Sunday Stories for September 29th, 2013

Sunday Stories for September 29th, 2013

All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go. . . this time it’s off to Dublin for the European version of TBEX, the Travel Blog Exchange.

I was in Dublin for the first time earlier this year when I was doing a site visit for the conference. It was mad, crazy fun, and I can’t wait to go back and enjoy it for longer this time. In addition to time in Dublin, I’ll be heading out to the west coast of the island to experience a different Ireland, and then heading up to Northern Ireland for a stay in Belfast. Lots of great activities on my plate, and I can’t wait to get on the plane and head off.

Now, let’s get on to the reading from this week.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan

10 Must Try Asian Inspired Recipes

I loved my time in Japan, and there are many of the dishes I’d like to try at home. This article gave me lots of ideas on other Asian dishes to try, too.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia over the years and in that time I have definitely developed a taste for Asian foods. I love Asian food because it is generally packed with flavour, and raw whole foods. The food I eat in Asia is fresh, no preservatives. Something I cannot say for the Asian food served in restaurants in North America. When it comes to food I am a big believer in […]

Global Entry vs. TSA Pre-Check: Which Is Worth It?

This is one of those things that has been on my to-do list for far too long. I make a number of international trips a year, and the time saved (both in the customs process and security lines) makes this a no-brainer decision for me. Will sign up and get going when I get back from this trip.

You might not realize it, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has more than one program designed to expedite your trip though the airport. Trusted Traveler options include: FAST, FLUX, NEXUS, SENTRI, SES, Smart Gate and STEP. The TSA also offers  TSA Pre-Check.

That’s a lot of acronyms! Let’s break which ones matter for you and which ones don’t.

A Lesson in Traveling Hard and Living Better

I met Andrew in Toronto last fall and we’ve been friends ever since. He is so full of energy and life, that it can be exhausting just listening to him. He’s on a crazy mad travel schedule, living life to its fullest. Thing came to a screeching halt for him, though, when he was leaving Istanbul.

Years ago when I first thought to translate my quirky, solitary observations about life from oral stories and scribbles from my leather bound journals to the wild wild west of the internet I made a plan for what I hoped to pioneer for myself online. The stories on dobbernationLOVES and as it turns out, my life for the last six years have been driven and born through the motto “Eat Well, Travel Hard, Live Better.”

cat watching tv

10 Delicious Movie Night Popcorn Recipes

Movie night! Now that the Seattle weather has taken a decided turn for the wetter, the idea of curling up with a movie is my idea of comfort. And what’s a movie without popcorn? This article had a few new choices worth a try.

I thought it would be really fun to have a movie night at the house.  What movie night would be complete without popcorn.  Here are 10 amazing popcorn ideas for your next movie night!

The Daily Routines of 7 Famous Entrepreneurs and How to Design Your Own Master Routine

I wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of balls. From flying to my travel blogging to my work as Conference Director for TBEX. And trying enjoy family and friends is important too. While I’m usually pretty organized and manage to get a lot done in a little amount of time, lately I’ve been feeling like my habits just aren’t working for me any more. I’m going to spend some time with these ideas and see if I can create a new routine.

Our daily routines can make a huge difference to how healthy, happy and productive we are. I’ve recently tried adjusting my own routine in the hopes of getting more done and wasting less time in-between tasks or activities.

While it’s important to understand how your own brain works and what routine will suit your body best, I always find it interesting to see what works for others when planning something new for myself.

Classical sculptures dressed as hipsters look contemporary and totally badass

Hipsters, fashionistas, and scantily clad – but they’re not nude any more. The creative minds behind this effort brought a smile to my face. Take a look and see if they do the same for you.

Airplane wing taken out the window

Ban on Inflight Electronics Below 10,000 Feet Likely to Be Lifted in 2014

This has been bandied about for some time, and perhaps a decision is not too far away. I have no interest in jumping into the argument over whether the electronics pose a hazard to flight or not, my approach is simple – just make up your mind and be done with it.

Back in June the committee formed to make a recommendation on use of electronics inflight below 10,000 feet asked for more time. Now that committee is expected to deliver its report this week.

They are expected to recommend the restrictions be lifted, which in turn could lead to the FAA removing the requirement to turn off electronic devices for takeoff and landing some time in 2014.

Staying in a Yurt at Summit Mountain Lodge in Utah

I got the idea of a list of 100 from JoAnna, and I also admire her approach to her life list. One of the things on her life list was staying in a yurt. She finally did, although definitely not the type she originally had in my. Take a look, wouldn’t you want to stay in a yurt like this? And doesn’t yurt sound like a word right out of a Dr. Seuss book?

At the time, I was picturing myself in a legitimate yurt, a place where people live, a place where, when I walked out in the morning, I’d be greeted by the (I’m assuming) wide open spaces of Mongolian wilderness. So imagine my surprise when, while working with the Cedar City/Brian Head Tourism Board in Utah regarding details for a summer trip, I got an email punctuated with exclamation marks that my dream of staying in a yurt could be recognized just a few hours from the front door of my house in Las Vegas. The catch? Staying in this yurt would be a glamping (glamorous camping) experience, not a rustic one.

The Habits of Successful People: They Start Before They Feel Ready

I’ve been working on a couple project that have been on the back burner for awhile. Although they’ll take some time in the strategy and implementation stages, I know they will simply some things in the big picture. When I read this article, I stopped procrastinating and got in touch with some people who can help me pull it together and make it happen. I took a few baby steps on the project this week, and while the heavy lifting on it is still to come, I started. Even though I definitely don’t feel ready.

If you’re working on something important, then you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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