Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

Solo Travel

Must-Have Items For Solo Travels

Solo travel can be quite challenging, especially when you are not so used to your own company. The constant buzzing of everyone communicating online, but not really saying anything is a more or less a distraction that people need to get away from once in a while. Traveling alone can make you face yourself and your fears as well as give you time for reflection.

Going solo is an experience that everyone should take at least once. There have been many studies indicating that buying experiences rather than material possessions makes people happier.

Going to places alone will give you new inspiration and perspective and you willl come back grateful, productive, and cured of burnout. Exploration allows you to experience other cultures and will teach you new values and give you new ideas and solutions for problems that have been plaguing you.

Before anything else, it is important to plan accordingly, to list things, and to accomplish your pretravel tasks such as shopping for travel essentials. Keep in mind that, when you travel on your own, you have to fend for yourself, so always travel light. Packing smart can get you a long way and will prepare you for any scenario that will set you back once you are on the road. Assuming you already packed your necessities for travel, like paperwork, cash, travel insurance, hotel confirmations, passports, and visa, get going on the road faster with must-have items for solo travel.

Sturdy Carry-On

It is best to travel light, so you do not have to check in your bags when you travel. There may be instances when your bags can be misplaced by the airline or get lost, then you will have lost everything except for the clothes on your back. A sturdy carry-on like a small leather duffle bag or a lightweight stroller is enough to pack your clothes, toiletries, and photographing equipment you may be bringing.

Protective Casing For Gadgets

If you are taking your iPhone, make sure it is encased in a durable phone cover to avoid cracks or any form of damage. Although your aim is to have fun while you are traveling, you still have to be mindful of things like weather condition and terrain. Both the warm areas and the cold ones can take a toll on your gadgets, affecting their efficiency and performance.

Warm And Waterproof Jacket

Depending on where you are heading, you will need at least one jacket to carry with you anywhere. It is important for it to be waterproof, because if you are in the tropics, it will provide protection from the rain, and if you are in colder countries, it will help keep you warm. It should also be strong enough to withstand some wear and tear and have zipper pockets for storage and to get you quick access to anything you need.

All-Around Footwear

If you intend to cover a lot of ground by walking or hiking, it is smart to invest in all-around shoes because packing light calls for a pair or two of practical all-around shoes. They should be ones that you know are comfortable enough to walk around in and acceptable enough for restaurants and other similar establishments. As a bonus tip, pack the lightest footwear, and wear the heavier one when going to the destination to avoid heavy luggage.

 Dry Sack 

Instead of bringing plastic bags, opt for reusable ones like dry sacks. They are multipurpose and can be used to store wet clothes for when you go swimming and can keep important gadgets and things dry. You can use those to store all electronics and chargers to be more organized.

Strong Padlocks

Whether you are staying at a hotel or in a nice hostel, it is important to have strong padlocks. You can use it to safeguard your belongings in your backpack or use it to secure a locker. You can opt for a manual padlock that uses keys or an encrypted padlock that unlocks with the correct combination. Whatever it is, make sure to bring a backup just in case the first one gets lost or gets broken.

Custom First-Aid Kit

While worst-case scenarios are a risk that comes with traveling, there are competent hospitals and doctors that can take care of your emergency needs. In less-serious circumstances, however, it may be necessary to go to the nearest pharmacy to get supplies for a minor cut, a cough, or a cold.

Solo travelers should bring a custom first-aid kit filled with different kinds of OTC medication that they know is safe for them. There may be ingredients in foreign medicines that may trigger adverse body reactions in travelers, so it is best to err on the side of caution.

Refillable Canteen and Extra Snacks 

It can be easy to lose your sense of time when you are on an adventure. It is always good to be prepared by bringing a refillable water canteen to hydrate you and some snack bars that will fill your hunger at least until you get your next meal. Take care to avoid snacks that are unhealthy, have chocolate, or melt. 

Conclusion

Solo travel is both exciting and terrifying, so when you do decide to do it one day, go at it while being safe and prepared. Take time to disconnect, enjoy yourself, and be more spontaneous. Cherish the privilege of being able to travel alone. Safe and happy travels!

The Perfect Island Wedding

For the most part, I am more into experiences than stuff. When I was younger, my dad told me that when it was time to get married, I should spend more on my honeymoon than on my wedding. His suggestion to focus on the marriage instead of the wedding was the best advice I ever got.

Other than photos and memories, you do not really take much away from an expensive wedding. We wanted a nice wedding, but more than anything we wanted to have an adventure with each other and our family and friends. So, we decided on a destination wedding so we could have the expertise of a wedding planner for the details like flowers, cake, and dinner without giving up the flexibility to make our own choices.

As we researched where we wanted to get married, we realized that what we were planning was a large group trip. It made sense to look at expert travel providers who could help us plan an entire trip full of exciting opportunities.

Traveling with a large group

Our travel expert told us that when traveling with a large group, it can be helpful to stay in the country. It is less stressful for a large group to travel together without having to worry about passports and going through customs.

There are exotic US locations to visit where you do not need a passport like Hawaii and Puerto Rico. You can still have an adventure, beautiful scenery, and outstanding cuisine at a place like Koloa Landing Resort on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. For us, it was important to find a full-service resort where they are accustomed to planning weddings and also have the local expertise to make the trip fantastic for our entire party. We found all this and more by looking through their website: KoloaLandingResort.com

Flexibility for activities and cost

Not only is it hard to arrange transportation and activities for a large group of people, not everyone will want to do the same things. Large groups traveling together take a bit more planning than just two people who can sneak into a museum or restaurant without pre-arranging it.

Our travel consultant recommended we include some hop-on hop-off tour options. These types of full-service tours offer choices and flexibility with just enough structure that no one is left wondering where to go or what to do. It is like you get all the benefits of group travel experts without feeling locked into an itinerary. Another helpful suggestion was to look for a location that offered inexpensive activities like hiking, swimming, or sightseeing that would not price our friends out of the trip.

Best of both worlds

We love to travel, but we are accustomed to just winging it. We still wanted a freestyle travel schedule even with a larger group. We found an exotic location without dealing with the hassles of international travel and long lines in customs. 

Other than the advice my dad gave me about valuing experiences more than objects, the best advice I can share for planning a destination wedding is to find a travel consultant. We learned that you could leave some things to chance without sacrificing your adventure.

Five Reasons You Should Move To Charlotte Right Now

Charlotte, North Carolina may be best known around the country as the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, but the Queen City has so much more to offer than a top-notch professional football team. It has started becoming a banking mecca as of lately and it has also started to gain a reputation as a youthful, up-and-coming city.

Exciting Sports Teams

It does have to be admitted that sports offerings in the Charlotte area are pretty spectacular. The Carolina Panthers played in the Super Bowl as recently as 2016, while the Charlotte Hornets are looking to become a regular NBA playoff participant. College basketball games are regularly played here too. Additionally, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in Charlotte, and Charlotte Motor Speedway plays host to a number of prestigious races including the Coca-Cola 600.

Thriving Arts Community

Regardless of which type of art you enjoy, Charlotte has you covered. Museums of note located here include the Charlotte Museum of History and the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Top theatres in the Queen City include the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, and Charlotte Comedy Theater.

Banking Focus

Charlotte is the country’s second-largest banking center behind New York, a fact that often surprises those new to the area. However, it is true, and many who live here benefit from this. The primary reason why this is the case has its roots in history. In the early 1800’s, North Carolina became one of the first states to allow banks to open multiple branches within the same state. More than a hundred years later, Charlotte-based banks started disconnecting from New York ones and became the financial focus of the South. Bank of America is one of those institutions that is headquartered in Charlotte.

Convenient Location

The number of places that could be reached within a few-hours drive is extensive. Those looking to experience some beauty can quickly reach the Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail. Another Southern powerhouse of a city in Atlanta is easily accessible from here. The beautiful cities along the east coast of the Carolinas are as well. In fact, a trip to the nation’s capital is fairly easy too, as Washington can be reached in about six hours driving time. Charlotte Douglas International Airport has direct flights to destinations all over the world.

Comfortable Climate

With average low temperatures not dipping below 29 degrees at any point of the year, Charlotte is a great place to experience comfortable weather conditions. Of course, the summers can get hot with average temperatures that time of year nearing 90 degrees, but the beaches and the mountains are both easily reachable for those looking for some relief. Rainfall averages 42 inches a year, but showers usually do not last long.

How Do I Get There?

Now that you are convinced to give Charlotte a try, make sure to hire local Charlotte movers who know and understand the city, so that your move will be sure to be a smooth one throughout, and you can instead focus on the excitement of your new adventure.

How to Be Successful At Alcohol Rehab

So, it happens that you have to go to alcohol rehab. It is not an easy thing to do, thus it is understandable if you are uncertain about what will happen in the future. It is normal and really overwhelming. It all adds up to the fact that this is a very important step towards a sober life.

It is important to keep in mind that, when you get there, your schedule will be taken care of, your days will be monitored, and you will take part in all kinds of activities to help you deal with your situation and the reality of the fact that you are trying to overcome addiction (which, again, is not as easy as some people believe). You will require to attend psychotherapy and counseling sessions and other therapeutic activities, even meditation from time to time. They are all made to help you in your battle. Learn more about the effective treatments and the types of therapy you can encounter in rehab.

Baby Steps: one goal at a time

If your everyday life consists of the task of staying sober forever, things will not work out as expected. You should always start with baby steps. Set some small goals to achieve. For instance, instead of thinking about how you must not drink alcohol again, think of how you should make your bed in the morning, or eat a healthy meal. It is beneficial and will keep your mind off that big stuff. Perhaps you will even want to review your CV or find a job prospect. Set some manageable goals and make a to-do list. It will keep you focused and you will learn to get through the day without any worries.

Make a support network

When you are in rehab for alcohol addiction, you will develop relationships with those people you meet in group therapy. They are different people who walk the same path as you do. You support network should also consist of your counselor and your therapists; they will give you insight, the tools you need, and the resources required for you. Your family and friends, which unconditionally support you, should also have a part in your support network, as they can be there to help you when you need to talk to someone who is not necessarily your therapist.

Always have something on you that helps you cope

This can be a picture of your family or a place that makes you calm that can encourage you to do the things on your to-do list and to cope with the issues you encounter in rehab. Something that keeps you confident and keeps you motivated through the day is something that helps you go faster to your life of sobriety.

No matter how much you want this to work, sobriety is a long road and sometimes you may feel down and emotionally disengaged. In these cases, you will want to give up on your progress and, well, drink. That is why it is essential to have a thing that can help you cope.

Top Tips For Enjoying A Family Adventure Holiday

Family adventure holidays are now big business and more and more unusual destinations are being chosen. Not so long ago, Morocco would have been considered exotic. However, now places such as Nepal, Brazil, Peru, and Malaysia are popular for family vacations. Taking such vacations are important for children as they expand their horizons and introduce them to the wider world, first hand. With the right amount of planning you can take your kids with you on your next adventure, however old they are. That is not to say it will not be a daunting prospect. You will be worried about their safety and whether anything will go wrong. Your kids or yourself falling sick will also be a worry. Do not be put off, because you could also enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.

Choosing a Destination

Before you decide on a destination, find out as much as you can about the countries you want to visit. If you are in the US, the State Department’s website is a great place to get all the details. It is best if you organize as much of the trip as possible before you set off. Do not forget to have a plan B, because there is always the chance that things can go wrong. If you book with a travel agent, there will be a point of contact. This can be very reassuring when in a strange country.

Before You Leave

Visit your doctor and ensure all your family vaccinations are up to date. They will also be able to help with medical requirements that relate to the country you are visiting. Buy yourself a few items of clothing and make sure you have something to wear for all eventualities. As well as practical items, pack clothes that can be worn for special occasions. For the kids, Nickis has a great selection of designer clothes, ideal for summer vacations with the family. Leave details of your travel plans with a close friend or family member and try and stay in touch whenever possible.

While You Are Away

To help your children remember as much about the adventure as possible, encourage them to keep a diary. They can jot down memories and collect items to keep. Bus tickets, postcards, shells, napkins, and other small souvenir will act as good mementos. If they are old enough, give them a camera to record their own unique view of their surroundings. Being in another country means you get to try out lots of different food and experience the best of the culture. If you have a tour guide helping you along the way, listen to their advice and take notice. They will have the best experience of the location and know what can be enjoyedand what is best left alone. Do not be tempted to stick with what you know. Eating hamburgers every day will soon get very boring.

Experiencing the world around them and different cultures will widen your children’s horizons. Not only that it will make them appreciate what they have and provide them with memories they can share with their own children and grandchildren!