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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My list of 5 ways to live life to the fullest

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Dec 26, 2016 6:02:58 AM

A post-it says a thousand words

Grab a post-it.  Now write down 5 things you would like to be able to say you did or have included in your lifestyle 5 years from today. 

What does it even mean to live life to the fullest?  It’s not entirely obvious.  We all have parts of our life that we love and parts that we like less.  We have family, friends, work and responsibilities.  Some days the things we usually love are the things we hate and some days just the opposite.  So the best you can do is feel as though you’re living a life filled with content.  This way, you’ll never be able to say you wish you’d done more.  Seen more.  Experienced more.  And hopefully, the content you choose will take up more space than the things you like less and your life will feel nice and full.   

What is content?  Sometimes it’s an experience you can tick off your bucket list.  Sometimes it’s an ongoing thing you’ve included in your day to day life.  Spending time with friends, calling your kids, eating with your family, going to the movies, watching a great TV series, taking a trip, enrolling in a class, going for a walk – that’s content.  Sitting around watching mindless TV, or playing an addictive game on your iPhone on a regular basis (though we need it every once in a while to tune out and unwind) that’s not content.  Neither is working more hours than you can really be productive. Read a book instead.

This is my list.  What’s yours?

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16 Things to do before you die: if you’re going to read one list, read this one

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Dec 26, 2016 6:02:36 AM

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.
~ Henry David Thoreau

We all have regrets about things we could have or should have done.  Most of us have a tendency to bury those regrets deeply in a drawer seldom accessed to avoid feeling that icky feeling that you had a chance to do something, and didn’t do it.  What if you turned that paradigm upside down?  Embracing regret is the best way to get motivated to do something.  And it’s never too late. 

I’ve thought a lot about filling my life with content – active efforts to do and see more so that I can say without hesitation that I live my life to the fullest (more on that here)

So if you’ve been dreaming about doing some amazing things before you die, I've created a list of things that I've experienced and might inspire you.  If you’ve been spending your time regretting that you haven’t done the things you want to do before you die, I hope this will help.  And if you’ve been in denial about the things you wish you’d done, going about your day as if they can be forgotten, hopefully, my list just might inspire you to dream about doing some cool things again.

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5 ways to master the art of living: Daily practices that can get you going

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Dec 26, 2016 6:02:13 AM

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. ” – James Michener

Each of us probably thinks about excellence now and again.  Am I doing enough?  Should I be making more of an effort?  Am I passionate about this?  Feeling like you aren’t doing enough, or not knowing why you are doing something in the first place is a pretty lousy feeling.

But here’s the kicker - the secret of pursuing excellence (and I define that as having answers to the questions above and confidently going about something you’re doing), and the beauty of it, is that it’s in the eye of the beholder.  It’s whatever you define. 

That fact, arguably, can be just as daunting.  Especially for those of us who hold ourselves to incredibly high standards.  But the art of living isn’t so much about working day and night to achieve this self-defined standard of excellence.  It actually frees you in that you can pursue your vision of excellence by choosing to implement things that are important to you in your daily life. Sometimes those things will be small and sometimes major but it doesn’t matter. It has a snowball effect.  Do one thing every day. And then another.  And another.  Before you know it, you’ll be pursuing excellence in the other things you do too. And one day, you’ll be that person that gets it.  The one that knows it’s all the same as long as you’re doing it in the spirit of excellence. 

Here are 5 strategies to get the snowball rolling.

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