Cuba: people art and culture

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 27, 2017 10:53:17 AM

Incredible rhythm and sound, beautiful beaches, vintage cars and a rich history just a few hours from the US…sounds tempting, right?  Cuba is an absolute must see destination.  It should definitely be on your bucket list.  

Our tour to Cuba is about immersing yourself in the people, art and culture of Cuba.  You’ll roam the streets of Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, meet with important community activists, see the buzzing art scene, roll a cigar or two and slow it down with leisurely dinners on warm nights. 

As an American, travelling to Cuba hasn’t always been possible.  But thanks to some significant changes in U.S.Cuban relations, Cuba is now a doable destination.  While the relationship between the two countries is certainly warming up, there’s a feeling of urgency to visit this incredible country sooner rather than later. Some say the relations could change and travelling there could be harder in the future. Others say it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship and there’s just a few years left before foreign investment comes funneling in and Cuba becomes the next Miami and the unique idiosyncrasies of this country become a thing of the past.  Either way, now is the time to travel to Cuba to still catch what makes it so special.  

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Fun holiday ideas for your next vacation

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 27, 2017 10:35:53 AM

Why would you be in search of a list of FUN holiday ideas?  Vacations are fun by definition (for the most part -unless you are dragged hiking for a week with a heavy backpack and no shower when your idea of connecting to nature is tending to the basil plant on your window sill, at best).  The very act of taking time off work, disconnecting a bit from routines and responsibilities, seeing beautiful places and eating good food is fun. But perhaps you’re amongst the lucky few who have seen and done it all and you’re now looking for a holiday idea that will be different and appeal to your senses.  Or, perhaps it’s just the opposite.  You rarely get the luxury of taking a vacation and so when you do, you want to go out with a bang. Either way, there are plenty of fun and different ideas for your next vacation. 

Here are a few I particularly like:

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Interesting places to visit around the world

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 27, 2017 7:16:25 AM

You’ve probably come across list after list of the best places to visit around the world.  For the most part, those lists are repetitive and display more of the same.  While London, Paris and Rome are travel staples that have garnered popularity for good reason, when you have limited vacation days and an itch to see the world, a more creative list is required.  Curating a list of this nature and learning how to travel to a less common destination combines a few required characteristics: exoticism, luxury, culture, history and imagination. When you have a location that hits these, you have a location that is guaranteed to be a special experience you won’t forget.  

So, for your next vacation, opt for an interesting off the beaten path destination. Here’s my list (for more ideas of special places in the world, check out my post on 10 places to visit before you die).

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once in a lifetime travel destinations you must see at least once

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 20, 2017 9:36:04 AM

Visit once, remember forever.


What makes a destination a once in a lifetime, can’t miss it, must do everything I can to see it kind of place?  It’s a mix of exotic flare, hear about it in the movies, read about it in books, will be etched in my mind forever and a bit of je ne sais quoi.

While these types of destinations don’t come a dime a dozen, the world has them in different shapes and sizes and it depends on how and where you want to travel.  The good thing about these types of places is that you can’t go wrong. Close your eyes and point to one on the list and you are guaranteed to have the trip that dreams are made of.  But if you want to put some thought into which of these once in a lifetime destinations you want to visit, you might ask yourself: if I were to tell my grandchildren one day of the adventures I’ve been on and the places I’ve seen, what would I want to share with them? If it stands the test of time, and these places always do, you can be sure you’ve chosen well For more inspiration on where to travel to iconic destinations, check out my post on “10 places to visit before you die”.

Visiting these destinations will make you want to capture every detail and keep it forever.  It’s the kind of trips you’ll want to reminisce about and share (or let’s be honest – brag about) with your friends and family.  For inspiration on ways that you can preserve your experiences, freeze them and snack on the later, here’s an article on creative ideas to make your travel memories last forever.  

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Unique vacation ideas to add to your bucket list

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 6, 2017 9:14:44 AM

I believe in collecting experiences.  James Hamblin of The Atlantic writes about this extensively here.  “Looking back on purchases made, experiences make people happier than do possessions.”  When those experiences can be big and extraordinary, all the better.  When they are small and intimate, they leave their mark as well.  Traveling anywhere, from the most obvious choices like Paris and Rome to the more off the beaten path unique destinations most definitely contributes to the collection effort. 

If you’re looking for unique vacation ideas, here’s my list (for more ideas of special places in the world, check out my post on 10 places to visit before you die).

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How to create the ultimate adventure to do list

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Mar 6, 2017 7:52:11 AM

Vacations should be about escaping your routine, doing things that you wouldn’t normally do in your 9-5 daily life. Using that logic, and perhaps taking it to the extreme, your next trip should be all about adventures: Skydiving? Spending a week without your cell phone? Trying new foods? These are just some examples of adventures you could indulge in. The question really is, what do you define as an adventure? It’s all relative (and it doesn’t require an adrenaline rush). 

The following guidelines will help you create the ultimate adventure to do list.

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Top 10 places to visit before you die

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Feb 27, 2017 11:00:52 AM

10 places to visit before you die

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime” – Mark Twain

Traveling doesn’t require venturing far from home (necessarily).  But to have a broad view of the world, to see men and things and open your mind and heart to new and different landscapes and cultures does require stepping out of our little corner of the earth – and thankfully so because there are some incredible places to see in the world. 

Here’s a list of my top 10 places to visit before you die.  Why these 10 out of all places? Each of them represents a special experience you can’t get elsewhere.  It’s a mix of “ticking it off a list” of cool things to say you’ve seen, breathtaking nature, irreplaceable history and one of a kind landscapes.  For other ideas of things to do and places to see check out my article on 16 Things to do Before you Die.

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15 Bucket List Ideas that will make you feel alive again

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Feb 20, 2017 9:16:21 AM

Do you ever feel the need to break out of your routine a bit and breathe some excitement into your life?  My guess is you haven’t done that in a while.  As the years go by and your adventurous college years are well behind you, the motivation and guts to wake up one day and do something different begin to dissipate. And then if you’re confronted with a list of ideas of things you can do that seem unattainable or totally crazy, you’re more likely to become totally frustrated than you are inspired.

So here’s a list of 15 totally doable yet totally fun bucket list ideas that will make you feel alive again.  If you don’t know where to start, here’s a guide with 6 steps to crossing anything off your bucket list. And if you want to step it up a notch, here’s a list of things to do before you die.   

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The secret to personal development

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Feb 14, 2017 7:52:48 AM

The secret to personal development

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How to make friends as an adult

Posted by Gil Travel Team

Feb 13, 2017 4:30:06 AM

You are probably wondering why you need to make friends as an adult, anyway.  You’ve gone through many circles of people and stages in your life and have probably amassed the friends you need.  Well, it’s safe to say that that’s wishful thinking for many.  Instead, life happens and those friends made along the way aren’t always around by the time you’re grown up and you’re children are grown too.  You may have chosen to spend the next phase of your life in a different city, or career circumstances have brought you somewhere new.  Or maybe you haven’t moved an inch but over the years your responsibilities to your children, your spouse and your family have taken up the time that you have to give and now those kids are grown and the responsibilities have dwindled and you suddenly find yourself with a new concept – free time.    

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