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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.

My House Sitting Nightmare: Learn From My Mistakes

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This was a new discovery. I had no idea that fleas could live between sheets of plastic. Don’t they thrive on animal hosts, chew on the flesh of humans, but this?

Oh, how life throws in surprises.

Before we address fleas, let’s return to the beginning.

I’m a single female traveler. I had two beautiful cats, one passed away, the other one I tearfully let go to live on an urban farm in exchange for this rich, exciting thing called travel. I’ve also cared for numerous dogs in my time.

I rented apartments for years (also co-owned a condo with my sister and brother, though they lived here, I didn’t). I can clean, moderately cook and maintain a household. This is beginning to sound like my dating profile, but anyway…

Now that I live this unusual, but sexy existence (have to keep up that illusion) I am always hunting for ways to travel creatively.

Asian Women’s Empowerment: Why You Should Go

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Everybody needs to start somewhere. I was no different than you. You are no different than me.

Over a year ago Juno Kim of Runaway Juno asked me a question. Would you like to be a speaker at the first Asian Women’s Empowerment conference?

Gulp. My teachers had mercy on me during school presentations and ended them early after I sputtered and stuttered my way into another teasing session at recess.

But I accepted Juno, because I realized that my insecurities didn’t matter, what counted was being part of a movement to help others like me.

Who is that me? An Asian woman. Through will, a miracle and faith I broke through the pressures that were put upon me and forged a life, though not perfect, is the one I want.

And so I was ecstatic to give back to other Asian women in transition.

Switzerland’s Most Beautiful Train Ride

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A trip to Europe can be punctuated by a few things — deeply rooted culture, rich and tasty food, and architecture only found in a builder’s dreams.

The other consistent aspect that stands out to me are the trains. They are enduring as they are romantic. Sometimes a tad frustrating (Bulgaria), yet often times a smooth (France’s SNCF) experience.

The Glacier Express in Switzerland is marketed as a luxury train line through the Swiss Alps that connects the two mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz  The cars are wide, with broad windows on the roofs and along the sides to give the train rider a sensory experience. This stretch of train track was ceremoniously crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

Since the Rhaetian Railway sells the Glacier Express trip and several other tailored train journeys, the two rail sections you want to pay attention to is the Bernina Railway and the Albula Railway. Both these tracks are composed of some of the most stunning scenes of the Swiss Alps and make up the majority of the UNESCO designation. These tracks combined traverse through tunnels, viaducts, bridges and galleries, doing so in unity with the surrounding landscape. Unbelievable.

Welcome Video & Special Offer: Creative Revolution Retreats!

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Things are heating up at Creative Revolution Retreats!

If you recall I just launched my upcoming writer’s retreat two months ago, which happens to be set in Costa Rica. Leigh and I are generating a lot of interest and a few cool things are developing.

Yeehaw, we’ve shot a welcome video to let people know what we are about and why our retreat is more than just a week’s vacation. Watch it till the end for the outtakes, my favorite part of the video actually!

Blogstock: The World’s First Blogging Festival

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“Welcome, do you want a black wristband?”

I stumbled on that question, because isn’t this a blogging conference?? Not a music festival fuelled by alcohol and screaming music indie fans?

Yes and no. In front of me was a large field in Elstree, UK littered with teepees, tents and barefooted bloggers tugging at the grass with their toes.

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Directly behind me were rows of erected tents, fresh from the box, ready to be invaded by threadbare sleeping bags and world weary backpacks.

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Where the hell was I?

Silly woman, the world’s first blogging festival.

Costa Rica is Next & Why I Need It

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My time in Europe has wound down and part of me is sad, but relieved.

I know, a strange feeling to court, but this past summer was filled with back room dramas that I’m too exhausted to get into here.

Two consistent things occur to me when ever I’m in Europe — how beautiful it is and how much bad karma it brings me.

The other consistent thing is that no matter how foul my mood is, I always return to the beauty. I promise to provide some evidence of this beauty at a later date.

I just finished a weekend at Blogstock. You might have read I was going and speaking about how to market a creative brand (oh, and make money on it). These things are always a whirlwind, but overall it was a great experience. I enjoyed the mix of bloggers from different sectors, whether fashion or food, and the overall community atmosphere. I’d much rather work with people, instead of against them.

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Speaking at Blogstock

I also promise to publish my slides and the talk on Slideshare at a later date.

Tonight is about preparation. I’m packing my bags once more, sweeping away the metaphorical cobwebs and tomorrow I will be flying across bodies of water again, this time my destination is Costa Rica.