How Soon is TOO Soon?



Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

How soon is too soon?

If we ask ourselves this question about life, I guess we get nowhere, and nothing — other than anxiety.

Let me explain what I mean.

How soon should I start my career in order to be successful? Is today too late? Never!

We often hear stories of successful people who started a business or a career later in life. To do this, what we need is enthusiasm and dedication, and with that, age is not an excuse, but a sign of experience, maturity and knowledge.

The same applies to anything in life. People should focus on the moment, not relive the past, or wonder about the future. Many have written books about The Present is a Present. Some people are able to enjoy this “gift” – living life in the present moment.

Honestly, I don’t have this gift. Many times I have caught myself daydreaming about what ifs, or worrying about things that I have no control over (I guess I am a worrier), and sometimes dwelling over the past.

I am truly working hard to live my life in the moment, counting my blessings, even the smallest ones, celebrating life and feeling the joy of the hot days, instead of daydreaming about the not-so-hot days.

And when I catch myself not being in the present (most of the time worrying!), I am learning to forgive myself (as my BFF would do) and be as gentle to myself as I am to my friends.

Getting older is teaching to me to be more forgiving and more caring to myself. I truly appreciate each and every person who reads my blogs. Thank you for being one of my blessings.

With love and gratitude,


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No Excuses!



Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

How many times have you heard the phrase,“I can’t do it!” from others, or even yourself?

If you ask me what my biggest pet peeve in life is, it’s when I suggest something to a person and that person replies with, “I can’t do it!”

Did I ask you to jump off of a cliff? Did I ask you to slash your own tires?  No!

I often tell people how I built my business from nothing into a big company. I also like to tell people how I stopped eating gluten and lactose and went from size 16 to size 4.  I enjoy telling others how I started exercising and now I am extremely fit from walking an average of 10 miles a day. (These steps are made up from both walking and dancing.)

Then I hear, “Wait to you get to be my age!”

“No bread? I can’t do it!”

“No cheese?  I can’t do it!”

“Exercise? I can’t do it!” And so on, and so forth.

I’ve heard so many excuses, like “I have no time,” or “my wife prepares my lunch,” or “my kids have dairy so I need to drink milk with them.”

I could actually write pages of the excuses I’ve heard! I love the ones from people saying something about their age. My mother-in-law is 89 years young, and walks everywhere. Another lady I know is 92 and takes Pilates 3 times a week. and she has been doing it for 20 years, (do the math!)

People can find always a place to exercise. I love Pilates and with the help of my personal instructor Laura Konz, I’ve been able to exercise on a plane, and also in my room on a cruise.

Here are links to 2 videos if you want to check them out:

Life is beautiful for those who want to see its beauty. Life is priceless for those who treasure it, and believe in it.

Laugh at your own mistakes, and do your best for YOU. No excuses! Your own excuses just hurt you, (even though they are MY pet peeve LOL)!

To a good and enjoyable life! Cheers!

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Roommates – Make it or Break it!


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

How awesome is to find a destination to travel to, but best of all is to find good company to go with you.

Many people prefer to travel in groups, others like to travel with only one companion. Only a few travel alone or have a room of their own, since most of the time, single rooms increase the price of the trip considerably.

I want to talk about people who share a room. It does not matter if you’ve known that person over a lifetime, if you already share your life with that person, or in some cases, if you are sharing a room with an almost total stranger who you meet on a group tour or a meetup.

In the case that a roommate lives in the same city, I strongly recommend having a meeting face to face within the 3 weeks preceding the trip. This is to go over your expectations, and to talk about your routines, any sensitivities and circumstances that might arise that would bother each other. Why within 3 weeks? Because before that, thoughts are more dreams about the destination, and anxiety about the roommate situation has not kicked in yet. Both people are not thinking objectively about that subject YET.

Why is it preferable to be face to face, even if you’ve known the person your entire life? It is so you can see that both of you are focused on the subject, and are paying attention to the other’s issues.

I know that in some cases, the roommate is coming from another city, state, or even country. Thanks to technology, I strongly suggest a meeting using of Skype or Facetime, for the same reasons as I explained above.

Some suggestions of things to talk about include: Morning routine and before sleep routines. Sensitivities to noise (I suggest earplugs), light (eye mask for sleep), smell (for bathroom I suggest poo-pourri before-you-go), air-conditioning (get more blankets). Some people like to listen to music when they are waking up, while others are not-such-morning people – (earphones do the trick and you can even dance to the music without pissing off your roommate!)

Traveling with your lifetime partner or your BFF for the first time can have a tremendous impact on the enjoyment of your trip. Not all BFFs or lifetime partners make the best roommates for a trip, or even people who should be traveling in the same group. Lucky are the ones who have both! The only way to know is by trying, and to try, have the talk BEFORE you go.

I know many people who had “strangers” as roommates and ended up becoming great friends and continue traveling together as roommates and enjoying the experience. Those are lucky ones as well.

In life, and in travel, we need lots of luck. I wish each and everyone of you luck in both.


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Doing it “Like a Local”


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

What should you advise your clients who want to “do it like the locals” when they travel, particularly those who want to experience the town/country as if they belong there?

Let’s face it, from the way a person dresses and talks, everyone knows she/he is a tourist. Learning some words in the language of the country one is visiting is a good idea, and shows a lot of respect. Dressing according to the country’s culture, such as covering one’s arms, or avoiding wearing mini skirts if it would be inappropriate, shows how much one cares.

In terms of food, I always ask the concierge of the hotel where the “locals” eat, for 2 reasons:

1.) I want to avoid overly touristy places with overpriced dishes and not-so-real flavor of the food.

2.) I like to experience the restaurants where “locals” eat the real food, to feel how they celebrate and enjoy life.

Chances are you will not find English speaking waiters, but you’ll definitely have fun trying to communicate using gestures, pictures, and perhaps may be lucky enough to even have other customers help you.

One thing you should avoid is eating street food. If common sense doesn’t tell you why, please let me explain loud and clear. The water they use to cook and wash street food. It is not boiled and that can hurt you badly. Let me say this one more time loudly – it can HURT you and make you very sick. Even if you think that you can eat anything and never get sick, DO NOT TAKE THE RISK OF EATING STREET FOOD. I know of a person who contracted the Hepatitis A virus from street food in Peru. Locals can consume the untreated water since they are used to it and it is already in their bodies. The germs in untreated water may be in their system, but are not in a foreign person’s!

It’s very important to emphasize to your clients that “doing it like a local” is fine IF risk is not involved. They should know not to go out alone or without a tour guide to areas that they are not sure are safe. Be sure to ask the concierge of the hotel or your tour guide which areas are safe to walk alone both during the day and night.

People love tourists, especially the nice and polite ones who keep themselves safe.

Travel smart and safely!

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