Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why vacations are necessary for your well-being!

by Corey McCusker
WTN Tour Leader and Mental Performance Coach at Your Mind Matters

Do you take time away to recharge?

Is life so busy you think “How can I ever get away?”

Do you feel like you are being irresponsible and guilty when you take time off?

Everyone needs a vacation once in a while.
Vacation can be an adventure and time away or time off from work to relax and hang out around the house. We all face the burden of meeting deadlines, managing our day-to-day life and making decisions. With all of this comes stress even if we don’t acknowledge it.

Ongoing stress takes it’s toll on your body and can affect your health and even can cause injury. When you are stressed and tired you are more likely to become ill. Stress hits us in many ways. You may find you lack sleep and feel fatigues. You may overindulge in eating and reach for sugar or carbs when life gets out of control. You may find that you are more irritable, depressed and anxious and forget things or make poor decisions. How fun are you to be with when you are stressed?

People who live busy lives may tell you they love it but their comes a time when quiet moments are necessary as we can get drained. Getting away from it all even if it’s for a short time helps recharge a person. Vacations have the potential to break the cycle not only from stress but just from the day to day things that come our way. When you go on vacation and enjoy it, it’s easier to come back and jump into our hectic lifestyle once again.

Here are key reasons to take a vacation:

  1. Break the cycle and release stress.
    Getting away helps stop the chaos and allows you to take a break which helps reduce stress.
  2. Gain a new and fresh perspective.
    When you take time away from your busy lives it helps stop the mental chatter and you can think clearer and see things in a different perspective.
  3. Personal benefits-rest and recuperation from work.
    You allow yourselves to relax and get away from your busy schedules. Sometimes it takes a few days so be patient and welcome it.
  4. New experiences, broaden horizons.
    When you go on vacation and visit new places it helps expand your awareness and explore new territory.
  5. Promote peach and understanding.
    Getting away allows you to take time for yourself and feel peace and reflect on life.
  6. Opportunity for learning about self or others.
    Taking time away from life allows you to get to know yourself or others better by spending time with them.
  7. Connect with family and friends and bond.
    Taking family vacations or vacations with friends allows you to stop and reconnect with those you care about. Busy schedules sometimes prevents this.Once you decide to take a vacation action is necessary to make it happen.
  8. Plan in advance.
    Do your research and determine what you can afford financially and how much time away is needed. Work within your budget. Make sure everyone involved agree on the itinerary.
  9. Know the rules.
    If you are taking an airplane know what is necessary for luggage and documentation. There are many websites to review to ensure you know the rules. If you are going to a foreign country know what is customary and acceptable behaviour.
  10. Remove any guilt because you are going on vacation.
    A vacation is to release stress but may also cause stress if you feel guilt for taking time off. If you plan ahead and budget know this is time that you deserve for your hard work and efforts in life.
  11. Worried about all your emails when you return-check in!
    A vacation means leaving work at work and relaxing. If you are a person who gets tones of emails you may worry about it. If it’s possible and you want to check in then do so but avoid getting caught up in things you can’t do anything about while you are away. You may want to check in with family members at home too.
  12. Made it an adventure, take pictures and create memories.
    Put your heart and soul into your vacation and enjoy it. Make sure you take pictures to capture those moments so you can reflect when you need to recall your great times!Vacations are a way to recharge yourself. Whether  you go away and travel the world or stay at home to recharge and organize, the choice is yours. When you do take time off remember that is your time and use it however you want.BON VOYAGE!

    To book your next vacation or adventure contact the travel professionals at the Womens Travel
    P: 905-771-8338 or toll free 1-888-419-0118

Falling in love with Provence

By Patricia Sands, WTN tour leader and author
Full disclosure, right off the bat: I’m a travelaholic. None of the details of packing, airport security, delays, lost luggage and the like bother me. I know I’m on my way to someplace special and that’s all I care about. Bring it on!

France blog 1I also love to share my travel experiences, whether through photographs or by having friends come to visit when my husband and I are staying in a foreign land. We always enjoy acting as the tour guides.

When Debbie Ross, owner of the Womens Travel Network in Toronto, asked if I would be interested in leading a ten-day tour through the towns and villages in the south of France visited by the characters in my novel, ‘The Promise of Provence’, I didn’t hesitate to agree!

And so it was that last June I had the distinct privilege of taking not just one but two groups of women on a magical tour of the breathtaking south of France. My friend, author Susan Sommers, joined me as a co-leader on the first tour and WTN found Debbie Ross joined the second one. The tours sold out in no time flat! The women were keen!France blog 2There were mother/daughter, best friend, sister, and book club combinations as well as adventuresome women traveling on their own. Camaraderie was quick to develop over delicious meals in enchanting settings.
France blog 3It’s one thing to share my love of that part of the world through my novels. To actually introduce other women to the south of France and watch them fall in love with that part of the world was a thrill. Added to the physical beauty and breathtaking vistas, there’s something about the history that exudes from the tiled rooftops, shuttered windows, ancient doors, and narrow winding streets that adds up to magic.
France blog 4We began in Nice for four days at my favourite Hotel Beau Rivage, the location of which could not be better: down the street from Cours Saleya, with its colourful daily market and plethora of restaurants, and across the street from the Mediterranean Sea and the hotel’s private beach facilities. Paradise!
France blog 5Day trips included Monaco, Eze, Antibes, Grasse, and Saint Paul de Vence, along with a full day to discover and appreciate the beauty and ambiance of Nice la Belle. The dazzling shades of the sea and sky in variations of blue, turquoise, and azure are unique to this jewel on the coast. The stunning array of colours found in the architecture of the Côte d’Azur is breathtaking.
France blog 6Our transition to the countryside of Provence took us, by luxury coach, to Aix-en-Provence on Sunday when its market was in full swing. We followed in Cezanne’s footsteps, explored the market, and paused for a scrumptious lunch.
France blog 7Now we were drawn into the embrace of the countryside of Provence. Endless rows of lavender in full bloom perfumed the air and contrasted with the golden glow of sunflower fields set amidst olive groves, vineyards, and orchards. Overlooked as this is by picturesque hilltop villages and stunning rock formations, a visual feast was served daily. Camera shutters were steaming.
France blog 8Settled in Avignon for five nights, we enjoyed visits to the Popes’ Palace and other local areas of history, with memorable side trips to Les Baux de Provence, l’Abbaye de Sénanque, Bonnieux, Roussillon and Gordes. We followed the spirit of Van Gogh in Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence, as well as discovering treasures at the exceptional Wednesday market in Saint Remy. Somehow we also found time for a visit to the Musée de Lavande, an olive oil tasting, a wine tasting, and a marathon cooking class with a delightful chef.
France blog 9France blog 10Oh … and shopping. Yes, there was some very fine shopping! From the colourful local provençal markets to sophisticated boutiques, there was something to please everyone’s tastes.
France blog 11France blog 12Our perfect timing in June/July guaranteed the best photo ops in fields of sunflowers and lavender, to everyone’s great delight.
France blog 13Provence and the Côte d’Azur stole our hearts…

And I can’t wait to do it all over again in June 2015! This time the trip will be 12 days!

For more photos and details of this memory-filled tour, see Patricia’s website or the Womens Travel Network home site.

Better yet, join us and discover Provence for yourself!
Pat is escorting another trip to France in June 2015.
CLICK HERE to view the trip details and Call to Book your place on this fantastic tour.

To book your place on this amazing trip contact:
The Womens Travel Network
P: 905-771-8338 or toll free 1-888-419-0118
Reservations: 416-633-5666  or toll free 1-800-387-1483

TICO REG. # 2667946
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARead the book and take the tour!  Patricia’s first novel “The Promise of Provence”  is set in the charming region of Provence and the French Riviera.  After meeting Pat and reading the  book I knew we had to create a trip to visit the towns and places she writes about in the book. Last June I had the pleasure of sharing this journey with Pat and 15 wonderful women.  If you are looking for camaraderie, fun and exploration I strongly recommend taking the trip to The French Riviera and Provence.  It’s an experience not to be missed.
Debbie Ross, founder of the Womens Travel Network.