I just thought I’d check in and share what I’ve been up to this summer AND ask you to leave me a comment on this post telling me what you’ve been up to. I love to hear summer plans, especially vacation ones!
So, I went to Florida with my mom which was so much fun. I shared about our hot air balloon ride, a helicopter ride over Disney in Kissimmee, and our fun times in Miami as well what we did in the Keys. It was a busy 10 days and it was in partnership with Visit Florida. My mom got to see what a press trip is like and she took some really good pictures of me for Instagram. Thanks, mom!
I come back to the USA and stay in Ohio every summer for a month. That photo is from my front porch, drinking some red Moscato, mmm! Why is good wine in America so cheap but so expensive in India!? While back in Ohio I rested up from the long Florida trip (and got some work done), went to see my brother’s new house in Delaware, hung out with friends, went to Lake Erie for a weekend, had a family reunion (which hasn’t happened in 10 years), and went out of my dad’s new fishing boat.
My BFF, Arielle, who I’ll be seeing again in a month!
my besties & their babies
What I stocked up on this year for the next year of travels
Part of being home in Ohio is buying what I need for the next year since in India I don’t shop and I try not to buy clothes throughout the year from malls in Europe or Asia because it’s all so much more expensive than the USA. So, I basically buy stuff I need for a year every summer and spend a ton of money, whoops.
- Aveda: Sun Care Protective spray+ Sun Care After Sun Mask
- The green dress on the porch photo in two colors from Kersh. Oh and it’s the one my mom stole from me and is wearing above! lol. It’s on sale for $38 and I’ve been wearing them every other day.
- Patricia Nash map print sandals and tote bag because the travelers in me couldn’t resist.
- Luggage essentials: new eBags packing cubes, the Mother Lode 25 inch luggage which I love and wrote a review on, then the eBags Slim Profesh backpack which I’m taking back to India and am obsessed with – also reviewed it.
- A million bikinis… I have a post coming soon about my favorite ones. I can’t include them all – I have like 50, so, it’s just the best of the best.
- My new orange UGG sandals that I cannot live without
- Reef gear. Every year, I get the exact same pair of flip flops from Reef because I’m boring like that. They are tan leather and I wear them pretty much daily.
- So much food…. I can’t even tell you. I take a full 50 pounds bag of snacks back to India every year, and now that Ben likes American food, half of it is for him.
- Another Sun Bum Face Stick. One of these usually lasts me more than a year, but better to have extra!
- I got a new camera lens which came in handy in Florida when I saw the fireworks! It’s a 35-100 and I can’t wait to use it more.
- I got a detangler brush from KareCo to try out. I cannot handle how messy my hair gets when I surf or do watersports – it’s impossible to brush now that it’s getting so long.
- Sol Sana sent me some Finge Mules that I’m obsessed with. They have a super chunky heel.
New Monthly Newsletter
I started a monthly newsletter! I made it a goal years ago and it just sat on my to do list for that whole time. I just never got around to learning how to set it up. When I did a collaboration with Skillshare this summer, they gave me access to all their classes and one of them was how to make a Newsletter. So, I did it – finally!
If you want to sign up please do so on the side bar of my blog (look to your right) or at the bottom of this post there is an option to sign up. The newsletter isn’t just my blog posts but it’s just live updates about what I’m up to and travel products I love. If brands want me to do giveaways now, I can run them through the newsletter which is pretty cool.
I use Mailerlite, after switching to them from Mailchimp (which they help you do easily) to save money. It’s also easier to use. You can sign up for them with my link and get $20 off.
Speaking of giveaways, I do have two months free subscription to Skillshare to give away if you are interested. It’s classes on everything from language to cooking.
I WROTE ONE. It’s about Goa and it’s being edited now because if you read my blog you KNOW it needs some heavy editing. My spelling and grammar are not my strongest attribute. But, I’m happy to say that it’s finally done and it has all my favorite places in Goa and is a full guide (bye, Lonely Planet!) So stoked to share this and will do soon! It was actually Skillshare that got me to finally do this as well.
You can buy it here and use the code “GOALOVE” for $10 off (which expires on the 23rd). I probably won’t ever put it on sale that low again, so if you’re thinking of coming to Goa you might wanna grab it up now.
Detox Time in Myrtle Beach
On the way back to India, I went to Myrtle Beach for four days for a little wellness retreat. I was working in partnership with Myrtle Beach who are going to be offering some amazing wellness opportunities this Fall at really budget-friendly prices. I tested out some cool activities like kayaking, wake-boarding, healthy food options, spa time, and some cool gardens.
PS swimsuit above is 437 Swimwear.
Westin Airport Hotel, Toronto
Flying back to India, I actually left from Myrtle Beach. So, I had to fly Myrtle Beach Toronto where I was taking my Jet Airways flight to India. I was so afraid I’d get delayed and miss my flight that I gave myself a 20-hour layover in Toronto and stayed at the Westin. I used to NEVER stay at airport hotels (because I just want to get the journey over with) but when I did recently at the Hilton in Amsterdam I realized how it’s actually really nice to take a break in between.
I flew Myrtle Beach to Charlotte to Toronto, rested up here, then onward to Amsterdam, Mumbai and finally Goa. It was the longest journey I’ve done to date.
The hotel was just renovated and has a free shuttle from the airport (just two minutes away) and they just added a new “vertical” garden in the lobby which helps to “clean the toxins from the air, reduce CO2 levels, and improve energy levels”. They have a Starbucks inside, the breakfast buffet was delicious (acai smoothies!), and I had lunch at their restaurant, Atmosphere, and recommend the chicken panini.
Flying with Jet Airways – OMG, I got an upgrade, heaven!
I flew Jet Airways to Toronto and I got an upgrade and it was the best news I think I’ve ever been given as a traveler! I was SO tired and it just came at the best time ever. They let you get meals anytime so I slept first then ate when I felt like it (living the high life, lol). They are giving you readers a discount on your flights with them (10% off the base fare) with the discount code “RACHEL”.
Details on the Jet Airways coupon code “RACHEL”: has to be used only on their site, can be Economy or Première, and is for India to Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris & London either one way or round-trip. Cannot be used using multi0city option or combined with other offers.
I’m sure you’re familiar with Jet Airways already from my blog, but they are the nicest Indian Airline by a long shot (confirmed by TripAdvisor this year who ranked them #1) and I travel them when I can. They do Goa to Toronto so I did that journey, then connected with Air Canada onward to Ohio. Although Première class was killer, Economy isn’t bad either; I had some serious leg room. I sat behind the emergency exit row which doesn’t have a seat in front of it by the window so had a lot of leg space. You can pick your seat ahead of time for free so DEFO go for that!
Jet Airways flies Bombay/Delhi to Amsterdam, Paris, and London then code-shares onward to 35 places in Europe and 34 in North America. They are starting Bangalore to Amsterdam, and Chennai to Paris in October – making them the ONLY airline to Europe from from these two cities. When you fly to India you eat Indian food and when you fly to Europe, you get European food. Try their SkyChai! HolidayIQ listed them as India’s favorite airline.
What is next… upcoming travels!
Well, you’d think I’d be ready for an adventure since I was in Ohio for a whole month, but truthfully I feel like in the last 12 months I’ve traveled too much. I’m tired and I was missing hanging around Goa just lounging with Ben and the dogs (preferably while Ben is cooking some beef stew with dumplings, my favorite when it’s raining and miserable out). But, after a couple weeks I always feel ready to go again.
Late August we are going to England which is always relaxing. We hang out with Ben’s family and friends who are a riot and be between Cornwall and Tonbridge. Toward the end of the trip, my friend Arielle is coming abroad for the first time ever to TONBRIDGE of all places for a couple days and I think it’ll be really cool for her to meet Ben because she’s been my best friend since we were five yet hasn’t met him yet. Plus, I think his friends will be quite entertaining to her. So, Ben will fly back to Goa and Arielle and I are going to go to her chosen location: Dublin, Ireland just for 3 days. After that, it’s back to Goa.
I have some more travels in the pipeline but nothing I want to share yet in case they don’t happen.
It’s been a nice long summer and beyond getting to see friends and family, I’d done a lot of work, hired a couple of assistants, and starting a corporation for my business finally, and trying to get sorted (business-wise) for 2018. Blogging is a busy job, so with travel being pretty much non-stop it can get a little overwhelming to do it alone. It feels good to finally delegate some work and take my stress down a little bit!
But, for now – no work! Just chilling out, Goa style!
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