Summer ready?

Summer ready?

As a travel blogger, I’m hearing more and more of the term “summer ready.” I tend to ignore this phrase. For me, this phrase carries an underlying message of a particular type of body to have during the summer months. This message tends to put pressure on people to change their bodies during the summer months. Just as there is no perfect time to travel, there is no ideal body to be had for the summer. Here are a few ideas on accepting yourself as you are and being summer/travel-ready anytime.

There is a range of summer clothing and swimwear, and there is also a range of body types and sizes. Find people and sites to follow that allow you to feel accepted and empowered. In my recent travels to beach destinations, I find comfort in seeing the variety of body shapes and sizes and comfortable people in their skin. Know that no two people are the same and enjoy the skin you’re in.

Acknowledge the why behind advertising and marketing. For example, brands are trying to sell their products. So they focus on who they think will purchase the products being sold. Acknowledge that everything you see is not for you and focus on what you believe represents you. When you become more focused on yourself rather than the product, you become more aligned to accepting the body you have over the body you want.

Embrace body positivity. Traveling allows us to recognize the vast differences in cultural norms. It also reinforces that what some see as beauty in the body can be different from what others perceive. But, again, we must realize the role marketing plays in what we are meant to assume is the perfect body image. Do not allow others to affect your enjoyment of the summer months based on their perceptions.

Recognize that your body is not seasonal. The same body that takes you through winter and fall is the same body that takes you through spring and summer. We are constantly growing and changing. If you feel the need to change your body at any time, feel free to do so. However, we should never feel pressured to pursue an exterior body standard. Instead, stay healthy and happy and focus on loving yourself as you are.

Do you feel pressure to have a summer body? If so, why? I’d like to know.

Why I blog.

Why I blog.

I have long been a proponent of taking care of myself, and so my interest in blogging is to inspire people by sharing my knowledge and wisdom. I started this blog because even though I am well educated with a doctorate and have traveled worldwide, I felt that people did not hear my voice. I have first-hand experience professionally and personally, and so I believe there is much that I can share. My thoughts and experience count, and this is why I blog. My wish is for people to realize the power of their voices and opinions by bringing stories to the forefront that might create dialog and interaction. People are often so hesitant to share their thoughts or experiences for fear of perceiving that they are trying to be more than they are, even when qualified. Most times, sharing can be inspiring to others, but we need to celebrate ourselves most of all.

One of the first comments I received on my blog was from someone who had been following my social media posts for years and was excited to see more. This feeling gave me a purpose in that If I could inspire one person, maybe I could inspire a lot more. So despite the naysayers, I continue to blog.

When I try to discuss my thoughts and ideas on blogging with many of the people I thought would be supportive, they were not. Blogging was similar to my traveling. Many enjoyed seeing my posts but thought I was going beyond my place in life. As always, I listened to my inner self. If no one were going to celebrate my path, then I definitely would!

There will always be people who doubt you and your abilities, who subconsciously try to inhibit your growth or success. I blog one post at a time, just as I traveled one destination at a time. I have a well-lived experience that has all revolved around traveling. I am most comfortable with and something I can share, knowing that I have a breadth of experience to support my thoughts and knowledge.

I mainly wanted to blog in short posts to inspire thoughts. I may change as my blogging experience continues, but for now, I am just choosing myself and my way. I have faith that the universe will guide me.

Thanks for going on this journey with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Travel envy.

Travel envy.

Having traveled both professionally and personally, I can certainly attest to the travel envy often directed to me even though unheard and unseen but very present.

As an international flight attendant, my job took me all over the world. It was not uncommon for me to fly to unique destinations such as Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Bermuda, or Madrid within the same month. At the same time, I was still a mother and a wife and had to contend with all that those roles entailed. I quickly learned when trying to establish a relationship in the community, to gloss over my job. Mentioning destinations seem to bring on the envy of travel and I would quickly say “I’m a flight attendant” and change the subject as many seemed to hear my destinations as a brag. I would get responses along the direction of “oh how nice” or “that’s wonderful.”

It was not unheard of to get responses like “what about your kids?” or “how does that work with your husband and kids?” With my explanation that it was just a job like any other, I would inevitably get the response “it must be nice!” To me, that was the code for travel envy. I quickly learned in conversations to say that I was “going to work” or “going on a work trip.” Always conscious to never say a destination.

As an ex-pat in Europe and Asia, there were plenty of opportunities to travel in those areas. Thankfully I had learned from my professional travel experience to not discuss my travel plans in depth when having conversations with family and friends. Here too, the refrain “it must be nice” was also heard.

It was an honor and privilege to be a flight attendant for over twenty years and to fly to so many unique destinations. However, it was also a job and many times after long haul flights, the only part of the city seen was the hotel room. My personal travel was quite different as destinations such as Bali or Bangkok were planned with itineraries and time to complete them all.

I can certainly empathize with the travel envy now that Covid has canceled so many travel plans for me. But I know as long as I travel, there are many others whose dream of travel is unmet. So, I am very careful in discussing my travel plans and limiting or tailoring those discussions to the audience.

Have you ever experienced travel envy? How do you handle it? Does my story strike a chord? I’d love to hear your take.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

As an avid world traveler who has done this both professionally and personally, my carry-on is always semi-packed. Here are my tips and advice on the 5 items I consider must-haves and should always be in my carry on.

1. A lingerie organizer bag (details on another blog post). The one I use has two sides, one for clean underwear and the other for dirty. You never want to get them confused!

2. An electronic organizer bag (blog post coming). With people being so connected it is so inconvenient to lose connectivity and most hotels do not provide enough power outlets for the technology we use in our daily lives.

3. A toothbrush which in my opinion is even more needed than the electronic organizer. Many people pack this in their suitcase but with the chances of your luggage being lost, I like to always have this at hand.

4. A medicine bag with items like Tums, ibuprofen, cold medicine, etc. I tend to also have eye masks, face masks, prescription medications, band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol pads, and such (more on another post).

5. Finally I always have a small makeup bag with the basics like mascara, lip moisturizer, lipstick, makeup remover cloths, toner, and face moisturizer. These are always found at beauty supply stores and pharmacies in travel sizes.

You make have other priorities for your carry-on. If so, what are they? I’d love to find out.

Thankful for the memories

Thankful for the memories

2020 has definitely been a year of great emotions with many highs and lows. My last blog post discussed the angst of Covid travel during Thanksgiving. This post I’d like to dedicate to the joy of going back home.

My life has significantly changed since I left home so many years ago to make my mark on the world. I have traveled extensively both for work and for pleasure. Pulling up to my mom’s home reminded me not only of how much I have made inner travel, as much as I have made the physical travels.

My mom has lived in the same apartment for over forty years. In comparison, I live in a five- bedroom home with plenty of hosting spaces, inside and out, as well as an apartment in Singapore that I also call home.

Despite those differences, this thanksgiving was one of the happiest and memorable ever. Chairs had to be brought in for seating, the floor became a seating space, and laps became temporary dining spaces. However, the laughter flowed and happiness permeated the room.

In our travels, it’s not always the destination, but how we get to the destination that matters. I invite you to take an inner journey and reflect on the travel you have made to reach the destination you’re currently at. I encourage you to be thankful for the memories. It could have been better or it could have been worse, but give thanks for the journey you’ve traveled keep looking forward to the ones ahead. We are not all as blessed.

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