Icelandic Magic

Icelandic Magic

Iceland is unquestionably the most breathtaking country I have laid eyes upon. Simply put, the natural landscape is otherworldly. Each corner of the country is more astounding than the last, with jaw-dropping waterfalls flanked by rainbows, turquoise blue glacial lagoons, lava fields, active geysers, and an abundance of natural hot springs. The added sheer luck of unusually warm, clear weather further accented the natural beauty of the land with crisp and sunny blue skies!     The recollection of unexpectedly stumbling upon Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of my most seizing and transcendent memories to date. The glacial icebergs are a radiant, luminous blue made all the more spectacular by the backdrop of a setting sun. Jökulsárlón serves as an incredible testament to the inexplicable, yet impermanent beauty of our planet. Moments following our arrival, a thunderous crack rang through the air as an iceberg broke cleanly apart and dropped into the icy waters below.     Iceland makes for the ultimate road trip despite a common travel trend to stay in Reykjavík and take daily excursions. The highlights of our journey were found far from the country’s capital, scattered all throughout the 800-mile loop encircling the country’s perimeter. We flew into Reykjavik and began our excursion counter clockwise around the Ring Road. With luck consistently lending a hand throughout our trip, the Northern Lights greeted us on our very first evening in the country. Watching the brilliant green lights dance across the night sky was a most enchanting introduction to the breadth of Iceland’s beauty.     Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss are among Iceland’s most remarkable waterfalls. Less than...
Tulum Travel Guide

Tulum Travel Guide

A recent trip to the bohemian coastal town of Tulum served as the ultimate girls getaway. Nestled along the white sandy shores of the Caribbean in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, this hip mecca ranked high on my travel list. With Tulum’s reputation for an abundance of street tacos, mezcal, and yoga, I booked my trip without a second thought. A recent influx of upscale boutique shops and craft cocktail bars to the town has done little to deter from its rustic, laid-back charm. Five days was the perfect amount of time for relaxing alongside the jade-green waters of Tulum’s beautiful beaches, embarking on a quest to find the best street tacos in town, and trekking out to the nearby cenotes and Mayan ruins. Utterly devoid of the typical megaresorts found throughout other coastal cities of Mexico, Tulum felt quite similar to the sleepy backpackers’ haven of Lonely Beach in Koh Chang, Thailand. Below are my highlights for where to eat, play, and stay in the free-spirited enclave of Tulum. Where to Stay The El Pez boutique hotel is an idyllic collection of beachside bungalows situated in a secluded cove along the main strip of beaches. The complimentary breakfast is simply fantastic, with fresh fruit plates, pan-seared panela cheese, and chillaquiles served with fire-roasted salsa, as just a few of the delicious daily offerings. A major perk of a stay at El Pez are the complimentary cocktail tickets provided to all four of their sister, boutique hotels scattered throughout town. Served with high-quality mezcal, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, and herb-infused simple syrups, the free drink tickets are as good as gold. Where...
Caribbean Coasts of Colombia

Caribbean Coasts of Colombia

This past summer I had the unique opportunity to combine a couple of my favorite things- traveling solo and practicing yoga. Colombia has been on my travel list for some time now as I heard countless stories about the warmth and kindness of the people and the breathtaking beauty of the country. When my Colombian-born, Los Angeles-based yoga instructor, Andres Salcedo of Power Soul Yoga announced a yoga retreat alongside the Caribbean coast of Colombia, I signed right up!     The beautiful, historic port city of Cartagena is less than 200 miles outside of Tayrona, a lush, coastal National Park along the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. I tacked on four extra days to my trip for some solo exploration of the old Spanish colonial city. Cartagena de Indias is a true gem, bursting with vibrant colors, pulsating with live music, and lined with romantic cobble-stoned streets with balconies spilling over with bougainvillea.     I stayed in the lively, bohemian neighborhood of Getsemaní despite some outdated safety warnings on travel sites. I could not have been happier with my decision to stay in this hip, art-filled part of town rather than within the walls of the Old City. The cobble-stoned alleys teemed with friendly locals. Old men sitting outside playing a game of chess, young boys kicking around a soccer ball, and women hanging out laundry to dry.     The seafood in Cartagena is simply fantastic. Ceviche reigns supreme with an abundance of access to local seafood, tropical fruits, and fresh herbs. La Cevicheria located within the San Diego district of Cartagena quickly became...
Sacred Sedona

Sacred Sedona

I kicked off 2016 with a truly special getaway to Sedona, Arizona. I began to hear stories of Sedona’s magic from a warm, intellectually curious, incredibly positive group of yogis during my teacher training this past fall at Santa Monica Power Yoga. All descriptions of Sedona alluded to a powerfully spiritual place of immense natural beauty. Knowing this sacred city was ideal for deep relaxation and renewal, there was no better place to go to set my New Year intentions.   The high desert town of Sedona is regarded as a geological wonderland. It is well known for its breathtaking red rock formations and rich Native American history. The healing energy of the town is highly palpable with a deeply calming metaphysical energy radiating throughout. Each hour of the day casts the multi-hued rock formations in a different beautiful light, creating a surreal environment of natural beauty.     Beyond the magnificent towering spires, jagged cliffs, and smooth red-rock mesas, Sedona is home to a number of natural energy vortexes. These sites are swirling centers of subtle energy that emanate out from the earth’s plane. Many people, including the Native Americans who deemed Sedona a sacred place, believe that the powerful energy of vortexes compound spiritual development and growth. A multitude of sacred sites throughout the world are said to be home to energy vortexes including the Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.     Through the recommendation of a friend, we landed the services of Sedona-local, Larry Sprague. Serving as our guide, Larry directed us to the major vortex sites, including Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon,...
Retreat to Ojai

Retreat to Ojai

Ojai is the quintessential California town. Nestled among the hills and mountains of Ventura County,  the city is an artistic and spiritual enclave. Ojai Valley is teeming with citrus groves, olive orchards, oak trees, and colorful succulents. In true California style, the city has a synergetic relationship with the local farming community, resulting in an abundance of fresh, farm to table eats. A short hour and a half drive outside of Los Angeles, a weekend retreat to Ojai is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation!   Ojai’s landscape is abound with succulents and cacti. There is hardly a garden to be found that isn’t bursting with vibrant and unique varieties of this quirky and drought-friendly style of vegetation. Meditation Mount, a lush and sacred refuge set upon 32 acres of land is home to the International Garden of Peace, a serene path for walking mediation with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. A trip to Ojai is not complete without a moment of reflection at this site of remarkable beauty and peace.   The vintage wares and home goods shops of Ojai are among some of the best in Southern California. Summer Camp exemplifies the ubiquitous laidback, outdoor-inspired, SoCal aesthetic. Filled with beautiful handmade ceramics, custom-framed prints, and teeming with indoor greenery, this hip shop located within a converted gas station is a must visit. Also worth visiting are Modern Folk Living and Tipple & Ramble, both which feature a gorgeous curation of local artisan goods.   Similar to Joshua Tree, Ojai is teeming with creative, like-minded folks. The artistic eccentricity of the locals is evident throughout the city, as is the community’s focus on health, wellness, spirituality, and art. There is hardly...
Desert Dreaming in Joshua Tree

Desert Dreaming in Joshua Tree

A weekend jaunt to Joshua Tree has quickly become one of my favorite getaways. Dozens of highly affordable, spaciously modern homes are available to rent if you prefer your star gazing from a hot tub rather than a tent. Most of the better rentals I have found are ideal for a large group or a set of couples. Given the desolation of this beautiful, arid town the company of a group is most welcome. Check out the Ocotillo Verde and Roca Vista, available for rent on Airbnb. I could not recommend these rentals more highly!     Joshua Tree is not a place for doing a whole lot. It’s where time slows down, practically coming to a halt under the blazing mid-day sun. Yet it can hardly be described as a sleepy town. There is a creative energy that radiates from every inch of this wide-open expanse. With quirky, outdoor thrift yards, rustic handmade wares, and among one of the best craft beer selections at the local liquor mart, Joshua Tree is a bohemian dreamscape.     There is a ton of great boutique and thrift shopping to be done in Joshua Tree and neighboring city, Yucca Valley. With most of the weekend spent relaxing, I prefer to make this strip of shops along Twentynine Palms Highway my final pit stop on the way out of town. Hoof & the Horn is my favorite boutique store, selling an eclectic mix of bohemian labels, decorative succulents, and candles from PF. Candle Co.!     No trip to Joshua Tree is quite the same. Spontaneity results from the unpredictable fury of the desert heat and the eclectic energy of...