Yes, you can be a Travel Enthusiast and still enjoy being a Homebody

The sad reality for a lot of people who enjoy travel, leisure and the finer things in life is not everyone has the schedule or the finances to trek from their home whenever they feel like it. Unfortunately this is my situation for the time being. My trip to Australia was amazing btw, but I will have to build up my travel funds for my next trip over the next several months. Which is why I’ve been thinking of everything I’ve done to my home to make my time between trips as enjoyable and cozy as possible.

Keep your Home Cozy

I love traveling to warmer climates, probably because I live through the cold desolate winters in Michigan. The only time I enjoy seeing snow is on Christmas, so what gets me through a long cold winter. Fireplaces the real kind, electric blankets and hot cocoa: all of these are lifesavers in a cold climate. The most recent upgrade I made to my home is replacing my floor in my house with Heated Wood Flooring. This upgrade has been a game changer, the winter has a habit of chilling your body to the bone, even in your home. Having a radiant heat source you can comfortably walk on in your home definitely keeps you cozy.

 

Keep Plants in your home

 

When I was younger I never understood why people went plant crazy as they get older. The garden, hanging plants and potted plants people work on for hours throughout the week seemed like a waste of time. Now that I’m older I really enjoy the nurturing of life that being a green thumb affords you. The serentity of having some plants and flowers in your home is truly life changing. I would recommend doing some research on the easiest types of plants to keep in your home if you have little of no experience. I like to keep thing simple at home, so I don’t really take this hobby overboard and it’s easy to do if you let it, so just use your best judgement when deciding how you would incorporate some foliage in your home.

 

Buy a Diffuser

 

Aromatherapy is an interesting topic. There are studies that show the amazing effects different scents have on your personal wellbeing, plus I really enjoy walking into a room full of intense pleasant smells. Right now I am sitting in my Kitchen enjoying a lovely lemon scent, which calms me by making this area feel fresh and alive. Do some research, diffusers are affordable and a great way to experiment with aromatherapy.

What are your Suggestions?

 

Feel free to leave a comment, or suggestions. I love gaining more ideas to make your home and life more enjoyable. Let’s have a conversation, we all could use some more tips.

Top 7 things to see and do in The Bahamas

 

The Islands Of The Bahamas with their famous pink sands and turquoise sea are home to 16 main islands and thousands of cays and islets which offer a wealth of diverse experiences.  Here we pick out seven of the best:

1 Bahamian People-to-People afternoon tea

 

 

In Nassau have afternoon tea at the historic and imposing Government House, the official residence of The Governor of The Bahamas. On the last Friday of the month the Bahamian People-to-People programme offers complimentary afternoon tea with a fashion show, live music and shuttle transfer to your hotel, providing luxury and colonial history for no charge.

2 Bahama Barrels: blend-your-own-wine experience

 

 

 

The luxurious 18th century Graycliff Hotel is a Nassau institution and has recently introduced a range of experiences including Bahama Barrels, where you learn to blend your own wine in the oldest Church in the Bahamas (across the road from the main hotel). Guided by Jason, a Californian winemaker, you learn all about wine production, grapes and tasting. The experience concludes when you blend, name and bottle your very own bottle of wine to take home.

3 Island Hopping – Harbour Island or Eleuthera

 

 

Take a day trip from Nassau to Harbour Island or Eleuthera with Bahamas Ferries and navigate between the islands. Harbour Island is famous for its miles of candy-floss pink sand and celebrity guests, whereas Eleuthera has sweet pineapple farms dotting the landscape and ideal conditions for surfing on the Atlantic side. And if you fancy staying on the island, try glamping at The Other Side, a collection of luxury tents overlooking the ocean.

 

4 Meet the Dolphins at Blue Lagoon

 

Just three miles from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island, also known as Salt Cay, has water sports including paddle boarding and water bikes, as well as dolphins and sea lions. Visitors can swim with the animals and spend the day relaxing on a tranquil beach. It’s a great family day out.

A Blue lagoon Beach day including animal encounters and lunch is from $32 for an adult.

5 Dive with Hammered Sharks

 

The iconic hammerhead sharks can be seen in The Out Island of Bimini from December to April. The Bahamas was made a shark sanctuary in 2011, making killing sharks illegal and shark tourism has flourished. Diving with the hammerhead sharks is an unforgettable adventure as the huge creatures swim around you and come within an arm’s length.

Great Hammerhead Safari costs $299 at Neal Watson’s scuba centre based at The Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina, North Bimini.

6 Swim with Pigs

 

 

The swimming pigs of The Exumas have become world famous but they can also be spotted on other islands including The Abacos. It is an incongruous but fascinating thing to see entire families of pigs running along a tropical beach in the sunshine and trotting into the water for a refreshing swim. Visitors can join them in the sea for dip when the pigs swim up for any free carrots.

Half day ocean safari in The Exumas on a power boat including swimming with pigs from $150.

24 Hours in Havana

Sitting in El Floridita bar in Havana ‘s Old Town, perhaps on the very seat American novellist Ernest Hemingway was once perched, sipping the very cocktail – a Daiquiri – he loved to sip, I was aghast at just how many of these sweet tipples the bar tender knocked out every 15 minutes. He adeptly filled eight cocktail glasses at a time for a clamouring clientele. Continuously. All night long.

El Floridita – continously pouring 8 Daquairis at a time

It is of course a wonderful experience, but in that moment I was glad I was in Havana at this time. The city is busy now but I’ll bet (but not in Cuba as there are no casinos) that within 10 years the crowds will have swelled, the streets will be filled with guided groups and the joy of discovery will be elusive. And indeed enjoying an evening at El Floridita will be nigh on impossible – unless you are a sardine.

So, if you don’t want to miss the gorgeously ramshackled 16th century buildings that sit alongside posh architecture or the iconic, colourful American classics (Cadillacs, Chevys, Dodges, Buicks, Fords) which may disappear due to lack of parts, get there now. I can report that Japanese Kias and Hyundai cars are already far too prolific on Havana’s roads and though perfectly functional they are not nearly as much fun.

Must explore

Start at Parque Central which leads to the old town – Havana Vieja. Prepare to be dazzled by the neoclassical Capitol on Prado street – the former seat of the Cuban Congress and once home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. After 8 years of restoration this impressive building has reopened as the home of Cuba’s national assembly. Use this building as a landmark and a point of orientation as it faces east and everything in front of it is Old Havana.

El Capitolio Havana Cuba

Near to it is the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso, named after Cuba’s most famous prima ballerina, probably the most beautiful building in town. Take a moment to gaze at the sculptures, the marble and bronze works. The four groups of sculptures in white marble in the front are by Giuseppe Moretti and represent charity, education, music and theatre.

Walk into Parque Central, a shady, leafy and palm filled square and see the statue of Jose Marti, a Cuban poet and journalist. He masterminded the revolution but was not a military man and died in combat.

Jose Marti, a poet not a fighter

Opposite is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Arte Cubano which some say is the finest art gallery in the Caribbean. Look out for works by Guillermo Collazo, a Cuban great; Rafael Blanco, Raúl Martínez of 1960s Cuban pop art fame and Wifredo Lam whose work can easily be compared to that of Picasso.

In two minutes get to Calle Obispo, a long narrow road hemmed by tall buildings and quirky shops such as an apothecary museum where you can buy headache pills and an intriguing al fresco art and craft market.

Along with Calle Mercaderes it is one of the most popular shopping streets and the two streets converge at Hotel Ambos Mundos where Ernest Hemingway had a room – which you can visit. If you are ready for a rest, make your way up to the hotel’s rooftop bar for a beer or two and a pretty good view over the harbour.

Passing the fantastic Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former residence of the governors of Havana but now home museum of the City of Havana you get to Plaza Armas. This is the oldest square in the city and is a lovely leafy square with palm trees around which has the statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who played a major roll in Cuba’s independence in 1868. Around it is the Archeology Museum, Castillo de la Real Fortaleza, a 16th century fort and El Templete which is monument to Christopher Columbus for founding the city.

5 fabulous Spring destinations

 1 Havana, Cuba

 

Havana is famous for its smoky cobbled streets, ancient Chevrolets, and crumbling Spanish colonial buildings. In the 1950s the city was a fashionable haunt of the author and journalist, Ernest Hemingway and today very little has changed. One almost feels obligated to pay a visit to La Floridita, Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, just to sip on a daiquiri and contemplate one’s own genius.

There’s no American fast food joints and gaudy advertising but there are vibrant streets and family-run paladares. These privately-owned restaurants provide authentic Cuban food and genuine local culture. Head over to the brightly painted alley, Callejón de Hammel, where rumba groups can often be found showing off their moves.

2 Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Practice the art of over-indulgence in Sin City. By April, temperatures in Las Vegas start to rise to an agreeable 26°C, but let’s face it, night and day have a tendency to blur together for eager party-goers. Try your luck in one of the monstrously lavish casinos, watching a spot of Cabaret, or perhaps witnessing feats of gymnastic brilliance at the Cirque du Soleil. If you are looking for an adrenaline kick, head to the New-York New-York roller coaster, best enjoyed at night (although perhaps before you start going heavy on the boozing). Daytime fun in Vegas includes a lavish spa treatment at the Bellagio, or alternatively, a visit to one of the city’s infamous pool parties.

 

 

3 Vancouver, Canada

 

Following the Winter Olympics in 2010, Vancouver has become something of an inspiration for travellers, with its jaw-dropping backdrop and sense of joie de vivre. The city is snuggled between jagged snow-tipped mountains and the Pacific Ocean and in April travellers should be able to catch the end of the ski season. Just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver there are three slopes: Grouse Mountain, Cypress and Mount Seymour.

Vancouver has its own cafe culture,  funky, independent shopping boutiques and even its own Chinatown. Visitors should also take a stroll through the old streets of Gastown, so called after ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton (the British seaman who opened the first saloon there).

4 Antigua & Barbuda

 

Spring is a great time to visit Caribbean Island of Antigua as weatherwise it is both warm and dry, and the long ribbon of beaches won’t be too crowded. Pigeon Point Beach offers shallow, calm waters, it is an ideal spot for families. For snorkelling and sailing head to Antigua.

Antigua’s sister-island, Barbuda is around 30 miles to the North of Antigua. It is less developed and therefore the perfect nesting ground for the charming frigate birds. Here you can watch the male frigate birds blowing up their enormous red gullets in the hope of attracting a mate.

5 Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Tokyo is a city like no other: a unique combination of modern skyscrapers, ancient relics, and wacky fashion statements. And it is packed with people. The onslaught of pedestrians at the famous Shibuya Crossing (a perfect example of organized chaos) is, shall we say, a challenge.

Get a flavour of Tokyo’s more traditional culture at the Meiji Shrine; the city’s most famous Shinto shrine.

Tokyo is beautiful in the spring as the cherry blossoms will be in a full bloom. One of the best spots to take in this dazzling site is Chidorigafuchi, where hundreds of cherry trees line the moats of former Edo Castle. Rowing boats are available for rent, allowing tourists the opportunity to get closer to this magical sight.

 

What Not to Do When You’re in Thailand

Thailand is becoming quite a popular tourist destination, but the vast majority of tourists are easily spotted by not following a simple set of preferred ways to behave. The cultural difference is actually not that big of a deal, but you’d be surprised by some of the things done differently in this country.

Respect the monks

If you are a woman, you shouldn’t even touch the monks that can be found throughout Thailand. No matter if you are a man or a woman, you should always keep a respectful distance when you are around monks. Getting friendly with them is ok, but you should refrain from hugging them or any similar action, which may be considered “too friendly”.

Take off your shoes

It is considered disrespectful and even offensive if you keep your shoes on when entering temples, homes, shops and even some restaurants in Thailand. This may very well be the reason why lightweight sandals are so popular there, as they are easy to slip off and into, as needed. The biggest clue if you need to do so is probably a pile of shoes and sandals that can be found by the door of any of these establishments.

Using your feet

In Thai culture, feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the human body and using your feet to, let’s say, hold the door or point at something is considered to be offensive and rude. This is especially true for temples and you should avoid pointing your feet at Buddha images or anything similar.

Touching the head

Touching the top of a head of someone, no matter if it’s man, woman or child is considered rude. This may not be the case if you are in a really close relationship with someone, but if that’s not the case you should refrain yourself from doing so.

Whistling at night

While this may not make everybody uneasy, it is considered that by whirling at night you are calling out spirits. While this is the least offensive thing you can do from this list, it may make some people feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.

Be decent

Decency is not something that is easily definable and it varies greatly, depending on the cultural upbringing of the people and the country laws. Making out on the street is out of the question, as Thais rarely express intimacy in public places. You will notice that most Thais don’t hug or even hold hands in public, so it comes as no surprise that tongue touching is forbidden.

Another thing you should be wary about is the clothes you are wearing. While Thailand is a tropical country, you shouldn’t wear beach attire, when you are on the streets or any other public place, apart from the beach itself.

A Different Side of the Canaries

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about The Canary Islands is glamour, with fun coming up as a close second. This comes as no surprise, as the Canaries are one of the most prominent tourist locations in the whole world, as well as the place where the second biggest carnival in the world is being held.

However, it is a lot less known fact that the same island archipelago is perfect for camping, although some info about glamour camping, rightfully dubbed “glamping”, can be found. The main reason the Canaries are a great place to camp is the weather, which is influenced by tropical and desert climate. What this means for any fellow camper is that the temperature averages almost never go below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), which combined with just a few rainy days per month makes this archipelago a perfect camping spot.

Before you set up your tent, you will need to make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork in order. While camping in the Canaries is free, you will have to obtain a special camping permit from the state, in order to avoid getting fined, as the rangers are frequently patrolling all the camping spots. Luckily, this permit is quite easily obtainable, either by filling out an online form or getting the permit on the spot.

However, you should apply for a camping permit at least one week before the date you actually plan to set up camp, as that’s the average time needed for the state to issue the permit. While this may seem like an unnecessary bureaucracy, there are quite a few reasons for it. One of those reasons is that the pine forests of the Canary Islands are highly flammable and there have been some serious wildfires started by unwary campers. Another reason is that the Canary Islands have only a few sources of fresh water and the authorities want to make sure that they remain unspoiled.

If you do not get a permit, you should be prepared to get a fine, which can be as low as 100 euros, but that price can grow exponentially if you are caught the second or a third time. Once you get your permit sorted out, the only remaining thing for you to decide is where exactly you are going to camp. While most people prefer going to the mountains for camping, there are some that decide that the lovely beaches are the right fit for them.

Is it safe to fly with Australia’s airline?

When we are traveling to Australia, there is always the one question that comes to mind. Is it really safe to fly with the Australia’s airline? Is this one of the safer airlines to fly with, or are there some dangers that you need to know about. We all know that not all the airlines are really safe to fly and many people are afraid to fly because of this. With this information, you will know that the Australian airlines are really safe to fly.

Don’t have as many aircraft accidents as other airlines

The one thing that you should know, and even might give you some peace of mind, is that there aren’t many aircraft accidents of the Australian airlines.

They are known as one of the safest airlines that you can use, and that the risks are much lower. Many people are still really afraid to fly, because of all the accidents of aircrafts falling, and this is making people afraid. But, you don’t need to be afraid when you are using this airline for flying locally or internationally.

They are ensuring that all passengers are safe and no terrorists are able to get aboard

They are making sure that all their passengers and tourists are safe and that there is no change that terrorists are able to get aboard on any of their airplanes. Especially after the 9/11 events where terrorists Hijacked airplanes in the US.

That event did make them more aware about terrorists, and with the new rules and regulations the change of something similar happen with the Australian airlines is really slim.

Strict airport rules that are ensuring safety for all

The Airlines in Australia is also known as the airline with the most strict rules and regulations. This is to ensure that everyone on the airlines and airplanes are safe. No dangerous packages are allowed and each bag is going through customs to ensure safety for everyone.

You don’t need to worry if you are traveling around, and using the Australian airlines. This is because these airlines are really safe and can be chosen anytime. They have low accident numbers and they are ensuring that their airplanes are maintained and that all packages are safe and not putting anyone at risk. If you are flying for the first time and you are terrified, know that with this airline you are really safe and all precautions are in place there.