Ease The Stress Of Travel With Bach Flower Remedies

They say that travel broadens the mind. It also empties your wallet and is rarely straightforward! My teenage son is off to Honduras on a scientific expedition in a couple of days. The planning that has gone into this trip has been like a military operation. Lists litter my desk – essential equipment, medical kit, dive gear, jungle clothes, currency, travel documents, flight details and more. There have been times when my mind has been on a loop with these lists. I’ve woken in the middle of the night thinking about the things that we may have missed and have been distracted during the day with this trip on my mind.

Luckily, I know that there is a solution for worrying thoughts. White Chestnut, one of the 38 remedies that make up Dr Edward Bach’s system of healing, is designed to deal with exactly this kind of worry. I took 2 drops in a glass of water which I sipped throughout the day and in a few days my mind was clear. Once again, I was able to control my thinking, instead of it running itself like a hamster on a wheel!

There are many other Bach Flower Remedies that help with travel. Here are a few:

Mimulus:

Mimulus is the remedy for any fears or anxieties that you can put a name to. Here are some examples:

  • Fear of being in an unfamiliar place or being unable to speak the language.
  • Fear of ‘foreign’ food.
  • Fear of missing a flight or connection.
  • Fear of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.
  • Fear of getting lost.
  • Fear of terrorists.

Mimulus will give you a sense of ease and that everything is alright.

Fear of flying may be helped by Mimulus, however, it is a complicated condition to treat on your own. I recommend that you get the help of an experienced practitioner who will make a personal blend that is tailor-made to your requirements. Remedies worth considering are: Rock Rose for panic and terror; Cherry Plum for feeling hysterical and trying hard to control things and Willow for getting things out of proportion.

Crab Apple:

This remedy helps with obsessive worries about germs, contaminated food and using public toilets. Crab Apple allows you to be relaxed about your surroundings, even if they seem imperfect. It is also helpful to take to give relief from travel constipation.

Honeysuckle:

Honeysuckle stops that homesickness and longing to be back home when you are only half way through your holiday. It allows you to make the most of the here and now.

Impatiens:

If you hate to stand in line and are constantly clock watching Impatiens will give you patience. You may be obsessed with timetables and become irritable if you think you might be late. You may also have road rage. Your holiday may be spoiled by your constant thoughts about ‘what is next?’

Clematis:

This remedy is wonderful for keeping your mind focused on the here and now. If you have a long road trip to do, Clematis will give you the concentration you need to drive safely. It is designed for people who are ‘day dreamy’ and often drift off into their thoughts or who are absent-minded and ‘not with it’. This is also the remedy for bringing your dreams into fruition. If you have been planning that special trip for years and have collected pictures, made lists and itineraries but haven’t actually booked the ticket, then Clematis will help you to make that trip a reality.

Larch:

If you would love to travel but think ‘I can’t’ or if you make up excuses rather than attempt a trip and make a mess of things. It gives you confidence in your own abilities and the drive to ‘go for it’!

Scleranthus:

Scleranthus helps with seasickness and vertigo. It also helps if you are indecisive and swing between two options – camping or hotel, countryside or beach, train or plane and so on.

Red Chestnut:

This remedy helps if you worry about your family members travelling and think that bad things will happen to them. It will help you to radiate positive encouragement to those you love rather than fear.

Centaury:

Centaury helps you to be assertive and stand up for yourself. If you are being offered a different hotel room to the one you booked or if a meal is not up to scratch, then this remedy will help you to quietly but firmly assert yourself.

Elm:

Planning a trip can become arduous and it easy to get bogged down by the many things that need to be done. Even strong, capable people can suddenly become overwhelmed by all the arrangements, lose confidence and feel that it is all too much. Elm takes away the feeling of overwhelm and restores confidence. It also helps you to delegate so that you are able to do what you can in the time you have available.

Walnut:

Walnut helps you to cope with change and adapt to new circumstances and new surroundings.

Beech:

Holidays often bring out the cracks in family relationships. It is easy to feel critical and intolerant when holidays force us to be together 24/7. If you become irritated by the habits and mannerisms of family members, or if they seem to be doing everything ‘wrong’, then Beech will give you the tolerance and acceptance you need to survive the holiday.

Rescue Remedy and Rescue Cream:

These are travel essentials. Rescue Remedy helps for the stress of travel days and if things go wrong on the trip. The cream is brilliant for soothing rashes, grazes, bites and stings.

All you have to do is choose the remedies that best suit you or your family members. You can safely mix up to 7 remedies together to make your personal travel blend. I would recommend that you start to take your blend at least a month before travelling so that you are perfectly in balance when you are on your trip. Bon voyage!

Wine Travel – Washington’s Eastern Region Shines

If you’re a wine travel lover, Washington is an especially rewarding destination. Practically everywhere you turn, there’s an interesting winery to discover, not to mention vibrant cities, natural wonders galore, and a pleasing four season climate.

In our estimation, many Washington wines are becoming as well known as California’s. It’s not surprising, as Washington is the second largest wine producing state in the country. To illustrate the importance of Washington’s wine industry, over 500 Washington wineries add almost $3 billion to the state’s economy, and employ more than 29,000.

There’s so much to discover about Washington wine, so let’s focus on Washington’s eastern area, known as the Inland Empire, and in particular the strikingly beautiful city of Spokane.

Introducing Spokane

One of the first things you’ll notice about Spokane is how the great outdoors literally snuggle up to this friendly city. Bisected by the Spokane River, white water rafting, skiing, cycling tours, and hiking opportunities abound. And yet, the vibrant pulse of this high tech city is always on display, with live music and fantastic restaurants just steps away no matter where you turn.

The city itself is wonderfully walkable, interspersed with historic architectural gems that have been restored and reinvented. Our first evenings discovery was the Davenport Arts District, a lively arts and entertainment area.

The Davenport Arts District is really where you’ll feel Spokane’s pulse. Historic buildings house galleries, restaurants, and unique shops. This is an ideal late afternoon and early evening stroll, with extra time the next day to fully appreciate all the District has to offer.

Just a few of the shops we discovered were Simply Northwest, which features specialty foods, wines, and regional gifts, and the whimsically named Spokandy, a local candy making institution since 1913. Next, it was time for dinner at the Steam Plant Grill, housed in an historic handsome landmark former steam plant.

This was dinner as it should be. Steam Plant Grill focuses on local ingredients, hearty portions, and reasonable prices. Try the planked salmon, beer cheese soup, and the basil cream ravioli. Don’t miss dessert … the vanilla bourbon stout float is made with the onsite brewhouse’s oh-so-delicious dark stout beer and creamy premium vanilla ice cream.

Spokane Wineries

Twelve wineries call Spokane and the surrounding area home. Spokane itself is compact enough, so driving distances aren’t burdening. Many of the wineries are clustered fairly near downtown, with others just slightly farther afield. Conveniently, 12 of the 14 are quite near the Spokane River, which bisects the Spokane area as it meanders east/west.

Wineries East Of Downtown

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars: Wine Spectator named Arbor Crest one of “50 Great Producers Every Wine Lover Should Know”. It’s located in the Cliff House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located high on a bluff overlooking the Spokane River, the view is almost better than the wine here. Look for award winning Cabernets in particular.

Knipprath Cellars: Located in a handsome old red brick schoolhouse, Knipprath boasts an impressive selection of Port wines, a favorite of ours. Have you ever tried a Vanilla Port or a Chocolate Port? You can here! We also loved the Moonstruck Merlot, with its notes of brown spice and plum.

Latah Creek Wine Cellars: If you like Rieslings as we do, you’ll enjoy Latah Creek. The extensive gift shop here is one of the nicest we visited on this trip. Also be sure to try a Washington specialty, the Huckleberry d’Latah. This wine is a blend of huckleberries, a small blueberry-like fruit, with Riesling.

Nodland Cellars: What a wonderful small boutique winery this is. Just like many European estate wineries, Nodland produces only one red and one white wine. These wines are aged in French Oak barrels, adding to the smooth complexity of the finished product.

Wineries North Of Downtown

Mountain Dome Winery: Located in the foothills of Mt. Spokane, Mountain Dome is something of a change of pace, as they are Washington’s premier sparkling winery. One of the key differences between production of sparkling wines vs. regular wines is the lengthy bottle aging, thereby producing a secondary fermentation. These wines are fun to drink, and add a new dimension to a wine lovers palate.

Townshend Cellar: This small winery north of Spokane offers small lots of quality wines, many of which have been praised by the wine press. The reds are the star here, especially the rich dark fruit taste of their Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wineries In And Near Downtown

Barrister Winery: We literally walked right into this winery, housed in a early 20th century brick building in the heart of the Davenport District. It’s red wine heaven here. Barrister produces limited quantities of Bordeaux style reds and Syrahs.

Grande Ronde Cellars: Wine Specator loves Grande Ronde Cellars, having raved about their Cabernet and Merlot. The real star for us, though, was the creamy Chardonnay. The bouquet of apricot and peach truly was the forebearer of great things to come.

Lone Canary Winery: This was our personal winner of “best winery name” in the Spokane area. But Lone Canary is more than just a name, although the logo is eye catching and named after Washington’s state bird, the wild canary. The wines here have great depth and complexity, from the deliciously fruity Cabernet Sauvignon to Bird House Red, a red blend.

Robert Karl Cellars: Located in the heart of Spokane’s historic warehouse district, Robert Karl Cellars specializes in premium Cabernets. These wines are ideal to cellar for a time to bring out their true mature flavor. In particular, we recommend the rich red Syrah and the Claret.

Vintage Hill Cellars: This downtown Spokane winery is a very comfortable and pleasant place to stop and taste. We bought a few bottles of Vintage Hill’s Sauvignon Blanc and the Riesling.

Of course, eastern Washington and Spokane are just a part of Washington’s wine scene. In the meantime, don’t overlook Spokane! This is an appealing destination whether you crave outdoor activities, historic architecture, city life, or all of the above!

Germany Travel Tip – Potsdam’s St. Martin’s Day

On the 11th day of the 11th month each year special celebrations take place all over Germany. Also marking the start for the annual carnival season this day is widely known as St. Martin’s Day. Children walk the streets with self-made lanterns singing traditional songs, the St. Martin’s bonfire is ignited and traditionally a Martinsgans, Martin’s-Goose, is served to commemorate the life and legend of St. Martin.The public park of Potsdam, capital city of Brandenburg and very close to Berlin, is a good place to experience this old tradition and cozy restaurants are nearby, where you and your family can share a fresh, oven baked Martin’s Goose.

The history takes us far back to the 4th century and to the young Martinus, who served as an officer in the Roman army. One night he was riding on his horse through a town and was approached by a beggar asking him for warm clothes, since it was freezing cold. Martinus split his coat with his sword and gave a half to the beggar. Later Martinus quit his job in the Roman army and became a soldier of God and lived a life of an anchorite. When the story of his good deed spread he should become a bishop. Legend has it that Martinus was too shy to take this honor and tried to hide in a goose hutch. People equipped with lanterns, searched the half night for him and were finally alerted by the twitter of the geese. The geese were butchered and eaten, Martinus became Bishop Martin and was later canonized and still today his story is told and celebrations take place to remember the good deed of St. Martin.

Although this is a nice story to explain why a goose is on the menu on this particular day, there is a far more rational explanation to that. In the yearly calendar of the church- and farmers, the 11th of November marks the beginning of the winter and the 40 days lent before Christmas, where no fat food is allowed. It was also the day, when the farm laborers were laid-off, got paid and received a present and when the annual land lease had to be paid. As currency and presents a goose came in very handy, since money was not often used in the Middle Ages.

All that is left today, thinking of the goose, is the traditional way of preparing this festive meal. Basic rule is, the more aromatic the filling, the better the taste of the meat. In the north of Germany it is common to fill the Martinsgans with a mix of ground pork, onions, garlic and herbs while in the south soaked buns, chestnuts, roasted nuts, apples, plums, sugar, salt, vinegar and red wine are widely preferred. The goose is placed in an oven and constantly basted with its own stock to ensure the meat doesn’t dry out.

A good place to experience the traditional St. Martin’s Day is in the Public Park of Potsdam, Brandenburg. Celebrations start at 3:30 p.m., on the 11th November 2009. First you can watch or help tinker the lanterns later used in the romantic procession through the park. Before that the St. Martin’s Play, displaying traditional, colorful costumes is shown to all visitors, reminding of Martinus good deed. Finally a bonfire will close this event in the early evening hours and you might like to continue your St. Martin’s Day experience in the nearby restaurant. Beautiful located in the San Sanssouci Park, the Restaurant & CafĂ© Drachenhaus, Dragon-House, invites all guest to a delicious prepared Martinsgans. Starting at 7 p.m., a whole goose with green- and red cabbage, dumplings, potatoes and plenty of tasty brown gravy is served for a party of 4 people. Half a goose with all side dishes can be shared by 2 people. Reservations are recommended and you can contact them through their web site.

This is an example of what you can do in Potsdam while traveling in Germany. If you want learn more about Potsdam we compiled a more comprehensive Potsdam travel guide in collaboration with local residents that provides unique travel insider tips which you can use during your Germany vacation.