Although only half of them have touched down so far, the women of Blackpink have taken Paris Trend 7 days by storm.
The four associates, Jisoo, Rosé, Jennie and Lisa are international ambassadors for the French trend properties Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Celine, respectively, with the previous two now building a splash with the crowds in Paris.
To start with up was Jisoo, born Ji-soo Kim, whom a lot of ended up apparently angling to capture a glimpse of at the Dior spring 2022 show on Tuesday.
For her Paris Style 7 days debut, she wore a mini black-and-white patterned A-line costume from the French label’s 2022 cruise assortment, which highlighted embroidery of the ancient Greek goddess Athena. She concluded the look with the micro Girl Dior bag in metallic gold and black platform heels.
Though Jisoo, as she is identified professionally to Blackpink’s fans known as “Blinks,” was named the world wide ambassador for Dior in March, the singer has labored intently with the brand and resourceful director Maria Grazia Chiuri more than the last couple of a long time.
Up coming was Rosé, coming new off her debut at the Fulfilled Gala in New York Town, who attended Saint Laurent’s spring 2022 demonstrate, whose runway was overlooking a brightly lit Eiffel Tower.
Retaining it very simple with a tiny black slipdress by the French label, Rosé, born Chae-young Park, paired it with black knee-superior leather boots and layered two gold, jeweled necklaces also by Saint Laurent. She also wore two diamond rings by Tiffany & Co., for which she is also a world-wide ambassador for. She styled her hair in a reduced ponytail and retained a several strands out to body her confront.
“I’m just truly thrilled to see his new outfits and very honored to be invited once again,” she informed WWD of the brand’s resourceful director Anthony Vaccarello. “I love how he supports the sturdy look for women. I’m just in appreciate with just about every little bit of it.”
In July 2020, after performing closely with Saint Laurent for a quantity of yrs, she was tapped as the brand’s world-wide ambassador — its 1st in 59 many years. In January, she also grew to become the muse for Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.
At the Achieved Gala this calendar year, Rosé produced historical past, starting to be just one of two K-pop stars, alongside rapper CL, to ever show up at the party. For the event, she wore a basic tiny black dress finished with a huge white bow throughout the upper body from Saint Laurent’s winter season 2021 collection. Strolling by her aspect on the crimson carpet was Vaccarello.
Whilst Blackpink has roots in South Korea, the group’s worldwide fame has accelerated more than the past couple of several years, getting to be an international pop feeling. Considering the fact that its debut in 2016, the lady group has broken a lot of documents, together with most viewed songs online video in 24 several hours on YouTube. Blackpink’s strike 2020 tune, “How You Like That,” established two Guinness Planet Data at the time.
With PFW just kicking off, a number of demonstrates have but to acquire place. Blinks are eagerly awaiting the arrivals of Jennie and Lisa, who will reportedly attend the Chanel and Celine exhibits, respectively, afterwards this week and are sure to incite some significant crowds.
Go through Much more Below:
Blackpink’s Rosé Debuts at Achieved Gala in Saint Laurent
Blackpink’s Jennie Is the Confront of Chanel’s Coco Neige Campaign
Blackpink’s Jisoo, Elizabeth Debicki and Rosamund Pike on Dior’s Starry Front Row
With the word “haven” in its name, it’s no surprise that South Haven is as picturesque as it is. Located on the shores of serene Lake Michigan, it’s known for its gorgeous sunsets, delicious wine, abundant locally grown produce, and nature trails. If you’re looking for things to do in South Haven, this is your one-stop list for the absolute best outdoor adventures, landmarks, and much more:
16. Black River kayaking & paddleboarding
Just five minutes northeast of South Haven is an area with wild terrain and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature, one of them being kayaking or paddleboarding on Black River. Black River Cruises is a small, locally owned business dedicated to facilitating outdoor adventures on the river. You can rent a kayak or paddleboard by the hour and enjoy everything this gorgeous area has to offer.
15. Blue Water Boat Rentals
Renting a boat on Lake Michigan is easily one of the best ways to enjoy the water, especially in the summertime. With Blue Water Boat Rentals, you can choose between a speedboat, pontoon, dinghy boat, or jet-ski. Booking is easy; same-day reservations are available here. If you are traveling with friends, there is no better way to spend the day in South Haven than renting a boat and getting out on the lake.
14. Kal-Haven Trail State Park
Running for 33 miles between South Haven and Kalamazoo, the Kal-Haven Trail is a former railroad bed with a limestone surface. It’s a popular destination for those who love hiking and biking in the summer or cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. The trail passes through quaint towns and over picturesque bridges, with plenty of historical landmarks to see along the way.
13. Van Buren Trail & State Park
Linking South Haven with Hartford, this 14-mile trail is ideal for mountain biking. It runs through open farmland, dense forest, and blueberry fields, giving you awesome views the whole way. To access the trail from South Haven, you can park where the trail starts, in Van Buren State Park, which is on the shore of Lake Michigan and boasts a mile of sandy shoreline and high dune formations.
12. Rock ‘n’ Road bike rental
What better way to enjoy the trails in South Haven than by renting a bike? The folks at Rock ‘n’ Road Cycle have a variety of bikes at an affordable price. Choose between road bikes, tandem bikes, tag-alongs, and even electric bikes! This is another great local business with an excellent reputation that you can support!
11. Porter Legacy Dunes
As one of Michigan’s most unique and ecologically important landscapes, Porter Legacy Dunes is a must-visit spot when you go to South Haven. The 48-acre lakefront nature preserve is a hot spot for migratory birds and other freshwater-loving species. Because of its serene atmosphere, it’s ideal for visitors who are looking for a peaceful place to spend the day.
10. Pilgrim Haven Natural Area
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area features a pebbled beach on Lake Michigan, as well as a trickling creek and a lush beech-maple forest. This 27-acre natural area is home to many species of wildlife, including migratory birds and monarch butterflies. If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy the beach, this is one of the best!
Museums, Landmarks, and Tours
9. Michigan Maritime Museum
This part of Michigan has a rich maritime culture, which Michigan Maritime Museum captures beautifully. Located on the waterfront, this museum has interactive, hands-on exhibits and even boats that you can board. It includes five separate structures, which have both permanent and rotating exhibits to enjoy.
Pay the Michigan Maritime Museum a visit for a unique and enriching lakeside experience.
8. Blue Coast Artists Cultural Tour
This unique tour is one of southwestern Michigan’s best cultural experiences, as it showcases the hard work of local artists and allows guests to get an up-close look at their work. The tour includes stops at nine different studios where artists do demonstrations. Plus, you can purchase original artwork directly from them. The Blue Coast Artists Cultural Tour is the perfect artistic getaway. See more info about this year’s fall tour here.
7. South Haven Lighthouse
This piece of living history is cared for by the Michigan Maritime Museum. The South Haven Lighthouse, also known as the South Haven South Pierhead Light, is still operational today and is one of South Haven’s most precious historical landmarks, as it’s been around since 1872.
6. The Bailey Museum & Gardens
Liberty Hyde Bailey was a renowned horticulturist who was born and grew up in South Haven. The museum is inside the Bailey family’s farmhouse, which is on 80 acres of farmland. The farmhouse itself is a beautiful representation of what life was like in the late 1800s, featuring Greek Revival clapboard architecture. On the property, you’ll find a well-kept garden and even some nature trails.
Food & Drink
5. Arclight Brewing Company
I’m sure you’ve heard of BYOB restaurants, but have you heard of BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) breweries? I hadn’t — until I came across Arclight Brewing Company. This unique taproom has a variety of locally made beers on tap. It serves snacks but also encourages guests to bring their own food or even order delivery from local restaurants. In fact, the taproom often hosts food trucks that serve hungry guests.
4. Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail
If you love a good wine trail, you won’t want to pass up the chance to taste some local wines on the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail. Along it, you’ll find several wineries and tasting rooms, each with their own flair. Check out this map for your wine trail planning.
3. DeGrandchamp Farms
Walk into a blue and red paradise at DeGrandchamp Farms, which specializes in blueberries and cranberries. This is one of many farms in Michigan that has U-pick days, where you can pick your own berries, weigh them, and take them home. U-pick days vary from year to year but typically start in July and go through mid-August.
Not visiting during U-pick season? No worries! The farm has a variety of blueberry and cranberry products, including preserves, vinaigrettes, butters, and more.
2. Barden’s Farm Market
Don’t miss out an opportunity to enjoy some of South Haven’s best locally grown produce and handmade goods at the epic Barden’s Farm Market. This isn’t your average farm market, however. You’ll also find a prepared food counter, a bakery, a community farm, and a greenhouse. Go for the delicious treats but stay to take a look around and appreciate the community’s local farming efforts.
1. Overhiser Orchards
This family-run orchard has been providing the South Haven community and beyond with fresh fruits since 1863. It is one of the best places to pick your own fruit. Depending on the season, you’ll find sour cherries, plums, apples, pumpkins, and much more. Overhiser Orchards is a local favorite, and anybody from South Haven will tell you that you can’t leave town without visiting at least once.
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I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering just thinking about biting into a juicy piece of fruit from South Haven. Next time you make your way through the Midwest — by way of a Midwestern road trip or otherwise — make sure to spend some time enjoying everything that South Haven has to offer.
In the blink of an eye, the fashion frenzy is back again. Hundreds of spectators lined the wander of the Tuileries outdoors of the Dior present Tuesday, the initial large calendar occasion of the week.
Most have been angling to get a glimpse of Jisoo, a member of the K-pop woman group Blackpink, whose fans are named “blinks.” The enjoyment did not dissipate within the clearly show, as she was flanked by bodyguards and numerous camera crews. The superstar singer released herself to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s Antoine Arnault and Natalia Vodianova, and explained when she has attended Dior shows just before, she felt like being in Paris was distinctive, talking to the couple by an interpreter.
All the exhilaration did not go unnoticed by other visitors. “That’s a full issue, what is happening?!?” wondered Elizabeth Debicki when watching the action. “I just love how massive Korean pop stars are, it’s amazing. And search how assured she is. I could choose some classes,” she joked.
“The Crown” star said it was a little bit surreal to be again at this sort of a major demonstrate. “I actually missed looking at demonstrates, but it does experience very bizarre to congregate,” she reported. With 700 or so visitors tightly packed into a tent, there was no area for social distancing.
Debicki mentioned she’s been taking design and style notes whilst playing Princess Diana in the Netflix drama. Requested if the present can be credited with the resurgence of 1990s fashion, Debicki praised the princess’ timelessness. “I imply, it under no circumstances truly left. She was and is this sort of an icon. I also sense like she invented a ton of it, and I like her for that so considerably.” Debicki admits she’s been buying for her have wardrobe: “I have dibs on a ton of things. Each and every fitting I negotiate a new piece.”
As attendees searched for their seats about a circular phase, Rosamund Pike seemed a very little taken aback. “It feels rather complicated. It feels like every person has grow to be a photographer due to the fact the environment improved, considering the fact that the pandemic,” she said of the bustling crowds. “I’m joyful to be social again.” A mutual close friend released her to French actress Camille Cottin as the two exchanged an embrace.
Rachel Brosnahan is fresh new off “Dead for a Greenback,” a Western with Willem Dafoe and Christoph Waltz in the New Mexico desert. “It was so substantially fun, I obtained to journey a horse for a couple weeks and shoot some guns,” she explained. “The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel” star not only experienced to brush up on her saddle capabilities, but discover how to tackle firearms though in movement. “It’s not a thing I understood in advance of, thank goodness no! It is a new skill established.”
Summing up the display, Brosnahan raved about the different and vivid hues that ranged from fuchsia satin boxer shorts to emerald green gowns from Maria Grazia Chiuri. “There was this kind of a variety of seems to be, and I adore to see flats on the runway.”
Zoey Deutch created her return to France, very last attending a Dior dinner listed here “ages ago — I have zero notion of time.” She invested the summer filming in London with Mark Rylance. Titled “The Outfit,” it’s not fairly a vogue movie, but sees Rylance’s character as a Savile Row tailor transplanted to Chicago to make fits for a family of gangsters.
Relaxed footwear also seemed to be a massive issue for Deutch. “I have been solely in Uggs for the previous 12 months. My feet are quite baffled about the international objects that I’m putting on that are known as heels.”
This guest post is by Monica Chapon, a California-based desert enthusiast:
California has it all: mountains, beaches, deserts, and everything in between.
California is one of the few locations on the planet that houses many different climates in close proximity. And no area of the state is quite as diverse as Southern California.
It is completely possible to visit the Pacific Ocean, snow-capped mountains, and the dry rugged desert all in a single day. Whatever climate you’re in the mood for, you can find it. For those who like camping, this means an endless variety of scenery to wake up to on any given day.
From beaches to deserts to mountains, here are the ten best places to camp in Southern California.
1. Alabama Hills National Scenic Area
The Alabama Hills National Scenic Area sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This visually stunning stretch of land features large smooth boulders haphazardly scattered in front of the snow-capped jagged peaks in the distance.
Alabama Hills is Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. For campers, this means free dispersed camping among the rocks and foothills. Be aware, though: there are no outhouses or trash bins, nor is there any potable water. Bring your own breakfast or take a short drive to nearby Lone Pine for provisions. This entire area is a “pack it in, pack it out” location.
My favorite place to set up shop is in between the rounded rocks, which creates some privacy and some one-on-one time with nature. Campers can begin their morning with a sunrise hike or an epic photo op at Movie Road.
2. Leo Carrillo State Park
For beach lovers out there, this is easily one of the best places to camp in Southern California.
Leo Carrillo State Park sits just off of the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), in northern Malibu. Back country trails climb the hills behind the campgrounds, some short and easy and some long and difficult.
There are 130 campsites in the state park; they cost $45 per night, and many are shaded by towering sycamore trees. The grounds offer amenities like flush toilets, running water, and showers. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
Leo Carrillo also offers a 1.5-mile stretch of beach right across the street that is great for swimming, surfing, and relaxing. My personal favorite features are the tide pools and coastal caves formed by the dramatic cliffs, and the secluded nature of this pocket beach.
3. White Tank Campground
Tucked inside of my all-time favorite Joshua Tree National Park sits the White Tank Campground. Nestled among the typical large granite boulders in the northern end of the park, all 15 campsites are first-come, first-served. This is easily one of the best places to camp, not just in Southern California but in the entire American Southwest.
A $15 fee must be prepaid at an entrance station. There is no water available for drinking or washing, so bring plenty! Note: The campground typically closes in the summer due to the excessive heat of the desert.
White Tank is one of my favorite spots for two reasons. First, the iconic Arch Rock hike originates from this very spot, so it’s easy to access at sunrise. Additionally, it’s located in one of the darkest sections of the park and so offers fabulous stargazing.
4. Pineknot Campground
Pineknot is tucked away in a densely forested area of the San Bernardino National Forest at Big Bear Lake. It’s a popular destination for those looking for a break from busy city life.
The campground has 48 sites with easy access to several scenic mountain trails. It’s equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, and bear boxes at each site to pack away food. Firewood is available for purchase. With flush toilets and drinking water provided, campers are set for a weekend in the woods. Campsites are $31 per night.
Big Bear Lake offers fun water activities, like canoeing and boating, and is a nice change of pace from the ocean views Southern California is famous for. The water can be cold, though, so it’s not the best place for swimming.
5. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
An hour and a half east of San Diego, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a hidden gem. It’s not the most well-known park to those coming from outside of California, but for me it’s another desert staple.
Unlike most places in California, camping at Anza-Borrego does not require planning six months in advance: campers can plan a spontaneous weekend getaway here and know that they can get a campsite! This is because Anza-Borrego offers free dispersed camping. And the park is massive, so it never feels crowded. In fact, I’ve rarely seen another camper around me.
Be aware, though: if you go the dispersed route, there are no amenities. Pack it in, pack it out. Be sure to bring more than enough water for drinking and washing.
This is another locale known for fantastic stargazing. If you’ve never seen the dark sky filled with thousands of glowing stars from the middle of the desert, add this to your bucket list.
6. South Fork Campground
This campground is situated on the backside of the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest. It’s a hidden gem tucked between towering canyon walls. Shaded green hiking trails are plentiful in these mountains.
South Fork offers 21 spacious, first-come-first-served sites. Each comes equipped with a fire ring and a grill. There is no water available here, so plan ahead. Vault toilets are provided on-site.
This area has unfortunately experienced some closures due to the recent California wildfires, so be sure to check the status before making the drive.
7. Jumbo Rocks Campground
Jumbo Rocks Campground, centrally located near many exhibits and trails, is another popular yet primitive spot in Joshua Tree National Park.
The enormous rocks were formed millions of years ago and have been smoothed into their unique shapes by the wind. Creatures like lizards, rattlesnakes, and scorpions can be found living among them.
There are 124 individual campsites, set on a flat, sandy surface, in between the boulders. Sites are only $20 per night. No water or showers are provided. Also, the town of Twentynine Palms is only 12 miles away, so food and water can easily be purchased outside the park.
Reservations are required from September to May. If you prefer to reserve a place in advance rather than leave it to chance, like at White Tank, then Jumbo Rocks might be for you.
8. Ricardo Campground
One of my favorite under-the-radar spots for camping can be found between the dramatic cliffs of quiet Red Rock Canyon State Park, which offers some stunning hiking and camping that will remind you of the orange rocks of Arizona or Utah.
The Ricardo Campground has 50 primitive campsites with potable water, pit toilets, fire rings, and tables. Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis only; no reservations are accepted. While I’ve never seen this campground fill up, I’d arrive early on holiday weekends to be safe.
Campsites cost $25 per night. Additional vehicles are $6 each. Self-registration and payment is required before setting up your camp.
I highly recommend this spot; it’s one of the best places for camping in Southern California, for sure!
9. Hole-in-the-Wall Campground
The Mojave National Preserve is a vast but lesser-visited park in the California desert. With loads of Joshua trees, tall sand dunes, and rugged mountains, this is a great place to spend a weekend camping.
There are two designated campgrounds here, but my favorite is Hole-in-the-Wall. There are 35 campsites there, with facilities like pit toilets, potable water, fire rings, and picnic tables. Each site is first-come, first-served and costs $12 per night.
The reason I prefer Hole-In-the-Wall is twofold: First, it is lower in elevation and has better road access, so you can reach these sites without four-wheel drive. And second, I love the volcanic rock walls surrounding it.
10. Furnace Creek Campground
The Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley National Park is the most popular campsite in the park for a reason. It is centrally located, with relatively easy access to many of the highlights. The Golden Canyon badlands, Artist’s Palette, and the Badwater Basin salt flats, which are the lowest point in North America, are a short drive away.
Furnace Creek is the only campground in the park that accepts reservations in advance. Weekends and holidays can sell out, so plan your trip early, or consider weekdays instead. The 136 campsites have drinking water, picnic tables, and flush toilets. I recommend visiting over the winter months, as this can be one of the hottest places in California.
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Though there are endless options for camping in Southern California, these are my current favorite spots. And, as each of these locations is just a short drive from anywhere in Southern California, campers will forget about city life soon enough.
From waking up to ocean views to stargazing in the desert, there really is something for everyone!
About the author: Monica Chapon has traveled to six continents solo and chronicles her adventures on her blog, This Rare Earth. She can usually be found exploring the deserts of the world, taking impromptu road trips, or performing as an aerialist on silks. Follow along with Monica’s adventures on Instagram.
Energy healing is the holistic practice of identifying and removing energetic blockages in the body. The goal is to allow the body to heal itself once these blockages are released. Did I lose you already? This definition alone has a lot to unpack, so I’m here to break it down for you with a complete guide on energy healing: what it is and where to find it.
Energy in the Body
Stemming from ancient philosophy originating in India, the concept of energy flow in the body involves seven energy centers, or chakras. They are (from bottom to top): the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra, and crown chakra.
Although the first mention of chakras was in an ancient Hindu text, the concept of these energy points in the body is a fundamental part of Chinese and Japanese medicine. Practices such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and reiki are all based on the principles of energy healing: tapping into these energy centers to allow the body to heal.
The Hard Science
Although energy-healing practices like the ones mentioned above tend to take on a spiritual capacity and therefore are discounted as “woo-woo” and not taken as seriously, energy healing is in fact supported by hard science.
You might remember from your high school physics class that all matter is made up of molecules that are in constant vibration. Yep, even hard objects that appear to be still are composed of millions of vibrating molecules. In fact, all that we are and everything around us is basically just “empty” space.
Not convinced? A 2015 Forbes article breaks down quantum physics perfectly, laying out the mind-blowing nature of the universe. Basically, if we scaled the nucleus of an atom to the size of peanut, the entire atom itself would be the size of a baseball field. All of that space between the nucleus and the outer edges of the atom is space, in constant vibration. If we were to eliminate the space, the entirety of the atomic material left over from earth’s human population would fit into a single sugar cube.
Quantum physics is a highly respected hard science. But what does it tell us? Everything we see in the physical world at the most fundamental level comes down to one thing: energy. The difference between the energy of our thoughts and intentions and physical objects is simply the rate at which the molecules of those things move. Thought molecules move extremely fast, while molecules in physical objects move extremely slowly.
With this in mind, those who came up with the chakra system were certainly onto something. Thousands of years ago, we were beginning to understand the key role that energy plays in everything around us, even without having the “hard” science to back it up.
Energy Healing as a Practice
We don’t necessarily need to tie our energy healing practice to the chakra system or have profound knowledge of quantum physics to begin practicing energy healing. Many people feel intimidated by the abundance of information out there about energy healing and then become discouraged from implementing it.
There also exists a “this or that” mentality, wherein people often think that if they subscribe to energy healing, they should reject modern medicine altogether. On the flip side, those who are completely loyal to Western medicine tend to reject energy healing as a legitimate practice.
I don’t think we have to be 100% in favor of either. In fact, energy healing and Western medicine can work hand in hand. Implementing energy healing isn’t going to cause your meds to suddenly stop working, so why not give it a try?
You can begin your energy healing journey simply by taking up meditation as a daily practice. Even setting an intention every day to cleanse your energy as you take a shower is a great step. You might also start practicing yoga, or try visiting an energy healer. These are reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, reflexologists, and even massage therapists!
Benefits of Energy Healing
According to the book The Body Keeps the Score, our physical and emotional bodies are intertwined, and trauma is stored in the physical body, often resulting in ailments or illness. We can understand this also by considering the physical manifestation of emotional trauma as an energy blockage. Depending on what emotional trauma we experience and how we carry it, we may have unexplained physical ailments.
Energy healers work to allow our mind and bodies to release the the energy blockages that occur when trauma is stored in the body. If you are willing to receive energy healing as a possible solution to whatever ailments you may have, the benefits are plentiful.
Energy healing in all its forms is painless and requires only an open mind and a willingness to let go. It can help optimize physical health, reduce stress, improve emotional well-being, and calm anxiety.
Every body and mind is different, so while some people have life-changing experiences after energy healing sessions, some walk away with little to no impact and may require repeat sessions and more time to heal.
Finding an Energy Healer
I’m not here to tell anybody that they should quit their conventional health treatments and dive into energy healing as a cure-all. In fact, I would advise against it. Holistic practices, just like conventional treatments, work differently for different people.
If you are interested in giving energy healing a try, there are a couple ways to find a healer who can help you. Here are a few ideas for what to search for:
Reiki: Reiki practitioners work to allow energy to flow throughout the body and to release blockages. Healers use hand movements to do so, and might incorporate crystals to further perpetuate the flow of energy.
Acupuncture: By placing needles in different parts of the body, acupuncturists seek to direct the flow of energy throughout the body and balance this “qi.” Many who suffer from chronic pain find acupuncture helpful for their recovery.
Breathwork: Breathwork healers use breathing techniques to help stimulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and therefore allow the flow of energy throughout the body. This practice is especially helpful for those who live with anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
Sound healing: By using sound bowls, chimes, and other instruments, sound healers seek to move energy through the body by way of sound vibrations. These vibrations move through the air and help our own molecules vibrate more quickly, creating a sense of euphoria.
Finding an energy healer can be as simple as a quick google, but there are a few places in the world where these practices are more common and therefore it’s easier to find the type of energy healing you are looking for.
Top 5 Destinations for Energy Healing
In my experience as a breathwork practitioner, I have noticed that healers tend to congregate. Because of this, there are certain hubs for energy healing:
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Tucked in the southwestern highlands of Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is a body of water in a giant volcanic crater. The several small towns on the water’s edge are an ideal place to connect with nature and admire the lake. One town in particular is especially famous for its high concentration of energy healers: San Marcos La Laguna.
San Marcos is one of the smaller communities on the lake and is teeming with spiritually minded people and energy healers. There you’ll find yoga studios in what locals call “the yoga forest,” further into the mountainside. There are also several massage therapists, reiki healers, and acupuncturists who call San Marcos home.
In addition to its abundance of healers, Lake Atitlán is a known positive energy vortex and is a sacred place for the Mayan people. Keep this in mind if you visit. If you go to Lake Atitlán as a part of your own healing journey, remember to express gratitude and be kind to local people whose ancestors considered the lake one of the most sacred places on earth.
Contamination of the lake due to overtourism is a huge problem, so consider visiting during low season (January to April or September to November).
This one is pretty obvious. Sedona is famous for its concentration of both energy healers and energy vortexes. Even while on one of the many beautiful hikes near Sedona, you might bump into people practicing energy healing, doing yoga, or meditating in nature.
Even if you aren’t convinced by the concept of energy vortexes (read more about them here!), there are plenty of awesome things to do in Sedona, and many of them involve getting outside and enjoying the gorgeous landscape. If that isn’t healing, I don’t know what is!
If you want to take a dive into energy healing in Sedona, this crystal sound bowl healing plus breathwork session is a great option.
Mount Shasta, California
Native American groups have long-held beliefs about the energetic power of Mount Shasta, an active volcano in northern California. Ceremonies dedicated to the Creator are still held today.
For many visitors, this is one of the most peaceful and grounding places to visit. After all, it is believed to be the root chakra of the earth.
As such, Mount Shasta attracts energy healers from around the world who hope to harness the strong energy of the volcano to help others heal. The options for energy healing at Mount Shasta are plentiful, and there are several healing centers that house reiki healers, meditation teachers, and more.
Lake Titicaca, Peru
Another energy vortex, Lake Titicaca is believed to be the sacral chakra of the earth. The sacral chakra is ruled by the element water, so it makes sense that this massive lake is the earth’s sacral energy vortex.
Although the Peru side of the lake has a reputation for being super touristy, there are ample opportunities for energy healing. Retreats like this one are available, but you can also look for specific healing centers, like this one, which use meditation to help people connect with the energy of the lake.
Head to Goa for one of the most comprehensive chakra healing experiences you could possibly have. Since India is the birthplace of the chakra system as we know it, there are thousands of retreat centers, yoga shalas (centers), and healing hubs throughout the country.
Goa attracts energy healers from all over the world who come to this quaint coastal state to tap into ancient knowledge and practices. It’s also a favorite location for yoga teacher trainings. Since yoga and energy healing overlap so much, you’ll likely find yoga teachers who also practice energy healing as a part of their offerings.
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If you’re not totally convinced by energy healing, that’s okay! I understand the skepticism, as I too was once very wary of new-agey practices like this.
However, my own spiritual and self-development journey led me to energy healing, and I am grateful, because at the very least, it has helped me unpack my own trauma.
Have you tried energy healing? Let us know what experiences you have had!
You may already know where California ranks on our top 15 most beautiful states in the USA. If so, you can guess why the Golden State ranks so high on our list.
California is home to 9 of the United States’ 63 national parks, plus a variety of other federally protected natural areas. Since it’s one of the largest states in the US and has such a long coastline, there is an incredible variety of natural landscapes to enjoy, especially at the best national parks in California.
While some of these sites listed below are not technically national parks, here are the 13 best national parks, recreation areas, and monuments in California, from north to south:
13. Redwood National & State Parks
The California coast is home to the coastal redwood tree, which is the tallest tree species in the world. Apart from these lovely giants, the Redwood National and State Parks have so much to offer: flowing rivers, vast prairies, and 40 miles of rugged coastline.
A scenic drive through the Redwoods is an excellent way to get acquainted with the area if you’re a first-timer. Howland Hill Road is a 10-mile route and has lots of short trails to stop and explore on foot while you drive through. Head to Klamath River Overlook for a spectacular ocean view — you might even be able to catch a glimpse of gray whales!
The Redwoods is the ideal place to camp, and you can choose between a site at a developed campground or backcountry camping. During high season in the summer, you must make a reservation at a developed campground to get a spot. If you want to go even more rugged, there are over 200 miles of hiking trails in the park, so you are sure to find the perfect secluded backcountry camping spot.
12. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Although this is the least-visited national park in California, Lassen Volcanic National Park’s gorgeous views and epic hikes do not disappoint. This is an excellent park for travelers who crave being in nature without bumping into other hikers, as Lassen’s trails tend to be uncrowded. Especially in the early mornings and evenings, there’s a chance you could be the only one out on the trails.
There are plenty of things to do at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Check out the glittering green Ridges Lakes by taking the one-mile hike to get there. You’ll also want to make sure to check out the alpine lakes, like pristine Lake Helen. The most famous feature of the park is the Lassen Peak hike, which is a 2.5-mile steep hike up — and worth every step.
You can find dispersed camping by taking road 29N22 into the surrounding forest. It is best to use a four-wheel-drive vehicle, as many of the roads are rocky and difficult to access without one. More campground information, along with reservation information, is available here.
11. King Range National Conservation Area
Located along 35 miles of California’s coast and encompassing 68,000 acres of protected land, King Range National Conservation Area is one of the most underrated natural areas in California. Although it’s not technically a national park, it is part of the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s land.
This part of California’s coast is where mountains seem to jut out from the sea and is so rugged that no highways could be built there. For that reason, this area has the nickname of California’s Lost Coast. King Range was the nation’s first-ever national conservation area and attracts adventurous surfers, mountain bikers, and hikers.
Camping in King Range National Conservation Area requires a permit, which you can reserve here. Consider visiting this breathtaking site if you happen to be in the Mendocino area.
10. Point Reyes National Seashore
California’s beautiful beaches come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. From shorefront hangouts like Venice Beach to the seal-filled havens on the north shores, you’ll find a bit of everything here. If you’re looking for something more like the latter, Point Reyes National Seashore is the beach paradise for you.
Point Reyes is 37 miles north of San Francisco, but might as well be a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This peninsula has been under protection since 1962 to save it from residential development. As such, it’s one of the very few wild beaches left in California. Point Reyes National Seashore will make a great addition to your next NorCal road trip!
In this over 100-square-mile park, you’ll find sea cliffs teeming with wildlife, highlands with tule elk grazing, and some especially noteworthy gray whale watching from late December through the end of January (mid-January peak) and again from late February to mid-April (peak in mid-March).
The park has backcountry camping (although it is currently closed due to fires). There are also five campgrounds to choose from, all of which require reservations.
9. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
On both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco lies the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is one of four national recreation areas in California. It borders Point Reyes to the north and is home to the Muir Woods National Monument, which has towering redwood trees and miles of hiking trails. It’s definitely a must-see while visiting the Northern California Coast.
This recreation area is a favorite among dog owners because of its proximity to the city and availability of specifically dog-friendly areas. It’s also one of the best places to get an awesome view of San Francisco Bay.
There are four campgrounds at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In the Marin Headlands, there are two that require a reservation. Rob Hill Campground on the Presidio is a crowd favorite; reservations can be made here.
8. Yosemite National Park
This is possibly the most obvious listing, as it is the most-visited national park in California. You’ll find this massive park in central California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, and it has some of the United States’ most beautiful natural landscapes.
The most famous part of the park is the Yosemite Valley, which is home to Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitán, some of Yosemite’s most noteworthy attractions. You can also take Glacier Road or Tioga Road to get some awesome views of the valley from above.
High season at Yosemite is during the summer months, so if you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the winter. Here are Yosemite’s best winter hikes for some winter-wonderland hiking inspo!
Camping options are plentiful at Yosemite; a complete list of available campgrounds can be found here. You may have to make a reservation, so make sure to check your desired campground’s rules and requirements.
7. Devils Postpile National Monument
This national monument in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is one of seven in California. The columnar basalt, which the monument is famous for, is a rare geological phenomenon worth stopping to see. Towers of rock stretch up to 60 feet tall and display impressive symmetry that seems too precise to be created by nature.
Devils Postpile is right next to the Pacific Crest Trail and therefore has a wealth of recreational activities nearby. Within the protected area, you’ll find the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls and eight miles of trails around the monument.
While there is no longer a campground within the park, there are five Forest Service campgrounds within the Reds Meadow Valley. Four out of the five are first-come, first-served.
6. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley has some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes in the world, let alone California. While many people see a name like “Death Valley” and run the other way, this otherworldly national park is a favorite among desert enthusiasts.
With expansive vistas and wide-open skies for stargazing, this desert park is the perfect place to find peace and quiet. Those entering the park from the California side will likely start at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, where golden hour is particularly stunning and the dunes are ideal for hiking. You also should not miss the Artist’s Palette, where you’ll find a colorful landscape formed by volcanic activity over the span of thousands of years. For more ideas on what to see in Death Valley, check out this 48-hour itinerary.
If you were iffy about just visiting Death Valley, camping there might sound like an even further stretch. However, this park is an incredible place to camp and connect with nature. With a few Death Valley–specific camping tips, it’s totally doable, even for beginner campers. Here you can find a map of all of the campgrounds.
5. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
These two adjoining national parks are often mentioned together because many visitors choose to visit both of them in the same trip. This spectacular natural area is home to gigantic trees, plunging canyons, and the serene Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Popular attractions are abundant in these parks. Visit the world’s largest tree by volume, General Sherman Tree, which has a 36-foot diameter at its base. How’s that for the most amazing tree hug? You’ll find this giant tree and more in Sequoia’s Giant Forest region.
Kings Canyon is also known for its wilderness, which is superb for backpacking, as much of it isn’t accessible by car.
The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is a must-do drive. Expect the most beautiful views of the canyons and canopies along the route. Don’t miss the Crystal Cave either, which has picture-perfect marbling on its walls.
Camping at Sequoia and Kings Canyon is by reservation only during the summer. Plan ahead by reserving your campsite here. The most popular campgrounds are Lodgepole and Dorst, which require reservations all year round. Others may have first-come, first-served camping.
4. Pinnacles National Park
Twenty-three million years ago, the eruption of multiple volcanoes created the unique landscape that we see today at Pinnacles National Park, just 80 miles southeast of San José. The volcanic soil creates the ideal conditions for a springtime wildflower superbloom. Check out poppies, fiesta flowers, lupines, and plenty of other flowers from the High Peaks Loop, Balconies Trail, and Juniper Canyon Trail.
You’ll also find canyons, caves, oak woodlands, and the iconic rock towers that the park is known for. The rocky landscape is excellent for a hiking adventure, and there are plenty of trails to explore.
Camping options include sites at Pinnacles Campground, which you can access from the east side of the park. There is only one official campground inside the park; you can make a reservation here.
3. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
If you’ve been to Los Angeles, you’ve probably appreciated the gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from afar. Its proximity to the huge metropolis makes it the perfect getaway if you need some TLC from nature. Once you get there, you won’t believe how close these rugged landscapes are to the city.
This public recreation area stretches inland from Santa Monica all the way up the coast until Oxnard. Here you can explore over 500 miles of trails and see the picturesque beaches of Malibu. Within the recreation area, don’t miss Solstice Canyon, the original Paramount Ranch, and Point Mugu State Park.
There is only one campground operated by the National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains: Circle X Ranch Group Campground. The downside is that it is a 10-person-minimum group camp. (Plus, the campground is currently closed. Stay tuned here for updates.) The other option is camping at either Topanga State Park or Point Mugu State Park.
2. Channel Islands National Park
Off the southern coast of California is a chain of five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park. It is only accessible via boat or seaplane, and you can take a ferry there from Oxnard and Ventura. The most popular island to visit is Santa Cruz, which is also the largest of the five.
Being an island oasis, kayaking is a popular activity at Channel Islands National Park because much of the pristine sea environment would otherwise be inaccessible. Kayaking allows visitors to see the rocky cliffs of the island and is also the best opportunity for wildlife viewing. The unpredictable nature of sea kayaking makes it less than ideal for beginners, though. Read more about kayaking the Channel Islands here.
Since there are no services or lodges on the islands, camping is the only way to stay overnight there. Reservations are required for all campgrounds on the islands and can be made here. Scorpion Canyon Campground is a crowd favorite and is on Santa Cruz Island. Since the islands are so remote, you will have to bring all of your food and water with you.
1. Joshua Tree National Park
If you’re skeptical about intentionally wandering into the desert, this is the park to change your mind about this arid landscape. Joshua Tree National Park gets its name from its namesake yucca trees, which create unique shapes throughout the desert. You’ll also find plenty of species of cacti and other prickly plants.
Joshua Tree is quite remote, which is a draw for travelers looking for solitude. It’s only about 2.5 hours east of both Los Angeles and San Diego. The best time to visit is during spring and fall. Spring has mild temperatures ideal for hiking, with the added bonus of having some epic wildflower blooms. Fall also has mild temperatures and is the most popular time to visit, so campsites tend to book up quickly.
Some awesome hiking options in Joshua Tree include the easy Arch Rock Nature Trail, the mountainous 49 Palms Oasis Trail, and the Boy Scout Trail To Willow Hole Extended Route, which is great for backpackers. Beyond hiking, Joshua Tree is also a haven for rock climbers, so if you’re looking to climb in the desert, this is just the right place to do it.
Joshua Tree has the distinction of being an International Dark Sky Park, making it an epic place to camp and stargaze. It has 500 campsites, spread out among nine campgrounds across 1,235 square miles. Some campsites require a reservation while others are first-come, first-served. You can find a complete list here.
Even if you are only planning to visit the park for a day, staying overnight and camping under the stars is one of the best things to do in Joshua Tree.
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You now have everything you need to prepare for your next epic outdoor adventure in California. Whether you’re exploring southern Cali or sticking to the north, don’t miss out on these bucket-list spots as well.
Are you a California native? Let us know what your favorite places are!
Megan Thee Stallion is incorporating “Hot Girl Coach” to her résumé.
The Grammy-winning rapper is teaming with Nike on a manufacturer marketing campaign and physical fitness application via the Nike Schooling Club app rooted in empowerment. As the campaign’s “Hot Female Mentor,” Megan Thee Stallion is sharing her physical fitness tale and encouraging other individuals to just take on a exercise or activity that can make them experience great about themselves.
“Real Hotties put other Hotties on!” she wrote in an Instagram submit on Thursday. “So I’m sharing my physical fitness story to allow you know activity is whatsoever ya want it to be. Dance is my activity. Rapping is my activity. Undertaking is my activity. I am an athlete, and so are you.”
In the campaign online video, Megan Thee Stallion shares her very own exercise story. She described how increasing up she was generally told to perform a sport like basketball, volleyball or monitor for the reason that of her tall top and athletic make. She instead found her enthusiasm was in dancing, but faced criticism from persons who did not watch dance as a genuine activity.
“People like to explain to us what we can and cannot do, but we ain’t listening to that,” she reported. “Real sizzling ladies know no 1 can define us but us.”
Megan Thee Stallion’s partnership with Nike is the most current manufacturer deal the rapper has signed. She’s also an ambassador for Revlon, Coach and Black-owned beauty model Mielle Organics, and has fronted strategies for Savage x Fenty and Fashion Nova.
Examine Additional Right here:
Billie Eilish Groups With Nike on Sustainable Sneaker Collection
Cindy Crawford, Normani, Erykah Badu and Other individuals Star in Savage X Fenty Present Vol. 3
Megan Fox, Kourtney Kardashian Star in Skims Campaign
A yr in the past, my husband and I had been sitting on a seaside in Lake Tahoe looking at our a single-calendar year-previous son perform in the drinking water, talking about the funds we were being putting aside for his foreseeable future, something we had started off undertaking when I was even now pregnant.
Finances performed a large role in both equally my and my husband’s college decisions—I did my first two a long time at local community higher education to help save money, and my husband’s college or university fund acquired put in on maintaining the household organization afloat. The concept that we would be taking away those limitations for our have child felt, properly, incredible.
As our son splashed in the waves and dug his very little arms in the sand, my partner and I threw out tips of where by he could possibly do with that money.
“Maybe he’ll graduate personal debt-absolutely free,” my partner mused. “Or if he will get a comprehensive scholarship, he could devote the money on a down payment.”
“Maybe he’ll invent an app and use the income to fund a business,” I extra. “Or climb Everest or sail around the entire world.”
Lying there on the sand, a tiny tipsy and quite sunburnt, there was no question in our minds all of that was possible—why wouldn’t our son be a startup founder, curer of most cancers, climber of mountains, and sailor of oceans?
A few months immediately after we drove again to our residence to Portland, wildfires tore through Oregon and California in a file-breaking hearth season. In the previous year, we’ve seen enormous droughts, devastating ice storms, fragile electricity grids, minimized air high-quality, and more and more intense temperature situations about the globe.
Then, previous thirty day period, the IPCC released a report saying that at this issue, a hotter long run is unavoidable. Even in the ideal circumstance circumstance, these researchers predict killer heatwaves, a scarcity of drinking water, a absence of foods, and hundreds of hundreds of thousands of people today struggling and dying. Reading through people phrases, I realized that the lifestyle we imagined for our son, lying on that seaside in Tahoe, was more aspiration than truth. In accordance to the IPCC report, in 2040, when my son will be college-aged, he will very likely be much more involved with air excellent and escaping the warmth than with his GPA or spring break vacation plans. By the time he has kids of his personal, reputable entry to foodstuff and h2o may be a lot more impressive than a diploma.
I questioned my spouse a issue: What if we stopped placing cash in our son’s higher education fund and begun working with that cash to guard him from local climate alter?
That night, I questioned my partner a problem: What if we stopped putting cash in our son’s college fund and commenced making use of that revenue to secure him from climate change?
But how do you defend a youthful child against local climate adjust? What will he will need in 2040, 2060, 2080? That part is trickier. Some local weather specialists say that if we do not curb emissions quickly, by 2060, when my son is 40, he will likely be dealing with heat waves that could past up to a thirty day period, rolling blackouts creating it tough to depend on air conditioning, a deficiency of accessibility to new h2o, ever more regular pandemics, and resulting world-wide political unrest unlike just about anything we’ve ever noticed.
Soon after considerably dialogue, we agreed that preserving funds for his university schooling when we are going through a local weather emergency just does not make sense. Instead, we are scheduling on utilizing the revenue to make investments in a carbon-free of charge life-style now by purchasing electric powered automobiles, putting in photo voltaic panels, and beginning a yard vegetable yard. We at some point program to obtain a piece of land that will have its possess h2o source in an location that is fewer very likely to be impacted by wildfires.
Do we believe any of this is likely to defend him wholly from the effects of local climate change? No. Not even close. But I would argue it’s considerably significantly less delusional then the father or mother conserving for their preschooler to attend Dartmouth. And I think growing up in a home that is clear about the local weather crisis we reside in will do him far more fantastic in the long run than a summa cum laude sash.
Unsurprisingly, not absolutely everyone sees it the way I do. When I instructed some mom buddies about our approach, one pointed out that it is an huge privilege to even have the money to system for climate adjust. She’s right—but no much more of a privilege than currently being in a position to spend your child’s way by way of college or university. And you never want a plot of land or tens of 1000’s of pounds to begin safeguarding your child’s foreseeable future in opposition to weather alter. You can cease eating animal items or begin increasing some of your possess meals in a planter box. You can go away from the coastlines or plant huge trees to assist shade your dwelling in the decades to come. Preparation can lengthen much beyond the economic as properly. Instead of teaching your little ones that getting A’s indicates they’ll be ideal outfitted for the foreseeable future, train them that everyday living can continue to be pleasant without air journey, eco-friendly lawns, and steaks on the grill.
A different mom accused me of “stealing” my child’s foreseeable future by scheduling to devote this income now as an alternative of preserving it for larger education. But my spouse and I are residing evidence that you never need a six-determine university fund to do nicely in existence. If my son would like to go to college, he’ll figure out a way. Or he’ll be like just about 80 percent of older millennials and choose on college student bank loan financial debt.
If we cling too tightly to the upcoming we desire our little ones could have, we overlook the chance to get ready for the 1 they’ll truly facial area.
We’ve also been amazed to uncover just as quite a few mates who agree with what we’re undertaking or who are executing a thing very similar: mastering to mature their have meals, producing off-the-grid communities, or just remaining much more intentional about hoping to defend their youngsters from the worst effects of local weather alter.
It’s a common urge to use whatever you have to protect your child’s upcoming, and this local weather emergency is likely to radically change how we do that. As a local climate journalist, I see this very first-hand. I recently interviewed a lady who had saved for a long time to purchase her disabled son a mobile property so he would have a position to live just after she passed. Then, in the span of an hour, a climate-induced hearth ruined it. Now they equally are homeless. Throughout the lethal heat wave below in Portland, moms in a regional Fb group begged for cash to obtain air conditioners for their little ones or asked assistance about how to care for overheated infants.
Even as the globe feels like it’s unraveling all over us, so several millennial parents—myself included—have clung to this thought that our young children will someway be in a position to stay away from the impacts of local weather alter or get pleasure from the life we’ve been ready to enjoy. We argue over non-public vs. community college and examine scientific scientific tests on display screen time even though the ice caps soften, temperatures rise higher and larger, and extra than a million species deal with extinction. People today often convey worry for my child’s dietary effectively-becoming when I say he does not take in meat, yet report immediately after report exhibits that feeding on a lot less meat is critical to curbing emissions. Mates of ours just acquired a family vacation house on the Oregon coastline and speak about how they want to take their grandkids there a single day, even even though climbing sea levels are predicted to make their residence unlivable prior to their grandkids are outdated more than enough to stroll.
When we conserve for our children’s future—whether that’s college money, travel money, or home down payments—while ignoring local climate transform, it’s extra a reflection of our incapability to entirely accept climate science than seeking what is greatest for our small children. Even in the ideal scenario situations, if we had been to radically control emissions today, climate adjust is nevertheless heading to have a devastating influence on our children’s future. If we cling far too tightly to the future we desire our small children could have, we miss the possibility to get ready for the just one they’ll basically facial area.
Emma Pattee Emma Pattee is a writer from Portland, Oregon.
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Planning a solo trip can be a stressful experience, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Having planned literally hundreds of solo trips over the course of nine years, I have now mastered a failure-proof formula that makes sure I have a successful trip on which I don’t get scammed, save as much money as possible, and have a positive impact, not only on myself but also the places I visit.
Here are the 7 steps to plan a fabulous solo trip:
1. Pick Your Destination
The world is your oyster! One of my favorite sources of inspiration is Instagram, where I save beautiful places that I want to go. Then I check it when planning a trip.
Kayak Explore is another great platform if you are open to visiting destinations that are under the radar. I used it to plan a monthlong trip to Myanmar a few years back, and ended up in unique locations across the country that I’d otherwise not have known of.
2. Climate, Seasons, and Holidays
The next thing to consider is the weather, which you can easily find out by googling. There are often tables that show you what the rainfall and average temperature is like, to help you make an informed decision in terms of the best time to go.
I love traveling during shoulder seasons, when the weather is still great but there are far fewer people. I wouldn’t totally reject the idea of traveling during the off season, either. Southeast Asia, for example, offers lush jungles and lower prices, as well as room for serendipity, during rainy season. All it requires is a little bit of research to decide where you want to go and the activities you’d like to do. Note: In most parts of the world, that week between Christmas and New Year is pretty much the most expensive time to visit.
Make sure to research local holidays and plan your trip accordingly — the last thing you want is to land in Bali only to find out that it’s Nyepi, when the locals observe silence for a day, which means absolutely no business will be open. On the other hand, if you are interested in experiencing certain local celebrations, like the Lunar New Year in Vietnam, make sure to check the dates, as it varies every year. In short, you may find yourself wanting to avoid or build your trip around certain local holidays, so this is a crucial part of your research.
3. Budget and Time Frame
The next things on the list are your budget and time frame. I’d suggest spending more time planning for a budgeted or short trip, but leaving room for serendipity for a longer trip.
When I first went to Southeast Asia by myself nine years ago, I arrived in Thailand with a one-way ticket and had nothing booked, not even my first night of accommodation. I was rich in time, not in money, so I had the luxury of traveling slowly, basing my moves on others’ recommendations.
Most people have a shorter time frame, so work that into your calculations in terms of how many places you want to visit (and how much it costs to get to them), how much are you willing to pay for accommodation, and of course, the activities you want to do. Try not to squeeze in too many back-to-back activities, because you’ll want to remain relatively flexible for life happening, i.e bad weather, canceled tours, and so on.
Most destinations offer free walking tours, so definitely make use of that. In fact, they are my favorite way to kickstart my visit to a new destination, as you can discover new spots that you might want to return to later, as well as meet other solo travelers.
My biggest tip for building your trip itinerary is to find a travel blog. A personal blog written by somebody who has a lot of experience in a destination is possibly the best resource you can have, because you are going to get more personalized recommendations, honest feedback in terms of what’s cool and what’s not, and most likely a complete itinerary that will save you so much time.
Pinterest and Instagram are other great places to source things to do, both popular and off the beaten path. If you are into photography, you will find lots of inspiration! A tip for Instagram: you will get a lot of influencer posts on the location tab, but focus on the major reposting accounts, because they will lead you to the photographer who took the photo, and you will likely find a bunch of really good tips on the destination on their personal accounts.
Once your itinerary is built, you will know which airport you need to fly into (and depart from). There are a few ways to search for cheap flights. I love using Momondo, which allows you to input multiple legs of a journey and calculate the cheapest option with different airlines, and offers a least-CO2 option, which I really appreciate.
You can also go to Google Flights to gauge pricing based on your traveling dates. You may also enable the “track prices” function to get notified via email whenever the price fluctuates in one direction or another. If you have flexibility in your schedule, look into the date grid, in order to piece together the best possible round-trip flight and save money.
Another trick is to book in the country’s local language. While this doesn’t always work, it’s worth a try. I was able to book the exact same flight from Berlin, Germany, to Johannesburg, South Africa, for half the price, by booking on the German booking website. Talk about score!
I find this a very exciting part of planning a trip: where to lay your head each night. Back in my backpacking days, it was all about finding the cheapest possible accommodation. But now that I have a little bit more of a budget to work with, I tend to mix in cool boutique hotels and unique Airbnbs, which often becomes an experience on its own.
Start with Google, which will aggregate a whole bunch of places at different price points. I also recommend Momondo, Booking.com, Expedia.com, and Agoda.com — but a lot of times, it’s better to just contact the property directly for cheaper prices.
On that note, I’d like to highlight the importance of considering locally owned accommodations, so that your money stays in the destination. Staying in foreign-owned, all-inclusive resorts often means that most of the money leaves the country. Be a responsible tourist and make sure that the locals actually benefit off of our visit. Spread the wealth around, so that people who run small businesses are able to make money as well — this is the crux of sustainable tourism.
7. Prepare for Landing
Finally, make sure you are fully prepared for the day you land. Read up on the scams and annoyances so that you are set from the moment you arrive at the airport. For this, there are many message boards and travel blogs where people share their experiences and tips on transportation costs. This often-forgotten step only takes 10-15 minutes, and I never regretted doing this research for myself. You can’t always count on that airport Wi-Fi working, and unfortunately, you can’t be sure that people are trustworthy — on the contrary, it’s one of the best places to be a scammer, because so many people land in an airport without knowing what to expect.
I also try to get a local SIM card at the airport (unless during my research I find that they overcharge) and draw money out of the ATM there, so that I am already connected before I leave the airport. Having a confident start to your trip makes such a huge difference!
And there you have it! This is my favorite way to handle trip planning, and I repeat the process for each place that I want to go.
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It’s really not that different than if you were planning a trip for other people, as these are all just logical steps. That being said, since it is a solo trip, you need to be extra clear on what it is that you want.