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This Caribbean oasis provides equally for travelers looking to relax and those in search of adventure. As a hot spot for cruises, adventure seekers and honeymooners, St. Lucia offers an abundantly developed tourism industry for all a tourists' needs and desires.
With so much to discover about the beautiful West Andes island of St. Lucia, see how to do it all in just five days with adventure, food, and budgets in mind.
Spontaneous Procrastination. It happens to all of us.
It was the Friday morning of the weekend leading into the best holiday of the year - Independence Day in the USA. I’d spent the better half of the last two months dreaming about a holiday adventure yet was too busy to actually plan something. “Why did I wait so long to plan something?” ! I ask myself while starry-eyed at the idea of being spontaneous.
The battle waged in my head as I debated the downfalls of being ill-prepared, to the benefits of “going with the flow” and leaving room for curiosity and true exploration. I mean heck, some of the best adventures I’ve had, happened on the fly!
When a friend told me about the Roadtrippers app just four hours prior to the end of the workday, I found myself emerged in the possibilities at my fingertips. I sat down that Friday afternoon and within an hour had an epic Independence journey planned to North Carolina’s beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Our route, rest stops, accommodations, attractions, viewpoints and all!
The app is based on a system of reviews, recommendations, and GPS coordinates. This enabled me to plan with confidence based on reviews for anything from hiking trails and campsites, to hotels, breweries and art museums.
So many options
And the best part? I could easily toggle between different activities AND see where they fell on our route, making it even easier to know how best to plan our day and fit the most in.
A tool that encourages more than a destination
As the saying goes “life is about the journey, not the destination.” The Roadtrippers app exemplifies just that - how to make the most of any journey. With all interests in mind, we had a roadmap for our adventure and the keys to making it our own. It was incredible all that we were able to fit into a three day weekend while never feeling rushed or under stimulated.
Our unique adventure
Since the mountains had been calling for some time, our first stop had us headed straight to Linville Falls - one of North Carolina’s most infamous hikes. While we didn’t have a clearly defined route in mind, we decided to see where the trails would take us - and as luck had it, it was straight to epic views and diving through waterfalls.
After a nature filled morning our next destination was perfectly timed with the intent to help refuel our tired feet and sip on some local vines. Linville Falls Winery, a family owned and operated winery just a short five minutes from our hiking adventure, provided us relaxing views, good tunes, and a taste of its staple grapes Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, blueberries, and raspberries. Nestled in the lower end of Avery County near the Blue Ridge Parkway they house a state of the art tasting room on a 40-acre farm with award winning wines unique to the region with complex flavors.
Getting out of my comfort zone
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never much into camping. Family vacations consisted of coastal condos and vacation homes. The thought of camping for me was not only new, but a bit nerve wrecking (that’s the diva in me talking).
The Vance Toe Rive Lodge changed my perspective. Upon arrival at the campground, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful landscapes and accommodations. Each campsite was provided a wooden plank in which to set up a tent, a picnic table, firewood and nearby facilities.
But the best part? They had a free shuttle service that brought people to the Vance Toe River Lodge and Brewery. This place was a true gem. Between the people, the eats, the drinks and the views, I can’t wait for my next “camping” experience!
The added bonus of flexibility
While the Roadtrippers app helped lay the foundation for our trip, we were able to spend a good amount of time exploring new trails, driving through the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and finding ourselves amidst a cluster of breweries in a nearby town we may never have found had our inspiration and curiosity not taken the wheel. Plan ahead, plan on the go, the app is just as flexible as you are.
In all, lesson learned - leave space for spontaneity, don’t stress the small stuff, and don’t over plan.
Sometimes the best adventures one can have are when they allow themselves to be open to all possibilities - and a bit of help from the trusty Roadtrippers app!
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You never know when creativity may strike! Luckily, I have an amazing group of friends that are all along for the ride and listen to my wild ideas on a whim.
Creative Funks. We’ve all been there. Designers, writers, producers, thinkers, entrepreneurs. As creatives, we are our biggest critics and as people who exercise our talents on a daily basis, we also require the need to exercise those neurons that help us fun function.
So what to do when in a rut? Make the world our gym and flex that creative energy. The notion that international travel experiences can open our minds to new ways of thinking is not as much a new concept as it is imperative to overcoming any form of a creative block. Neuroscientists and Psychologists have even begun to examine that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change related to how the brain is wired and influenced by environment and habit. It is the one thing that can help us uncover new eras in personal artistic development and provide us with a more accurate and open-minded view of the world.
As a career creative and photographer, I have long felt the creative benefits of international travel. However, it’s not just about being abroad. It’s the critical process of multicultural immersion, engagement and adaptation. That’s why each year I’ve vowed to myself, my soul and my creative mind to dive into these experiences. There is nothing as refreshing, as humbling and as scary as throwing yourself into the unknown than traveling abroad - and that freedom feeds directly back into our waves of inspiration and the work we give back to the world. The impact traveling has on one's worldview allows one to do good work. Its purpose is to build a strongly acculturated sense of self. It has been one of the healthiest ways for me to nurture that creative spark through the cognitive flexibility of environment and human compassion.
“Creativity is power - and we have the ability to use it for good.”
To capture and share my experiences while traveling abroad, I started a journaling practice. Through this, I am able to craft storylines through photo, video and written content with the aspiration to inspire others and myself to live outside a world our own. This practice has helped shaped how I view the work and message I put into the world - and what a true gift the ability to share with others is.
Photofy has been a powerful tool in my journaling practice and curating the way in which others consume my work. It has granted me the ability to spend more time to discover and more time to focus on a message while providing a means to optimize such aesthetic. Through customization options for both individuals and businesses, Photofy gives users the keys to growing their brand or content on the go.
Time and ease are imperative to any traveler. Luckily, Photofy easily allows one to capture a moment and edit in real time using a computer or mobile device. Giving travelers peace of mind knowing they can spend more time embracing their curiosity and allowing their imaginations to take flight.
If you’re like me, your creative mind is never fully put to rest. For it is when we express our creativity through travel and experiences we allow space for transformation and the nourishment needed to feel refreshed and renewed. Those expressions are imperative for us to continue to do good work and supersede into all aspects of the ways in which we think and operate creatively.
To visit more of my travels and portfolio find me at @angel_marya or ReserveDirect.com!