Category Archive: Uncategorized

23 Spectacular Places to Watch Sunrise

After traveling in Norway on our Into the Midnight Sun cruise itinerary, I’ve grown an appreciation for sunrise. We spent the better part of a week where the time between sunset and sunrise was only about an hour, so it was easy to watch the sun come up. But what about when watching a sunrise is a little more difficult? Here are some creative places around the world where watching the sunrise can be a romantic, inspiring, and enjoyable experience. Pawleys Island, South Carolina – The beach houses and historic inns on Pawleys Island offer a feeling of home while still providing a nod to generations of island tradition. Arrogantly shabby properties provide both character and comfort, and the natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the island are a great combination to watch the sun come up. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – […]

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It’s a Whole New World

Welcome – I’m glad you’re here! Last week I celebrated my 12-year anniversary of blogging. Today, I’m excited to roll out the new look here on Traveling with MJ. It’s been a long time since I’ve changed the theme and narrowed in on the focus of the site, and it was long past due. Here are some of the changes, new features you’ll find here, along with some tips to help navigate the site: I deleted close to 1,200 old posts that date back to 2006. It was tough letting go of those old archives, but the reality was that they weren’t serving anyone. My writing style and focus have evolved over the years and many of those posts don’t represent my focus any longer; they don’t represent my best work and don’t serve you – so they’re gone. Some […]

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Travel Bucket List Update 2017

Last year (2016) was a crazy busy year of travel and I checked several things off my bucket list. Bucket lists seem to get a bad rep this days, evoking the image of someone rushing around the world it pursuit of checking off sites on a to-do list. That is not the case with my list. My bucket list is a result of being an inveterate list maker. I make lists, I use lists, and I refer to lists often. There’s nothing rush-rush about my list and that should be evident by a few guidelines I follow in making it. My list is capped at 100 and is an assortment of destinations, things to do or see, and experiences. When something is accomplished, or I’ve changed my mind about it, it gets crossed off the list and something new is […]

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2016: A Year of Travel in Review

If there was one theme to my travels in 2016 it would be Asia. I made six trips to Asia, including three new countries (Philippines, China, Israel), and at one point had made three trips to Asia in a 35 day period. I visited several new countries in Europe as well (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Estonia) while on a Viking Ocean Cruise. A secondary theme for the year was new projects. I started a podcast, a quest to visit every winery in the state of Washington, infused a neglected site with more enthusiasm, created space for more indepth stories, and have a food site ready to launch in the first quarter of 2017. Whew! The next year will be even busier than this one. Since some of my trips, both international and domestic, were made on relatively short […]

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Four Seasons Luxury on Private Jet Tours

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, 52 passengers are embarking on a round-the-world luxury tour the likes of which I can only imagine. The itinerary is an enviable one:  eight countries and 24 days, all in Four Seasons luxury whether inflight or on the ground. The tour starts in Seattle, which was how I got a look at the jet parked at Boeing Field, and then heads off to Tokyo, Beijing, Maldives, Serengeti, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Marrakech, and finally ends in Boston. It’s an enviable way to go around the world, so let’s take a closer look at what life on this private jet is like. The inside of the Boeing 757 is bright and spacious, with a hint of interior mood lighting that must come in handy during the long flight legs. The 52 adjustable flatbed seats offer passengers 78 […]

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Flight Attendants are Trained to be First Responders

Think you know what a Flight Attendant does? Under the best of circumstances all you’ll need him or her to do is nag you about turning off your electronics and pour you a beverage of two.  But don’t forget that Flight Attendants are trained as first responders – to fight fires, provide life saving first aid, act as security coordinators, and to get you off of an airplane fast, should the need arise. Take a look at this video and think about it the next time you fly:

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Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum

On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the capital city of Victoria is equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, BC (a little over 60 miles from both cities). The city is an easy getaway from both cities, as well as from Port Angeles on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Victoria is also a port of call for cruise ships traveling the Pacific Coast waters.  One of my top recommendations on things to do in Victoria is to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, located at the corner of Belleville and Douglas Streets, in the downtown area.  The Parliament Building and the Empress Hotel are right nearby, giving you other things to do during your time, and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants nearby for eating out. The Royal BC Museum presents exhibits is a way that appeals to all the senses in […]

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Travelers Beware: Everything You Think You Know May be Wrong

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right?  It is precisely with those types of days in mind – the recognition that everyone has a bad day once in awhile – that the holiday Everything You Think is Wrong Day was created.  Celebrated each year on March 15th, it’s a day that seems perfectly targeted for travelers.  After all, despite all your research, all your plans and preparations, all the work you’ve done to have the perfect travel experience, at some point in the journey you’re sure to discover that everything you think. . . is wrong. Have any of these happened to you? You were certain that 12:15 a.m. was minutes after noon – so certain, in fact, that you were 12 hours late for you flight departure.  Some days nothing goes right! You knew […]

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Sun & Sand on Mallorca

A popular Spanish holiday island in the the Mediterranean, Mallorca has a bit of a split personality.  On one side are the secluded beach, challenging cycling trails, spectacular natural beauty for hiking and enjoying, challenging deep water rock climbing, and an environment that creates a haven for a variety of seabirds.  On the other side, Mallorca  appeals to the hip and trendy, with luxury resorts, marinas full of yachts and luxury sailing craft, top notch restaurants, and plenty of rocking nightlife and bars. So how does a visitor take advantage of the warm weather in Mallorca, and reconcile these two versions of the island into a wonderful vacation?  There’s plenty to do on Mallorca, whether you’re young, hip, and ready to party, or are just looking for a relaxing beach getaway.  Here’s some ideas on how to make Mallorca the […]

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Where I’ve Been: The 2011 Edition

As I start the New Year, as I do every year, I take stock of where I’ve been.  It’s only by knowing where I’ve been that I can plan where I want to go.  I have a long, and I mean VERY LONG, list of places that I’d like to go.  I no sooner cross a place off than I add two or three more.  I’ve accepted that the list will never grow shorter! Here’s where I stand as of January 1st, 2011. The US States I’ve visited (32 of 51, which includes the District of Columbia): And, the countries that I’ve visited (21, or 9% of the world).  Note to self:  visit bigger countries! I clearly have a ways to go – both in getting to all 50 states, as well as becoming a member of the Centennial Club […]

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