Charleston, SC travel service provider Vacation Inspirations has launched a new Sydney tour package

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Charleston, SC travel service provider Vacation Inspirations has launched a new Sydney tour package. Launched on the 3rd of February, the package includes experiences of the city’s iconic Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower Eye, with dining, shopping, and adventure experiences for individuals, couples, and families.

Charleston, United States – February 12, 2019 /PressCable/ — Charleston, SC travel service provider Vacation Inspirations announced the launch of a Sydney vacation holiday package. The package features visits to all major sights, shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences that the city has to offer.

More information about Vacation Inspirations is available at http://vacationinspirations.blogspot.com

The Sydney holiday package offer commenced on the 3rd of February and offers a tour of the city’s must-see architectural and cultural sites including Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and the exquisite Royal Botanic Garden. The visit covers a visit to the city’s historic The Rocks, just a short distance from the Sydney Harbour Bridge with opportunities to discover the region’s colonial past and its confluence with open-air markets, street food, and fashion.

The Vacation Inspirations package also features a visit to the city’s vantage point, the Sydney Tower Eye and SkyWalk, a 360-degree view of the harbor and the city skyline. The tour also features visits to family-friendly Taronga Zoo and an all-day visit to surfer paradise, Bondi Beach.

The Vacation Inspirations team provides members and travelers with a customized blend of luxury and affordability, crafting unique travel experiences for individuals, couples, families, and larger groups. The company’s travel arrangements include assistance with flights, hotel and condominium accommodation, transportation, and other special amenities and services.

Vacation Inspirations also shares trip ideas on their facebook page which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/vacationinspirations/

According to a spokesperson for the Charleston, SC lifestyle travel management agency, “We are delighted to announce the launch of an immersive yet affordable new package that showcases the beauty and eclectic lifestyle of one of Australia’s beacons to the world—the beautiful city of Sydney. Our team focuses on customizing travel plans so our clients can enjoy their experience.”

Vacation Inspirations offers travel experience planning, international cruise experiences, discounted condo deals, and other world-class excursions within its global network of travel providers. More information is available at the URL above.

Contact Info:
Name: Doreen Batts
Organization: Vacation Inspirations
Address: 229 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401, United States
Phone: +1-877-642-8747
Website: https://www.vacationinspirations.com/

Source: PressCable

Release ID: 481421

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10 Reasons to Visit Charleston, South Carolina

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By Mark A. Leon

There are many reasons to come to Charleston, South Carolina.  From family vacations to weddings, to a little tinkling of Southern Charm.  Charleston is a city rich in history, culture, exquisite dining, family friendly attractions, watersports and just a relaxing escape under the sun.

For some, it is the spiritual connection with the ocean as they surf the waves, the historic setting of the first shots of the American Civil War fired, award winning dining, festivals, boating, golf or just a few days away to enjoy carriage rides or a beautiful sunset.

We have compiled ten wonderful reasons to visit Charleston, S.C. for those that have not yet made the decision to experience Southern Living at its finest and friendliest.

10 Great Reasons to Visit Charleston, South CarolinaThe beautiful

  • Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge (Cooper River Bridge) – Why would a bridge be a reason to visit a tourist destination? This 2 ? mile suspension bridge is a work of architectural majesty.? Its design, views of the Charleston Harbor and haven for runners, bikers and walkers have helped it become an attraction all its own.? With the addition of the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park which offers musical and movie events, fishing and romantic walks and swings, the Cooper River Bridge is a full day event and truly picturesque.
  • Three waterfront area attractions in one pass:S.S Yorktown, South Carolina Aquarium and Water Taxi. With the introduction of this new single pass for three of our biggest harbor based attractions, families can enjoy oceanic life, a deep understanding of our military history and feel the cool breeze of being on the water in the Charleston Harbor.? This convenient pass with make Mom, Dad and the kids happy all day long.

  • Craft Beer Fan Dreamland – The Lowcountry is now home to over 30 unique craft beer breweries and has quickly become one of the top beer producers in the Southeast. With careful craftsmanship and dedicated passion, the brew masters have helped to create a culture of fine beer.? Partnering with local area restaurants, the ability to get a taste of the Lowcountry is right at your fingertips.

  • Mouthwatering Dining – From Southern Living to Conde Nast to The Washington Post, the reputation of Charleston dining has been an area of spotlight for several years and continues to gain in credibility as more and more flock to experience a truly eloquent dining experience. Make sure you bring an appetite with your visit and do your research as we have so many great restaurants to choose from.? If you need another reason, check out the Brunch Guide with 114 options.

  • Four Area Beaches – How many cities can boast 4 area beaches with each having its own personality and breathing ecosystem. Charleston offers Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach and Edisto Beach all within 45 minutes of historic downtown Charleston.? It is hard to turn down city and beach life all in one visit.
  • Nature Photographer’s Paradise – If you are a nature photographer, a sunrise/sunset chaser or bird photographer, you will not find a better place to beef up your portfolio. From Birds of Prey to the most spectacular sunrise and sunsets you will find, Charleston offers photographers a place of magic to capture and remember.

  • Embrace History – Charleston has built a wonderful set of attractions celebrating the history of the Lowcountry and the United States. Some of the most beautiful and educational attractions include. From Charlestowne Landing to Magnolia Cemetery, the Lowcountry is so rich in history and the emphasis on remembering and celebrating it.

  • Nature Walks and Parks – Charleston has put a tremendous amount of funding and effort to develop and maintain a strong system of trails and parks for exercise, picnics, walks or working. All Charleston County Parks now offer free Wi-Fi (Great for remote workers).? There are many short and long nature trails to see wildlife and get some outdoor exercise (Ex:? West Ashley Greenway, Caw Caw Interpretation Center, Wannamaker Park).

  • Festivals Galore – Not only is Charleston known for some of the largest festivals in the Southeast and the nation including Spoleto, Festival of Lights, Annual Oyster Festival, and SEWE Festival, but festivals are just a part of who we are. This area loves to celebrate by gathering together, having fun and enjoying the great outdoors.? We also understand the importance of helping others.? So many festivals are aligned to fund raising activities to help those in need.? Come on out for a few festivals and let us keep you company.

  • Genuine Friendly Culture – Some places preach its friendliness, but we live it every day. When you walk the streets, we wave and say hello (to everyone).? If you are lost, we help you find your way.? If a dog needs a home, we adopt it.? If your car is stuck in flooded waters, we help you push it.? That is just the way we do things.

Charleston, South Carolina is not “everyone’s” #1 Travel Destination

By Mark A. Leon

There has been social chatter, word on the street and much much self proclamation that Charleston, SC is the #1 travel destination in the United States and the World.? I think we need to take a moment to clarify this.

This distinction has come from a single publication, which the city of Charleston pays to be a part of.? When major publications compile data and provide lists, there is often a fee to participate in the ranking analysis.? Cities are not just randomly picked, analyzed and rated.? There is a process of participation.? That is a key piece of information that is relevant to the Travel & Leisure annual list of Top Vacation Destination Cities.

Next, we look at some other lists to see where Charleston falls.

  1. ?Travel Channel Top 10 Vacation Spots – #1 Paris, Italy, #2 New York City, New York, #3 Rome, Italy, #4 Cancun, Mexico, #5 London, England, #6 Miami, Florida, #7 Orlando, Florida, #8 San Francisco, California, #9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, #10 Branson, Missouri
  2. 25 Best Places to Visit / Worlds Best Vacations – US News and Worlds Report – US Cities to make the list:? #9 New York City, New York, #10 Maui, Hawaii, #15 Yellowstone, Wyoming, #19 Washington, D.C., #20 Grand Canyon, #23 San Francisco, CA
  3. Top 25 World Destinations – Raters Choice – Trip Advisor – US Cities to make the list:? #5 New York City, New York
  4. Best in Travel 2017 – US Destinations – Lonely Planet – #1 Asheville, North Carolina.? Charleston did not make the top 10
  5. 21 Best Budget Destinations for 2017 – Forbes – US Cities to make the list: #16 Moab, Utah
  6. 15 Best Places to Take a Big Trip in 2017 – Thrilllist – US Destinations:? #8 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
  7. 50 Best Vacation Destinations – VacationIdea – US Destinations on the list:? Las Vegas, New York, Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Texas and National Parks
  8. Top 10 Places to Travel in 2017 – Vogue – US Destinations on the list:? #7 Idaho
  9. Summer in the US:? 20 Best Vacation Destinations – Frommer’s –? Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  10. Ten Most Affordable Vacation Destinations – Mercury News – Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  11. 29 of the Best Vacation Destinations for Couples – Buzzfeed – #17 Charleston, South Carolina
  12. 10 Best Places to Visit in the United States for Young Couples – InsiderMonkey – #1 New York City, New York.? Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  13. Best Vacation Spots for Couples Trying to Conceive – The Bump – Charleston, South Carolina not on the list
  14. 13 Best Family Vacations in the US – US News – #1 Grand Canyon, #9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.? Charleston, South Carolina did not make the list.
  15. Top 10 Fall Travel Destinations for 2017 – Clark.com – #1 Orlando, FL, #2 Rome, Italy, #3 Anaheim, CA, #4 Honolulu, HI, #5 New York City, #6 Las Vegas, NV, #7 London, England, #8 Dublin, Ireland, #9 Boston, MA, #10 Cancun, Mexico
  16. Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2018 – Lonely Planet – #1 Seville, Spain, #2 Detroit, MI, #3 Canberra, Australia, #4 Hamburg, Germany, #5 Kaohsiung, Taiwan, #6 Antwerp, Belguim, #7 Matera, Italy, #8 San Juan, Puerto Rico, #9 Guanajuato, Mexico, #10 Oslo, Norway
  17. World’s Happiest Places – National Geographic – #1 US Destination – Boulder, Colorado.? Charleston did not make final list.

It is nice to praise one self.? There is a sense of accomplishment, value and prestige to be honored.? There is also a certain nobility to humbleness.? It is an acquired taste and one that is not often enough used.

Enjoy the annual Travel & Leisure honor, but let us not assume, we are on everyone’s top list.

What you should know about the Travel & Leisure Best of Announcements Today (Carolinas Have Room to Celebrate)

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There was a lot of great information relevant to our area that came out today.? There is also room to celebrate for the Southeast

We want to share some additional information you may not know.

 

Three North and South Carolina Hotels Made the Top 100 in the World List

  • 91 – Inn & Club at Harbour Town, Hilton Head, South Carolina (Score:? 95.45)
  • 66 – Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands, North Carolina (Score: 95.89)
  • 45 – The Willcox, Aiken, South Carolina (Score:? 96.38)

Charleston, South Carolina is the #2 City in the World (Top 15 Revealed)

 

Charleston, South Carolina is the #1 City? in the United States

 

Two Charleston, South Carolina Hotels Made the Top 15 City Hotels in the United States List

  • #12 – Zero George – Charleston, SC
  • #9 – The Vendue – Charleston, SC

 

Carnival Cruise #7 Mega Ship Ocean Cruise Line

 

Hilton Head, South Carolina Ranked #2 Best Island in the World

Congratulations to all

Southwest Airlines expands service including flights to/from Cincinnati and direct flights from Charleston, SC to Denver, CO

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DALLAS — With the arrival of Southwest Airlines Flight 2120 from Chicago Midway (MDW),?Southwest Airlines Co.?(NYSE: LUV) ushered in a new era of air travel as it officially began service??at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). The carrier is offering eight daily nonstop flights, five between CVG and MDW and three between CVG and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).

“Before we landed in Cincinnati today, travelers were stuck paying high fares and high fees, but that’s all changing today with our brand, Customer-friendly policies, and no small regional jets,” said Tammy?Romo, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We’re at the beginning of our Cincinnati story, and the future looks very bright.”

The arrival of Southwest’s first flight into CVG was greeted by a ceremonial water arch and ribbon-cutting, along with some great giveaways for Customers onboard. Among those Customers were 18 children from Chicago. For many of the kids, who are part of a group called “By the Hand Club for Kids,” this was their first airplane ride and visit to another state. The group was also getting the opportunity to take in a Cincinnati Reds baseball game thanks to the Cincinnati Reds and Major League Baseball.

“We’re thrilled to have Southwest join the roster of our airline partners, and that our passengers have another option when traveling to and from CVG,” said Candace McGraw, Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. “We look forward to Southwest’s success and growth in the Tri-State region.”

New International Service

Today, Southwest launched four, new international routes from Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), including service to one of the carrier’s newest countries served, Cayman Islands.??Now in the home stretch of a $333 million Terminal 1 revitalization in partnership with Broward County, Fla., the facility features new international gates, additional border processing capacity, and concessions and art reflective of South Florida. Southwest Leaders last week announced?initial fares and a flight schedule for service from FLL to?Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, beginning?Nov. 5, 2017, subject to requisite governmental approvals.

High-resolution photos from Ft. Lauderdale and Cincinnati are available on Southwest’s online newsroom at?swamedia.com.

More Flights from California

Today also marked the beginning of new service linking California to more destinations across the United States. The carrier launched new service between San Francisco and Portland, Ore.; San Jose, Calif. and Reno; San Diego and Boise; and San Diego and Salt Lake City. Additionally, Southwest began operating seasonal service to New York (via Newark) from Oakland and San Diego, and seasonal service between San Diego and Spokane and Indianapolis.

Milestones for Denver and Nashville

Southwest continues its commitment to Denver and Nashville, with milestone numbers of flight departures for each market. In Denver, the carrier reached 200 departures a day. With today’s schedule, Southwest began operating daily service between Denver and Charleston, S.C., weekend service between Denver and Pensacola, Fla., seasonal service between Denver and Norfolk, Va., and is complementing its?Saturday?service between Denver and Belize with a new?Sunday?flight.

In Nashville, Southwest reached 100 departures a day as it began operating new daily service between Nashville and Minneapolis/St. Paul and seasonal service between Nashville and Seattle.

To book your seat on any of these new flights visit?southwest.com.????????????????????????

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.

In its 46th year of service, Dallas-based?Southwest Airlines?(NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 54,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually.? Southwest proudly operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and nine additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Service to Turks and Caicos is expected to begin?Nov. 5, 2017, subject to requisite government approvals.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based?WiFi?providing gate-to-gate connectivity.??That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners.?Southwest created?Transfarency?, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free???to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though?fare differences might apply. The airline proudly unveiled a bold new look:??Heart.??A new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring a new seat and Flight Attendant galley, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience all showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees who connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.??With 44 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2016 Southwest Airlines One Report? can be found at?SouthwestOneReport.com.

Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at?Southwest.com?or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

 

What Not to Do In Charleston

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It seems everywhere you look these days there are blogs popping up about what to do in Charleston. Having information about what to do and where to go is great, but sometimes it is good to know what not to do. Fear not! We have you covered. So enjoy your time in Charleston, but please keep in mind the following things not to do in Charleston, South Carolina:

– Do not stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the big, beautiful houses. Again, that goes for cars and pedestrians, although we see it happen mostly with cars. Simply pull over and park, get out and walk around. You will get much better photographs and see so much more!

– Do not block the sidewalks. We all have places to go and people to see. While this is the south and time does seem to run a little slower here, we are still in a rush to get to where we need to be. Please be considerate of those behind you when walking down the sidewalk and make sure they have plenty of room to get around you.

– Do not let the door slam on the person walking in behind you. We are taught at a very early age to “hold the door” for others, especially southern gentlemen. When you don’t, it is nothing personal, but we take it as such. And it’s simply rude.

– Do not stop in the middle of the intersection. This goes for cars and pedestrians. The light stays green for only so long, and trust me it’s not very long. If you are unsure of where you are going, just get out of the way and then figure it out.

– Do not eat at Hymans. With so many other amazing options, try not to fall prey to the hype. But you definitely don’t have to take our word for it.

– Do not walk in the bike lane when walking across the Ravenel Bridge. The bikers will warn you that they are coming up behind you, but they will also come pretty dern close to running you over if you are in their lane.

– Do not pay for a taxi when getting around downtown. You have a couple of free options. The city has the DASH, a free downtown shuttle that has different routes that will get you all over the peninsula. There is also Scoop Charleston, a free electric taxi service that will get you anywhere you want to go in downtown Charleston.? The Rickshaw is just a fine Southern tradition and cozy way to get around town.

– Do not get to the bar late if you do not want to pay a cover charge. Going out at night? Try upper King Street or hit up the Market and East Bay area. However, be warned that there will be lines and cover charges.

– Do not bring alcohol on the beach. Folly Beach was the last beach in the area that allowed drinking on the beach. They banned alcohol on their beach in 2012 following a last straw Fourth of July incident. Some say just be smart about it; we say why risk it?

– Do not forget that everyone has their bad days. Sure, Charleston has been named one of the friendliest cities but whether you are a local or a tourist, things like what are listed above can -and will- bug anyone from time to time. Just be patient, smile, and remember the golden rule for in the end we all want our Charleston experience to be a great one.

Is Poverty the New Black (What Are Millennials Seeing)

By Mark A. Leon

I was recently having a discussion with a friend who just had an offer accepted on a house where her and her boyfriend will be moving into and living together for the first time since they began their courtship 10 months ago.? We naturally led the conversation to marriage and she gave us a timeline for engagement, wedding and honeymoon based on their collective financial situation.? I asked where was the romance and spontaneity.? She turned and smiled and said, “that is all that is planned.? The how and exactly when is up to him.”

Last week I spoke to an HR manager in Malaysia about new graduate hiring and asked what the significant challenges were.? She said that offers are extended but candidates don’t accept for one or two months.? When I probed further, she explained that they want to travel and see the world before they start work.

Now I started to put the dots together and looked back at some recent publications around millennials.

Here is what I found out:

  • They are choosing to move to the big cities where they can barely afford to live and eat for the sheer excitement and challenge of urban city life.
  • Their primary motivators are not money, but challenge and making a difference
  • They are bound to a life without limits where new terrains, geographies and hobbies are a way of life.

More research needed.

Several years ago, I was a prominent local area host for couchsurfers.? For those that do not know, couchsurfing is a global community of travelers and hosts that offer temporary housing and assistance at no cost.? Often a gift or meal is shared.? It is a free-spirited approach to travel and engaging in new relationships.? I found my experiences rewarding and diverse.? I hosted couples, bands, mother and daughter teams, individual travelers, gays and lesbians looking for answers and people just looking for a new beginning.? From Sweden to Belgium, Spain to Brazil; they came from all over the world to share stories and experiences.

All my life, I was raised by my father’s generation to make money, save it and then make more.? It was always about the net worth.? I fought off that thinking after graduate school, but a part of me still understands and thus I have created a due thought process on money.? It is good to save, but also good to enjoy the virtues it offers.

Now, why is poverty the new black?? I don’t know the exact answer, but would like to offer some unsubstantiated theories and observations:

  • We could say that the new generation puts less emphasis on family and religion and focuses more on personal discovery
  • We could also conclude that opportunities are more limited and for the first time, their parents will make more than them and they have come to that realization
  • Perhaps, they are inspired by innovation and to change the world, they have to see it.? Really, see it.
  • Money is an inhibitor.? We work to make money.? Work limits our ability to explore civilizations and untapped cultures.
  • Technology has given opportunities to discover on limited means.? With the onslaught of Uber, AirBNB and GoFundMe, we can see things we never thought possible.
  • Maybe, it is cool to not be judged by the size of your wallet and your social status.
  • The idea of save and explore sounds so appealing.? I spent an amazing five days in New Orleans with a friend a few years back.? We left on one day notice and drove 23 hours just because.? Today, she travels around the world building homes and helping in villages in impoverished communities.

There are many explanations and research studies that will draw conclusion upon conclusion, but in a way, that is what makes this new generation so powerful.? They are not victims of statistics.? They are individuals struggling to find an identity.

In a world where you can meet new people, share stories, create moments and find identity, money isn’t the answer.? A great pair of shoes, a smartphone, a warm blanket and an endless sense of adventure is all you really need.

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist

 

Charleston Daily Staff Writer’s Latest Travel Book

By David McNamara
By David McNamara

As a staff writer for Charleston Daily, David McNamara has been spinning tales of adventures and yarns of fiction for over 15 years. Originally from Australia, his commitment, fortitude and passion (spanning innumerable budget backpacking odysseys) produced its own inevitability in November 2011 with the release of his first book titled “Loves, Kerbsides and Goodbyes”.

He has recently completed his eagerly awaited second travel narrative titled “Beat Zen and the Art of Dave” where he’s continually discovering new places and cultures, and meeting new people. As the playful title suggests, “Beat Zen and the Art of Dave” intertwines humorous anecdotes and travel lore with backpacking philosophy and Eastern spirituality to show that everyone’s journey is a travelogue of sorts. David explains his strong connection with Charleston in his latest book grew after he first visited the Lowcountry in 2011:

“I fell in love and in love with Charleston at the same time – so it’s an incredible connection. And it was right at the time that the genesis for “Beat Zen and the Art of Dave” found its own traction. Just before I arrived in the Holy City I was standing on a figurative and literal border in my life – symmetrically placed to see equally where I’d come from, where I was and where I was heading. There was a physical lyricism to match where I was in life. After five months travelling down the grand isthmus of Central America I was in Leticia in the southwest corner of Colombia. Nestled on the tri-border of Peru and Brazil, I was well beyond the end of the road (and right where I wanted to be) since Leticia is only accessible by boat or plane.”

DMc_2048_1“There I stood on the Rubicon’s edge of my journey. It took the form of the Rio Amazonas flowing like a giant causeway into Brazil and out into the Atlantic Ocean. Fresh from an ayahuasca ceremony with Jimmy, the local Medicine Man, I glimpsed an arcane conflation of things that seem to visit me on every overland adventure I undertake – usually involving my staring down at my feet or gazing across a vista, marveling at how I got there. I had every intention of jumping on a boat and heading downstream for 8-10 days to Manaus then onto Belem on the coast. But for the first time ever on a trip I decided to curb my insatiable onward desire. I was mindful about returning to Australia to help promote my first published book and wanted to return with some cash still in my pockets.”

“With this in mind I flew up to the US to jaunt up the east coast before catching my flight home. My second stop was Charleston where the magnanimous Couchsurfing community and seductive charms of the South ensnared me. I’ve always been mindful that all travelers indulge in the fantasy that they are on a quest of sorts – everyone searching for their own personal Shangri-La. The genesis of my new book was to highlight my fascination with the delusions, desires and detachments (however misguided or allied they might be) which impel backpackers away from what’s familiar. And although I remain somewhat skeptical that backpacking provides any “real life” answers, Charleston made me start to doubt everything – had I finally found my own Shangri-La? Subsequently I kept returning to Charleston where I fell in love and embarked on a 17,000 mile road trip across North America, which makes a majority of the later part of the book.”

davidAt its essence “Beat Zen and the Art of Dave” is a wending meditation on the modern vagrant and wayfaring lifestyle. To be released in December and just in time for Xmas, David is now calling on everyone from iBackpacker to Beat Zen veteran to join the independent travel revolution and support his crowdfunding campaign by preordering a copy today. Money raised by the campaign will go directly to the design and printing cost of making your very own copy delivered direct to your door.