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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.

4 Years of Travel

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A Last Look at China


Coming Out of the Closet: I'm Size XX

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Hipmunk Hotels: Most Comfortable California Hotels in Bakersfield, Costa Mesa, Marina del Rey and More

Hotel California is a popular song by the Eagles, and even though it’s not the happiest song, one lyric is true: “You check in and don’t ever leave.”

California has some amazing hotels that are not only interesting, but like a second home. Here are five hotels that you should look up on your next trip to California.


Bakersfield, California

The Padre Hotel is right in downtown Bakersfield, and is a renovated building from 1928. With a rooftop bar and fine dining, already this hotel makes your stay a pleasure. The rooms in this boutique hotel have memory foam mattresses, a wet bar, enclosed glass showers, and flat-screen TVs. Not far from the Amtrak Station, check out nearby Beach Park and Kern River.


June 21st, 2016|Categories: Hipmunk|1 Comment
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Memory Lane: My Trip to the Chicago Skydeck


I’m feeling very nostalgic lately since the Women in Travel Summit just took place in California.

I was a keynote speaker at the first WITS, which was held in Chicago. I had a wonderful time during my travels in Chicago, but I have yet to write about one aspect I enjoyed immensely: touring the Chicago Skydeck.

When a few WITS attendees and I joined a tour of the Willis Tower Skydeck, members of management treated us to an exclusive look at this fascinating structure.

I learned some juicy facts about the Skydeck and Willis Tower:


May 11th, 2016|Categories: Chicago, Travel Tips|Tags: , , , |5 Comments
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How to Make the Most Out of Playa del Carmen


So I’ve been living in Playa del Carmen for a while now and have had the chance to witness different ways of enjoying this growing city.

It obviously depends on the length of time you have to play with. I chose a different route than others, but very happy to talk about the various options out there.


April 25th, 2016|Categories: Playa del Carmen|Tags: , , , |2 Comments
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Bali for Solo Female Travelers


I’m writing this post for me. Well, and for you, too. While I’ve seen a fair amount of Asia, Bali is still a mystery to me. One I hope to conquer early next year.

Indonesia reminds me of the Philippines. Like the Philippines, Indonesia is composed of thousands of islands. 14,000 to be exact.

For safe and fun travel, I think Indonesia ranks up there as fairly easy to navigate for solo female travelers. It feels like you can walk around without having to clutch your bag every two seconds, and relax into each travel day. But at the same time, you’re treated to the crazy, refreshing drum beat of Indonesian culture. A solo gal can handle this!

In anticipation of visiting Bali, here’s my bucket list for when I venture there sooner, rather than later:


April 22nd, 2016|Categories: Travel Tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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Making A Solo Trip to Sydney


Some solo female travelers feel uneasy about heading to a large centre. There’s being noticeably alone in a big city, along with not knowing how to enjoy things solo, especially if there are concerts, events, or other neat things to do.

But having traveled to about 49 countries or so (honestly, I’ve lost count, because my memory is awful) has taught me that going solo in a city is not terrible at all, but really liberating!

Sydney, Australia is one of those cities that’s easy to navigate, find new friendships, yet still enjoy something solo, if you wish.

It’s all there; it’s just a matter of finding it! Good thing I’m here to tell you. Here’s my unique solo guide to Sydney:


January 25th, 2016|Categories: Travel Tips|Tags: |4 Comments

Playa del Carmen, is it Paradise?


I made a grave mistake. The darkened highway suddenly burst with lights as the ADO bus barrelled towards the centre of Playa del Carmen. All that light made me cower.

Popping sounds exploded in my eardrums before I realized it was music blaring from a store. I peered out the bus window, seeing too many brightly lit stores and people, moving swiftly down the paved sidewalks.

After four months of existing in a silent world of star filled nights and empty beaches in Xcalak, this slice of civilization was frightening. There is comfort in solitude. I felt protected in the bubble of my routine that nobody could intrude on.


January 20th, 2016|Categories: Life, Playa del Carmen|Tags: , , |18 Comments