Slide background

My name is Jeannie Mark

I’m a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken my passions — and forge a life set by my own rules.

Slide background

Life Lessons

4 Years of Travel

Slide background

China

A Last Look at China

Slide background

My Writer's Retreat

Creative Revolution Retreats Feb 2015!

Washington, DC in the Cold

washingtondc1

Before I ever stepped foot in Washington, D.C. numerous warnings used to hit my Facebook feed.

Oh, don’t go there — there’s so much crime!”

“Washington has some scary neighborhoods.”

When I taught in China, there was a popular exercise I did with students when I assigned groups an American city and they presented which monuments they wanted to see and how much they planned to spend on this once in a lifetime vacation to the United States.

Nobody groaned about being assigned New York City or San Francisco — but when it came to Washington D.C., dissenting voices arose. “But teacher, Washington is dangerous, yes?”

I lacked an answer because at that point I’d never been to D.C., nor did I want to express a misguided opinion.

Does the Versalette Work?

Remember a while ago when I sung the praises of the Versalette?

But maybe you didn’t believe me, so I gave one away to Sarah Glashagel in hopes that she would also start a choral group over this travel garment? And sing hymns about it’s usefulness?

If you recall, the Versalette is a garment that can be worn 30 different ways. If you’re on safari and need a cover-up for your head,  this is your go-to solution. Or if you want to wear a dress one evening for the hell of it, welcome to va-va-voom.

It’s Okay to be Single

SinglA

Panama’s Bocas del Toro is the only province in the entire country composed of islands (nine, to be exact).

Located on the Caribbean side, it’s ingredients are simple: a bit of hedonism, pulsating music soaked in reggae or calypso beats, and water breaks worthy of world-class surfing. It’s been my temporary home for the past two months.

It’s also full of men. Roving, seeking, and unafraid to engage. This is a surprise to me after living at a yoga resort with women in Costa Rica. I’ve been offered more dates in the last two months than I did in my entire two years in China.

Discover Costa Rica Through Photos

costaricahorse-8

Costa Rica is an unusual animal in Central America, being one of the few countries in that part of the world to boast a relatively conflict free history.

Certainly they were annexed by Spain and went through a civil war, but the government was declared a democracy in 1869 — at an earlier stage than many countries that still haven’t been declared as such.

I found modern Costa Rica to be a milieu of intense nature and laid back locals. I woke up to howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, large insects scaling my walls and frogs chortling.

When a Costa Rican utters ‘Pura Vida” it’s not a flippant term tossed at your feet. Pura Vida means “pure life” — and Costa Ricans really believe in this — encompassing the good life. One of family, love and a deep connection to their environment.

There’s a high number of farmers selling Costa Rican products like coffee, bananas and cacao (chocolate).

This philosophy explains the government’s unwavering stance on eco-preservation, which makes Costa Rica one of the big players in eco-tourism.

Ibiza: Fresh Look at This Spanish Island

It’s no surprise that I LOVE Spain. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, bounced like a kid while touring Alhambra in Granada and pinched myself as I watched flamenco dancing in Seville. I get asked about Ibiza all the time and have no answers since I haven’t been there, but I also hesitant to answer because of its party reputation. So I’m letting my guest writer Jeska Believes give you the lowdown on Ibiza. Is it still a place of raves and club dancing?

Ibiza

Spain’s infamous party island, Ibiza, may be known for hangovers, fake tans, and wild backpackers, but these days the Balearic Island off the coast of Spain is luring more refined travelers to its shore. With a newly-improved marina drawing super-yachts to the island, and plenty of fine dining and luxury accommodations to choose from, this top-class Mediterranean getaway spot can provide a memorable escape for any age group.

Why Wild is Important for Every Woman Traveler

2_QUOTE_04

Wild. That’s what I called myself  in 2010 when I filled my cranberry red backpack to the brim, a one-way ticket to India burning in my hand.

I am a restless soul that can’t be caged. A dragon longing to spread her wings, spew fire on the earth, to leave my mark — show I was here and existed… Burn trails; guzzle life until my belly is overfull; howl at the moon cresting against a starry night. 

But I’m also a solo woman. One who received quizzical stares at an airport in Shanghai, the border officer interrogating me on why I was alone.

Or when I walked on the side of the highway near Savarsai, India, being the only female foreigner within a 300 mile radius, to be stopped by a young couple asking me questions. Why aren’t you married? You are by yourself? 

Why? Why? Why?