Ask Andi Anything + Lenshare App Review & Tep Wireless Rental Giveaway (Part 17)

Almost every day I am asked interesting questions from all over the world and I thought I would start sharing my responses to them, along with travel related giveaways.  I love questions, thus please feel free to ask me anything in the comments or send me a private message if you prefer.

Q76. What is the one thing you are scared of about pregnancy/being a Mom?

Q76. Can I list a hundred things?  Seriously, I have never ever been a worrier until I became pregnant. Everything worries me now!  However, if I had to choose one thing that is constantly on my mind it is managing my careers as a Mom.  My son or daughter will always come first, but I have worked my butt off over the last decade to grow three successful businesses all of which are run by myself.  I have no idea how I am going to give them the time and attention they need with a newborn?  Thankfully, my husband and family are willing to help me in any way they possibly can.  I plan to take life one day at a time when my baby is born.

Q77. Where is your next trip?

A77. As you read this I am in the car headed to Washington, D.C. with my husband and Mom. He has to renew his Argentinean passport at the Argentina Embassy. Since it is Lucas’ first time in DC, we plan to stay a few days to explore the area.  This will be Baby Ledesma’s third trip!

Q78. Do you think you will ever travel without your baby?

A78. Yes, but only when absolutely necessary.  I want to show him or her the world.

Q79. What are three countries that are completely underrated in your opinion?

A79. Bolivia, Bermuda, and Nicaragua.  If they are not on your Bucket List, put them all on there now.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Q80. Do you know if you are having a girl or a boy?

A80. We do! We found out when I was 15 weeks (I am 17+ weeks now).  I plan to reveal the gender in a special way in the next couple of weeks.

Recently, I have discovered lenshare, a new iPhone App I wanted to share with all of you, as I think it is a very useful tool for adventurous travelers.  With lenshare you will be able to capture moments in a unique way, because it combines photos, sounds, and text to create beautiful stories.  Now instead of sharing mere snapshots, you can bring along your friends and family to experience what is happening around you, since lenshare will allow them to see, hear, and comment on it without physically being there.  You will be able to record up to twelve seconds of sound per image capture.  Try recording the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore on your next trip to the beach or narrating the achievement as you successfully ascend to the peak of a mountain.  Moreover, since all photos are saved in print quality in the cloud you can re-live the experience any time, making you feel as if you were there again.  Finally, I really like the fact that moments are private by default and only those you choose to invite will be able to see them and comment, directly addressing the issue of ownership associated with other social networks.  As they like to put it, “Moments belong to each user and we or any other social networks don’t have any ownership over them”.

Download lenshare for your next travel and start sharing moments!  Here is what my lenshare would have looked like if I had used it on my recent trip to the Turks and Caicos:


So that you can lenshare you next adventure wherever you go, I am offering a chance to win a free two week Tep Wireless rental with 150MB/day.  The average smartphone user uses around 50MB/day, thus it is quite a substantial amount of data.  You can find out more information about this awesome product here.

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Five Reasons To Visit San Francisco With Your Girlfriends

If you and your girlfriends are looking for the ideal spot for your next ladies-only weekend, then the City by the Bay is the perfect place to stay and play.  From the exciting nightlife to the great restaurants and unbelievable shopping, San Francisco has everything your group could want in a weekend getaway destination.  With San Fran fun in mind, here are five reasons you should visit the Golden Gate City with your gals:

Eats and Treats, San Francisco Style

Image via Flickr by jeffgunn

San Francisco is known for its eclectic eateries, which means your ladies will have every opportunity to dine in style during your getaway.  Whether you choose the down home deliciousness of Flour + Water in the Mission District or the lavish, contemporary cuisine of Gary Danko in the Fisherman’s Wharf Neighborhood, San Fran has it all.  From one trendy neighborhood to the next, the streets of San Francisco are filled with Asian, British, French, Italian, Moroccan, and of course American fare.  And, to satisfy your group’s sweet tooth, the original Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory is located in the Marina District and offers visitors an after dinner dessert bar.

Nonstop Shopping

If you and your girlfriends are ready to hit the streets in a shopping frenzy, San Francisco has world-class retailers and mom and pop shops alike.  The Marina District, Union Square, and the trendy Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood are great shopping destinations, but lesser-known Fillmore Street in Lower Pacific Heights is another shop-lined street with plenty of retailers and smaller crowds.

Unique Hotels in the Heart of the City

Whether your group of gals likes four and five-star accommodations or the laid back feel of a small boutique hotel, San Francisco yet again fits the bill.  From the luxury and opulence of the Palace Hotel and The Ritz-Carlton to the quiet and inviting atmosphere of the Inn at the Presidio, San Fran has a number of hotel options.  When traveling with a large group, it is important to book your hotel before you arrive in San Francisco.  Luckily, there are plenty of online resources that can help you find the perfect hotel in San Fran based on price, location, star rating, and amenities.

Night Life Just for the Ladies

Ladies weekend is all about letting loose and San Francisco loves the nightlife.  So, after your crew wraps up dinner, why not head to one of the many clubs in the city and party until dawn?  Vertigo in the Tenderloin neighborhood is a chill destination to start with and Monarch in the 6th Street district is an all-night club that’s sure to keep the party going.  Other notable, visit-worthy clubs in the area include Vessel and DNA Lounge.

Day Spas to Top it All Off

What is a ladies getaway without a little spa time?  When it comes to a relaxing spa day, San Francisco offers up the Japanese-themed Kabuki Springs Spa, the luxurious Nob Hill Spa, and SenSpa, which is located on the eastern edge of the beautiful Presidio.  And that is just a sampling of San Francisco’s extensive spa spirit.

When planning your next gal getaway, keep in mind everything San Francisco has to offer!

Adding To The Bucket List

If you are on an adventurer traveling the world or you prefer to stay at home where you are more comfortable, most people have at least one thing that they want to do, whether it is something crazy to experience once in your lifetime or just another thing to cross off the old list.  Some people make yearly resolutions to be done in time for the New Year or the next big birthday, others, like me, have a Bucket List with everything ranging from big life goals such as having a baby, smaller things you want to accomplish like riding a camel in an exotic location, right up to huge, and perhaps as yet still impossible, experiences such as traveling to outer space.  If you are still looking for inspiration to add to your ultimate Bucket List, then look no further as I bring to you some of the best ideas for things you can do around the world:

Complete the EdgeWalk at Toronto’s CN Tower

If you are a known thrill seeker, what could be better than traversing the very edge of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest freestanding structure, held in place only by a single harness holding you in place?  The EdgeWalk at the CN Tower in Toronto allows you to walk hands free around the circumference of the roof and dangle 356m above the ground below.  The trained guides will encourage you to push yourself right to the limits as you hang out over astonishing views of Lake Ontario beneath you.

Learn How to Fly a Plane

Anyone anywhere can fly in a plane, but how many people can say that they could fly one themselves?  Surprisingly, there are a huge range of different types of flying lessons you can take around the world, whether you want to do a whole course to be able to fly a small plane alone or simply take a day to experience the challenges of flight school.  Search through the experiences available throughout the different regions of the UK here, which can be an hour long one-off experience with a qualified instructor or can contribute towards an overall pilot’s licence.  You would not believe how quickly after a briefing that you can be airborne and holding the controls yourself.

Challenge Yourself to the Polar Plunge

If you have seen the Ice Bucket Challenges currently making the rounds on social media or even taken part in one yourself, why not take it one step further and participate in the Polar Plunge Winter Festival?  Not only are you doing a good deed, as the event which takes place in Virginia Beach’s icy Atlantic waters raises money to allow Special Olympic athletes to compete, you will also be able to push yourself to your own limits and see what you can do.  Anyone can take part, with events including the Cool School Challenge for middle and high school students and the Pee Wee Plunge for under 10′s.

Play With a Tiger

The thrill of getting up close and personal with a natural born predator is something that animal lovers and adrenaline junkies the world over would love to experience.  In Phuket, you can enter the tiger enclosure at Tiger Kingdom, snap a photo of the giant beasts, cuddle and stroke their fur, or even play with them.  The tigers have been hand raised from birth by experienced trainers meaning that they have gained trust and respect for humans, allowing you to enter their space without the fear of attack.

Participate in La Tomatina

If the thought of getting the adrenaline racing through your veins is not your cup of tea, dive into the culture and excitement of La Tomatina festival in Spain.  Described as the world’s biggest food fight, La Tomatina takes places yearly in Bunol near Valencia in Spain.  Residents and visitors from around the world will pick up more than 100 tons of ripe tomatoes and get messy.  The festival is a week long, including music, dancing, fireworks, and parades through the street before the tomato fight itself begins.  It is a great way to get involved in a local quirky culture, but do not forget to take a spare set of clothes and goggles to protect your eyes.

Things To Remember When Traveling With Kids

Children can really teach us a great deal about responsibility.  Their dependency on us and need to be protected and cared for causes us to rise up to our roles as parents or guardians.  Here are some things to remember to help us when traveling with kids:

Be Prepared in Case of Emergency

Always keep with you relevant information you might need in case of an emergency.  It must include emergency contact numbers near your area and in your destination: police, ambulance, fire station, children’s hospital, your child’s doctor at home, close friends and family, your insurance company, policy number, phone number, and coverage of service in relation to travel, medical records on immunization and allergy.

During takeoff, never ignore the inflight pre-departure emergency briefing from the flight attendants.  You must put on your oxygen mask first before helping the child put on his mask.  Kids below two years old may be carried on the adult’s lap and must have an inflight child restraint system according to the U.S. FAA.  It is advisable to have a separate seat for the child with his or her restraint system on.

Safety Tips

Be at the airport early to go through the standard procedures of check-in with your child.  For a stress-free security check, have the child wear clothes that are easy to remove like shoes with snaps.  Prepare the child by explaining to them what to expect during security check.  Never have them seated near the aisle as they might get hurt.  There should always be a responsible adult by his side.  Select toys that will not harm him or her or might disrupt the airplane’s navigational system.  Ear pain during travel can be removed by sucking a bottle for nursing kids, while older kids may try chewing gums or drinking from a straw.  When stopping to rest during a long drive, never even think of leaving your child on his own inside the car.  They can die of heat stroke or suffocation.

Planning and Booking Trips

Avoid flights that will most likely be full and might require stopovers.  The little money that you can save in an indirect flight is nothing compared to the comfort of your child.  Pre-book and request the seats and food preferences for you and the child online.  Highly recommended are the front row middle area seats, as there is more space for bassinets and stuff in front and both sides have exits and easy access to the toilet.  Be dependable and always ensure your GPS and maps are on hand when traveling by land to avoid getting lost with your children on the way.

Provide the child with their own small backpack for easy grasp of essentials like food, water, diapers, extra clothes, towels, and first-aid kit.  Have important items ready in a plastic envelope like emergency contact numbers, passports, tickets, and pen.

You must also ensure that you have alternative payment method for easy payment of online bookings for your flights, accommodation, and other traveling expenses.  Due to the increasing number of fraudulent transactions associated with travel and leisure, your bank may decline your transactions and this could cause delays or inconvenience.

Making the Trip Enjoyable for Kids

Whether traveling by air, land, or sea, keep them occupied by pointing out interesting sights as you travel or on books and by bringing soft, lightweight toys, and favorite music for a sing-along.  Have a stock of DVD’s ready should their interest dwindle.  Maintain the energy level by serving a healthy offering of snacks in zip locks or sealed plastic containers like dried fruits, nuts, chips, and more.  Ensure the coldness and freshness of fruits and liquids with a cooler.  On land, train your kids to go to the bathroom at every gas stop.  Keep building their excitement in lively discussion of the places you will be visiting.

Are you now ready and confident to travel with the little ones?

Blair Thomas is a professional payment processor who co-founded, a company specializing in high risk merchant accounts.  He enjoys spending time with his family and lives with his dogs Cooper and Frank in Los Angeles, California.  He also likes spending time writing music and mountain biking.  You can connect with Blair on Google +.

Review: Try The World

When I was asked to review Try The World, I jumped at the incredible opportunity.  Discover great food from around the world in a box?  Sign me up!

Try The World

I adore everything about this company.  I love their name, their logo, their packaging, their products, and their mission.  Try The World believes the best way to discover a place is through food and art.  They work with local experts to bring the best gourmet foods and selections of music, movies, and culture tips from each country right to your doorstep.

Try The World

Try The World

Imagine my surprise when the first box arrived and it was all about Brasil.  How synchronistic that it should be my favorite country in the world!

Try The World

I must have spent an hour examining the products and dreaming about my unforgettable time spent throughout the country.  The box of goodies brought back such beautiful memories for me.  Besides all of the food products, each box comes with a culture guide that not only explains the significance behind every product, but also contains interesting information about the country itself.

Try The World

Here are some more facts about Try The World:

  • Membership is free and you will only be charged for the box you are about to receive
  • Your first box will be the Paris Box
  • You will receive an email revealing your next destination
  • Skip, pause or cancel anytime
  • Great value at only $45 per box
  • Free shipping

I say start your journey with Try The World today and you will have the best of what Paris has to offer at your door within a week!