Nice Tips: Travel, Life and Wellness … A Few Hacks that Work for Me It’s a great big NICE world out there and so many of us appreciate exploring it. I’m often asked for nice tips about how I make travel adventures so special. People also inquire about my light packing, healthy travel habits and my experiences as a solo female traveler. Even more ask about “What’s this Law of Attraction and LOA you’re always talking about?” Luckily for us, we can’t UN pack the Law of Attraction. It’s with us just like gravity, day in and day out. It’s at the basis of good ideas, following fun impulses, it leads you to the right people along the way and even helps with decisions as simple as what to pack and what to eat. This blog is about a few of the best practices and nice tips that smooth my path as I explore the world and the food, fun and people along the way. You Can’t Take it With You (Well, some of it you can!) When it comes to packing my top nice tip is to do what works best for you. Does having a big check-on bag full of everything you’d need and more make you happy? Go for it! There are plenty of advantages to packing a big full bag with room to spare. If you’re like me and prefer one carry on and one personal item, there are many advantages to that too. I believe in the Law of Attraction to get me there – and my bags too – but I still like to keep them light and in my sight. I use a rolling backpack that gets me where I need to go with no waiting or hassles along the way. On the subject of packing, my lists always start with jewelry. (Shocker.) This Nice Travel Tip was especially fun for Egypt, a trip that was inspired by my favorite childhood TV show The Secrets of Isis, and her Egyptian jewelry with magical powers! More about that trip can be found in the blog: Nice Adventure to Egypt. My rolling backpack is always ready, adorned with a Castle Button to remind me I can do, have be or go as I desire. For gifts, I fill a keyring with Nice boomerangs and attach it to my personal bag for easy gifting access. Carrying a stash of little gifts is my number one Nice tip. There’s no better way to connect than by saying thanks, surprising and delighting others. It brings me great joy to explain the boomerang (often in sign language/pantomime) and how their kindness is coming right back to THEM. This creates a meaningful moment and memory for everyone. A dozen or so little golden boomerangs take up no space and do the trick. Then I pack themed jewelry. For Egypt, that was an easy choice with a design created for gifting at Burning Man, in accordance with the Principle of Gifting. It’s an Eye of Ra / Eye of Horus amulet with the secret message Burning Man symbol )'( hidden in the pupil. Lastly, I put on my thirty year old medical alert allergy bracelet. I purchased it in 1991 for my big summer backpacking Europe between my undergrad and MBA degrees. Of course, after 30 years as a jeweler’s bracelet it always has a Nice charm or two added to dress it up. Pack Your Positive Expectations (Cliché, but Crucial) Beyond jewelry, I pack rolled clothes that love and a few pieces I pick up from thrift stores for a couple dollars each. The latter, I can easily leave behind as a gift or donation, making room for anything I purchase to carry home. (That’s another top nice tip!) I wear my boots and pack lightweight walking shoes. A collapsible hat, minimum toiletries in tiny bottles and I always carry a few ziplocks for snacks, found rocks, maybe some sand from the pyramids, whatever I may find or fall in love with. Along with always having gifts on hand, ziplocks are another good habit I picked up thanks to Burning Man. I follow packing advice I picked up from a true pro. I once heard Rick Steves say, “Don’t sweat the packing and keep it light. If you forget your toothpaste, just go buy it! That trip to the grocery or drug store shopping like a local might be one of the best parts of your trip.” Words to travel by, most certainly. Now, when I need something I don’t have, I pivot and turn my thoughts from annoyance to the unforeseen (but very welcome) adventure that will come as a result. In other words, although it’s a bit cliché, pack your positive expectations. Whether travelling or at home, I follow practices based on the Law of Attraction (LOA). On a daily basis and long before a special trip, I focus very clearly and FEEL the pleasure, fun, learning and joy to come. If you appreciate Abraham-Hicks, you may call it segment intending, visualization or pre-paving. I imagine and feel glad for each experience, for everything I pack and everything I don’t. For what I purchase, find or bring home and everything I leave behind. Connect with Locals to Do it Right The joy of the journey is the connection with culture. When I am planning an excursion I make a priority to delve into the culture from as many angles as possible. For travel to Cuba, for example, I set up meetings and exchanges with key people in advance. Numero Uno being Jorge Gil, an incredibly inspiring contemporary art jeweler in Havana. We are still in close communication and some of the most magical moments of my entire journey were with Jorge. Amazing. Another key contact and friendship was with the director of Salsabor Cuba, a local dance studio. I taught her the principles of poi dancing and gifted her with a dozen sets of practice poi to teach her students. In exchange she taught me the basic time signatures of a slew of dances from cumbia to salsa and everything in between. Connecting with inspired local icons was so fun and made the best memories. In some places, to really dive in means working with an expert guide. I’ve relied on synchronicity and trusted the universe to connect me with the best of the best and I’ve been thrilled so far. The very day I purchased my flight to Morocco, we took an Uber to celebrate the big decision. When I chatted to our driver about where he was from, I bet you can guess: MOROCCO. And… he and his brother own an incredible tour operation, to boot. Find them at best_moroccotours on Instagram. Ismael, Yousef and I became fast friends and I had an incredible time and my long compilation of to-do and to-see (and to-eat) items were all accomplished. Amazing. For Egypt, I was given the name Sherif Gahmrey from a friend of a friend and he absolutely blew me away with our custom-packed itinerary and again, a checkmark next to every food and sights wish on the list. We were able to experience so many things I probably would not have sought on my own, even as a lifelong intrepid solo female traveler, I could never have moved with such speed and ease from attraction to attraction, navigated the Egyptian metro and so much more. I’m still reeling from the perfection of this experience. Simply extraordinary in every hour of every day. Whether you go it alone or have an expert at your side helping you check off every item of your list. Travel, Live, Love, Laugh and EAT Well This practice also applies to everything I eat! I love food (and food loves me). So when I’m overseas, I try anything and everything unique to the area. But before I board that plane or take the first bite, I focus my intentions to eat well and for the outcomes to be a happy, healthy, vibrant, balanced and well-fueled traveler who comes home and steps on a scale with a smile. I now know to use the Law of Attraction to visualize my health and well-being before, during and after every trip. But that wasn’t always the case. Over the years, I’ve gotten better and better at “lining up, pre-paving, segment intending,” and a phrase I love “eating in the vortex.” To learn more from the experts, visit Abraham-Hicks.com or the Facebook page Delicious Alignment. For the long story of my personal experience, read on. In 1991 I took my first off-continent international excursion with the quintessential summer backpacking through Europe. I enjoyed two months of sleeping on trains and eating very little to save funds for museum tickets and excursions. At the time I was 21 and I had not yet been introduced to these LOA principles. I’m not sure if I ever stepped on a scale outside the doctor’s office. I don’t recall what I weighed before or after the trip, just that I felt great every day. I now know that’s the ticket. Feel great, eat what really calls you and take inspired action to physically move every day. Eat what your body needs for wellness, rather than for boredom, procrastination or emotional reasons. Whether or not you’re travelling, I encourage you to try this for a month and see what unfolds. A Journey Toward Eating in the Vortex Two years later, I was living in India, still prior to being introduced to the LOA principles. I ate every street cart food and every snack sold by the train tracks and passed through my window. My employer hosted a buffet lunch which I devoured every midafternoon. I truly loved that time, the food and the people I enjoyed it with. But many nights, alone in my rented space, I was eating to fill loneliness or a feeling of great (and a powerfully positive, I’ll add) sense of otherness. In a city of 9 million people, I was the first non-Indian woman and fourth non-Indian person to reside in Hyderabad. This gave me great power of influence for good, which I appreciated immensely. However, one year later, I went home with a ton of memories and 20 extra pounds. From there, my international excursions paused for quite a time while I was fulfilled by the adventure of living in California and diving in to my exciting young career. In 1996 we moved to Tucson, where I was immersed in culture, home ownership and dog motherhood. I travelled home to the Midwest often and enjoyed an annual visit from my mother 2-3 weeks each spring. All this kept my attention within the US borders. Re-Discovering the Joy of International Travel Fast forward to 2014 the year my dear Mother transitioned to pure positive energy. (That’s another blog about the joyful realization that death is not an end, just a new beginning and a new way of relating and communicating.) Later that year, a friend in my fire performance troupe (Poi-Zen) was headed to be an English teacher in China. At her going away party, her boyfriend mentioned his $700 plane ticket. I heard Mom’s voice clearly in my ear say, “YOU have $700 dollars!” which I then said right out loud. Sure enough, TWO other troupe mates repeated the phrase and in a few short months, off we went! Traversing China was as delicious as it was stunning and educational. I was back on the international travel wagon and vowed to travel at least once each year with Mom on my shoulder. However, in 9 days I gained 11 pounds, even with an average daily walk of 7+ miles. I wasn’t a bit unhappy or lonely, but without knowing these principles, I gained back half the weight that took me a year to gain in India so many years prior. It was later that year in 2014 I really dived into Abraham Hicks and began applying the Law of Attraction to my love life. However I had not yet applied it to eating and physical wellness. With my new intention to travel internationally each spring with my celestial Mama, I set out on a few short trips to Cuba and Morocco, then later to Belize (first NON solo trip!) and the amazing 2019 Alaskan adventure on a cruise with Abraham Hicks. On that cruise I again gained 10+ pounds in as many days. That’s when I started paying attention to the teachings about body wellness and eating in the vortex. Your First Clue is Having FUN Along the Way The more I learned, the more I honed in on my personal definition of ideal health and weight. I customized a positive experience to meet my desires. First, I found healthy activities that I enjoyed and felt I was doing for the vibrant feeling rather than to change myself. Embracing online apps that were fun helped me realize I truly enjoy counting calories and weighing myself using the Lose It app. I’m jazzed by the learning, research, outcomes and nuances of the combination of eating well and inspired exercise, making dining decisions from the top of the emotional scale and remembering the most crucial component: our patterns of thought. After a pause in international trips during 2020, I jumped at the chance to join the first Abraham Hicks cruise in 2021, again, to Alaska. This time I applied LOA “eating in the vortex” principles on board every day. I pre paved for weeks before the cruise and at every meal. Although I consumed 7,000 – 10,000 calories per day, I gained only 3 pounds. Even more delightfully, I came home to one of my FAVORITE numbers on the scale: 122.2 which I love because 222 is a number Mom sends us with her messages from beyond. I didn’t lose weight or stay the same, but Mom confirmed I had done a great job and I was thrilled. A few short months later, I was determined to continue my streak in Egypt, where I delighted in all the cuisine this country has to offer: fried falafel with hummus, roasted eggplant, rice, piles of pitas, the national dish Koshari, mountains of dates and sticky Egyptian sweets (Konafa is my fave! I discovered it in Morocco and hunted it down in Egypt. So good!) which I enjoyed even more, knowing they were so plentiful due to the timing of my arrival on Prophet Mohammed’s birthday. Sweet synchronicity! I walked fewer than 3 miles per day and enjoyed every bite in the vortex. When I stepped on the scale before Egypt, I was tickled to see another of my favorite weights:123.4 a number I love for the feeling of 1,2,3,4! Here we go! Upon my return from the adventure and stepping on the scale, I had to laugh out loud. There it was again! 123.4 with zero weight gain after 10 days of eating everything I wanted but doing so with the right thought patterns. 123.4! Here we go! (Or as I learned in Morocco and used with joy in Egypt) YALLA YALLA! Yalla yalla bina! LET’S GO! I thought of Rhonda and Delicious Alignment and I knew I had to take a photo of the scale. Then something interesting happened. I jumped off the scale to grab my camera. When I stepped back on, I was 123.8. It was as if I drew that 123.4 out of the scale despite actually weighing 123.8.That was even more delightful than hitting the mark. What Outweighs the Scale is the JOY Our body weight and wellness might evade us here and there but we’re always on the right path toward it. And most importantly, is finding joy and fun along the way. It’s a little like the toothpaste we might forget to pack. We can pivot our thoughts to see the good in that. We can focus on what matters when we travel, like the learning, the fun, what we give back the places we visit and how we comingle and connect with others on the global stage. It’s all about feeling SO good at the end of every day and looking so forward to the next. Feel it first and it will come to you like a magnet. I’ve started to say to myself, “Feel it to REAL it” and I’m having a great time with the process. That’s the ticket, home or abroad. Have fun. Be light. Know that everything is working out. Then bring those good travel habits into daily life. Connect. Learn. Explore. Take what you need and leave what you don’t. Give back. Have fun. Uplift. Eat well and hold steady those positive expectations for every new day, wherever it may be.