In life, as you age, you encounter people… and learn how you, and others, conduct themselves and try (emphasis on try) to relate to others. You will figure out if you are one of those people who keep all the secrets of success to yourself or if you find joy in helping others. Personally, I am the latter. Although…there is something to say about commending those who seek the clues to success on their own.

Currently, I am two weeks out from starting a new chapter for my life in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. I visited two years ago and have wanted to move there ever since. Finally, the timeline is effortlessly presenting itself for me to move abroad. The unknown of what will unfold because of this decision in the years to come is the most exhilarating feeling in the world.

All of this has made me think back to when I first decided to embark on that journey across the globe two years ago. I initially sought out my friends who had gone on similar travels in order to pick their brains about every question I could think of. My hope was that they would give forth some advice – or better yet, help paint the daunting / terrifying picture of traveling to a land I had never been to and was extremely far away from anyone or anything I knew, and where I didn’t know the native languages. However…that wasn’t the case exactly. My questions would get answered but not much was ever given forth. I mention this because, I would find it immensely enjoying to sit down in front of a computer and notepad with someone and help them plan out their WHOLE trip. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, ha!

To each their own I am learning as I “age”.

During my travels I kept a Note going in my phone about some things I felt would be convenient to know prior to or during my travels. So here they are:

  • Don’t bring a hat – and if you do, make sure it’s able to be packed into your luggage…not atop your head. Unless you’re like me and don’t mind looking like an oddball on the plane with 3-7 hats stacked on your head.
  • Pack on the lighter side because if elevators do not exist in the buildings you are visiting, than it will be quite the task to get those suitcases up to your flat.
  • Walk to the end of a train (not front) because there will be less  people which = less bodies, which = not as hot (if summer).
  • Bring a bluetooth speaker (boombox).
  • Carry a wine opener. But pack it in your luggage not your carry on. (because of the knife that comes with most openers)
  • Have euros (or the country’s currency) on you at all times. As well as ensure you have a debit card that has an international chip on it, however be wary of the fees. Get an international credit card that doesn’t have international transaction fees. I recommend Chase Sapphire’s card.
  • Bring a swiss army knife – you never know when you will need a tool. Again, put in checked bag – not carry on.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • & Wet wipes that can be used for all body parts. You never know when a public bathroom won’t have toilet paper. #nightmare
  • “Lo siento” means I’m sorry in Spanish. You’ll need this to apologize for not knowing the language and if you run into people on accident so you don’t come across as a rude tourist.
  • Never book through Vueling airlines out of Spain. It is a nightmare to get checked in. Get to the airport EXTRA early (3 hours) if you do book with them.
  • Know how to ask where the bathroom is in the language of the country you are visiting
  • Keep your cross body bag in front of you, not behind you.
  • Just nod to the peddlers – there is an immense amount of people selling items to you in certain areas of Europe.

To be truthful, traveling to Europe was not nearly as daunting as I had originally imagined it to be. Their money is worth a few cents more than ours and lucky for us we have smart phones that can convert on the drop of a dime, literally – and translate for us in a matter of seconds. The metro systems in multiple countries was super easy to use, enjoyable really. #adventure – Adventure is just the mentality you have to go in with and know that if an emergency happens no one’s going to leave you high and dry…you just might have a large medical bill…which leaves me with my last tip! Purchase travel insurance. You’ll feel a whole lot better while traveling.

And that’s all I have for you guys for now! As I begin my life living abroad I will be sure to create another “Tips List” and post at a later time. Feel free to leave any advise you may have in the comments below.

Thanks for following and have a wonderful day!

Advertisements

Inside of the Hardrock Hotel in downtown San Diego is The Rock Spa…a quaint little tucked away, dimly lit relaxation zone. And seeing that I love all things rock related, think: music, leather, fashion, guitars, hair etc., there wasn’t much more that needed to draw me into a spa experience at The Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. To add to the draw there was an offer for a complimentary glass of wine with a choice between 4 different spa services. I chose the massage. Nothing like a good rub down! Haha

A glass of wine and a massage sounded like the perfect way to wind down on a Hump Day so I picked a Wednesday on the calendar to look forward to. When the day came I left work at 5 in the Bird Rock neighborhood to go fight the downtown Interstate 5 traffic in order to make my 530 appointment. I made it within a minute.

I was checked in and given the key to my locker where I would find my robe and slippers in an entirely empty bathroom/locker room lounge. Because I didn’t come early to my massage I was to enjoy my wine post-massage.

When I walked into the room where I would be getting my massage my masseuse asked me what type of massage I wanted for the 25 minute treatment. I was feeling like I needed a really deep tissue massage because I’ve been working out so much but I can’t say I’ve ever had a deep tissue massage and boy was I in for an awakening or what felt like a bruising. Now to her credit she did an extremely good deep tissue massage. She asked me to tell her if she should lighten up but there is a part of me that wanted to experience how far she would take the level of deep tissue massage soon. I never asked her to lighten up however I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more had I. Now that I’ve done my little deep tissue experience I will probably not be asking for another anytime soon and if I did I would definitely ask them to lighten up. I’m a strong girl but I’m still small can only handle so much. 😉

After the massage the masseuse exited the room while I slipped on my robe. She waited for me in the hall w a glass of water as I came out of the room. She walked me to the lounge where I [had to ask] to enjoy my complimentary glass of wine. They sought it out, poured it up and henceforth I kicked my feet up in the lounge and sifted thru some thick coffee table classic rock photography books. Helped myself to some trail mix too since it was kind of dinner time.

I eventually made my way back into the bathroom lounge to spruce back up and to use a few of the sparse amenities. I’ve noticed that some hotels who were late to the spa game when being originally built are working with only a few amenities within their repertoire because of space limitation. (Can someone say time for a redesign?) I walked to the front counter, a small room w a wall of products. Was pleasantly checked out and that was it!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset



Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

I received quite the sentimental birthday gift(s) from a gentleman I’d recently met. One of those being a little envelope that said on it: “another one for the blog”. Enclosed was a gift card to the revered and beautiful Coronado Hotel Del Spa. I can’t begin to express how touched I was that this man took the time to not only read my blog, where so many of my personal beliefs can be found, but went out of his way to support my passion by gifting me an experience to reflect upon here. SO thoughtful.

So it began. I booked my service for a Sunday. A Sunday after a very heavy week that needed a little, no, a lot of relaxation and reflecting. I chose to receive the Del Signature Body Scrub, “a skin softening body exfoliation that combines sea salts with a light application of aromatic essential oils that leave your skin nourished, smooth and supple.”

IMG_3387

Seeing as I live in the city this spa is in,  I took the 25 minute drive over to the Coronado Island, parked in the adjacent parking lot, walked around the hotel to the left of the main entrance (I called prior to arriving to ask what the simplest route to the spa was), walked past the souvenir shop, the restaurants, the pool, and that beautiful expanse of ocean, and there tucked away at the end of this walkway was the Salon & Spa.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
I arrived promptly at 3pm where I was greeted by the receptionist who checked me in, then another woman greeted me and showed me to the fairly tight locker/changing room where I slipped into my bikini and put on my robe. I was asked to meet her outside the locker room where she then walked me over to a common area to meet my exfoliator Abe. Abe said hello and walked me to my room where this little experience was to take place.
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
While it had stone floors and the walls were also clad in stone, the room still had a warm and zenful feeling to it, aided by the ambient music. I believe this is because scrubs can be somewhat messy so the room needs to be easily cleanable. Before exiting the room, Abe asked that I slip out of my bikini and lie face down first. He came back in and the treatment began. He first put a few dollops of the sea salt scrub along my arms and back, then he lightly rubbed it all over that area, and followed it up with another, more vigorous, scrub. The back of my thighs, calves and feet were the next area he treated. After my backside was done he professionally, and fluidly, had me turn over (he kneeled behind a towel he held up, which he would then lay over me as he rose) and then proceeded to help cover my breasts with another towel so to be able to exfoliate my neck, chest, and stomach. After he treated those areas he proceeded with my thighs, calves and feet. At this point I was in that zen-like trance that just happens during these treatments – and I’m pretty sure he forgot to scrub my left leg, but before I could say something he was asking me to wake out of my daze and head to the Swiss Shower to rinse off. The only way I could tell my leg hadn’t been scrubbed was by touching it, and nope, no sea salt on that left thigh. Oh well.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Abe walked me to the Swiss Shower that he turned on for me, asked me to rinse off and told me he’d be waiting in the hall with a cup of water. The Swiss Shower has 3 stacked shower heads on 3 different walls along with a handheld showerhead; quite fun if I do say so myself. So I enjoyed this for a little bit, dried off and met Abe in the hall where he walked me back to my room and proceeded to moisturizer my entire body in the same manner he exfoliated. This time he remembered my left leg. 🙂 The treatment concluded with an essential oils neck and shoulder massage that felt delightful. Abe asked if the lighting was okay and told me to take my time leaving the room. After coming back to reality, I walked into the hall where Abe was waiting with water for me again. He showed me to the locker room and mentioned all of the amenities I could take advantage of. And that I did.
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
The steam room and jacuzzi were tucked back in some corner of the facility that felt like quite the little gem due to the beautiful and bright ambiance this area had about it, along with a beautiful wall of mosaic tiles. (I’m a sucker for mosaics – and stained glass.) I decided to enjoy some time in the steam room first and then I relaxed And took some time to hang out in the jacuzzi. After drying off I headed into the Relaxation Room across the way; it also being a beautifully bright room where there were my favorite flavored teas, and little bites to eat like almonds, dried berries and even apples. I made some tea and cozied up in one of the chairs where I spent quite a bit of time taking it all in.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

After I was done in the Relaxation Room I walked out to the private infinity pool area to check out how the day was progressing weather wise and then made my way back to the locker room to get back into my clothes and check out.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
All in all it was such a lovely experience. The staff was nice and professional, the facility was clean, I enjoyed the service and amenities and it was everything a spa day should be – relaxing. I really don’t have much feedback for The Hotel Del Spa besides interior design comments like maybe updating some of the light fixtures, changing burnt-out lightbulbs, upgrading artwork and maybe more chic pillows. I tend to have an eye for amelioration. 😉

I feel so grateful to have been able to experience a spa day at such an iconic (and local!) Hotel & Spa. It was much needed and the fact that there was such a considerate gesture behind my ability to be in this moment, made it all the sweeter. If you’re reading this Cowboy, thank you.

Till the next spa experience!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

 


I’m in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, for my 30th birthday. I’ve always felt that if you don’t celebrate yourself who will at the end of the day? – And I’m not one to put things like that into the hands of others. I booked in mid February and so here I am. Other destination options were Cuba, Costa Rica and the Bahamas but I waited too long on flights, and Puerto was somewhat close – and new to me – for a 4 day trip. Some r&r under 80 degrees sun sounded like just what I needed. 

I’d done a little, very little, research on spas that I could visit prior to my trip, however I wasn’t finding anything appealing. (…Something that made much more sense once I got here – “spas” are EVERYWHERE – even on the beach at your feet if you want. Or the street corner. Or the hole in the wall.) So I acquiesced to just scouting a spa whilst here. And I’m really glad I did. I took to using Yelp the morning of my birthday while eating desayuno (breakfast) because I had nothing else to rely on other than tourists reviews and walking by basic kind of run-down spa setups. I really didn’t want to wind up somewhere unworthy of my birthday treat. I thought of making my way to one of the corporate hotels but felt that might be a cop-out and not supportive of local life. I found a 5 star review for a place called Metamorfosis in the neighborhood (The Romantic Zone) I was staying in and right up the street from where I was having desayuno. So afterward I walked the dos quadras (two blocks) and found the small store front where a beautiful and lively woman greeted me, Angie.  

It too was quite small but looked very cared for and not only was Angie extremely welcoming but allowed me to ask for a special service that wasn’t on their menu: a 30 minute facial (quickly becoming obsessed with these) combined with a 30 minute deep tissue massage. I booked an appointment for 3:00pm so that I could head back to my room and get into my bikini and go layout for a few hours before my appointment. Angie was a love and asked what I was doing for the day which is when I mentioned it was mi cumpleanos (my birthday) and that I was hoping to find myself at a nice relaxing beach where I could grab a drink and a bite. She suggested I check out a place called Swell, so that’s exactly what I did. Thank you Angie! I’ve now stopped in here everyday where the manager, Octavio, and other employees have been ever so gracious to me …seeing as I’m like the ONLY person traveling alone. Ha.

After turning my snow-white Irish and Swedish skin into my first layer of Mexican and Cherokee red-brown tan of the season, and consuming a margarita and a delicious watermelon salad, while turning down a thousand local beach vendors who walk by and ask you to buy things, I headed up the street for my spa day. 

Angie again greeted me with water and took me straight back to my own private room (where there were two beds 🙄…still not letting myself feel alone 😌) and I was given time to get nakey and under the sheet for my masseuse. Nancy began my massage by doing one side of my body at a time. It felt so good to be touched by such a strong hand after all the intense workouts I’d been putting myself through, and sleepless night (sooo much noise at my hotel!) and not so comfortable bed. After each side of my back was done she had me turn over in order to begin my refreshing and delicious facial. They use a Japanese product called Rejuvi. Smelt like oatmeal to me! There’s something about having certain spots on your face/head having pressure applied to that relieves a lot of stress. Nancy let the masque do its magic while she began massaging each half of the front side of my body. There was more massaging?! Heaven. After, Nancy removed the masque, pulled some blackheads (ow), moisturized my face, thanked me and left the room. Turns out they let my service become an hour and a half! How sweet was that!!? I felt so appreciated. 

I got dressed, and exited the room in a daze. I grabbed more water and checked out with the delightful Angie for only $50USD! I tipped 20% (customary here just like in the US). 

Overall it wasn’t exactly a “designed” space that I like to find myself experiencing but after seeing what my options were in this city i became grateful enough just for the services that were given with exemplary customer appreciation.

A little about my time here in Puerto…not sure I’ll be back with all the other places in the world there are left to visit. I’m simply happy I got to get out of town for a few days, have some down time, self-reflect and see new sights and practice my Spanish. I have zero complaints about service, I think it’s just a very touristy, alcohol drinking town, with a lot of junk for sale and it probably wasn’t the best idea to go it alone seeing as if I was with someone I could have gone on a lot more adventures. 

A few quotes I’ve found about traveling alone that I really like:

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae C. Jemison

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts (One of my mantras – “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” & “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”) 

“It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn – which is what life is all about.” – Oprah Winfrey

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

img_0916

Finally – I made the hour and a half drive out to Corona, California.

My little babe roommate was in town this particular weekend so that wound up being a big push to visiting this specific spa grounds. I say that because had I been walking these “19 pools” by myself, well it would have been a bit lonelier. Everyone was with someone or a group. I usually go to spas on solo missions, but thankfully not this time.

I heard of a special this spa resort was having via their instagram. The grounds had been opened after 5pm for the first time ever this very summer: 4pm to 9pm for $35 with access to all pools, mineral baths, cold and hot plunge, mud slathering, saunas, steam rooms, showers and such.

img_0918

Upon entering I was informed the place was under new ownership as of the first of the year. I cannot wait to see what will change about this place in due time. I sure have my own innovative ideas after my visit – ones which I’m sure (or hope to goodness) are in the works – for the sake of this places longevity and success.

We waited in the 5:30pm rush line, and were directed over to the place where we purchase entry. Becca at the check in (I especially remember her because it was my girlfriend Bekah’s birthday this day) was super informative and positive. I felt for her, I can’t imagine having to explain the same map and expirence day in day out to half naked people. There is seriously something to say about how people hold themselves when they’re half naked. Sure is telling of something in one way or another for starters.

the-experience-map-full

Anyway, the experience – Our first mission was to get to the locker rooms and get situated into bikinis with towels. I located the towels near the steam room, brought one to my spa partner and we headed toward the mineral bath. But first we allowed ourselves to step into some of the prettier garden spaces on the grounds. There is a beautiful fountain, a giant set of umbrellas, an arch of vines covering some lounge chairs (although the plant was mostly deceased) and other cute spaces. Once we found the mineral bath and became relaxed we meandered over to the bar to grab a mimosa. Then we headed to the vista pool and relaxed in the bath like water. After a good 10 minutes there we headed toward the hot and cold plunge (my favorite), where I tried to get many others there to love it too (bunch of scaredy cats). Something about that shocking cold water felt amazing to my stomach organ (I hold a lot of my stress there…not necessarily fat wise but anxiety wise) and then you are supposed to quickly dip into the hot pool. But today we dipped quickly because it was so warm out already. And then we went back into the cold pool (not plunge).

img_0934

img_0927

img_0946

From there we went and slathered mud all over our bodies, which you can find sitting atop a little community pedestal like a little mountain of mud. Once coated the idea was to go harden the mud in the arid room adjacent to the showers. We hung out in there for a few minutes and then began the showering process which was the longest part of the “mud bathing”.

At this point we wandered the property a bit more, went into the Grotto Room (not a part of our ticket) where I just wanted to learn a little about this experience by seeing the check in process and watching the intro video they had going in the lobby of the Grotto’s entrance.

We perused the cafeteria’s options and decided they weren’t all that healthy, or appetizing to our wallet’s, and decided to get showered up and stop off somewhere more worthy on the way home.

img_1042img_1044img_0906

All in all it was a lovely Saturday afternoon hanging out with a girlfriend getting out of the heat and splashing around in some water and going on a little road trip. I could imagine I’ll be back. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ve made any changes if I go next summer.

Owning my own spa and wellness center has always been on my radar, so it’s no coincidence when I stumble upon centers of the like. There are so many routes and niches that you can create when entering into the holistic and pampering industry. So when I discovered The Springs LA on Instagram I was intrigued. It encompasses a few things that I find myself seeking out in separate places – but all under one roof. Yoga, juicing, smoothies, massage, hot stones, and colon hydrotherapy to name a few.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

My roommate and I decided to go on a little weekend getaway to LA for Memorial Day weekend to celebrate her new found freedom as a recent graduate from USD. As the awesome crony she is, she was down for whatever, so I lined us up an adventure filled weekend. And since I had my eye on The Springs LA we were definitely stopping in.

We got into LA on Friday morning, went to the LACMA for the afternoon, then had lunch at The Line Hotel’s Commissary restaurant (a must!) and went out Friday evening to Toca Madera and Ysabel’s. We called it an early night so that we could wake up Saturday morning in time to catch our 9:00am yoga class at The Springs LA. The Springs is located in the arts district of Los Angeles. Perhaps it was because everyone went out of town for the holiday weekend but we found the city to be quite mellow compared to the hustle and bustle we were expecting – it was nice.

Once parked, the gate to the center was rolled open and we walked in and was greeted by an open and sunny space with a Palm Springs meets warehouse feel. Simple and cheerful. We were directed by the juice bar attendant to walk to the back to check into our class. We tucked our items into the cubby holes in the yoga room and began our morning yoga session.

An hour and 15 minutes later we awoke feeling more limber and relaxed. We pursued the items for sale – lots of cute little items such as oils, candles, jewelry and fitness gear. After we walked back toward the front where we purchased a fresh made green juice (Northstar was our choice) and headed out.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The Springs LA is a really neat concept. With it’s open casual space I can only imagine all of the events that take place within this center, and to add to it, they have a restaurant in the works too. I highly recommend a yoga class and juice if you’re in town. Your first class is free! After that drop ins are only $15. Juices are pricey (about $10), but you can’t put a price on healthy liquid gold like that. 🙂

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_0054

“It’s time to change the way we talk about affairs — and Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ is a powerful first step,” says Dr. Perel.

Here Esther Perel talks about Beyonce’s Lemonade. Esther is a psychotherapist and is one of the most fascinating people I follow. What she discovers about the psyche of human interaction she shares. If you haven’t seen her TED Talks you have to.

She mostly deals with couples therapy. But she has dived so deep into that topic that she is discovering and analyzing things on another level – and I’m totally into it.

If you haven’t see the Beyonce visual album for Lemonade, then you might not understand the extent of emotion, poetry and storytelling that is released in this hour. Not to mention, the artistic talent brought to the table for such a relevant topic. ::This millennial female raises her hand::

Read Esther Perel’s commentary on Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’: “Grief sedated by orgasm, orgasm heightened by grief”: Beyoncé, “Lemonade” and the new reality of infidelity – Salon.com

o.jpg

Every year, and every so often, I like to treat myself to some type of spa experience on the day of my birthday. This year I wanted to finally get around to visiting this place called Cocoon Float. It basically is what it sounds like. You float in a white bubble tank for 60 minutes. It’s technically called a “Sensory Deprivation Tank”. A tank filled with Epsom Salt, a mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. Have you ever heard how good it is for you to take a salt bath to relax muscles? Because Epsom Salt creates the absence of gravity for a human body when combined with water, the stress and tensions that are released when enjoyed for 60 minutes is incredible; incredible in nutrients for the body to absorb, and incredible in experience. Sensory Deprivation is knocking out one Western ailment after another. Interesting.

Allow me to explain my experience.

The business is located in Hillcrest of San Diego, California. It’s three stories up on a corner building. No signage that I could visibly see unfortunately. I found my way and walked into this serene and quaint white lobby environment where I am politely greeted. Within checking in you are handed an iPad and headphones to watch a 5 minute video on how you will navigate your experience and what to expect. It was a cute cartoon, informative and flew by. Basically, the goal is to try and 100% relax…and see how that feels. Queue spooky transcendental vibe music. Not going to lie, I may or may not have felt a bit of a sexual vibe in how free this felt at one point.

I was walked to one of the back rooms (there are only 2 cocoons), and was explained the more hands on procedures of how to operate the tank and how the lights will be turned down. I was told to put my earplugs in before I touch anything wet. This is pretty much where the experience began. My plugs were in, all went quiet. I turned on the shower to warm it up. I slid out of my clothes. Stepped in to the shower, and used the body wash in my palm to clean and then rinse. Turned the shower off. Stepped down, and walked thethree steps to the cocoon, put one leg in (water went up to right under my knee), grabbed the hood of the cocoon, stepped my other leg in, and kneeled as I pulled down the hood over me, enveloping me into this surreal experience.

So I plant my butt down, or tried. But since there is an absence of gravity I gently leaned back and allowed my body to be lifted to the surface of the water. The tank was filled with a glowing blue light that bounced off the white lacquered bulbous tank walls and water. There were two buttons I had control over. The light and the music. I wanted both on. And I wanted to close my eyes.

The whole reason this is worth writing about is: if you can possibly get to the zone where you are 100% relaxed, it’s otherworldly. You’re awake but your somewhere else – thinking. About entirely subconscious things. I felt very happy and lifted after my time spent in the tank. (And slept great the next few days) I was amazed that I was able to get to that place – because trust me, it took focus. And within that focus I relaxed a bit more every other minute. Once my mind finally let go, as in I was in another realm not thinking about how I’m thinking, it was probably a good 20 minutes I was there. However, it was one of those moments where you feel like you literally just went to sleep two minutes ago – but I was really just relaxed because I was floating. It was a really cool feeling. A lot happened in my mind in this 20 minutes while at the same time nothing happened. It was the sensation of floating that brought this all home. A sensation more people should try… and I hope more find worthy of experiencing for oneself.
3.png

While we’re on water and relaxation, my boss told me about this form of water therapy called ‘Watsu‘. That’s the definition link and here’s an actual experience. Check those links out! That’s what I’m on the hunt to experience now.

Sidenote: About blue light: …Findings confirm that blue light at night stimulates alertness and diminishes the feeling of being drowsy (i.e. awake), interfering with sleep. Exposure to blue light during the day, however, results in a similar, more welcome boost to alertness and reduction to fatigue, which stand to benefit both daytime function and nighttime rest¹. So this paradox to how I felt in the tank is beyond me. Like I said, I was awake, but so relaxed some may call it sleep because we don’t know anything else other than sleep. Or do I now? Re-queue spooky vibes.

It may be 4 months since I stepped foot into this place that I am about to gush over (insert nostalgia), but it’s places like this that leave that magical and memorable impressions on your life…especially when you are in a foreign city, far far away from home and anyone or anything you know…having the time of your life.

Stepping into Aire Ancient Baths – whether it was the one I went to in New York two weeks earlier or their big sister spa in Barcelona, Spain – they both felt like I was entering into another realm…a feeling everyone should treat themselves to in this all too real world.

On this special day, my travel mate Kyle decided to join me for a spa day experience…something even a guys-guy like himself admitted to his buddies was pretty awesome. Being in Barcelona means a lot of walking. And if you’re not walking everywhere, you’re doing it wrong in my opinion. So we took the short 15 minute walk across the city from our place at @balcony_barcelona and lone behold we approached the inviting entrance of Aire.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_8771

Aire really knows how to set the mood. The moment you step foot over the threshold of that singular, solid, and grand wood door your experience begins. The lobby is dark. Vaulted. And warm from all the steam rising from the underground baths, sultry showers, steamy steam rooms, and saunas alike. And it must be mentioned that Barcelona in the summer is it’s own sauna in itself. The humidity there was real people. Two to three showers were taken a day. Short and cold ones that is. This particular spa was quite a bit busier than the one in New York, so more bodies meant more steam as well.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
We were quickly checked in and escorted back to the mens and women’s locker room where we changed into our bathing suits and robes. Kyle and I met outside the locker rooms by the stairwell that we would then ascend into the dark, steamy and might I say romantic depths of Aire. I must say, this is a wonderful treat to experience with someone else you adore at your side. It is so relaxing. You don’t even have to talk but just enjoy the silence together, sip on provided tea and water while waiting for your treatment is otherworldly pleasurable. I mean, to describe what this underground world looked like would have to be like a magical chamber. Brick walls with candles inset into them flickering every so softly with Moroccan lanterns scattered throughout. The ground was wet every where. Robes were hanging on assigned walls. Long walkways. Glassed in rooms where you’d find your next bathing experience whether it was a warm pool, ice bath, jet pool, sauna or salt pool. Truly enrapturing. It just leaves you asking yourself why more places like this don’t exist because it is so darn relaxing.

Aires-de-Barcelona-Spa

So after going through the motions of one bath to the next, the sauna to the steam room, we were approached by a woman who escorted us to the area where our 30 minute massages were to take place. I opted for a foot and shoulder massage while Kyle received a Swedish massage. I have to say that this was not one of the best massages I have received. It was more like I was being tickled. Not what I was looking for after walking the streets of the world for the last 3 weeks. Here nor there, we carried out our time in the jet pool, sipped some more tea and then showered off and headed back into the locker room to put ourselves back together in order to step back out into the real world.

IMG_8776It was a magical day that I will never forget and hold dear to my heart. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities I have been to. The relaxed vibe throughout the city, the friendly people, all of the art I saw, the classic preserved architecture and the yummy food sold me. I look forward to stopping into this city in the near future and I encourage you to take an afternoon and treat yourself to an Aire Ancient Baths experience. They have 5 locations throughout the world. Two down for me, 3 to go!

aire-de-barcelona-arabic-baths-2

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/143360758″>TEASER &quot;The AIRE experience&quot;</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/aireancientbaths”>AIRE Ancient Baths</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

This is somewhat of a post to those who think you’ve got to be in shape to be at the gym. My physique may be in a “small” shape but these muscles couldn’t out run a zombie apocalypse if their life depended on it. Funny bc I’m totally not a zombie nerd (love you Vibeke!). But I am one who has always thought about being as fit as I possibly can be! One life. One body. #healthy = #balanced

I haven’t worked out in 3 months and today I am FEELING it. Please no stairs! 🙅🏻 (& I live on a second story) I am working out with @onefitathlete because I know my body can handle rigorous exercise. This might sound like the typical inspirational story, but im still going to tell it again, if only to inspire one person. There was a man at the gym while I was there who, out of 4 limbs (2 legs, 2 arms) had ONE. I just can’t wrap my head around how hard it must be to not only go thru that but to come to a place where you. are. DOING. IT!! 💪🏼🏃🏻 What’s even crazier is how there are people who have two legs and two arms but choose not to help themselves when their body’s are screaming for the strength, heart and mind training. Like, GO FOR A WALK! …with your new Taylor Swift album. Feel it. Start to wave those arms around. Skip! Let yourself get into it, move that beautiful sinuous, grace-filled body you OWN! Dance in front of your mirror for goodness sake.

I can’t eat any form of wheat flour bread without itching, bloating, getting backed up, or oddly enough feeling angered (anyone else? My girl friend Tati agreed with this the other day). I can’t consume too much of milk products without my stomach hating me. I can’t have coffee because I feel like I’ve burned my stomach to a thin layer that will have a whole in it the next cup I drink – which means any hot, or highly caloric temperatured foods don’t make the cut either. And obviously sugars I try to keep at bay, and I seem to love fats of all kinds right now (probably due to seasonal changes #ayurveda). A new one I am starting to tap into is all the “gums” they add into our food. No wonder my stomach feels like it’s in a knot trying to break something down sometimes, it’s gummy…not exactly an easily decomposable ingredient.

My point is: we’re all battling something when it comes to our health.

I battle keeping it 💯 organic, gluten free and mostly lactose free because that’s all my body will accept without noticeably affecting me and my mental state. Why or how do I know this? Because that’s how in tune I am with my entire body and that important ish.

I also battle with managing to get in exercise because of how busy I am: 2 jobs, one core class (3 units), and coaching girls soccer. But you’re damn sure it’s a priority…even if it’s only 2-3x a week.

Fight back. If you don’t feel great or something is off in your physical, internal or mental equilibrium, I can guarantee if you start with your physical shell you’ll be able to get to the bottom of what you’re not doing right.

I dare you to figure it out.

And trust: when there are all of the chemicals in food that there truly are out there, you’d best learn yourself knowledgable. Read ingredients. Ask Siri questions. Use google. Look up books. Use your resources! Success leaves clues.

Good luck. Go for a walk…one that turns into a dancing skip. 😊❤️