Seek out Adventure! Try something that gets your heart pounding.  Adventure can be found in your backyard, just start somewhere.
  4. Push beyond your comfort zone – Travel alone, visit a big city, stretch your physical limits, go beyond your usual activities. Now is the time to try something new, that scares you, just a little.
  5. Visit Poverty and a place of hardship – Volunteer and contribute to improve an impoverished area or situation. Provide assistance after a natural disaster.  Helping others and seeing how little some people live with will remind you how much you really have, and leave a better appreciation of how good your life is.  Make the world a better place, by starting in your hometown and make this part of your life style.
  6. Take a mini Luxury Vacation – Save up for an opulent getaway and indulge in a wildly extravagant trip. This will teach you the value of saving, waiting, and anticipation.  Reward your discipline and discover the abundance available in exchange for hard work.  Find the activity and location that will motivate you to set higher goals for achievement.  Learn what your definition of “Success” looks like.
  7. Find your Peace – Where is your Happy Place? Different for everybody, and never marked with an X on the map, your place of peace is the journey of discovering who you are.  And for that precious moment, you will know, it is exactly where you are meant to be at the exact moment.  Once you find it, finding your peace is easier each time.

Solo Travel Guide | Making the Most of Your Solo Travels While Staying Safe

Travelling solo sounds like a lonely, dangerous activity, but with some common sense strategies travelling alone can be a great way to relax and have a vacation just for YOU.

Solo Travel Guide

For many years I was a road warrior.  I traveled for business (often by myself), vacation alone, and many solo road trips.  By choice or necessity, travelling solo is a rewarding experience that I highly recommend.

If given a choice, why would I want I want to travel alone?

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Sanctuary Spa on Camelback Review and Spa Tour | Arizona Spas

Travel Zoo promo photo
Travel Zoo promo photo

I love a good spa experiance, and I am a sucker for a great pool.  The promotional photo for Sanctuary Spa on Camelback is stunning and serene.  Travel Zoo offered a fantastic deal, so I immediately bought a spa deal and booked an appointment.

Sanctuary Spa on Camelback is nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain.  There is no indication of being in the middle of metro-Phoenix, it feels like you are far-far away.

Sanctuary Infinity Pool
Sanctuary Infinity Pool

This is what the pool really looks like, not as exactly the same as the promo photo using the super wide angle lens to make the pool look much, much bigger.  The slate tile surrounding the pool is beautiful, but dark gray and horribly hot (not a good plan for a pool in Arizona).  The only shade is from the few cabanas (in the photo) and the umbrellas for the majority of the lounge chairs to the left of the pictured pool. The pool was refreshing, but lacking any breeze or shade, I cut my time short.  The pool is shared between the resort & the spa and was starting to get crowded when I left.  The view is beautiful, just not quite as remote as the promo photo indicates.

Relaxation room
Relaxation room

The spa front desk staff were polite and after a quick check-in and payment (the mandatory tip is applied before treatment when using a discount voucher), I was escorted to the Ladies locker area.  I was not offered a tour of the spa facilities, even after I explained it was my first visit, and I had to ask for directions to the pool.

I purchased a voucher for the Sanctuary Jewel 60 minute facial.  The aesthetician asked very few questions and really did not explain what products she was using or why.  One of the masks smelled delicious and she confirmed my theory that is was indeed a Pumpkin mask.  Everything felt really nice and smelled wonderful.  I opted for the additional foot moisturizer and eye treatments.  My face is soft and glowing, so whatever she did, it was a good treatment. Continue reading “Sanctuary Spa on Camelback Review and Spa Tour | Arizona Spas”

Mayans in Cancun, Mexico | Exploring Mayan History Steps from the Beach

The most well-known Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are in the interior of Mexico and Central America which can be difficult to visit, often requiring long car or bus rides.  The nearest airport to Chichen Itza is Cancun and then it is still several hours travel by car.  There are two noteworthy Mayan sites located within Cancun.

El Rey
El Rey

El Rey
El Rey

El Rey is located along the Hotel Zone of Cancun, tucked away behind large trees and a small sign.  For 43 pesos (per person) this hidden gem is an old Mayan village for exploration.  The area surrounding the structures is cut back leaving very little shade.  The site opens at 8 AM for the coolest temperatures.  There are plenty of signs in both Spanish and English translation.

View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site
View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site

The entire site takes less than an hour to walk and take a few photos.

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The Mayan Museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, is just down the street from the El Rey site.  The museum opens at 9 am, one hour later than El Rey, allowing for a full morning of Mayan history. At a mere 57 pesos, the entrance fee is one of the best bargains in Cancun!

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Canyon Ranch Spa Las Vegas | Venetian Spa Review and Amenities Guide

Canyon Ranch Spa in the Venetian Resort of Las Vegas is a little slice of heaven. Full review of my experience and the incredible amenities in the spa.

Hidden between casinos and pools in the Venetian resort in Las Vegas, there is a magical place of beauty called the Canyon Ranch Spa.  This little slice of heaven is world famous, but it was my first visit.  On a recent girls trip, we scored spa credit as part of the reservation package.  Any service was going to be a bit pricey, but the spa credit was a fantastic deal!  Massages were booked for the group, and a full day pass to the spa was included for the day of service.  Without a paid service, it is a $25 per day for hotel guests, and $40 for non-guests, to use the spa amenities (totally worth it, and here’s why).

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