Sunday Stories for December 28th, 2014

The countdown to year end continues and I’ve been enthusiastically looking back on where I’ve been and what I’ve managed to get done this past year. Look for my travel year in review post coming up on Wednesday. Of course, all this reflection also made me realize that I didn’t get to many of the things on my bucket list this past year and that probably influenced my reading selections this week.

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok, Thailand

Getting Custom-Tailored Suits Made in Bangkok at Empire Tailors

Having some custom made clothing has been on my bucket list for awhile, and while I first thought Hong Kong may be the place to do that, I’m rethinking the destination. Since I’ll be back in Thailand next year, with a little more time for shopping and tailoring, the information in this article was timely and helpful.

I love getting custom-made suits done in Southeast Asia. I’ve done it multiple times in Thailand. Labor is cheap, skill level is high, and competition is intense. That translates into a great opportunity for consumers.

The Best European Christmas Markets on the Rhine River with Viking River Cruises

Another item on my bucket list, visiting the Christmas markets on a river cruise may mean breaking my commitment of not traveling in December. The stories I’ve heard and read, the holiday cheer they seem to inspire, and the whimsical way that they seem to make people feel, have me figuring out how to make in happen for December 2015. Last year I went on my first river cruise and I loved it.

I had heard about the Christmas markets in Europe for years, but truly I didn’t know what to expect. Now I know and I can share with you the best Christmas markets on the Rhine Getaway excursions via the Viking River Cruise ship TOR and the glittering magic of the season’s decor that I experienced.

The Art of the Entrepreneurial Pitch, with Kevin Harrington

Over the past year, I’ve become a fan of the television show Shark Tank. Along with recording all of the new shows, I’ve been going back and trying to catch up on the archives. I’ve learned a few things in the process, including that there’s a difference between a great product and a thriving business and that success usually means knowing how to pitch yourself (and your skills, product, business, etc.). This is an interesting interview with one of the original sharks and should give you lots to think about.

One of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal as entrepreneurs is the ability to pitch our ideas and our companies. Here to share with us this fine art is a man well acquainted with the pitch: Mr. Kevin Harrington.

yellow hibiscus in Hawaii

Molokai: It’s All About the Love

While I’ve been to Hawaii many, many times, I’ve not yet made it to the island of Molokai. This is another item on my bucket list and this story from my friend Christy makes it seem wonderfully charming.

It’s the love of the land, the love of each other as one big extended family, and the love for this life where they are able to keep their cultural traditions alive and share their passion with everyone who visits.

Easy Ribbon Wreath for any holiday

I’m not a super crafty gal, but there have been a few do-it-yourself projects that I’m right damned proud of. Although Christmas is over, this craft idea has lots of year round application, and I’m filing the idea away for use in 2015.

I like to give homemade gifts whenever I can. I really feel that a gift you take the time to make means so much to the person you are giving it to. It shows that they are worth the effort. The wreath I am showing you today is something I first made many years ago.

space needle, blue sky, Seattle summer

Where to see movie The Interview in Seattle and Washington state

Surrounded by controversy and political maneuvering, here’s the scoop if you want to see the movie in the Seattle area.

This is the controversial movie originally scheduled to be released on Christmas Day, but which Sony Pictures pulled after threats of violence, purportedly from North Korea, followed by multiplex theater chains refusing to show the film because of those threats. Tickets have sold out already in many theaters.

Street Reporting 101: How to Find People

I don’t condone stalking, but if you’re after a story and need to find someone, this is full of tips on how to make it happen.

With any luck, you won’t have to break the law to get what you need. I don’t generally recommend it. But whatever your methods, you must always persist. The person you want is out there somewhere.

Read original article here: Street Reporting 101: How to Find People

Save, Splurge, Steal: Talking Value with Mary Jo from Traveling With MJ

And finally, this recommendation is a little self serving, but I’m sharing in anyway. My friend Vanessa interviewed me for a series that she runs, giving me a chance tot alk about value luxury travel and why it’s my travel ethos.

Welcome to the latest installment of the  “Save, Splurge, Steal” interview series.  Getting great value when I travel is always such a fun challenge for me and I love to learn how other people get the best possible experience for their available time and money. I’m asking top travel bloggers to share their expertise and I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I do!


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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