Denial or The Nile


Dear Travel Agent,

Right after Thanksgiving and before the holidays, or any time of the year, particularly when we hear that a special friend has lost a dear one, we think about our own lives, about eternity, and how to live our best life. I believe that to live an easier life we need to live in a sort of denial. Denial of the things we have no control over, even though it is scary to have to suddenly face pain when we least expect it.

Do I have any secrets about how to best live our lives? Not really, but I would definitely prefer to live my life in The Nile.  Have you ever been to Egypt?

I have a beautiful picture on my iPhone of The Nile, and another of Machu Picchu (two of the places where we find examples of the 7 Wonders of the World.)  I can’t explain much about the 7 Wonders of the World, but instead of making me scared or sad, they make me feel mesmerized and happy.  My life, my choice!

I suggest saying a blessing for everything you have, for waking up every morning, and being grateful for every person who crosses your path. They are there for a reason. Even now, you are reading this for a reason! Learn to forgive, forget, and love everyone despite any differences.

Life can be so unexpected and short, so live in denial and in The Nile! Travel like there is no tomorrow and learn more from within!

Happy life!

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Medication and Travel


Dear Travel Agent,

Let’s talk about medication and travel. But, I first need to disclaim that I am not a doctor, nor is it my intention to give any medical advice.

Now that we are clear on that, let me give you some tips on how to travel while continuing to take your medication. It is very important to bring your medication in the original containers (box or round plastic bottle) with your name, your doctor’s name and information, and/or if you still have it, the prescription from the doctor. It is also important to bring enough medication to cover all the days of your trip, plus a few more in case of any delays that may occur on the trip. Do not bring too many pills, you could lose them, or in some countries they may believe you are in the business of selling meds!

Some countries have restrictions on medications, make sure you read them and understand that your prescription is not included in their restrictions. The sooner you learn about this, the better able you are to discuss this with your doctor or clinic.

Another point to consider, when medication needs to be taken BEFORE you go to bed or in the evening time because they can make you tired or dizzy, pay attention to timing when you are traveling abroad and going to Asia, Europe, or Australia since time will be of the essence. Same thing with your morning meds.

If you need to purchase medication while you are abroad for any reason, such as seeing a doctor there, make sure those medications are safe to bring home.

The following point is very important! Being on vacation doesn’t mean you are on vacation from your medication. Only your doctor can decide that. Actually it should be the opposite – ALWAYS tell your doctor you are going on a vacation, and make sure you don’t need MORE medication, instead of less. And, while you are discussing this with your doctor, check to see if any spices, drinks or anything else that comes to mind could interact with your medication. If possible, get the name of a doctor in another country if you have any concerns while traveling, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a TRAVEL INSURANCE!

Since we are talking about medication, let’s include vaccinations. Make sure you have had all the vaccines required for the destination where you are going.

Feel free to ask me questions, just not medical ones!

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Dreams Come True!


Dear Travel Agent,

In my last blog, I mentioned that I would be writing about my recent cruise to Japan and Korea, ending in Shanghai.

We arrived 2 days prior to our cruise in Tokyo, (too short, there were so many things to see and do in Tokyo!) and we stayed 2 nights in Shanghai at the end of the trip.

We were passengers on a 14-day Celebrity Cruise, and even though they are not my sponsor, I highly recommend this cruise. There were only 2 days spent at sea.

We decided to experience some local tour guides in Tokyo, and in Kobe, with the guide, we went on a bullet train to Kyoto and took the subway to Osaka. We loved all 3 places and can’t wait to go back and visit more.

We tried to see Mount Fuji but the weather was too cloudy for that. Instead, I took a picture of a poster of Mount Fuji, and I saved it in my pictures. Now, with my imagination, I can pretend I saw it, and I can lie to all and say I did see it 😜.  Kagoshima was nice, and we learned a lot from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Nagasaki was our last port in Japan and it was truly hard work for the crew and passengers to get everyone through immigration in such a small port. Everyone on the ship had to disembark at about 3pm and then re-enter. The line was long, and people were not very happy. Busan was the highlight of Korea – what a beautiful destination, there was so much to see.

Another issue we had was regarding our Visas to visit China. Most people don’t need a Visa IF they only stay up to 144 hours (6 days) in Shanghai. Without a Visa, a person cannot stay over 6 days, or go to another place outside of Shanghai. We had all the information they needed from our hotel and stayed 2 nights in Shanghai. Much less than 144 hours. Our passports clearly stated that our date of departure should be no later than 11/02, and we left 10/29. Despite all of this, we had some issues exiting the country through immigration. Their inability to speak English did not help, and it took a while to show proof to the young-looking immigration person in charge, explaining that we had the right documentation and our departure was within the correct time limit.

People have asked me what I liked the most:

  •  The cruise line
  •  Destination Japan: I loved Tokyo and would love to do more in Tokyo.
  •  Destination Korea: I’d love to go back to Busan
  •  Destination China: Shanghai was not my favorite at all, other than The Bund. China is very crowded and smoggy for my taste.

So, what would my perfect cruise to Japan and Korea look like?

It would start in Tokyo, going only to Busan in Korea, and coming back to Tokyo, no more than 2 days at sea, and yes, make it 14 or 15 days.  In order to write this blog I went back to Celebrity Cruise Line’s website to check the itinerary, and to my surprise. I found EXACTLY my dream itinerary to Japan and Korea for November 9 (my birthday) 2019. Well, what a birthday present! You know what I did? Yes, you guessed right! I booked my perfect itinerary for Japan and Korea in 2019.

Come with me and let’s celebrate! After all, we should all be screaming loud and clear about making travel dreams come true: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAPPY TO BE ALIVE!

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Cruising or an Organized Tour?


canapes-2910498_960_720Dear Travel Agent,

I have just returned from an awesome 15-day cruise to Japan and Korea, which ended in Shanghai. I will write about this cruise on my next blog – don’t miss it!

Today I want to talk about how a person chooses between a cruise or a land package to any destination. This is good information to help a client, or prospective one, decide what would be more suitable for them, even if they have never been on a cruise or an organized tour.

I like to compare a cruise (even a river cruise) to a food fair or fancy food court. There is the comfort of going to only one place and experiencing different flavors of appetizers and exotic cuisines. Since they are just appetizers, they are not big enough to make into a full meal, but with an open mind, you can taste as many as they offer. Eventually you can repeat the experience, or even choose the appetizers you liked the most, and come back later for a “full meal.”

An organized tour is the “full meal” you signed up for. Maybe you heard about it, or someone recommended it, but you will enjoy the full course meal, from appetizers to desserts, and for that, YOU will have to move from place to place, instead of being in a food fair or fancy food court. You will have the full experience, from the food to the kitchen, the cook and all (the whole culture).

Those who follow me can see I clearly love both. I will also write about when I prefer to cruise, and when I prefer an organized or private tour.

This is a good guide to help those who are undecided, and to start a nice conversation with a client, or prospective one, about travel: for sure, they know what they like to eat!

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