Adventure!

Have you ever wanted to throw caution to the wind, quit your job and head off on an adventure?? Yeah, me too.

Of course, we usually don’t think such bold, daring moves are possible. Or, maybe we think they are possible, but we aren’t capable of them because of the size of our bank account or other limitations imposed on us by society. And then I met these two…

My niece, Vicki, has been a responsible adult for several years. Day after day, she went to work to earn enough money to save up for another trip. Having a job, however, also limited how much she was free to travel. She was stuck in the never-ending cycle of being a hardworking adult with bills to pay and little time or money leftover for big trips.

In December of 2017, all that changed. She quit her job and is currently enjoying life “down under” on what could be described as a true working vacation. She first learned of this ‘work exchange’ program through a friend. Basically, you agree to do manual labor in exchange for room and board. Her day consists of a variety of chores on a ranch in the Australian mountains. In her free time, she’s exploring this intriguingly different continent and blogging about her adventures.

One of Vicki’s inspirations was her good friend Heather. When I first met Heather about a year ago, she was contemplating a daring adventure of driving across America in a van she had converted into her home away from home. She was obviously nervous, but determined to give it a go. She’s been on the road now since July 2017 along with her faithful 4-legged companions plus old and new friends along the way. She has zigzagging her way across the entire country enjoying one escapade after another. For those of us left home to dream, we can enjoy her spectacular photography of our great nation via her Instagram feed.

I admire these two women more than I can express. They are living a travel experience that most of only dream of having!! They dared to dream big AND make those dreams come true.

There’s a saying that our lives are empty journals. What will you write in yours?

 

 

Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts

We have had the privilege of traveling to several beach resorts over the years. We’ve tried privately-owned properties, hotel chain locations and Sandals Resorts. We are totally sold on Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts. We have been to their properties in The Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Lucia. All were impressive.

Regency La Toc, St. Lucia

Here are a few of the reasons we feel they are superior to other options we have tried.

They are “couples only” resorts. We have found this fact to be extremely important. While celebrating our 11th anniversary in Kauai, we had a family with several loud, obnoxious kids ruin our leisure time by the pool and a meal or two. Please note, this is also different than “adults only” properties. We’ve heard horror stories of single adults turning resorts into giant frat parties or swingers clubs. At each Sandals we have visited, there has been a quieter, more relaxing pool area, as well as a pool that offers games like water volleyball, trivia or “name that tune.”

Royal Bahamian, Bahamas

They are indeed, all-inclusive. Each property have several restaurants and bars to choose from throughout the day. You can partake of breakfast on your room’s terrace overlooking the ocean, enjoy burgers on the beach at lunch, cozy up to the swim-up bar for some afternoon refreshment, dine at an exclusive French restaurant for dinner, mosey over to the Italian bistro for dessert and sip a hand-delivered nightcap by the fire pit under the stars. All without adding a single cent to your bill.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Even things like paddle boarding and snorkeling are included. (Spa services, scuba diving and privately catered dinners are extra, but all are totally optional.) Except for small purchase like souvenirs and extra suntan lotion, we never pay for more than what our original package included.

Royal Caribbean, Jamaica

The service is fantastic! Everyone is extremely polite, friendly and accommodating. They are at your beckon call if you need them or they will leave you alone if that’s what you prefer. Unless you have a room with a butler, there is no tipping allowed. Period. No matter how much someone has been inconvenienced to attend to a problem (fixing a mess plumbing issues, carrying luggage up a really steep hill, etc.) they all refuse any kind of gratuity.

Regency La Toc, St. Lucia

The more you go, the more you save! They offer a loyalties program that earns you discounts on future visits or free add ons like a sunset catamaran cruise.

Yes, I’ll admit it. My favorite part is being waited on hand-and-foot all week!