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Insights

BJ Meets HHDL

Here are some notes of my encounters with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (HHDL). Again I thank everyone at Thiksey for allowing me to have this incredible experience. <3     (BJ) Day 1 Upon arriving for the teaching on the first day he came to me shortly after getting...

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Is Morocco Safe to Visit?

We take the safety of our guests very seriously—at least as seriously as we take our own safety (since we are accompanying you!), if not more. We are so proud of our 2016 Morocco itinerary, as we spent 6 weeks combing this gorgeous countries for the most engaging,...

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Thanaka: The Secret to Burmese beauty

Myanmar (Burma) is a special place with its own unique flavor & style, from the delightful tea leaf salads to the fashionable longyi. However, there is perhaps nothing more quintessentially Burmese than thanaka (pronounced tawn'-uh-kuh). What is thanaka? Thanaka...

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In Praise of Packing Cubes

How should I pack for my vacation or yoga retreat? I'll admit it: I am a hardcore packing cube fan.  I literally live out of them! You may have mastered the art of rolling and tucking and magically arranging your clothing in a suitcase, but the minute you take one...

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Introducing Morocco Yoga Retreats!

We are very happy to announce the creation of new Morocco yoga retreats! Did I say retreats? I meant RetreaTours™! Nowhere is our social style of yoga travel more exciting than in Morocco, where we combine the reflection of a retreat with the excitement of a tour. Our...

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Fact-Checked INDIA | Things to Know Before You Go

1.  India may overtake China as the most populous country in the world by 2028. 2.  Though India has three of the top ten largest cities in the world, it is predominantly rural.  70% of the population lives in rural communities [rural in India is defined as living in...

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Lost in Translation, Part 2

Not everything is as it seems—or as it reads—in Asia. English is by all accounts a difficult language, but we feel like sometimes folks make it even harder for themselves. Here’s a selection of some great signs we’ve found across South & Southeast Asia this year...

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Lost in Translation, Part 1

Not everything is as it seems—or as it reads—in Asia. English is by all accounts a difficult language, but we feel like sometimes folks make it even harder for themselves. Here's a selection of some great signs we've found across South & Southeast Asia this year:...

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Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Hoi An, Vietnam

Maybe the title of this post should be "Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Vietnam"...or maybe in the world? I'm not ashamed to admit that I ate here for a majority of my meals while staying in the UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An. Let's get to it: I'm talking about Minh...

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Flying to New Delhi (DEL) from the USA

What's the best way to get to India? Getting to India's Indira Gandhi International airport is pretty straightforward from the United States.  Depending on where you begin your travels in the US, you can typically buy return tickets for between $1100-$1500 (economy...

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Balinese horoscopes…sorta

The Balinese culture is one heavily steeped in the mystical, spiritual, and astrological. They have a calendar which tells them which days of the month are most auspicious from everything to getting haircuts and having sex (not necessarily at the same time) to...

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Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, Laos

I'm a sucker for waterfalls, perhaps for one reason: waterfalls imply "elevation."  A born & bred Floridian (where our highest point is 345 feet high—and that hill is practically in Georgia), waterfalls evoke images of hills, mountains, forests and running...

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A Brief Indonesian Food Primer

A big concern for many travelers is "What will I eat overseas?!"  There are so many TV shows these days that showcase international dishes that seem unusual, bizarre, or even downright unappetizing to Western palates. As entertaining as these shows might be, I think...

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Flying from the U.S. to Bali

From most of the USA, the flight to Bali is one of the farthest places you can travel to on the globe.  It’s a long way to travel, but we assure you that it’s entirely worth it, and there are a number of options for this long flight. First, if you want to arrive in...

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How to Dramatically Lessen the Effects of Jet Lag

If you’re taking a trip (with us or on your own) you may be traversing a number of time zones.  This, as so many of you know, can wreak havoc on your biological clock.  But there are things that you can do that can mitigate the effects of jet lag. There is a plethora...

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4D Movies ~ Is the extra D worth it?

The night before we were to leave Bangkok for northern Thailand, we got wind of a 4D movie theater in town.  No, they don't give you mind-altering drugs when you enter, and it doesn't involve a rip in the space-time continuum.  The 4th "D" entails sensory inputs like...

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The Black Jelly Bandwagon

The idea of eating something called Grass Jelly, or Black Jelly, doesn't give most American palates the "warm fuzzies," whether it's due to a cloying wheatgrass experience or from childhood culinary traumas with jello-mold cuisine. However, make no mistake: grass...

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Gili Trawangan ~ Setting the Record Straight

(For an overview of the gilis, start on our original blog post by clicking here!) I’ll admit, I’m biased.  This is my favorite Gili. I didn’t expect it to be, believe me.  I had a preconceived notion of a bunch of surfer bro’s whoopin’ it up, keeping me awake all...

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Gili Meno ~ Tranquility on the Middle Island

(For an overview of the gilis, start on our original blog post by clicking here!) While we didn’t spend the night on Gili Meno, we spend a day there, walking the entire perimeter and visiting some local hotels and businesses.  This is more of your “deserted island”...

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Gili Air–the Goldilocks of the Northwest Gilis

(For an overview of the gilis, start on our original blog post by clicking here!) We started our gili adventure on Gili Air, which we found (in retrospect) to be a happy medium between Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.  We stayed on the northeast coast, a pleasant albeit...

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What is a Gili? The Islands of Lombok

We talk a lot about Gilis in our little family… Gili Air, Gili Asahan, Gili this, Gili that.  What the heck is a Gili?  (Pronounced “Gilly,” by the way.) Gili is the Sasak word for “small island.”  What’s a Sasak, then?  The Sasak people are the native folks of...

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Knowing a place without maps

We’re back in Bali, wrapping up preparations for the spring 2014 yoga & wellness retreats with Shiva & Randall. We spent the entire month of April traveling around Bali, basing ourselves for the most part in Ubud (considered Bali’s cultural and spiritual hub)....

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Come on baby, light my digestive fire

For the last 6 weeks we’ve been traveling through India & Nepal, partly with a private tour guest.  One of the things you might notice at mealtimes in these countries is the preponderance of warm liquids served with meals, be it tea, coffee, or just plain hot...

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Two weeks until blast off!

BJ & I are moving overseas in two weeks.  It was my intention to blog the lead up to all of this with posts about the first few itineraries, what gear we're bringing, our thoughts, feelings, excitements, fears--the whole shebang.  As you can imagine, though,...

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Happy Diwali!

Across India, people are currently celebrating Diwali, a several day "festival of lights."  This holiday is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and even Buddhists, each religion recognizing this festival for a different reason.  As you can imagine, the mythology...

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Film Insight: Thiksey Monastery in ‘Samsara’

We finally got to see the film Samsara today, director Ron Fricke's follow up to 1992's Baraka.  BJ had hoped for a follow-up film since he saw Baraka in 1996, and was delighted to learn that Baraka was being made several years ago.  These films are non-verbal...

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Why aren’t there Brahma Temples?

Well, except the big one in the city of Pushkar, which we'll get to shortly. Hinduism has a huge, colorful pantheon of gods and goddesses--some say 330 million!  The three main players, if you'll excuse my casualness, are Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu.   There are temples...

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All-inclusive gone wrong…

We pride ourselves on our "all-inclusive" trips and tours, so you don't have to worry about paying for meals, internal travel, tips, donations, lodging... you're on vacation, and that includes your wallet-grabbing hand, too!  However, a recent family trip to...

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Yoga as a Vehicle–or, Life is a Highway

Today we have a guest blog by one of our yoga partners Randall Buskirk.  It's a beautiful insight as to what drew Randall to yoga and why it keeps his attention.  I've said it once and I'll say it again--simply to be in this man's presence is a form of meditation....

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Airport Yoga Takes You Higher

On our last India trip, we were fortunate enough to have a truly fantastic yoga teacher, Mary, on board.  Mary & her husband and BJ & I all flew from Tampa to Newark together, where we met the rest of our crew to continue on to Delhi.  We had a few hours to...

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Strange Food in a Strange Land

from BJ: I happen to love the show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.  He is funny, kind and very informative about so many countries and regions around the world.  I think, however, that while sparking an interest in traveling for some he scares many others away from...

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Insight into Shiva Reinhardt

While BJ is busy nailing down the final details of our Spring 2014 Yoga & Wellness retreats in Bali,  I want to introduce you to one of our esteemed yogi partners, Shiva Reinhardt. I've known Shiva for 25 years (how can that be when I still feel 17 years old?)....

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Let’s talk about Turmeric

I'm going to go ahead and say what you all were thinking:  Turmeric is an under-appreciated, much-maligned spice in the United States. (You were all just thinking that, yes?)  Turmeric, or haldi in Hindi, is probably best known for its inclusion in curry powder (side...

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Tell me all your thoughts on…Satellite Dishes?

I rented a car this weekend that had XM radio, and I spent 99% of the time  rotating between 2 or 3 stations that played exclusively 90's music. As expected, "Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla came on more than once or twice.  When I got home, something moved me to...

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Blue City of Jodhpur in The Dark Knight Rises

I'm a big Batman fan--have been since I was a little girl.  I've been waiting eagerly for months (ok, years) for The Dark Knight Rises to open, and BJ & I finally made it to the theater tonight.  Don't worry--no spoilers here (except for the fact that Alfred...

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Chai & Chat on August 2nd

We're hosting our first "Chai & Chat" at Pineapple Bay Trading Company in Sarasota, FL on Thursday, August 2nd at 7 p.m.  We bring the chai--you bring the chat! Have you ever wanted to travel to South and Southeast Asia?  What are you waiting for? We'll be...

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