Archives for the month of: September, 2017

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In life, as you age, you encounter people… and you 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 those who seek the clues to success on their own.

Currently, I am two days 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 has effortlessly presented 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 one I would be 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 guess for some all you can do is answer the questions people ask and the rest of their travels is for them to experience and learn from. I personally 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/lifts 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). #fun
  • Carry a wine opener. But pack it in your luggage not your carry on. (because of the knife that comes with most openers) In case you want to open a bottle on the Eiffel Towers lawn at midnight.
  • 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’s Sapphire 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 (recommended) or purse 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 ($1.00 = €1.17) 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 are 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 advice you may have in the comments below.

Thanks for following and have a wonderful day!

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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!

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