Tag archives for Curious Traveler

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.

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.

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.

The “medi-spa” concept on display at Cavallo Point is relatively new. But over the past ten years, the approach has been catching on as spas work to cater to clients who are seeking a more comprehensive path to wellness. And who can dispute the fact that being ushered into the calming ambiance of a spa is more enjoyable than a sterile old doctor’s office?

Beyond Farm to Table in Carmel

A pregnant doe munched on lavender bushes as I rolled into Carmel Valley Ranch, a 500-acre property in the heart of California’s central coast. After checking into one of the modish earth-toned guest suites and walking through a pool area where families sat around a fire roasting marshmallows, I felt completely transported back to my days at summer camp.

Scent-sual Escapism in Ojai

It’s always a relief to make it through Los Angeles when you’re en route from San Diego. But just a few miles farther down the road in a little town called Ojai, I had even more reason to exhale deeply.

It’s Go Time!

What does wellness mean? How do you get there? That’s exactly what I’ll be exploring as I travel the Southwest in search of places that embody and embrace this way of living.

Our Curious Traveler, Shannon Switzer, is taking a trip down the Road to Wellness to uncover off-the-beaten-path places and experiences that rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. The adventure begins this Monday, April 8th. Follow Shannon’s journey on Twitter @CuriousTraveler and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer.

Wine Road Wonderland: Day 3

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 3: Dry Creek Valley….

Wine Road Wonderland: Day 2

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 2: Alexander River Valley….

Wine Road Wonderland

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 1: Russian River Valley….

The Forgotten Zoo

Towards the end of my Curious Traveler road trip last summer, I promised myself I’d spend more time exploring my own backyard. So when I learned that my friend had been hired as a bird keeper at the L.A. Zoo, I jumped at the chance to hit her up for a behind-the-scenes tour.

Happy Mistakes in the Mission

My friend told me about a monster drawing rally that was going down at the Verdi Club in San Francisco’s Mission District while I was in town, and I couldn’t believe my good luck. Artists competing to draw the most fantastical monsters imaginable? Sign me up.

A rusty Ford with a giant strawberry in its bed caught my eye. So I pulled off the Pacific Coast Highway, drove past an old barn with a green star on it, and parked in the gravel lot.

Curiosity. It’s why the first explorers set sail, why we built a rocket to the moon, and what moves each and every one of us to travel. The opposite of being curious is being bored, and we think being curious is a lot more fun. That’s why we’re sending Nat Geo Young Explorer and award-winning photojournalist Shannon Switzer on a quest to uncover off-the-beaten-path treasures as she wends her way around the American West this summer. The adventure begins Monday, June 4th. Follow Shannon’s journey here on the blog, on Twitter @CuriousTraveler, and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer.