Must-Haves In My Travel Bag

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Travel Must-Haves

Traveling can be fun and stressful at the same time. To make a trip less stressful is to pack my must-haves. My list of must-have items continues to grow as I do more business and personal travel. What’s in my travel bag helps me to be as comfortable as possible on any journey near or far.

When I travel, I want to be as physically and emotionally comfortable as possible. Therefore, my must-haves in my travel bag includes various items including clothing, health and beauty products, and technology. Let’s take a look at my must-haves list.


First, let’s start with my feet. I always have a pair of Fitkicks. They are athleisure shoes are great for home, travel, and casual wear. These stretch shoes are minimalist,  comfortable and can be worn inside or outside. Fitkicks are so thin that they easily fit in a carry-on, suitcase, or backpack. They are foldable, too. I wear them in the hotel while in my room or exploring the lobby. Also, I wear them on the beach or on the airplane during long flights. Most importantly, these must-haves in my travel bag are reasonably priced. Continue reading “Must-Haves In My Travel Bag”

Visit Club Med Turkoise on the Beautiful Grace Bay Beach

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Club Med Turkoise

Club Med Turkoise is back. In 2017 Hurricane Irma hit the island of Turks and Caicos. Many hotel properties including Club Med had considerable damage. After much reconstruction and rehab, Club Med Turkoise is back! Book your room and enjoy an all-inclusive vacation.


During the first week of April 2018, I packed my bags and hopped on  Southwest Airlines flights from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale to Providenciales. Southwest Airlines recently began flying to Turks and Caicos, and the ticket prices are very reasonable. Arriving in the airport in Providenciales was chaotic.

The customs line was exceptionally long after approximately six flights came around the same time. Waiting for a passport stamp was over 90 minutes. Hopefully, the customs officials will work out the kinks very soon because the island is becoming a top-rated tourist attraction. 

See a wonderful sunset at Club Med Turkoise. Photo by Cassandra Washington

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Weight Gain Over 50 and the Menopause Belly is Inevitable

Weight gain over 50 and the Menopause Belly is inevitable
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Weight Gain Over 50

Being over 50 comes with many surprises and changes. Aging gracefully is more than a notion, but we keep going.  One lovely surprise is the weight gain and the menopause belly or the muffin top. It seems to come out of nowhere. All of a sudden your favorite clothes don’t fit and your scale is on a larger number. Weight gain over 50 and the menopause belly is inevitable.  Let’s take a look at why the weight gain and menopause belly occurs. Then let’s talk about how to contain that belly.

You probably wonder why all of a sudden your weight increases. The amount of calorie intake has not changed, so why are you gaining weight. Many think that it is because of hormonal changes due to menopause. However, it is not the only reason for the weight gain.  Some scientists and researchers say the gain is usually related to aging, lifestyle, and genetics. Continue reading “Weight Gain Over 50 and the Menopause Belly is Inevitable”

Five Life Lessons at 50 Plus: Learning Never Stops

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Life Lessons at 50 

Life Lessons over 50 years old sometimes come as a surprise. Sometimes it’s something you’ve known since childhood but have to relearn the true meaning. The age of 50 or plus is a time of great reflection for many. It’s a time when your mortality begins to stare in your face. You are now on the other side of middle age. Time and years go faster than you desire, but it’s also a time to live your best self. Living your best means paying attention to five life lessons and realizing that learning never stops.

Having It All is Overrated

The first life lesson at 50 is having it all is overrated. You’ve worked hard and long for many years. Having it all has consequences. Everyone dreams of having the perfect house, car, spouse, or other material things. All of these things cost you money and valuable time. The expenses incurred to keep it all are sometimes overwhelming because you have to keep working long hours to continue to hold to it all. Long hours means less time for family, friends, and fun. Having it all causes more stress than you want or need. Continue reading “Five Life Lessons at 50 Plus: Learning Never Stops”

Over 50: Starting a New Career is Possible

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A New Career is Possible

Recently, I had to search for a new job. At 55 years old, I was a displaced educator and had to think about what to do next. Although fearful of what I thought were limited possibilities, I re-evaluated my skills. After doing so, I realized that starting a new career is possible for a person over 50 years old.

Changing careers at mid-life is not the norm; however, life sometimes throws a curve. Like many people, I planned on working with my school district until I chose to retire. Somehow our plans did not coincide. Consequently, the school district decided for me. So, I was pushed out in the cold without a plan of action. Afterward, I learned having a plan is crucial to starting a new career. Here are five things to prepare when looking to start a new career. Continue reading “Over 50: Starting a New Career is Possible”

Retirement is an Opportunity to Reinvent Yourself

Retirement is a new opportunity to reinvent yourself.
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Retirement is a New Beginning

Retirement is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.  Whether you loved your job or not so much, for years, you conformed to real life. Life didn’t conform to you or your desires. Twenty or thirty years later much in life passes. Finally, the time comes to sign the retirement papers, and both excitement and fear encompass your thoughts.

Whether you are close to retirement or have more years to work, this post gives ideas of what to expect. Several thoughts run through your mind. Here are some questions that many pre-retirees ask. Will I have enough money to live? How much is health care going to cost? What will I do every day? Should I work one more year? Don’t fret! Retirement is your chance to begin life fresh. Continue reading “Retirement is an Opportunity to Reinvent Yourself”

When Life Detours Embrace the Possibilities!

Life Detours
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When traveling sometimes you take detours from your plans. The same happens in real life. Detours of life come when you least expect. Most times the detours shock us into disbelief. Recently, I experienced a significant detour and some smaller ones. It’s as if I didn’t know what hit me. The detours hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t know how to respond or cope. Understanding why such a change in my life occurred was beyond my comprehension. However, I quickly learned when your life detours embrace the possibilities.

The unexpected detour began in the spring of 2016. I worked as an elementary school principal. For 25 years, my job as an educator was fulfilling, challenging, and sometimes overwhelming. However, during my time as an administrator, I worked hard to make the best decisions for the students and families.   Continue reading “When Life Detours Embrace the Possibilities!”

Five More Places On My Bucket List

five more places on my bucket list
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The Bucket List Continues

After a long winter, my desire to get on a plane and fly away is powerful. I think about the places I want to visit like right now. As I mentioned in the last post, my bucket list is longer than my pocket; however, I plan to visit each country very soon. Dream big! Now check out five additional places on my bucket list.

Senegal is a West African country bound by the Atlantic Ocean. The Capital is Dakar. Senegal has a rich history and a tradition of storytelling. Griots perform vocal renditions of historical stories, cultural traditions, and history. It is a way of keeping cultural traditions alive and passing on to younger generations. Tourist attractions that I want to visit are the African Renaissance Monument and Gorèe House. Senegalese cuisine is delicious, and the music is terrific with an intermingling of West African styles with those of Muslim North Africa.

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The Top Five Places On My Bucket List

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Do You Have A Bucket List?

If you have wanderlust, you probably have a bucket list of cities or countries to visit. Well, I also have a bucket list, too. The thing is my list is incredibly long! There are over 190 countries, and I’ve only visited 16% of them. Oh my, I still have many more trips and vacations to plan. For the sake of time and word count here are the top five places on my bucket list.

Before I plan a trip or vacation, I ask myself why I want to visit. What attractions, history, or cultural aspect draws me to a particular country or city. Things I enjoy include photography, beaches, sea breezes, nature, architecture, and much more. Also, I set personal goals such as visiting the Wonders of the World, the seven continents, and all 50 of the United States. I hope to accomplish these goals, plus see as many countries as I can in my lifetime. Continue reading “The Top Five Places On My Bucket List”

Five Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Buddy

Five Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Buddy

Find the Perfect Travel Buddy

Travelistas love planning their next adventure. Some travel solo, but most still want the perfect travel buddy. The success and enjoyment of your trip can depend on choosing the right person. You may want to travel with a best friend or a sibling; however, their idea of an adventure may be different than yours. How can you determine if a person is a good fit? Here are five tips for finding the perfect travel buddy.

Discuss the Budget

Once you’ve found a potential travel buddy, you should discuss the budget for the trip. Money talks! Therefore, make it part of the conversation. Talk about the total cost of the vacation including the airfare, hotel, tours, and transportation. Then discuss what each person can afford and what each person is expected to pay. Be very specific and detailed with your potential travel buddy to limit future disagreements about costs and payments. Continue reading “Five Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Buddy”