Author: Jennifer Hill

Top 5 Ways to Survive Sickness While Traveling

If I could give you advice, it would be to travel as often as you can. Traveling and living in multiple cities has always been a life goal of mine. Some years, chasing that goal entails multi-country tours. Others, it means staying in one place to soak up much of the local atmosphere as I can. From summer internships in Spain, business trips in Latin America, living in France while pregnant, and educational sojourns to Asia, I have learned much about the art and adaptability of travel from my journeys. Such experiential education becomes even more important to apply when you become ill while traveling. I don’t mean the headache or hangover type of ill. I mean the I-want-to-be-in-my-bed-with-my-doctor-and-mother-on-speed-dial type of ill. Now that I’m a parent, it’s even more important for me to be prepared prior to and during travel. Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot. Here are my top 5 tips for dealing with illness while on the road.   1.  Ask about special amenities for the sick. Airports sometimes have accelerated immigration for …

Why I’ll Always Worship the Sun

El sol. Le soleil. Il Sole. In any language, in any part of the world and regardless of the temperature, I love the sun. I could be in the hottest of deserts (I grew up Arizona) or the coldest of climes (Chicago at 30F has brilliant sunshine), either way, the brightest star in the sky makes me happy like nothing else does. Perhaps it’s a function of genetics or environment, but I feel like everything in life is happier, brighter and infused with more energy when it’s sunny outside. Winter offends me, unless I’m traveling to it as a novelty. One of my favorite days of the year is when we turn our clocks ahead and an extra hour of sunlight appears. (I dread the converse.) France has the right idea — each major French city throws a serious party to celebrate the summer solstice, when it stays light until 10:30pm. Bliss! A well-respected futurist once told me that everything about me indicates a foundational need for the sun. My favorite beverages are sun tea (iced …

My Magical, Hand-Painted Levis

When I was 12 years old, a chic French clothing store opened up right next door to my mom’s first boutique. The owners, from Paris, were impossibly cool and the best dressers I had ever seen. The store was named “Vanilla” and I loved just about every item of clothing in it. One particular vêtement caught my eye — a pair of hand-painted Levi’s jeans. I was smitten. The jeans were a baby blue shade with two large, bold images painted on each thigh. One leg had a floral bouquet and the other the face of a woman. By simply adding beautifully drawn hand-painted images, they went from reliable staple to fashion statement, as well as a marker of self-identification. Each pair in the store was unique – just like their future owners. And they looked impossibly cool in the window paired with a black blouse and heels. I was smitten. These jeans represented everything that I wanted to be at the time: sophisticated yet a bit hippie, polished but not uptight, approachable, and cool, …

The Start of School, Once Again…

Once the beginning of September rolls around, TV and newspapers are filled with images of preppy kids in long sleeved shirts, jeans and jackets excitedly taking on great outdoor playgrounds as they go back to school. When one grows up in Arizona, the start of the school year is simply an extended summer — it’s still 110 degrees outside, phys-ed teachers still make you run the half mile regardless of the heat index, and those images of children in long-sleeved clothes are pure fantasy. Just as the summer reached its hottest point, and the world moved as slow as molasses, that was the time that school started again. As a kid, I both loved and dreaded the end of weeknight slumber parties. The new school year was an exciting opportunity to transition another year of life – to grow, learn and stretch. It signified renewal and a chance to embark upon great adventures. By June of the following year, I’d be in an entirely new place and it would seem as though lifetimes had passed. Staples …

Second-Time Travel: Santorini, Greece

I love the Mediterranean Sea. Ever since I visited for the first time as a high school foreign exchange student, summer has never felt the same without a trip to this part of the world. The brilliant sunshine, chill attitude of the locals, delicious food and long summer nights are my idea of paradise. A visit to Greece is a magnificent way to experience the Mediterranean. The amazing cliffside architecture is a marvel — the dizzying, white washed buildings glitter brilliantly at different times of day. (Given the rocky terrain, it’s not for young children.) Find a favored travel partner who is comfortable just relaxing and appreciating the scenery, or visit on your own. The breathtaking views, delicious food and warm Greek hospitality make it hard to leave. Since a flight transfer from Athens is essential, spend a couple of extra days in one of civilization’s capitals to see history for yourself. Where to Stay This is the most important decision of your trip. Every part of the island is beautiful, and it is possible …

Second-Time Travel: Bermuda

One of the best things that I’ve discovered about living on the Eastern Seaboard is that Bermuda is only a short 90-minute flight from most of its major cities. Depending on the season’s flight schedule, one can be up at dawn and on a Bermuda beach by noon. (This is far faster than battling it out in Montauk or planning 18 months in advance for a summer share.) The warm balmy weather, crystal blue water, gorgeous scenery, impeccably polite locals and delicious cuisine all beckon. Bermuda is an easy-going place where one can swim, snorkel, dive, hike, sail, golf and find many other enjoyable ways to pass the time. The evenings are Hollywood-perfect with just the right amount of humidity and breeze for dining al fresco followed by a moonlit walk as the tiny tree frogs serenade you. From the moment one spots the tiny island with the multi-colored houses from the plane, Bermuda is instantly relaxing. Over the past several years, my husband and I (and, now, our toddler son as well) have been …

Taco Tuesday: A Spicy, South of the Border-Style Tradition

Taco Tuesday is a tradition in warm weather climates (and beyond) across America. It’s an excellent excuse to kick back with a margarita and chow down on a quintessential Mexican food staple. Since I’m from Arizona (and half-Mexican), tacos are comfort food, celebration food, a simple dinner during the week and part of a fiesta of dishes for weekend dinner parties. In other words, there’s always a good time for tacos. The contents of my fridge center around this principle: At any one time, I can rustle up two things: homemade chicken noodle soup and tacos. Whether it’s for illness or dinner, I’m prepared. This means that a homemade roasted chicken (or store bought rotisserie chicken) features prominently in the line-up every couple of weeks so that I can cook the carcass for soup and freeze the leftover chicken meat for tacos or enchiladas. There is generally a packet of organic ground beef in the freezer as well. One of the great pleasures in life is preparing and sharing a good meal with good people. …

Bored at Work? Adopt a Gig Mentality

Summer vacations were one of the best things about college. They provided me with a precious three-month opportunity to explore the working world without consequence – exactly when my appetite for adventure and real-world experience bumped up against the ugly reality of living wages and educational expenses. After my first year in school, I wangled a stipend to explore my passion for non-profits and the law. I volunteered at a major international non-profit sporting organization that planned, organized, marketed and led a weekend summer camp for the athletes. One day a week, I was a lackey at the county courthouse. In spite of organizational challenges, I was a veritable over-eager sponge. I had a burning desire to move faster, produce more and innovate around systemic efficiencies that were of little interest to my seasoned superiors. The whole time, my bright-eyed enthusiasm never waned. The reason? The start of the school year provided a clean break. These three months were a priceless, experience-building window that allowed me to bypass any regrets, resume concerns or awkward goodbyes. …