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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.

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Life Lessons

4 Years of Travel

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China

A Last Look at China

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My Writer's Retreat

Creative Revolution Retreats Feb 2015!

Why Should You Travel to Egypt?

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Remember Egypt?

I wrote about Egypt in 2012 and stated that I wanted to travel there. I have to, absolutely have to, see the pyramids.

I remember defending Egypt, despite some warnings about female travelers going there.

It still remains on my bucket list with hopes I’ll be there in the next couple of years.  (My other dream is to see Tehran).

Is tourism heading back to normalcy with the election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi? Yes, I think so — slowly but surely. Again, my feelings on travel rest on what I experience, not what I’m told.

As for Egypt, these are some of the things I long to experience. Now to craft my potential itinerary on them!

Releasing Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

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Piro Beach was empty, but not silent.

The darkness swallowed body and mind, until Manuel instructed us to turn on our headlamps. Our heaving breath was drowned out by the strong surf, roaring and crashing against the shore. The sand, in contrast, was soft and silky, sifting through my toes easily.

Minutes before my feet were encased in rubber boots that scraped and pinched my big toes, but now free, I wiggled them, digging in the sand further. We all had to wear these boots, because when something is worth the journey, you walk miles to get there.

We weaved through mucky paths and thick bush, crossed a river that weighed down my boots because water seeped in with alarming speed, only to navigate a muddy embankment, my boots squeaking from water and friction. Looming trees and engorged vines enveloped us, along with the dark.

Winner of the Versalette Giveaway!

I applaud you all. Every single answer to the Versalette Giveaway was a joy to read, but sadly I can only select one winner.

Each tale had me laughing, crying or applauding. One woman hoped she could wear it as her boyfriend proposed to her somewhere exotic. Another one said she’d wear it to the next TBEX in Spain and rave about the person who gifted her with it.

Trust me, it was really hard to decide. I’d give one to all of you if I could!

So, who is the lucky gal?

By |December 1st, 2014|Travel Tips|4 Comments|

The Reality of Volunteering at a Yoga Resort

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Travel can be perception.

We have an expectation how a place will feel, what will happen once we get there.

I’ve been quiet about my time at Blue Osa — only because I needed time to distill my experience.

People make assumptions about me, that my life is all fantasy  — full of fun, fun, fun!

I also harbour fantasies (other than the normal variety) and I had quite a few about volunteering at a yoga resort.

Before I discuss realities, let me cover a few points first.

One, the grounds of Blue Osa are truly magical, initially relaxing me. Because I was wound too tight from my lousy experiences in Europe; the setting was literally paradise.

Two, I do yoga everyday minus travel days, so the opportunity to delve deeper into yogic philosophy was the perfect union (me + a yoga resort).

Third, it was fascinating to use my writing skills in a volunteer-in-trade role, essentially writing for my bed and dinner.

Why I Love Seamly.co & Versalette Giveaway!!

Here’s a stark fact, I’ve been traveling for years and years waiting for the right garment for my travel wardrobe. I really wondered if it would ever come.

Oh, but it finally did. For several months now, I’ve been wearing the Versalette. A travel garment that you can utilize several ways (30 to be exact).

Murano and Burano: Twin Islands in Italy

Murano and Burano are really two bookends to a trip to northeastern Italy – especially when in Venice. It’s little more than a vaporetto trip to these islands, both heavily rooted with their own legends and traditions.

Murano holds all the certificates on glass making, but not just any kind. Many of the creations produced in glass workshops are exploded rainbows of color, shape and aesthetic. Several prominent glass sculptures are scattered around the island, which are large and ambitious, but what also draws visitors are those delicate glass beads used in a woman’s bracelet, a more subtle show of glass art. While water life is part of Murano’s fabric, it’s really the glass that dazzles.

Burano is all about it’s nautical roots, evidenced by “Essi” or “Bussola Buranello”, the S-shaped cookies found in nearly all the bakeries. Tourists assume the S-shape cookie is a Venetian sweet treat, but it’s shape actually means the compass of Burano. So for residents, there’s a double layer of meaning to a mere cookie. Like Murano, boats move slowly and methodically in the canal that splits the island in the middle, but what Burano is mainly heralded for are rows and rows of brightly painted homes and storefronts that pop with an exuberance, a playfulness that belies cynicism. Indeed, while walking around Burano, one doesn’t even want to walk at all, but skip to a swelling song sprinkled with sunshine and wide smiles. If you are into lace and not leather, Burano is also known for lace textiles, with several shops carrying anything devoted to lace, not just doilies.

By |November 10th, 2014|Burano, Italy, Murano|14 Comments|