Travel Trends 2018: Exploring and Adventuring In New Ways

Travel Trends 2018: Exploring and Adventuring In New Ways

 

I’ve become quite a fanatical world traveler over the last couple of years and yet still so many places to go. Which is why I am so excited about next year – I will be checking off 5 destinations from my “No Regrets List” including:

  •  Antarctica  – doing the Nat Geo Expedition in January (paid the balance this week, so it’s real)
  • Nordic countries – selforganizing a 4-week sojourn to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki in June/July

But there is always so much more to see and experience. Here are 3 travel trends to keep an eye on if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug as I have:

#1:  Top 100 weekend getaway destinations per weekenGO

WeekenGO is a great app to plan weekend jaunts to over 1000 cities around the world. They recently did a very comprehensive analysis of top destinations booked by millennials, families and boomers.

  • London is #1 destination worldwide, followed by Berlin
  • Nine of the top ten cities are in Europe. New York is the only exception (#7)
  • Germany accounts for three of the top ten: Berlin (2), Hamburg (4) and Munich (8)
  • Spain grabs two spots: Barcelona (9) and Madrid (10).
  • Vienna (3), Paris (5) and Amsterdam (6) also make the top 10.
  • The top destination for millennials is Berlin, with Vienna best for families and Zurich #1 for baby boomers.
  • Edinburgh made the top ten for millennials, families and baby boomers, but failed to make the overall top ten, while Prague ranked in the top five for families and baby boomers.

Good news for my Nordic sojourn, all my cities made it to the top 100: Stockholm (15), Copenhagen (#16), Oslo (25), Helsinki (26).

Read on below for top hotel trends and top destinations for Meetings and Conventions attendees.

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Cool Neighorhoods to Explore in 2018

Cool Neighorhoods to Explore in 2018

 

My friend Nick Belperio and I started our Weekends in America tradition back in 2015 when we hit up Detroit. The next year we visited Pittsburgh and stayed at the newly opened Ace Hotel in the East Liberty area (pic above).

This year Nick couldn’t join for any of the weekends but I prevailed and then some!  My “cool neighborhood” explorations this year included:

The reason I do these weekend jaunts is they get me out of my NYC bubble and I learn a lot about the country and its people.

It’s also a great way to see which trends (in food, design, hospitality, fashion, art) are bubbling up all around the nation, not just in NYC or LA.

What gets a city on my radar?

  • Hotel openings e.g. when the Ace opened in Pittsburgh I knew I had to get there ASAP; likewise the Freehand in Downtown LA. And when the Ramble Hotel with its Death & Co. outpost opens in Denver next year, I will be there!
  • Retail e.g. Magnolia Market and Silos got me to Waco. Warby Parker opening in Kansas City got me interested (but still haven’t been there)
  • Museums/Galleries/Street Art e.g. Hauser & Wirth in DTLA
  • Restaurants/Bars/Food Halls e.g. I was desperate to check out Bad Saint in DC (#1 Filipino restaurant in US with only 24 seats) but couldn’t get in. However, I did get to dine (and drink) at Espita Mezcaleria with its enormous selection of mezcals
  • BTW, I will be the first to admit that all of my favorites have an urban, Brooklyn-ish vibe to them but hey, that’s what I like – and what I believe is most influential! What I also look for is how this kind of cool aesthetic/lifestyle plays out in different cities and in different parts of the country.

With that as background, I was excited to see Lonely Planet’s list of  “10 Coolest Neighborhoods in America Right Now.” Their #1 spot is the East Liberty neighborhood in Pittsburgh which, of course, immediately validated the list for me since that’s where the Ace Hotel is located and I loved that part of town.

Read on below for the 5 spots from Lonely Planet’s list that most intrigue me for 2018.

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An Excellent Credit Score is the Ultimate in Sexy on Dating Sites

An Excellent Credit Score is the Ultimate in Sexy on Dating Sites

 

Check this out: Financial responsibility (69%) ranked ahead of sense of humor (67%), attractiveness (51%) and ambition (50%) when it comes to what’s most important in a potential mate.

  • A good credit score was associated with being responsible, trustworthy, and smart – and comes in 18 points ahead of cute.
  • Both sexes in the survey valued financial responsibility but, of course, there was a classic gender divide: 77% of females vs. 61% of men opted for fiscal responsibility.

The dating info came from a new survey by Discover Financial Services and Match Media Group, parent of Tinder and other dating sites.

Read on below for where an 810 score places you in the dating pool.

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10 Daily Rituals That Enrich My Life: What are Yours?

10 Daily Rituals That Enrich My Life: What are Yours?

 

I’m a creature of habit – and the vast majority of my habits are part of my early morning routine.

My 6am-9am rituals cannot be interfered with – if they are, my day gets off to a lousy start e.g. some people can go to the gym at noon or after work, I HAVE to go in the morning.

That said, two of my most important daily rituals revolve around my to-do list. It always sets the tone for the day.

Ritual #1:  Preparing Each Day’s To-Do List

I hand-write every day’s to-do List, generally the night before. It’s an extensive list that covers the full range of my day’s activities from work/blogging to health, social activities, appearance, and errands.

I’ve used this system for many years and can’t imagine keeping track of everything I have to do without it. The idea of something falling through the cracks horrifies me.

Ritual #2:  Reviewing my To-Do List, Daily and with Gratitude!

I can’t tell you how much satisfaction I get from checking items off this list – and it can be small stuff e.g. took items to Goodwill

Most importantly, I reflect on – and write down – what I am grateful for each day.

  • Occasionally it’s something major e.g. biopsy is NOT cancerous and sometimes it’s having achieved a personal goal e.g. kept it at 1500 calories (at least for that day!)
  • There are so many things to appreciate about life, I am always grateful for something: wonderful friends, a blog post people were inspired by, having a splendid place to work (Ludlow House)

Read on below for more of my daily rituals starting from when I wake up (at 6 am) through to midnight when I put away the book I’m reading, scroll through instagram and snapchat one last time and take a final look at the next day’s to-do list.

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Why I Am Now Absolutely Determined To Lose Weight

Why I Am Now Absolutely Determined To  Lose Weight

 

 

FRIENDS: My weight loss plan has not gone according to plan. I blame my social life but I really need to get a grip and lose minimally 10 pounds. Call me out when I am about to happily indulge in an extra slice of pizza or an extra glass of wine.

And in the meantime, check out this info from the new Osteoarthritis Clinic that the Cayuga Wellness Center in Ithaca has just opened:

Being overweight is a major but modifiable risk factor for developing osteoarthritis.

  • Every pound of excess weight puts an extra 6-8 pounds of load on the hips and and extra 4 pounds of load on a person’s knees.
  • A person typically walks two miles each day and takes approximately 4,000 steps.
  • One extra pound of body weight adds 24,000 – 32,000 pounds of extra loading on the hip joints.
  • Being a pound overweight doesn’t seem like much, but over time, the body’s joints wear from the added pressure of extra body weight, and that can progressively lead to osteoarthritis.

I know I am not alone with this problem. Globally, 18% of women over 60 have arthritis as do 9% of men. If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you can do a lot to stave off arthritis by staying active and making sure you keep your weight under control. Arthritis is a drag!!

Read on below for important info on dealing with arthritis.

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What’s Next After Tinder and Porn? Lifelike Sex Dolls

What’s Next After Tinder and Porn? Lifelike Sex Dolls

 

What’s the newest growth industry in China? Lifelike sex dolls are happening as the country grapples with a major shortage of women (30 million fewer women than men).

  • Sales of sex dolls surged 50% on Alibaba year-on-year over the last 5 years.
  • Singles Day (China’s biggest online shopping event) saw an especially large surge in the sale of sex dolls

For Americans, who might think this is weird, I ask you to consider it in light of the growth of the porn industry and “dating” sites like Tinder. Both have gone mainstream because they offer convenience and efficiency.

Based on online comments around the topic, many men (and women) consider romance a waste of time and money when all they want is a little nooky. Typical comment: “Porn doesn’t play games, porn doesn’t text back slow, porn gives you exactly what you ask. I love you porn.”

Porn sites receive more regular traffic on a monthly basis than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. Additionally, 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related.

As marriage rates continue to decline and relationships are increasingly perceived as hard work, plenty of sex is still being had – just not with a typical love interest.

I’m going out on a limb here but I predict sex doll popularity will grow in tandem with porn and gradually overcome the stigma associated with it (in this country).

Fascinating highlights below on the growth of the sex doll industry in China as young men seek out high-tech alternatives to real women. Full article from foreignpolicy.com (via SupChina) here.

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What a Difference 30 Years Makes When Talking Walls

What a Difference 30 Years Makes When Talking Walls

 

And here I thought my friend Janine and I had such an original idea.  Apparently not, but still worth watching this video.

It is beyond ironic to see how in 30 years we’ve gone from Reagan telling the Soviet Union to “tear down this wall” to Trump promising the American people that he will “build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me –and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall.”

Well good luck with that wall building.

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If Sitting is the New Smoking, Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

If Sitting is the New Smoking, Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

 

 

Chronic sitting is especially bad for anyone who has osteoarthritis – as I do. But it’s also tied to strokes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic at Arizona State University, who coined the term, believes we are sitting ourselves to death!
  • Columbia University Medical Center also just released a major study of 8,000 people in which they found that Americans spent 77% of their waking hours sitting and being inactive.

The experts all recommend that we get up every 30 minutes for a quick walk-around. I had no idea how difficult it would be to incorporate movement breaks into my routine – especially when I’m engrossed in what I’m doing.

But getting up and moving around even once an hour, makes me feel so much better. My joints feel less creaky, there’s less stiffness and definitely less pain.

Here are some specific things I’m doing to add more movement breaks to my daily routine:

  • At Ludlow House where I work 3 days a week, I now get up every 30 minutes and take a quick walk up/down the stairs
  • Never take elevators for less than 5 floors
  • Walk or bike instead of taking taxis
  • I also live on the 3rd floor of a walk-up and I’m up and down those stairs at least 4 times a day

I’ve seen more people adopt standing desks for this very reason but orthopedists and chiropractors are finding being sedentary at a stand-up desk is no better than being sedentary while sitting. Problems that arose from sitting are now moving to other parts of the body

Read on below for an arthritis update including some very alarming info (if correct) that shows that the vast majority of patients see no real improvement in quality of life after knee replacement surgery.

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