How Engaged Are You?

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Are you engaged?

I do not mean did you just get a diamond ring given to you by your significant other while they were down on one knee.  I mean are you really engaged with the person that you love?

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When couples first get engaged there is such an exhilarating and emotional state of the relationship.  There are butterflies of excitement, there are new conversations, new thoughts and new feelings that all come up once a couple becomes engaged to be married.   You spend time together in a different way.  You know you are going to be spending the rest of your life with this person.  You get closer, ask deeper questions, find out even more about each other, you engage with each other on a more personal level.

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What level of engagement are you at with your fiancé?  Are you at a higher level of presence in your relationship like when you first got engaged?  Will you continue to stay at this higher level of engagement during your time together?

A higher level of engagement is when you are focusing on your fiancé and more giving of yourself to your fiancé.  A higher level of engagement is when you are immersed in your relationship and the planning of your marriage.  You are mindful and fully aware that your relationship is a priority.

You never become “disengaged” or Unengaged (unless you break up) as a couple.  The engagement lasts if the two of you are together as a couple, forever.  Yes, you move on to becoming married, but you stay engaged as a couple.  It is your choice as to which level of engagement your relationship will be.  It is your choice each day in your relationship.  Yes, the level will fluctuate over the years and during time.   The more aware and engaged you are as a couple the greater your bond will be.

If you are newly engaged, are you focusing on the building of your relationship just as much as the planning of the wedding?

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How engaged are you or will you be when your 1 year,5 years, or 10 year to 60-year anniversary comes around?  Will you still be engaged at the level of love, excitement, joy that you are the day the ring is placed on your finger?  Will it be more or will it be less?  Will you still have the butterflies?  Butterflies or the excitement for your relationship and for the other person will stay and will strengthen over time if you stay engaged at this higher level on a regular basis with each other.

Be engaging in the moments you spend together.  Engage in meaningful conversations with each other.  Engage in the things that you want meaning from in your relationship. Engage with intent, energy, excitement and enthusiasm.  Be fully engaged with your spouse and they will more than likely reciprocate.    We all get busy in our day-to-day routines.  We lose the zest of our relationships by getting caught up in ourselves, our business, our friends, our families and our children.  Put the cell phone and the tablets way!  Take date nights as often as you can.  Take a romantic trip together at least once a year.  Dance in the kitchen together while dinner is cooking.  Kiss each other as often as possible.  Hold hands.  Smile at each other.  Stay playful.

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Stay engaged to keep your relationship going at a high level and to stay engaged forever.

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Contact Shannon, the romance travel expert at Paradise Vacation Escapes to plan a honeymoon or trip for you and your loved one so that you can stay engaged with each other.  Shannon’s email is Shannon@paradisevacationescapes.com, phone is 225-303-2240.

Top 3 2017 Romance Travel Trends

Our world has gotten smaller.  Thanks to technology we can get to places faster, easier and much more comfortable than we did 20 years ago.  Vacations to the islands and Europe are still on the list of trendy vacations, however, what is popular in the up-to-date travel trends, especially for romance travel are more extended and immersed vacations.  Couples are looking for some place different to experience.  Thailand, Australia, and Dubai are not as exotic as they once used to be.  Honeymooners have discovered that they may want to invest more in their travel together than the wedding budget so places like Bali and Tahiti are falling in with the new trends as well as what is listed below.

Wonderful new trends are happening to give couples, even more, ways to experience life and love together.  I have 3 of 2017 top Romance travel trends and I am excited to share with you so you can start planning a new adventure for a honeymoon, anniversary or a romantic escape for this year.

 

  1. Take A Safari
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Sunrises and sunset skies are magnificent in the Africa.  Gone are the days of roughing it on a safari now you can stay in luxury camps or an elegant villa.  Enjoy private guides for two.  Seclusion at its finest all among nature as you have never seen it.  Dining is gourmet and exquisite cuisine and fine wines are of abundance in Africa.

  1. Food Romancepastamaking

The love for food for some is almost equal to the love for each other in some cases.  Enjoy a vacation completely centered around gourmet exclusive adventures.  Spend the day in the home of a kitchen in Italy learning to cook authentic Italian cuisine from a real Italian native.   Spend the evening on a wine tour in Napa.  Many hotels now around the country offer cooking classes.  Food is a great way to share your passion and love with each other.

 

  1. Cruising in Eleganceelegantdiningcouplerivercruise

River cruising is much more different than ocean cruising.  The ships are smaller, the staff is trained to a higher level of service.  River cruises are a more luxurious way to cruise together as a couple in a much more intimate setting.  Guests occupancy vary from 100- 200 passengers. The cabins are larger and much more comfortable. While river cruising has normally been geared toward retired couples and baby boomers, the newer generations (gen Xers and millennials) are drawn to the unique port of calls, the excursions (that are mostly included in the price), the fine dining options, and wine being included on the sailings.

 

Appealing?  Want to plan a romantic different trip for 2017?  I would love to make this happen for you.  Contact me via email shannontravel2@gmail.com, call me at 225-303-2240 so we can schedule a time to meet over coffee or a glass of wine to talk about you traveling together in love 2017.

An Interview with Santa Claus

meandsantaI love talking with couples that have been together for a long time to see what their magic is for a long relationship.  I called in a favor with my friend Santa Claus.  I was recently able to get in touch with him while he was on a break from making toys and checking lists to ask him about romance travel and so much more.

 

Here is part 1 of my 3-part interview with Santa Claus:

 

Shannon:  Santa, how long have you and Mrs. Claus been married?

Santa:  I must admit, too many years for me to remember.  We’ve been around a very long time and being together is always happy so I have lost track of time.  I’m sure she could tell the exact number of years, days, hours and minutes.  To me when you are in love, time does not matter.

 

Shannon:  What do you think the secret to happy marriage is?

Santa: (rubbing his white beard) That is a difficult question and one that I am often asked.  I must say that I think the secret is to look at your spouse from the heart when things are getting tough.  Believe in your spouse, honor them and cherish them.  Remember over time that people change, allow them to change, be accepting and always be loving.  When things get tough remember why you fell in love, go back to the basics. Hold their hand, write a short little love note, take a walk, reminisce on the happy times together.  Find ways to spend quality time together.  Kiss and laugh often!  Ho Ho Ho!

 

Shannon:  Where did you and Mrs. Claus go on your honeymoon?

Santa: (chuckles) Well, I can tell you we were not lucky enough to go to one of those fancy over the water bungalows in Bora Bora or a nice all-inclusive resort down in the Caribbean. No, they didn’t have those fancy resorts around when we took our honeymoon.  I’ll tell you what we did do.  We had a nice simple wedding and then we did honeymoon.  We did take the sleigh and had the reindeers drop us off on a nice little tropical island.  We definitely wanted to go somewhere that was warm.  We had a private villa, staff and the ocean all to ourselves for an entire week.  Oh, we had the time of our lives.  We swam, napped in the afternoons, ate, drank and were merry! It was a very special time because we knew it was the first few days of our marriage.  We knew we would be together forever and forever is a long time for the Claus’s (hohoho).  Time away after our wedding was very important and it was timely because it was right before we had to get back to making toys!  So, I could return to work relaxed and ready.

 

Shannon:  What is your definition of romance?

Santa: (peering over his glasses) I can tell you what it is not first.  Romance is not a fairytale story.  I know, they make so many movies about love and romance and they lived happily ever after.  Well, I have rose colored glasses but I know its not all about that.  I know we fight and we disappoint each other’s and ourselves sometimes.  So while those movies and books can make you swoon, that is for entertainment.  Real romance is real love.  Romance is keeping your love for each other alive on a daily basis.  Kissing each other in the morning, doing one little special thing for the other one just because.  Romance is thoughtfulness in not just big ways but small ways too.  Romance is pure love and not just with each other but showing love to all those around us.  Being love helps you to be in love.  Romance is excitement for each other, romance is laughter.  Romance is wanting nothing but the best for the one that you love.  Yes, yes,(nodding) that is what romance means to me.

 

 

Stay tuned for part 2, next week….as Santa (the real world traveler) gives us his insight on his top 3 romantic destinations!

 

4 Ways You Know Its Engagement Season

From Thanksgiving day until February 15th the season is bestowed upon us.  The beautiful, loving time of the year when couples get engaged. 43% of engagements happen during this time.  The most popular days are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day and Valentine’s Day.

If you are reading this and are already engaged or newly married you may or may not be guilty of any of the following.

1.  You have a standing weekly appointment for a manicure.
You want to be sure your hand is not only bling ready but also ready to take pictures of when the ring is placed!

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2.  You have Facebook envy.
 Another friend just changed her status to engaged.  You are happy for her, really. Sigh. Soon, very soon, you can change your status. 
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3. You keep a bottle champagne chilled at all times.
You love champagne. And Because you never know when there is a reason to celebrate!
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4. You’ve already bought this mug.
You know you will have coffee poured in it and on social media the very next morning!

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In all seriousness, you know when the time is right the proposal will happen.  Let it happen naturally.  Be open and avoid spoiling the surprise for him and for YOU!

Happy Engagement Season!

 

3 Reasons Why Traveling Together is Beneficial For Your Relationship

3 Reasons Why Traveling Together is Beneficial For Your Relationship

1678160Did you know, per the U.S. Travel Association Almost two-thirds of couples surveyed found that a vacation is more likely to spark romance in their relationship than a gift.

 

Seventy-two percent of the 1,100 American adults surveyed said that travelling inspires their romance.

 

More than three-quarters – 77 percent – of those who travel as couples reported that they have a good sex life.

As couples, we tend to get complacent in our daily routines.  We get comfortable in how we see ourselves and each other.  We unknowingly start taking our partner for granted.  This is not necessarily done in a bad way. We do this subconsciously, just as we take for granted the beautiful blue sky outside.  After seeing something repeatedly people tend to this with each other as well.   Therefore, traveling together as a couple does serve your relationship intimately if you are newly married or married for 60 years.

Here are 3 reasons why traveling together is beneficial for your relationship.

  1. Creates a Newness

When you travel to place or even a new resort in a familiar destination you create an energy of excitement.  People get excited when they are in a new setting and see new, beautiful things.  That enthusiasm is contagious and you want to share the pleasure with each other.

Being in a new destination, seeing new places of interest, trying new foods, part taking in new adventures and doing this together as a couple helps couples to see each other in a new way.  Or maybe an old way?  The old way being like when you first met and had those butterflies.  New places create an environment that lets us relax and enjoy the moment.

  1. Allows you to focus

Traveling away from home, work, family, friends, kids and any other added distractions that take you away from focusing on each other will permit you to fully focus on your partner.  Disruptions are very limited.  If you allow yourself to put away your cell phone, then the attention is even better.  With greater focus comes, even more, relationship growth without even having to put forth a lot of effort.  The growth happens organically because you are not distracted.

  1. Brings back memories

Being in a new place on a vacation or a honeymoon allows you to start relaxing.  Relaxing and just being together as a couple will create new memories, however, it will also allow you to cherish the memories you have already created.  Even as far back to your first kiss.

 

Live in the moment on the trip, cherish your past and celebrate your future!

5 Honeymoon Woe’s and How to Avoid Them

The word Woe means to have distress.  Distress and Honeymoon should not be in the same sentence if you ask me!   Honeymoons are mean for you to enjoy as a couple to get away from the stress of all of the wedding planning you have been doing.   However, 8 out of 10 couples stress over their honeymoon.  From deciding, planning to even being there.

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Here are my top 5 ways to avoid honeymoon woes!

  1. We can’t afford a nice honeymoon                              1572063

Creating a budget for the honeymoon should go in the budget with the wedding.  The honeymoon is part of the wedding. Determine what and who you want to spend your money on. You may find ways to cut cost from the wedding that would be better spend towards you and your fiancé.

Another way to help make honeymoons affordable is by having a honeymoon registry.  This is just like a wedding registry however instead of gifts your guests give you money towards your honeymoon.  You can use the money to pay for the honeymoon or pay for excursions while you are on the honeymoon.

 

  1. We can’t decide where to go                           1678146

He wants the mountains; she wants the beach.  What you do not need is to argue about this, you have enough to worry about with the details of planning a wedding.  There are a couple of ways to narrow it down.  There is a download provided with 25 questions you should ask each other before planning a wedding that you can refer to.

What is really recommended is that you communicate.  Have an open mind when listening to the other person.  Ask questions about why they want to go there, ask what they liked most about where they have already traveled.   Dwell on the topic of traveling together and where you dream of going.  Really spend time on this.

Research and look on the internet and then seek the advice of a travel professional.  Especially one that specializes in honeymoons.  They know this is the start of your happily ever after and they want you to have the best honeymoon every.  They will make sure you are choosing the right destination to fit your needs and wants.

  1. We don’t have time to go on a honeymoon Hourglass.

Only 1 in 4 couples go on their dream honeymoon.   Those 3 couples that do not go on their dream honeymoon live to regret this decision.  Just like scheduling the honeymoon in with the budget schedule the honeymoon when you do have time to enjoy the start of your lives as Mr. and Mrs.   This is an imperative time of your new marital relationship.   Making the time to be alone together rather than jumping back in to the day to day life of work is something that will strengthen the foundation of your relationship.

 

  1. We don’t have time to plan a honeymoon. Business.

No, you don’t.  You are planning a wedding and having fun being engaged.  Planning a honeymoon does involve much time and research.  This is why you hire a travel professional to do the planning for you.  There is no reason you need should have to plan this all on your own.

The only thing you need to find is a travel professional that specializes in honeymoons and that you get along with.  You can do that by asking for referrals, googling honeymoon travel professionals in your wedding area.  Another excellent way to find a travel professional is by looking on the Knot and wedding wire.

 

  1. We are afraid to go somewhere new or out of the country.1672533

There are legitimate concerns for traveling out of the country this day and age.  Living in fear though is not how we grow.  “Borders divide.  Travel Unites.”  A very powerful quote.  Travel unites us as mankind.  Traveling to foreign countries also unite couples even more.  The experience as a couple is even more profound when you travel in love.

Traveling out of the country is exciting.  When you have a travel professional to guide you along the way you will be safer.  You will have someone to call should anything go wrong and they will be there for you.

 

There are many components to honeymoon planning and the woes should not be a part of it!

LASTING LOVE

4 KEYS TO HAVING A LASTING RELATIONSHIP
(that I learned from my parents)
They met in 1968 when they were 17 and 19.  They lived in different towns 18 miles apart and neither had a car.  There were no cell phones, in fact, phone calls for them had long distance charges.  The relationship from the start was not easy like they can be in today’s standards.  They married, bought a home and had four children.  Through the years, they had job loss, accidents and numerous challenges that most couples do.  2016 they celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary.  They normally celebrate by going out to dinner lately, however, this year they celebrated at home.  Mom came home on their anniversary from having open heart surgery and being hospitalized for one week.  The night before her surgery they fell asleep holding hands.  Dad in the recliner and Mom in the bed.
The love they have is deep it is a true lasting love.  They are each other’s first real love and they will be each other’s eternal love.
The lessons I have learned from them are forever imprinted on my heart and I will treasure forever.  As I see couples plan trips together for the first time or 50th time I always hope and wish for them to have true lasting love.

1.Unconditional love


 

Unconditional – love without conditions.    Seeing the beauty in each other through the flaws is the beauty of a relationship.  No one is perfect.  See your spouse for the love they really are.  They will age, they will change however their heart will stay the same.  Always see them through the eyes of love.  See the love they have in their heart even when they are saying or doing things that may not reflect that.  You know there is love in them.  See that, feel that and connect with that.

2.Work ON your relationship


Take time to work ON your relationship and don’t just be in the relationship.   Spend time alone with each other.  Have date nights, go on a trip with just the 2 of you.  Give yourself permission to be a couple throughout your marriage.  There are marriage programs available through churches, there are relationship experts and books all about this.  Your relationship does not have to be in danger to work on the relationship.  This can be fun and done effortlessly.  You can make it game.  This is something that will add life and longevity to your relationship.

3.Laugh Together


Life is much too short to be unhappy.  We are put on this earth to live in joy.  There are going to be times in your relationships.  There are going to be disagreements.  There are going to be rushed times where you may just see each other briefly see each other in the day.  There are going to be serious conversations.   Allow JOY to be in your relationship.  Have fun.  Do not take things too seriously.  Tell a joke.  Remember the things that would make your partner laugh out loud when you were first together.  Bring up a funny memory.  Make a new funny memory.

4.Kiss



Kissing is an important part of a marriage or partnership.  Kissing according to Sheril Kirshenbaum, Special to CNN: Lip contact involves five of our 12 cranial nerves as we engage all of our senses to learn more about a partner. Electric impulses bounce between the brain, lips, tongue and skin, which can lead to the feeling of being on a natural “high” because of a potent cocktail of chemical messengers involved. Pucker up.  Kiss each other every morning, every time you leave each other for work or for a trip and Kiss each other good night.