• Tulum

    Last Leg Musings

    So, here we are, the last leg of my journey. As I type this I am sitting in a hotel In Cancun, Mexico. It really is a...

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    European Excursions: Culture, History & More

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    Looking Back On Oz & NZ

    I’m now well on my way to being a full fledged backpacker! I have the mindset of a traveller, I’m living day by day and I’m even...

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    My Australian Adventure

    It has been a while since my last post so I thought I should give you all a quick update on my progress! I’ve been in Australia...

  • Taking Action: Why I Took A Gap Year

    Hey! OK, to start off this blog I want to tell you why I decided to take a gap year from work. Let’s get one thing straight...

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It has been a while since my last post so I thought I should give you all a quick update on my progress!

I’ve been in Australia for a few weeks now and I am absolutely loving it!

I think I said on one of my original blogs about how I just chose my route by looking at a world map however I’m glad I chose Oz as my first port of call. It gives me the chance to experience a new country, new culture and new surroundings without being completely different from what I have back home. Good way to ease me into the whole backpacking and travelling experience!

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Hey!

OK, to start off this blog I want to tell you why I decided to take a gap year from work.

Let’s get one thing straight first, a gap year isn’t just for students and recent graduates looking to ‘find themselves’ teaching English in a remote orphanage somewhere across the other side of the world. These endeavours are great, there is no doubt about that, but ANYONE can take a gap year from their life. It doesn’t matter if you are 18, 28, 38, 48 or whatever. If you think you can benefit from taking a year out from whatever it is you do then why are you not making plans?

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For those who travel frequently, there are very many positives to having and sticking to the services of one travel agency. The following are just some of the benefits you will enjoy if you stop hopping from one travel agency to the next.

Credit Facilities.
If you have been with the same company for long, they soon get to know you so well that you can get their services without paying a dime upfront, allowing you to pay back over time as it is convenient for you.

Right now you may think that you do not need credit extended to you, but picture a situation when you have an important business trip that comes up abruptly and you have to be away for an extended period of time. In such a case you will want to have as much cash on your card as possible so tickets not immediately paid for will come in very handy.

Discounts And Bonuses.
Customers that patronize the same service providers usually enjoy the benefit of being given discounts or bonuses for being such loyal customers.

Each of these discounts may be small but if you add them up over a year, what you save in this arrangement can be a tidy sum to finance a major purchase or go into your investment portfolio. The travel agency values your repeat business and they are willing to sacrifice a portion of their profit in order to show you that you are appreciated as a regular client.

Quality Advice.
Companies always long to know their clients as individuals in order to have their services tailor-made to the needs of that individual. When you use a travel company time and time again, they get to know your requirements in a very detailed way.

Such a company is thus able to give you very good advice on a variety of issues. They will, for example, recommend that you stay at a certain hotel and not another because the one they have selected for you prepares meals in exactly the way that you love to have your food.

This advice can even come up in ways you wouldn’t expect. I’ve been with the same travel agency for many years and I have a good friendship with my agent. When I told her I was planning a trip to Texas to see relatives and planned to get a procedure like this http://BuckinghamFacialPlastics.com/botox.html, she actually took the time to research and point me towards a good Austin plastic surgery specialist to save me the trouble. This isn’t something she would have done for a new customer!

Such attentions are what can make the difference between a tolerable trip and a very good one since you will have things done as you would wish them to be.

Over The Phone Transactions.
As a repeat client, it is very easy to just make a call to the travel company and simply mention a destination that you would like to go to and they will sort out all the attendant arrangements. This is because they will know what you want so you do not have to waste time explaining every time you are about to travel.

Berlin is the capital of Germany and although it was adversely affected by the Second World War and the cold war, it has re-emerged from the ashes to become one of the leading cities in the world. Here are five places you must see while in Berlin.

The Holocaust Memorial.
This place is a real maze of innumerable concrete slabs that you must walk through when in Germany. In order to really experience what the holocaust was all about, just quietly walk through the memorial and the spirit of what this place stands for will engulf you. You will be overwhelmed by the emotions that are stirred within you by this experience and the beauty of it all is that you do not have to part with a single coin to gain access to this place.

The Berlin Wall.
Yes, there is a section of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. Everyone who visits Germany has to see this wall so that the history that they read about or watched in a documentary comes to life.

It is located on the eastern side of the city but I do not advise that you try to climb over that wall. Memories of what it stands for are so fresh that later on, you will not be able to forgive yourself for being so insensitive.

The Olympic Stadium.
When one hears the word “fascist” they immediately conjure up all sorts of bad things. Well, the Olympic Stadium is testimony that there were spectacular things associated with the fascist regime in Germany.

This stadium represents the very best of architecture during the fascist times and when you visit it you will be thankful that we live in an era of digital cameras otherwise you would run out of exposures to capture all the snaps that this place demands must be taken.

The Pergamon Museum.
There are lots of museums in Germany, and then there is Pergamon museum. It is in a world of its own! It is an archeological museum and when you visit you will see a wide range of Greek, Middle East as well as Islamic archeological finds kept here. Plan your time well for this place demands a lot of it.

Topography Of Terror.
Do you want to be very scared and also enthralled at the same time? This is the place to be. You will be educated about all the workings of the secret German police of the Nazi regime. The devilish ingenuity of their information gathering or extraction techniques will be revealed to you in their entire infamous splendor. See how far policing can go!

Final Comments.
It is easy to lose oneself in the attractions of Berlin but always remember to be a safe traveler by keeping in mind all travel tips you have learned over time. Surprisingly, I have known several people who have traveled to Berlin for plastic surgery and medical treatment, and two friends ran into trouble with complications on the flight home. While Berlin is a beautiful place to visit, I suggest making the long trip while you’re in good health. A friend recently decided to have male breast reduction surgery before a trip to Berlin to visit relatives. He did the smart thing and had the procedure done in the States by Donald Roland M.D., F.A.C.S. and waiting until he recovered to fly.

Along with traveling in good health, I also recommend booking accommodations online. You’ll pay through the nose if you try to book a nice hotel after you land in Berlin!

While this may surprise you, Houston is known for having some of the world’s best plastic surgeons. It is no surprise that many flood the city in pursuit of the experienced hands to work on their worn out bodies, in this case, faces. The city sees an influx of medical tourists from the rest of the United States, as well as around the world.

Of course, everyone can choose their own for procedures like you see here. However, you should make sure they are qualified, experienced and board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
So if you happen to fly to the largest city in Texas for a facelift, here are some surgeons that you can look out for, or even advise a friend to visit.

Dr. Russell W.H. Kridel
He is one of the world renowned plastic surgeons due to his expertise in the field and his way with patients from different backgrounds. He is a member of the Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S) and makes himself useful in a number of medical institutions in Houston. Dr. Kridle is also recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. He is the author of quite a number of plastic surgery techniques like the Rhinoplasty procedures that have gone on to be taught in medical schools. If you happen to be interested in facial plastic surgery lessons, lucky you because Dr. Kridel is a Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Medical School.

Dr. Henry Mentz
He is another of the renowned plastic surgeons in Houston, Texas. He was the first plastic surgeon to acquire the triple board certification in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as head and neck surgery. He is one of the most sought after facelift surgeons in the nation due to his use of stem cells fat to revive worn out skin and create a fresher look on his patients.

Dr. Eisemann Michael
He too is one of those famous facial plastic surgeons in Houston. He is with the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center and was acknowledged by the American Board of Medical Specialties which recognized his skills. Like Dr Kridel, Dr Eisemann also contributes to the academic arena as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Medical School.

Dr. Paul Vitenas
He is the founder of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery in Houston, Texas. He is a pro at his work and this has earned him respect from fellow facial plastic surgeons. He has published quite a number of journals about plastic surgery as well as academic journals. He treats his patients exceptionally, availing a comfortable ambiance around them which builds trust between patients and doctor. A facelift at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery goes for a fee of between $7500 and $15,000.

In Summary…
With the above listed facial plastic surgeons, you cannot fail to choose one for that facelift. Yes, they are just a few but they are the very best in Houston.

For more information on their prices and procedures, you can easily Google their names and get in touch with them in just a click of a mouse.

Sarasota in Florida is one of the very best vacation destinations for both US residents and those from abroad. It has multitudes of attractions that will keep everyone excited for the entire duration of their trip. The following are just some of those attractions.

#1: The Ringling.
Many people keep indoors on a rainy day and yet they are on vacation. With a place like the Ringling Museum, this does not have to be the case. You can treat yourself to an adventure-filled day and learn about John Ringling and his wife. There is an art library, a museum of art, and so many other attractions.

#2. The Asolo Repertory Theater.
If you are a lover of the performing arts, you must visit this theater. It has a unique rotating schedule that makes it possible for a mind-boggling five plays to be shown on any one weekend so you can be sure that you will have more than enough variety to keep you busy for an entire weekend, should you choose to spend your time watching plays.

#3. Myakka River State Park.
This is one of the very best state parks that one could ever visit. It is suitable not only for family excursions but also for any other party that wishes to have a good time. The airboat trip that you can take on the lake will blow your mind away and you may get to see an alligator as these are very common sights when people take boat rides. You will also get to take a canopy walk as part of your learning experience in this park.

#4. Numerous Plastic Surgeons.
Sarasota is fast establishing itself as one of the leading plastic surgery destinations throughout the US. This location has the highest density of plastic surgeons throughout the state and to support their work, there are many spas to attend to the needs of those who have traveled from outside the locality to have their procedure done. Places like the Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa are available to answer all your questions on matters like lower eyelid plastic surgery cost in Sarasota, FL before you set foot there, and even help you book travel and accommodations.

It is therefore easy to combine your vacation activities with a visit to a surgeon so that both objectives can be attended to while on your trip. Many people plan a trip entirely around cosmetic surgery and a spa setting with a beachside recovery! Who said business (or in this case medical care) and pleasure cannot mix!

#5. Ca d’Zan Mansion.
Found on the Sarasota Bay, one can have breathtaking views while touring this place and be cooled by the constant breeze coming in from the ocean. There is a miniature circus to captivate visitors and the grounds are fascinating. The art museum and the courtyard of this mansion are an attraction unto themselves. For your refreshment, there is a snack bar next to the old house and you can also dine at the old Banyan cafe.

Final Comments.
You must visit Sarasota to experience its unique attractions firsthand. It has something for everyone and just as it can tend to your relaxation needs, so can your cosmetic surgery needs be met. You will not feel out of place because you are from out of town; this location embraces everybody.

It’s pretty amazing how two seemingly unrelated activities — a vacation and plastic surgery — have become so intertwined over the years and are now marketed as a new experience. This trend goes by many marketing names, such as cosmetic vacations and “surgeon and safari,” and the idea has definitely sparked the interest of people who love to travel and want to combine a fun trip with a bit of surgery.

Before you get excited and rush out to book a medical tourism package, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Advantages of Getting Surgery Abroad
The following are common reasons U.S. citizens travel abroad to get cosmetic surgery.

1. Endless possibilities
There are seemingly endless places to go with dozens of countries vying for your tourism money. Popular cosmetic surgery destinations include Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Poland and Thailand. This means you can pretty much combine a cosmetic surgery procedure with whatever it is that sounds like the perfect vacation to you. Examples include safari and nip/tuck packages and beach-front spas that offer cosmetic work.

2. Price
It goes without saying that you can save a lot of money by traveling abroad, especially as elective procedures are not covered by insurance. Depending on where you go, you can save up to 90%. This depends on the type of procedure you want, and where you go. A friend recently compared the price for Atlanta nose job surgery at Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery & Dermatology and a rhinoplasty in Thailand and found she could save about 75% (not including accommodations and travel), although the downsides explained below made her re-think going outside of the country to get the work done.

3. Options not available in the U.S.
The United States and several other countries strictly regulate elective procedures and products allowed to be offered to the public. A good example of this is stem cell procedures, which are widely available in Europe and Asia, but very expensive and hard to find in the U.S.

4. It can be fun
There’s no doubt about it; traveling is a lot of fun, especially when you’re going somewhere exotic. Before your procedure, you can take in new sights and foods and fun attractions.

Downsides of Plastic Surgery Abroad
You know what they say. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some downsides to consider before you book a flight.

1. Combining travel with surgery increases the risk
Travel and surgery both increase the risk of developing blood clots and pulmonary embolisms, and combining the two can increase this risk even further. When you consider other common complications like infection and swelling, it doesn’t take much to turn an exotic getaway into a nightmare.

2. What if something goes wrong?
There is no shortage of horror stories about people who traveled abroad to get surgery, only to wind up with very serious complications or requiring revision surgery back home. This can easily add more to the cost than you would have saved, and you may even risk your life.

3. Procedures or products may not meet U.S. standards
While you may think it’s unfair that patients in Asia and Europe get access to procedures you don’t in the States, there may be a good reason. Many products used in Europe for years are found to be dangerous after they have harmed thousands. Other countries may not have the same high standards as the U.S.

4. Qualifications are not always verifiable
Successful surgery requires a trained, qualified surgeon, safe and modern equipment, sterilization, and proper use of anesthesia. Some countries do not have formal accreditation boards for medical facilities and doctors, and many facilities are privately owned. If you are the victim of negligence, there’s nothing you can do.

Before thinking about getting cosmetic surgery in a foreign country, do your research. Research not only the procedure but also the facility and the surgeon. Make sure you understand the risks, expected recovery time, and when you can travel safely.

Traveling out of the country for medical procedures is a booming industry, but the cost savings are not always worth the risk. If you are like thousands of Americans who are considering flying to Barbados, India, Brazil or China for cosmetic surgery, surrogacy programs or even heart surgery, you should carefully weigh the decision. While it often goes well, there are potential downsides of modern-day medical tourism that need to be considered.

No Organizations Monitor Malpractice Cases or Patient Satisfaction
There are almost no resources available to tell you which hospitals or which countries have high malpractice rates or high patient satisfaction rates. What this means is the research is all on you, and you’ll have to trust the doctor and the hospital. This is why reputation is important.

High-profile botched surgeries make headlines rather often. For example, singer Usher’s ex-wife had severe complications following surgery in Brazil. An Irishman who traveled to Bogata for liposuction did not survive to make it home. A woman from New York City traveled to Costa Rica for cosmetic surgery but, once she arrived home, she had to be rushed to the emergency room and get 8 surgeries to correct a host of problems.

I spoke with Dr. Frederick G. Weniger M.D., F.A.C.S., a Florida-based plastic surgeon who has performed revision surgeries on people who had botched operations outside of the country. According to , he has seen a host of problems, including patients who caught hepatitis during a procedure in the Caribbean.

While there is no guarantee these disasters will happen to you — and most people have a great experience and even combine a beach vacation with a little nip and tuck — it is food for thought.

Tameka Foster’s Brazil Surgery
Usher’s ex-wife, Tameka Foster, had a terrible procedure done at a non-JCI-accredited hospital in Brazil. Foster went for liposuction but went into cardiac arrest while she was being anesthetized.

There are 16 hospitals and clinics in Brazil accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), and you should stick with these hospitals if you get work done anywhere internationally. Brazil also has a host of so-called garage clinics, which need to be avoided at all costs.

Botched Singapore Facelift
A woman from Australia flew to Singapore to get a discreet $4,000 facelift, which runs up to $6,500 in her home country. When she got home, she had a damaged facial nerve that collapsed the right side of her face, while the left side of her face developed a hemotoma caused by hair left under the skin. She had to spend $10,000 to have the damage repaired in Australia.

Botched Skin Tuck in Costa Rica
Finally, a woman named Stacey Cavaliere traveled from New York to Costa Rica to get more affordable cosmetic surgery to trim loose skin after losing more than 100 pounds. During the procedure, she suffered massive blood loss and required an emergency surgery to stop bleeding. The doctor had diagnosed her with anemia but chose to operate anyway. When she got back to the States, she had to go to the emergency room with a painful infection in her abdomen. She also required a skin graft to close a deep wound, and eight more surgeries to fix the damage inflicted on her.

The bottom line? Be careful about chasing the cheapest procedures, and do your research thoroughly. Don’t assume the most visible surgeons are the best, or that you are going to a hospital that is safe and accredited. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

Detroit definitely has its share of problems. Its bankruptcy has made international headlines, but it does offer the city a fresh start. What’s more important, though, is the fact that Detroit has been undergoing its own revitalization that is far more long-lasting and organic than the attempts in the 1970s and 1990s.

For example, decrepit downtown and midtown buildings are now being renovated and turned into hotels, apartments and restaurants. Quicken Loans moved its headquarters downtown, bringing thousands of employees into an area most in need. There’s also a huge start-up scene with lots of small businesses making a name, and young people are starting to move to Detroit.

While crime and crumbling architecture are still the image most people have of Detroit, the city is growing in so many ways. It’s true that many people in Detroit are struggling financially with one-third of the population below the poverty line, yet plastic surgeons are now setting up practice and offering face lift procedures and tummy tucks in renovated facilities like Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. It’s clear that change is coming to Detroit, and it’s the good kind.

So, why is the city worth a visit? Here are 3 great reasons to make the trip this year.

1. The Art Scene
You’ve probably seen headlines about the fact that the Detroit Institute of Arts — with more than 5,000 years worth of art — may have to sell its collection as the city goes through bankruptcy. This is all the more reason to make the trip soon, just in case. The DIA is one of the most unique museum trips and you’ll see the first Van Gogh to ever appear in a public U.S. museum, as well as a beautiful Diego Rivera fresco. The museum also has events like Friday Night Live, during which you can enjoy live music and tapas in the newly renovated Kresge Court.

2. Sports All Year
Regardless of which type of sport you love, Detroit is the place for you. Head to the downtown Comerica Park for a Tigers game while admiring the skyline, or check out an obscure sport called feather bowling. Detroit also has hockey, football and basketball to keep you entertained. You can also try your hand at the local sport, fowling (football + bowling). This summer game was inspired by horseshoes and involves knocking down bowling pins with a football. It’s harder than it sounds! Try it out at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck or Sundays at Eastern Market.

3. The Food
Along with the iconic Coney dog, you could spend a whole week just eating your way through the city. Some musts on your food tour include: the Eastern Market, where more than 40,000 people gather every Saturday morning for artisanal food and produce; gourmet sliders and cheap cocktails at the Green Dot Stables; Roma Cafe, the oldest Italian American restaurant in Detroit, and Greek food in Greektown. Thousands of immigrants who have called Detroit home for more than a century have shaped its legacy, which you can still taste today with authentic, delicious cuisine.

With the IRS tax deadline just around the corner, I thought it’d be a good time to discuss the topic of travel and tax deductions. Traveling isn’t just a way to see the world; it can also save you big at tax time. Here are some ways you can deduct your travel expenses.

Business Travel Deductions
If you travel for work, several expenses are tax deductible. Your transportation will be the biggest expense and most transportation expenses are deductible, including airline travel, rental cars and cab and bus fair. If you use your own car, it gets a little complicated because you can deduct by your actual car expenses (including registration fees, parking fees, repairs, gas, and oil) or a standard mileage rate.

Meals and lodging are also deductible, and they are likely your next biggest expense. Your hotel costs qualify for a deduction as long as you are traveling overnight or for an extended amount of time. The same applies with a meal. In most cases, 50% of your meal expenses are tax deductible.

There are also less common business travel-related deductions. The cost of cruise ship travel is only partially deductible, even if it’s directly related to business. You may be capped at $2,000 of the costs for the cruise. If you’re traveling for a convention or trade show, it must be directed related to or associated with the business. If you deduct cruise ship travel, be prepared to provide thorough documentation, including a written statement with the number of hours per day that were devoted to business activities

Deducting Travel for Medical Reasons
You can also deduct travel expenses related to medical care. Most people overlook this benefit, but you can deduct the cost of traveling to and from medical treatment with a standard travel rate of 23.5 cents per mile this year. This also includes the cost of transportation and admission for medical conferences, if they relate to a chronic condition suffered by you, a dependent or spouse.

Many people are also surprised to learn you can deduct the cost of plastic surgery, even if you got the procedure abroad. This is welcome news for hundreds of thousands of people who travel to Mexico, Brazil and other countries to get plastic surgery and enjoy a vacation (also known as medical tourism). Before you get too excited, there are requirements to meet here. You can only deduct the plastic surgery cost if the procedure is legal in the United States and medically necessary.

This means cosmetic surgery done to enhance or improve your appearance — such as a facelift, liposuction or breast augmentation — cannot be deducted. Examples of procedures that can be deducted, even if you travel to get them done, include:

Breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy.
Skin removal surgery following significant weight loss, if the excess skin interferes with daily life or is prone to infection.
Reconstructive rhinoplasty to correct breathing problems.
Eyelid surgery to correct serious vision problems.

Be careful deducting plastic surgery if you travel, though. Last year, a friend traveled to get facelift surgery by Clevens Face and Body Specialists (see more about the doctor here: www.ClevensFaceAndBody.com). She tried to deduct the procedure — along with her travel expenses — only to get hit with an audit. Still, you’re perfectly free to get medically necessary procedures done abroad to save money and take in a welcome vacation while still earning yourself a nice deduction.

Newport Beach, California is one of the most thrilling places you can go to if they want to have some fun and change environment from your hectic “normal life.” The following five fun activities are just a tip off the iceberg of what you can do in this beautiful place.

1. Engage In Some Water Sports.
If you are so inclined, there is a whole range of water sports that you can take part in. The best place for this is at the Balboa Fun Zone where you can rent a jet ski and a whole lot of other water sports equipment for a fun-filled stay. The time will rush by so fast that you will doubt whether or not your watch is playing tricks on you!

2. Learn How To Surf.
Does the idea of surfing send thrills down your spine and yet you do not know how to surf? Newport Beach is the place for you.

With places like the Banzai Surf School you will be taken through your paces by some of the most experienced and certified surf instructors and before long you will be so good at it that people will imagine you were just pretending to be a beginner.

3. Shop At Fashion Island.
Fashion Island is the Dubai Mall of California. While at Newport Beach, why not spend as much time as you want shopping at this premier shopping location? You will find everything you want from the latest fashions just off the manufacturing plants to local stuff that is unique to this place.

The beauty of shopping in this place is that all the while, you will have breathtaking views of the ocean around you and once spent by the shopping exercise, you can always sample the fine cuisine at the various top rated restaurants and hotels at Fashion Island.

4. Get Cosmetic Surgery.
While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, many people want to get a little work done while they’re in the plastic surgery capital of the United States. After a little fun at the beach, you can head to a local plastic surgeon’s office, provided you have done your research. Even if the notion just strikes you while you are dining, Dr. Batniji provides a Newport Beach facelift surgery overview at his website http://www.drbatniji.com if you are considering getting work done while you are in town.

He does a lot of work for out-of-towners in Newport Beach on vacation, but just remember that invasive procedures will require you stay in town for a couple of weeks to recover.

5. Have Fun At The Parks And Beaches.
There are numerous parks and beaches where you can take a walk, swim or just get a tan in the sun. If you want a little more adventure, you can hire a boat or yacht and head out to sea for a glass of wine far out in the ocean as you enjoy the breeze and calming effects of the water.

Final Comments.
There is a whole lot of fun activities that you can take part in while in Newport Beach. All you need to do is decide where your interest lies and then go for it. You might also want to try out something totally new just to get your adrenaline rushing. After all, where’s the fun if you don’t let that curious child in you out?

Dentures are a great advancement in oral care, allowing people who have lost some or all of their teeth to keep facial muscles from sagging, eat and speak normally and smile with confidence. As great as they are, however, they pose some problems when you’re ready to travel.

Many of us dream of traveling the world, and many do not get to realize this dream until after retirement. Of course, this means traveling with dentures is common. Before heading off on your trip, make sure you have a plan in place to take care of your dentures while you’re away.

Research Food Options
At home, you already have a good idea of the types of foods you can eat safely without harming your dentures. Depending on where you plan to travel, you can run into trouble if the local cuisine is heavy with vegetables, fruits or other foods that are difficult to chew.

That’s why it’s a good idea to research the food options where you will be staying so you can plan what you will eat. In some areas, you can request that your food may be cut up — but this can pose a big challenge if there’s a language barrier! Remember to stick with softer foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Skip sticky desserts and candies — no matter how much you want to try something new and exotic!

What to Pack
Don’t bother with the complementary toothbrush provided by the hotel. You will need to bring your own soft brush to take care of your dentures to avoid damage or scratches. You should also rinse your dentures with mouthwash after each brushing session. Pack a travel-sized mouthwash and keep it in your travel back to keep your dentures free of debris.

Because you will need to soak your dentures in water or a cleaning solution every night, pack a small storage container in your travel back, because the hotel may not have the supplies you need. Add soem dental adhesive cream to your travel bag just in case, but remember that it will need to be checked in your luggage, because you probably won’t be able to get it through security as a carry-on.

Get a Check-Up
Before you leave, it’s a good idea to get a check-up fom your dentist to make sure you don’t have gum irritation and double-check that your dentures fit correctly. Depending on where you plan to travel, you may not have access to dental care if there’s a problem.

You can find more pre-travel denture care advice by reading this cosmetic dentistry blog.

Consider Dental Implants
If you’re wearing dentures now and plan to travel on an extended trip, such as that tour of Europe you’ve always wanted to take, it may be worth it to invest in dental implants. Implants are prosthetic tooth roots that mimic the look, feel and function of natural teeth. Dental implants are permanent and do not need to be removed for cleaning, and you won’t have to worry about the types of foods you can eat. After all, when you’re traveling somewhere exotic, shouldn’t trying new foods be on the top of your list?

Dental implants are actually pretty affordable. You can see a more in-depth comparison of implants versus dentures by clicking here. While the up-front cost may be higher, it’s worth it if you want to make the most of your trip.

Most of us long to travel the world — or at least escape our home state for awhile — but there’s always that temptation to push it off. “I’ll get to it when I retire,” you may be telling yourself. The truth is you’re not getting any younger, and tomorrow may never come.

There are tons of great reasons to travel aside from a vacation or getting great pictures to put on your Facebook account. Here are some of them.

1. Traveling makes you a better person.
Don’t believe it? When you spend time traveling, you will learn to be alone with your thoughts and you will learn to live with less. You will learn to rely on strangers and learn the valuable art of adaptation. Traveling also gets you out of your comfort zone and it’ll make you appreciate your family and friends back home more than ever.

2. The dollar is strong again.
Depending on where you want to go, you’ll find that the US dollar has gained relative strength against many other major currencies. This means you can afford to take a trip to Canada, Southeast Asia and South America and enjoy the luxuries you want.

With a strong US dollar, you can save more money when you dine, book a hotel, hire a tour guide, rent a vehicle and much more. In fact, this is the primary reason behind medical tourism to many countries in South America and Southeast Asia (like Brazil and Argentina). If you’ve been wanting to get a rhinoplasty reconstruction like you see here, you may be putting it off because of the cost. The price you would pay a U.S. surgery practice like Williams Plastic Surgery Associates may be 60-80% more than you would pay for similar high-quality care in another country, all thanks to the rising value of the US dollar.

3. Get away from the economy.
There’s no doubt about it; the economy is still doing poorly. Unemployment is still high and many people are left struggling. Rather than wasting time trying to find a job, maybe you can take a break and work overseas for awhile. Teaching and seasonal jobs are easy to find online and you can make enough money teaching English in countries like Thailand to keep you on the road and adventuring. Get a job overseas and you can pay off your debts while seeing more of the world!

4. Have an adventure.
No one ever looks back fondly on trips to the grocery store or the gas station; ziplining over the canopy of Peru or going on a safari in Tanzania, however, will make you feel alive. The craving for adventure and excitement is hardwired into us, and traveling the world lets you access this.

5. Learn a language.
While you may not become fluent in a new language, there’s something fun and satisfying about being able to follow a conversation in Thai, book a hotel in Spanish or hear a language you never knew existed.

6. Challenge yourself.
Finally, traveling to a new country allows you to challenge yourself. From finding an address and booking a hotel to ordering from a restaurant and taking local transportation, there’s really something invigorating and satisfying as giving yourself a challenge — and discovering you’re up to it.

I recently had the pleasure of taking a 3-day trip to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a city that’s always been close to my heart, and I try to make it back every couple of years to visit my favorite restaurants and touch base with the friends I have made here. This year, I stumbled across Dr. DeJoseph on Flickr and decided to get this procedure and use it as an excuse to visit The City in a Forest.

If you find yourself stopping in Atlanta for just a few days, here are some of the best things to do to make the most of your visit.

1. Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta sits on 39 acres and is now home to the only twin pandas in the United States (Mei Lun and Mei Huan). I also love visiting the gorillas at the zoo. Zoo Atlanta has 27 gorillas, including Anaka, born in August, and Shamba, the oldest gorilla in the zoo at 55. The zoo is open 7 days a week and general admission is only $22.

2. World of Coca-Cola
If you’re a Coke fan, stop in to the World of Coca-Cola, which shows you the history of the drink with a fully-functioning bottling line that produces an 8-ounce glass bottle of Coca-Cola for you. Tickets don’t cost very much, and you’ll love the 4-D movie, “In Search of the Secret Formula,” which lets you sample more than 60 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world.

3. Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park used to be a really rundown, ugly area of downtown, but it was transformed for the 1996 Olympics. More than 3 million people now visit this park every year. This is a great spot to hang out if you’re in town with family or kids to enjoy live music. Be sure to get your picture taken at the Fountain of Rings, the centerpiece of the park and the most photographed landmark in the state. It’s also the largest interactive fountain in the world.

4. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The Chattahoochee River is one of the jewels of Atlanta. After I got my planned treatment, this was actually my first stop to connect with nature in a spot that I’ve loved since my childhood. There’s something for everyone here: walk through nature, raft through rocky shoals, have a picnic or take in some fishing.

5. Georgia Aquarium
Sure, lots of major cities in the U.S. have an aquarium, but no one has an aquarium like Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the world with tens of thousands of animals and 500 species. There are 60 habitats, the largest of which holds 6.2 million gallons of water. Where else can you see beluga whales, whale sharks and manta rays like this? The aquarium recently unveiled a new dolphin gallery with a show, which I thought was just amazing. Check out all of the exhibits at GeorgiaAquarium.org. My favorite was the new Sea Monsters Revealed exhibit.