Passion – defined by Merriam-Webster “as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something” – has become the buzzword of today. Philosophers, management leaders and talk show hosts alike have preached that following our passions is the roadmap to self-fulfillment, the key to happiness and the pinnacle of personal development. Passion and the weight she carries, has seeped into our collective consciousness becoming synonymous not only with pleasure, but a larger purpose. Following our passions may bring about a new business venture, guide us in our personal quest for meaning and change the very way we experience the world around us. When it comes to lifestyle, this passion principle may inform the way we spend our time, the way we interact, even the way we travel. More and more travelers are choosing to spend their time abroad being active and engaged on their vacations. They’re trading in their all-inclusive pina colada holidays for immersive experiences that get them out the resorts and into local culture. When it comes to actually booking a destination, the pursuit of a particular interest or passion is often the driving force. Whether it’s photography, surfing, fishing or cooking, travelers are eager to experience their favorite activities and live their passions across the globe.
Soaring above the tree tops, overlooking the farmlands, vineyards and historic towns of Italy’s Tuscany region, I took a moment to pinch myself. Travel by hot air balloon is a special experience. In our fast-paced ADD era of modernity and speed, the slow hand-powered flight was a throwback to simpler (perhaps more soulful) times. There I was, just outside Florence on an exclusive shore excursion offered by Celebrity Cruises called “The Winds of Tuscany.” I’m one of their Celebrity Global Insiders, an elite team of travel experts collaborating with Travel & Leisure Magazine. On this trip, you take off in a hot air balloon and soar high above Tuscany and take in the pastoral landscape.
I don’t really consider myself a ‘car person’ but there is something undeniably awesome about a Ferrari. Her smooth curves, her speed, the Vrrroom vroom of her purring engine and her $240,000 price tag. A beautiful machine, a true piece of auto art, the Ferrari is a universal symbol of luxury and status. As any mid-life crisis business man can attest – all problems are solved behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
A Spanish port that boasts Roman ruins, Moorish fortresses and ancient Arabic citadels, Malaga is a quaint coastal city perfect for an afternoon of sightseeing. Yesterday, I explored the city’s narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets by bike.
From Capone to Scarface, the Godfather to Bugsy Siegel, the line between criminal masterminds and mainstream entertainment has always been a bit blurry. Beyond the subjects of TV shows and movies, Mafioso thugs also make great fodder for tours. For the inside scoop on gangster history, check out one of the following tours. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.
From the Muay Thai rings of Bangkok, to the Sumo wrestling matches of Osaka, Japan, the tradition of fighting for sport and public entertainment exists across many cultures around the globe.
Travelers visiting these countries will often adopt a ‘when in Rome’ mentality, eagerly paying their admission tickets to cheer on local contenders. But, as MMA (mixed martial arts) dominates pay-per-view popularity here in the U.S., travelers don’t necessarily have to go far for gladiator-style grappling with global flair.
Travel junkies listen up! Want to win a free, all-expense paid trip to some of the world’s most exotic destinations? Umm…let me think about it…um yeah! DoubleTree by Hilton has just launched DTour of a Lifetime, a year-long competition that will provide six lucky winners with, you guessed it, adventures of a lifetime. Each “DTourist” will embark on a two-week to two-month adventure to one of the six continents, staying in several iconic DoubleTree by Hilton properties. I’ve partnered with Hilton as their DTour ambassador, so I wanted to share the details with fellow travel addicts, so they can take advantage of this awesome travel opportunity.
It’s been called one of the world’s most scenic drives. The Hana Highway along Maui’s eastern coast is 52 miles of narrow roads that carve through lush rain forests along rocky coastlines. Stretching from Kahului to the sleepy coastal town of Hana, this curvaceous highway coils around the island, across hundreds of curves and one-lane bridges. A trip there reveals the rugged natural beauty of postcard perfect Hawaii, from sweeping ocean views, to tropical waterfalls and volcanic black sand beaches.