Rose-Colored Glasses

n. (pl.): an optimistic perception of something; seeing something in a positive way

I am a fan of rose colored--everything: champagne, decor, flowers, clothing, accessories. The list could go on an on. Pink is a sure way to make my day happier. As I was scrolling through my photos of delicious food and wine experiences, I noticed that I had many pictures of rose colored glasses. Being the curious gal that I am, I looked up what "rose-colored glasses" actually meant. To my delight, it is a phrase to describe who is the eternal optimist--perceiving things in a positive way.

Now, being the avid traveler that I am, I experience moments daily where it can be tempting to darken or fog up my rose-colored glasses. It's much more difficult to remain positive when your baggage has been lost or your transportation fails to arrive or your flight is cancelled. But let me reassure you of this (as well as myself):

Every moment in our lives gives us an opportunity to choose. We can choose to see with darkened glasses or with rose-colored ones.

Choosing the rose-colored ones is a win win every time: for your health, emotional well-being, finances, relationships, and career. Perspective is everything.

Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't an excuse to not live in reality. You can maintain a very realistic perspective, but carry a positive attitude.

We have one life here on this earth and why not spend it spreading positive vibes.

So, cheers to rose, smelling the roses, and rocking the pink outfit.

Rose wins every time.

Rainy Days + Spa Days = A Perfect Getaway

Last weekend was unforgettable and truly memorable. The 5+ hours I piled in my nugget of a rental car wasn't too exciting, but my cramped body immediately relaxed into a puddle as I pulled into the entrance of Chateau Elan Spa and Winery. The rain was beginning to pitter patter on my windshield. The forecast called for a soggy and wet weekend. My thought--perfect. What could be better than sitting by a fire in my plush robe and slippers, sipping endless glasses of wine, while getting rubbed from top to bottom in between! Heaven.

As I pulled in, one of the bellmen greeted me and kindly took my things to the room. My mother, whom I was meeting, was waiting there. The warmth of the lamps in the room reflected the calm and relaxed feeling that would linger throughout the weekend. I opened a bottle of Chilean red--whisking me back to one of my favorite destinations in the world. The two of us caught up before heading to dinner at Cotton Calf Kitchen a few miles down the road. There, my burger craving met its expectations--all while being topped with tomato, brioche, gorgonzola cheese and paired with truffle fries. My nostalgic moment also called for the comfort of an old fashioned, which did not disappoint.

When we arrived back to Chateau Elan, the rain started to come down. The healing sound of the drops of rain, soothed me into a calm and delightful sleep. When I awoke, my mother had already been up for hours--walking the grounds and enjoying her morning peaceful ritual. All I could think of was my friend that was black and in a cup. Yep. Coffee. My mother and I soon got in our robes and walked down to the spa. The smell of lavender and vanilla filled the room. My shoulders began to relax and all the rest of me melted and I entered the realm of calm.

From the antioxidant wine bath followed by an hour and a half massage, to the endless bubbles of champagne and the delightful afternoon tea, the weekend couldn't have been more blissfully soothing. Every ounce was just what my physical and emotional well-being craved. Just as the rain brought healing and life to the land, so the rainy weekend at the spa brought nourishment to my soul. My mother and I laughed and talked and laughed some more. What a fun-filled weekend of time spent together paired with relaxation.

As I piled in my small rental car to head back to Tennessee, the rain sprinkled down, but not for long. There was just a mist as I drove through the welcoming gates and waved goodbye to my French paradise. "Au revoir!" I whispered.

I turned the corner--knowing that this was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

My. Heart. Soars.

It was a humid and warmer than usual summer month in Georgia. He picked me up in his Ford sedan. My legs stuck to the seats like a fly on a honey trap. I started to fidget and bite my nails. I did this not only when I was nervous, but it was now a well-formed habit. One I had picked up (or inherited) from him. We started our 4+ hour drive north. I waited for the radio to start our magic (and his epic air guitar skills). Huey Lewis and the News graced us with Hip to be Square. He turned up the dial and we both sang from the top of our lungs--windows down and ready for a hamburger run. Our journey continued north to the big city of Atlanta and then he turned down the stereo and it happened--the decision that would be the beginning of my heart's deepest longing. He turned his blue eyes to meet mine and said: So, how would you like to start flying to Atlanta? His words were still running through my mind. Fly to Atlanta? I was slightly confused, so I replied with So, would you fly with me?

No, you'd fly on your own.

I could hardly believe it. For the past couple of years, he had always driven to Savannah for our long visits. My dad was now letting me fly. By. Myself. And my mom had agreed. I wanted to scream and shrill with excitement, but somehow, I kept my cool and responded, "Sure. That would be great."

My heart started to flutter with nervousness and excitement at the unexpected. I had never flown by myself and I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had flown in the short 7 years of my lifetime.

But that hot and humid summer day was the day I fell in love. It was the day that I knew that life would forever change. Adventure was on the horizon and I had been given a ticket.

Travel and I would soon kiss and our love affair would never die.

Thanks to the man of my dreams--my dad.

My heart took flight.

Time. Stood. Still. (falling in love while traveling)

Travel is like love, mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity, and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never end. -Pico Iyer

As a single woman in my mid-thirties, I often get the question about my singleness--if I think traveling solo is the barrier for me being single. I realize that this is a challenge for most people to understand, but whatever sets you on fire shouldn't keep you from love. It should attract it.

As Valentine's Day approaches, I've started to reflect on love. Travel truly is my love. Like author, Iyer, states above, "Travel is like love because it's a heightened state of awareness, where we are mindful, receptive, and ready to be transformed." And travel does this. It transforms me. And each love affair that I have transforms me--prepares me for the best.

From the outback love in Australia to the glacier guide and trekker in Chile, travel has never come to a close.

Over the next couple of days, I will share my love affair experiences with you. The vulnerable and the valuable. How these travels awakened and transformed me--forever giving my heart the courage to love again--especially when it left me.

xxx

Above the Clouds

Where's my #WanderlustWednesday? It's above the clouds, of course. 

For me, flying, traveling, and discovering are at the essence of who I am. 

LIke air, I need to have it.

My truest and rawest addiction.

My deepest passion.

So, when someone asks me where I want to go, I say: "everywhere." Above the clouds is my best bet.

Life gets clearer. Problems seem smaller. Nothing seems impossible. The world becomes a canvas again and I, a bit of color, within the larger painting.

There was a movie I used to love to watch as a teenager: How to Make an American Quilt. It's about a girl who goes to visit her grandmother for the summer. She joins her grandmother's quilting group. And as she is surrounded by each of them and their stories, her own life begins to take shape and form. She realizes what is truly important to her and what isn't. She dives into her passion and even more importantly, into the lives of other people. 

The environment brings change.

This is what happens when I travel. The environment around me develops and grows me. It challenges me to gaze into a deeper perspective. There's immediate peace and the world somehow comes to a halt. 

I make it a habit to disconnect completely from my phone while flying. This is a wonderful "de-stresser" and encourages me to be in the moment. I would like to say that I do this once I'm on the ground portion of my travels. Rarely does this happen. Though I will say, I've made a new tradition recently to have an afternoon that is unplanned where I leave my technology behind and I allow myself to be completely immersed. What a breath of fresh air!

So, what is your Wanderlust Wednesday? Is it a weekend retreat with your friends? A solo getaway? Local? Abroad? Exotic? Adventuresome? Or calm? 

Whatever it is, may you gain new perspective and insight. May you soak up the moment and embrace it for all that it's worth and be thankful to allow yourself to go there.