Summer Sojourns 2022 Looking Forward !

Many of our clients have already spirited themselves to the South of France and returned from delightful à la française seashore jaunts. Italy, Rome has hosted a flock of peeps from our Travel Tribe. One adventurous sea going client has chartered our favorite yacht for multiple experiences: Greenland, the Canary Islands, Sicily, and multiple turquoise sea Caribbean jaunts. On the horizon for fall and the holidays: Cheval Blanc in the Maldives and Le Meurice, Paris. Istanbul is hot again! My recent holiday reminded me of why all our original clients visited, we are reserving the Four Seasons in Istanbul, they still love our clients! Nothing better than a sunset yacht cruise up the Bosporus and docking at Four Seasons Aqua Terrace for a divine dinner! Did you know Aman has launched a chic outpost in New York City?

Havana, Cuba

Morocco is said to be the hottest scene for 2023, I am besotted with the country and the charming friendly people. Several clients have visited and more arrive in November for a Camel Caravan.

Morocco, embraced by the darling locals!

I once told a magazine writer I’m certain I was born with the DNA of a gypsy. For my 8th grade graduation, I coveted a small leather suitcase – at that age I never went further than my best friend’s house 4 blocks away or maybe to my grandparent’s home which was only 15 miles away. My parents surprised me with a hard-sided, stitched baby blue suitcase, lined in silky pale blue satin; a small lock and a gold key on a narrow blue ribbon guaranteed the safety of my valuables! I treasured it for my overnight getaways.

High school graduation yielded a trifecta prezzie: a full set of luggage, including a lady’s leather travel cosmetic case. I didn’t have an itinerary, in my heart, I knew adventure lay beyond the

Beatrice Wood

Avant-Garde artist and potter Beatrice Wood lived in Ojai; as a young girl, I was mesmerized by her stacks of shimmering wrist bangles, enormous ethnic silver necklaces and riotously decorated costumes – a mysterious bohemian gypsy – she truly represented uncharted territory – a different realm, somewhere far from the little burb of Ojai. Had I known she had spent time with Duchamp and lived in Paris, I might have worked up a petite bit of pluck and uttered a few words to her; but sometimes mystery is better than reality; don’t you sometimes find that to be true about people you meet?

but sometimes mystery is better than reality; don’t you sometimes find that to be true about people you meet?

Travel creates a teaching environment, we learn, we are challenged; I find travel the absolute essential antidote to everyday routines. When I pack my suitcase, I am usually completely pre-occupied with all the tasks that must be accomplished before I can escape. The ever-growing list of must do prior to departure creates some stress; slowly each item is crossed off. Lock the gates and off to the airport. On arrival at the airport lounge, I let out a sigh of relief and let the pure sense of excitement wash over me.

“To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from oneself; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.” ~Charles Horton Cooley

My comfortable routines are dismissed, and the anticipation of a new far-off destination begins to sink in. Fresh vistas, foreign languages, interesting foods, curious customs, and people in indigenous dress – seeing places I’ve never seen before. A pleasing adventure of searching new locales for client travel, the pursuit never gets old.

Istanbul

There are times certainly that the luxury of my soft little pillow is missed, the paradox of travel – the comfy reminders of home – while enjoying the adventure at hand. Certainly, the brave seafaring explorers in tall, masted ships, civilizations crossing boundless lands and seas to explore new countryside felt the tug of home. The spark of curiosity about uncharted territory overruled the dilemma experienced by all civilizations that left their comfort zones to search the world.

Chefchaouen, The Blue Pearl City of Morocco

Travel means edging out of your habitat, traversing new pathways, being alive in an unknown place, a Journey.

Wonderful to be out in the world meeting my business colleagues again!

Bhutan – The Happiest Country – What You Need Now!

The National Memorial Chorten is a Tibetan style stupa also known as “jangchub chorten” is one of the cities tallest structures, an iconic landmark near the center of Thimphu. The memorial chorten is visible from almost all corners of Thimphu and it is one of the most interesting sights in Thimphu. The Chorten, held in great religious fervor, is circumambulated only in a clockwise direction, while reciting prayers and gently whirling the large red prayer wheels. This prayer pattern is the rule for any religious structures in Bhutan. It’s a stunning vision of pristine white against the backdrop of the brilliant sapphire sky.

National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan.

The Chorten attracts many elderly Bhutanese on a daily basis who slowly circle the chorten, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray at the shrine. Long beaded rosaries in their gnarled hands, they may spend the entire day here praying and socializing with the predominately elder locals. At the many prayer wheels, you might see ancient looking women and men sitting beneath the prayer wheels fingering their beads, praying, counting the repetition on the beads. They may be visiting or staying with their adult children and are dropped off for the day- a ritualistic life of praying for themselves and others. They may sit there all day on a cushion, in layers of clothing for warmth, it’s also a social outing as most of the people sitting and praying appear quite elderly. Although when asked their age, many are in their early to mid 60’s. they amble clockwise around the prayer wheel complex, gently pushing the worn wooden handles in a clockwise turn, making their rounds all day long, praying and counting their prayers on their beads or rosaries. 

Thousands of people circumambulate this stupa every day. Mornings and evenings are particularly crowded. Young and old come here from dawn till dusk to pray and cleanse the sin they might have accumulated through various ways by way of bodily action and speech.

One of the elderly ladies saying her prayers at the National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan
National Memorial Chorten, prayer wheel. Bhutan
National Memorial Chorten, local elders pray and visit. Bhutan

It was built in 1974 as a memorial to the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–72). The whitewashed chorten, with its sun-catching golden finial, is decorated with richly painted annexes facing the cardinal directions, and features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular King. The main patron was the Druk Gyalpo’s mother, Phuntsho Choden. While the interior of the chorten is decorated with richly carved annexes facing the four directions, and contain mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the third king.The ground floor of the chorten is consecrated to the teachings of Vajrakilya. It has four shrines, each with different pictures of the king; with the eastern shrine housing a Buddha image.

National Memorial Chorten, local elders pray and visit. Bhutan