Traveling in Style

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Hiking in the town of Cabrera, DR. The cutie in the back wants my hat! (Photo: Colleen Wolak)

Greetings, it has been awhile, and I am back from a much needed Goddess sabbatical. If you live where I live – or have traveled to many major cities – I will bet that you have come across people who you instantly know are tourists, especially the North Americans (*smiles*).  I really never understood the concept of the unattractive hip packs, the over-sized sweatshirts and loose fitting t-shirts, the heavy and bulky looking sneakers, and the funny-shaped baseball caps.  Certainly, there are so many options out there for comfortable and stylish clothing, footwear, and accessories for travel. I am not certain why people on holiday still dress in such odd and unpolished ways.  Perhaps they do not have a clue, or perhaps they are simply following what is portrayed in the films of the tourist characters.

As for myself, when I am traveling, I usually take into account where I will be traveling to: the weather, the culture, the people, and how they express their sense of style. From there, I adjust my individual style to fit in while still keeping it simple, unique, comfortable, and certainly easy to pack and wash by hand.

I hope you like the looks in this post from my recent goddess travels including the Awakened Retreat I hosted in Cabrera, a quiet and pretty town in the Dominican Republic.  I like keeping my inner goddess happy with clothing that feels soft and luxurious against my skin, easy to slip on and off and that allows me to breathe freely. Cotton, silk, rayons, and slinky silky knits are usually my favorites to wear. Most importantly, I never travel without a pair of my oh so comfortable stylish leather sandals handmade in Mykonos.

Think about where your next travels might take you – How will you pack for it?  What will you be wearing? If you need assistance, let me know. My style goddesses and I would find delight in helping you. Many of the clothes and accessories in this post are from my goddess sanctuary, tu-anh Boutique.  If you do not live near Old Town Alexandria, you can always shop online instead.

My favorite spot on the villa to recharge (Photo: Ryann Doyle)

 

Sweaty from the hike, but happy and resting by the waterfall. (Photo: Ryann Doyle)

Cotton Crochet bag from Mexico and comfy sandals from Mykonos are my travel musts.

With Nha Nha, the villa pet that I fell in love with in Cabrera. (Photo: Regina)

Moi in the backyard of my parent’s home in Florida. (Photo: Yanni Nguyen)

Leaning, smiling, and pretending not to be afraid of falling backwards. 🙂 (Photo: Maria Leiva)

Hiking Retreat in Laguna Beach on New Year’s week of 2017.

Hiking Retreat at the top of the world with the Pearl Laguna in California.

Enjoying the beautiful day walking around Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo before my goddess retreat. (Photo: Cesar)

Style Rethymno

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For those of you who have not seen my Facebook and Instagram posts recently, I am currently on a buying trip in Europe for my boutique and of course, the Greek Islands are a MUST destination for me. This is my second time in Greece and it keeps enticing me to return for more.  So, it looks like I will be visiting one Greek Island per year until I settle with one that I would like to be loyal to.  I love the Greek island atmosphere and resort-style fashion. It’s all so light, airy, natural, feminine, and earthy with a touch of glam and sensuality. I feel right at home here in a culture where you are encouraged to bring out your inner goddess and nurture your feminine soul.

Below is a sampling of what I saw in the streets and the boutique window displays of Rethymno, Crete during our stay. I will share with you more photos I took of the unique Old Town Rethymno.  You will definitely want to visit after you see my photos!

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What tu-anh Will Do Before 2014

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Stretching outside of beach house #34 of Castle Hill Inn.  I am all about creating balance.  Doing yoga and meditation this past year has helped me tremendously and I will continue to do more of that in 2014.

Can you believe it?  Another year has passed.  As we say goodbye to 2013, here is another opportunity for a fresh start.

The next two weeks for me will be all about out with the old and in with the new.  That also means leaving behind what is not working and continuing with more of what is actually working in both my professional and personal life. Every year around this time, I get excited about what will be coming in the New Year.  I guess it has to do a lot with my childhood where change and uncertainty happened almost daily – that I so much have gotten used to.  This is why I adapt to new things, new people, new environments and surroundings, and new energy very easily.  I actually love it!

Below is a list of things I will be doing before year end that I want to share with you. Perhaps you may feel inspired to do the same as well. I know there is not much time left, but many of the things will not take that long if you do not over think, over analyze, or get overly emotional about them.  Trust me, this will help you to have another amazing new year. So see what you can do before the first of the year.  I will keep you posted on my progress as well!

1. Your office.  Declutter and organize.  Get rid of things that do not matter and file away things that do matter.  Do the same with your emails and voicemails. When you are done, then have the office maids in there doing a final cleaning.  And for good Feng Shui, buy a lucky bamboo or a nice healthy orchid and put it on your desk.

2. Your home.  (Warning: this may take longer if you get too emotional and attached to things.) First, go around every single room and get rid of dead plants and dead flowers.  They do not represent life.  Then water the living ones and trim away the dead leaves. Give them some love! Next, go around and tackle all the closets. Do you have clothes and shoes that you have not worn in years, thinking that you may be able to fit in them again one day?  If that one day has not come yet it never will, sorry to say.  Just donate them to your local Goodwill.  Same goes with other junks in the closets that you have no use for.

The kitchen in America today is a place for social gatherings, that is why in real estate having a nice and open kitchen will increase the value of the home.  So make sure to clean out the fridge, the pantry, any excess of things you do not need or food that is unhealthy for you.  If you have windows in your kitchen, add a touch of life with potted herbs.

As for the walls throughout your home, take down artwork and pictures that do not make you feel good when looking at them; only put up art that you love.  And if you want to start a new and healthy relationship, get rid of photos and letters of ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, ex-lovers, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, whatever you call them.  Trash them or put them in a storage space that is far far far away from your home.  Please note, the garage does not count as storage. You should be cleaning and organizing that space, too.

Now, let’s take care of the most important space: your bedroom! If you want to take your current relationship to the next level or attract a loving and healthy relationship, buy new sheets, comforters, pillows, blankets, towels, rugs, toiletries, and even new curtains.  The worst thing you can do for that special love of your life is making that person share those things from your past.  It is unfair and not good Feng Shui.  Please remember that this also includes your lingerie, pajamas, boxers, undergarments, etc. that you wore while you were with other partners.  I know you are thinking this is costly and a lot of effort, but it does not have to be if you keep things simple. This is only for the serious and the committed, definitely, not for the players…Need some ideas to spice up your love life?

Once you are done with your home, also make sure to have the maids come in and do an overall cleaning.

3. Your mobile phone.  Some of you may already do this, but you should be going through your mobile phones and delete unpleasant text messages, photos of past partners and lovers, and voicemails every few weeks or so.  Then scroll down your contact list and delete contacts that bring out negative feelings in you or you have no further use for them, except if they are members of your family.  They are who they are and you can not change them.  No matter how tempting it is, do not delete your own family.  It’s mean and bad karma!

4.  Your relationships.  When was the last time you had a relationship check up? This includes your sweetheart, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your bosses, your peers, and any one else that is important to you.  Reach out to them and ask them on a scale from 1-10 how would they rate your relationship, and if not a 10, what would it take to make it a 10?  If you are still harboring resentments or issues with anyone, just get it on the table and have an open talk about it.  Get that resolved and don’t allow it to linger around into the new year.  Need help on how to do this? Click here to find out.

5. Your appearance.  This is simple.  Get a hair cut or touch up your roots if they are starting to show not in a flattering way.  Get a pedicure, manicure, wax, shave, whatever you need to do to look good and feel good for the new year.  You should do this regularly.  When you look good, you feel good and you become more confident, too.

6. Your mind.  As my business mentor Dr. Alan Weiss mentioned this week at the Million Dollar Consulting College I attended in Newport, RI, “The key to having ideas is to empty your head.”  Our minds are like computers.  If we fill them with junk and nonsense, it will slow us down.  If we want to be more creative and productive at work, why not empty the stuff that is in our heads? And from a personal perspective, if you get rid of the emotional clutter, resentments, chatters, and negative self talk, that will ease a lot of the stress and prevent aging, too.  Want to know how to free up your mind?

7.  Send a handwritten thank you note to someone special in your life.  Now that the above list is done, why not write thank you notes to people who have made a difference in your life this year and are important to you?  Make sure this is a handwritten notecard, no emails, voicemails, texts or phone calls.  Write it and send it via postal service.  It may just be for one special person – you decide.

8. Pray, meditate and appreciate.  Take a moment to say a prayer of thanks for the blessings in your life, for the opportunity to live, for the people in your life, for food, for shelter, for strength…If you do not pray, then meditate and focus on appreciating all the wonderful things in your life…visualize more of that. For me, I go the extra step after praying and meditating by writing in my journal and listing those appreciations.   Something like…..I am thankful for …I could write a book on all my appreciations 🙂

9. Your health.  In between the to dos, please remember to exercise, eat healthy, and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day.  You must take care of your mind, body, and spirit, not to mention that it helps prevent aging, too.  Try to fit in at least 45 minutes a day of walking, running, dancing, weights, sports, yoga, or shopping and fun girl time, whatever activity works for you.

10. Your time.  Okay, so mission accomplished!  How do you feel?  Now it is time for some self love.  We know that money can buy many things, but it can not buy time. When was the last time you took a long weekend off somewhere by yourself?  If you have not, choose a destination that you like and focus on doing only things you love while on vacation. Don’t bother to check emails or voicemails.  Just enjoy and have fun. The focus is only on YOU!  I know for givers and pleasers, this is hard to do, but just do it.  It’s worth it!  I have already planned mine to La Casa Que Canta!  Make sure to stay healthy while traveling too!

Now that you have done all of the above, it’s time to simply just relax.  Take a day off and do nothing, watch a movie and chill with your pet and sweetheart under a warm blanket, or do what I normally love to do, take a hot bubble bath with sea salt and fresh lemon juice, light up some patchouli/lavender scented candles, drink champagne or calming tea, play soft French music in the background and just think nothing.  Simply relax and enjoy being you.

Keep me posted if you end up using this list.  I plan on finishing all of this by December 30th.  Let’s keep each other posted on the progress.  Good luck and Happy Holidays….love…tu-anh