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Julia’s winter Top 5 2018 destinations?

9 events You Can’t Miss If Visiting Scotland in 2018

Spirit Journeys Worldwide is all about experience, memories, and nurturing self-growth. We genuinely care about our customers, and ensuring that your travels leave you with everlasting memories and nostalgia, whilst providing rejuvenation and a new outlook when you’re back to the hustle and bustle of life is our aim. As a company that regularly organises trips abroad, we’ll take you through Three reasons why you need to be travelling !

       It broadens your outlook. A 2014 study from the Academy of Management Journal revealed that people who worked overseas were more imaginative and inspired than those stayed in the United States because of cultural immersion. Being exposed to different cultures and identities means that you’re naturally more likely to integrate with the locals, allowing you to think outside of the way that you usually would, and bouncing between different ideologies and ideas, aka ‘cognitive flexibility’. The more cognitively flexible you are, the more creative you are! Plus, you might learn a new language and sample some authentic food in the midst of it all. Psychologists have found that learning increases our brain activity, making us happier, especially when we’re learning something we enjoy.

City explore

     Immersing yourself in your holiday destination gives you the opportunity to get off social media. A 2016 study from the University of Pittsburgh showed that the more time we spend on social media; the more likely we are to develop depression. Also, the amount of time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media apps has a direct correlation to whether or not you feel stressed or happy. Social media has also been associated with low-self esteem. Give yourself a social media detox; enjoy every single bit of here and now.

beach relax

      Being at one with nature can actually improve your mental clarity. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, researchers discovered that people who looked at a photo of nature for 40 seconds had improved focus and performance when completing their next task. Plus, it’s the perfect environment to take a breather, let go of stress and tension, and have some quality ‘me’ time.

Nature walking

So what are you waiting for? Let us help you plan your next adventure!

Spirit Journeys Worldwide is all about experience, memories, and nurturing self-growth. We genuinely care about our customers, and ensuring that your travels leave you with everlasting memories and nostalgia, whilst providing rejuvenation and a new outlook when you’re back to the hustle and bustle of life is our aim.

Our founder, Julia Macleay, was first bitten by the travel bug over 20 years ago and has since made safari travel arrangements for BBC Alba (she promises her name is in the credits), and won Scottish honeymoon/travel planner of the year 2015. We find out a little more about the lady behind her the brand…Awards Owner Julia

“Travel is my great joy of life and always has been. I love people to experience the world the way I see it,” she explains. “My greatest holiday is when I went sailing on the Star Flyer sailing ship with my 9-year-old son. It happens to also be his greatest adventure, and he still talks about it to this day.”

Julia Macleay and her son

Julia becomes audibly excited when she recounts a particularly memorable group of single women. “They came to Scotland on an Outlander tour. Some had never travelled alone before, only with their husbands, some were divorced and widows. It was a real challenge for them to travel alone. This group of ladies became friends, overcame their fears, travelled from the USA and Australia to Scotland, and had a fantastic experience!”

On Outlander tour

Of all the countries that she’s visited, India is her favourite. “The people there are kind and considerate, even though there is poverty and corruption. I have only ever seen kindness and great hospitality whilst I’ve been there.”

Whilst Macleay may be a champion of wanderlust, she also loves to share her own world with clients. “I am proud to be Scottish, although I have Irish ancestry as well, and take great pride in showing people around Scotland and Ireland.”

Her zest for life and upbeat personality is evident within her Scottish twang. “Life is too short to be unhappy, we all need to grasp opportunities and not let our fears hold us back.”

The 6 best dishes that you should try in Scotland

Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper

Star Clipper Yoga and Wellbeing Cruise is absolutely one of the most exciting adventures in a wide palette of our journeys. This unique experience is hard to explain, you need to discover it for yourself. Star Clipper is a fantastic sailing ship. On one hand, this mesmerizing ship enchants with its traditional and romantic spirit that makes you travel back in time to the 19th century. On the other hand, Star Clipper has all the modern comfort and amenities of a private yacht.  It’s a dream come true for all sailing enthusiasts.

This renowned sailing ship stands out from many others.  It offers an authentic sailing experience, customers and staff mingle together, plenty of water sports, lots of places to hide and chill and my most memorable experience was when the hoisting of the sails and sailing out into the sunset.  Truly magically.  For this reason we chose one of these magnificent sailing ships to be the host to our Yoga and wellbeing Cruise. Just imagine the wind playing with your hair, turquoise sea around you, tranquil and calm atmosphere as you find your inner peace. Away from stressful daily routine, be free to find your true self and let it flow.

This year we were on the Star flyer with a small group of people for our yoga and wellbeing cruise and we all had unforgettable time sailing across the Mediterranean seas.  We talked with many people and we are happy to share their impression, enthusiasm and positive feedback about the cruise.

According to their words, what makes this cruising sensational is the unique and ultimate feeling of freedom and peace. They enjoyed visiting many alluring places and meeting interesting people. No matter how different, all these people were all enthusiastic about sailing, yoga and discovering new horizons.

There’s an old good saying – A picture is worth a thousand words. For this reason, we decided to share a few photos from this incredible journey with you.

Let’s take a look at the photos and enjoy together and who knows, next year you will see your photos here.

Yoga cruise Star Clipper cruise Yoga cruise 2 Greece Airplane Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper 2 Greece 2Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper . 3 Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper 4 Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper 5Yoga Cruising with Star Clipper 6

 

Today, I was listening to the radio and after a while I heard one of the best tunes ever: ‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy…’ I’ve always associated summertime with time to relax, to go back to basics, time to gather energy, ideas… According to my opinion, the best way to renew our energy is to feel the charms of the Sun. Basically, I need a pair of sunglasses, a few bestsellers and a good idea – where to travel this summer. But, that’s only me. In order to be objective and meet different criteria, I’ve made this top 10 list of the most tantalizing and sizzling places to visit this summer. It covers a wide range of interests and experiences. This is what I’ve discovered.

 1. Hawaii

Always sounds a great idea to rest your eyes on the impeccable and out of this world beaches and landscapes. Hawaii is a good choice for all ages, tastes and expectations since it offers all kinds of vacations, from adventurous to luxurious. Aloha!

Hawaii

2. Amalfi Coast

If you want to walk along sandy beaches, wander around romantic Italian fishing villages and drink Limoncello while witnessing one of the most picturesque sea views in the world, Amalfi Coast may be the right choice for you.

Amalfi Coast

 3. Bora Bora

Is really hard to explain… you can use loads of adjectives, but people say, you should see it in order to experience the ultimate perfection. Bora Bora is a turquoise dreamland made for perfect honeymoons and all romantic souls.

Bora Bora

4Dubai

If you seek a luxury holiday, Dubai will satisfy all your appetites for sure. Fabulous shopping malls, jewellery, 7-star hotels…if you need a holiday destination brimming with luxury surprises, Dubai has it all, what are you waiting for?

Dubai

5. Iceland

No, this is not a mistake…if you need a different summer holiday, far away from beach resorts, Iceland is a fantastic choice, since the best word that describes this country is exactly the adjective – fantastic. Iceland is a real paradise for all nature lovers, a country of contrasts, fire and ice in one.

6. Cyprus

The homeland of Aphrodite, dazzling beaches and nature, Cyprus pops out as a great choice for all travellers who seek to find a combination of exotic and pristine natural beauties. It can be very hot during the summer peak, but on the other hand, very moderate during May and September. It’s all up to your own taste!

Cyprus

7. Santorini Island

Definitely one of the most romantic summer runaways in the whole world. This Greek island will enchant you with its amazing architecture, sea views, the volcano and outstanding sunsets.

Santorini island

8. Amsterdam

Surprised? Don’t be! With its bustling festivals, markets and world-known parks, Amsterdam is a city for all seasons. This lively city is a home of more than 300 different festivals and most of them take place during the summer. Also, it is famous for its fabulous terraces that reveal their full beauty during the summer months.

Amsterdam

9. Costa de la Luz, Spain

With its crystal clear waters, extensive sandy beaches surrounded by pine woods, amazing architecture that makes you travel back to romantic past times, Costa de la Luz appears to be one of the most relaxing and stunning summer destinations. Fabulous food, festivals, friendly locals, historical sights, and loads of other interesting things to do in this charming place.

Costa de la Luz

10. Scotland

A land of breathtaking nature, moors, lochs, historical and cultural heritage, castles, local products, customs, music,…Scotland offers a wide palette of exciting things to experience during the whole year but especially during the summer. If you feel adventurous, Scotland may be the right choice for you since there are numerous exciting places to explore, by walking or even cycling.

Scotland

Apart from these 10 places to visit this summer, there are loads of other places in the world to see and experience. But, the most important thing is to spend your summer holiday doing right things with right people. No time to waste. ‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy…’

 

This is how it usually starts…You spin a globe, dance with your fingers until finally, you point your finger and choose the next destination. Or, you search the internet, books, encyclopedia, whatever…On the other hand, most people choose their future travel destination after a recommendation. Why not? Instead of experiencing wild shots and playing with the unknown, asking for other people’s opinion sounds like a great idea. Also, professional travel agencies pop out as a reasonable and good choice as well. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to India, but I often dream about visiting. It seems that my finger somehow points here very often.  For this reason, I want to write about India from two points of view. My own  – I’ve never been there, so I can only imagine it…And, according to experience of people who were privileged to visit incredible India.
When my mother came back from India, she said: ‘What an experience…amazing…India is unlike any other country!’
Everything I’ve read about this fabulous country somehow fits in with her opinion.
India is possibly the most profound place in the world thanks to its monumental culture, religious diversity, colourful, vivid and passionate life philosophy.
Indian people are the true and pure spirit of India. The brimming streets of India are in fact a huge theatre where the entire drama of their life happens. They are born and die there. Celebrate festivals together, share every moment of their life, no matter what…
For all these and many other reasons, I will visit India one day, and you should definitely do the same.
Now, someone who’s really been there, will share their first-hand experience with us about the real India.

Julia MacLeay, the owner of the Spirit Journeys Worldwide has recently come back from her exciting journey around India. I’ve talked with Julia about her impressions and things she saw and experienced there. This is what she said…
Me: Julia, how would you describe India in three words?
Julia: Mystical, magical, mesmerizing…
Me: What places did you visit and what were your most striking impressions?
Julia: I visited so many places…First of all, Delhi. It’s a busy city, very hot and abundant in various smells.
Next, Dharamsala…I met some very friendly people there. The most striking impressions was its clean air, the beautiful sounds of the birds and the snow capped Himalayas.
Then we went to Jaipur for a conference. It’s a bustling city with a very hot climate.Also, Shahpura Bagh is really impressive, a real piece of heaven. I also visited the village and one of the local schools there. Udaipur…a beautiful town with fantastic lakes… And one of the most impressive places I visited was surely Ranthambore National Park…to see its wildlife and be at one with nature was such an experience…
Overall, I’m dazzled by the India I met during this exciting journey. I remember all the exotic smells, stunning people, fabulous energy and, yes, India is something different, something incredible. You can’t describe it, you have to experience it…
Me: How would you describe Indian people?
Julia: Indian people are extremely hospitable, very friendly and love to chat.
Me: Would you like to come back again and why? Julia: Yes, of course. I love India, it is full of character, mysticism and leaves an everlasting memory. I now have a great need to explore this vast country further and get to know it more.
Me: Would you recommend India to others?
Julia: For sure. You can’t say you’ve seen something different and unique if you haven’t seen India. It’s a real jewel, so everyone should visit this wonderful country.

This is what Julia has to say about incredible India. Thank you Julia for sharing your precious experience and opinion with all of us. Below enjoy photos that Julia shared with us from her travel.

Namaste!

 

 

 

 

Nepal is one of the best places that I ever visited! A few years ago, I and my friend decided to travel to Nepal. In a desire for adventure and a once in a lifetime experience,  we travelled to Nepal not really aware of what to expect. We read on the internet and heard from many people that Nepal is one of the best countries for travel, but one never really knows until you see it with your own eyes! So we packed our bags and dived into the unknown.

They say that after Nepal nothing will ever be the same. Nepal is not only about climbing one of the highest peaks in the World. I could say It is more about you, finding your limits and discovering your inner self.  Whether you are wandering the busy and dusty streets of Kathmandu, going on a trek to the incredible mountains or going on a Jeep safari to explore wildlife, you will catch yourself thinking about some inner self-questions about trying to reduce your stress and gain a unique balance in your everyday life. I have never seen so many happy faces as I did on my trip to Nepal. Most of the people there are poor, still sleeping on the ground, but they have the most serene facial expression and always have a smile on their faces. This is the country where material things do not have a role to play in everyday life. And dreams, when you sleep above 3000m, are just incredible!! Of course, words are not enough to describe this amazing country, so I decided to share with you my photos from the trip.   Relax and for a moment enjoy watching them, and who knows, maybe you will tomorrow pack your bags and have your own adventure.

Exploring Kathmandu 
Patan Kathmandu 2

 

Nepal 2

Kathmandu

Annapurna Conservation Area- Trek from Pokhara to Muktinath

Annapurna Jomson trek
Annapurna trek Nepal trek 2

Annapurna trek 2

Gorepani

Muktinath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chitwan national park, rafting on Seti river and Pokhara

ChitwanChitwan National park

Rafting Nepal

Pokhara

It’s March 8, 2017. and the whole world is celebrating International Women’s Day. Again, it’s time to think about women’s rights, time to ask questions, raise one’s voice, call for changes. And, more importantly, it’s time to say- thank you- to all extraordinary women who have played an amazing role in history. woman travelStarting with 15000 brave women from New York in 1908, demanding shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights, continuing to Clara Zetkin and many other open minded and brave women. The point of March 8 comes to this mighty word – equality. In education, health, culture, politics, business, right to make choices. On one hand, great improvements have been made, but on the other hand, women are still not presented equally as men are. And the violence against them is worse than that of men. It seems that people are slow learners…and I wonder how long will it take to make things equal when it comes to genders? And I wonder, will it ever happen? To tell you the truth, I’m not sure about it.

But, I don’t want to think of the negative sides. Let’s stick to the bright side of life. That’s what I generally do. For instance, when I compare my grandmother’s other’s life and my own, there are loads of crucial differences. Everything is much easier today. I’m raised to live, think, breathe as an educated, independent and open minded woman. I make my own choices. And my choices are to be a mother, wife, to work on my education, cultural life, to travel…to do whatever makes me happy. I’m free. According to my opinion, every woman should feel and live this way.

What is really great and promising is that nowadays, more and more women choose to spend their time travelling. Lots of my friends spend their weekends or vacations in girl gatherings. They travel together, without husbands, kids, in short, without obligations…just for their own sake and pleasure. I think this is good, we all need some space and time to relax, slow down and think about our lives from a distance. Some women even choose to travel alone. From my point of view, this is also acceptable because solitude, mixed with travelling to unknown countries is surely one of the most liberating experiences. There are fabulous destinations created for solo female travelers. It’s good to spend some time alone, set up priorities, make new plans. Generally, it always feels good to live a life you love and to go back to basics.

For all these reasons, it’s good to be a woman today. It’s not perfect, but, hey, is there anything perfect?

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