Monthly Archives: July 2020

5 Holiday Destinations for Single Men

For most unattached men, the word “single” brings a dual, or should that be duel, feeling. Being single is synonymous with freedom, but on the flip-side, very few men look forward to a lifetime spent alone. Thankfully, there are many destinations for a single vacation where a guy can tackle this conundrum on his own terms, in due time, but always after a hot experience in paradise. Here are five places that are custom-made for a singles holiday.

Medellin, Colombia:

Made for: Adventure-seekers, and romantics

The draw: Endless jungles, and seduction as a culture

The terrain surrounding this ancient city is one of the most diverse in Colombia and a great vacation for singles. It has tall mountain peaks, jungle highlands and lowlands, deep gorges and canyons, and amazingly hypnotic farming areas. Every type of terrain offers the opportunity for extreme guided excursions. Places like the Abbura Valley are unmatched in the world for seasonal color. Temesis offers endurance hikes and waterfall rappelling only minutes from the city. Of course, there are thousands of private places like Los Katios National Park, where the jungle meets a crystal clear pool, perhaps with a cave or hot spring. This is the ideal spot for a single guy to entertain a lovely local girl, or fellow traveler in a dream-like setting.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Made for: Fit men who can dance and who crave noise

The draw: 24 hour socializing and parties

Party Mecca for single men is Carnival, and Rio is its home base. Almost all year long, people in this city throw back the curtains for tourists. This is especially true for single guys who are extremely comfortable with leaving their self-loathing behind the moment the step off the plane. Festa (Portuguese for feast/celebration), is ingrained in Brazilian culture. In the ancient world, all roads led to Rome. In Rio, all roads lead to the beach, or a world class nightclub. There are the classics like Ipanema and the Copacabana, but other venues are becoming popular, especially if you have a favorite beach activity. Praia Vermelha is a surf hub, and Praia da Barra da Tijuca is famous for motor sports and parasailing. After working on the tan,go for dancing, drinks, and booty-watching at clubs like Leviano with its massive mosh pit, and Casa Rosa for laser-lit, edgy interaction. Rio might well be the perfect place for singles to holiday.

Bangkok, Thailand

Made for: Urban-oriented, tryst addicts

The draw: Food, adult entertainment, and more food

Men from all over the world find Bangkok to be a fascinating study in opposites. There’s no argument that adult entertainment in all forms is a major draw, but local laws and customs must be respected at all times. It’s absolutely possible to find any type of entertainment that you want, but it must be enjoyed on the culture’s terms. Bangkok is like a single traveller’s fantasy theme park, but definitely… ahem, lives up to its name. The people of Bangkok are exotic creatures in familiar westernized, U.S. and Euro-style packages. They are very accommodating to the expectations of single male tourists, and have the inviting currency exchange rate to boot. Restaurants like Xing Fu satisfy a guy’s stomach. Fitness and outdoor gyms help a guy retain his muscle tone while away from home. Elephant riding in the Khoa Yi National Park provides opportunities for selfies to make friends jealous. Adult clubs, lounges and hotel concierge like will certainly where out a single guy’s eyes (if not his entire body). As a single guy wrestles with the notion of settling-down in life, he can get the “wildness” out in this huge bachelor party of a destination.

Ibiza, Spain

Made for: History-lovers, mermen

The draw: Genuine locals, The Mediterranean

Ibiza is an island getaway steeped in old world culture including religion, sport, and cuisine. The deepest blue imaginable comes from an interface with the Mediterranean Sea, and the deepest brown is found in the eyes, hair and skin of some of Europe’s most alluring women making it the dream holiday for singles. A network of inviting villages each have town centers emerging from a catholic chapel like the Capilla de la Virgen de Lourdes, or a school or monastery. As far as social activities, anything having to do with playing on the sand or in the water is available. This area is very family friendly, so singles fun remains extremely intimate and low key. Single men should try offering a lonely local girl a glass of wine followed by a conversation on art, and a paddle board session afterward.

Cancun, Mexico

Made for: Penny-pinchers, beach bums

The draw: Oceanside recreation, tequila, tans

This resort city is obviously popular with the college Spring Break crowd for reasons that also appeal to any single man. Every dinner plate, public transport, cabana, fishing charter, beach chair rental, and bottle of Jose Cuervo is affordable. This means single guys in every stage of life can find a way to have fun. Spend a few days hiking in the Yucatan inland camping near the Chichen Itza Pyramid, then join a beach rave with some new Mexican friends for the rest of the trip.

For more ideas on vacations for single men click the visit singemantravel.

9 E-Commerce Tips for the Holiday Shopping Season

It hardly seems possible that we’re entering yet another holiday shopping season. Year after year, advertisers start campaigning to win over early-bird shoppers earlier and earlier. Christmas decorations emerge in retail stores before some families are even planning for Halloween. So in light of preparing well in advance, here are some tips to prepare your e-commerce site for the 2013 holiday shopping season.

Use Holiday Terms in Your Campaigns

You can capitalize on early-bird shoppers by using those keywords in some of your campaigns. Do your due diligence first to analyze the potential in your particular niche, but incorporating key phrases related to the holiday shopping season could tap into the early-shopper market. Terms such as “early holiday discounts,” “pre-holiday sale,” “Christmas shopping,” and similar terms combined with your niche keywords can be effective in the pre-season with early shoppers.

Promote Pre-Season Prices on Hot-Ticket Items

Some shoppers specifically seek out early deals on hot items. The Skylanders video game is popular among children and teens right now, for example, and parents may be looking to buy game systems and characters before the prices start creeping up in time for the busy shopping season. If you’re offering a hot seller at discounted prices, let shoppers know.

Analyze Last Year’s Performance

Now’s the time when you should be carefully analyzing last year’s performance. What marketing tactics did you use, and how well did they perform? Should you allocate more of your budget to PPC or organic SEO this year? If you’re using content marketing, start planning your efforts and getting the ball rolling.

Get your plans in place now. If you need to hire a copywriter to spice up your product descriptions or run a branding campaign, you have the time to do so. But if you wait until holiday shopping season is in full swing, you’ll be chasing your tail.

Ramp Up Your Product Descriptions

Your product descriptions are what will sell your inventory at the end of the day. You can get visitors to your site by optimizing and using PPC – but your product descriptions are what will drive conversions. Take a close look at your product copy and revitalize it. Run some A/B tests to drill down to the most effective headlines and descriptions. You can also start planning how you’ll incorporate holiday-relevant copy in your descriptions, such as “must-have 2013 Christmas item for teens,” or “on the 2013 holiday hot list.”

Take Advantage of Google+

Google is really pushing Google+, so you should be using it to your advantage. Make sure your physical location information is up to date, and make sure you’re sharing your compelling content there. There’s a definite SEO benefit to Google+, not to mention you can drive additional traffic through your connections.

Fine-Tune Your Local Business Presence

If you also have a brick-and-mortar location, make sure your local business presence is solid. Local customers will find you online this holiday season. Update your hours, contact information, physical address, and description. Make sure your description is relevant and keyword-rich, including the main products you sell. Give directions if your location is tough to find.

Use Retargeting

Now is the perfect time to start using retargeting. Because shoppers are browsing the web for ideas, they may spend some time on your site and then leave without making a purchase. After all, they have plenty of time to place orders before the holidays.

But you can make sure you stay top-of-mind in consumers’ minds – and give them an incentive to buy – by using retargeting. Hit up visitors with special offers and deep discounts on items that are sure to be best-sellers, and offer some motivation by letting them know the items they looked at are in low supply at the current prices.

Be a Resource

Everyone has at least one difficult-to-buy-for person on their holiday gift-giving list, and shoppers are always looking for great gift ideas. Be a resource to your visitors by offering tips on finding the best deals, what’s hot on this year’s wish lists for different recipients, ages, and so on, and other fun and informative information. The more valuable content you provide, the better your organic rankings and the more likely visitors are to share your content.

Pay Attention to Mobile

More people are shopping via mobile devices than ever, so it’s critically important to ensure your site is mobile-optimized. This is particularly difficult with e-commerce, as the many product listings and the check-out process are often difficult to make mobile-friendly. But if you neglect the mobile audience, you’re going to lose valuable conversions. Your PPC ads are going to show up for mobile users, too, but they’ll bounce quickly when they realize how difficult it’s going to be to complete the checkout process from a smartphone.

It’s not too early to start thinking about the holiday shopping season. Retail stores already have holiday inventory on the shelves, and shoppers are going to be scouring the web for ideas and deals soon. Tap into the opportunity by heading into this year’s holiday season armed with your best marketing efforts.

Holiday Greetings!

Solopreneurs know that our business is only as good as our relationships and our relationships are our responsibility to cultivate and nurture. One of the ways we do this is by sending December holiday cards to clients. Showing appreciation for business that has been awarded is a small, yet important, gesture that is a good relationship building block.

Sending physical holiday cards, as opposed to email greetings or e-cards, demonstrates that you are a gracious and thoughtful professional who is willing to take the time to properly acknowledge and thank your clients at this special time of year. When you send to your clients a genuine holiday card, it shows that you understand and respect business etiquette. Sending holiday greeting cards is good for your brand, as well as your business.

Holiday cards are an inexpensive and effective marketing tool. They don’t take much time to write. Your clients will be flattered to receive one from you. Many business owners and Solopreneur consultants no longer send holiday greetings to their clients (and some never have).

When you make the effort to send a card, you communicate an important statement about who you are and your approach to doing business. Your holiday card helps to distinguish you from competitors, guards against your being viewed as just another vendor, enhances your brand and shows clients that you value them.

When shopping for your card, take special care to select one that will represent you well and will leave the desired impression with the client. Because it is possible that you’ll have on your list clients who are neither Christian nor particularly religious, avoid cards that depict a nativity scene or other Christian imagery, or cards that contain a religious message.

Poinsettias, or scenes of winter, for example, and messages of “Season’s greetings” or “Happy holidays” printed within is the appropriate choice. Spend the money to buy a good quality (but not lavish) card. A small and tasteful card will be perfect. Expect to pay about $20.00 for a box of 8 cards.

Next, decide who should receive a card. Along with clients I’ve worked with during the year, I include all those I’ve worked with over the past five years, as a way to keep my name in front them and remind them that they have not dropped off of my radar screen.

Later in the new year, when they’re thinking of whom to call for a project, I want my name at top-of-mind, if possible. BTW, verify that clients from the past are still in the same post. A visit to the organization website or call to the main switchboard will save you from wasting a card.

If you are a very organized Solopreneur and had the foresight to order holiday cards printed with your name and organization at the start of the fourth quarter, remember to personally sign the card and include a brief message as well.

Along those lines, do not use pre-printed address labels. Keep the personal touch going by hand addressing the envelopes. Remember to use honorific titles (Mr. or Ms.). Lastly, get your cards stamped (religious stamps no, holiday stamps,yes) and to the post office no later than December 15.

Have a very merry,


Using Holiday Ritual to Manage Grief

During the holidays, many people’s past losses surface with a resurgence of sadness, anxiety, isolation and feelings of regret. If 2012 has been a year of loss or change for you, these feelings may be even more overwhelming or intense.

As difficult as the holiday season can be for some it is also a powerfully meaningful time to harness by creating personal ritual to help heal and make meaning of those painful transitions and losses.

Creating personal ritual can mark the milestones and life transitions that spiritual communities don’t often address.

A personal ritual could be creating a meaningful candle lighting ritual to honor a deceased loved one, for example. People naturally create ritual in their life, from routines to how we celebrate achievements; we do it pretty naturally really. This season, it may be helpful if you are managing a difficult life transition or personal loss to give thought to intentionally creating personal rituals.

Here are some examples of personal ritual one might use at the holiday time.

Candle Lighting

Candles and their lighting are often used in creating personal ritual and they are a also often a part of many meaningful spiritual traditions. One could begin by lighting a candle the evening of Thanksgiving Day, for example, and continue to light it nightly until New Years Eve. The first night the candle is lit perhaps one would read a prayer, a reading, or poem of significance. The final day of the lighting may include a different reading along with prayerful intention for healing and hope in the New Year. There is also meaning in finding or even making the candle. I have known clients who made their candle at the beginning of November to create the perfect representation of the meaning of the ritual, just to make it more personal.

I find that many people concentrate on the holidays of Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and Thanksgiving only to minimize the affect of New Year’s Eve or Day. The significance of New Year’s is not in whether or not you celebrated it in a significant way in past years. New Year’s has significance because it is stepping into a new year; a new year without your loved one, or a new year that seems filled with uncertainty. This next example of using journaling to gain emotional balance may be particularly helpful in paying attention to moving into the new year.

New Year’s Reflection Journal (particularly helpful after the first year of bereavement)

To use your journal you could review aspects of the past year and reflect upon goals for the coming year. If you are participating in a candle lighting ceremony, like the one mentioned above, you may proceed with journaling after you light the candle. Here are some suggestions of questions to ask yourself to stimulate the journaling process. Let these be a spring board for your planning, understanding that some of these questions won’t resonate with you. Use what you can and think of others that fit your unique circumstances.

1. What was the most important thing I learned in this past year?

2. What new things or experiences did I try for the first time this year?

3. What was I able to do this year that I thought I couldn’t do?

4. What was the most difficult thing I achieved/what did I learn about myself from it?

5. Where/from whom did I find blessing, grace and support when I needed it?

6. What do I wish I’d done differently this year/what will I change moving forward?

7. What new things or experiences do I want for myself in the coming year?

8. What new knowledge or skill do I want to develop next year?

9. What is my most important personal goal for 2013?

The benefit of combining journaling and ritual is that it provides a written medium for reflection where you identify and define a focus meant to build on strengths. Building upon the things that inspire hope brings balance and resiliency, rather than focusing solely on the sadness, anxiety and the unknown that lies ahead. The most important thing is that it has meaning for you.

Blending Old and New Holiday Traditions When Grieving

Anticipation of the holidays without your loved one is often harder than the actual holiday season. The first few years are usually the most difficult, but even many years later, the pain and sadness surface during this season. As you experience those normal emotions of remembrance of times shared, you might wish to skip the season completely. While others are celebrating, you might feel there is no joy in celebrating.

It can be challenging to get through the holiday season when one is heartbroken from the death of a loved one. This is a time to honor and remember our loved ones. It is also a time to remember our own needs, as we seek meaning and gratitude in our new life going forward. During this time, remember to be patient with yourself and be realistic of your expectations. As you grieve, make every effort to soften that mental picture of how things “ought” to be. As you celebrate the holiday season, listen to your heart and be careful not to overextend yourself.

Here are a few suggestions to help you as you begin to blend old holiday traditions with new traditions:

• Purchase or make a new holiday ornament or trinket. Place the new ornament or trinket next to your loved one’s favorite one. Place this on your holiday tree or a special place in your home.

• If you usually decorate the tree in the living room, still decorate the tree, but maybe place it in the den instead.

• If you had a special dinner on Christmas Day, maybe have the special dinner on Christmas Eve instead, with a special place setting at the table in memory of your loved one.

• If you usually shopped together to purchase gifts for each other, purchase a gift in memory of your loved one and give it to someone else.

• Choose a favorite activity that your loved one enjoyed, i.e., sports, baking, etc. Select one day during the holiday season that you will do this activity, even if this is an activity that you never participated in before.

• Get creative as you find your own unique ways to show tribute to your loved one and gratitude for your own life, the memories created, and the lessons learned.

An activity that I always suggest is to do something that you have never done before, but maybe always wanted to do. Choose an activity that will force you to step outside of your comfort zone when doing so. This will not only help you with beginning new traditions, but will boost your confidence and belief in yourself as you find meaning and gratitude in your new life.

Holiday Decor: Spend Less & Enjoy More

Have you noticed that retailers start displaying their holiday decorations and merchandise earlier and earlier each year? Some people welcome the early holiday cheer, while others like myself; feel there is too much Christmas to soon. A scientific poll of 1,000 American adults, 73 percent agree with the statement that “it is annoying that the holiday shopping season has gotten earlier.” Forty-eight percent strongly agree. Just 21 percent disagreed. But, if you are a gung ho ho ho shopper and into the themed holiday decorating then this time of year is definitely your best bet for great deals on all things “holiday”.

What To Buy and When

Remember when the best deals came after the holiday? Obviously this is still true for items like Christmas cards and holiday wrapping paper. But now, retailers are introducing their holiday discounts early to ensure their stock is sold out by Christmas and, you don’t have to wait and purchase after the holidays only to pack them away for the next 11 months before you can use them.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The holiday season with its purchasing, wrapping and celebrating substantially increases the amount of waste we generate. However, there are many opportunities for the consumer to reduce, reuse and recycle their remnants of holiday cheer.

Before you buy anything new, take stock of what you already have, what you can still use and discard the rest. Social media sites such as Pinterest can give you great ideas on how to repurpose your current decorations.

Save your holiday decorations for reuse next year. Donate your old decorations to local schools, churches or other non-profit organizations.

Don’t shy away from Do It Yourself holiday faire. YouTube videos are all you need to execute professional-looking centerpieces, bows, table décor, etc. Use natural ornaments such as pinecones, shells, dried flowers or berries to transform your old ornaments and adorn your home or office with refurbished centerpieces and wreaths.

What are the new trends in holiday décor?

One of the hottest trends in holiday decorations is black and white. Not only is black and white timeless, it is also the perfect backdrop to add any color, especially red and green. Use black and white and highlight your Christmas wreath, your table runner or your Christmas tree. Everything will look classic and elegant with a touch of black and white.

LED lights are overtaking incandescent bulbs on trees and homes. Remember, if you decide to upgrade your lights, LED also come in a bluish and yellow white.

How about using a winter theme instead of traditional Christmas decorations. If you use this more generic theme you can leave your decorations up much longer without your neighbors wondering why Santa is still on your roof in Feb.

Lastly, instead of scattering small decorations throughout your home why not decorate one or two areas of your home with larger pieces. Your fireplace mantel and your entryway can be used to show off your personal style.

Where to Shop for Holiday Décor

Decorating for the holidays can be very expensive. There is a way to create a beautifully decorated home for little or nothing. Craft stores and big box stores usually offer 40 percent off coupons with stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond offering 20 percent off certain holiday items. Dollar Tree is one of the best places to holiday shop on a budget. They carry decorations for every holiday including Christmas and Thanksgiving. Other retailers that should be considered are Kirkland’s, Pier 1 Imports, Jo-Ann, Big Lots, Sears, and Target.

I hope these ideas bring some cheer into your home this holiday season! Remember, dressing up your home will set the stage for your family’s holiday celebrations.

Are You Ready for a Post-Divorce Holiday?

Divorce is often a debilitating process. It takes its toll and can impact on every area of life, eroding our confidence, self-esteem and sense of worth, as well as seriously affecting our finances. Often, when it’s eventually finalised, we’re left feeling drained and flat.

Grief often accompanies divorce. The loss of the life we so joyfully anticipated, the awareness that this stage of our life is over, anger, self-recrimination, resentment perhaps at what’s happened. We may even feel a failure, a reject and consequently unlovable.

Often times recovery is dependent on several factors. If children are involved are they settled, accepting and seeming to cope well with the new arrangements? Is a third-party involved? Are we okay with our new domestic situation, living where we want or need to for now? Are things starting to come together again?

Some people may negotiate to stay in the marital home. Others may decide to move elsewhere and maybe choose to have the company of a house share for a while or they decide to move altogether and start afresh. Money is often a significant factor, needing to earn money or perhaps taking the opportunity to review their career direction and future options.

All these important, life-defining considerations on top of the divorce proceedings can mean there’s a real readiness to take a break once things are finally sorted. There’s a need to regroup and breathe for a while. Some people may choose to break the mood by throwing a party and celebrating their new single status. For others a holiday may be the way to go.

One holiday operator is offering 4 night post-divorce getaways to Las Vegas, with makeovers and fun times included. It’s an opportunity to detach from reality and take some time out with friends. Las Vegas is party central so it’s a sure thing that there’ll be other groups also enjoying short breaks with stag weekends and birthday parties. Plenty of opportunity to let their hair down.

Then there are those who prefer a calmer post-divorce break. Something not too boisterous can provide time and space for reflection and healing. After a divorce, when so much in life has changed, it can be good to take time to consider your longterm options; where you want to live, what you want to do with your life, how you’d like to move forward. Yes, some things need sorting immediately, perhaps as a temporary measure, but longterm decisions are often best postponed till after the dust has somewhat settled.

Already at a crossroads, divorce can be a time to reflect on the different areas of life and start afresh. A holiday can provide a distinct break from other people and their advice, as well as from the routine demands and distressing associations of home and everyday life. Booking a quiet break, perhaps even a retreat can offer a detached time-out from all the old associations and recent turmoil.

Others may want a holiday that focuses on their varied interests, perhaps something they were never able to properly pursue in their earlier life or something new and appealing. They may choose an educational break, perhaps learning to dance, paint, study a language and immerse themselves in a new skill. And this can be a great opportunity to make connections with like-minded people, possibly even making new friendships.

Yes, lying on a beach or going sight-seeing can be fun, but a holiday post-divorce can be a time to detach from what’s been hurtful and life-changing, reconnect with yourself and maybe with your children for a while and prepare yourself for starting again once you return. Then you can come back, ready to commit to a fresh start as a renewed version of yourself. Going a little wild with your mates for a few days is certainly one option, but there are plenty of other choices available when you’re ready for a post-divorce holiday.