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Travel Diaries: I left my heart in Sausalito

I have had the opportunity to travel to many locations and exotic destinations over the course of my three decades on this planet. For years my sights were set on Europe and the countries that sit nestled along the gorgeous Mediterranean. It was not until the past year or two that I began delving in and discovering what it is that can be found on the very continent that I reside. This curiosity finally took me to The Big Apple on numerous occasions, along with Miami and various locales on the California coast.  I have since fallen in love with the remarkable variation of settings, scenery and culture that lay waiting for discovery here in North America.

In recent months, I had the opportunity to set off to the northern reaches of California. After exploring Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where I obviously indulged in some premiere wines and delectable dishes, I decided to discover what it was that caused so many to leave their hearts in San Francisco. San Francisco and its surrounding beauty, offer an experience like no other.

Although I found pleasure in roaming through the neighbourhoods like North Beach and Telegraph Hill in addition to enjoying some chowder and taking in the fun sites and entertainment at Fisherman’s Wharf, it was when I crossed the symbolic and majestic passageway over the Bay-The Golden Gate Bridge- burning red in all its prestige and strength, that I discovered my true hideaway that will keep me coming back to the Bay area again and again.

Sausalito, California is a breathtakingly beautiful San Francisco Bay town that boasts a Mediterranean charm with the relaxed and luxurious culture to match.  Tucked into rolling hills overlooking the steely blue crashing waves, are scattered stately homes of all manner of designs. The front street is smattered with quaint boutiques, beckoning spas, for your relaxation while on getaway, and offers a plethora of fine-dining options. If it weren’t for the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge in clear sight, it would be easy to imagine that you were spending time on the shores of the Amalfi Coast.

Many inns are available for travellers while visiting this town of  well-to-do Marin County. All hotels include tastefully decorated rooms, and many offer spa services that will cap off a day of adventure with utter relaxation.

In close proximity to the main stretch is a ferry boat that can easily transport you to central San Francisco to attend whatever performance or tour you wish to partake in. A short drive north of the picturesque town of Sausalito and you’ll find yourself in wine-lovers’ paradise where Napa vineyards will keep your taste buds aroused. A drive back from the northern wine region would be even more spectacular if the route chosen is the California coastal highway.  Views are surreal and the number of fishing villages with fresh seafood on offer that you’ll discover while making the trek back are just another reason to add this adventure to your to-dos while in the area.

Keeping fit and active in San Francisco is never a difficult feat seeing as there is no shortage of hills to climb. Hop on one of the city bikes or take a bike tour by an offered tour company, through the streets of SF and back across the Golden Gate Bridge to rest your head in Sausalito at your choice of inn. Perhaps finish off an active afternoon in the spa with a well-deserved massage and a crisp glass of chardonnay from a choice Napa vineyard.

Working up an appetite certainly deserves the best of the best in regards to dining. Enjoy a lovely evening at one of many a 5 star restaurants, for some mouth-watering authentic bites that will have you singing “That’s Amore” before the night is through. Sweet treats are easily found by stepping out onto Bridgeway Drive and stopping in to one of the number of bakeries and ice cream shops on Sausalito’s main street.

A perfectly poised post for visiting all that San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma Valley have to offer, Sausalito is the luxurious and charming destination to choose to ensure that your getaway can involve a touch of relaxation,  fine dining, nightlife, exciting activities and adventure. I fell in love with this place while I was within Sausalito’s borders, and trust that you will as well.

Wildfire Thomas fifth largest in history of California

California’s wildfire, named Thomas, is still raging, becoming the worst of the five fires currently destroying the countryside. After spreading to more than 50,000 acres on Sunday, Thomas has set the record as the fifth largest wildfire in the history of the state. The fire is much more severe than those seen in Boston and New York in recent years.

To date, more than 230,000 acres have been destroyed by the fire and almost 5000 homes were issued evacuation orders after being placed in the latest danger zones. Due to unpredictable and shifting winds, combined with low humidity, this has caused the fire to burn uncontrollably for more than a week.

After a week not much has changed. The Governor of California, Rick Brown, issued a sombre statement, telling residents of Southern California this is the new normal. Close to 800 structures have been destroyed by the fire.

“With climate change, some scientists are saying that Southern California is literally burning up,” Brown said in a statement. ” So we have to have the resources to combat the fires and we also have to invest in managing the vegetation and forests, in a place thats getting hotter.” Brown also told reporters that he sees extreme fire activity happening on a regular basis for decades to come.

More than 5700 firefighters, from 100 different crews, have been putting in their efforts to help contain and control the wildfires, But heavy winds are making the task extremely difficult. In the past week, firefighters were only able to contain 15 per cent of the vast fire and this number is expected to drop over the next week.

The fire started in Ventura County last Monday. Only one person has died so far — Virginia Pesola, 70, passed away at the scene of a car crash along the evacuation route. There is still a red flag warning in effect for most of Los Angeles.

So far, the state has spent more than $34 million in relief efforts in order to try and contain Thomas. Thousands of residential areas are without electricity and over 200,000  people have had to evacuate their home since last Monday.

The White House has approved additional funding  to combat Thomas and California will receive direct federal assistance. New evacuation orders have also been issued, as the fire threatens another 25,000 homes in the Santa Barbara county. The evacuation orders are for the area spanning Buena Vista Drive to Toro Canyon Road.

Back in October, fires destroyed parts of Northern Calofirnina, killing almost 40 people and destroying close to 9000 homes.

Why transformative travel will change your life’s journey

In a society ruled by expected instantaneous results and smart devices, it’s often healthy to tap into your inner peace. This can be done through self-reflection or connecting with the elements around us.

While indulging on you inner journey, try escaping on an outer journey too. “Transformative travel” is a term coined by travel industry experts to describe a vacation that helps the traveller connect with their deeper self and inspire consciousness in the world. The Transformational Travel Collaborative is an organization founded on the basis of encouraging travellers to indulge in personal and inner journeys while on vacation.

The purpose of travelling is usually to immerse yourself in the local culture. This is often done by interacting with locals, going on excursions, and enjoying unique delicacies But have you ever felt worn out after a vacation like that one? It’s almost like you need another vacation after your vacation!

 

Instead of traditional travel, try travel with purpose. Travelling by itself helps you to discover, grow, and evolve, but it can also play a big component to healthy living and elevated growth.

Veronica Persaud, a travel consultant and franchise owner of Veronica Persaud- Dream Vacations, views travel as a connecting component of our life’s journey. “When someone travels they not only discover new things about the world around them, but most importantly, how they fit into this world! It’s like being a part of one grand puzzle, each piece as important as the other,” she told Women’s Post.

This new approach to viewing travel is heavily linked to wellness. Transformative travel promotes luxury retreats that have a more natural and artisanal design rather than modern or urban. Every part of your getaway should be peaceful in some aspect — this can include yoga, fitness, or wellness-related activities. Many travel agencies have jumped on this wellness trend, promoting fitness and health rather than local nightlife. In St Lucia, for example, the official tourism board has declared November as the inaugural Adventure and Wellness Month.

Even celebrities have started to promote the idea of going off the grid and focusing on your mental well being. In 2016, Chrissy Teigen, model and co-host of Lip Sync Battle, went on a wellness retreat to Bali, Indonesia. Her collection of majestic and soothing images on her Instagram helped spur this kind of movement forward. The family stayed at the COMO Shambhala Estate, which is a wellness resort offering activities such as hiking, swing yoga and rafting. It also housed a resident nutritionist for designed health plans. On her Instagram, Teigen captioned,

“My body and mind have never felt so clear. Thank You for getting me to move again… and giving me some much needed body and nutrition schooling.”

To Amy: the most patient human in the world

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

 

Transformative experiences that take place while travelling have a long lasting effect on psychology and emotion. For a more transformative travel experience follow these tips by Women’s Post:

  • Consider your intention for travel
  • Write down the goals for your trip — for instance: make a marriage stronger, connect with family, mental health or learning a creative trade.
  • Be vulnerable and humble — don’t just view a country for its glamorous tourist bits, but speak to a local about their lives and the conditions of that country.
  • Do less — take time to relax and experience the feelings around you
  • Have gratitude for your new perspective
  • Recall your insights gained by the trip and give yourself a short break upon returning home and restarting work

Your personal purpose and connection also transcends to a consciousness of the world, resulting in your desire to make meaningful changes once you return home. If you are thinking of where to start a journey like this, consider Dream Vacations. 

What are your thoughts on transformative travel? Leave a comment below!