Around The World Here I Come: But There’s More…..

Around The World Here I Come: But There’s More…..

 

Today, I am leaving on my 22-day Around The World Trip (Northern Route) with Nat Geo.

Seems like the perfect time to get the word out on my travel goals for 2018 and the one country, in particular, I am determined to visit next year. Also, want to share the info I’ve found on all the ways that we, as travelers, are changing:

We are more independent and adventurous

  • Although my Nat Geo trip is uber-deluxe, we are heading to fairly remote and un-traveled parts of the world (hello, Mongolia and Siberia!).
  • I’ve noticed younger travelers are especially adventurous e.g. my friends Chris and Anni have been in Thailand for the last several months, getting certified for all manner of diving. They’re staying in fairly random boarding houses, renting mopeds, living the nomad life. I would never have the gumption to do their trip.
  • And then there’s the trip a young British couple did – traveling all over Asia using Instagrammers as their guides. They’re planning a similar trip in the Southern States of America this year (“Secrets of the South”). Check out the photos in this link, they are spectacular.

We are picking destinations based on specific interests vs. sightseeing

  • Many more people are traveling to follow their passions e.g. Venice for the Biennale, Palm Springs for the mid-century architecture, Cuba for the time-capsule cars.
  • A group of my friends are exploring America via State Fairs. Last year it was Dallas for the Texas State Fair, this year we’re heading to Iowa (August).

Millennial vs. Older Travelers (Source: MediaPost)

  • Millennials view travel (especially international travel) as vital to their personal growth and life experiences. Older travelers consider it more of a luxury.
  • The experience is key: 55% of millennials say travel is all about discovery and adventure. When they hit the road, they don’t see themselves as tourists — they are experience pioneers.
  • Millennials are digital travelers: 75% have travel apps on their phones. Raised on Wi-Fi and smartphones, digital connectivity is as vital as food or shelter.
  • Travel Hackers: Millennials are savvy travelers. They’ll use apps, online travel agents, the sharing economy to bypass expensive taxis, restaurants, and tours for more accessible alternatives e.g. foregoing a five-star hotel for cheaper accommodations in order to afford a culinary experience or diving accreditation.

See below for my top 5 bucket list destinations plus Pinterest’s top trending spots.

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Colin Beavan: Thanks For The Inspiration To Be More Alive!

Colin Beavan: Thanks For The Inspiration To Be More Alive!

 

Colin Beavan, author of How To Be Alive, was an awesome speaker at last week’s PSFK Conference.

  • What especially resonated with me was his belief (as it is mine) that friends and community are key to a successful and happy life. Every great and amazing thing that has happened to me has been connected, in some way, to my friends.
  • Another important point he made was that your friends need to know each other and be actively interacting with each other for the real “friendship magic” to happen. I couldn’t agree more. There is something very powerful about having an interconnected network of friends around you.
  • One of my greatest joys and proudest achievements has been seeing so many of my friends strike up friendships separate and apart from my dinner table. I don’t know why, but I just love seeing that happen.
  • Colin’s talk made me aware that I’ve dropped the ball on the entertaining front. So to all of my friends who have been asking when I will get back to my dinner party routine! Soon!
  • I can’t believe that I’ve let this joyful aspect of my life dissipate. I’m still ultra social but it’s all been at Ludlow and Soho House. I had forgotten how my best friendship-building has always been at my own house.
  • But I am back. Expect numerous invitations as soon as I return from my trip.

Read on below.

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Changing Demographics: Major Shifts On the Horizon

Changing Demographics: Major Shifts On the Horizon

 

EXCELLENT study from the Pew Research Center showing how work, family and living arrangements are reshaping the lives of people in the United States and around the world.

Here are the highlights. More detailed info in link above.

Millennials will grow thru 2036

  • 80 million millennials (ages 18 to 35 in 2016) compared to 74 million Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70).
  • More living with their parents than with a romantic partner (a historic first)
  • Fewer are married, homeowners or parents

Americans’ lives at home are changing

  • Only half are married down from 70% in 1950.
  • Cohabiting relationships rose 29% between 2007 and 2016, from 14 million to 18 million.
  • Cohabitation among those 50 and older increased by 75%
  • The “gray divorce” rate (50 and older) doubled between 1990 and 2015
  • A record number (61 million) are living in multigenerational households led by Asian and Hispanic populations.

Women may never make up half of the U.S. labor force

  • Women accounted for 47% of the U.S. labor force in 2015
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that will remain the peak participation rate until 2025 when it starts to taper off.
  • Women earned $0.83 for every $1 a man earned in 2015, up from $0.64 in 1980.
  • Among 25 to 34 year olds, women made 90% of what their male counterparts made.
  • Women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions.
  • Women make up 19% of the U.S. Congress; 8% of U.S. governors and 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs.

Read on below for more on immigration, birth rates and refugees.

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NAT GEO Around The World Northern Route: Getting Excited!

NAT GEO Around The World Northern Route: Getting Excited!

 

FINALLY!! With only 17 days til departure, my visas for Mongolia and Russia were approved! And my Nat Geo fancy rolling bag, along with final details on the trip including information on my fellow travelers, also arrived.

  • The destination that most intrigues me is Mongolia and the Gobi Desert.
  • We’re staying at the Three Camel Lodge which is part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection.
  • My goal to see the reindeer people seems highly unlikely. The Dukhas, as they are known, live in northern Mongolia and this last nomadic tribe of the region is down to 40 families – highly doubtful our paths will cross.
  • But we will see many camels and Mongolian ponies around our camp.

Not sure how much internet will be available throughout the trip or how much downtime I’ll have for posting but I will definitely get on instagram and snapchat whenever I can so if this Northern Route trip is of interest, follow me on:

  • Instagram: Irma Zandl (link here)
  • Snapchat: irmatz
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These RVs Are Just So Damn Cute

These RVs Are Just So Damn Cute

 

Last year, Clint Peralta, one of my best sources when it comes to trends, told me I MUST visit Happier Camper in LA’s Frogtown (pic upper left).

He was right. Here’s the post (#3 in this link).

Now, however, he’s shown himself to be even more prescient. Bloomberg recently ran a piece on the twee RV movement and Happier Camper is featured prominently right along with Winnebago and Airstream.

Key takeaways:

  • The RV industry just had its best year in four decades, thanks to the popularity of trimmed-down rigs, like Winnebago’s Winnie, the kitschy Basecamp from Airstream, and LA’s own retro-inspired Happier Camper.
  • Winnebago recently bought Grand Design RV, which makes a line of towable rigs, more efficient, affordable and culturally relevant than gigantic, gas-guzzling RVs.
  • Grand Design complements a growing line of minimalist products at Winnebago, including the adorable Winnie Drop (pic above, lower right).
  • Winnebago sales surged 64% with almost half coming from towable rigs
  • The pint-size RV trend coincides with the tiny-house movement and #vanlife.
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The Perfect Weekend in Atlanta: Curated By Rodrigo Padilla

The Perfect Weekend in Atlanta: Curated By Rodrigo Padilla

 

Fabulous weekend in Atlanta last week as guest of my friends, Rodrigo and Elliott. Not only was the agenda 100% on-point, I also had my own stunning suite at their gorgeous home (pics below).

So here – per the Opinionator – are the six must-dos for a great weekend in the ATL. And note, much of what I love most about Atlanta is in the Old Fourth Ward (O4W) – so be sure to check it out.

Ponce City Market

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place. And whereas malls all around the country are dying, this place was jammed – of course it’s 80% food hall.
  • The people behind it also developed Chelsea Market in NYC. They are clearly expert at doing adaptive reuse projects in historic buildings (this one a Sears, Roebuck from the 1920s).
  • This is also where we rented bikes for our 3 hour tour of the Beltline and Piedmont Park which are adjacent to the market.

Read on below for more.

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Exploring America Through The Prism Of Airbnb, Uber And The Funnel Cake!

Exploring America Through The Prism Of Airbnb, Uber And The Funnel Cake!

 

Feeling inspired! Just back from a long weekend in Atlanta and also in the middle of Brad Stone’s brilliant new book, The Upstarts about tech startups that have changed how we live, work and play in this country.

My goal is to experience firsthand what it’s like to live in different cities throughout America at this particular point in time.

  • How are people navigating change.
  • What trends are they noticing?
  • What’s the day-to-day of their lives look like?
  • Where do they shop, work, what do they do for fun?
  • Culturally – and socially – what’s happening in cities in America?

Besides Atlanta, I’ve recently been to Philadelphia, Washington DC and Savannah. I’ll be heading to Milwaukee in August and Los Angeles in September. I’ll be hitting up a few State and County Fairs along the way. Send me recommendations and tips for other cities!!

And maybe I’ll even run into Mark Zuckerberg along the way. He has made traveling America (all 50 States) his goal this year. He too wants to connect with more Americans to understand how they are thinking about the future.

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HEALTH ADVICE: Stay Active, Connect With People, EAT LESS

HEALTH ADVICE: Stay Active, Connect With People, EAT LESS

 

Three things popped out at me in reviewing recent health data:

  • We’re getting fatter (66% of us are now overweight or obese)
  • We’re giving up on trying to lose weight (only 49% trying vs. 56% previously)
  • We’re having way less sex (could that be connected to points 1 and 2?)

And since I know I am not alone with my arthritis, here’s an update on the latest medical findings (and note how weight factors in!):

  • Arthritis is hitting younger generations – at earlier ages – due to rising obesity rates
  • Severely obese people are 2.5 times more likely to report arthritis than people with normal (BMI)
  • Non-smokers are less likely to get arthritis
  • High-fat, high-carb diets are among the leading causes of osteoarthritis (Source: Eureka Alert)
  • Saturated fat is a key factor in the onset of osteoarthritis:  it changes the composition of cartilage, particularly in the weight-bearing joints of the hip and knee.

Read on below for 6 more trends including mindful exercise.

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