Exercise for the Road Warrior

There was a time when working out was the last thing on my mind when I was on the road.  Between late dinners and early morning breakfast meetings, there just didn’t seem to be enough time.  It wasn’t long before I not only packed on weight during trips but also had horrible ankle and foot swelling, stomach issues and a lack of energy.  I started cleaning up my diet and sticking to a Paleo style of eating.  My swelling was gone within two weeks, I can only speculate bread and sugar was the culprit there. Thanks to a great friend of mine who is a bit of a fitness inspiration, I lost my fear of the weight room and for this blog she has so graciously volunteered to demonstrate this 30 minutes arm workout for me!  Most hotel gyms have basic dumbbells and a cable machine but more creative in-room workouts will follow!

Perform each exercise at your own discretion but I would recommend 10 reps, 3 sets each!

Warm-up – Stretching! This is so important and really loosens you up.

Push ups are a great way to get your blood pumping and can warm your body up quick. You can perform them like this:

Next up we have a biceps curl:

For triceps and biceps we have a simple dip:

Standing Shoulder Press:

Lastly, PLANKS! These are tough but really help your core.  Hold the positions for as long as you can, repeat three times. This video shows three different variations:

Thank you so much for reading and let me know any tips you have for staying in shape on the road!

-Miss S

Week in Cartagena, Colombia

I was offered the opportunity to attend an international veterinary conference in Cartagena and, needless to say, I jumped at the chance to go!  Colombia is one of those places Americans (or maybe just me) find mysterious and exotic and rightly so, it’s a fascinating country that has such a rich culture and history.  I took a flight from BWI to the Rafael Nuñez International Airport in Cartagena and it was painless.  The taxis are located in the front of the airport and there is a kiosk where you can wait to catch one.  Please make sure you have pesos before you arrive. ASK THE TAXI DRIVER HOW MUCH IT WILL BE BEFORE GETTING IN!  I had a tiny issue in that regard and learned my lesson.

Some quick facts about Columbia for you future visitors:

  • Power Adapters are not needed if you are coming from the US but if you are looking for a good one for other trips or are visiting from another country, I use this one.
  • Currency is the Colombian Peso Currency Convert
  • No visa required for US business travelers
  • The language is Spanish but many people spoke English, if not then pull out your google translate and do your best 🙂
  • Credit Cards work perfectly!
  • Don’t be alarmed by the armed police on the streets
  • Use common safety sense, I had NO ISSUES there as a female alone but I use my instincts and stay in public areas.  I also try to stay with a group if possible.  There are so many articles about how dangerous Colombia is but I felt just as safe there as I do in many other US cities.

In my profession, traveling overseas is very normal, but traveling to countries with warm and humid climates is not.  I knew for this trip I was going to have to take some serious inventory of my wardrobe and just this once avoid my Scandinavian inspired neutral wardrobe.  My Columbian friends told me to dress a bit more adventurously and throw so color in so…I tried. Here was my Packing List – Columbia. I bought a few dresses on sale at J. Crew and ASOS and packed my usual essentials to make life easier and again, I only used a trusty carry on for the whole thing!  See my article on Suitcases and Carry-Ons for more on this subject.  If you have these great pieces which can be day/night outfits, you will be good to go!

Red J Crew – Only $44.00 and also this one from ASOS for $72.00

We stayed at Hotel Las Americans. It was connected to the convention hall through a short tunnel and had a few solid dining choices as well.  It was right on the beach which was nice the evening we had a bonfire party.  I was happy with the hotel in general but I will say if you are going to Cartagena for a holiday, stay within the walled city, there is so much more to do and experience there and you really get more of the old historic feel Cartagena has to offer.

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Our tour through the walled city was amazing, this city has great shopping, a wonderful yet complex history and amazing food!

During my trip, I saw some pretty amazing things.  I tried to be very cautious about what I ate and drank while I was there which was tough because everything looked amazing.  I did only drink bottled water and stuck to food which was easy on the stomach.  Use bottled water to brush your teeth as well.   Message me if you have ANY questions about your own adventure!

 

Cheers,

 

Miss S

 

Suitcases and Carry-ons

There was a time when packing for a trip literally had me in a sweat and left me panicked.  There is nothing worse than leaving for a week-long business trip in a foreign place and not have X, Y & Z things that make life on the road tolerable.  Since this has happened to me so many times when I first started out, I began taking notes each time I left and came back from my travels – cataloging my wins and misses each time.

The most fundamental pieces of equipment when becoming a “road warrior” are a reliable and appropriately sized piece of luggage and an easy to carry, yet stylish, bag for your computer, chargers, and purse.  Nothing is more unprofessional to me than seeing women hauling in a briefcase, purse and whatever else she may have and fumbling to get settled in a meeting.  It communicates to others that she is not a pulled together person nor organized and polished – pack properly and have the right bags and this can all be avoided.  The best part of it all is there are options at any price point!

Elaine Benes said it best with this image…too many bags ain’t cute ladies!

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So, on to the right bag for the job

  1. It’s ok to have a purse and a briefcase, but the purse should fit into the briefcase – this isn’t only for practical reasons, such as minimizing your carry on bags to meet flight guidelines, but also to avoid what I mentioned above – too many bags syndrome. It’s easier to handle one bag and you will look far more pulled together – resist the urge to bring some massive purse with you traveling.  Instead, try to bring just your wallet or a small clutch. I love this one from Kate Spade for $198.00PWRU5596_001_R (1)

Another option I love is from Target for $14.99 this is so cute in person and has clean lines which give it a very upscale appearance.  The red lining adds even more visual appeal.  It will carry everything you need!  My passport even fits within them both.

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Briefcases AKA computer bags 🙂

I have two of these which can handle all of my essentials for airline travel and business meetings.  Again, my first pick is Kate Spade.  Her bags are VERY reliable and worth the money.  Customer service is awesome and they stand by their product.  Here is my pick:

On my trip to Denmark, I actually used this little number from Target which received some great reactions and it was only $33.00!  I will say, this hasn’t lasted as long as I would have hoped, I’m only a few trips into it and see quite a bit of wear and tear.

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Lastly, The Suitcase – some folks always use the same size and some folks use different sizes based on the length of the trip.  Honestly, after many years of travel, I have found that I can fit everything I need for a week in a “large” carry-on which is around  9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm).  Anything longer than 7 days, I may move up to a larger size, especially if my trip consists of a long stay in one place without laundry service.  I love TJ Maxx for almost all my larger size suitcases and have completely switched to hard surfaced options.

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I tend to spend more money on my larger sized carry-ons.  Soon,  I’ll post my thoughts on the away bag, which has been all the rage online.  I take it for a test run in January and will have a better idea of what it can do then!  Here is what I use now

Lastly, here are some accessories I use to keep my things organized

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I hope this helps and stay tuned for an update on the Away bags!

 

Cheers, Miss S

One Week in Denmark

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Denmark (Odense and Copenhagen) for a business meeting and training session.  I have never been to this part of the world before and was excited to experience the Scandinavian lifestyle.  Before I get into the details of the trip itself, here are some quick facts to help you prepare for your own adventure:

  • Outlets are 2-prong: type C, F or K.  Voltage is 230 Volts.   I purchased my converter here: Travel Adapter
  • Currency is the Kroner Currency Converter
  • Packing List is here: Packing List
  • GET A PIN!  I needed a pin for my credit card almost everywhere I went and it was a bit of an ordeal.  You can use your debit card but I am always hesitant to use that when traveling.  My suggestion is to call your CC company and get a pin before you go to make life easier 🙂
  • Language is Danish, but English speakers will have no issues!

I flew from Baltimore to Copenhagen via WOW Air – a low-cost airline that services Europe.  Fairs are low and they make a profit charging for bags ($50-$100 per bag) and they do not have any services offered during flight.  You must pay for water, snacks, etc.  The seats are very similar to Southwest but they have chargers built into the seats which are awesome on a long flight!  I strongly recommend you buy water bottles and snacks at the airport before you take off.  I found this airline charming and would take it again and again.  So long as you are prepared, you won’t have any issues.  Check out my US to Europe Plane Regimen

Once in Copenhagen, I made my way to the train station located at the airport.  There are red kiosks in the airport and wonderful representatives to help you purchase a ticket to where you need to go.  I used their website in advance to map out my journey.  The train was a bit tricky.  I was headed to a town called Odense, which is about 60 minutes west of Copenhagen, and the stop wasn’t as intuitive as you would think.   The stops were all labeled in Danish and there was no stop for “Odense”.  But, I simply asked other travelers if they could help and had no issues finding my way on and off the train.  Once in Odense, I had a short walk to my hotel, The First Grand.  This hotel was perfect.  Located in the heart of town, the rooms were small but comfortable.  The little bar was great and the staff was spectacular.  Their breakfast was awesome and they even have a little gym that was perfect for late night or early morning workouts.  I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling in that area.facade-first-hotel-grand-odense-2

The morning coffee wasn’t too bad either 🙂

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Odense is the charming hometown of Hans Christian Andersen.  There is a little museum is downtown and you can get some amazing pieces of art, too.

Danes also love discussing American politics and this was apparent even in their street art.

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They enjoy amazing food and have very seasonal menus.  Every meal consisted of fresh produce and amazing seafood.

After a few days of meetings in Odense, we headed back to Copenhagen to finish off our stay and to take two days to explore.  One thing I cannot stress enough is the effortless style Danish women have.  They are stunning and look immaculate even in all neutral colors with windswept hair.  It left a real impression on me and I have adopted more of this look into my own style ever since.  Please take my word for it and DO NOT plan on wearing heavy makeup or tons of color when you visit, unless that’s really your preference.  Danish style is about high quality, simple clothing and polished skin with minimal make up.

Walking around Copenhagen is VERY safe, we found a wonderful park called Kings Park which features the Queens Rose Garden.

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We also took the Hop on, Hop off which was the perfect way for a business traveler to see the highlights of any city quickly and allowed us to see what we wanted in a structured, stress-free way.

I hope this post helped you get some tips for your own adventure!  Please message me if there are any questions.  I am getting started with publishing all of my adventures, so if there are certain topics that may help you please let me know.  Upcoming topics are packing for the multi-location journey, suitcase reviews, makeup palettes for travel, etc.

As always, enjoy your travels and make time for some fun!  Denmark was a wonderful country that I would love to visit again.  Our last night was spent enjoying some nightlife,  so I’ll leave you with my favorite photo of the trip 🙂

Cheers – Miss S

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