Life Coach. Writer.

Mindful in Morocco

March 2, 2015

IMG_7826It’s hard not to be mindful of your surroundings in Morocco—the North African country that seems to emanate a wondrous overload of the senses. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds can be overpowering and beautiful, startling and thought-provoking.

In a country where the terrain ranges from snow-capped Atlas mountains and the vast Sahara desert to the serpentine streets of Fez’s medina IMG_5655(old city) and the nearly 1,000 miles of Atlantic coastline, your senses are frequently on high alert. As they well should be.

On a recent trip to Morocco, our group had the good fortune to trek amidst the natural beauty of Mount Toubkal, feel the warm golden sand of the desert dunes, smell the aromas of animal skins at a tannery, and savor the flavors of many a sumptuous tagine. Thanks to the help of travel outfitter Quivertree, who helped us plan our trip and provided us with our amazing guide, Lahcen, our journey was filled with a varied exploration of Morocco’s fascinating offerings—heavy on adventure and a good dose of culture.

Here are a some of our trip’s highlights:

Marrakech

The 11th century Place Jemaa el-Fna is straight out of the movies—a large plaza filled with musicians, Read More→

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Escapades in Aspen

August 6, 2014

When my daughter, Emily, announced she had one week off of work this summer when all kid activities are cancelled due to an annual sailing race, my mind immediately started working. “What will you do?” I asked casually.

“Annabel and I are thinking of going away somewhere”, she answered, referring to a friend she met three years earlier on a summer community service trip to Costa Rica.

Emily is leaving for college this fall. Knowing that this could be an ideal opportunity to spend quality time with her, I blurted out, “Would you and Annabel want to go away with me and Dad? Somewhere we could do some high adventure?”

I held my breath, and within seconds she said, “Yaaaa!” She texted Annabel who responded in kind. And that is how I lured my 18-year-old daughter to come away with us. Yes, we’d be sharing her with a friend, though it seemed the ideal strategy for getting her to travel with us and we happen to be very

fond of Annabel.

To make the package as attractive as possible, challenging outdoor activities would be key. Planning a trip for 5 days and 4 nights, Read More→

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Savoring the Tastes of Puglia

July 27, 2014

For much of the past 25 years, when I heard someone mention Puglia, I could only think back to the music-filled and pasta heavy restaurant in Manhattan’s Little Italy, where I once threw my husband a memorable and ruckus birthday party before we were married.

All that changed a few years ago when I met my friend Antonello Losito, founder of Southern Visions Travel, and heard him boast about the beauty and food of his native region, Puglia, situated in the heel of Italy’s boot. “You must come to Puglia to see for yourself”, he urged. He listed the reasons why, and I listened.

I can now say firsthand that Puglia is a trip worth making. With only six days to explore, my husband, Rich, and I made the most of our time, splitting our six days between the Adriatic coastline area south of Bari and the historic city of Lecce further the south.

With the help of Southern Visions, we spent our first two days bicycling, equipped with titanium bikes and self-guided directions that the company provided. Biking along the flat coastline – ideal for adapting to the new time zone – proved leisurely and scenic

beyond my expectations. Read More→

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Botswana Beauty: The Okavango Delta

January 31, 2013

IMG_0537-300x200Sunday evening television was pretty sacred when I was growing up in the late 1960s and ‘70s. Although Laugh-In held the top spot in my house, I’ll never forget the mesmerizing wildlife images of Mutual of Ohama’s Wild Kingdom. Fast forward several decades and there I was – in the wild kingdom – or more specifically, on safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

A land-locked country in southern Africa, bordering Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, Botswana is home to the world’s largest inland delta – the Okavango. With the help of Discover Africa, an Ohio-based agency specializing in travel to Africa, our

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group spent five days on safari in two different camps: Little Vumbura and Chitabe.

Each morning, we were woken up at 5:00 am for a light breakfast before heading out on the first of each day’s two game drives. At Vumbura, our two guides, Rain and Sevara, taught us about life on the delta while guiding us on dry land, through watering holes, and in mokoros (wooden canoes) traversing the floodplains. Read More→

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Walk into the Real “Downton Abbey”

December 9, 2012

HighClere Castle

This January, the PBS hit series “Downton Abbey” begins it’s third season, and I can’t wait to see what happens to the Grantham family upstairs (will Lady Mary and Matthew make it to the altar?) and their Downton staff downstairs (does footman Bates’ murder conviction get turned?). And to see Shirley MacLaine join the cast and go head to head with Maggie Smith’s Lady Violet – what a treat.

For those who’d like to have a Downton Abbey adventure (offscreen) of their own, there’s now a way to do so with The Wayfarers, a UK-based travel outfitter that specializes in unique walking vacations. Amble into the glittering world of the Granthams on The Wayfarers’ new journey, “Downton Abbey, Castle Combe & Avebury Circle”, beginning July 2013 – it includes a private tour of Highclere Castle and a chance to stroll in those magnificent gardens. (“Group tickets to visit Highclere are sold our for 2012, making a Wayfarers private tour a rare opportunity”, reads the company press release.) The itinerary also offers Bronte enthusiasts an opportunity to retrace the footsteps of England’s most profound novelists, as well as a visit to Marlborough College, Read More→

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