Culebra Island

Trekking Beaches and Making Friends on Laid-back Culebra Island

Culebra is a tiny island, a mere speck on some maps, a dot off the east end of Puerto Rico that is barely visible from aloft when you fly from San Juan to other Caribbean islands.

I’ve probably not noticed it dozens of times as I’ve traversed the Caribbean, but recently I read a New York Times account about its spectacular beaches and offbeat population, and convinced my skeptical husband that Culebra (pronounced coo-LAY-bra) was worth a visit.

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It’s Time to Rethink Your Approach to Travel Procurement

It was a mid-morning break at a National Business Travel Association (NBTA) conference in Tampa, Florida, and I was comparing notes with Terri Payne, the director of corporate purchasing at GSI Commerce Inc., a global company with US headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Terri’s home base.

GSI, with over 5,000 employees worldwide, provides e-commerce and multichannel marketing solutions to some of the world’s leading brands—big names like Levi, Elizabeth Arden, NASCAR, Hewlett Packard, Zales, the NFL and NBA, Toys R Us and many more.

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Good food: Options before you board your flight

Toss out the phrase “airline food” and you’re likely to be confronted with groans, blank stares, or derisive comments about the half-ounce of pretzels and three ounces of diet pop that are standard fare on most flights up to three hours. Unless you’re flying up front, you’re better off considering other food sources before you board your flight. Here are a few suggestions that might tempt your taste buds:

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Luggage: Easing the hassle

Seasoned business travelers make every effort to travel lean, boarding flights with only carry-ons, but that’s not always possible, especially for extended-stay trips. Leisure travelers, too, might want to consider these emerging alternatives to the angst of waiting for bags at the luggage carousel or schlepping bags to a hotel after landing:

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Weight of Wisconsin

The Weight of Wisconsin

Most of us who call Wisconsin home can come up with a significant list of reasons why we love it here. Wisconsinites are friendly. The scenery is diverse and exceptional. Our cities are culturally and intellectually rich. We have big-city amenities without the big-city price tag. There is an almost endless variety of activities and experiences that are uniquely Wisconsin.

A meeting planner weighing Wisconsin’s benefits against other and better known destinations is likely to be more objective and analytical.

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In Search of Nirvana On the Island of Java

Frankly, I had expected more than this from Buddha.

I was teetering at the top of the Eighth Wonder of the World.  My journey to Indonesia had been long and the heat of the Javanese plains was oppressive.

I expected at least a subtle arc of light when our fingers touched, a brief flash of enlightenment, perhaps the ultimate, a swift peek at Nirvana.

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Social Media for Business Travelers

Fifteen-or-so years ago when Facebook king Mark Zuckerberg was probably still in high school, I shared a luncheon table in San Francisco with fourteen other hotel guests who had agreed to take part in a “community meal.”

My lunch partners didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them.  Our paths would likely not cross again (except perhaps at the checkout desk) and that was just fine with all of us. We were there to eat, chat, exchange any clever or inane thoughts that came to us, and move on to the rest of our lives.

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Travel apps: Tools that streamline travel

I love to track and recommend travel apps, especially those that streamline (as much as that’s possible) the frustrations of business travel. Of course, these can be handy for vacation travel too. Check them out!

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Historian with a Mission Brings Ancient Turkey to Life

The pewter gray sky, awash with early morning mist, did nothing to dampen our spirits as we left the sprawling city of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Our search for antiquity would take us northwest into the imposing Taurus Mountains, through fragrant pine forests, steeply upward along twisting switchbacks, then nose-diving in sharp descents and flattening into broad fertile valleys on our trek toward the Aegean Sea.

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Guatemala is a Tapestry of Religious Beliefs and Artistry

The rough-hewn stone steps to the whitewashed Church of Santo Thomás were covered with stacks of pottery, wood carvings, towering piles of richly-colored textiles, and perfect flowers. Graceful calla lilies, gladiolas, flame-colored feathery ornamentals and exquisite roses in tight-budded bunches perfumed the warm morning air.

At the top of the steps incense billowed from low pots, filling the air with a resiny scent and smoky haze. Across the square, a bonfire blurred the stairs of its companion church, El Calvario. The two edifices appeared poised in a stony face-off, adding to the surrealism of the scene.

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