I just got back from Florence and now want to move there. Not really. But maybe? It was perfect from start to finish. Here's my updated Italy guide, if you're interested. I scoured many sources, and found some new favorites to add to my old standby's (like Trattoria Cammillo. Please, please go to Cammillo!).
But I won't because I loved this place so, so much. Because our time and money is precious.
I love discovering places in Switzerland that I never would have known about, had I not been traveling with Alex - like Melchsee-Frutt outside of Lucerne.
This hotel, Guarda Val in the Swiss mountain town of Lenzerheide, is Alpine perfection. Split among eleven 300-year-old chalet-style huts, it's a place that will envelop you. The breakfast is divine, their main restaurant is one of the best in town, they serve coffee and cake every afternoon in a soaring space with a fireplace, there is a beautiful small spa and jacuzzi outside (which they call an "open-air hot pot" - haha). You wake up to heart-stopping views, you're breathing in air that can heal you, you realize you want a simpler life (or maybe that's just me).
Most of all, I loved discovering Lenzerheide. I had been to Arosa - which is now connected to Lenzerheide by cable car, making it one of Switzerland's largest ski areas. But Lenzerheide is pretty special - it's really primarily Swiss people who go here.
Tip: I'd highly recommend a car to get to Lenzerheide in the canton of Graubünden - it's that rare place in Switzerland not connected by train. But you will be rewarded. And maybe I'll see you there this summer.
90 minutes from NYC - faster than you can say Hamptons - is this little 20-mile paradise, Bermuda. I bet you know someone who went on their honeymoon there 35 years ago - or you're pretty sure that the Bermuda Triangle is where your misplaced car keys, lip balm, and hair ties go. What I really loved is that it's not just a vacation destination like a few Caribbean islands I have visited. People live here, raising their kids and starting companies. Certain families go back hundreds of years. There is a palpable sense of rootedness but also a sexy new awakening. I will update my guide in the next few weeks with all my favorite finds. I can't wait to get back to Bermuda.
I've done a wrap-up on this blog for the past five years. When I look back at these ridiculous, challenging, beautiful adventures - traveling all over the world, a marriage, a divorce, a new love, a new job - I feel endlessly grateful and honestly, tired. Travel is my passion, my life, my work, my beloved job and industry but I really want to slow down a bit.
I want to sit and read the New York Times every Sunday. I want to meet friends for dinner in Manhattan and return gratefully to Brooklyn. I want to walk in Central Park and Prospect Park on beautiful days. I want to feel grateful for every minute I am on the Brooklyn Promenade because I can't believe I live so close - this is my dream neighborhood in NYC. I want to explore New York like I used to when I first moved here - with that giddy sense of new-ness - through Chinatown, Little Italy, the Upper West Side, all over Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. I want to make plans for the future - I've been such a stunned deer-in-the-headlights the past couple of years - either moving at warp speed to avoid feeling hurt, or waiting for someone else to make decisions. The future I had planned for since I was 20 disappeared when Andy and I split up and I'm still finding my way out.
I know I will still travel. I would be lost without it. I will still travel more than most people I know. But I want a little more serenity, a little less airport madness, and more time to figure out what I want as I get older. I'll turn 35 this year and while sometimes it feels like I've been flitting around the world carelessly while all my friends have been having babies and saving for retirement - I am so grateful for this life (except for the Twilight Zone presidential election, which continues to be worse than we all thought). Can I do all of this and maintain minimum status on an airline? That is the goal.
By the way - if you know anyone cool in Brooklyn, let me know. It's one of my resolutions this year to meet more interesting, creative, funny, kind people that live in Brooklyn and to build my community here more. If you say it loud, it is more likely to happen. So there you go!
Wishing you a beautiful 2017.
And in (mostly) chronological order - 2016 at a glance.
For the past few years, I have attended the International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) in Cannes, on the south of France. It sounds super glamorous (and it is) but it's also a lot of work, work I absolutely love. Press talks, interviews, meetings, events, lunches, dinners - see an example of a day of press talks below! I have gotten sick every time afterwards, because I get about three hours of sleep a night. That said, it's amazing. I covered it for National Geographic - 7 Luxury Travel Trends for 2017 - and it was the most popular piece on the site the day it was published!