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Category: Travel

Feeling Our Way in New York City

The first day of our New York City tour, I am on the top deck of a bus driving down Fifth Avenue past the Flatiron building when I remember there is a Kate Spade store coming up on the left. I pause for a moment to stare down from my high perch. Its founder has just died by her own hand two days before and it is still raw in our national psyche. I turn to Mirna, my tour companion for two days, and nod toward the store, taking a deep breath. Moments before we had been sitting at a traffic light, moving easily to Alicia Keys and Jay Z and their catchy ode to New York. It’s part of the soundtrack pumping into our ears. The next day our bus is crawling through Times Square at dusk. With so much stimulation in every direction at this iconic place, my eyes look right and fix on the marquis at the Hard Rock Café – “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will forever miss his love for great food and travel.” Yes, that very morning he had been found after taking his own life. I first heard it on the radio. Just hours later I was on a bus riding past CNN and thinking about all the...

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An Open Letter to James Lentz of Toyota

Dear Mr. Lentz — I have never in my life thrown up a Hail Mary like the one I’m about to heave your way. It literally reads on my to-do list: Hail Mary to Toyota. Since you are the CEO of Toyota North America, here goes. Your Corolla commercial with the song “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore is haunting me. Every time I see it I am reminded of the dream that’s been forming in my mind for the last few years. It goes something like this – I drive across the United States and get paid for blogging about it. A company that “gets it” signs on as a sponsor and we team up for a project that inspires potential customers to get out there and explore what’s meaningful in their own lives and motivates people of different generations to talk to each other. I think as a company that sponsors “The Voice” you’re already on board with the idea of going for one’s dreams. I live in Hoboken, N.J., and haven’t owned a car since 1999, but when I did it was a red Toyota Corolla. I am an independent contractor who makes her living as a writer and life coach. I can work from anywhere. I began my journalism career as a sports writer and that allowed me to learn the craft of bringing people along...

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‘Wild’ and Vulnerable

“Do you do therapy sessions?” After hello, this is my opening line to Joe, my acupuncturist, when I appear for my weekly session recently. He smiles. “These kind of have that effect, don’t they?” he says about our sessions. I explain that while walking the four blocks there, all I could think about was how I was going to get something parmigiana after I left his office. I’m an emotional eater and I’ve gotten much better about steering clear of danger zones to make me feel better. But this day I was obsessing in my head. There was no...

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The Ideal Beach Vacation

Here’s what my ideal beach vacation would consist of – books read, magazines conquered, lolling time sitting in a beach chair late afternoon/early evening, walks, spontaneous light meals made with fresh food, open windows to let in the ocean sounds and salty air, and a hush over the house most evenings. Ahhh … Here’s what my recent beach vacation with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and 11-year-old niece consisted of over the course of a week – a raucous annual tradition of Trivial Pursuit with a house full of guests, pulled pork on delicious squishy white flour-laden rolls, pizza, stromboli,...

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A Retreat to Self-Acceptance

Finally, I get it. I am not Pema Chodron. I am not Elizabeth Gilbert. I am not Cheryl Strayed. I am Nancy Colasurdo. But let me back up … **** I recently signed up to go on a retreat with a group of local women. The destination was a Zen Buddhist monastery in the Catskills. A large part of the appeal was the promise of no cell signal, no Wi-Fi, no modern-day distractions. Another aspect of it that really attracted me was the spiritual setting and the opportunity to partake in as much of the ritual as I chose. Plus,...

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