Friday, June 5, 2015

My love affair with Paris is over

On May 26th I broke up with my Paris blog!

It was time. I had pretty much made up my mind a couple of years ago that I would not be retiring in Paris.

It was a wonderful dream but the reality did not match the dream. 

Paris is way too expensive for folks on a fixed income and there are way too many hoops to jump through to reside there on any type of permanent basis. Paris, my friends, is not hurting for people who want to live there. Therefore, there is no reason to entice retirees with easy residency and monetary perks. 

And... this realization is a perfect example of why it is so important to do extensive research on any place(s) where you to think you may want to retire.

However, even though I no longer have my Paris  blog dedicated to all things Paris, I can still post any related information here, as this is a travel blog, of sorts.

And, I thought it only fitting to end my love affair with Paris by posting a photo and related article about the end of another romantic era in Paris.

The love locks on The Pont des Arts
 are being removed. I have done several posts about the historic bridge and it is sad that the locks will finally come off for good!

But, structurally the locks meant disater for the bridge.

I'm Just Sayin!
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Don't get screwed by the airlines - Relocation/Travel tips


Once you've experienced a $200 price spike in the middle of your ticket search, your fourth 45-minute flight delay of the day, or your bag going MIA in Miami, you can't help but think: what are these airlines hiding from me?

It turns out, A LOT. Sure, some of it's coincidence, and you get an $8 voucher for an airport breakfast. But that overpriced breakfast is not an adequate salve -- and in fact, you've got a right to more than that. Here are 10 secrets airlines don't want you to know.
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Black, White and Shades of Gray - Relocation Abroad

Travel Wardrobe Capsule – Black and white and shades of gray

Been really busy working to narrow down the clothes for my upcoming trip. Been Mixing and matching outfits to wear for 15 glorious days in the tropics. 

Each of us has agreed to travel with only ONE carry on. So gotta make everything fit! That's the plan.

As we were fine tuning our itinerary I also attempted to fine tune my wardrobe selections. However, so far, no wardrobe plan has worked to meet all of my specifications. 
With time running out, I'm posting my most recent and hopefully my final attempt. 

I chose these pieces based on several factors and with a focus on total comfort dressing. No tight, clinging, digging pants. I'm not even taking a pair of jean (they are heavy and can also be very hot) We have a long flight and once we arrive we will be spending a great deal of time riding long distances on hot buses, which I also assume will probably a bit cramped. 
I don't anticipate that we will attend any dressy functions but I bought along 1 dress that can pass for dressy and I have a pair of trusty black pants. 

Four dresses

Six tops
All tops are inter changeable

five pairs of pants
 navy, black and gray pants are all made of tencel

Batik long dress from Molly b

 2 swim suits
1 swim suit cover ups
Net King Tunic (also comes in black)
the tunic is not an "official" swim suit cover up. I'm just using it as one. 
It is very versatile. I have a million things I can wear under it. 

Also packing: 2 pairs of knee length shorts (khaki and pink) and 3 linen Tshirts (navy, black and olive green) 1 wrap, 1 pj, undies (I love thExOfficio Quick-Dry Full Brief $20 /pr) 2 pairs of Toms (black and ?? (a pair not  purchased yet)

So far everything fits. We'll see how many "must haves" I will have to add to the bag.

I'll take a photo each day of the outfit I wear once we get to Costa Rica

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Notorious Over Packer - Travel Relocation Abroad

The over packer's motto:

“I’ll take it.... just in case” 

GUILTY as charged!

I have travelled near and far and no matter where I go, I end up packing too many clothes. I really have the best of intentions because my desire has always been to take "only what I need".  However, even though I bought a fancy luggage scale - in the end I always have at least 2 suitcases full of clothing and have even found myself re-shuffling clothing from one bag to another at the airline check in counter - which is sort of embarassing, I might add -- especially since a good majority of those clothes I never end up wearing. It's a very stressful way to travel!

My packing process has not served me well in the past and for 2015 and beyond I have vowed to change my overpacking ways and travel lighter -- using only a carry on.  (all bets are off when relocating to a new country)

Here's why

You can save yourself some money!
The U.S. airline industry has made about $3.4 billion a year in baggage fees since most airlines started charging for checked bags in 2008. On one trip returning from Barcelona I added a 3rd bag and it cost me over $200! 

The BF says he wil not repeat the luggage debacle we experienced in France when he had to carry our 4 over stuffed suitcases up and down several flights of stairs (no elevator) in one of the train stations in France. All annoucements were in french and they kept switching the departure gate (we think). That was in 2010 and he brought it up again last week. Seems he will NEVER forgive me for that one - although I swear to you "it was not my fault!"

But beyond that, what is really driving this decision is our upcoming trip to Costa Rica because we will primarily be using various forms of public transportation. There will be 5 of us and we will each be repsonsible for our own luggage (meaning the BF won't be carrying my bag). Plus I am pretty nervous about letting my luggage out from under my watchful eye on the buses  -- as I have heard horror stories about luggage and personal items being taken in Cost Rica.  So, it's one bag for me. I might even let the bag have the seat  on the bus and I will stand! :)

Here are some of my tips 

AND.......Don't Forget

Be ready to go through screening and remove electronics and liquids and gels for inspection. If you can, place these items separately in the zipper portion in the front of your suitcase.

Use dryer sheets. Put one in each suitcase. Keeps it smelling nice!  Plus, reminds you of home if you are prone to homesickness. 


Underwear is tiny.  It doesn’t need it’s own dedicated corner in your suitcase.  It doesn’t even need to be folded.  This might seem a bit haphazard but once you’re done packing you can literally just stuff your underwear into the gaps between your clothes.  Saving a bit of space sometimes really is that simple.

Last but not least
"i don't think you need to bring this"

After you've finished packing and repacking, have an impartial friend or family member go through what you've packed and give you their honest opinion of what you are taking.
Remove the unnecessary pieces.  Zip your bag and Enjoy your trip!

Costa Rica Here We Come!
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