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Traveling to Dubai…A Family Affair

Dubai is one of those glamorous travel destinations that has made it on many people’s bucket lists, and that’s where it remains. So, I was intrigued when I learned that this family had taken a dream trip to Dubai. There won’t be any Giant Food birthday cakes with this bunch!

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Briana and Portia, (who I interviewed for this blog) and family traveled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi during Ramadan, which made it really difficult to explore; but that didn’t stop them from making the best out of their travel experience. Take note, check the calendar and be sure to schedule your travel around the religious holidays, unless of course, you are traveling specifically for that reason.

Briana and Portia travel at least 2-3 times per year, which makes them avid travelers! Their travel style is casual and they’re open to dressing like the natives.

This couple selected this destination because it was on their bucket list and because they are part of a popular travel club. As Dreamtrip members, this trip was much more achievable and affordable. Although, this family knew it was Ramadan, traveling to Dubai was going to be accomplished because the primary honoree was turning 70 and what better way to ring in the 70s then to do it big in Dubai!

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While there, the family enjoyed a number of tourist attractions, but what stood out the most was the Mall in Dubai. When in the mall you ascend to the top of the Burj Khalifa and from there you can practically see the entire city. On top of that, there’s a light show like nothing you have ever seen before – and it’s advised that you take in the light show at night in order to see it in all its splendor.

According to Portia and Briana going out to the dunes and feasting afterward was a memorable experience and the food was exceptional.

If you’re planning to go to Dubai, they highly recommend that you visit the Mosque in Abu Dhabi as this highly religious landmark is truly a beautiful sight to see.

Traveling to Dubai is one thing, but when you can take this trip of a lifetime with your family to celebrate a milestone occasion, the accomplishment is that much richer, meaningful and memorable.

It was a pleasure learning about their family dream trip.

Until next time Dubai…

 

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Morocco…A Dream Trip for Most, Paul & Donna’s Reality

How many of you have ever considered traveling to Morocco? How many of you have actually accomplished traveling to Morocco? Donna & Paul have. Before I get into the interview I conducted with Donna & Paul about their trip, let me share a little about them. I have known both Donna & Paul for nearly 15 years. 15 good years. Donna and I work for the same federal agency. We used to work in the same building. For some reason on what I  would like to believe was a sunny day (LOL) Donna and I became acquainted.
It was an instant friendship. I can recall the first time we went to lunch and Donna agreed to drive. I remember thinking we’d get off the elevator and walk to her Honda Accord. So, we passed one, two , three Honda’s and had not stopped. Finally, she clicks the remote and I see the lights flashing for a current year 5 series BMW. I was floored. 15 years ago, I wasn’t surrounded by women with their own luxury vehicles. I remember getting in, feeling like yes – I look cute. We’re going to look cute pulling up to Wendy’s (LOL).  Later on, when I was gifted with my first Mercedes CLK-320, somehow it would just magically happen that Donna and I would park on the same row in the garage at work. Soon after, all luxury cars began to park on the same row as us and that row became known as “Millionaire’s Row”. And that was my introduction to Donna, and later Paul. Both Donna & Paul are incredibly special to me because our lives couldn’t be more different, but we have embraced those differences in our lives as established and grounded, friends and women should. I don’t use the term “bestie” for just anyone, but Donna, with her tenacity, live out loud personality, caring ways, and consistency has earned that level of closeness in my life and Julie’s.

True story, Donna & Paul would travel frequently, and my fear of long flights prevented me from traveling as much as they do. So, Donna, (not wanting me to feel excluded) would always bring me something back. What I loved most were postcards. See, I’d hang the postcards in my office. And unsuspecting co-workers would stop by my office and see all of these postcards from all over the world. China, Africa, Hawaii, you name it. Hey if you left my office thinking I’d been to Rwanda that’s on you! (LOL). But, that was her way of sharing a piece of life that I was missing, that she was enjoying, with me. Thank you, Donna.

Donna and Paul took an exquisite and once in a lifetime trip to Marrakech Morocco. Unlike the average American, this couple travels at least 6 to 12 times per year. Say and think what you want, but they are enjoying the hell out of life. I’m pretty sure if you could find a way to do the same thing, you would. Donna is a fellow fashionista, but when she’s in travel mode, she enjoys a more casual look based on the destination. I asked Donna what made her and Paul choose Marrakech Morocco, and this is what she said “Every year my desire is to go someplace exotic for my birthday. When scrolling through my DreamTrips App, my fingers landed on Marrakech, Morocco, and Casablanca. Morocco sounded like a great idea…so why not! I’ve been to a Moroccan restaurant many years ago but never thought I would visit the country and experience the cuisine and culture first hand.”

OMG! Can you imagine just thinking that you want to travel somewhere exotic for your birthday? Some of us are just lucky enough to get 3 people to wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook!

During the interview, I learned that in Morocco, the architecture was nothing short of amazing! Morocco is a Muslim country. While there – they learned that the architectural designs/patterns are all colorful geometric shapes, some with Arabic writing. They do not believe in using the likeness of animals or humans. In addition to the architecture, the landscape was very flat and full of olive trees – one of their largest exports.

So, now to my favorite part – if you follow my blog, (repeat if you follow my blog) you know that I love to hear about the food. Here’s what Donna & Paul said about their favorite meal ” Tajine! It consists of lots of vegetables and dried fruits packed with herbs and sweet and spicy flavors, along with lamb, chicken or beef prepared in a tajine, a ceramic dish used for cooking and even serving, and served with bread. I never thought I would ever eat eggplant or apricots!”

Last, if you’re motivated to travel to Morocco, here’s their recommendation:
“My peak life experience in Marrakech Morocco was visiting the Argan Oil Factory where we saw the making of the Argan Oil from the Argan nut. On the way, we saw goats in trees. I knew that goats could climb, but I’ve never seen “a tree full of goats!”. We also enjoyed a ride through the High Atlas Mountain and a nice lunch at a swank hotel/restaurant at the foot of the mountain. The views were breathtaking!”

It brought me so much pleasure to learn about this dream trip and what was so exciting to me, is that this was about my bestie and her husband living their lives to the fullest – which is what we should all aspire to do.

Until next time Morocco…

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Donna & Paul at me and Julie’s wedding

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Donna and Paul – Global Jet Setters Taking Over London in Style!

You will without doubt see an extraordinary amount of pictures on this blog of my best friend Donna and her full of life husband – Paul, better known as “Mr. Put em in the System.”  This is an inside joke, and an inside nickname based on his tenacity and pursuit of helping everyday people just like you to find fun, fulfillment and adventure by joining the most exclusive travel and lifestyle club, DreamTrips. Donna and Paul have traveled the world extensively via their DreamTrips membership. For one year straight, it was hit or miss when I tried calling  Donna for brunch dates!  And forget sending e-mails to her at work, I’d always receive her out-of-office automatic reply! If she wasn’t flying to Dubai, she was in Amsterdam and after that it was jetting off to Paris and the list goes on and on! She has lived up to her handle, Globaljetsetter! To date, she is the most well-traveled person that  I know of in my circle, and the person who has traveled the world in the shortest amount of time due to DreamTrips – I am pretty sure they’ve set some traveling world records! Many of her friends have watched her Instagram posts showing all of the splendor of world travel and have decided to join the club.  Others are still watching, hoping one day that they too will have an opportunity to travel beyond their home state.

You truly have to imagine yourself as a vacationer, a person worthy of leisure and relaxation and enjoyment out of life. Sure, we all have to earn a living, pay our bills,  and put our children through college  – but we also have to enjoy the life that we have been given and find meaning in the many things surrounding us. Some people have a yearning to go beyond their home state, and even their country and explore the world. Others, don’t have that yearning – and that’s okay. But just do something with your life that adds excitement, adventure, joy and fulfillment and by all means, as Julie and I have done, and as Donna and Paul has demonstrated, change your mindset and see yourself as worthy of being a vacationer enjoying a life of leisure. With proper planning,  traveling  is more affordable than you ever thought!  I know of  a situation when a child was 18 YEARS OLD before he or she had ever even flown in an airplane! If nothing else, expose your children to something outside of their community and give them an opportunity to learn about the bigger world around them.

For more information about DreamTrips, visit my website at FlightsInStilettos .

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Puerto Vallarta – Hard Rock!

Traveling to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate my 1 year wedding anniversary and a milestone birthday was glorious! We’d wanted to take a DreamTrip for years and now was the time to do it! DreamTrips is an exclusive travel /lifestyle club that I had heard of but largely avoided due to a lack of education on the matter and quite frankly due to lack of seeing myself as a vacationer. My best friend had long joined this club and had traveled the world, well — while I was at work complaining of a lack of fun, enjoyment and adventure in life.  The day came, I finally listened to my best friend and booked this trip. Afterall, an anniversary and a birthday are legit reasons to travel, right? The reservation process was flawless, and traveling to Puerto Vallarta was a breeze.

Due to being a part of the travel club, all that I needed to do was pack and show up at the designated locations and times! After making my own flight arrangements, DreamTrips handled everything else from my ground transportation to lodging and excursions.  The Hard Rock at Puerto Vallarta was fantastic!  The staff and accommodations met my expectations. All that I kept thinking about is that I could not believe that we had paid so little for so much!  Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a DreamTrips representative who made sure that we were clear on our itinerary for the week. Followed that was a wonderful reception with great food and drinks and it was an opportunity for us to connect with other club members vacationing via DreamTrips.  We did a number of fun and relaxing activities at the all-inclusive resort from laying poolside sipping mudslides, to walking on the beach to romantic dinners and even whale watching on the DreamTrip coordinated excursion.  It was a wonderful experience and my best friend (along with her husband) joined us to boot! It’s not a matter of if we’ll take another DreamTrip, it’s when. If you’re interested in more information about the world’s most exclusive travel  and lifestyle club, please visit my website at: https://flightsinstilettos.dreamtrips.com . I’d love to see you on the next DreamTrip!Flyer2

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