Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Woodlands Close to Mystic, Connecticut

I'm obsessed with green spaces. So even when I traveled recently to Mystic, Connecticut for business, I was determined to find walking or hiking trails. Bluff Point State Park is one of those bucolic locales just minutes from the Marriott Hotel and Spa where my meetings were held.  Sited on a peninsula beside the Pequonot River, the park is networked with paths for walking, hiking or mountain biking. On a cold winter day, I had the place to myself as I wandered beside the placid waters where, in the summer, it's likely you'll see kayakers and sail boats. Because glaciers once covered this area, the boulders dotting the area are no surprise, left behind by the glacial retreat. This vast landscape with coastal woodland populated mostly by oaks and hickory, sand dunes, salt marsh and grassland is considered the only remaining large undeveloped public land on Connecticut's coast.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Motion Sickness Remedy For Travel

Whether you’re traveling by planes, trains or automobiles -- or by bus or boat -- motion sickness will surely ruin your transit. I carry along a variety of items to keep motion sickness at bay. Among the products is Tummy Drops, which were created by a gastroenterologist. These drops -- made with natural plant oils -- come in a variety of flavors, including ginger, which has long been touted to ease motion sickness; peppermint, which may be able to relieve nausea; and cinnamon that acts to relieve bloating. I offer a discount coupon as well as free samples of Tummy Drops in my Doc-in-a-Bag, the unique first-aid kit organizer

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Monday, January 16, 2017

What To Wear At A Protest March

The inauguration -- and the Women’s March on Washington -- is less than a week away. And I’ve been asked by many friends and colleagues who are attending the march what to wear and what to bring. They asked for my guidance because this is a travel question, after all. It’s estimated that some 200,000 women are flocking to DC from out of state for this all-day event. It will likely to be frigid. And then there are the security concerns, which means avoiding any large bags that warrant searches. And the security concerns go the other way also given that it’ll be hard to keep valuable safe from the masses surrounding you. Here is what I recommend wearing for this event as well as what personal items to bring. The vast majority are items I’ve reviewed over the years. You’ll see that most of the fabrics are merino wool or fleece which not only provide warmth but they both wick away sweat and remain comfortable when wet.

  • Don’t bring a shoulder bag, hand bag, tote bag, messenger bag or backpack. It’s best to have something exceedingly small and flat (not bulky) that lies securely close to your body. And this bag should contain just your vitals, those items you can’t live without, such as your driver’s license, money, credit cards and other essentials. My atta-Bag fits the bill since it can be worn around your waist under your coat or jacket, or six other ways
  • Everything else you carry, including snacks and personal items, can be placed in zippered pockets in your coat or jacket.
  • Personal items should include flushable wet wipes, Bonine for possible motion sickness on the bus, lip balm, disinfecting wipes, throat lozenges, and sunscreen.  If you take medication, bring along enough for an extra day or so just in case.
  • Healthy snack items: unsalted nuts, dark chocolate, low-fat string cheese, whole grain crackers, peanut butter in an individual squeeze pack (such as Justin’s).
  • Bottled water that you can place in a lightweight water bottle sling holder that you drape cross body, such as those sold by Chico Bag
  • A scarf made of merino wool, alpaca or Polar fleece
  • A cap, hat or beanie that covers your ears and is made from merino wool, alpaca or Polar fleece. 
  • Gloves made of merino wool ORwear a thin glove liner made and atop that wear fingerless gloves. 
  • Socks made of merino wool or alpaca.  
  • A base layer thermal top made of merino wool

  • A base layer thermal bottom made of the synthetic Capilene or merino wool.
  • Atop your base layer top, wear a wool sweater with a hoodie just in case it gets colder than expected. 
  • Atop the sweat, layer both with a thin jacket that protects you from the cold and wind, and a thicker fleece jacket. Both of these should have zippers so you can vent in case you are getting overheated. And the layering option gives you plenty of options no matter how the weather changes. 
  • Atop your base layer bottom, wear a pair of Polar fleece leggings or pants.

  • Footwear should provide insulation and good traction, especially if it snows or becomes icy. This is my recommendation. 

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Staying Healthy When Traveling

No matter where in the world I'm traveling, staying healthy is my key concern. Because, after all, nothing can ruin a trip more than an unexpected illness or injury.  Diana Price recently interviewed me on this topic for Women magazine. Among the many things I discussed was carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit, like what I recommend in Doc-in-a-Bag, a travel first-aid kit organizer that I designed.  To find out more about what I recommend, click on the link to the article "Go Far, Be Well."

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Gear Review: Ultra Bright Headlamp for Hands Free Travel

There's something about headlamps that never worked for me. They were too heavy on my head or they'd uncomfortably squeeze so tight that I'd end up with a headache. I was born with horrid night vision but could never find a headlamp that was bright enough. Some travelers have no need for a headlamp. But I love traveling hands free, especially when camping, hiking or cross country skiing after sunset or strolling along a beach late at night. I’ve gotten away without a headlamp, relying, instead, on a small halogen flashlight. That is, until I found the UCO Hundred.This small device is everything I’d been looking for. It’s small -- measuring barely 2” x 2” x 2”, light -- under 2 oz, comfortable, ultra bright and it even looks good! The lamp has three settings; the high produces 100 lumens, enough brightness to light up almost 200 feet ahead of me. (The 3 AAA batteries will last some 6 hours at this settting.) The lowest setting produces 10 lumens that will hold up for 75 hours. The headlamp is well balanced, sitting close to your forehead and is designed with a lovely wood inlay; it’s attached to a colorful headband. Plus, the headlamp easily pivots so you can efficiently direct the light where you need it. This is my new travel accessory that I’ll be bringing even on my non-adventure trips. (Since I’ll soon be traveling to Iceland where there are few hours of sunlight in the winter, this headlamp will come in handy.)

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Video: My Innovative Travel Bag For Women + Men

Never feel like you forgot something ever again. Now you can have all your essentials at your fingertips in a matter of seconds, in a bag that looks great too. This versatile travel bag with 15 pockets/slots can be worn 7 different ways and is perfect for men or women.

Find out how to buy this unique travel bag here:
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Friday, December 16, 2016

New Video: My Innovative Vest For Women

Since I travel all the time, I would hate rifling through a cluttered, disorganized shoulder bag to find the one thing I needed. It made me anxious, stressed, and like I was constantly running behind schedule. I went looking for a better bag, or a better coat that would allow me to stay organized and de-cluttered. I was saddened to find that all the things that would help me also made me look like a tourist (making me a target for con artists, pickpockets, and potentially worse), or just plain weren’t flattering. So I took matters into my own hands, and I designed a vest for travel or everyday use with ten, hidden, non-bulging pockets. It looks great, feels great, and is made of the highest quality materials. That wasn’t enough, though. I’d only solved one problem. What about those days where even a vest is too hot? Well I made a travel bag as well. This sleek, minimal design allows you access to all of your important materials right when you need them, while allowing you to stay organized and safe. Check it out this new video (below) and where you can buy one of these innovative vests.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

South Africa In Pictures

Bicycling South Africa’s Western Cape with VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, I coursed through a land full of contrasts: rugged coastlines and arid fields; palatial wine estates and townships roiled by poverty; dramatic gorges and simple blooming gardens. As I rolled through steep hairpin turns, I came upon a family of baboons frolicking on the asphalt. Strolling along a seaside boardwalk gave me a close-up view of dozens of penguins whose feathers were ruffled from the wind. Other roadside finds included a wild ostrich that took a fancy to a cyclist who wasn’t in our group and decided to chase him at high speed along the highway. This was a journey that revolved around integrating all of the botanical, geological, agricultural and cultural phenomena that make up South Africa’s Western Cape. This short YouTube video slideshow provides a window into my adventure.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Holiday Crafts Market

Are you on the lookout for creative gifts for friends, family and colleagues? If you’re in New York City, head on down to downtown Brooklyn any of the first three weekends in December. I will be there December 10th and December 17th only. And I'm very much looking forward to showing my creations at this well-curated market that’s focused on fashion, art and design, hence the acronym F.A.D. I will be selling five of my items: photo prints, AngryJ dolly, fashionable multi-pocket vest for women, unisex micro travel bag, and any-occasion photo greeting cards. Anyone who comes to my table and mentions they heard about this on my blog, will automatically get a 10% discount. And anyone buying my vest + bag will get these two items for $204 instead of $240, a $36 discount. See ya.

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