Category Archives: music

Travel, Food and Working Out


New Additions to My Travel Pack
New Additions to My Travel Pack (Photo credit: nickgraywfu)

So here you are. You are on the vacation of a lifetime. You have always wanted to visit- Paris, New York, Rio, St. Kitts, or San Francisco. You are where you want to be. Even if the city or destination is not what I have written you are on your way visiting the city or the country side.

Just because you are on vacation my fellow travelers and dreamers you have not entered into the world of all you can eat. The world does not become an endless table of consumption. So how do you balance enjoying the local treats and still come home in even better shape than you left?

Stay active! While visiting Barcelona, Spain my son and I enjoyed all the treats the city had to offer. We had the fixed price lunch meals, pastries, amazing coffee with cream (cafe con leche), and so much more.

When I came home from that visit I noticed that I had lost 6 pounds. We walked all over the city and did not use the metro for short stops. We clocked an amazing amount of miles and enjoyed ourselves in the process.

It is simple math as far as I am concerned. Calories in versus calories used will always do one thing. Weight loss or weight gain. No matter what plan you use that is how it is calculated. No matter how techno advanced we become one thing is for certain our body is as how it was made since we first entered on the this planet.

So where are you going to work out? You are not working out! I am on vacation! Be creative. Dance. That’s right go out and dance. The easiest way to not only work out but blow out stress and feel great. Walking that is the most obvious way to work out. Snorkel, scuba dive, rock climb, and any other way you are able.

Vacation is just that. A time to relax, enjoy and explore or for some just sit by the beach, pool or lake. What is your definition of vacation. Mine is for exploration and seeing new places. To embrace different cultures, meet new people, and broaden my knowledge. Scuba, snorkel, dance and etc..

When I am home it is a vacation. Sure I have chores and home repairs. This past week I was using pre-mixed cement to fix the foundation around the house. Repair the cracks on the steps and other places that needed mortar. Dragged bags of mulch in the hot sun to places around the yard. Lifted heavy bags of marble chips and placed then in between the concrete patio. The earthquake last year shifted part of my back yard and the steps shifted. I use my push mower to do the yard. I work hard at home.

However, I also have made a small oasis to enjoy the moments I am at home after working with clients and being at the hospital taking care of patients. Home for me extends itself when I go on vacation. I have shifted the way I look at travel and how I see myself when I am visiting new places.

I have stumbled upon a website called Loseit! The name of the site is exactly what it is for. Weight loss. This is a handy tool for those of you who are traveling through out the US or Canada. You can track what you are eating and put in your exercise for the day. It is not for a guilt trip. It is there to help you track every delicious morsel that you put in your mouth. I have not tried it in other countries yet.

The  plan seems to work. I have lost 4 pounds the first week. I have a goal. I am headed to Hawaii in November 2012 and there is personal reason to look my best. It is me vs. me. I am no longer that hard on myself about life.

So why the discussion on travel and taking care of yourself? Quite frankly, from conversations I have had with people on how they feel after a vacation. There have been more times than not that I see the joy in someones face when they relay their amazing vacation and then they cast their eyes downward and say they have put on more pounds. One person grabbed their belly and laughed. Then quietly said ,”I guess I will have to work out harder to lose it.”

Vacation is designed to renew the soul. Give yourself the time to relax and enjoy life. Vacation is not designed from my humble opinion to create more guilt. We have the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We have the capacity to work and grow. We have the capacity to know what we want out of life.

In the book,”The Path of Least Resistance” the author speaks about “knowing what you want,” That is a simple phrase. What do you want out of life? I want to be able to enjoy life. I want to remain healthy. I want to have enough to always pay my bills, travel and save. I want to share my joy with others.

So far what I want seems to be on track. Enjoy your travel. Make plans. Find creative ways to stay healthy while you are enjoying all the food and drink of where you are. That was my thought for the day. It is just what I wanted to share. Check out that website and let me know what you think.

Understanding What Has Changed in Europe.


Euro (Photo credit: Fernando D. Ramirez)

There are changes everywhere in regards to travel. In Spain there is a 6 Euro charge per person per flight that went into effect this week. That is an increase that will help the collapsing economy. Updates on travel are very important from the standpoint that you need to be able to address this when making plans.

You can be assured that this will be ongoing and may affect travel in the European Union. This brings me to the topic at hand. Understanding what has changed in travel. Preparedness is not just for the home. The news in the USA has shown power outages and water main breaks. That affects not only the population who lives there but also affects all the services that are available.

Hospitals, hotels, restaurants, 911 services, supermarkets, gas (petrol) stations and others. When you think about it everything is affected. So what is a person to do if they find that a vacation is planned and then a natural disaster hits?

Changes of plans always occur in life. This is the reason you have purchased travel insurance. You will be reimbursed. This is not the end of the world for you. You have been only,inconvenienced remember that. If you find yourself on vacation and nature happens try to stay calm. If you are able to contact family, friends and work do so. Let everyone know where you are and what your plans are.

If you are able to contact the airlines find an alternate city to fly out of. You may have to pay an additional fee or the airlines may compensate you that you need to find out before your leave on your trip. Always look at airports that are within a 50 to 100 mile radius and alternative types of transportation to get there. There is always the one way car rental.

Safety is a big concern when traveling. That is why I have emphasized in a prior post to know where the emergency rooms are when you travel. Speaking of which if you are traveling to Spain they are requesting that you pay upfront any costs if you use a clinic. International temporary health insurance is worth its weight in gold. My son had to use their services and was not charged due to the health insurance policy that we had purchased.

The economy is going to have a major impact on travel to Europe. The future of the Euro is uncertain but, what is certain is that you need currency. Be prepared for the changes in travel and you will not be taken by surprise. Know before you go is a great phrase. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the journey.

The Road Most Traveled

A personal photo of the Sandy Hook lighthouse ...

A personal photo of the Sandy Hook lighthouse taken in October 2004. Viewed from the south end of the lighthouse, facing north. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was enjoying this morning soap from Brazil. Yes it is the simple things in life that make me smile. You know for the last few years when ever I travel I collect two things. Stones and soap. That is right. The first flight was to India. I went with a group to experience Darshan. It was a wonderful experience. I watched everyone else picking up really great things to bring home.  I looked at the ground and picked up the most amazing stones and geodes. I still have them to this day. I have a small collection of rocks from all over the world.

I am not talking about boulders. I mean pebbles that are still there. They are not big enough to be called rocks. Still they are colorful and I did not break apart the road or trail when I picked them up. I live in a very rocky part of  New Jersey where my garden seems to grow rocks on a daily basis. So taking one or two stones from an area is not going to create erosion.

The next favorite part of being in a country is buying soap from where I am visiting. Some countries have incredible soaps. They are light and fragrant. When I have visitors who come and stay with me that is the one thing that I ask for. Please bring me a bar or two of your favorite soap. It is simple and the memories that it brings up are wonderful.

Well I am in search of today. I am going to the Ironbound section of Newark which has a supermarket that may have what I am searching for. The reason I started this post was really to provoke in you what do you bring home from your vacations? Is it something simple like a feather or a sea shell that you found on the shore.

I had a visitor from Finland who stayed with us for two weeks. We went to the Jersey Shore which is amazing number one. She was really taken aback looking at the mountains one day and the ocean the next. She thought that New Jersey was what most people think it is. I guess we like it that way. Who would guess that the phrase the Garden State is still true. Well as we say here “Stay Away”. You would not like the beauty of the ocean and the magnificent coast line anyway.

Back to the post. Oona collected some shells that had washed up on shore. We carefully looked around and she found the most delicate small shells and polished stones. My guest grabbed them as if someone else might take them out of her hands. She smiled and said that her mother would really enjoy them as a memento of her trip.

It is the simple things that make me remember the good in life. When I visited Hawaii last year I enjoyed the coffee and a sun tan lotion call Maui Babe. I ordered it when I ran out. I have fresh coffee “imported” from Hawaii monthly. I know being a part of the US it is not really imported but I dream about Hawaii and the can still see the mountains and peaceful coast when I settle down with a cup in the morning.

So what do you take home with you when you go on vacation. How do you make memories? A book of matches? Its the simple things in life that make me smile.

Peace Denise