hiking cinque terre trails

“It’s the most romantic place you’ll ever see,” said my pretty Irish friend.

She pitched me that line 13 years ago, on our way to the train station to buy tickets to the Cinque Terre. That was “back in the day” when I was a student in Florence. I was more than ready to escape the Tuscan heat for the seaside.

On a Friday in July, we took the train to the first village. When I hopped off the train I squealed, “Seriously! This is amazing!” That was just the view from the train platform.

I still love hearing that phrase. I’m blessed to hear it every summer from my guests when they join my week long tours to the Cinque Terre.

My driver collects our guests from the sweaty train station. As we descend into the village of Riomaggiore, all that city commotion just washes away.

I love watching their faces as each hairpin curve delivers another peekaboo view of the village, and the entire Italian Riviera and all the way to French coastline.

If I could bottle those smiles and save them for a rainy day, I would.
Continue Reading…

{ 4 comments }

best airbnb italy

I’m freakin’ excited to show you these.

If you love interesting homes, hotels and spaces, then we have something in common.

I believe that when you travel — where you stay can be half the adventure.

To say it straight, you can do one of two things:

1) Stay in a standard space.

2) Stay in an awesome space.

The truth is, your budget doesn’t dictate your options.

Like my man Tony Robbins says, it’s not about resources, it’s about resourcefulness.

post-imageWhy be normal?

Luxury has many facets. Your definition of luxury could be four hundred thread count sheets. Or maybe it’s just a hot shower. Depends on what you have at home, and how you’re wired.

My definition of luxury is walking into a space and feeling wide-eyed and wowed. There’s a sensual type of beauty and playfulness that I seek (in homes, and in men, but that’s another article). I’ve felt that way about a tent in the woods. And a one room cabin with an outdoor shower.
Continue Reading…

{ 13 comments }

Post image for How to Upgrade Your Kids’ Education (Even Without College Savings).

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

We need to encourage young people to travel.

Don’t you wish you had the blessings to travel more?

Adults are pretty heavy on kids. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is something each kid gets asked.

And because kids want to please us, they usually conjure something up.

We train kids from a young age that their career is the Holy Grail. The everything. The crappy thing is we went through the same thing, so the cycle continues. But we can change that.

I was terrified I would screw up.

I had this nagging feeling that I would screw up royally my first year in college.

When I graduated high school, I was awarded several scholarships (not because I was brilliant, but because I applied for them and was pretty good at filling out forms).

I sent in my application for college – because that was the expectation. Cause nice girls go to college, right?
Continue Reading…

{ 10 comments }