I've noticed it's been over two years since I started this blog. Since I am a neophyte in cyberspace, it has taken me a long time to become consistent at this blog. I want to share more frequently, so please be patient. Right now I am just doing things from my instincts and passions. Since this is about Living the 5 Star Life, without limits.......on any budget, I must admit I have been in search of this elusive concept for decades. I have taken every class on making money, law of attraction, ad infinitum. This past year I have engulfed myself in webinars, the more I sign up for the more seem to be coming to me. There are many free ones that are very inspiring and uplifting.
I have been exploring the teachings of leading edge gurus including the principles of the Law of Attraction. Intellectually, it all makes perfect sense. But most of life is directed by the unconscious. It just doesn't have enough answers to fill in the gaps. So I am now learning how to be guided by that still small voice inside. The most important thing for me is that I am still guided by some of my dreams that inspired me in childhood. One was WANDERLUST: which is defined as a strong desire to wander and lust which is a desire, pleasure. I certainly had a desire for pleasure, especially for beauty in nature. Not so much fancy hotels with snooty service or silverware, but absolute majestic beauty. Think natural wonders.
The first memory of my wanderlust was going to the theater and watching James Bond movies with my dad. The settings were like travelogues, where 007 visited the most alluring and exotic locales. I actually decided at a very young age that I wanted to travel in the footsteps of 007, visiting the locations of these movies. Now there are actually websites and tours of these locations available to the public.
Check this out: http://www.sceniccartours.com/in-the-footsteps-of-007-tour/4581623493
My unconscious has devised ways to live The 5 Star Life without limits, on any budget. If you ask me how you can go to Bali for almost nothing and stay in the most luxurious hotels on the planet, I will tell you how I did it. I didn't really plan it, I just followed the crumbs and one thing lead to another.
Here's the short version: I am a professional interior designer by training. I love beautiful surroundings, especially when they are situated in natural settings and incorporate the environment. One of my client's had visited Bali several times because her father was an architect. I told her I would love to visit there, since I'd heard so much about it from a previous boy/man friend who escaped there in the '70's before it became the commercialized version of Paradise.
She called me and told me she found an ad in the paper for an all-inclusive trip for $1200 including airfare. In 1999 this was very inexpensive. Now, it probably sounds impossible. I called the travel company and ended up speaking with the trip coordinator. At the time I was writing a column Simple Pleasures for a local Jewish Newspaper. It was the oldest Jewish publication in California. Somehow, I parlayed this trip into a free-be and my X gave me the miles to go Business Class on Cathay Pacific! For me, this was like winning the lottery! Just flying on Cathay Pacific, in business class, was worth the trip! Flying without sitting like a pretzel on a longgggg flight across the world became the sunny forecast for the good luck I would receive throughout my adventure in paradise.
Somehow, I had a sprinkle of fairy dust surrounding me and I was being treated like a VIP.
I remember being met at the stopover in Hong Kong and escorted through the airport to get my private car to the hotel. There I was, in Asia, all alone, having flown by myself for almost a day and waking up to a new world. I had a two day layover in Hong Kong right after the Chinese took over. It felt like I was on an alien planet. (Especially being a solo woman.) Now it is the norm for so many women, but for me, it was a great feat of courage. Besides, I didn't have any real agenda. I was following the little crumbs. The minute I got off the plane and headed to my hotel, which was the lessor known property behind the Peninsula, I ran to the spa at the beyond-5-star hotel across the street and booked a massage. Somehow I ended up getting it for free, as a journalist. I had a press card and again, parlayed myself into getting it compensated for my story.
Suffice it to say that it was the most incredible experience. Perhaps it was the super long plane flight, the exhaustion of not sleeping and being in an exotic culture. It felt like an otherworldly experience. (By the way, I love the feeling of culture shock~I am enthralled by the experience) I don't take drugs, so this is the closest to being on some sort of hallucinatory elixir for me! I ended up laying by the pool at the spa, which was one of the most luxurious indoor pools in the world, flanked with huge roman columns. This pool was situated high above the city with an open air window wall to the view. I was in a lucid dreaming state, falling in and out of consciousness (with a hangover from the sleeping pills that did not work.) I will never forget lounging at the pool (feeling safe around any pool, since swimming is a lifeboat experience.) Anywhere near water or a swimming pool anchors me.
The time spent in Hong Kong was a blur with little uprisings and protests during the first few weeks of the turnover, while going back to Chinese control. I ran around the city and visited a few landmarks, including Victoria Peak. It reminded me of San Francisco with it's uber rich extreme hillside properties. I must admit that I was not thrilled with being in Hong Kong alone. If I was there for a personal or business trip and knew someone, it would have been great. I remember when my parents visited Hong Kong in the '60's they were connected with some very hospitable people who went out of their way to entertain them. The most scary part for me was the threatening news of the monsoon warnings. I had only heard of monsoons in India, from movies like Monsoon Wedding. It sounded scary and ominous. Especially when the hotel slips a message under your door at 3:00 A.M. saying that the monsoon was becoming treacherous and to stay inside the hotel. I was anxious and stayed up all night watching the flooding downpours from my little matchbox hotel room with one giant window. I needed to leave and no planes were flying.
I am going to skip over lots of details because I want to share that the rest of the trip was magical. Although I was able to create magic it was the most frightening experience as well. While most young people go backpacking across the world with no money or agenda, I was doing this in 5 Star Hotels, without any plan except that I was compelled to stay in world class resort properties, even though I did not have the funds.
When I originally planned the trip, the tour company arranged for me to stay in their designated commercial mega-sized hotels. I felt safe in knowing that I was secure in having places to stay. Playing it safe on this trip would have been fine for me, but I was driven to experience more than what was offered. A friend and her husband had just come back from their Bali/Asia trip of a lifetime and they stayed in the most luxurious hotels. These were the absolute best small boutique properties, the Amanresorts, which attract the most uber rich, tasteful guests from all over the planet. These were the ones I had to stay in. I would not be content to just visit these properties, I was set on becoming a guest of these world class destination resorts.
My mission was so powerful, I felt as if I was being led by some inner GPS, without any idea on how to do it, I followed the Nike motto: Just DO it!
If you want to see the most exotic locales visit this site.
"The ethos of Aman is founded in simple luxury that is afforded by an exceptional location harmoniously blended with a unique environment resulting in contemporary and finely tuned resorts that offer, with outstretched arms, an enriching, enlightening and rewarding 'lifestyle' experience in which to willingly surrender."
"This lifestyle is about shared values, a lust for faraway cultures, for the world around that excites, shapes and nourishes. It is an appetite for pampering and a deep appreciation of the creative and elegant – the way an Aman responds to the environment, the way light falls on the table or water fills a pool."
I am going to share more of this in another posting, just wanted to whet your appetite.
Until next time, start dreaming about your bucket list now, and let your inner muse find a way.