The Power of Gratitude

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, we can all use a little bit more gratitude this year. Just because things didn’t go according to plan and we were faced with many challenges, tuning into thankfulness can strengthen us and remind us of what we do have in our lives right now.

So how do we tune into this state of gratitude?

Here are some ways on how to tap into gratitude and how to make it a habit in your life.

Gratitude list 

A gratitude list is a simple thing to write, yet it has the power to put us in such a good mood. Start with writing 3 or 5 things you can be grateful for while you’re reading the newspaper or you’re having your morning coffee or evening tea. You’ll notice that not only will you be more appreciative of the small things and the big things, you’ll also think about more and more things to put on that list. As it gets longer, your mornings and evenings get better. 

Gratitude meditation 

Ive done a little experiment this year: from January 1st, I have done a gratitude meditation every evening. 

Why evening? Because going to sleep with a feeling of gratitude allows you  to wake up happy and fulfilled. 

Here’s my thought on this experiment: although it was though – the more I felt down or sad, the furthest away I felt from doing a gratitude meditation. But right on those moments, the downs, is when we need something to uplift us. So, even if it was challenging, I did my meditation every evening and it always made me feel amazing. What changed from the version of me before the meditation vs after the meditation? Nothing but my mindset and perspective. I didn’t receive any news, nothing actually changed in my day or my life, but solely by putting myself in a gratitude mindset made me feel so calm, light and happy. 

So a gratitude meditation is a beautiful way to express your thankfulness, and I’ve created this daily gratitude meditation on Insight Timer. Try it out, for free, and notice how you feel before & afterwards.

Shifting your perspective

Instead of saying, I am sorry I am late, say: thank you for waiting. Shifting your words and thoughts when you catch them being passive, or negative, is your biggest challenge and teacher. When we notice our thoughts heading into a negative spiral, we can stop for a moment, smile at them, knowing they are not real, and instead bring in the positive side of it. It can be anything – from a random thought popping up or a certain situation that has happened and that you perceive to be negative.

Shifting your perspective can be very powerful. Here’s a small exercise I’d like you to try out: write down all the experiences in your life you first thought were absolutely catastrophic, but then turned out to have a positive influence on your life. For me, this was my biggest break-up, after being together for 4 years I got dumped. I was absolutely crushed. Heartbroken. I was a mess. But this breakup allowed me to grow, and go my own way, and when I look back now, I see I completely transformed in a good way. It brought me closer to myself.

This is just an example of how we can find unexpected blessings in what e first though to be curses. For this, we need to let go of the expectation and stop holding onto a certain outcome. 

We often take lots of things for granted, but when we stop for a moment and realise how much of a blessing it really is, we rewire our brains to see the positive side of things, and consequently, that means more happiness and less complaining. 

Scientific research has shown us that when we feel gratitude, we cannot experience negative feelings at the same time. Its gratitude, and gratitude only, that courses through our bodies. How amazing is that?

Another benefit of giving thanks might seem a bit more woo-woo to some, but nonetheless very powerful: we are energetic beings. Yes, we are. We are made out of millions of cells. When we put these cells under a microscope, we don’t see something vast, we see energy. So, if you zoom out of the picture, we are made out of energy!

What we think of, and what we feel, we attract more of in our lives. Tapping into gratitude puts you into a state of receiving: you evoke the feeling of how it is to already have something in your life. This feeling of abundance, of joy and happiness, will then allow you to attract more of that in your life. 

Giving thanks can uplift us and rewire our brains to see the positive in even challenging situations. Start with small habits such as writing a gratitude list, or trying out a gratitude meditation, to tune into this beautiful state of mind.

4 Mindful Practices to Recharge + Avoid Burnout

With winter around the corner + a new lockdown for some countries, many of us are not only facing those winter blues, but now there’s also a thing as lockdown blues. Days become shorter and nights become longer. Being separated from our loved ones and having limited time to spend outdoors takes its toll on our overall wellbeing.

To keep it short: there are many reasons for why this time can be challenging for you. On top of that, your work life probably keeps going on, and maybe you’ve got even more work on your hands. 

Here are 4 mindfulness practises that can come in handy during a season of low energy and feeling like the fire, that candle within you, is almost burn out. Let’s keep it lightened up!

1. Practising awareness 

Becoming aware of you doing something is step one. And it’s a big step. We live on auto-pilot most of the time – recent studies tell us mor ethan hal of the things we do happens without us realizing it. Mindfulness is all about shifting that auto-pilot mode and taking the wheel in our own hands. Become aware of what you do. Next time you brush your teeth, watch Netflix or start scrolling on Instagram, try to become aware of it.

Maybe you recognize this: you end up scrolling endelssly on social media without even realizing it, afterwards wishing you hadn’t spend that much time on it.  That is what happens when we stay on auto-pilot mode and are not really present. 

When we shift our attention to this moment, we become aware of what we are doing. The auto-pilot mode gets disrupted, and we can take control again. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you should never again scroll on social media or watch Netflix for hours. Mindfulness simply asks us to bring our attention to what we are doing, without any judgment, instead bringing in kindess + curiosity. When you are bingewatching Netflix or scrolling through social media, notice how that feels like for you and what effect it has on you, try to be curious.

2. Recharging check-ins

When our phone is low on battery, we plug it in. When our computer is having issues, we restart it.

You deserve a recharge or a restart as much as your devices. 

Mindfulness is all about focusing our attention on the present moment. To notice our breath, how our bodies feel and the environment arround us.

And it all beings with your attention. Redirect your attention to your breath. How are you breathing right now? When we are focused, we tend to hold our breath. This causes our brains to receive less oxygen – and our brains desperately need oxygen to function properly. 

 If you’re a person who tends to push through work and hop on that treadmill everyday, regardless of how full your battery is, one thing you can start with is setting an alarm to take a break from a project every 2 hours. Go for a walk, do a meditation, take a nap, drink some water, eat a snack, do some stretches,…. taking a small moment for yourself will allow you to return to your day with a fresh mind and body.

3. Holding onto Purpose

Something I have heard clients struggle with the last few weeks, is a lack of motivation + purpose. What gets you up in the morning? What is your reason to own the day and shine brightly?

Setting an intention on a daily basis can help you navigate through the day. Whenever you feel lost, you can remind yourself of the intention you set for the day and take action. This intention can change on the daily, depending on the foucs of the day.

When you focus on this one intention, this purpose, you can see the impact and importance of the actions that you take.

Let’s say you have a big presentation coming up today, and you just woke up, and to be honest you already feel a bit anxious + stressed about it. Setting an intention to remain present + grounded and do your best can help you tackle the day. When you feel stressed, use your intention to come back to and say to yourself: I am present, grounded and I am doing my best. This will put you in the right mindspace but also lead you to take action on the next best thing you can do. 

Remember to stay kind to yourself – as I’ve said, mindfulnesss focuses on non-judgment, curiosity and kindness. 

4. Purposeful Breathing 

You’ll notice that when you take 3 deep breahts (maybe now would be a good time, go on) instantly relaxes you and releases some pressure of your kettle. 

Our breath gives us life. It gives us energy. The fact that you are reading this right now and breahting without even knowing it, is a miracle. 

What’s even better is that we can play with our breath and allow it to influence our state of being.

When you are tired, try to do an energising breathing exercise: the 6-2 method. Breathe in for 6 seconds, fully exhale for 2 seconds. Repeat until you feel energised + recharged again.

When you are feeling foggy in your mind, and in need of concentration and focus, try the box breathing method, used by many athletes to improve performance and attention. Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat until you feed more focused + relaxed.

When you are feeling energised and you want to relax and slow down, try the 4-7-8- method: breathe in for 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. The long exhales send signals to your brain to relax your nervous system and slow down. 

Burnout, as one of my favourite mentors Jay Shetty says, is continuously running, instead of walking. It’s like you’re living life on a threadmill, without stopping, and pushing through (mostly) work.  I hope these mindfulness practices and tips help you to check in more often with yourself and be mindful of the things you do, so you can stop running, and start walking at your own pace, in peace and with purpose.

⁠ ⁠If you want to start living a more mindful life, grab your free copy of my e-book, a guide to Mindful Living!⁠ Why for free? Because I deserve everyone deserves peace. And this year has been challenging enough. It’s a little gift to you, from me.

Another resource on Black Friday promotion right now is my 10-day mindfulness & self-growth course Flow. You’ll learn all about meditation, mindfulness, overcoming limiting beliefs, shifting your mindset, practising gratitude, developing healthy habits and so much more! Claim your 50% off before the price goes up again. ⏰⁠

How to Adapt & Navigate Through A New Season

2020 has been a lot, right? Maybe this week has been a lot, or even this day, as you’re reading this.

There’s nothing we can change about what happens around us, but there we can take care of our own wellbeing by showing up for ourselves and others the best way possible.

Here are a few ways on how you can navigate through (another) lockdown and the beginning of a new season. Because as the seasons change, so do our natural rhythms.

1. Check In With Yourself

We tend to rush through our days, constantly pushing through and waiting for that moment – Friday night, the weekend, finishing up work,… while taking a moment to calm down and check in with yourself can be all you need at that time.

Before your next meeting, presentation or whenever you have a minute, take a seat, take 3 deep breaths and relax the tensed parts in your body. If you have some more time, turn it into a mini-meditation, where you gently watch your breath as it comes and goes, and allow your thoughts to come and go as well, like clouds.

You will notice that taking this small moment to check in with your body, notice how it general feels and how you feel emotionally, can do wonders. Bringing in mindfulness into our daily lives allows us to stop living on auto-pilot and start living with intention and awareness.

Another way to check in with yourself is to journal. Take 5 minutes for a free flow – write down whatever comes up in your mind, and gently release it from your mind onto paper. If you’re not the writer, try to come up with a gratitude list and write down only 5 or 10 things you can be grateful for. Gratitude helps shift your focus from what is missing to what you have in your life and be thankful for.

2. Listen To Your Body

Coming back to the pushing through we normally do, I would like to remind you that rest is productive as well. Breaks are needed. Rest is needed.

We have entered a new season -fall/winter. During this season, it’s time to retreat within, to reflect, to rest and to listen to your mind & body. It’s the time of the year to nestle and spend time at home, to go inward. Animals hibernate, as we need to take more rest and sleep more, too. It’s how our natural rhythms work.

So next time you feel tired, drained or burnt out, take a moment to listen to your body. Don’t feel guilty for resting or taking a nap. It’s not selfish, on the contrary: if you don’t feel well, how can you be there for others?

Starting out with the basics – fuelling your body with the right nutrients, drinking enough of water and getting enough sleep (7-9 hours), can do wonders for your general health & wellbeing, thus influences how you feel, too.

I’ve never been the type to work out or even move daily, but since this year (and lockdown), I’ve realised that movement is medicine. In the morning, gentle stretches or morning yoga help me tune in with myself and wake up my body. In the evening, I love to relax my muscles and gentle prepare my body for a good night rest with some restorative yoga. Everyone’s body is different, so take a moment to notice what your body needs, and pick a movement you enjoy doing – it can be as simple as waking. Setting an intention – to relax, energise or restore – helps in having a successful session.

Breathwork can work miracles. A session of energising breathing exercises (breathing in for 6, breathing out for 2), kicks in better than a morning expresso. On the other hand, whenever you feel all over the place and in need of focus, the box breathing, often used by athletes to heighten concentration and performance, works its magic: breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, and old for 4. Repeat as many times as necessary. And lastly, to help you relax and calm down: the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. Breathe in for 4, hold for 7 and breathe out for 8.

3. reach out to close & loved ones

More than ever, social contact is important. We need to remind ourselves that social distance doesn’t mean emotional distance.

If you’re separated from most of your friends and family and you live abroad like I do, try to schedule video calls with the family, digital dates with your BFF and regularly check in with each others simply by sending a quick text.

If you can still see your close & loved ones, enjoy the quality time you can have with them as much as you can. It’s important to cultivate meaningful relationships, and maintaining them is equally as important, if not more important. Try out fun things to do on a date, head out for your favourite food or go on a Christmas shopping spree. I personally love to spoil people with gifts, and even if I am not sure I will be able to spend Christmas with them this year, I definitely plan on sending them the gifts in case I cannot be there. Intention is what counts, and that feeling is what people remember too.

If you can still go outside, definitely do that, too. Even a small adventure, staycation or venture out in nature can do wonders for your wellbeing, whether you’re alone or can have some company.

4. rituals & routines

One thing I have learned through the year, is: when all is uncertain, create your own certainty. Hold on to that certainty and let it grow you.

Creating nourishing routines & rituals helps you stay grounded. When you wake up, what is the first thing you do? Let’s say it’s grabbing your phone and checking in with the online world. Is that a routine that makes you feel good, or not?

I’m not the one who is telling you whether a routine, habit or ritual Is good for you or not. I am the person who gently reminds you to be mindful of what you do, speak, eat, and consume. They all have an influence on your mind and body. Starting your morning the right way launches a beautiful day. Ending your day the right way allows you to relax and rest, no matter what happened during the day.

Some mindful moments I picked up after a year of working from home and navigating through challenging times, are:

  • Drinking a glass of water
  • Morning stretches or yoga to wake up my body
  • Write a gratitude list/free flow journalling
  • Meditate
  • Get ready
  • Read
  • Check phone

Whenever I wake up not so great, I know that after stretching or after meditating, I feel so much better. Routines are there to help us create certainty in our lives, no matter what uncertainties are taking place beyond our control.

When I finish my day, I make sure to do some restorative, relaxing yoga, watch my favourite show or something that uplifts me, schedule in some self-care time (a face mask, mani/pedi), have a warm drink and journal about the day and do anything else that relaxes me at that time. Before I drift off, I love to put on a sleeping meditation or some natural sounds, like ocean waves.

I’ve noticed these habits shift my mood and my wellbeing so much, no matter what happens throughout the day, so I highly recommend you to think about what routine or habit serves you or you would like to start trying out. It’s those small moments that help you prepare for what’s next, whether that is a fresh day, a big presentation or a night of rest.

I genuinely hope these tips will help you navigate through a new season and perhaps a new lockdown too, whenever you are in the world. We can get through this. You can get through this. Remember to take care of yourself and fill your own cup, before you start pouring your empty while giving to others.

How to Shift Your Mindset & Take Control

Our thoughts have more influence on us than we think they do. They decide our next actions, our perspective, our feelings & emotions on a subconscious level. Good news is: we can become aware of our thoughts, spot thoughts that do not serve us, and replace them with new and healthy ones. We have the power to take matter into our own hands.

Often, when we feel overwhelmed, it’s because our thoughts are letting us down. We all have a sage and a child in our mind, whispering their advice to us at any time during the day. The sage, the wise voice, often nudges us in the right direction and tells us what is the best thing to do in the long run. For example: leave early to be on time for your meeting. The child, however, wants to play, relax and take things easy. The child will tell you it’s okay to scroll on Instagram for the next 5 minutes, which ends up being 15 minutes, which makes you run late. Recognize these voices?

Luckily, as I said, there is our awareness behind it all. In mindfulness, we focus on this awareness as it being our true selves. When we spot a thought, the awareness that is spotting it, is you. You can decide whether this thought is true or not. When we hear the whisper of the sage or the child, we hear it – the awareness behind it – so again, we have a choice on what to do.

In this blogpost, I’ll guide you on how to change your mindset: become aware of your thoughts, investigate them and then replace them accordingly with new and healthy ones.

1. Become aware of your negative thoughts

The first step is to catch yourself thinking negatively and noticing that repetitive thought circling around in your head again. Simple spot the thought, and say to yourself: here is this thought, and it is passing through my mind. See it as something separate from you, which it is. The moment you notice that thought, you give it less power. You don’t identify with it anymore, because there is the you who notices the thought, and there is the thought. So, this thought is not you. This is the first step, and it’s a very powerful one.

This requires practice and mindfulness, so if you are here right now, then you’re already very far.

2. Challenge these thoughts. Are they true? Or false?

Next up is looking at this thought from your point of view and thinking whether this thought is true. Is this thought a fact, or is it speculation? “I will probably fail at the exam tomorrow because I am not good enough” is not a fact, it is not true, it is only a speculation, a fear in this case that your mind comes up with. Recognise if a thought is true or made up by your mind.

3. Discover if the thought wants to teach you or harm you

This is an important part. After recognising we are not the thought, and recognising the thought is not true, we have the choice: let it go or investigate it and replace it. In this scenario, we will investigate it. Does this thought protect me from something, teaches me something, or is it simply destructive?

“I will probably fail at the exam tomorrow because I am not good enough” can look like a harmful thought at first sight, but maybe you can take action from this thought. Are you well prepared? Have you studied for this exam? Do you still have work to do, is there room for improvement? Try to look for the lesson in the thought. Not all thoughts are useful or here to teach us, but it helps in letting go and prevents the thought from repeating itself again.

Thoughts that keep repeating themselves are unprocessed and will keep circling around in your mind until you have processed them, which means sit with them and learn the lesson. It’s the same with real life lessons: you will end up attracting the same situation over and over again until you have learned the lesson and deal with it.

4. Replace them with healthy ones

The last part is super important and will really shift your mindset. When you spot the thought, recognise it is not you, recognise it is true or not, you have the choice to change the way you talk to yourself. Instead of thinking: “I will probably fail because I am not good enough”, think: I am doing the best I can. I will make myself proud.

From this mindset, you will take further action in the desired direction you want to go. How can I make myself proud? What actions can I take? How can I make sure I ace this exam?

When you come from that new mindset, of thinking: I am good enough. I make myself proud. I will pass this exam, you will automatically start taking action followed and inspired by these thoughts.

And that is how, ultimately, your thoughts shape your reality. By changing the way you talk to yourself, you change your perspective, which changes the actions you take, and actions turn into habits, etc etc.

Thoughts are a powerful thing. Whenever you catch yourself having thoughts that do not serve you, become aware of it, question it and then replace it. It will do wonders. It rewires your brain to see the good in a situation.

This is one aspect of shifting your mindset and remaining positive and hopeful during challenging times, or any situation, really.

Also, I have a big surprise for you!

I have just launched my newest e-book, A Guide to Mindful Living, covering the answers on the questions a lot of us are struggling with right now:

  • How can I stress less, and relax more?
  • How can I remain hopeful and positive during challenging times?
  • How can I turn off the noise from the outside world and tune in with myself more?
  • How can I sleep better?
  • And many more!

Written in Q & A form, this e-book guides you on a mindful journey, inspiring you how to take care of yourself and others on a mindful way. Practical exercises, tips and routines, personal experiences and struggles with anxiety, the most popular techniques to calm down your mind and body are some of the examples you can find in my newest e-book, a Guide to Mindful Living.

How to Find Peace in the Chaos

There’s a lot going on in the world right now – and you’re not the only one who feels overwhelmed by it all.

Often, this un-ease we experience is because we are stressed, anxious or worried. When we are anxious, our mind & body are in survival mode. We have left the present moment, and we are preparing to either fight or flight. ⁠ ⁠ Our brains are wired to spot danger – whether that’s a hungry tiger standing in front of you, an email from an angry boss, or a pandemic that impacts your entire life.

So, how can we deal with modern-day stress & anxiety? ⁠ ⁠Come back to the present moment. Let your brain now you are safe right here, right now. ⁠ ⁠

1️⃣ Relax your body. Unclench your jaw. Often, we put our tension on a part of our body – that’s why we get headaches or stomachaches when we are anxious or stressed. Breathe into that place.⁠ ⁠

2️⃣ What are my thoughts telling me? Remember you are not your thoughts. Watch them float by like clouds and smile at them, knowing you are the awareness behind them.⁠ ⁠

3️⃣ Redirect your attention to your breath. How am I breathing right now? Am I hyperventilating, am I breathing shallow or fast? Am I holding my breath? Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique to calm down.⁠ ⁠

4️⃣ Focus your awareness to what you can feel, see, hear and taste. Name these things in your head.⁠ ⁠

5️⃣ Now that you have calmed down, you can dig deeper onto why you are feeling anxious. Often, it’s because we are thinking about what could, should or would happen – things that are outside of our control. So, write down 5 facts you can think of right now to ground yourself.⁠

These steps are small, but extremely powerful into calming down your body & mind, and guiding your attention back into this moment. When we are in survival mode, our bodies release this hormone you’ve probably heard out – adrenaline – to help us fight or flight. This hormone shuts down all of the major systems we need to function properly – our digestive system, growth hormones, the part of our brain that copes with logical thinking, planning and emotional regulation, and all the other things we don’t need when faced with danger.

However, the problem in modern-day society, is that small challenges trigger the same response in our bodies, and even our own thoughts can influence us so much that our bodies believe we are in actual danger.

Therefore, the importance of mindfulness cannot be underestimated. It has changed my life, and the lives of so many others.

Hope this helps. Know that I am here to guide you on your journey from mind full to mindful. Grab your spot in my online 10-day course on mindfulness and self-growth.

How to Travel Mindfully & Purposefully

We’ve all had to endure a life without travel for WAY too long. Some of us are still even in quarantine. If you are, feel free to keep reading to prepare yourself for your next trip when the coast is clear. If the coast is already clear, and you’re thinking about traveling, then these tips are for you. You can even apply some of these tips on your next stroll through the neighbourhood – making a mindful walk.

Making the most out of your next trip is entirely in your hands. Mindful traveling, practising gratitude, establishing a clear intention & purpose are some of the practices and tools you can use to fully engage in your next trip and make it the best one so far.

I’ve had some requests about writing more about mindfulness, but also about travel. So I thought: why not intertwine these two? After all, that’s what Ana Seas The Day is all about: transformative travel, being mindful & purposeful in your inner and outer journeys.

Set a clear intention

Before you pack your bags and head out to your newest destination, full of excitement and motivation, make sure to set your intention. It will help you become more clear about what you want to achieve during your trip, and how you want your trip to go. There are plenty of things we cannot control when we travel, but there are numerous things we can control, such as our mindset, how we react, our problem-solving skills, keeping our calm, enjoying the little things,…

Setting your intention looks like this:

During this trip, I promise to myself I will… enjoy the little things / go with the flow and let go of what I can’t control / focus on treating myself / …

When we set an intention, we mentally prepare ourselves to a certain outcome, behaviour or mindset, which we can carry with us and will help us come back to the centre, to the core, whenever we are faced with challenges or difficulties. It’s like having an anchor to come back to. You can also write it down as a mantra.

Define your deeper purpose of travel

We all have a deeper reason to travel. For some, that might be relaxing, escaping from your daily life, seeking adventure or seeking your soul. We can change our reasons, according to what we are going through in our lives right now. We might seek different things from our trips a year ago than we do now.

Take a moment and write down an answer to these following questions to figure out why you travel. This will not only help you in getting to know yourself, but it will also help you in planning your trip & getting the most out of it. When we know what we want, and why we want it, we can align our activities, destination & travel company (solo?) with it.

Dig deep and reveal your deeper purpose of travel:

  • What have I missed most about travel?
  • How has travel changed me, or touched me in any way?
  • What are some of the things that I seek for in my trip? Guidance, clarity, relaxation, adventure, myself?
  • Besides from money, time or any other factor, how would my ideal voyage look like right now?
  • Why would this be the ideal trip – what would be the main reason for its success?
  • Write down how you want your trip to go in detail

You can turn this exercise into a visualisation exercise. With the last journalling prompt, close your eyes and imagine yourself being there. What do you feel? What do you see? Smell? Hear? Taste? How does your environment look like? How do you feel, deep inside you?

Visualisation teaches your brain to recognise what resources it will need to help you succeed in reaching your goals. Or, in this case, fulfilled your deeper purpose of your trip.

Practise mindfulness

Mindful travel is the next big thing- here’s why:

  • it allows you to fully tap into the moment, into the here & now, to stop living on auto-pilot and start living with full awareness
  • it allows you to regulate your emotions by training your mind to step out the reacting-without-thinking-mode, into a mindful way of witnessing what’s going on, through taking a step back & reacting from a higher place
  • it allows you to become an observer of your reality, rather than a server, meaning: stop living in the victim mode by stop labelling and judging all of our feelings and emotions, and instead allowing them to be fully there and witnessing them with a mindful mind (without any judgement and with lots of compassion)

Now, who couldn’t use these qualities in their overall life, never mind trips? Release distractions and be fully aware in the moment, with all your senses, so that you fully seas the day. It is, of course, a practice, and you cannot be 100% aware all the time. We are human and that is only normal. Thoughts float in, feelings ask for our attention, and the world around does so too.

So, how can we incorporate mindfulness in our lives? I wrote a blog post just about that: a beginner’s guide to mindfulness. You’ll notice, after a while of practising mindfulness or mindfulness meditation, that when you live less on auto-pilot, you start to approach situations, feelings, thoughts, conversations – your while life – with a state of compassion, acceptance, and non-judgment. And we can all use a bit more love and compassion in this world, don’t you think?

Practise gratitude

Shifting from love & compassion and non-judgment, we move on to gratitude. Gratitude is a crucial part of living a happy, fulfilled life, and making your trip even greater.

Whenever you feel like something didn’t add up to your expectations, and you feel this feeling arising – notice it, but don’t become it. Try to shift your perspective and see what you do have right now, what is working out for you, and what lesson you can learn from this feeling.

Imagine this: your flight is delayed, and you already booked transportation to your hotel, which now you will be missing. You feel frustration coming up. You lost some money, and time. You just want to get out of the airport and be at your destination. Take a deep breath.

Traveling is about the journey, too. Try to remind yourself how lucky you are right now: you are safe, healthy, traveling, in an airport, waiting for a machine to FLY you to a new destination. Your heart is beating. Maybe you are with a loved one. Try to come up with things you can be grateful for, that day, or what this situation is teaching you. In this case: you did well preparing everything, but try to think before you react. Contact the company with whom you booked with. Tell them about the delay. Maybe they can wait for you, or cancel it or postpone it for free. If not, that’s okay. Draw the lesson that you cannot plan or control everything (and that a flexible cancellation is always key). 😉

Building up resilience and gratitude will shift your mental state in huge ways -you will preserve your energy, instead of giving it all to a situation that doesn’t deserve it.

Think about it – how often is your day ruined by just a small thing that did not happen in your favour?” I woke up and hit my toe. I am having such a bad day. Our plane is delayed. What an awful day. I am having such a bad day today. I just fell!” We tend to stay in that spiral of negativity, when sometimes small came to interrupt our day.

The key is to not get caught up in this, but instead approach it with mindfulness (observe it, take breath, and send love and compassion to yourself), and to guard your state of gratitude. Learn the lesson, feel the pain of hitting your toe, laugh it off, and continue your day. Don’t take it all so seriously. You have the power to control how you react, thus how your life will continue from that moment on.

Travel slow

You wake up on your first morning of vacation. Instead of grabbing your phone and getting lost in the digital world, take a moment to breathe. Breathe in the air of your new destination, the room, maybe you can even smell outside – food, flowers, fruit, the ocean smell,… How do the sheets feel? What do you see when you wake up? What do you hear? Maybe you hear the local merchant shouting, selling his fruit. Maybe you hear scooters or cars driving around (and honking a lot, if you’re in Italy 😉 )

Take a moment when you are strolling to notice how the ground feels, how the sun burns on your skin, how the wind gently strokes upon your cheeks.

Notice the people around you, the detailed design of the buildings or attractions.

Taste your food and drinks with full awareness. Savour it. Enjoy it. Live it.

Traveling slowly is more than just not hurrying or rushing through your day – it is taking the moment to really be where you are. To use all your senses to ground yourself in the moment, to enjoy and savour your experience.

I genuinely hope these tips will help you in turning your next trip into an amazing one. You deserve it. And remember: with every step you take externally, you shift & move forward within yourself internally, too. That’s what travel is about. Open your mind, travel mindfully, and savour every experience. Setbacks, failures & disappointments are there to teach us. Whether the lesson is to be more mindful, present or to get a flexible cancellation next time ;), learn the lesson and move on. And always, always travel with a deep purpose.

As your travel coach, I am here to guide, support & empower you on your inner & outer journeys. Schedule your free coaching interview with me now to start living a purposeful & intentional life.

Why Quarantine Made Us Better Travellers

During the past months, we went through a lot. However, it is important to not let these moments just pass by, but instead stand still & reflect on what happened & what we can learn from it. Also on the “travel level”, we have grown stronger and independent, gaining more skills as travellers. That’s right: by going absolutely nowhere, we still prepared ourselves for better travel experiences in the future. Read here about why quarantine made us better travellers.

Accept what you cannot change
Instead, change your reaction to it⁠

This was the biggest pil to swallow: change. Our entire lives changed. Isolation took away our sense of normality and nothing was the same. Whether that’s travel, seeing your friends and family, or even your job and day-to-day life: everything got cancelled.

However, we can learn how to accept what we cannot change by making the best out of it. Take a deep breath and think about how you can make this new situation work for you is all we did these last months. And that, my friend, is a valuable lesson while traveling.

As with travel, things don’t always go as we want them to go, but by recognising and acknowledging change, we can practice our resilience towards it – and ultimately, go with the flow & adapt to the new situation. When something goes wrong on our vacation, we try to fix it and come up with a solution. Treat your life the same way: with positivity & optimism.

Take a moment to look back on what changed in your life and how you can turn it around for the better. Maybe you discovered that you like working out from home & trying out different exercises. Maybe you discovered you need more of a personal trainer to guide you: on whatever level you faced changes, this is progress, too. Learn from it. Get to you know yourself more!

Appreciate what you have
No matter how small or big⁠

As things got taken away from us – our social life, our work life, traveling, and everything that contributed to your normal day-to-day life, what we were left with was not much. It was just us, inside our homes. But this was a blessing, and we realised that as well. However, moments or boredom arrived and we got to settle in again, enjoy the little moments, and finally take some rest.

“You don’t miss something until it’s gone.”

This lesson taught us how to appreciate what we have in life – our health, our family, a home, access to everything we need rapidly, and the freedom that we have and is slowly given back to us.

As with travel, we open up our minds in new ways. We see the world differently, and that is exactly what is happening right now. We gain a new perspective on the things we do have and we become more grateful for them.

We care more about the collective

One of the things we valued more and appreciated more is our health, safety & wellbeing. Whether that’s from us personally, a friend or family member. Knowing that you close & loved ones are safe is a beautiful feeling. On the other hand, we also cared more for our fellow human beings. Whether that is a stranger that was kind to you, or the general wellbeing of your country.

This is a principle that makes travel so beautiful: connecting with one another, caring about each other and being friendly & kind to the people that you meet. With all the current riots and protests going on, one message of hope was seeing this picture of hero Patrick Hutchinson rescuing a protestor, protesting for the complete opposite thing he was, from the crowd and possibly being trampled by the crowd.

There is still humanity, love and kindness in this world. Through travel, we broaden our horizons and trough standing up for each other, we show each other peace and kindness. On your next trip or neighbourhood stroll, take time to connect with someone – a cashier, a neighbour, or just a smile to a person passing by. Be kind towards one another. You never know what they are going through.

Re-purpose travel 

Boy, have we missed travel. That feeling of excitement when booking a vacation, that getting up early to catch your flight, that moment of arriving in another country and feeling it all – the new smell, the sun burning on your skin, checking in at your ho(s)tel, meeting new people, speaking a foreign language, strolling around in a small, cute village… The small and big things.

Because we miss it so much, we start to think about the deeper meaning of travel. Why do you miss travel? What makes you want to leave your home so desperately?

After finding this deeper meaning, you can re-purpose your future travels. By setting an intention for your trip, you get everything out of it. By travelling purposefully, you can transform through it. Reach personal goals. Grow from it. And that’s where I can help you in, as a travel coach.

Re-discover your country 

Another cool thing we have learned is domestic travel – it’s not completely new, but the travel restrictions have encouraged us to travel within our own country. I see many people leaving on road trips, discovering several parts of their domestic country – new places or known places. As we value more of what we have, this includes where we live – and if we realise that our why for travel is to relax and get away from our daily life, then we can do it in all safety in our own country.

There are many benefits of domestic travel, and I’ve listed them all here for you. Go check them out and start your new trip in your country! You’ll be surprised to what it has to offer you. Sometimes, the things we need are right in front of us.

SEAS the day & this moment 😉
Be present⁠

This is a BIG one. As we were isolated, bored, and missing out on travels, spending time with our friends and family, we only had the present moment. We learned how to fill it with useful things. We found new hobbies, started spending more time with our existing hobbies, and learned how to be here and now. We learned how to spend our time wisely and also how to seize this moment & this day.

We learned how to be here and now. Without any distractions or plans. As we tuned into the moment, we were really here. And during traveling, that’s finding the magic in the moment: being truly present.

Practising mindfulness is not only scientifically proven to be hugely beneficial for your mental & physical health, it contributes to our quality of life as well. Mindful travel is a huge trend as well, as people really want to tune into the moment, and take it all in. I will be soon writing a blogpost about mindful travel, what it means and how it can improve your travel experience, stay tuned!

Also: my course about self-growth is coming up. If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, practising gratitude, journalling & much more, put your name on the waiting list here & claim your 50% discount!

I hope these lessons have given you a fresh perspective on what we have learned, and what you can take with you. Remember these are unusual times, and if you feel like you need some encouragement or hold-on in the uncertainty, take a deep breath and think about what you DO have. Remind yourself to stay present & grateful. And then start planning your little domestic getaway 😉

If you ever need some guidance, confidence: as your travel coach, I am here to guide you along your inner & outer journeys in the world!

Whether you have questions about solo travel, budgeting, or you feel like you want to reach personal goals through travel: it’s all possible during our private coaching. Schedule your free intake interview with me now & start transforming through travel.

With this coaching, adapted to your own needs & personal goals, you’ll learn how to life with purpose and travel with intention. Schedule it here.

8 Benefits of Domestic Travel

It’s no secret COVID-19 took over the world and paused international tourism for an indefinite amount of period. Until we can safely travel again, domestic travel seems to be the best & most beneficial option at this point. With several destinations handing out travel rewards, some countries promote travel within their borders to encourage citizens to explore more of their home country.

Domestic travel may not sound as spectacular as international travel, but there are still many benefits, in small & big ways, eventually contributing to the health of our planet and diminishing the spread of the virus. It is the perfect chance to explore more of your country, get into solo traveling and 7 other benefits of domestic travel, listed below.

Reason #1: You Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

By traveling within our borders, we take our responsibility of stopping the spread of the covid-19 virus. By staying within our borders and taking the necessary health & precaution measurement, we can assure ourselves & other citizens of the health & wellbeing of the country.

I am currently residing in Portugal (as an expat), and this beautiful country has declared the “Clean & Safe” stamp of approval, giving by the Turismo de Portugal. As such, the official statement declares this serves to “distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections.” Knowing this, I am happy to travel around in Portugal and explore even more of this country in all safety. Thank you, Portugal!

Reason #2: You Support Your Local Tourism

Another way of looking out for the world’s health and safety is when it comes to the economy and tourism of your country. Some countries heavily depend on their tourism incomes, and with the pandemic many have seen a huge decrease in income streams. By traveling in your own country and giving back to your economy, you help you country recover from the damage COVID-19 has caused.

All types of touristic companies have suffered from a setback, and this is your chance to give back and give your money to companies that support your local region or country, and show your support and love for the country you live in.

Also, as mentioned, there are some countries who are giving out rewards to those who travel domestically. Read more about this in my previous blog post about travel rewards.

Reason #3: You Keep Your Travel Spirit Alive

Let’s not forget about this amazing benefit: YOU get to travel again! Yes, you, travel lover, are finally free again to explore. To leave on a road trip, hop on a domestical flight, stay in an enchanting B&B, meet new people, and have meaningful experiences.

In the end, that’s what travel is all about. It starts within yourself, and it’s all about your mindset & perspective. You could make this period amazing and go on beautiful trips and discover more of the country you live in. Or, you could be pissed you can’t go to Bali and stay inside until October. Which one is it going to be?

Also – this time, there might not be new languages or new food to be discovered – depending on which country you live in -, but I am sure every country has its own delicacies in certain regions and there might be some dialect, so that counts too, right? 😉

Reason #4: It’s Your Chance to Start Traveling Solo

On the other hand – also considering this is more a solo travel blog & business – this could also be your perfect chance of starting your solo trip! There are SO many benefits of traveling solo, I cannot even get started. Check out these blogs if you want more information. It has changed my life, and let me to become a solo traveler coach, and I know it can change your life too in many ways.

As there are several ways to slowly get into solo travel, domestic travel is a perfect and safe way to get started. You already know your country, the language(s), and your way around & means of transportation (mostly). Home is not far away – you are disconnected, but still connected on some level with your home base.

Besides that, it’s an interesting way to get out of your comfort zone in your home country & be free spirited in a region you have never been before. I encourage you to not start going on solo adventures in places you are way too familiar with, as this can block you from going outside your comfort zone.

If you want to become more confident with solo travel, go someplace new! A lot of experiments have shown that people are more successful in changing their habits & getting out of their comfort zone when they are in someplace new, not known or familiar. That also explains why you feel so free on holiday: nobody knows you, you are on new grounds.

Reason #5: You Become More Appreciative & Grateful

The pandemic has taught us many things: be more considerate of your health, the environment, the planet & other people. Appreciate what you have. Have patience. Live with yourself (or others). Value your freedom, health & wellbeing. So, this next reason, we really have to thank to the pandemic. See it as a blessing in disguise, the rainbow after the rain, the light at the end of the tunnel.

The pandemic has cause a huge shift in the world. Somehow, we all became more loving and kind, and look out for each other. People want to speak their truth. Crises around the world get the necessary attention, if it’s not from the media, then from the citizens of the world. Not only do we value our health and wellbeing, we value our freedom and our rights, our place and existence in this world.

Phew, back to my point now! Because we couldn’t travel, we were longing for it so much more – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Now that it’s slowly returning and we have the chance to get out there again, we are so much more grateful & appreciative. We realise the value & worth of our freedom and being able to travel around without having any significant worries.

As you travel in your homeland, you start to look for places that are worth visiting. Along your journey of planning this trip, you might discover very interesting places and companies. You’ll realise that your country is beautiful, that tourists visit it for a reason, and that is has a rich culture & history. Yep, I am shamelessly saying this about all countries out there, because it is the truth: they all have a story, a history, their own unique style & sights to be discovered.

Reason #6: The Place Is All Yours

No. Tourists.

Can you imagine, if you live in some of the worlds’ most popular touristic attractions, that there are NO tourists?

Depending on whether your country opened its borders yet and the destination you choose to travel to, I think we can all agree that touristic hubs are less populated than normal. This is great news for locals and citizens, as you are the main visitors now! That means no more waiting in line, no more overcrowded places and no more mass tourism.

Maybe you’re extra lucky and you’ll find lower prices, as the demand is lower. Maybe the prices are the same. Anywho, this is an amazing way to connect more to your country and the local touristic companies. Go on fun activities and don’t worry about it being overcrowded or waiting in line too much. Embrace the calmness and serenity, until the tourists are back again.

Reason #7: Manage Your Budget Differently

Let’s not forget this important reason of why you should go out there and travel within your borders: the green stuff! As you can skip the expensive flights, you can either choose to travel on a budget or spend your vacay money on other things. Overall, I would say you can save a lot of money traveling domestically instead of internationally.

However, if saving money it not a goal of yours and you wish to treat yourself to a nice vacation, you can choose to upgrade your accommodation style and opt for a 5* hotel instead of the normal 3* or 4* hotels. Maybe you can upgrade your vacation with renting that awesome car you always wished you could drive in, or a treat in a spa centre: there are so many ways to spend your money on a way that is comes back to you in so much value. By choosing to spend your money on travel, you already made a huge step into that direction. Now, it’s up to you to choose what type of travel you wish to go on and what you want to get out it this.

Also, reconsider your travel insurance now that you’re in your own country. Probably you can save a lot of money on that as well. Check if your country has any subsidiaries, incentives, vouchers or others types of rewards for domestic travellers, as those might come in handy!

Don’t forget: in many cases, properties are still obliged to ask you for the touristic tax. Even though you’re technically not a tourist but you’re just roaming around in your own land, you still have to contribute to the tourism & the economy by paying this small tax.

Reason #8: Bring New Travel Buddies!

We all have that friend or family member who is afraid of flying, or traveling long-distance. Well, good news for them, because while traveling domestically, you don’t necessarily need to take the airplane! You can easily travel by car, bus or train – or whatever transportation options are in your country: ride a camel in the desert, ride a donkey in a Greek village, take a ferry to a nearby island – everything is possible!

I hope this inspired you to get out there, support your local tourism, the environment and you own wellbeing and start traveling again. Remember that as your travel coach, I am here to guide you along your inner & outer journeys in the world! Whether you have questions about solo travel, budgeting, or you feel like you want to reach personal goals through travel: it’s all possible during our private coaching. Schedule your free intake interview with me now & start transforming through travel. With this coaching, adapted to your own needs & personal goals, you’ll learn how to life with purpose and travel with intention.

Thank you for reading. I am curious about your next trip! will you travel domestically? let me know in the comments.

20 Apps to Boost Your Self-Growth

You ask, you shall receive! I often share handy apps on my Instagram account – apps that help me grow, that inspire me & are deeply rooted in my daily life. After a while, you guys really wanted me to share these apps once and for all – so here it is, my list of holy apps that helped me in my journey of self-growth, spirituality & health.

I linked the names of the apps to the Apple Store for your convenience! This is not sponsored in any way, just a fan!

Personal growth
Shine

Having Shine is like having your own personal mental health coach at one touch. You get a daily Shine, or a check-in, featuring a new subject every weekday and an attached guided meditation + extra tools, such as: journalling, being grateful, checking in on your mood, etc.

Besides that, there is also the Shine community, where you are surrounded with like-minded people and can discuss the daily topic.

You unlock many more features with a Premium subscription, and they often have great limited deals on their paid, yearly subscriptions.

Happiness Planner

The Happiness Planner has become a part of my daily ritual. I love planning, and this app makes it easy and beautiful, plus you can sync it with the desktop version totally for free. Again, if you’d like to unlock extra features, be sure to upgrade.

Sanity & Self

Sanity & Self is your base for self-care and exclusive help and chats with experts. It offers mediations, podcasts, interesting reads and always someone who can help you & you can count on. However, the free content is very limited, so you’d be better off upgrading to the paid version.

Mindventure

Mindventure takes you on a journey through your own inner world. Plan and keep track of your habits, your day, your goals, on a unique way, on your own “road” towards becoming your best self. Like the word venture says, it’s a journey, an adventure through your life. The concept is very unique, fun and out-of-the box! Again, totally for free.

Mindvalley

Mindvalley is my favourite personal growth resource. I learned so much with their free masterclasses and interesting videos. Their app offers quests, which are about all kinds of subjects that have to do with personal growth and taught by many experts in the field.

Again, choose your fields of interest in which you want to learn more or improve and voila! Mindvalley often offers huge discounts on yearly packages of unlimited content, so keep an eye on those if you can’t get enough of it.

This is also a perfect part of your morning routine if you follow the move-reflect-grow method during your first hour of the day. Their quests are 20 min long. Perfect timing!

Remente

Remente was actually my very first self-care app I ever downloaded. Honestly? It was like coaching. It had a huge impact in my life and it got me started on the first steps of my self-growth journey. Fill in your wheel of life and update it regularly, check in with yourself daily and learn from lots of recourses and tools for you to work on yourself. The fun thing is they have resources themselves which are integrated within your profile. For example: if you start a 7-day course on becoming more fit, you will see the course on your to-do list every day for the next 7 days (unless you change it).

I immediately tried out their premium subscription to unlock the content, and as it was only around €30 for a whole year, I found that to be a great investment.

Meditation
Insight Timer

Insight Timer is the biggest meditation library. There are more people on this meditation app than all the others (Calm, Mindbliss,…) combined. That is for a good reason: there is so much content, so many experts, so many themes, and guided meditations. I also love their Sleep tool and their Timer. It’s for free, and you can upgrade to receive offline meditations, unlock courses, and use their advanced player which allows you to repeat or fast forward a track.

Breethe

Just the fact that this app has a soothing background music while opened, puts it high on my list! Besides that, this app let you choose your main goals you want to reach through mediation and then gives you the right content to reach them.

Oak

Oak is a great app to try out breathing exercises. Their free application offers themed meditations and breathing exercises to focus, calm or become awake. I often use their “Awake” breathing exercise during the day instead of a coffee. And I promise you, it works! You also earn fun badges the more sessions you do, which is a nice motivation.

Balance

Balance is the perfect app if you’re looking for personalised meditations. This app adapts to your level, preferences, and experience and utilises its algorithm to improve your meditation skills. I fell in love with it the first time I used it, and I also got hooked on their personalised 10-days programs, which motivates you to finish it and then hop on to a higher level. Again, this is totally for free – they had a free year of premium subscription during Covid-19.

Simple Habit

Simple Habit is a perfect meditation app if you’re in need of quick meditations at nay point during the day.

It has a super easy tool called “on the go’ which allows you to quickly tap on a theme you’d like to tackle right now – After Work, SOS, Taking A Break,…and you can adapt the time from 5-20 minutes.

It has helped me a lot during commuting, a break at work or just a quick break in between handling tasks.

Spirituality
Pattern

Pattern gives you insights based on your horoscope. The fun thing about it is: you get daily “patterns” – that are accurately true – and you can connect with Facebook to see the pattern between you and your friends. You learn about things you have in common, how your relationship looks like, and more fun & interesting facts and tips.

Moonly

Moonly is a beautiful app for all the spiritual goddesses out there. It offers your personal spiritual guidance, affirmations, runes, daily horoscope and more.

It comes in very handy as it gives you access to all your daily spiritual practices, all in one app!

It starts out free, but to unlock more features you have to upgrade to a paid subscription.

MOON

Moon is a very simple, aesthetic and accurate app about the moon cycle & phase. It’s great to count down the days until a full moon and it offers a great view of the moon & the stars.

Soulvana

Soulvana by Mindvalley is the resource to broaden your spiritual horizons, learn more about several themes & surround yourself by like-minded people, your soul tribe.

Health
Flo

This one is for the ladies. Flo tracks, predicts & supports your monthly cycle in a way that no app can – with courses, a community, secret chats & even a medical chat when you log certain symptoms. it is totally free, but there is a way to be included in the Premium subscription.

AYD – Ashtanga Yoga Days

This app is for the yogis out there! More specifically, Ashtanga Yogis! This app allows you to log your yoga sessions and its so detailed you can even log which pose precisely you did and how your balance, flexibility and effort was. You’re immediately part of a community and you see who had practiced today as well.

Zero

This is for the fasting people! Zero is a informative tracker that helps you to keep track of your fasting and provides important facts and information.

Books
Blinkist

Blinkist is the perfect tool if you’re short on time and big on book cravings! You can choose to either read or listen to your favourite book. I find it helpful to read informative books. Although I like to los myself in a book, sometimes it’s nice to immediately get the lesson out of it. Again, there is a paid version which allows you to unlock more content.

Charity
ShareTheMeal

ShareTheMeal is a great initiative that allows you to support all sorts of projects of the United Nations World Food Programme.

You can choose between which project you want to support or you can start a subscription and choose freely any amount.

The beautiful thing about this app is that you see how many families you have fed with your contributions and how many meals you have provided.

You can follow the whole process through the app – how these persons receive your contributions, what they bought with it and how they bought it.

I hope these apps will help you in growing and learning new things everyday. Remember that it’s important to take care of yourself. It doesn’t always mean eat snacks or get a manicure: sometimes you need to dig deeper and have a nice chat with someone. Especially during these challenging times, it is normal to want some support and guidance along the way.

These apps are not just apps on a phone: there are experts behind creating the content in a way that serves your wellbeing and that of others.

Furthermore, as your favourite life coach & travel coach, I am always there for you. Learn more about my coaching here. You can schedule a free intake interview with me here.

Travel After Of COVID-19: Tips & Hacks

How to Stay Conscious While Traveling During a Pandemic

Now that more and more destinations are re-opening their doors to tourism this summer, fall, or winter, all of you travel lovers feel it coming again. That travel bug. That little voice in your head saying, no, screaming: I want to travel!

As seen in my previous interview about the future of travel, it will look a whole lot different. Unfortunately, since we’re still in a pandemic, there are many things to be considered prior to boarding on your next flight to the first re-opened touristic destination. So not click on “confirm booking” yet, not without these travel tips and hacks.

Why Travel Now?
What Is your Real Reason?

First of all, take a look at why you want to travel now. Why do you want to leave the country? Why do you want to go on a trip? We all have deeper meanings buried under our prior motivations, so feel free to ask yourself the same questions a couple of times: Why?

For many, this can be: an escape from home. Seeking a silent, calm place. Maybe you have had enough tranquility at home and you want to spread your wings and seek adventure. Or maybe, you’ve had to endure a lot during this time and you just want to cool off and blow off some steam somewhere on a tropical location sipping margarita’s under a beach umbrella, without your screaming kids running around the place. We all have our different motives, so take a moment to decide on that.

Make Your Trip Great
Intention Is Key

Setting an intention for your next trip is key to making sure you know what your want and you will get what you want. If you just book the first destination that re-opens, but it doesn’t give you what you want, you’ll end up getting disappointed and not fulfilled.

Next, you’ll want to think abut what you want to get out of your trip. Again, is it peace? Is it adventure?

When you set an intention on what you want to get out of your trip, it’ll be much easier to stay in that frame and really have a great vacation that gives you what you need.

Choose The Right Place

Jot down a couple of destinations that come to your mind first when you think about your next trip (you know, the ones you’ve been daydreaming about and seeing daily in your Instagram-feed), and think about what activities or surroundings you want to be in.

Do you feel like hiking? Or do you want to go to the beach? If you’ve read about a destination that is re-opening their doors soon and you’re eager to visit it, you can try this in reverse: will this place fulfil my needs? Greece is opening their doors mid-July. Which island would be best for you? Since there are so many, they each have their own culture and character. It’s important to not get caught up in an impulsive deal just because you’re so excited to travel again.

Think about the consequences
For Yourself
Take health and safety measurements

Make sure to carry enough face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, etc. You never know when you might need extra ones on your trips. And normally, yes, you should have access to them everywhere in the world by now, but you never know when these items could be sold out in the nearest pharmacies or supermarkets. I’m not saying you should bulk up – please don’t -, but just make you have enough at least make it to your hotel.

Also, think about your mental health: do you feel good about soon traveling again? Are you ready for it? Do you realise the risks, and health and safety precautions you have to take? And are you willing to do this? Seeing the world so empty and abandoned, walking around with a face mask and stepping into this new reality can feel overwhelming. Take a moment to check in with yourself and decide whether or not you’re ready for this.

For Our World
Research Your Destination
Follow any mandatory requirements 

This is super important: no matter where you go, make sure to look up the local health and safety precautions. Not only of the destination itself, but of your journey towards it, too. It most airports, it’s mandatory to wear a facemask. Make sure you’re prepared for this, even though if you’re traveling to an abandoned place and won’t need a face mask.

Tink about purchasing a travel health insurance so you’re covered in all cases. First, check with your normal health or travel insurance plans and see if they are already covering this.

For Others

Take precautions and keep yourself to the rules regulate by the local government. This starts the moment you leave your home.

Don’t be scared to talk to people: you can still have interesting connections and meetings while on holiday. Keep your distance and mask on at all times to protect not only yourself, but people you come in contact with as well.

Remind yourself it’s about the physical part of social distancing, not social distancing itself. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone. Just because you’re both wearing face masks and keeping distance, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with each other. We are still human beings who needs to connect with each other, and that’s a wonderful thing we should never stop doing.

For the Environment

Now that we stopped producing, ravelling and polluting, the earth is cleaner than ever before and is healing. Be conscious of the way you travel: can you travel by a more eco-friendly way, such as a train? Some airlines offer to recompense your ecologica footprint and with a small contribution, you can help them recover the damage of pollution.

Start Planning
Stay Up-To-Date

Take a look at what destinations have re-opened or will re-open soon. This is, of course, a crucial part of your travel planning. Grab your list of destinations you wanted to visit and see if any one of them has already communicated their opening date.

Travel Deals, Travel Deals Everywhere!

Make use of the flexible cancellations policies, waived fees and low prices before they go up again. Maybe you had a cancelled trip and you received a voucher: this is your perfect shot to get back your money’s value!

Airlines

Make use of the flight deals, hotel deals and other vacation deals while they last. A lot of travel companies. Check out this link for an overview of worldwide airline deals.

Star Alliance, which has 26 airline loyalty programs to offer, has made this page to check out all the Coronavirus updates of each airline member program.

Hotels & More

Here are some hotel chains that have updated their loyalty programs or extended their cancellation policies:

IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental,…): extended cancellation policies, a new rate and the ability to upgrade faster to a higher teer level and keep your points valid longer than usual

Miles & More: mileage bargains, in addition to alternative ways to earn and redeem your Miles

Marriott: extended cancellation policies for all guests

Hyatt: flexible cancellation an extension of their member programs for all members globally

Tip: if you’re not sure on traveling yet, but you want to start saving loyalty points, you can always check out the credit card services of these loyalty programs. Often, you earn a monthly amount of points when you spend a certain monthly amount with the credit card. That way, you can shop from home and start saving up for your next trip.

Be Gentle With Yourself & Others

Travel is a tool we use to relax, to grow, to connect, to experience, to taste, to wonder, to go outside our comfort zones. The longing for travel is in our human nature. 

As this time is unseen, it can be very difficult for some. Keep in touch with yourself by journalling through your travels: write down everything that’s on your mind, no matter how small or how big.

Count On Your Support System

Ask someone to be your support system when things get rough 

Whenever you feel uncertain, anxious, of frightened by the situation, rely on your support system. Ask for the help of your close and loved ones to support you and guide you whenever you might feel like it.

Count On A Professional

We all need someone who motivates us, who encourages us, who supports us, no matter what.

As a specialised travel coach, I am here as a support along your journey, your inner & outer journey in this world. Get rid of everything that is holding you back, and step into your full power & freedom.

Schedule a free coaching interview with me here, and learn more about me & what I do here!

In these uncertain times, it’s natural and logical we are in need of some vacation. Set your intention for this new trip and to be clear with yourself on what it really is you are looking for. Follow health and safety precautions, wherever you go. Take advantage of travel deals, waived cancellation fees, and lowered prices now that it’s still ongoing. And finally, count on a support system to be there for you when things get rough. It’s normal to feel lots of different things now, and it’s even more important to deal with them on a healthy way.

Sahara Rose On Travel Coaching & the Impact of Covid – 19 On the Travel Industry

Re-purposing Travel with Sahara Rose Devore

Travel. Coach, Travel Coach, CEO, Interview
Now that travel is on hold, we are longing more than ever to escape to dreamy and exotic resorts. As the saying goes: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

I consulted Sahara Rose, Travel and Business coach, CEO, owner of Sahara Rose Travels, LLC, and the founder of The Travel Coach Network™ . Her mission is to create the first and largest online network of travel coaches who change the way that the hospitality and tourism industries provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel.

Being an expert and pioneer in this niche, she shines the light on re-purposing travel, travel coaching and the impact of Covid – 19 on the travel industry.


Sahara, let’s start from the beginning. Recently, I read an article in Forbes Magazine that said travel coaching is the new, hottest trend.
How did you come up with the idea to become a travel coach?

“I realised that there’s people like you and me who want to make something more out of a job, fuelled by their love of travel, but didn’t want to be a typical travel agent. There is a lot more to the travel industry than the classic jobs; there is so much more. That is what I encompass in my Travel Coaching Network: to encourage, inspire, support and guide travellers, mostly women, to do something more out of their experiences so they have something that makes them happy, gives them money, and they can create of their own — all while making an impact on the travel industry.”

“Travel coaching is all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them (…) so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”

– Sahara Rose
Did you face any challenges building up your business, being a pioneer in travel coaching? 

“Oh yeah! It’s been a very long and bumpy road. When you start an online business and when you put yourself out there, there are so many opinions and feedback. During the first six months, people were so confused about what travel coaching really was — they thought it was the same as being a travel agent and that would make me so angry.“

How did you overcome that?

“I learned how to shift that anger towards shedding a light on my message so I could create clarity about what travel coaching really was. I even enrolled in a publicity program which has helped me so much — I got featured in over 40 media outlets: Forbes, Business Insider, Thrive Global, …— all to put my message out there.”

You quickly progressed from traveler to travel coach. What has led to you become a coach for travel coaches, too?

“When I was getting started, there was no one that I could turn to. I wanted to create what I needed and what I wished someone else had provided to me. I wanted to make it easier for other travellers to go down the road of travel coaching. My program contains everything I did to get there — from how to start a business, to marketing, software, defining your niche — it took me a year to accomplish this (though, I am forever learning). I am glad I didn’t have the resources then because it gave me the opportunity to start TCN to pave the way for others.”

“The concept of starting all of this submerged after I began. I thought travel coaching already existed because it made so much sense for me. One day, I got a message from someone that was interested in becoming a travel coach and who didn’t know anything about it. I wondered why they were asking me about it instead of just Googling it. I just thought it just made sense — until I Googled it and saw that nothing came up. Then I just ran with it, I knew I had to take ownership of it.”

“We need to follow our hearts and create more of what hasn’t been done before.”

– Sahara Rose

“I created the TCP (Travel Coach Program) — which is now going through a beautiful transformation to a certification program, it will be the only certification travel program available right now — what is exactly what I was looking for after 10 years of travel, when I was getting started. There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”

Let’s talk about the current corona situation and the travel industry. I just read your article in Thrive Global about introducing a new way of travel after the COVID-19 crisis.
Tell me more about this shift that is happening right now.

“Before covid-19, people went to travel for deeper reasons but they failed to acknowledge why they were travelling or they didn’t know how to use the experience to enhance their wellbeing. So much research has shown that travel enhances your wellbeing in many ways: cognitively, mentally physically and spiritually. There is so much depth in there . Because we can’t travel, we miss travel and we are realising why we valued it so much in the first place.

“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears.We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”

– Sahara Rose

“This is the time where people are struggling with so many things at the same time: emotionally, mentally, physically (not being able to be outside), and travel was able to help us with this beforehand. Now that we are in isolation, we are ever more yearning for it. The travel industry is going to bounce back (our human desire to travel is very resilient) but it’s going to be different. People are going to re-purpose travel to help us through what we went through with COVID-19, to better ourselves and our lives and to give us clarity.”

How can travel coaches step in? How does this influence the niche? 

“That is a great spot for travel coaches to come in and say: I can help you obtain that. It’s all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them and helping them figure out the right tools and resources so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”

What do you think this new future of travel will hold?

No one knows yet. But as far as the big travel industry leaders are saying, people will be looking for more in-depth experiences, more meaningful experiences — which is what travel was for me all along. The travel leaders talk about the new depth of travel and helping people focusing on their wellness and enhancing their wellbeing. That is, as far what I can say, what the future of travel will look like.”

How will the average traveller experience this?

“People always have fears, for everything. After 9-11 people were very scared to travel. That was a time when the travel industry and the people were shocked. But people are resilient: we are native travellers, we have an internal desire to travel and travel leads us to so many ways. We have to reflect on how can travel benefit us for the future so we can live healthier, stronger lives.”

“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears. That is a great place for travel industry leaders and travel coaches to give a helping hand. That’s what I love about travel coaching: providing that encouragement and empowerment and support because it is what people are going to need. We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”

Who inspires you the most as a (travel) entrepreneur?

“David Meltzer was my very first mentor and he is someone who has overcome a lot of setbacks and he built everything back up again. His perspective and the way he gives back to people has always been an inspiration for me.”

“However, there isn’t really someone in the travel industry that has inspired me is because people are doing a replica of what someone else does in a different way: eg. starting a new hotel line. There hasn’t been a lot of disruption in a good way. There is so much more to travel industry than to create what’s already been done. We need to follow our hearts and create more of what’s not been done before.”

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

“Right now I would love to go back to Israel. I fell in love with Tel Aviv: the scenery, the people, the beaches, the nightlife, the food, everything. But also; Tel Aviv is a booming tech industry and they focus on the wellness industry. It’s the second most uprising tech industry and that has always intrigued me. I was supposed to be there now and I’m itching to go back there — I’ll probably go live a couple of months there when this is all over.”

Do you have any tips for beginners in the field of travel coaching?

“I always tell people to look within: what does travel means to you? What do you love most about travel and what got you to choose this industry, above all the others? Why is it that travel has put you on this path of wanting to help people and make a difference, make an impact in some way on yourself and on the world? Find out what is true to yourself and all these things in your life, then you can include travel into it so you can better help people make a difference in their lives.”

“There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”

– Sahara Rose

“Go back to your story and see where it began. What has drawn you to travel, what transformations has it given you? Often, in travel, we overlook all of this and we just say: I love to travel! When you’re able to figure out what travel means to you, then you’re able to figure out: Who do I wanna help most? Who identifies most with my story?”

“My definition of travel coaching is it being very authentic: helping people in a way, from your authentic travel experiences, that resonate with you, your story, your expertise and your skills. Everyone has something different to offer and is can stand out from the rest.”

After starting up her own Travel Coaching business, Sahara Rose took the next step to train future travel coaches in the making to provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel. After the COVID-19 crisis, a re-purpose of travel will take the lead, as we travellers will use it as an outlet to get through what they went through. As people are resilient, the urge to overcome their fears and everything they are struggling with after COVID-19 can be resolved through purposeful travel and a travel coach guiding them along their journey.

Discover the World From Home

Who said travel is on hold?! There may be a pandemic, and we may not be allowed outside our houses, but that won’t stop us – travel fanatics with wanderlust running through our veins, infected by the travel bug – from discovering new places. Treat yourself to a virtual staycation this spring, right from your comfy couch. No need for waiting in line, walking all day or even a trip itinerary: with these tools, you’ll be able to discover the world from your comfy couch.

Whether you still want to experience that trip to Paris you’ve had to cancel, or you’re as curious as I am and you’re open to exploring new destinations, I will guide you through some steps to recreate that cultural treasure hunt right at your home. We’ve already figured out how to keep your travel spirit alive during this time, and I’m sure you’ve become a master of self-care with these tips and how to grow during this time of self isolation. And now, it’s time to let our wanderlust take over again.

Step Into the Virtual Realm of Travel

Today’s technology has evolved to a point where you can bring every destination into your home by experiencing virtual tours. Here are some of the musea, parks and cities who provide these online tours. No need to wait in line, no need to buy your ticket. Just head over to their website and enjoy the scene!

Virtual Museum Tours

Frida Kahlo: Frida Kahlo’s Blue House museum, located in Mexico, Coyoacán, opened their virtual doors to the public during this pandemic – and it’s an excellent way to enrich your knowledge of Mexican art history.

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France displays several virtual tours – from The Petite Galerie to Egyptian Antiquities, indulge yourself in the richness of the art collection that’s now fully available to you in just one click.

Google Arts & Culture gives you access to virtual tours from over 2500 museums spread accross all corners of the earth. No matter your artsy preferences, you’ll find anything here – from catching penguins in the Natural History Museum in London to exploring Keith Haring’s work.

Virtual City Tours

#stayhome Is not only a trend, but a necessity these days. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk in your favourite city – virtually, of course. Again, Google Arts & Culture and Google Maps Street View allows us to travel across all countries with not only virtual museum tours but also tours of the biggest landmarks world-wide – imagine Christ the Redeemer or the pyramids of Giza from as you close as you’d like – nothing is too big.

YouVisit’s Machu Pichu’s 360° overview is a great way of catching a glimpse of the Machu Pichu’s breathtaking sights.

AirPano shows 360° videos and photos from their VR collection of impressing spectacles from all over the world – taking you from underwater realms in Indonesia to paradisiac views of the lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, this is your source of virtual eye treats.

Release Your Inner Chef

Pop that bottle of French wine open, open up the wonderful source to all recipes – the Internet – and get cooking! By trying out foreign dishes, you get to know the culture better and you get to taste it. If you’re not into cooking, then this is the best time to support your local businesses – whether there’s a Greek restaurant nearby who still delivers, or that Hawaiian Poké place – those dishes will take you right to the country of origin. And, at the same time, you’re supporting business who are going through difficult times at the moment. It’s a great way to taste your friend’s favourite dishes and restaurants nearby is on Twisper, as you will only find true and real opinions of people without any ads or ratings.

Dust Off Those Travel Guides On Your Book Shelf

Now you’re sitting there, in your kitchen, with a virtual tour of Rome playing on the background, you popped open some fine Italian red wine and your hot pizza order just arrived. Let’s level this up: grab those old travel books or magazines where you got your inspiration from and start reading a bit about your dream location – the history of the Vatican in this case, is quite the collection. Really get into the mood by learning more about the culture, as if you were to visit it. If you’re more into online travel guides, to my opinion Lonely Planet has made the best ones available on their app Guides – insider tips, background stories and amazing visuals included.

Pick Up Some Foreign Expressions

Another great way to learn more about a culture is learning the language. Imagine if you were on your trip to Rome. You would learn some Italian, si? Refresh your multilingual skills by learning some key expressions and practice these at home. Maybe you can take it a level higher and chat with a native – Tandem offers you great ways to learn foreign languages with native speakers, face-to-face, and so are Mondly and Fluentu.

Get that Party Started

Music can change our moods in huge ways: in can motivate us, calm us, or teach us. Accompany your little Italy escape with some traditional Italian background music and change the mood to some that’s amore. On YouTube, Spotify or any music source, you will find countless playlists to spice up the mood!

Apps With View For Days

So, now you’re sitting there in your sofa, with a pizza slice in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other, some background music playing, enjoying Rome by night on your TV screen while attempting to become native in Italian. You’re probably wondering: is that it? You’ve had your magical Italian dinner, you’re learning some Italian phrases, and now what? Don’t fear, as there are some great apps to keep your wanderlust level on a normal balance.

AirPano Travel Book and AirPano City Book are apps from AirPano who take you around the world: Travel Book presents to you the world’ most gorgeous aerial panoramas while CityBook takes you on virtual travel experiences.

Keep up with your travel and memories by updating your bucket list in Photo Map – indicate where you’ve been and add pictures to your collection.

Been is for the ones who aspire to see as much as they can – this app tells you how much percentage of all countries you have already seen and it’s dangerously addicting and competitive. Not that you can improve your score now, however, so that makes it the perfect time to install it.

This one is for all the travel journalists amongst us: if you’re keen on sharing your travel tips, guides and experiences, Lonely Planet has offered this opportunity to all of us with Trips app. Simply start creating your Trip – it is really easy to add pictures, maps, and edit your travel article accordingly – offer unique insights about your country few know about, inspire others and don’t forget to let yourself be inspired too.

Blink Travel is another great source of travel guides, allowing you to learn about countless travel destinations.

And voila, you’re all ready & set to go! I sincerely hope your travel spirit has been pleased with these tips, tricks and tools to travel from your comfy couch. If you have any suggestions or you’d like to have more insights about this topic, feel free to contact me via this website or on social media. I’m here for you, salty soul!

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post of any kind. I am simply giving my honest opinions about services, apps and websites as tips for you.