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Ribeiro: Small Business Resource Powerhouse

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  • July 19, 2018
Interview Gabriella Ribeiro Mogul Mom
Interview Gabriella Ribeiro Mogul Mom
Gabriella Ribeiro spearheads The Mogul Mom, an online resource mompreneurs rely on for support and advice.

Meet Gabriella Ribeiro

A Small Business Resource Powerhouse

Ribiero is “The Mogul Mom” editor-in-chief and the woman at the helm of a thriving crusade. She offers mompreneurs ultrapractical daily challenges, advice, tips, and support as they forge their paths through the triumphs and trials working moms often face. She and her team are celebrating 11 years of outstanding success in 2018. If you have additional questions after reading my information-packed email interview with Ribeiro, feel free to contact her via this link or complete the form below and I’ll get answers for you.

What led you to develop The Mogul Mom site and the services you currently offer? Specifically, what are your services?

I acquired it actually back in January of this year. The previous owner is an amazing friend and a true mentor and she was ready to transition and wanted it to land in the hands of someone who could really take it forward. I am honored she passed the baton to me! We are the world’s premier site and community for dynamic women with sparkle who are raising a family, running a business and rocking both. Some members have aspirations of launching their own business so we have a vast amount of resources to help anyone in that space as well.

What words do you believe best describe your role with The Mogul Mom?

I am here to empower, motivate, inspire and share, but most of all to LISTEN to our members and help them in any way possible. I also truly enjoy connecting members to one another so they can build meaningful relationships. If I’ve accomplished all of that, I know I have succeeded in my vision.

What is your background and how does your experience enhance your ability to motivate women to succeed?

I’ve always been a self-starter, I think that came from having an entrepreneurial father and seeing him be able to fix just about any situation while building a business based on natural-born intelligence. I also saw hard times so I believe that helped me shape my vision of how a business should be run, how to be conservative and how to grow within one’s means.  Now that I am a mom, a single one at that, running three businesses, I am living the life I am helping people figure out every single day and that helps build trust. People see me being able to enjoy business success but also dealing with the day to day struggles we all do as moms, juggling schedules, negotiating, dividing and balancing time so that everyone who needs you gets your full attention including your work and when I share that, it brings me closer to the amazing women in the community and it helps to show them this all is possible. It isn’t easy, but it is absolutely possible.

How do your challenges motivate women and what are some of the challenges you’ve created?

I am always brutally honest and open about my own stories- my challenges, my struggles, my wins and my aspirations- I think that opening myself up and letting them know that beyond anything, I have been where they have been in so many regards. I have gone through a pathway myself to building businesses and creating a unique life that fuses my passions so the challenges are meant to be motivational but not authoritative, more so like a strong pair of hands on one’s back propelling someone forward while they are using their own movement as well. We’ve done a “30 Days To Your Best Self” challenge which really had our members examining their headspace, their happiness quotients, their goals, their current network vs the network they strive to have, body image, self-care, and wellness. In the end, I heard so many amazing stories about members really taking the time to think about things they usually try to ignore or put off and it has made a difference in their vision. We’re currently into a Healthy Eating challenge which hopefully is inspiring members to make great choices that work for their individual lifestyle, their body type and also to meld the head with the heart when making choices that are best for their overall life.

I’ve noticed you offer travel advice and tips. What is your role in the travel industry and how/why does travel play a part in a woman’s overall success?

I have two businesses that deal with different segments of the travel industry. One handles sales and creative marketing for hotels and destinations and the other curates unique immersive journeys for travelers that leave a footprint on their soul. Travel is, and always has been my passion so I worked hard to fuse it into business ideas to create a life that thrills me and that I truly love.  I really enjoy pushing people out of their comfort zone and with the journey planning, I get to do that. Now, with The Mogul Mom, I’m doing it for people in a different way, by helping them explore their passions and encouraging them to push themselves to develop the career and the life they have always dreamed of.

Tell me about your accolades, awards, and recognition you’ve received from the media. Do you work with magazines and/or other media to get the word out about The Mogul Mom? Where have you been featured to date?

The Mogul Mom has been so fortunate to have been mentioned in amazing publications and to have been endorsed by some wonderful thought leaders. However, what I am finding now is that the best publicity we ever could hope to receive is the wonderful word of mouth support we get from the members of our community who bring dynamic women into the network and help it grow. At the end of the day, we’re only as good as the level to which we serve our audience so right now my focus truly is on the user experience.  That being said though, we are continuing that trend moving forward with fantastic interviews with thought leaders in various industries that have really also gotten behind us to endorse us and there are some great media hits on the horizon – watch this space!

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Cruise Lines Culinary Travel Culinary Travel Travel and Leisure

Moveable Feasts: The Growing World of Culinary Travel

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  • July 10, 2018
Moveable Feasts: The Growing World of Culinary Travel

Culinary travel is an outstanding opportunity to showcase your company’s food and wine. This article from Travel Pulse is a must-read. Read the highlights of the original post here and follow the link below to read the information in its entirety.

Culinary travel is on the menu for growing numbers of travelers.

VACATION AGENT  TRAVEL AGENT  ROBIN AMSTER

One of today’s most powerful niches is culinary travel—whether that involves a food-related activity or two, or a longer trip focused entirely on food and wine. Given its ever-growing popularity, culinary travel shouldn’t be hard to sell, but agents still need to know the best way to break into the niche.

“Many agents are finding success by partnering with local restaurants and wineries that keep a database of client information,” said Debby Hughes of Distinct Journeys in Loveland, Ohio. “Chefs or sommeliers are often great Pied Pipers, and cruise nights at their locations can stimulate interest and bookings. Many cruise lines can arrange onboard wine tastings, pairings and cooking classes to be led by the chef or sommelier.”

Advice on Selling Culinary Vacations

WEIGH THE OPTIONS

“You have to assess clients and decide if they are more mainstream and would just enjoy a tour that has some culinary focus or if they want something more specialized. There are companies that do specialize, but I find that many suppliers can provide a one-day or one-week program.”

Stephanie Turner, Brentwood Travel

WORK WITH BDMS

“Some cruise lines offer food-and-wine programs and excursions that are more comprehensive than others, so it’s important to build a list of your own preferred suppliers and work closely with the BDMs to create a unique product for your groups.”

Debby Hughes, Distinct Journeys

DETERMINE CLIENT PREFERENCES

“You may end up with a client who doesn’t want a cruise. There are also escorted tours that focus on beer, wine, and food. You really have to ask your clients what type of experience they want. There are so many to choose from.”

Lisa Brasgalla, Travel Leaders

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European Travel Security while traveling to Europe Travel and Leisure Traveler Information

Security Union: A European Travel Information and Authorisation System – Questions & Answers

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  • July 5, 2018

I think you’ll find this europa.eu article interesting. It’s a detailed summary of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System that strengthens security checks for individuals who travel visa-free to the EU. Follow the link below where you’ll find the original article. It’s so informative I had to share.

Let me know your thoughts.

ETIAS

1. What is the ETIAS? What is the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)? In November 2016, the Commission proposed to establish a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to strengthen security checks on those persons who travel visa-free to the EU, currently nationals from over 60 […]

1. What is the ETIAS?

What is the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)?

In November 2016, the Commission proposed to establish a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to strengthen security checks on those persons who travel visa-free to the EU, currently nationals from over 60 countries (full list here).

The ETIAS will be an automated IT system created to identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen area, whilst at the same time facilitate crossing borders for the vast majority of travellers who do not pose such risks. All non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for a travel authorisation through the ETIAS system prior to their trip. The information gathered via the ETIAS will allow, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection principles, for advance verification of potential security or irregular migration risks.

After filling in an online application form, the system will conduct checks against EU information systems for borders and security and, in the vast majority of cases, issue a travel authorisation within minutes. The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a mandatory pre-condition for entry to the Schengen area. It will be checked together with the travel documents by the border guards when crossing the EU border. This prior verification of visa exempt non-EU citizens will facilitate border checks; avoid bureaucracy and delays for travellers when presenting themselves at the borders; ensure a coordinated and harmonised risk assessment of third-country nationals; and substantially reduce the number of refusals of entry at border crossing points.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

What is the impact of ETIAS on the common visa policy?

Visa liberalisation is an important tool in building partnerships with third countries and in increasing the attractiveness of the EU for business and tourism. Mandatory advance verification and assessments of potential security or irregular migration risks related to visa-exempt travellers through the ETIAS, while fully respecting their visa-free status, will help to safeguard and complement the success of the EU’s visa liberalisation policy. Adding this layer of information and risk assessment will allow visitors to fully enjoy their visa-free status, and at the same time enhance the security and safety within the Schengen area. Travellers will also have an early indication of their possible entry into the Schengen area, allowing them to better plan their visit.

As visa liberalisation dialogues with third countries continue to progress, the ETIAS will strengthen the EU’s capacity to assess and manage the potential migration and security risks whilst at the same time facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external borders.

2. How will ETIAS work in practice?

What will visa-exempt travellers have to do before their travel?

Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.

An electronic payment of a €7 fee for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.

The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.

Of the roughly 5% of applications which produce a hit, it is expected that 3-4% will receive a positive decision after ETIAS Central Unit verifies the data, with the remaining 1-2% being transferred to ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision applicants will be given a response by email with a valid travel authorisation, or a justification for the refusal.

What happens if a person has been refused travel authorisation from ETIAS?

If the travel authorisation is refused, the applicant retains the right to appeal. Appeals can be launched in the Member State that has taken the decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The applicant will be informed which national authority is responsible for the processing and decision on his or her travel authorisation, as well as information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal. If the traveller considers their treatment to have been unfair, he/she is also given the right to seek redress or request access to the information through the national authority.

What is the validity of an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The validity of the travel authorisation will be three years (or until the expiry date of the travel document).

What are the obligations for the carriers?

Prior to boarding, air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups overland by coach will have to verify the status of the travel document required for entering the Schengen Area, including the requirement to hold a valid ETIAS travel authorisation. A transitional period is foreseen for carriers transporting groups overland by coach during which it will not be obligatory for them to check the presence of a valid travel authorisation.

What will happen at the border crossing point?

Upon arrival at a Schengen area border crossing point, the border guard will electronically read the travel document data, thereby triggering a query to different databases, including a query to ETIAS in the case of visa-exempt travellers. If there is no valid ETIAS travel authorisation, the border guards will refuse entry and record the traveller and the refusal of entry in the Entry Exit System.

If there is a valid travel authorisation, the border control process will be conducted and the traveller may be authorised to enter the Schengen area if all entry conditions are fulfilled or refused access as provided by the Schengen Border Code.

Can a travel authorisation be revoked?

Although the travel authorisation is valid for 3 years, it may be revoked or annulled should the conditions for issuing the travel authorisation no longer apply.

3. Closing information gaps and enhancing security

How will ETIAS address existing information gaps?

Currently, border and law enforcement authorities have little information on travellers who are crossing the EU borders visa-free. This is not the case for people travelling with a Schengen visa, whose information can be cross-checked by the border guards in the Visa Information System (VIS). By ensuring that all visitors are checked prior to their arrival, theETIAS will close an important information gap. It will help identify potential security or irregular migration risks before visa-free travellers arrive at the EU border and better monitor who is crossing the EU borders.

How does ETIAS complement existing information systems for borders and security?

In line with the interoperability strategy proposed in the Communication on Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security of 6 April 2016, ETIAS is designed to be interoperable with existing systems, and systems currently being developed, such as the Entry Exit System (EES).

To the maximum extent possible and when technically feasible, the ETIAS will reuse the hardware and software components of the EES and its communication infrastructure. Interoperability will also be established with the other information systems to be consulted by ETIAS such as the Visa Information System (VIS), Europol data, the Schengen Information System (SIS), Eurodac and the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS).

What databases will be checked by ETIAS?

When verifying and assessing the information submitted by visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically cross-check each application against:

–       the existing EU information systems:

o    the Schengen Information System (SIS),

o    the Visa Information System (VIS),

o    Europol data,

o    the Eurodac database,

–       proposed future EU information systems:

o    the Entry/Exit System (EES),

–       Interpol databases:

o    the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD),

o    the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN),

–       a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.

Pending the approval of the Commission’s proposal to exchange information regarding criminal records in the EU to third-country nationals (ECRIS-TCNs), ETIAS should in the future also be able to query ECRIS-TCNs.

How will ETIAS improve the security of EU citizens?

By providing vital information on security, irregular migration and public health, ETIAS will significantly contribute to closing existing security information gaps. It will help Member States’ authorities to spot individuals that may pose risks and take action before they reach Schengen’s external borders.

More specifically, the system will improve the detection of human trafficking (particularly in the case of minors), help tackle cross border criminality, and more generally will facilitate the identification of persons whose presence in the Schengen area could pose an internal security threat. The data stored in ETIAS, in respect of fundamental rights and data protection, may also be made available to national law enforcement authorities and Europol if necessary for the prevention, detection or investigation of a terrorist offence, or other serious criminal offences.

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee the respect for fundamental rights and data protection?

The Commission’s proposal fully complies with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and contains all appropriate safeguards, ensuring that ETIAS is developed in line with the highest standards of data protection, in particular regarding data access, which is strictly limited. The proposal foresees individuals’ right of redress, particularly as regards the right to a judicial remedy and the supervision of processing operations by public independent authorities.

Personal data recorded in the ETIAS will not be kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose. Data shall be stored for:

– the period of validity of the travel authorisation or,

– five years from the last decision to refuse, revoke or annul the travel authorisation.

The data could be stored for an additional period of no more than three years after the end of the period of validity of the travel authorisation if the applicant freely and explicitly consents to keep his or her data longer. After the expiry of the data retention period, the application file and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System.

Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol will have access to ETIAS, under strictly-defined conditions, for the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences. The designated authorities and Europol should only request access to ETIAS when they have reasonable grounds to believe that such access will substantially help them in carrying out their duties.

4. ETIAS structure and development

How will ETIAS be structured?

The ETIAS will be composed of the ETIAS Information System, the ETIAS Central Unit and the ETIAS National Units.

The ETIAS Information System will comprise of:

  • a Central System to process the applications;
  • a National Uniform Interface in each Member State connecting the Central System and the national infrastructures;
  • a secure Communication Infrastructure between the Central System and the National Uniform Interfaces;
  • a public website and a mobile app for mobile devices;
  • an email service as well as a number of tools for applicants, such as an account service, a verification tool and a tool to provide or withdraw the consent for data retention beyond the general period.

The ETIAS Central Unit will be established within and managed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and will be part of its legal and policy framework. Operating on a 24/7 basis, the ETIAS Central Unit will have four central tasks:

  • ensuring that the data stored in the application files and the data recorded are correct and up to date;
  • where necessary, verifying the travel authorisation applications with regards to a traveller’s identity in cases of a hit obtained during the automated process;
  • defining, testing, implementing, evaluating and revising specific risk indicators of the ETIAS screening rules;
  • carrying out regular audits on the management of applications and on the implementation of the ETIAS screening rules, particularly as regards their impact on fundamental rights, privacy rules and data protection.

ETIAS National Units will be established in each Member State, and will have the primary responsibility of conducting the risk assessment and deciding on travel authorisation for applications rejected by the automated application process. National Units will also provide applicants with information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal.

An ETIAS Screening Board, established within the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, will have an advisory function and will be consulted on the definition, evaluation and revision of the risk indicators as well as for the implementation of the ETIAS watchlist. The Board will be composed of a representative of each ETIAS National Unit, Europol and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

A Fundamental Rights Guidance Board will bean independent advisory body composed of representatives from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the European Data Protection Board and the Fundamental Rights Agency. It will assess the impact of processing of applications and the screening rules on fundamental rights, and provide guidance to the ETIAS Screening Board.

What is the ETIAS watchlist?

Information provided by applicants for an ETIAS authorisation will be cross-checked against different EU databases including the ETIAS watchlist.

The watchlist will consist of data related to persons who are suspected of having committed or taken part in a serious criminal offence or persons regarding whom there are factual indications or reasonable grounds to believe that they will commit terrorist or other serious criminal offences. The watchlist will be established on the basis of information provided by Member States and Europol.

What will the role of Europol be?

Europol, as an EU security information hub, is in a unique position to combine information that is not available to individual Member States or in other EU databases. It will, together with the Member States, enter data into the ETIAS watchlist and be responsible for keeping the entered data updated.

ETIAS National Units will consult Europol in the follow up to a hit that occurred during the ETIAS automated processing with data held by Europol. The Agency will also be involved in the definition of ETIAS screening rules.

What will the role of eu-LISA be?

Eu-LISA, the Agency for the operational management of large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, will develop the ETIAS Information System and ensure its technical management. Among others, the Agency will be responsible for the creation of a public website and a mobile app for ETIAS applications, where applicants will be able for instance to check the status of their application.

How much will it cost to develop ETIAS?

To be as efficient as possible, ETIAS will build on the basis of the existing information systems and in sync with those that are still to be developed i.e. Entry / Exit System (EES). The development and implementation of EES and ETIAS should be carried out together and in parallel, which will ensure significant savings on set up and operational costs.

The cost for developing ETIAS is estimated at €212.1 million and the average annual operations cost at €85 million. ETIAS will be financially self-sustaining, as the annual operations costs will be covered by the fee revenue.

What is the territorial scope of ETIAS?

The ETIAS legislation will apply to Member States that are part of the Schengen area, including those which do not yet fully apply the Schengen acquis, i.e. Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.

When will ETIAS be ready?

ETIAS is expected to be operational after three years of development, i.e. in early 2021.

View the original article at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-4362_en.htm.

 

 

 

MEMO

 

 

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Travel and Leisure

Adventure Travel Rapidly Expanding, According to New Survey

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  • June 26, 2018
Adventure Travel

Adventurers are spending more time in pursuit of their dream travel. This is a particularly informative article I thought I should share with my readers. Anyone who is involved in hospitality or tourism should take a moment to review travel trends.

The top ten adventure travel destinations are noted below but here’s a peek at the top five, according to PRNewswire. See the full story below with links to the article source.

  • Western Europe (FranceItalyGermany, U.K., NorwaySwitzerland, etc.
  • Central America (BelizeCosta RicaGuatemala)
  • North America (U.S. and Canada)
  • Caribbean
  • South Pacific (New ZealandAustraliaFijiSamoa, Tahiti)

Adventure Travel Rapidly Expanding, According to New Survey

You just read:

Adventure Travel Rapidly Expanding, According to New Survey

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Travel Leaders Group Jun 21, 2018, 17:05 ET

Click here to view the original web page at www.prnewswire.com
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Travel and Leisure

You’re Going to Want to Try Their Cocktails

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  • June 19, 2018
Hipsters Are Taking Over This Bangkok Neighborhood — and You're Going to Want to Try Their Cocktails

I’m fascinated with Thailand and it’s cuisine and beverages and I’m adding these stories to my notebook so the first chance I get, I’ll be on my way to this extraordinary kingdom with my itinerary planned well in advance. I hope you’ll find them useful. Be sure to read the full article at travelandleisure.com.

What’s your most memorable experience while traveling overseas? Leave your comments here or on social media.

Hipsters Are Taking Over This Bangkok Neighborhood

— and You’re Going to Want to Try Their Cocktails

My father, however, had better ideas. He and I would show up, make our rounds politely, then decamp to the nearby Oriental hotel, now the Mandarin Oriental (doubles from $420), his old friend Nelson in tow. Over cocktails, the men would hatch outlandish plans. They dreamed of launching Bangkok’s first yoga studio, and a hospital-themed aperitif bar called the Pulse. My father, a physician, and Nelson, a flaneur who dressed in crisp linen suits, had no business sense, and when they did eventually put their schemes in motion, both immediately flopped.

If they’d only waited a few decades, their ideas might have gone down better. Because today, Bangrak is the epicenter of Bangkok’s Creative District, a trio of neighborhoods populated by artists, designers, chefs, and musicians. Lured by low rents and a post-industrial aesthetic, these upstart entrepreneurs are renovating shop-houses and using them to reinvent izakaya food, say, or experiment with artisanal spirits. Young and edgy, the Creative District has become the city’s must-visit destination.Hipsters Are Taking Over This Bangkok Neighborhood — and You\'re Going to Want to Try Their Cocktails

Christopher Wise Ask anyone who, like me, grew up in Bangkok in the 1970s, and they’ll tell you about suffering through interminable weddings at a riverside hotel in Bangrak, one of the Thai capital’s oldest districts. In those days, status-obsessed locals would shuffle over to Charoen Krung Road, Bangrak’s […]

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Travel and Leisure

3 Big Tips for Women Who Travel

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  • June 18, 2018
3 big tips for women who travel

SOLO TRAVEL

1. How to keep your identity, money, and valuables safe

Make copies of your passport, itinerary, credit cards, insurance, and important contacts:

  • Besides keeping this information securely on your smartphone, make sure to print this information in case your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Consider keeping this same valuable information in a secured vault accessible through the cloud that you can access from any computer.
  • Send your itinerary to close family and friends so they know where you are at all times. Establish regular check-ins to stay connected.
  • Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including friends and family, insurance and emergency travel assistance, local embassy, hotel and transportation.
  • Keep your passport in the hotel safe, along with copies of your credit card. Keep a copy of your passport and medical/travel insurance with you.
  • If the hotel does not have a safe, or if you are staying in another type of lodging like an Airbnb, keep your important documents with you at all times.Have some cash (i.e. local currency) on you and know your currency exchange rate – not all places will accept credit cards, especially if you are traveling in more remote areas.

    Familiarize yourself with the local ATMs and, of course, avoid using ATMs at night or in deserted areas. Do not keep all your money in one place — keep it in several places in case your wallet is stolen or lost.

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Pat Boone: The Boy on Roanoke Road

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  • March 26, 2018
Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Pat Boone iconic pop star bio
Pat Boone’s career has evolved for more than 50 years. From iconic pop star to an outspoken spokesman, Pat’s Christian values are deeply rooted. All photos courtesy of patboone.com. 

God, Family, Career, and Israel

An Exclusive Interview with Pat Boone

Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker, TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station and sports team owner, family man, and humanitarian are all titles attached to the legendary and iconic Pat Boone whose career has spanned more than five decades.

Pat Boone was the first child born to Archie Boone, a building contractor, and his wife, Margaret, in Jacksonville, FL on June 1, 1934. He described his life growing up in Nashville with his parents and siblings – a brother and two sisters, as “wonderful” and “idyllic.”

Although no one in his family was a musician by trade, his mother played some ukelele and taught Pat and his brother to play some chords. Pat became known as “the Boy on Roanoke Rd” – “the kid who knows all the pop songs of the day and will come to sing for you with no strings attached.”

“We entertained our family at all our gatherings as we were headed toward our teen years.   So in the midst of my athletics and school and other activities, I became an amateur singer, a little dreaming that might lead to a career.” ~Pat Boone (via an email interview)

Indeed, a professional career followed – one that has endured more than 50 years. Pat is 83-years-old with a long list of accolades and recordings to his name; a record company, “The Gold Label” that’s dedicated to legendary and accomplished artists, (who incidentally, all come with million-selling gold records to their credit);  and he is regarded as the #10 all-time top recording artist, according to music industry magazine, “Billboard.” His career has spanned more than five decades. Read a full list of his accomplishments at patboone.com.

Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Entertainer Pat Boone on Stage

As much as music has been an integral part of his life from an early age, Pat says reading the Bible and attending church services are the backbone of his life, then and now.

I learned that the whole Bible from the first words in Genesis, “In the beginning…” to the last words from the book of Revelation in the New Testament…all the Bible was written by Jews about Jews and for Jews, and focused on Israel and God’s chosen people.

While attending a Christian high school in Nashville, he met his wife, Shirley, whom he lovingly refers to as his high school sweetheart. They were married when Pat was nineteen and by the time he had graduated from Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude), Pat quips, he had four girls, only three-and-a-half years apart.

I should have been neutered or perhaps jailed – but my wife did become a great mother as well as a wonderful wife and having those responsibilities kept my feet on the ground when my career took off like a whirlwind, luckily 11 months ahead of Elvis and “Heartbreak Hotel”.   

Pat Boone Iconic Legendary Singer Songwriter
Pat Boone, family man and devout Christian shown with his four daughters and wife, Shirley, his high school sweetheart

 

His affinity for music continued through his teens and adulthood. In late 1959, a love affair with the Ernest Gold melody to the movie Exodus and the theme song led Pat to put his faith and songwriting skills to work when he subsequently wrote the words “This Land is Mine,” the lyrics behind the esteemed show tune.  The song is referred to by many as “the second Jewish national anthem.” 

How do his Christian beliefs tie in with his connection with Israel?

He explained, “We knew then, and I know now, that we Gentiles get in on this exquisite and unique relationship with God through our acceptance of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, the one who fulfilled all the prophesies of Isaiah about the One who would come to lead his people out of captivity and bless them more then all the people in the world.”

He further explained Christianity, properly understood is a direct outgrowth of historic Judaism and it’s clear that God wants every believer to understand our “Jewishness” as well as our Christianity and the word. Christ, he noted, is a Greek translation of the word “Messiah” or God’s anointed one.

“When I’ve spoken to groups of Rabbis in the past, I tell them I’m representing the 4th branch of Judaism; there is Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative and Messianic.  Everything we believers in Jesus hold sacred and true is a direct outgrowth of the Bible which deals ‘explicitly with Jews and God’s promises to the people of Israel.”

 

 

 

 

Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Tour departs New York May 9 2018
Pat has been a long-time friend to Israel.

According to Pat, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend, has said on many occasions, “Evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends in the world – we know that.” He and the Israel Prime Minister got to know one another during an Israeli water function at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“He (Benjamin Netanyahu) became of fan of mine when he was at M.I.T. in his college days, and loved my record of ‘Speedy Gonzales.’  We’ve been good friends ever since,” Pat remarked. 

Although the prime minister was not able to attend Pat’s Tel Aviv concert three years ago for security reasons, Pat met with him privately, “just the two of us at his request, the night before in his office in Jerusalem,”  he says. When Pat walked into his office they shook hands and Netanyahu said, “Hello Speedy, come on in!”

“And the beaming smile on his face made some of my Israeli friends jealous.  Our friendship is real, deep, and based on our understanding of God’s expressed intentions for his chosen people…,” says Pat. 

 

 

 

HISTORIC PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND PLANNED

Pat has joined forces with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American Rabbi, and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, as they host a most memorable “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” a 10-day journey that will depart North America on May 9, 2018.  In addition to sightseeing opportunities at some of Israel’s most cherished sites, the tour coincides with the actual 70th birthday of the modern state of Israel and the dedication of the U.S. Embassy on May 14. As part of the celebration, Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution. 

Pat Boone Roman amphitheater in Caesarea
Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution during the “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” scheduled to depart from North America on May 9, 2018

He referred to the tour as “a loving seminar in the things that we hold in common, much more than things that might divide us in understandings or beliefs.” The trip is a historic pilgrimage designed for Christians and Jews, with sites selected that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews and “we” the believers in Jesus as the Messiah.

“We believe that everyone who comes back from this tour, whether invited by Rabbi Eckstein or me or a couple of other co-hosts, will have a lasting and permanent sense of identification to Israel, the Jews, the one God of the Bible and the sense of destiny that unites us.”  

Together,  he and Rabbi Eckstein’s collaborations have helped to fulfill God’s prophecy by paving the way for tens of thousands of poor and persecuted Jews from all over the world to return to and settle permanently in the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their efforts, particularly a television special Rabbi Eckstein and Pat co-hosted, prompted the Christian community to donate tens of millions of dollars to relocate and care for the displaced Jews in modern Israel.

Pat said, “I’m proud of that.”

From his days as a budding entertainer on Roanoke Rd. to his humanitarian work in Israel, Pat believes God will continue to bless his efforts if they’re good and ensure the happiest life he could possibly live.

“I’m convinced God won’t let horrible things happen to me. If all young people today could have that kind of assurance we would have a better society.  And most psychiatrists would be out of work.” ~Pat Boone

 

 

 

For details about the historic pilgrimage, visit http://patbooneisraeltour.com. Registration is limited to 200 to 300 tour members.

 

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Art and Culture Best Cold and Warm Weather Holiday Destinations conservation Cycling Destination Weddings Events farm-to-table gardens Fishing Destinations Food and Travel gluten-free cooking gluten-free diets gluten-free snacks healthy Hiking in Northeastern Pennsylvania hiking trails Holistic Lifestyle Lifestyle Pocono Mountain entertainment Pocono Mountain events Pocono Mountain Resort Pocono Mountain Retreats Pocono Mountains Lodging Pocono Mountains Tourism The Lodge at Woodloch Travel and Leisure World Travel Yoga

The Lodge at Woodloch

  • By
  • December 4, 2017

The Lodge at Woodloch

 

Chakra Bowls in the entrance at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

Destination: Bliss

Calm your mind, awaken your soul

 

Spending a day at The Lodge at Woodloch is synonymous with a day in heaven.

 

The Lodge at Woodloch is a family-owned, one-stop spa destination located in the Lakes Region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Individuals who want to experience a complete overhaul will find a phenomenal setting for total mind and body rejuvenation.

You’ll need to tailor your stay at this award-winning resort and allow time to savor every class, activity, and meal you choose. Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest you select one or two indoor spa services and one or two classes or activities and plan to venture outdoors. Use your time to tap into the adventure in your soul.

I arrived there eager for my massage session but immediately picked up a schedule of events and classes at the registration desk before heading to my room to change. A complete list of classes is available at the front desk and in each of the guest rooms, but if narrowing the selection is a bit daunting, a personal concierge can assist you with scheduling. You can view a current schedule of activities here.

Venture Outdoors

 

Even if the thought of being out-of-doors in the cold Pocono Mountain air sends chills up your spine, bundle up and take a walk. The property is so picturesque throughout the year, with scenic hiking and bike trails that are a favorite among nature-lovers.

The dock at The Lodge at Woodloch is a vantage point for observing waterfowl and other wildlife.  Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

Refresh

 

Your comfort is a number one priority to the management and staff at The Lodge at Woodloch. Feel free to drop in at the coffee and tea kiosk for a glass of fruit infused water, high-end herbal tea with locally-produced honey or artisan coffee. Lucious treats are available throughout the day. Hydration is important after a day of activity and guests receive a complimentary refillable water bottle and shopping bag branded with The Lodge at Woodloch name and logo. Filtered water is available in each guest room, so guests can refill their water bottles as needed.

Refresh with orange infused water or herbal tea with organic honey.

Find Time to Socialize

 

If you’re traveling alone, ask to dine with other solo guests. The main dining room and bar area are warm and friendly and a popular spot for great conversation.

Unleash Your Spirit

 

If exercise isn’t your bag, try a gentle chakra yoga session to free the creative flow you’ll need for a cooking demonstration or a watercolor painting class. Daytime and evening events are available.

You don’t need to be flexible to practice yoga. To the contrary, yoga has far-reaching health benefits from improved posture and overall health to a more flexible you.

Learn New Skills

 

Flyfishing? Betterment is often the result of branching out and learning a new hobby. Join the knowledgeable team at the lodge and allow them to introduce you to the joys of fly fishing.

Adam Nidoh, fly fishing instructor, teaches fly fishing 101 to Kathy Marsh, a guest from California.

Stick with the familiar or try something new when you join in on an organized fly-fishing class designed for aspiring fly anglers who yearn to be on the water. Full and half-day guided fishing trips on the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers can be arranged with advanced notice.

 

Art Abounds

 

On your way through the lobby, take note of the art that hangs on the walls in the corridors. The Lodge at Woodloch has created a venue for regional artists to display their wares, which is indicative of the management’s commitment to the arts. The paintings displayed during my visit provided a visual appeal and warmth that original art evokes.

Art at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

 

Signature Dining

 

Dining at TREE, The Lodge at Woodloch restaurant, is an experience you’ll relish. The naturally-raised meats, fish, seafood; organic, locally grown vegetables and wholesome grains are combined and presented with an artistic flair.

A few of the entrees from a sample menu are Oven Dried Tomato & Charred Broccoli Flatbread – Basil Pesto, Homemade Ricotta, Calkin’s Creamery Vampire Slayer, Balsamic Reduction (veg) Shrimp Pad Thai – Shaved Root Vegetables, Local Cabbage, Scrambled Farm Egg, Pistachio, Hoisin Sauce (gf) Eggplant Cutlet Parmesan – Smoked Mozzarella, Oven Dried Tomato & Olive Tapenade, Arugula and Roasted Pepper Aioli (veg). Samples menus are available here.

Romantic soft lighting The Lodge
Many of the selections are plant and vegetable-based and bursting with flavor and texture that’s sure to please. Feel free to begin your lunch at the Buffet Station Salad Bar & Seasonal Condiments that’s brimming with a Chef Inspired Daily Soup and energy and protein-packed selections for vegan and vegetarians. There’s no guesswork as you’re helping yourself at the stations or ordering from the menu. Vegan and vegetarians are clearly marked.

REdiscover Lunch

 

If you need a getaway, visit The Lodge at Woodloch’s website where you’ll find a package to suit your needs. All packages include accommodations in one of 57 extravagant guest rooms, three gourmet meals per night of stay, speakers and workshops, creative arts, scheduled group fitness classes throughout the day, lectures, chef’s cooking and baking demonstrations, guided group adventure outings, a personal spa concierge, pools with hydro massage waterfalls, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis®, steam rooms, saunas, and a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art cardio weight studio.

Accommodations at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

 

KUDOS!

 

The Lodge at Woodloch WILL exceed your expectations. The resort has consistently received a wide array of awards over the years from the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award to the Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor.

For more information, visit thelodgeatwoodloch.com. You can view special seasonal offers here.

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What’s your favorite beach?

  • By
  • November 29, 2017

The World’s 50 Best Beaches©

 

What makes for a perfect beach?

Let me know your thoughts about the best beaches you’ve ever visited. Comment here or feel free to email me your choices. 

 

I was thrilled when I was asked to weigh in with my choices for “The World’s 50 Best Beaches.” Follow this link to the website where “The World’s 50 Best Beaches” article is published and learn more about each of these heavenly destinations.

This is by far, the most definitive list of beaches ever assembled and a truly diverse collection of beach paradise around the globe, according to FlightNetwork, a Canadian-based company that provides global travelers with the competitive airfares, hotels, vacation packages, and car rentals.

FlightNetwork consulted with 600+ of world’s best travel journalists, editors, bloggers, and agencies to get their opinions. The company is sure this list will inspire you to book a getaway to one of these incredible beaches.

Whether you yearn for powder white beaches, swaying palm trees, turquoise waters, volcanic coastlines, or snow-capped mountain peaks, FlightNetwork’s list, along with vibrant photos, are probably all you’ll need to visualize what could be your reprieve from snow and cold weather.

Is your curiosity piqued? Visit https://www.flightnetwork.com/blog/worlds-50-best-beaches/ique to see what makes these beaches so breathtaking.

Name of Beach Rank Region/City/Island Country
Grace Bay 1 Providenciales Turks & Caicos
Whitehaven Beach 2 Whitsunday Islands Australia
Anse Lazio 3 Praslin Seychelles
Pink Sands Beach 4 Harbour Island Bahamas
Navagio Beach 5 Zakynthos Greece
Baia Dos Porcos 6 Fernando de Noronha Brazil
Playa Paraiso 7 Tulum Mexico
Hyams Beach 8 Jervis Bay Australia
Hidden Beach 9 Marietas Islands Mexico
Trunk Bay 10 St. John US Virgin Islands
Maya Bay 11 Koh Phi Phi Ley Thailand
Pig Beach 12 Big Major Cay Bahamas
Blue Lagoon 13 Yasawa Islands Fiji
El Nido 14 Palawan Phillipines
Muri Beach 15 Rarotonga Cook Islands
Saltwhistle Bay 16 Mayreau St. Vincent & Grenadines
Half Moon Bay 17 Antigua Antigua
Lucky Bay 18 Western Australia Australia
Flamenco Beach 19 Culebra Puerto Rico
Reynisfjara Beach 20 Iceland Iceland
Ile Aux Cerfs 21 Mauritius Phillipines
Fulhadhoo Beach 22 Fulhadhoo Island Maldives
Vaeroy 23 Lofoten Norway
Cayo Coco 24 Cayo Coco Cuba
Seven Mile Beach 25 Grand Cayman Cayman Islands
Anse Source d’Argent 26 La Digue Seychelles
Horseshoe Bay 27 Bermuda Bermuda
Honokalani Beach 28 Hawaii USA
Turquoise Bay 29 Western Australia Australia
Elafonissi Beach 30 Crete Greece
Champagne Beach 31 Espiritu Santo Vanuata
Tunnels Beach 32 Kauai USA
Kaputas Beach 33 Turkey Turkey
Dhigurah Island 34 Dhigurah Island Maldives
Ile aux Nattes 35 Dhigurah Island Madagascar
Cala Goloroitze 36 Sardinia Italy
Los Roques 37 Los Roques Venezuela
Long Beach 38 Vancouver Island Canada
Grand Anse Beach 39 Grenada Grenada
Boulders Beach 40 Cape Peninsula South Africa
Lanikai Beach 41 Hawaii USA
Cala Mitjana 42 Menorca Spain
Shoal Bay Beach 43 Anguilla Anguilla
One Foot Island 44 Aitutaki Cook Islands
Ao Nang Beach 45 Krabi Thailand
Radhanagar Beach 46 Havelock Island India
Eagle Beach 47 Aruba Aruba
Agiba Beach 48 Egypt Egypt
Diani Beach 49 Kenya Kenya
Cannon Beach 50 Oregon USA

 

 

 

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Downhill Sking Food and Travel Holiday Travel Lifestyle Ski Resorts Ski Vermont Snowmaking in Vermont Travel and Leisure Vermont Alpine Resort Links Vermont Resorts Vermont Ski Vermont Ski Resorts Open Early World-class snowmaking

Vermont Resorts Open Early

  • By
  • November 16, 2017

Wax Your Skis and Head to Vermont

 

Resorts in the Green Mountain state boast an early, strong opening

 

Earliest Opening in Five Years

 

Information Courtesy of /PRNewswire-PRWeb: MONTPELIER, Vt., Nov. 16, 2017

When Mother Nature hands out cold weather, Vermonters make snow with it, and November’s chilly temperatures coupled with the Green Mountain State’s world-class snowmaking power allowed for Vermont’s resorts to open early and open strong for the 2017-18 season.

Killington Resort stayed true to their legacy by being the first Eastern resort to open on November 8 and Mount Snow Resort took home a new accolade by opening on November 11 with the most open terrain East of the Rockies with 108 acres. Okemo Mountain Resort also began spinning their lifts on November 11. “This was our earliest opening in five years,” said Okemo Vice President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. Come Thanksgiving weekend, skiers and snowboarders will have access to over half of Vermont’s mountains, with most major resorts opening by Friday, November 24.

Thanks to a successful 2016-17 season, skiers and snowboarders are eager to return to the slopes of Vermont’s alpine resorts this winter. “We’re seeing really strong demand from both the U.S. and Canadian markets,” said Jay Peak Resort’s Director of Communications JJ Toland. “The Toronto ski show posted a record amount of bookings and revenue, virtually selling out the 10-day Ontario break in March. The Boston Snowsports Expo experienced that type of compression with December and February timeframes selling out and on the season pass front, Jay Peak is pacing 22% ahead in unit sales against the 2016-17 season.”

Thanksgiving in Vermont will once again go down in history as the world’s fastest female ski racers prepare for their return to Killington Resort for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Last year, a record-breaking 30,000 fans descended upon the Killington Village as Vermonters and visitors alike cheered in unison for the event’s return to the East Coast and Vermont.  “When it comes to snowmaking and grooming, we have some of the best team members and tools in the industry to prepare Killington for the winter season and World Cup on Thanksgiving weekend,” said Mike Solimano, President and General Manager of Killington Resort. The free event will take place Thanksgiving weekend, November 24-26.

As one season ends, another begins, and Vermont’s resorts spend each season bettering themselves to the next. New this season, snowmaking upgrades have been made across the state. Investments like Mount Snow Resort’s $30 million-dollar West Lake Water Project, Bolton Valley’s expanded line of guns and hoses, Burke Mountain’s installation of 13,400 feet. of new snowmaking pipe, and Stratton Mountain Resort’s switch to electric compressors, which resulted in a 40% decrease in diesel use, all continue to prove that Vermont’s resorts truly are at the forefront of sustainable and efficient resort practices.

While the snowmaking upgrades get skiers and snowboarders on the slopes faster, new RFID gates at Sugarbush Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort will get visitors out of the lift line and back on the hill quicker than before. Magic Mountain’s two new lifts, the 170’ Magic Carpet and the base to mid-mountain, Green Chair Lift, will open up novice and intermediate terrain to skiers and snowboarders, allowing for a better learning experience and more time spent going down the hill rather than up.

Off-slope renovations at resorts span from the family-friendly Adventure Center at Stowe Mountain Resort to the Fun Zone 2.0 at Smugglers’ Notch Resort and Jay Peak Resort’s new Clip and Reel indoor movie theater and rock wall facility.  Skiers and riders can après at Suicide Six Ski Area in Perley’s Pourhouse bar with their new 6-tap system or relax on Bromley Mountain Resort’s completely refurbished sun deck, complete with cozy fire pits.

Winter has arrived in the Green Mountain State and Vermont’s resorts are ready and eager to welcome in new faces and old friends for the holidays and beyond. Stay up to date with all winter happenings by receiving Ski Vermont’s daily snow reports.

Winter is Here: Early Season Updates at Vermont Resorts

Vermont’s Resorts are the Place to Call “Home” this Holiday Season: https://skivermont.com/vermonts-resorts-are-the-place-to-call-home-this-holiday-season

World Class Snowmaking in the Green Mountains: https://skivermont.com/skivt-blog/2151/2017/09/25/world-class-snowmaking-in-the-green-mountains/

2017-18 Ski Vermont Opening Dates: https://skivermont.com/2017-18-ski-vermont-opening-dates-11-07-17

Vermont Ski Resorts Rally Support for the World Cup at Killington Resort with $50,000 Sponsorship: https://skivermont.com/vermont-ski-resorts-rally-support-for-the-world-cup-at-killington-resort-with-50000-sponsorship

What’s New for the 2017-18 Ski and Snowboard Season in Vermont: https://skivermont.com/skivt-blog/2106/2017/08/31/whats-new-for-the-2017-18-ski-and-snowboard-season-in-vermont/

Turning Up the Effort and Off the Lights: Sustainable Practices at Vermont Resorts: https://skivermont.com/skivt-blog/2147/2017/09/25/turning-up-the-effort-and-off-the-lights-sustainable-practices-at-vermont-resorts/

Ski Vermont Snow Report: https://skivermont.com/conditions

 

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