Why I Love Portland, Oregon!

My next door neighbor just returned from a few days in Portland, OR. His stories reminded me of how much I love Portland. I am so overdue for a visit. Portland is my favorite long weekend getaway. Seattle is closer to Vancouver but, for me, it is too much the same as what we have…

My next door neighbor just returned from a few days in Portland, OR. His stories reminded me of how much I love Portland. I am so overdue for a visit.

Portland is my favorite long weekend getaway. Seattle is closer to Vancouver but, for me, it is too much the same as what we have right here. Portland's architecture is older and homier (a real plus for me) and there are more things to see and do than you can fit into a weekend. Here are a few of my favorites –

Powell's Book Store – I love books and I have been known to spend a whole afternoon in this store. It is like no other store you've visited, except maybe Harrods in London. The store takes up a whole city block and each genre has its own room. They sell both new and used books, placing them side by side on the shelf so you can see a wide variety of prices for each title, depending on the condition of the book.

Lan Su Chinese Garden – This is exactly like the gardens I fell in love with in China. It is totally authentic and oh, so relaxing. In 1999, 65 workman came from Portland's sister city in China to build this garden bringing with them huge pieces of wood and rocks from their homeland. It is definitely a “must see”.

Did you know that Portland's Oregon Zoo started out in the back of a drug store in the mid 1800's? Committed to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, it has become a center for wildlife conservation and field research. The exhibits represent many geographical regions of the world. You will not find a better place for a family outing!

If you're a gardener, you will not want to miss Portland's fantastic rose garden . They are continuously experimenting with different varieties. You can find roses in every color under the sun.

The city has become renowned for its craft beers . You can do a tour to all the craft breweries and compare their techniques. Or maybe you want to try a tasting walk of the wide selection of food carts found in the downtown core.

On the weekends the Saturday Market is a must. They call it the Saturday Market but it is open both Saturday and Sunday. Of course a trip to Portland would not be complete without shopping spree – they have no sales tax!

There is no shortage of fine restaurants, coffee shops, and evening entertainment to suit every taste. And if you can stay a little longer than just a weekend, you are only 90 minutes away from the sand dunes of the Oregon Coast or the ski hills of Mount Hood. A trip to the Columbia River Gorge only takes 45 minutes from downtown Portland.

You may want to start planning your own trip to this city of bridges! I know I'm already thinking about my own!

What to Do On a Road Trip to Pass The Time

Most of us have been there. Everyone is excited for the family vacation and can not wait to get it started. The only problem is, that if you are driving, there could be several hours, if not days of sitting in the family vehicle in close proximity to everyone in the family. Here are some…

Most of us have been there. Everyone is excited for the family vacation and can not wait to get it started. The only problem is, that if you are driving, there could be several hours, if not days of sitting in the family vehicle in close proximity to everyone in the family. Here are some great tips that may make your next long road trip a little more pleasant and enjoyable.

Make sure everyone uses the restroom before you take off and at every stop. There is nothing more frustrating to mom and dad then to just get underway and have someone in the car that willingly needs to go to the restroom.

Pack some light snacks. “I'm hungry” is a line that every parent is used to hearing while going on long drives. Having some light snacks that you can pass in between meals can get you a few miles down the road. Keep them light so it does not make everyone feel full or lethargic.

Bring some car games. Your local store will typically have some good car games that can be played to pass the time and keep the youngger ones entertained. If you do not find any at the local store, check one of the truck stops along the way.

Make regular stops every 100-150 miles. This will keep the whining and complaints to a minimum, whether it is pottie breaks, hunger or just to stretch you legs.

Switch up where everyone sets. Keep it lively by changing up where each person sits after every stop. Variety is always good so no one gets tired of where they sit or who they are sitting next to.

Bring some good books. Whether you want to read on your own or maybe read out loud so all the family can enjoy, interesting books can easily pass some time and keep everyone's interest.

Simple Ways Of Making Your Beach Holiday Romantic

When you plan to go on a holiday to a destination of your choice, you really want to get the very best from your stay. It is one thing to select a magnificent location for a luxurious, romantic holiday and quite another thing what you choose to do and how creative you become when in…

When you plan to go on a holiday to a destination of your choice, you really want to get the very best from your stay. It is one thing to select a magnificent location for a luxurious, romantic holiday and quite another thing what you choose to do and how creative you become when in the destination. A destination can have those beautiful, breathtaking sceneries that make you connect even deceive with your partner or spouse, but what you choose to do with all the beauty is what determines the kind of experience you have and the memories you take home.

Plan unique dinner experiences during the stay . How about planning to have a private dinner in a floating platform or boat just you and your loved one? This can be one of the best experiences ever because you get the chance to rule the destination like you are the only people there. You can pull a surprise on your partner just to make it all worthwhile. You can plan the unique dinners depending on what your location has to offer and around settings you feel works great for both of you.

Escape to a deserted island. Getting away from the rest of the world is the most romantic thing, especially because for once you get to get close and do all sorts of crazy things without worrying about those glances. Such an escape during your holiday can actually offer a very good moment for the two of you to go through issues that directly relate to your relationships or it could even make the perfect setting to pop that question if you are at that stage in your relationship. You can take advantage of the setting by enjoying a beautiful sunset just the two of you.

Wake up early to a beautiful sunrise . The great thing about beach resorts is that they have their accommodation villas or rooms set in the best spots and this means that most people get to enjoy breathtaking sunrises and even sunsets. But instead of enjoying it from your villa, how about setting out to a secluded part of the beach where you can sit and enjoy the morning glory as the sun rises in the clear sky? It is not only romantic, but also gives you the chance to enjoy the water and the sand and of course some sun before everyone else is awake and the beach is crowded. You will love how the chilly morning breeze can refresh your senses and stir up emotions between you.

Go on a private photo safari. You can choose to use a seaplane for your session and you can take turns taking amazing photos. Another great way of making the photo safari exciting is by taking silly photos of each other. Choose the best spots around your holiday resort and make those memories that you will love to go over when you finally get home. Nothing holds memories better than photos so do not miss out on this.

Making the Most of a Vineyard Visit

Even if you do not consider yourself a wine expert, you can still have fun on an excursion to a vineyard. Visiting wineries and tasting rooms can be an enjoyable activity for anyone with a passing interest in fine drink. Learn how to plan for this type of trip to get the most out of…

Even if you do not consider yourself a wine expert, you can still have fun on an excursion to a vineyard. Visiting wineries and tasting rooms can be an enjoyable activity for anyone with a passing interest in fine drink. Learn how to plan for this type of trip to get the most out of your outing.

Choose Destinations

Each winery is unique, so it is wise to research various destinations to choose the ones you wish to see. Many locations have websites online to enable potential visitors to learn about the amenities and services available. You can also peruse a wine list to see if you enjoy the offerings. Check schedules for tastings to plan your visit for the right day and time. You can also find information about pricing, tour hours, and reservations online. If a vineyard does not have a website, call to speak with someone to learn this information.

Dress to Walk

If wandering around is allowed by the owners, plan to trek around the property to see the sights when you visit. This walking will require the correct shoes and clothing. A small winery may not require much walking to tour the property, but a large one might have walking distance a significant distance to see everything. Wear comfortable and sensible footwear to ensure a successful outing. Also, choose clothing that matches the weather, bringing along an extra layer to avoid a chill. Pack a hat, an umbrella, and sunscreen to ensure that you're ready for anything.

Plan to Eat

Vineyard visits tend to include tasting to some extent. Depending on your alcohol tolerance, you may feel the effects of these samples. Some visitors prefer to taste without actually swallowing, and receptacles are usually available. Scheduling a meal after this type of excursion can be an effective way to minimize the effects of alcohol. You might also pack snacks to munch on while you sample the alcohol.

Driving Considerations

If you plan on drinking samples, then your group should have a designated driver. If everyone wants to fully enjoy the experience, then it may be possible to hire a car and driver for the excursion.

Respectful Visiting Guidelines

Think of your visit as an ideal opportunity to learn from the winemaker in charge. You can learn about the best way to taste, the proper serving temperatures, and storage guidelines. Deferring to the winemaker's expertise is a show of respect for the person allowing you to tour the private property. Follow rules regarding the use of cell phones and smoking. Ask for a spittoon if you need one after a sample. Spittoons are generally located conveniently through a tasting room. Wineries do not take offense when people spit out their samples.

You might be surprised at the stories you will hear and information you can learn from visiting a vineyard.

A Long and Refreshing Tour of Mumbai and Other Cities in the West

Mumbai is a thrilling city. It has a blend of society and conventions that is set apart by the settings of history. From the structures of significance to shorelines, parks and amusement zones, Mumbai is a bounty destination for the guests. Find the different subtleties of the city. Read on. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city…

Mumbai is a thrilling city. It has a blend of society and conventions that is set apart by the settings of history. From the structures of significance to shorelines, parks and amusement zones, Mumbai is a bounty destination for the guests. Find the different subtleties of the city. Read on.

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city and a city. It is prominently known as Bombay. Seven islands on the Konkan waterfront district together frame the city of Mumbai. This island city is the much looked for vacation destination in India inferred from its popularity and exclusion. The Indian Cinema industry, Bollywood, is likewise based out of here. Tourism has always brought a huge revenue for this city. Mumbai is well-connected. Not only it has people flying from all the major places of the world, it connects to various airports in the country as well. For example, for going to Madhya Pradesh, you do not have to spend days or several hours traveling in a train. You can simply board the Mumbai to Indore flights. You can not only explore Mumbai, you can easily fly to different destinations from here.

The minute you land in Mumbai, you would be overcowered by the differences and advancement of the spot. In the long past, Mumbai went under the Sultan of Gujarat, which was then overwhelmed by the Portuguese, in 1498. The Portuguese constructed strongholds, places of worship and different settlements over the entire area, the remnants of which can be found and seen even today. In 1661, the seven islands were all separate. Charles II rented it to the East India Company, which thus constructed exchange ports and docks. The work of joining of the considered number of islands together was likewise begin. Later, this prompted a noteworthy relocation of the business classes to Mumbai. This prompted the extension and improvement of the city. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan in all sense. It has an extraordinary assorted qualities of society, ethnicity and conventions. Individuals from everywhere through the world live here. The state of mind of the city is liberal and everyone finds their space in the city effectively. The atmosphere is moderate and never gets excessively hot. There is a slight stickiness till the storms which vanishes by the winter time. It suggests that winter is the best time to visit Mumbai and explore its scores of attractions. A large portion of the traveler destinations in Mumbai is located in its southern part.

From sanctuaries to give in to stops and different attractions, Mumbai has a great deal to offer to the guests. The stone cut caverns of Elephanta, Kanheri and Mahakali are an unquestionable requirement visit. The renamed Gateway of India is somewhere else of well known hobby. One of the lavish lodgings in Mumbai, the Taj is simply inverse the Gateway of India. From here you can take a ship for a visit around. For some recorded visit, you can look at Fort St. Louis. George. The developments around here compare to Indo-Saracenic, Gothic and Neoclassical styles of construction modeling. After this, you can take a reviving walk around Colaba to Churchgate through the wide boulevards. As you move to the long extension of the Marine Drive, you would locate various structures showcasing the Art Deco style. Actually, Mumbai is second just to Miami as far as Art Deco structures.

Different spots for you to see in Mumbai are the shorelines like Juhu Beach and Chowpatty, parks, gardens, and historic monuments. After you have explored this city, add Surat and Daman to your itinerary and go on a long tour that will bring you many memorable moments to cherish. You can take a Mumbai to Surat cab or even go by a bus. Plan a great trip to this mega city and explore other cities of the west and have a nice vacation!

The Best Traveling Hacks Every Traveler Should Know This 2016

Do you love traveling so much? Then let's make your travel more convenient and enjoyable with these traveling hacks: If you want to take a lot of goodies and souvenir back home with you, give your luggage more space by rolling all your clothes instead of folding it. If you have more money to spend,…

Do you love traveling so much? Then let's make your travel more convenient and enjoyable with these traveling hacks:

  • If you want to take a lot of goodies and souvenir back home with you, give your luggage more space by rolling all your clothes instead of folding it. If you have more money to spend, better invest it on some vacuum bag, it will give you more space for all your take-home stuff.
  • For safety purposes, photocopy all your pertinent documents before traveling such as passports, driver's license, identification card, etc. Put the copies inside your bag or at the back of your phone
  • To save money while traveling overseas, bring with you an insulated stainless steel water bottle so that you will not have to buy bottled water anymore.
  • When packing liquids with you (shampoo, cologne, mouthwash, etc.), open the bottle's lid and insert a plastic wrapper. By doing this, the contents are less likely to leak.
  • When carrying a lot of things, consider wearing a cargo pants; you can make it as your mini luggage.
  • When packing your beauty essentials – foundation and eyeshadow – place a cotton swab inside so they will not crack.
  • If you are always losing track of your small things such safety pins, earrings, and hair pins, place them in a used tic-tac container.
  • When traveling via sea or ocean, put your important stuff (cellphone, documents, money) in a water-proof pouch.
  • If you are bringing a lot of gadgets with you, bringing a multi-port USB hub charger to help you save time charging all these devices.
  • When traveling to foreign countries where you can not speak their language fluently, download translating apps such as Google Translate.
  • To easily pack essential travel kits, make a checklist and cross out those stuff which you have already packed in your luggage.
  • Before traveling overseas, contact your bank first so that they will not lock down your credit card account due to suspicious activity.
  • In order not to get lost, download an offline version of Google Map.
  • Download also a currency converter on your smartphone so you will not have any problem especially when shopping or buying souvenirs abroad.
  • When it comes to converting your money to local currency, it would be best to do this on an ATM and not on an exchanging money store. An ATM charges cheaper service, so you will get to enjoy your money even more.

And that's it! The best travel hacks that jet-setter and travel buff should know this 2016. Have fun!

Costa Rica Ranked In Top 30 Best Places On Earth To Travel Alone

Traveling alone may seem like something you would never want to experience, although taking a solo trip may be just what you need to enjoy yourself and indulge in some much needed reflection time. At every age, people are beginning to step out of their comfort zone and experience a new country for themselves. There…

Traveling alone may seem like something you would never want to experience, although taking a solo trip may be just what you need to enjoy yourself and indulge in some much needed reflection time. At every age, people are beginning to step out of their comfort zone and experience a new country for themselves. There are obvious benefits to traveling alone, like meeting new people, as well as the freedom to do whatever, whenever. It can also be more economic, while minimizing the planning involved in traveling with a larger group.

Even if you remain skeptical about taking a solo trip, Costa Rica is one country in particular that you may want to visit on your own. Out of 196 countries in the world, Costa Rica was ranked among 30 countries (also including places like New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway) that are good for those traveling alone.

Costa Rica is located in Central America with a population of 4.7 million people. With a rainforest-filled, tropical climate, Costa Rica is full of wildlife and activity. The country has close to 800 miles of coastline, and is widely recognized for its signature Pura Vida attitude that for many has become a way of life. This term, translated to “pure life” in English, is at the heart of this country's culture. The tradition and people of Costa Rica are very passionate and proud of their country.

One of the primary reasons why Costa Rica was selected for this list of the 30 best places to travel alone is because of its No. 1 spot on the Happy Planet Index (HPI). The HPI ranks 151 countries all around the world based on life expectancy, overall well-being and ecological footprint. This report is generated to measure the level of happiness and sustainability for people in various countries. Costa Rica ranks first with an HPI score of 64 out of 100. Overall well-being in this country is a 7.3 out of 10, with a life expectancy of 79.3 years of age. Rankings for Costa Rica across several factors stood out compared to many different countries.

6 Common Traits Shared By Countries Good For Solo Travelers

The countries that are identified as good destinations for those traveling alone shared some common routes. Here are six of them:

1. Dining alone in public places is not only acceptable but it is also commonplace.

2. There are many active things you can do to stay busy and be with others.

3. You'll enjoy the opportunity to indulge in the beauty of nature.

4. In general, safety is higher and crime rates are comparatively lower.

5. The destinations are a favorite for many, offering the chance to meet locales and other travels if you desire.

6. The cultures are recognized for a warm and friendly person that makes people feel welcome.

If you are looking to travel to a country alone, Costa Rica should definitely be on your list of destinations. And I can recommend this based on personal experience as the owner of an IT outsourcing company with offices in Costa Rica. The country is easily accessible from many different cities in the US and many locales speak both English and Spanish fluently. Further, if the Happy Planet Index is any indicator of the people that you will meet in Costa Rica, you are sure to have a great adventure. This friendly culture will make you feel right at home when you are traveling alone.

BBM Travel

Be by myself (BBM) travel is a style of business travel that allows an individual to be alone for a short period of time to focus on productivity, to give a certain project a or decision-making process a boost. Many of us, in our daily lives, struggle to find the right balance. With all the…

Be by myself (BBM) travel is a style of business travel that allows an individual to be alone for a short period of time to focus on productivity, to give a certain project a or decision-making process a boost.

Many of us, in our daily lives, struggle to find the right balance. With all the distractions that normal life holds, important personal projects can easily be pushed to the side or given less attention than they need or deserve.

This is where BBM travel comes in, BBM travel allows you time to give all of your attention to your project, be it writing a book, developing a website, creating a business plan or having a strategic thinking session.

When considering BBM travel, think about what you personally need to create a perfect environment conducive to helping you to complete your project. What are the priorities for you? Consider the following:

Travel, it is recommended to travel by plane. Avoid long travels because it is a waste of time to travels for hours to get peace of mind. Two to three hours flight is more than enough. Avoid traveling by car when you have a lot of thinking to do it is a waste of powerful thinking time a very dangerous to undertake.

Accommodation is another very important aspect of the success of your BBM travel.

Things to consider in your selection of accommodation would be:
• Wifi, a FREE internet connection is critical for the success of your BBM travel experience.
• Quiet, a comfortable and sufficient accommodation is ideal for your thinking session
• Inexpensive (Budget Hotels), since you do not want to spend a lot of money just to think
• Good Friendly house keeping because will be spending a lot of time in your room and will need refreshing it at odd hours
• Room Service, you might be working during strange hours and you will need a hotel that has 24-hour room service.
• Swimming Pool and Gym because you will need the exercise and workout to makeup for the log working hours.
• Business Center a full-blown business center is required since you may need typing, transcribing or copying and binding services.
• After hours entertainment disco, nightclub or rich bar to blow your mind off after long hours of work.

In order to make your BBM trip as productive as possible, it is important to consider the perfect working situation for you. It needs to be one that allows you to fully focus and this is different for every individual. The best advice is to write a list of what this leads so you understand your needs and can plan the BBM travel trip that suits you.

With a growing number of hotels and resorts set up to cater to BBM business travel it is easier than ever to find the perfect location to suit your needs. It is only left up to you to plan your day / night working hours for a perfect result and return on your BBM travel. Here is a sample work plan for your to consider. You can add or move and delete whatever does not sit you or your plan.

• Wake up (preferably early morning)
• Exercise or Walk or do some jogging and then shower
• Have a GOOD Breakfast
• Spend time on your project
• Do not stop if things are going OK with you

If things are started to be slow or you feel you are unproductive take a break (good time to call house keeping to clean your room)

Have a meal when you are REALLY hungry if things are going fine with you, stop for a meal only if you feel you are not being productive. A good time for a break

Come back to resume productive work till early evening

Avoid going out of the hotel and try to use hotel entertainment facilities

In the night session you can enjoy a break and sleep to wake up early or continue work to a late hour and wake up late.

How You Can Protect Your Company While Traveling

In times like today, business traveling has become mandatory for the purpose of expanding your markets. Only when you travel, you truly realize the potential profitable markets you can approach. This is beneficial for the companies. But along with the benefits, there is a huge responsibility that comes along. Since the safety and security is…

In times like today, business traveling has become mandatory for the purpose of expanding your markets. Only when you travel, you truly realize the potential profitable markets you can approach. This is beneficial for the companies. But along with the benefits, there is a huge responsibility that comes along. Since the safety and security is always at stake, business travelers need to do their best in order to protect their company. Whether it's you traveling for a business meeting or sending one of your employees, here are some of the helpful ways of protecting your company.

1. Keeping Your Devices Secure

If you've managed to protect your devices, you're half way there. That's how important these devices are. Since they play a significant role in connecting us to the world and solving a lot of our miseries, they can also potentially cause us a lot of damage. As a smart businessman, you must get aware of this and do your best to protect your company. Professional hackers can infect the traveler's devices with malware software, giving them an access to all their private data. One of the best ways to avoid this situation is to devise a policy for the usage of the device. In this way, you as an employer can specify rules of how the device can be used.

2. Business Travel Insurance

Because the traveling costs are never ending, a lot of businessmen undervalue the importance of travel insurance. If you think you can go without it because it is unaffordable, you are putting your business at a huge risk. These plans effectively cover both the domestic and international traveling. From medical to other mishaps, the travel insurance can cover a lot of your problems as a businessman and save your company from any further losses.

3. Identity Protection

Losing money is bad. But losing identity is the worst. The potential damage that can occur as a result of the identity theft is truly horrifying. In order to protect your identity and therefore protect your company, you must travel light. This helps you to keep a track of all the possessions you carry along. You would not have to face the misery of looking after any unnecessary item. Instead of carrying valuable items every time you're off for a meeting, make use of the hotel safe. If you're using an ATM anywhere abroad, ensure that your PIN is properly protected.

4. Steps You Must Take Once You Head Back

If you've survived a trip without any mishaps, give yourself a pat on the back. However, it is just not over as yet. Once you return home, ensure that whichever devices you've carried along are cleared from any malware. Reformatting them is a good practice every time you're back from a trip. All business and financial transactions must be properly analyzed to ensure there is no suspicious act in the recent times.

Gadgets You Can’t Afford to Travel Without

Since life has become so fast paced, it often becomes challenging to keep a track of the ever growing advances. This is particularly true for a person not traveling frequently. Thanks to some wonderful gadgets, traveling has become much more relaxing and enjoyable. Although this means you have to take the pain of carrying a…

Since life has become so fast paced, it often becomes challenging to keep a track of the ever growing advances. This is particularly true for a person not traveling frequently. Thanks to some wonderful gadgets, traveling has become much more relaxing and enjoyable. Although this means you have to take the pain of carrying a lot of extra things along, they will not appear 'extra' once you start making use of them. For many, traveling gadgets are more of traveling essentials. Here are some of the best travel toys that you must get hold of before you begin planning for your next vacation. They turn out to be the perfect presents as well!

1. Portable Battery Charger

When you're on the go, one of the major worries can be the dying battery of your gadgets. When flying, this is not an issue because almost all the airlines are equipped with multiple ports where you can charge all your gadgets. However, on the ground a lot of travelers tend to use their smart phones and other gadgets when they're in a foreign land. Portable battery chargers are a life saver in this regard because they are handy and can charge multiple gadgets depending upon their capacity. The prime reason of investing in these chargers is the convenience travelers enjoy. Along with charging, it is possible to work on your devices rather than being bound. Despite the convenience, almost all portable chargers are reasonably priced making it a great choice for traveling purposes.

2. Portable Wi-Fi Router

Wireless internet has become an essential part of our lives. This is true for you if you look for a free wireless network whether you're inside a café or visit a relative's abode. Although most of us find free wireless connections a blessing, there is no way you can call it reliable. You're at a greater risk when you travel somewhere abroad because there are criminals watching out for a minor negligence on your part. To avoid this situation, it is ideal to carry a portable Wi-Fi network on your travels. Apart from being a secure way of staying connected to the world, you have the freedom of accessing it at any time of the day and anywhere you wish to. Arguably, the portability is a huge blessing because it can travel literally anywhere with you without any hassles!

3. Powerful Headphones

Yes, headphones are always a good investment. If you purchase a finer quality, it lasts for a decent time and does a good job in entertaining you around the globe. Those of you who make it a compulsion to carry it in your bags know how important headphones are. Noise cancellation headphones are an amazing investment. No matter how crowded or noisy the flight maybe, they effectively work in letting you have a peaceful journey. Its built in technology enables you to block all the unnecessary noise from the surroundings and lets you enjoy your music in peace.