Why do you need to get away?

Ha Giang Province, Northern Vietnam
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” –Moorish proverb

What does travel mean from a psychological point of view? What is it capable of giving you? What can you achieve or change in your life, if you were to “dive” skilfully into new cultures and countries?
My short answer to you: Everything! Everything good and positive, just as you desire. I invite you to take a closer look.

We usually tremble with hopes and wishes as we pack our luggage, about to go on a journey. Looking forward to new and amazing experiences, something that we don’t know yet.
The fact is: if you do it right, your journeys can solve lots of your existing problems and help you find the answers to the long standing questions. Here is Katya’s 5 reasons for travel:

Reason #1 – Get away from the everyday routine and problems 

When you change your environment and go on a journey, you feel like a free and alive person again, ready to intake and digest. Even the simplest of travels – sunbathing under the palm trees or trekking along the river is capable of bringing you peace and quiet. Capable of recharging you, as you forget about your everyday worries.

Reason #2 – Become more knowledgeable

It may sound a bit trivial. Nevertheless, this is so important: to keep growing and not to stop on what is already achieved. When you learn about new amazing cultures and traditions, when you see places, you become wiser and people just draw to you and your knowledge.

Reason #3 – Solving your problems

Does it sound familiar to you when you just lay there, unable to sleep, trying to fund solutions for your everlasting problems? No decisions come to mind. You wake up (or get up) exhausted. It feels as though life has just stalled.
By changing your scenery, you inevitably become re-charged and transformed. The trick is to take it seriously, and not to get into the usual habits of grabbing onto your cell-phone or laptop.

Reason #4 – When in Crisis - Reload

Here is a story of one of our clients.

“That’s it, it’s a total crisis. I am constantly angry with everything and everyone around me. But I think I am just angry and unsatisfied with myself and my goals, most of all. Business is not going anywhere. No, not the money flow. It’s all fine there. But where am I going with my strategy, my plans? My constant dissatisfaction with my life and with myself just doesn’t let me go forward, overcome my competition. What’s next? What if you don’t have a Dream anymore?”

What to do? Sometimes the solution can be simpler than you think. Get out of your comfort zone, get a shock. Forget about the ‘poor me’ and ‘no one understands me’ see the people around you. Does someone need more help and attention than you?

This particular client has departed on the travel training called “The Point of No Return”, which consists of such stages as: Formation – Obstacles to Change – Making Choices – and Positive Change. (Why this name? “The point of no return is the point beyond which one must continue on his or her current course of action because turning back is physically impossible, prohibitively expensive or dangerous” source Wikipedia), along with a group of like-minded people who were guided by one famous psychologist with 20 years of experience, Viktoriya Varlamova.

The journey took its place around the Northern part of Vietnam: rich traditions, pristine ethnic minority communes and the most amazing scenery.

The plan was as follows:
2 days for the arrival and look around, combined with the pre-training programme.

4 days in the Province of Ha Giang, in the house of a local farmer (house on stilts, surrounded rice fields and orchards). This is not a touristy place, hence still very authentic, clean and untouched. During the day, our client was helping the underprivileged children, planting trees and helping the local community, as he could. At nights, powerful sessions with the psychologist-trainer, as part of a group. Working on the Point of No Return.

3 days on a beach upon return back to civilization – Reflection. Culmination and the conclusion of the powerful experience and training. Looking back at what sort of person you used to be, habits and tendencies, as well as combining it with the newly acquired knowledge. Building the strategy for the Future.

Want to know the result for that businessman?
He spent 4 days in far away places where tourists don’t go and where he was REAL and where his emotions were RAW. Where he had time to re-think his everyday actions and behaviours. Where he cleansed his mind and soul. He came back re-freshed and re-charged, ready to jump into new adventures, bubbling with a positive drive!

Reason #5 – Re-instating positivity and progress

Travel is the time where you plan your own time and affairs. As it suits you.
It is an emotional re-charge which reactivates the thinking processes in your mind and stimulates your nervous system. The positive emotions find new life whilst the negative ones die off, gradually. No doubt, that after an amazing travel, when you come back home, you will feel that you can react to various situations in life more adequately and make decisions in a wiser and more mature way.

Time to plan your new adventures and travels. Time to pack your luggage and to hunt out new ideas and trends, which will, without a doubt, widen your horizons and give you an amazing new drive in life.
Time to open yourself up to new perspectives and possibilities, to become more skilful at decision-making and grow stronger and wiser.

Our next 2 groups depart on the life-changing training tours:

15 December 2014 - 10 days New Zealand, South Island Adventure - Reloading Happiness and Motivation
4 February 2015 - 8 days Singapore and Pulau Ubin - Reloading Happiness and Motivation

To enquire and book your space now contact Katya on skype: Kalexeichik or email: bookings@nonpareiltravel.com


Couple of shots from The Fullerton Suite, 5 years ago

You would love these shots because it is so different now! The whole landscape of Singapore has changed in the last 5 years. See the cranes on the right? That's the beginning of the Marina Bay Sands. Taken from the Fullerton Suite balcony.

And this is our Champagne breakfast (or the part thereof)


Unique tour of Singapore

I have been in Travel industry for over 13 years before I changed my profession. Travel is my passion and so I am happy to share my knowledge with you.

Singapore is a thriving cosmopolitan city that is brimming with diversity, as well as an array of culture, language, arts and architecture.
Singapore is romantic, elegant and breathing with high spirit. This city can show you its modern glass and steel, and then it will capture your heart forever with its old bumboats and the last of the Kampungs (Malay style old settlements).
What Singapore is really about – warmth, enriching and unforgettable experience.
Let me take you on a very rare, uncommon adventure around one of my favourite cities in the world.
The program that I prepared for you makes Singapore experience wholesome and personal, drawing the allure from the breadth and richness of attractions many have grown to love here in Singapore.

8 days, 7 nights in Singapore

Plan: Arrival - Singapore city, past and present - Modern Gardens, Cloud Forest - East Coast Park, bicycles, walks and food  - Kampung villages - Backyard of Singapore, Ubin island by bumboats

What can be in the tour:
-         7 nights accommodation at The Fullerton Hotel, room of your choice
-         Transfers from and to the Airport
-         Breakfasts on the mornings of the Tour
-         Tours as described below, with all ticketing, guiding and transportation
-     Singapore Sling at Long Bar, Chilli Crab dinner, and late lunch after Ubin island
-         Your personal host for the group, all through the ‘on-the-ground’ journey

Not included in the tour:
-         International air fares
-         Any other meal expenses associated with the tour that are not listed above
-     Entries to Viewing Platforms at Marina Bay Sands or any other entry tickets not prescribed in the program
Day 1 Arrival.
Transfer to the Fullerton Hotel. Built in 1928, it used to be the General Post Office, Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Club.  Once upon a time, the Fullerton Hotel protected the harbour.  On its rooftop stood the lighthouse, whose beacon safely guided ships into the harbour.  The restoration and conversion of this beautiful old building into a 400 room luxury hotel cost over $300 million.
Relax at the pool and enjoy the views of the river, the old Esplanade bridge, and the Old Government quarters.

Day 2 Modern Singapore
Wake up to the view of the Singapore Flyer and just in time for a scrumptious buffet breakfast with brilliant selection of hot food, fruit and baking.
We start our journey around Singapore from dazzling Marina Bay Waterfront. You will visit the amazing complex of Marina Bay Sands. People say that the boat on the top symbolises Singapore’s fishing village past. Others say, it’s a Dragon, sitting at the mouth of the sea, protecting the wealth of Singapore.
In the evening, before you retire to have a wonder of the city by yourself, we invite you to the city’s old bar, Raffles bar. You will be pleased with the relaxed atmosphere here: get a bowl of peanuts, sprinkle shells as you’re pleased, on the floor. Noone will even tell you off. Ah, and of course, this is the place to try the one and famous Singapore Sling cocktail, right where the recipe was born!

Day 3  The Gardens and the Local Spirit
The Gardens captures the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical Garden City with the perfect environment to live and work. It is just 5 minutes from your hotel.
Monet once referred to his garden as his most beautiful masterpiece. Singapore’s new icon, a 101-hectare horticultural attraction, certainly seems to be the nation’s most beautiful with more than 250 thousand rare plants in huge domed conservatories.
Enter the Cloud Forest, a mysterious world veiled in mist. A 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall showcases plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000-metres above sea level.
You will have a few hours free time in between the activities of the day.
Later on, we will spend the afternoon at the East Coast Park, doing what the locals do: rent a bicycle, or just enjoy the stroll along the waterfront park. We will finish the day with a delicious Chilli Crab meal and a refreshing local beer or sugar-cane juice at a very special foodcourt, right on the beach.

Day 4 Kampong and Kampong Glam
We are now getting closer to the real old Singapore culture. In Malay, the word "Kampung" means "village or settlement". It’s one of the two last surviving kampongs in the modern mainland of Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok.  The kampong was built in 1956 and is still a privately owned piece of land.   This is one of not so many places in Singapore where you will see REAL life and see REAL smiles.
We then visit the Kampong Glam. The name originates from the Gelam Tree, which once grew abundantly in the area. In 1822, the land in Kampong Glam was officially allocated to the Malays and others in the Muslim community, including a small but successful community of Arab traders.

Day 5 Pulau Ubin – Away from the Big World
Pulau Ubin is in essence, the last of the 2 'kampong' (villages) in Singapore. A stroll through Ubin takes you back to Singapore in the 1960's with the simpler pleasures of life. The slow lane starts as soon as you join the queue for the bumboat at Changi. As you arrive, all cares are left behind.

Ubin is a great day trip spent walking or pedalling through rustic roads under swaying coconut palms, exploring shady trails in overgrown rubber plantations, checking out secluded beaches and flourishing mangroves. On Ubin, the air is fresher and sights and sounds so soothing to the soul.

Day 6 Wetlands and Kranji Farms
We relocate to the real wild world of this region.
The beautiful 130ha Reserve includes mangroves and freshwater wetlands.

The Reserve is a home to an amazing diversity of all sort of interesting plants and animals. Among the stars of the Reserve are a family of wild otters! The resident crocodile also results in some excitement. Lively monitor lizards abound, as do all manner of other wild creatures, like large lizards, herons and even some resident snakes. Don’t be afraid though: it is totally monitored and safe in the Park.
We then relocate to Kranji Countryside. You’ll see the lesser known side of Singapore, with a variety of different farms available for exploration. Learn about their farming practices, with farms for eggs, milk and fruits, and others that breed fish, dogs, goats and other animals.

Day 7 Free time
We’ve had a busy few days. Singapore is a large little city. You might have had a few more dream visit points in mind… Digest the information received over the last week, and visit the city – your way.

Day 8 Departure
We transfer you to the airport, saying “We will see you again” and knowing that a part of your heart will love Singapore, forever.

If you like my itineraries, please share - I would be so happy if I could help!


Unique Aotearoa, New Zealand Tour 13 days

Kia Ora and welcome to Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud… 

This trip is concentrated on the beauty and people of New Zealand, most unique landscapes and accommodation.

Learning curve, throughout this travel, has its focus on re-setting your goals and values, becoming happier.
Even most New Zealanders regard it as "life-changing, bringing new emotions and experiences" (Ian and Marge Walker, Queenstown, New Zealand).

New Zealand’s scenery is breathtaking and dramatic, New Zealand is green and quiet – we all know that! But what makes this country, Aotearoa, really unique?

Kiwis! New Zealanders. Relaxed, easy going, yet very determined and successful nation.
Throughout this trip we will visit the best of the best, the most unique spots that not every New Zealander knows. We will meet local experts and simple people who will teach you to enjoy and love your life, from the heart.

This 13-days journey around Aotearoa offers you:
Kia Ora - Welcome in Maori
-          3 days in Auckland, the City of Sails – in-taking New Zealand spirit.
-          Tour briefing, meeting with all the group, talking about each other’s aims and hopes for the Adventure.
-          Getting familiar with the country and people. You will visit a historic Maungawhau volcano, 196 meters high with a 50 meter bowl-like crater, get onto a highest viewing platform in the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere
-          Visiting the most laid-back and artistic island of Waiheke, with some iconic vineyards
-          2 days in the Bay of Islands, where you will be amazed with the freedom and space of the 90-mile beach.
-          3 days in Rotorua/Taupo area, where you will enjoy the eye-opening half day workshop and
where you will be exposed to some mid-level extreme activities that require a good team spirit. Geyserland with nature’s awesome features also awaits you.
-          2 days in Christchurch, learning about ‘not giving up’ spirit of Canterbury people; see the city raise from the earthquake ashes.
-          2 days over in Kaikoura, joining a local family who will share over 800 years of unbroken Maori history and tradition. It’s a half day tour combining laughter, learning and storytelling with hands on activities like weaving. We will discover traditional uses of trees and plants as food and medicine and spiritual connections to the natural world.
-          We then return to Christchurch to reflect on the new findings discovered throughout this amazing journey, before spending the final night in the Land of Aotearoa. The last day in NZ will help you to re-establish your values in life, set your goals for the next few years to come.

-          Haere Ra (Good bye in Maori)

We travel by mini-busses and planes (Air New Zealand) throughout our Adventure. 
We stay at 4-5* unique accommodation that reflects New Zealand spirit.  

I am happy to assist you with booking your New Zealand trip, since I have been in the industry for over 13 years and every corner of New Zealand


Natuna Islands, Inspiration by Real Life

Are you in love with South East Asia, like me? Do you just love its people and culture, its authenticity?

This Story line and photos are provided by Dr. Irina Francken, Rotary Club Singapore on her trip to Natuna Island, Indonesia.

Welcome by local women

Refreshing start

I picked up a starfish, didn't realise it was the very real one!

Local oceanologist suggested "Lobster for dinner". Here is my future dinner.

Having dinner with real people, in the water-based village. Superb injection of life and inspiration. Getting to know local culture.

Visiting Ino Sudargo. Isn't it an amazing backyard? Note the house at the back.

 I lied down in a hammock and simply relaxed. Coffee, maam? Yes please!

Nothing expensive in this house. But they do have a whale skeleton in their collection, lots of interesting books and jazz music. Such an amazing taste for life! I told my husband about it and he replied with: "It would be great to re-organize the values in life. Maybe I should become a so much needed teacher-enthusiast of English language here?"

This is our "5* hotel".

And this is an amazingly old creature. The turtle, of course!

Such an amazing experience, just absolutely refreshing for your brain and soul. I think it's the REAL people that made this trip unforgettable!

For life-changing travels like this, call Katya French on Skype: Kalexeichik or just write to bookings@nonpareiltravel.com


Travel Transforms Your Life

Rate your life 1 to 10

If you had to stop right now and rate your life -- on a scale 1 to 10 -- what number would you choose? Are you happy with yourself? Are you living life to the fullest -- that's a 10? Have you hit the rock bottom and desperate for an all-over change -- 1? 

Human beings are naturally ambitious. We always wish for more: more success, more love, more appreciation, more wealth. Wealth, or $ Prosperity, however, should not be the starting point of your life journey but rather the point of your arrival. 
Travel Transforms Your Life

Enhance your soul

Travel and adventure, combined with learning experience enhance your journey to the prosperity. When you travel, you expose yourself to new cultures and new experiences. It is inspiring and eye opening. Each travel experience is like another little thread in the fabric of your soul. It helps you to arrive at Wealth as knowledgeable, experienced and inspired person.

See, if you can get a bigger enjoyment from your life and reach a place of mastery. Some have.


Австралиан Опен 2014 - Теннис

26 января 1788 года адмирал Королевского флота Артур Филипп высадился на берег в Сидней Коув, где теперь расположен город Сидней. Он поднял британский флаг и основал первую британскую колонию на побережье, которое в те времена называлось Новой Голландией.
Теперь этот день считается днем основания Австралии. В 2014 году празднование совпадет с финалом Открытого чемпионата Австралии - турнира "Большого шлема" теннисного сезона. 

Традиционно, Открытый Чемпионат по Теннису в Австралии (Австралиан Опен) проводится Международной федерацией тенниса (ITF) в январе — в этот раз с 13 по 26 января 2014 года на кортах Мельбурн-парка в австралийском городе Мельбурн.
В теннисном мире, Австралиан Опен пользуется большим уважением: здесь выступают сильнейшие. Сюда приезжают самые ярые, искушенные поклонники тенниса. И не только ради спортивного результата. Австралиан Опен стал спортивно-гламурным зрелищем со своими сенсациями и скандалами.
Кроме великолепного тенниса, поездка в Австралию может принести море позитивных эмоций. Ведь на этом далеком континенте можно испытать необыкновенное разнообразие природы и культуры. Остается только выбрать, что прильщает больше: джунгли и аборигены с крокодилами; виноградники южных земель и старо-английские деревушки или поездка на верблюдах в Красном сердце страны.
Чтобы вы ни заказали, как клиент Nonpareil Travel, нам под силу это осуществить. Дело в том, что у нас за плечами организация таких проектов, как лучшие билеты на теннисные туриниры, охота на собак динго, вертолетные экскурсии к красочным водопадам парка Какаду и масса других не менее увлекательных путешествий.

Если вы планируете поездку на Австралиан Опен, заказывать места и билеты, планировать свое путешествие, нужно уже сейчас. Как показал прошлый год, - это горячий сезон, особенно в силу того, что популярность Австралийского Чемпионата достигла своего апогея.

Обращайтесь к Екатерине Френч, bookings@nonpareiltravel.com