Sometimes the best way a luxury travel advisor can help you is to make you disappear. It is shocking, I know, and counterintuitive. While most of the times I help travelers to see and been seen in the right places, there are times when I simple say NO to this. What you really want is an escape from civilization. Over the years Ive advised my travelers to say NO to the crowd and the routine way of travel for a short while. NO to Amalfi Coast during the touristic peak hours. NO to the nice, centrally located hotels that are annoyingly noisy. And No to be in the crowd while you are on your off time.
I challenge you to travel in these Italys top 3 secret hideaways to block out all the crowds, noises, and have some quality time for yourself. This is the real luxury – to relax, rest, and feel the simple good things while in close contact with nature. By saying NO to modernity, you are saying YES to a happier you.
1. Eremito, somewhere in Umbria
Here is THE place to detest modern technology and do a digital detox. This 17th-century, convent-turned property is found in the middle of a massive lush forest, somewhere in Umbria. No telephone, no Wi-Fi, no television, no air conditioner (great weather here anyway). Here is the place to detest modern technology and do a digital detox.
Youll wake up in a room with minimal decoration, bare stone vaults, and wooden bookshelves. Youll hear Gregorian chant on your way to the candle-lit lounge, where you sit on pads to meditate or just do nothing. Food is all prepared with homegrown ingredients and described as divinely cooked. It’s a pilgrimage place for someone who wants to disconnect for real.
2. Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Musuem, Assisi
Also built out of an ancient monastery, this place is a little less extreme than Eremito. You can still feel the town life of Assisi (hometown of Saint Francis), yet the areas mystic ambience is unbeatable. Surrounded by mildly curved mountains and a lavender field, the whole property is soaked in lavenders aromatic smell. It is easy to spend days just marveling the monasterys simple architecture and the mountain views here.
Have I mentioned the spa yet? This place is named as a Spa Museum for legitimate reasons you get to experience the real Roman bath while admiring the six limestone pillars of the first century AD surrounding the pool.
3. Monastero Santa Rosa, the Amalfi Coast
This is my ultimate secret for you in Amalfi Coast stay here, and youll see why soon. At least movie star Sofia Loren saw it. This place is right beside her old villa.
Perched on a spectacular cliff between Amalfi town and Positano, this monastery-turned-hotel isolates itself from all the masses in this extremely touristic region. The Mediterranean Sea breeze and the ancient bell sound are going to be the only things you hear.
While the masses are lining up in front of gelato stores in the town on the other side, you are al-fresco dining in a tranquil terrace overlooking the intensely blue water. The dramatic costal landscape full of towering cliffs arrests your eyes. The abundant scent of lemon and rosemary soothes your senses. People have told me that they have redefined good life after having been here.
4. Poecylia, remote part of Sardinia
This bright-colored resort is a wild childhood dream coming true. Located in a remote part of Sardinia, which is already remote from Italys main peninsula, this resort was originally photographer Piero Giacullis meditation sanctuary. Featuring amazing views of stargazing, gentle sea wind, rustic houses painted in rough brushstrokes, Poecylia has a sense of child-like charm.
This is the perfect escape for adults who have a child living within them. Colorful art, island exploration, and pebble beach are the main focus here. It exudes such a special sense of joie de vivre and naiveté.
5. Adler Mountain, the Dolomites
Mountain lovers need to mark down this lodge as their new favorite. Youll enter an upland pasture in the jagged Dolomites mountain. I personally recommend clients to come here during winter, and experience the jingling sleigh rides through the snow-covered countryside. Simply magic. Clients always say they find the perfect Nordic experience here, where they can ski all day long and immerse themselves in rocky landscape. In no-snow seasons, this incredibly beautiful area is also perfect for horse riding, Alpine golfing, and endless walking trails to see spectacular views of the Dolomites.
Oh, dont forget to try the specialty omelet with meadow herbs here, which is their regional niche plate you wont find anywhere else. So fresh.
Paul Lewis is Managing Director at Luxo Italia.
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It probably won’t surprise you, given I’m the author of a series called The Mapmaker Chronicles, but I love maps – in particular, old maps. I love that they give us a snapshot, at any given time, of what was known and what was not, and I love the incredible, artistic detail on antique maps.
These days, Google maps are (mostly) accurate and efficient, but I do miss those angels in the corner blowing the winds about, the sea monsters frolicking in the deep, and the mermaids awaiting unsuspecting sailors.
If you want to see art at it’s very best, however, ask a child to draw a map – either of their neighbourhood, which shows you how they see the world, or of a made-up world, which shows you how they’d like the world to be.
The good news is that there are plenty of terrific books out there to inspire a love and appreciation of maps in your family. Start with these books for kids about maps:
Mapping Penny’s World
By Loreen Leedy
Combines information about maps with a lovely story in which a girl named Lisa makes maps of the various places her dog, Penny, hangs out. Ages 4+.
Check out Mapping Penny’s World on Amazon
Me On The Map
By Joan Sweeney (Illustrator: Annette Cole)
Gives kids an idea of the size of the world, as it begins with a map of a bedroom and then pans out from there to the narrator’s house, street, town and so on. Ages 4+.
Check out Me On The Map on Amazon
By David Elliot
Henry is a most particular pig who tries to clean up the messy barnyard by drawing a map to show the other animals where they belong. Ages 4+
Check out Henry’s Map on Amazon
There’s a Map on My Lap
By Tish Rabe (Illustrator Aristides Ruiz)
Inspired by Doctor Suess, this is a riotous, rhyming introduction to maps as some adventurous friends follow a map together. Shows the different kinds of maps and the symbols and other tools we use to read them. Ages 4+
Check out There’s a Map on My Lap on Amazon
Map My Neighborhood
By Jennifer Boothroyd
Follow a little girl as she maps her neighbourhood to show her visiting grandma where everything is. Will show your kids the types of features that their own neighbourhood map needs to have. Ages 4+
Check out Map my neighborhood on Amazon
Follow That Map: A First Book of Mapping Skills
By Scot Ritchie
A fun picture book that shows kids not only how to read a map to get from A to B, but how to recognise certain map features, no matter where they are in the world. With interactive activities. Ages 7+
Check out Follow that map: a first book of mapping skills on Amazon
By Aleksandra Mizielinska, Daniel Misielinska
This beautifully illustrated book features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet. Has associated Activity and Poster books as well. Ages 7+
Check out Maps on Amazon
Atlas of Adventures
By Rachel Williams (Illustrator: Lucy Letherland)
Travel the world without leaving your armchair. Divided into seven sections, representing the continents, this is a busy, fact-filled introduction to maps and atlases.
Check out Atlas of Adventures on Amazon
Map Art Lab
Jill K. Berry, Linden McNeilly
This book features 52 map-related activities that are realised as weekly artistic exercise. Beginning with legends and lines, the projects move through different types and styles of maps before encouraging kids to create their own worlds. Ages 10+
Check out Map Art Lab on Amazon
Children’s novels featuring maps
By Robert Louis Stevenson
This classic adventure novel has a Treasure Map at its heart. Some of the language may feel old-fashioned to today’s reader, but swashbuckling never goes out of style, and Long John Silver is one of the best baddies ever! Ages 9+
Check out Treasure Island on Amazon
The Phantom Tollbooth
By Norton Juster
Another classic tale of adventure. When Milo wakes up to find a tollbooth in his room, he also finds a letter that includes “[o]ne (1) map, up to date and carefully drawn by master cartographers, depicting natural and man-made features.” Milo’s extraordinary adventures take him to places such as the Land of Expectation, the Doldrums, the Mountains of Ignores and the Castle in the Air. Ages 9+
Check out The Phantom Tollbooth on Amazon
And, of course…
The Mapmaker Chronicles
By A.L. Tait
The fourth book in my epic adventure series about a race to map the world is out now! Beyond The Edge Of The Map picks up six months after Quinn’s return to Verdania, and sees him embark on a new leg of his exciting journey where the safest place for him to be is off the edge of the map! Ages 9+
Set in the exotic Arabian Gulf, surrounded by sand-dunes, Dubai is a luxurious pleasure-dome that is wonderfully obsessed with fashion and style. The sun-soaked adult playground is a constantly innovative land where soaring skyscrapers create spectacular skylines, in a city that seems to have an endless imagination when it comes to entertainment.
Its futuristic appeal and audacious architecture can be traced back to the opening act of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum: the World Trade Centre, which is essentially a lattice fashioned out of ivory. Perhaps an opening act that in retrospect was predictive of what was to come the creation of one of the planet’s most fashionable destinations.
All that glitters is not gold…
The majestic metropolis also has a rich culture, which can be experienced in the city’s bustling souks. Head into the glittering gold souk and enjoy a simple Oriental pleasure: haggling for gold. When evening falls, you can savour sunset from the vantage point of a camel’s back. Or experience another aspect of Dubai’s Bedouin culture by enjoying some falconry.
The list of possibilities in Dubai is almost endless. Sand-skiing, sky-diving, 4WD desert safaris, world-class golf, camel and horse-racing are just a few of the umpteen options. The sunshine is glorious, the spas are sumptuous and the designer boutiques are decadent.
How little or much you experience in this high-rise oasis is very much up to you, but one thing is for sure, you won’t want to miss out on Dubai appreciated from the perfect perspective of the Gulf’s warm blue waters. When you see this glamorous city from the sea, you’ll definitely realise that all that glitters is not gold, as the sun sparkles on this amazing creation, that is Dubai!
A perspective and experience you’re sure not to forget
Imagine seeing Dubai from your own dream yacht. You don’t even need to have any nautical experience and surprisingly, you don’t need to break the bank! Taking a Royal 44 yacht as an example, which has a capacity for 10 people the hourly rate is 699 AED which works out around £152 per hour, that is only just over £15 per person. You need to book a minimum of two hours with the innovative provider of the service, CharterClick.
All you have to do is choose your yacht or speedboat model, pay with a credit card from the comfort of your own home or hotel, and then it’s time to wave at the superyacht owners as you cruise on by. Captain and crew are provided with all boats, so no nautical experience is necessary.
The views from the perspective of your own yacht are absolutely spectacular, and its an experience that you’re sure not to forget. Of course some of us could imagine nothing better than a deep sea fishing trip in a Gulf.
Sights and routes
What you choose to see is entirely up to you, as are the routes; which can vary from a couple of hours to a few days. In fact if you decide to opt for a couple of days, you can head off on your own yacht exploring neighbouring countries like Oman and Qatar, or other Emirates.
A few hours is also enough to give you some amazing angles on the city, such as the incredible archway of Atlantis. Check out the Palm Jumeirah landmarks and what new development is taking place in Dubai, as you navigate your way around.
Just taking in that stunning Downtown skyline is an ultimate vista that really deserves to be appreciated from a boat. Get perfect shots of the Burj Khalifa, and if you’re sailing between 8pm and 10pm, you’ll be able to sail under the canal’s waterfall. Enjoy sumptuous views of the strip of summer palaces, and check out the world’s largest artificial archipelago: the World Islands. Much like the city itself, the possibilities are almost endless.
How can I book my own yacht?
It’s as simple as a couple of clicks, when you head over to the CharterClick website. Over there you’ll be given a choice of snazzy, sleek vessels with their hourly rates. The website is totally transparent. The prices you see are the rates that have been given directly by the boat owners.
Essentially CharterClick is like using a system such as Booking.com. It’s a super convenient vessel booking service. Currently there’s no other company in the United Arab Emirates that offer a comparable service.
Before the launch of CharterClick, to book a yacht or speedboat in the UAE, you would have had to trawl through a variety of websites. Then you would have had to call the company, to try to confirm availability along with trying to figure out the final price, not to mention the fact that you would most likely have had to pay cash when picking up the boat.
CharterClick do not add mark up on the vessels. They offer simplicity of service, convenience and transparency. Simply choose your dream yacht, enter the date and time you wish to book it for and pay online. It’s all done from the comfort of your own sofa! Watch this space, as very soon CharterClick will be offering the same service in Abu Dhabi and other fantastic destinations.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by CharterClick.
I’ll never forget the first time it happened to me. I had a small baby bump poking through my sky blue singlet and ran into someone I knew on the street.
“Oh well. Looks like the travel is over for you now.”
I just stared blankly at them.
I can’t remember their response, nor anyone else’s. I’m sure it had something to do with status quo, fear, and a lack of awareness of the strength of your own inner power to create your dream no matter what.
I received comments like that for the remainder of my pregnancy. And the next one, despite the fact that my first child had her first plane flight at 3 months old, her first overseas trip at 6 months old, and her first international relocation at 9 months old.
Once again determined to prove them wrong, our second child, Savannah had her first flight at 6 weeks old and her first overseas trip at 8 weeks old.
They’re both now 9 and 5 and between them have visited 8 countries, completed an 18-monthh road trip of Australia and have now started a similar epic road trip across the USA.
Don’t let anyone tell you can’t travel with kids, or that it’s too hard.
We want parenting to be more than just surviving the motions of each day, but really thriving as a family unit experiencing life together.
Fears will never go away, but you can learn to master them.
I have many fears when it comes to traveling with my kids.
Will they hate it? Will I hate it? What if we run out of money? What if they get sick? What about catching dodgy public transport in some countries? What if they get too close to the water’s edge and a croc snaps them up? What if we visit xxx in the middle of a terrorist attack or war?
The truth is all of these things can happen whether you are traveling or not.
You can plan and prepare for them.
You are more powerful than your fears and doubts have you believe and anything is possible. You know that already.
Here are a few tips to make family travel a reality
1. Prioritize for it
The first step is to prioritise. When we prioritise things we are far more likely to create them as a reality.
How important is travel to you? Why do you want to continue to make it a reality? What challenges do you envision in doing so? How can you plan for and overcome these?
2. Research and learn
How are others managing to travel with their kids? One of my most empowering mantras I’ve used to create the life I want is, ‘if someone else can do it I can too.’
I travel with my kids frequently, that’s proof you can too. There are many people doing it, there’s more proof. Research and learn how they make it work. They’ll help you learn the tips and the strategies and how to make it a reality for you.
3. Create a money plan
I know! You can’t travel without money, right? This always seems to be the biggest barrier to travel. I’ve never really travelled with a lot of money saved, but I’ve always believed in my power to create the money I’ve needed for my dream.
I started traveling when I was 21 and slipped right into working in other countries. This gave me the money I needed and the travel I desired.
I still work and travel, but this time I have my own portable business. There are so many ways you can creatively earn the money you want for travel, as well as save money for travel, and find cheap deals on the road.
4. Start small, slow and local
Traveling slow and local will be best for your wallet and your stress levels. Take your travel mindset and apply it to life with your children in your home region.
Get used to traveling together by exploring unknown areas in your hometown. See it through a traveler’s eyes. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll feel like you’re traveling and how comfortable you’ll quickly get traveling with each other. You’ll soon start to realize that travel with kids is not so hard and you can do it after all.
When you’re comfortable, stretch out that zone a little more by taking a trip a little further away, and then keep stretching it until you hit the overseas comfort zone.
The more you practice and love it, the more you’ll prioritize to make it a consistent reality.
5. Focus on the gift
Roll with the punches, don’t stress about what to pack and everything that can possibly go wrong. That’s causing a lot of unnecessary anxiety. I know you’re smart enough to figure it out as you go along. It’s no different to when you traveled on your own, there are just a couple of extra people now.
Treasure the memories and focus on the gift of spending amazing moments together. They go too fast and you want something to look back on to remember the years with your children by.
Nothing gives greater joy, nor reward than travel.
My belief is that parenting is hard, no matter where you are or how you choose to live your life. The only difference between living a life without travel to one with is what you feel the parts in between the challenges with.
A normal life is filled with running your kids here there and everywhere, releasing them to school, managing the household tasks, and trying to fit some fun in between.
When you travel those ordinary moments turn into extraordinary ones spent exploring, discovering, relaxing, connecting and having fun.
Now you’re creating incredible memories together. You’re tightening your family bond, you’re getting to know your children on a deeper level, and as you watch them grow you’re not left wondering where the years went by. You lived each one with them fully.
We share weekly family travel videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe! You can start with this one here.
Have you feared the end of travel once you have kids? How are you embracing family travel with kids?
When the clock strikes 5 pm where do the trendiest of Joburgers head for their post-work drink fix? There’s certainly no shortage of watering hole options in this city, but there are a select few bars which offer a space to unwind in real style. Read on to discover the best of the best luxury bars on offer.
1. Sin & Taxes
Get a taste of vintage luxury by stepping inside this speakeasy joint in Rosebank. You’ll be led down a dark and dingy alleyway and shown to a nondescript door. Through that door lies a tiny bar with just a few intimate tables, and one very extensive cocktail menu. The cozy establishment is dark and dangerous (in that the cocktails are punchy), but it’s easily Joburg’s best speakeasy bar.
2. San Deck at Sandton Sun Hotel
The San Deck terrace is the perfect luxury spot to enjoy a fruity cocktail in the middle of Africa’s richest square mile – Sandton. Take a seat on a bean bag next to the roaring fire pit to stay nice and toasty as the sun disappears. The views of office buildings are surprisingly pleasant, and the service is attentive.
3. Living Room
If you find yourself in downtown Maboneng then be sure to pay a visit to The Living Room. It’s a chic rooftop bar, impeccably decorated with stylish furniture and creeping greenery. Upon paying a small entrance fee, guests escape the hectic streets below and enter an inner city haven. Try to get a seat along the edge, and enjoy a refreshing cocktail high in the sky overlooking Joburg’s mesmerizing skyline.
4. Copper Bar
As it’s only open to the public on Thursdays, this place instantly has an air of exclusivity to it. Tickets must be bought beforehand and shown to the guards upon entrance to what looks just like every other Bryanston office block. But, perched on the roof of the building is a hidden gem of a bar. Copper Bar offers amazing views of the sunset and a fun crowd, making it easily the best luxury bar in the north of Johannesburg.
5. Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff
The panoramic view from this hotel terrace is second to none other in Johannesburg. Gaze out over the swimming pool and see a huge expanse of trees, reminding you just how green this city really is. This place is celebrated for its margaritas, best enjoyed on a balmy summer’s evening. Possibly the most luxurious bar for miles, the Westcliff’s terrace won’t disappoint.
I’m currently going through the process of cleaning and organizing all my computer files and moving them to my new computer. Please grunt with me now. It is as awful as it sounds and a price I pay for having minimal organizational skills.
Anyway, I came across an opinion piece Kalyra wrote last year when we took her out of school to travel. This was the work we promised her teacher we’d do so she did not fall behind with persuasive writing.
I want to share that piece with you today.
We are encouraging our daughters to be entrepreneurial minded and brave enough to express yourself even when fearful of what others think. When I suggested we publish this post on the blog, Kalyra agreed with the condition that we pay her!!!
Love her sass and we could not let that opportunity for learning, negotiation and standing up for your worth pass.
She haggled hard, and in the process, we taught her about making a stance for your worth but also how to leave room in your offering for negotiation and market readiness!
This is how we homeschool. You can learn more in my homeschooling 101 guide here and my free ebook sharing 32 ways yo empower your children to learn, grow, and prosper – in school and out.
Click here to grab the free ebook!
Okay, so I’m outta here. Kalrya is ready to tell you why she thinks travel is educational.
Travel is Educational
Did you know that travel is the best education you can get?
I’m absolutely certain that traveling is educational. I’ve been traveling with my family since I was born, including an 18-month road trip around Australia. I know that travel helps you develop global awareness through real-life experiences and helps you to overcome fears.
To begin with, you can learn about the world around you. You can learn about animals, plants and indigenous people. To give an example, on
You can learn about animals, plants and indigenous people. To give an example, on an aboriginal tour in a rainforest, you can learn about the different ways they use nature for food, tools, and medicine.
Or, you can swim with sea lions in their natural habitat and see how curious and playful they are. Therefore, travel makes learning about the world fun and interesting.
Additionally, you can visit lots of different places. You can see so many exciting places like Sea World, Movie World, DreamWorld, Aussie World and Sea Life.
For instance, you can visit another country and experience their food, culture and different money. You can even learn new languages!
Plus, you can use maps to help you get around, work how long it will take you to get to places and how to not get lost by using a compass.
Finally, travel can help you be confident and brave. When you travel, you talk to a lot of strangers, which takes a lot of confidence and courage.
To further explain, activities like zip lining, quad biking and snorkeling can be adventurous and fun and help you overcome your fears. Hence, travel is great for building confidence and courage.
Book your family road trip now!
It’s definitely clear that if you want to have fun and learn at the same time then travel is the way to go!
In a nutshell, travel helps you gain confidence and courage, have real-life experiences, and learn about the world by interacting with it.
Out of all the beautiful and exotic beach destinations in the world, Fiji might best encapsulate the idea of tropical paradise. Palm trees sway in the warm breeze, azure waters gently lap the shore, and the backdrop of dazzling blue sky is a near constant. But with over 330 islands and thousands of hotels and resorts, deciding where to stay in Fiji can be difficult. Here are five of Fijis best unique resorts all picturesque, all on the water, and all offering guests something a bit different.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
As the winner of countless accolades, including the best five star all-inclusive resort in Fiji, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort isnt exactly a secret. Despite its celebrated reputation, however, this stunning eco-resort offers guests a peaceful and luxurious travel experience thats entirely out of the ordinary.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort was the very first eco-resort in Fiji and has pioneered sustainable tourism throughout the country. The guest rooms are sustainably made, the food locally grown and caught, and the front of the resort is now a marine reserve, home to a coral farm and mangrove reforestation project. There are countless eco activities for guests to participate in too, including rainforest walks and sustainable pearl farm tours.
The food at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is truly exceptional; under the guidance of executive chef Raymond Lee, the dishes are a blend of traditional Fijian cuisine with a strong Asian influence, and with views looking out onto Savusavu Bay the setting is exquisite. Despite its eco-credentials, this resort guarantees unparalleled luxury theres even a pillow library for the more discerning guests.
Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa
Surrounded by tropical rainforest and beautiful landscaped gardens, Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa is located next to a private lagoon with crystal clear waters. There are 51 guest rooms and villas here, including Fijis only floating accommodation, ideal for those who love the water. Guests staying in the Edgewater Floating Bures can leap right into the lagoon from their own deck, and the bures come with their own kayaks too.
A must-visit for guests is the resorts award-winning rainforest spa, where you can enjoy being pampered in the most tranquil surroundings imaginable. Luxurious treatments include banana leaf body wraps and coconut oil massages, both of which use only natural ingredients and leave your skin enviably soft and smooth. For the more energetic, Koro Sun Resort offers a wealth of outdoor activities: from golf to hiking to scuba diving and snorkeling, you certainly wont get bored here.
Palmlea Farms Oceanfront Resort
Beachside resorts are a dime a dozen in Fiji, but what about resorts for people looking for something completely different? Palmlea Farms Oceanfront Resort offers guests the chance to experience a totally different side to Fiji, while demonstrating your green credentials at the same time. Head off the beaten track to this beautiful eco-resort and unwind in spectacular natural surroundings.
Considered one of the hidden gems of Vanua Levu, Palmlea Resort is also a working organic farm, and guests are welcome to explore the grounds, stroke the adorable baby goats and kayak in the bay nearby. The guest rooms are made in the traditional Fijian style, with native hardwoods and woven bamboo, and overlook palm trees and the ocean.
Being a farm, most of the ingredients served in the excellent onsite restaurant are from the garden, and the food is a mix of traditional dishes, Fijian fare and fresh seafood. Known especially for their mouth-watering pies, the resort also has its own pizza oven. Foodies, animal lovers and those who appreciate nature will be in their element here.
Turtle Island Fiji
As part of the Yasawa islands, Turtle Island is located along a chain of ancient volcanic lagoons. Though eruptions here were once common, today it is a paradise of serenity, with warm, azure waters and brightly coloured flowers bobbing in the wind. If youre looking for staggeringly scenic beaches, Turtle Island will deliver: known for having some of the most breathtaking coastline in the world, its also where The Blue Lagoon was filmed.
Because its an isolated, private island, Turtle Island can guarantee visitors exclusivity like nowhere else. Only 28 guests are allowed on the island at one time, and with 14 private beaches you can find your own personal paradise to kick back on. Away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger islands, Turtle Island offers guests a unique sense of solitude.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort
In the pristine waters of Malolo, part of Fijis Mamanuca island group, lies Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Likuliku means calm waters and the name is certainly apt; the turquoise water here is utterly still, but dip beneath the surface and youll find a vibrant reef teaming with marine life. This adult only luxury resort looks like a traditional Fijian village, and the bures feature authentic architecture and natural materials combined with modern comfort.
There are 35 bures along the beachfront, all of which have direct beach and lagoon access, and some of which have their own private plunge pools. Likuliku Resort also has the only stilted bures in Fiji, where the rooms perch above the reef and guests can dive right into the ocean.
Our recent post, 24 ways to make 2017 great received many eye-opening comments as to how much time getting up 15 minutes earlier each day can add to your life.
In case you missed it, it adds 91.25 hours to your life over a year.
How can you grow and change your life with that little amount of time?
It’s easy to think that 15 minutes can’t impact your life, so ignore it and choose do things like hit the snooze button one more time.
It’s only 15 minutes, right?
But, what if, you got up and devoted that time to change instead?
I want to show you how I have changed my life with just 15 minutes a day and how, once I got into this habit, time expanded for me.
When we don’t value time, understand our values and priorities, or believe in our power to create, we turn our back on 15 minutes a day and label it so ineffective we’d rather sleep it off.
Don’t get me wrong, sleep is very important. In fact, as we shared in this post, it is the most important thing your body needs for health and vitality. But, you don’t have to lose 15 minutes sleep by getting up 15 minutes earlier. Turn off the TV and go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
Since I started my 15 minutes a day of change, I sleep longer hours.
Before you start with the myriad of excuses as to why you can’t get up 15 minutes earlier (I know because I’ve made them), I want you to stop and just believe you can.
I understand life’s challenges and time constraints. I am also a mother to two energetic girls who I also homeschool. I started changing my life with 15 minutes a day when I also worked a job, when I was just starting my business, when I was pregnant, when I was sick, when I was traveling, and juggling many many balls.
It’s only 15 minutes. You can do it, it will change your life and expand your concept of time.
Here are my 15-minute a day tasks
These suit my current circumstances but will change as we begin traveling full-time as well. The structure will be very similar. I’ll still be maintaining my practices in a way that suit our lifestyle.
Exercise and wellness ME time
I run for 15 minutes of a morning, meditate for 20 minutes, read for 5 minutes and then walk home for 25 minutes. This began several years ago with just 5 minutes of meditation. Time has since expanded for me.
I do 30 minutes of yoga of an afternoon. It started a few months back with just 10 minutes.
I’ll walk or bike anywhere when I can. Choosing 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes driving.
15 minutes a day learning about food and nutrition, searching for healthy recipes and meal planning helps me have a balanced, healthy diet.
15 – 30 minutes of learning each afternoon (It’s amazing how much this helps. Just this past week, I’ve learned how to organize my entire business and personal life using Asana. I can tell you this will save me hours and hours of work in the future, and help me to become more efficient and productive, which will help me earn more income, which will grant me more time. See how this expansion works. It started with 15 minutes a day. )
15 minutes of reading before bed – it’s amazing how many books you can read with just 15 minutes a day!
Several 15 minute blocks a day to create different things. It’s how I’ve created all free and premium products on my site. I was overwhelmed with not enough time to complete such big projects. I decided to do 15 minutes a day to see where it went. Just recently, in the space of three weeks, I created several new free email courses, and brought back to life some old ebooks with editing and simple design. If I focused on the entire time it would have taken me to do it, I wouldn’t have started.
You might be thinking, yeah but you have so much time to do all this. I really don’t. I work a lot of hours a week, I homeschool my girls each day, I’m a mother, I have a busy travel and social life.
I just make a couple of 15-minute blocks each day and expand that through hyper focus, passion, and efficiency and by approaching life with a different concept to linear time. One I’m not great at explaining or defining.
There was no fairy that granted me this “extra time” I created it. You can too.
And even if you still think you can’t, please just give it a go and see.
Here’s how to change your life in 15 minutes a day
What are your values?
When you don’t understand what your values are, you live by other people’s values. This chaos will steal way your motivation to get up 15 minutes earlier to create change.
Knowing your values and living by them brings you vibrant energy because its what makes you happy. Spend your first 15 minute task evaluating what your values are. Get crystal clear on them and paint a picture of what life will be like for you if you live in alignment with your values.
It’s one of the first tasks we do in my Money Cleanse, and many participants have said how much it helped them gain clarity and create change.
My values are: freedom, security, abundance, joy, vitality, growth
It’s only recently that I realised how important security was. I didn’t pay attention to it because it felt like the opposite to freedom. The task in my Money Cleanse helped me to see that you can’t have one without the other.
Since understanding this, I spent 15 minutes a day getting my finances in order, and putting in plans to invest and grow my money instead of being so frivolous with it.
As a result, I have reduced a lot of wasteful spending, I have grown my savings account, and this past month, made my first long term investment, and started an investment account for the girls. It’s incredible the huge change in myself and my future because of this.
Have an intention from now on that if the task in front of you does not align with your values then it is denied your access.
Unplug from the chaos that does not serve you and time will open up for you.
What is the most important change for you right now?
Is it health? Maybe your health is in great shape. So is it finances? Growth? Do you want more time for hobbies and relaxation?
What area of your life will drastically raise you up, if you devote 15 minutes a day to improving it?
Please don’t be part of the instantaneous gratitude tribe. It doesn’t work. The journey of change requires time.
If you know you can have the life of your dreams in three years time, would you devote just 15 minutes every day from now on to make it happen?
Start small and grow big.
Have an intention from now on that if the task in front of you does not move you towards the growth and vision you desire then it is denied your access.
Unplug from the chaos that does not serve you and time will open up for you.
Create something new
I recently read a great book by our friend, and fellow Gold Coast Entrepreneur, Dan Norris, called Create or Hate. It’s an easy read that you can knock off quite quickly by devoting 15 minutes of an evening to read before sleeping.
I love how he presents the idea that we’re always doing one or the other.
The hate arises in our lives due to our inability to follow through with our innate desire to create.
We give into the hate monsters (I call them fear monsters) that tell us we’re not good enough and can’t make it work (otherwise known as excuses).
When we don’t create, hate wins and we end up hating others who are creating. Jealousy, insecurity and negativity turns into judgement and criticism. You then feel the pressure to create something that’s better, except hate is stopping you from doing that.
Phew. Vicious cycle isn’t it?
Break the cycle. Spend 15 minutes a day creating something from your heart – perhaps you like painting, drawing, writing, acting. Don’t throw it in the I have no time bin.
These are the kind of things that set your soul on fire. Light up!
(btw why do you think adult colouring books are flying off the shelves?)
I have created many products, and content on this blog, simply by writing for 15 minutes a day. This post has been one of them and a lot of it written on my 15 minute daily run.
Sure, it takes me days, if not weeks, or months to produce something, but at least it gets done. If I don’t start because I don’t have time – the concept being I need x hours to create this thing – then it never gets done.
Instead, I say, “I’ll spend just 15 minutes a day doing this.” Some days I find flow and I write for longer and produce more.
Use the 15 minutes as your leverage. If you can’t leverage it into more, you’ll still get something created. Even if it’s at snail’s pace, it’s better than nothing.
Have an intention from now on that you’ll create more than hate. If you notice yourself hating (either to yourself or others), notice why and what you aren’t creating, and then create it.
Unplug from the hate and time will open up for you.
Get up and do it
Schedule the change in your planner. Set your alarm. Don’t hit the snooze button. Get up and straight into it.
I’ve created a path of least resistance by having my workout gear sitting at the bottom of my bed, leaving no space for procrastination. When I wake, I get dressed.
(Note: I set my alarm 15 minutes before I intend to get up. And then have an alarm at the time I actually get up. That way I gift myself with one snooze button and an extra 15 minutes of sleep)
I always thought you’d have to run for at least 30 minutes to have any serious benefit. So I never ran because a 30 minutes was too painful. The hate voice still runs through my head every morning until I actually start the run. I quieten the excuses with my mantra, “It’s only 15 minutes out of your day today. You can make 15 minutes.”
The 15 minutes goes quickly and I feel fantastic.
I’ve been running just 15 minutes a day now for nearly two months. I’m much fitter and stronger. I’ve lost weight. I feel more energized. It helps me cope with the day. My time has expanded. I’m getting way more done. I’m drinking way less alcohol (like not one glass in the past almost three weeks!!) and eating better.
I’m more focused. I give fewer excuses. I’m aligned with my values. I build my self-esteem every day by following through with what I said I was going to do instead of living a life full of excuses and hate.
Make the intention to just get up and do it. As my business coach and friend Mike, has taught me, Do not forget to acknowledge that you have done it and stuck to your word. (That’s where a lot of the power is folks!!)
Unplug from your excuses and time will open up for you.
Notice how time expands
I literally started this concept with getting up five minutes earlier to meditate. It’s all I could manage. My ME time is now an hour long each morning. Once I saw how beneficial it was to my life, I expanded the time I had available for it. I didn’t even notice in what other aspects of my life I cut back on the time.
My focus began to change subtly towards priorities and values and what was enhancing my life instead of detracting from it.
My friend and mentor, Belinda Davidson recently said,
“When you work on your inner world, time expands.”
When I look at my life, it’s insanely busy, and I have a lot of things to do each day, but it feels like I have the gift of time at my hands.
I look back to the days before I started expanding my time and am amazed at how I used to think and the excuses I’d make. I really didn’t have much time then because I believed it and kept telling myself so.
I truly don’t know what I was doing with my time. Most of it was wasted on things that didn’t matter and complaining about being tired and having no time.
Complaining drains an intense amount of energy, which essentially robs your time.
I do way more with my life now than ever before, yet each day I find more pockets of time to devote to things I love and enjoy. I think it relates to my life being super focused on priorities and driven by values and spending a lot of time working on my inner world.
Make the intention to expand your time a little each day, by changing the way you think, act and create.
Unplug from anything that drains you and causes you to complain. Or just stop complaining. Time will open up for you.
Turn that 15 minutes into 30
Once you’ve turned 5 minutes into 10, and 10 minutes into 15, you’ll turn that into 30 minutes (and then keep going). Then you can start finding 15 minutes in the afternoon/evening too.
Not too long ago, I kept putting off doing yoga and other forms of exercise in the afternoon because I was too busy. I was also too tired, too stressed and too lazy.
One day I decided to do just 10 minutes of yoga. Again, I didn’t think 10 minutes of yoga could really do any benefit. Thankfully, with yoga, you can quickly see some flexibility changes. I moved from barely touching my toes to now having palms face down on the floor.
My 10 minutes slowly expanded into 15 minutes and now I’m up to 30 minutes. Each afternoon at 4pm, I stop and do a 30-minute yoga class on Grokker (which is currently my favourite thing of the year. I’ll write a post about that soon)
Now those 30 minutes seems nothing to me and I feel like I can’t have a thriving day without it. It’s because it helps me feel alive, vibrant and expansive.
Where have I taken that 30 minutes from? My computer work, which often led to a lot of wasted Facebook scrolling because I was so tired. It’s fascinating to test your own illusions of time and to see how you can expand it simply by changing a few thoughts and focuses.
Make the intention to slowly push out your available time. Find what helps you thrive and expand that. Believe me, you’ll find ways to take the time from other things that don’t help you expand.
Now, before we finish, and you tell me in the comments below how you intend to change your life in 15 minutes a day, let me share a funny story.
When I first started this idea, 4:30am was the only time I had available. I was so tired, and so wanted to hit that snooze, but I craved change.
One morning I was so tired I was falling asleep in my warrior pose. I couldn’t understand why I felt so exhausted. It was only at the end of the yoga that I checked the time on my clock. It was 1:30 am!!! For some reason, I’d set my alarm for the wrong time.
I was ecstatic I could crawl back to bed and wake up at 5 am instead as I’d already done my routine!!
Make the intention to not mess up the time for your 15-minute activity and do yoga in the middle of the night.
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How do you intend to expand your time and change your life in 15 minutes a day?
“Good food and good wine, this is heaven on earth,” said Henri IV, the best loved of all French kings.
Sitting on little plastic chairs eagerly awaiting their meals, locals and tourists chat pleasantly amongst themselves in between gazing at the beautifully picturesque landscapes through the quaint windows of the farm restaurant. The owner is also the chef and his wife manages front of house, whilst their son plays outside, chiming bonjour! to familiar faces passing by or coming in for a bite to eat and an apéritif. Views of mediaeval villages hanging delicately from steep cliffs along the river catch the eye of diners, as do the grand châteaux that transport you into a childrens fairytale.
The Dordogne, also known as the Périgord, holds a rich and varied history – a land where time has stood still in many places and you can marvel at Romanesque churches and centuries-old gardens that complement the natural beauty of the region. Traditional Périgourdine houses dot the carpeted hills of the Périgord Noir and decorated grottoes teetering on the edge of limestone cliffs conjure up images of prehistoric man sleeping and practising magic.
The region is reputed for its agricultural heritage, which still exists today. Locals thrive on their locally-grown foods, carefully cultivating ingredients in their gardens and farms to prepare hearty meals for their families, or selling them at markets for restaurateurs to buy and cook delicious gastronomic masterpieces. Here are six of the culinary highlights to enjoy so you can have a swift but oh-so-enjoyable love affair with the regions good food and fine wines.
1. Fresh, locally-grown, lovingly-nurtured produce
From walnut farms and chestnut groves to ancient forests growing wild mushrooms (cèpes) and truffles, there is an abundance of high-quality ingredients produced in the landscapes of the Dordogne, which are rustled up into tempting dishes. Walnut trees cover the countryside and are harvested in early autumn. These flavoursome nuts are offered fresh in or out of the shell and are also pressed to make delicious oils, wines and liqueurs. Farms keep geese, ducks and other livestock which are used to make local specialties such as confit duck and foie gras, which youll find in cute ramekins in shops and on market stalls.In every place you visit, its guaranteed that the food has come from a local farm or producer. There are some fabulous markets in the region, especially in Sarlat on a Wednesday and Saturday, where the sweet perfume of strawberries dances through the streets, bunches of green and white asparagus sit in stacks waiting to be picked and clusters of bright red tomatoes cling to their vines in baskets. Not forgetting the cheese stalls adorned with tasty discs. Its little wonder the Dordogne supplies nearly half of Frances finest products.
2. The black diamonds
Ah, the delectable black truffle! This rare fungus grows underground amongst the dark roots of oak, hazel and chestnut trees and is hunted by dogs that forage in the ground (it was once pigs that did this). What makes the Périgord truffle special is its beautiful black colour and the powerful earthy aromas with touches of musk that give it an incomparable taste. The truffles are added to many dishes including omelette – a few shavings of this delicacy perks it up immediately and sauces and tapas. Although pricey, no trip to the Dordogne is complete without tasting some truffle-infused dishes.
3. Duck, duck, goose (foie gras)
This rich and velvety goose or duck liver dish is adored by locals and visitors alike. Served in a variety of ways from paté to thin slices cooked to suit individual tastes, this smooth yummy treat goes well with onion chutney and toasted brioche. The duck version has a stronger flavour compared to the delicate goose foie gras, but you should definitely experience both whilst there.
4. Outstanding restaurants
As you would expect with such great food available, there are some fantastic restaurants in the region, serving gastronomic menus and world-famous wines to wash them down. As you walk, cycle or canoe, you could literally eat your way through the Périgord, stopping off at little restaurants or cafés en route or indulging in a picnic youve prepared using ingredients picked up at the local food markets. You could even treat yourself by dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant, where the personality of the chefs shines through from every plate. One of our favourites is at the Hotel Le Centenaire, which serves homemade foie gras, fresh goats cheese, a selection of duck dishes and, of course, truffles. The walnut liqueur eau de noix is often drunk neat as a digestif, and the fine Cahors and Bergerac wines are perfect for accompanying your meal.
5. Homage to the fromage
The Dordogne isnt shy when it comes to food it likes strong, natural, intense flavours that stick in your memory (and your palate!). The traditional cheeses of the region include Rocamadour, a soft goats cheese with a delicate nutty flavour thats just divine sprinkled into a crisp salad or spread on top of a thick slab of crusty bread, fresh from a wood-burning oven. If blue cheese is more to your taste, Le Bleu de Causses is a fine after-dinner snack. Its contrasting sweet and salty taste is developed when matured in natural limestone caves, and this makes it delicious melted on top of grilled meat too. Others include Ossau Iraty, a firm creamy cheese thats traditionally cooked into canapés and tarts as well as enjoyed at the end of a meal with a tart cherry jam (this is called the farmers dessert).
6. More duck
Beside foie gras, duck is the staple dish of the Périgord, and is found on almost every menu. As popular as fish and chips is in England, duck is cooked in various ways and the fat is even used to cook dishes, as opposed to butter or oil. One of the specialties is confit de canard, a fried dish made using duck legs/thighs the crispy skin is out of this world! Magret de canard is duck breast, usually served pink, grilled or with a sauce. In the region around Sarlat, pommes sarladaise are served as a side dish with most main courses these are sliced potatoes fried in duck fat, sometimes with mushrooms.
The food in the Dordogne is as sublime as the landscapes; why not taste it for yourself?
Tina James is the Managing Director at Headwater Holidays.
If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.
If travel is all about having amazing experiences, creating great memories, and jumping off the hamster wheel to discover the world, then I think cruising is a great way to condense memories, adventure, and discovery into a short space of time.
Yet cruising as a mode of travel often invokes strong responses in people; There’s the “Ahhh Yes!” gang and the “Eeuw No-way-never!” mob.
To tell you the truth, in the 30 or so years we’ve been traveling, we’ve mostly favored overland travel and have been camp and canvas supporters with the occasional 5-star hotel thrown in if possible – but cruisers? No way.
Then we went on a104-night world cruise.
We were virgin cruisers. Our friends took up bets to see if we’d come back alive and/or still married. In truth, they were hoping for spurious tales about how awful being on a ship with 2,000 other passengers might be.
“Why spend three and a half months at sea? What for? In a floating city – Why?” they asked. And at the time we couldn’t really answer their questions.
But now we can, and I have to say we are total cruise converts.
21 reasons to go on a round the world cruise
1. Cruising is so Easy!
Cruising really is an easy way to travel and you only have to unpack once.
You’re waited on hand and foot, the food is fabulous and you don’t have to worry about restaurant or hotel bookings. Plus you have no worries about how you’re going to get to the next destination.
2. No flights! No planes to catch!
Once you’re on board your cruise around the world, you don’t have to catch any more planes. Think of that! No more cramped seats. No more rushing to get to an airport on time. No more taxis or rental cars to get you there.
No more delayed flights. No more crappy in-flight meals. No more angst. Your ship is now your plane with every conceivable amenity to make your journey comfortable.
3. You have more time for yourself
Traveling overland requires thought, planning and often extra energy to accept delays and travel hassles.
On a world cruise everything is taken care of so you have plenty of time to catch up on things you haven’t had time for at home – like researching your next destination, reading the books that have been stacking up on your bedside table, getting to grips with the craft you never had the time for, or getting stuck into a course you’ve been wanting to do.
4. Visa and entry hassles are minimal
Because the cruise ship (mostly) takes care of the visas you’re going to need, and you (generally) don’t have to go through passport controls when getting on and off the ship, most of your entries and exits into different countries is quick and painless. (But do check which visas are covered by the ship and which aren’t particularly if you’re on a long cruise.)
5. No more arguments about where to go or what to see.
I don’t know about you, but we often end up in a huff with each other if we go on a holiday which requires us both to come up with decisions about where to go and what to see.
“Let’s do this,” one of us will say, and the other will go, “Umm how about doing this instead.”
And the other replies, “Hmm maybe, but how about doing this rather?”
In the end, exhausted by the decision making we end up not doing anything at all.
But on a cruise around the world, you don’t need to plan your own trips and tours if you don’t want to because there’s probably a shore excursion and advisory desk on board with plenty of ready-made touring options.
So for us, it would come down to overarching questions like, did we want to do something energetic, something adventurous, something cultural or even just go on a coach tour. And if we both wanted to do different things – we could!
6. There are plenty of options to keep fit.
People expected us to come back fat. “But you didn’t put on any weight on the world cruise” they said in slightly disappointed tones. Nope, because we took advantage of the many exercise options.
We had the promenade deck for power walking and jogging, a well-equipped gym where we could work off calories on the exercise machines, as well as yoga, pilates, spinning, Thai Chi, Zumba, dancing, and stretching or abs classes to choose from. Plus we nearly always booked energetic shore excursions.
Plus we nearly always booked energetic shore excursions.
Read more: How to maintain a yoga practice while you travel
7. You get a unique kind of immediate cultural immersion
I was worried about only having a short amount of time in each place. Now while this is mostly true the thing I found about cruising is that it allows you to immerse yourself quickly in different cultures.
Ship’s Tours are designed to show you the very best of a place, or a particular aspect of that place, in the shortest amount of time.
Of course, you can explore under your own steam if you wish – research while you’re at sea, and dive in deep to the culture when you get there.
But what only having a short time really means is that you become very focused on doing and seeing as much as you can, totally depleting your energy bank, because you know that when you get back on board ship all you have to do is sink into a hot tub with a long cold cocktail, or dine under the stars and talk about the wonderful memories you’ve just created!
8. No need to search for a local doctor in a foreign country if you fall sick.
There’s a resident Doctor and support medical staff on board the cruise ship so you can rest assured if you have any health concerns
(Tip: Do not forget to take out travel health insurance cover because onboard medical can be expensive).
Read More: 15 tips for buying the best travel insurance policy
9. Convenience shopping for personal basics is covered on board.
On Princess Cruise ships there are convenience shops which sell all the small things you might need on a daily basis; from hair shampoo to suncream, to toothpaste to chocolate and lollies, to water bottles, to birthday cards and more. So no more having to set out in a foreign country in search of a shop selling familiar hair shampoo, for instance.
So no more having to set out in a foreign country in search of a shop selling familiar hair shampoo, for instance.
10. No need to search for ATM’s or change currency every few days.
On board ship you should have no currency concerns – you should be able to use your cruise card to swipe for anything which isn’t included in your cruise deal, and when you go ashore if you’re not going to use your credit card, you may find that there’s an ATM temporarily set up on the ship dispensing local currency (but be warned, this can be a fairly costly option of getting local currency).
11. You’re on a luxury floating hotel.
It was incredible knowing that really we were on a very luxurious floating hotel carrying us from one amazing destination to the next.
The heart of Sea Princess was the Atrium, spread over 4 levels where there was always something going on. Grand and theatrical in design with glass lifts and palm trees we often saw musicians playing, or a retail promotion or a fruit carving demonstration in full swing.
Elsewhere there were bars, and restaurants, a plush theatre, a cabaret lounge, a casino and all manner of things to keep us entertained.
Did we feel cramped by all the other passengers? Actually no. It was incredible how people seem to spread out and we never felt hemmed in by people.
12. You can choose what kind of accommodation you prefer.
Most cruise ships will offer a variety of cabins and staterooms.
We had a cabin with a balcony which was lovely to sit out on when we wanted to be alone, or if we wanted to watch a new destination come into view from the comfort of our bed, or if we wanted to invite our neighbors over for a sundowner.
Plus it gave us a bit more space to work as we had two laptops and lots of blogging paraphernalia.
13. Fabulous Amenities
Depending on the cruise you book, you’ll hopefully find, as we did, that the amenities and services on board are luxurious and comprehensive.
On Sea Princess, there was a fabulous spa offering relaxing treatments, a hairdresser (which didn’t cost the earth), and a boutique selling clothes at what I considered were reasonable prices.
Then there were theatres staging fantastic productions, a casino, a variety of great restaurants and bars, a well-stocked library, an internet cafe, and on each accommodation deck a coin laundromat with 2 irons and ironing boards (ahem, not that I did much ironing 😉
14. Five Star Resort facilities with benefits
The adults-only deck on Sea Princess was called The Sanctuary and it really was.
Tucked away at the top of the ship it was a place to day dream where you were pampered with tasty morsels of food throughout the day as you gazed out across the ocean. And when you’re bored with that you could pop to the pool deck or jump in one of the hot tubs.
15. There’s on tap entertainment
You don’t have to get in the car, worry about parking or worry about drink-driving. Just glam up (if you wish) and walk out from your stateroom.
Most round the world cruise ships will offer a variety of entertainment. I think this is where you need to be careful when deciding which ship to cruise on. On Sea Princess. there was non-stop high-quality entertainment from singers and dancers to comedians.
There were novelty acts and there were also tribute shows, folkloric acts, and bands from around the world.
16. Learn and come back enriched
A big thing on Princess Cruises are the enrichment lectures which I really enjoyed – especially the ones on positive psychology. But there were so many to choose from – such as, the history of opera, a palmist talking about palm reading, a man who in real life was a horse whisperer talking about animal psychology, and lots of informative lectures about the destinations we were visiting.
But there were so many to choose from – such as, the history of opera, a palmist talking about palm reading, a man who in real life was a horse whisperer talking about animal psychology, and lots of informative lectures about the destinations we were visiting.
You’ll also probably have time to visit the library – or maybe do that eCourse you’ve been meaning to complete.
17. Daily activities
If you’re like us then each sea day you’ll probably plan out what you want to do each day. There are likely to be a range of organized daily activities and events to attend.
You might find there are cooking demonstrations, music or choir practices, card schools, arts and crafts classes, dance classes, zumba classes, and much more. There’s no need to be bored.
18. Morning TV and Media
And let’s not forget the daily Wake Show (Princess Cruises answer to breakfast TV) and the Princess Patter a daily newsletter which is delivered to your Stateroom each night.
19. Destinations and Tours
I loved the fantastic sail-aways – watching exotic destinations fade from view as the party band played on and the champagne flowed was just amazing. I’ll never ever forget leaving the very beautiful Polynesian island of Moorea or sailing under Sydney’s iconic harbor bridge.
But I also loved the excitement of cruising towards a new destination, full of eager anticipation about what we would discover.
You might cruise to adventure, or a tropical island, or be lucky enough to see orca whales in Antarctica. Perhaps you’ll get to haggle in a bustling souk, or visit one of the wonders of the world.
You might, like us, be lucky enough to sail past the Statue of Liberty as the sun is rising.
You can cruise to the most magical, mystical, iconic and diverse destinations you can imagine. If you choose a world cruise, as we did with Princess Cruises, then you’ll visit multiple places. We visited 5 continents, 27 countries, and 39 different destinations.
On board, we were offered a comprehensive tour program and could choose from a variety of ship’s shore excursions including culture, food, adventure, photographic, scenic, art or wine.
Or, if you’re super organized, you might plan and book independent tours before you leave home. Be warned, though, if an independent tour fails to get back to port in time for the ship’s departure then the ship probably won’t wait for you. If you book a ship’s tour, in all likelihood it will.
Be warned, though, if an independent tour fails to get back to port in time for the ship’s departure then the ship probably won’t wait for you. If you book a ship’s tour, in all likelihood it will.
So decide beforehand what the likely risks are – if the ship is a long way from the city you’re visiting, could there be a train strike that day (in Italy this could happen!). I couldn’t imagine anything worse than your new mates waving you goodbye from their balcony!
20. You’ll make great friends for life
You just don’t know who you’re going to meet on a round the world cruise, and you’re moved from the comfort zone of your regular friends to mixing, dining and touring with a whole new range of people.
We were lucky to meet adventurous baby boomers, energetic youngsters wonderful tour guides, and interesting crew members with wonderful stories to tell, many of whom became friends for life.
21. So much scrumptious Food
Oh, where to start?
If you don’t like the food on a cruise, then really there’s no hope! Fabulous eateries, celebrity chefs, buffets, cordon bleu steakhouses, pizza joints, a la carte dining, a bakery and poolside bbq’s and themed nights – you name it, there are so many dining experiences on a large ship.
After a long cruise, you may well come back changed.
The Princess Cruises tagline invited us to Come Back New. And when we first got onboard we actually thought we’d probably just come back fatter and flabbier.
But to tell you the truth we didn’t.
We came back fitter and slimmer and much more knowledgeable about the world.
And the memories – oh WOW. Don’t get me started on those!
Maybe you’d like to read more about our incredible 104 night World Cruise over on my blog Lifestyle Fifty or check out the cruising options with Princess Cruises, (of whom I was a guest).
Have you done a cruise? Where to? Or if you’ve got any questions about cruising, I’ll gladly try and answer them in the comments section below.