Shannon Switzer

American Anthem: Baltimore

As America commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it seems more than appropriate to celebrate the events that made that independence real. While Washington, D.C., may be the capital of the U.S., her sister city to the north, Baltimore, is the capital of American patriotism.

The City of Angels by Bike

L.A. is defined by choked traffic and smog, a car-centric place that inspires a headache in people even before they get behind the wheel, right? That’s exactly why the city decided to show locals and tourists alike that there’s another way to explore the City of Angels.

Tricks for Staying Healthy at Home

It’s easy to be healthy when you’re on a wellness-centered road trip, but am I going to be able to keep it up when I get home? As I mentioned at the start of my journey — with 16 weeks to plan a wedding, get married, move across country, and prepare to be a Master’s student in coastal…

5 Spa Treatments Worth Trying

Prior to setting off, I’d only had one professional treatment in my life — a heavily discounted massage by a student at an Aveda Institute — so I was like a kid in a candy shop on this trip. Check out the top five treatments I experienced on the Road to Wellness.

Packing Tips for Healthy Road Trips

This was the first wellness-focused road trip I’d ever taken, so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how the experience would differ from past trips — especially from my first Curious Traveler road adventure. Eventually, I got my head on straight and thought about what I might really need. In the end, here’s what made the cut.

Island Bliss on the Mainland

After drying my gills in the desert, I decided it was time for some island fun. No, Max didn’t have a snorkel, and I wasn’t attempting to drive to Hawaii. I was simply heading over a bridge to a private Island in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

Touching the Sound in Joshua Tree

George Van Tassel built the Integratron years ago as a “rejuvenation machine” that could keep people young — based on instructions he claimed to have received from aliens from Venus. Though this all sounds a bit out there, Van Tassel was actually a respected aeronautical engineer — and scientists have measured a significant spike in the Earth’s magnetic field in the center of the dome.

The Horse Healer in Arizona

I would be learning about Reiki, the technique of directing “universal energy” through the hands to promote healing. But there’s a twist. My instructor would be showing me how to practice Reiki…on horses.

Gemology for Beginners

As I headed south from Sedona to Phoenix, I was getting ready to immerse myself in the world of gems. Not gems as simple adornment — though that’s where I began — but as powerful conduits of healing energy.

Stargazing in Sedona

I had heard that stargazing could be therapeutic, and that the awe it inspired could act as a salve for painful past experiences. But as I stared up at the distant galaxies, I was inching toward being a believer.

The Pursuit of Happiness: Sequoia Style

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I had heard about a grove of trees within the Giant Forest that had been dedicated to National Geographic a long way back. So, to commemorate the Society’s 125th anniversary and to pay homage to an organization that has added so much to my life, I was on a mission to track it down.

YOLO in Yosemite

“We’re all native to this planet, but we’ve made a mess of it by using our intelligence very unintelligently,” Ron Kauk said, as El Capitan towered over us. “It’s just mind boggling how we’ve managed to damage our own home,” he continued — not with condemnation, but a sincere concern for life in all its forms.