Archive for February, 2016

25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life…

I love being able to find lots of information in one place! Great article from a fellow blogger:)


Have you been spending too much of your time on social media recently? Is that making much of your internet usage wasteful? Social media can be so addictive, so much that we spend hours on it without really noticing.

While social media does contribute in healthy discussions and is also our primary source of news and ideas at times, it’s equally likely to encourage us to refrain from learning something useful in our lives. It’s very important to keep our social media usage in check if we want to enrich ourselves with great learning experiences and upgrade our lives.

Here are 25 great websites which you should check if you want to escape from the vicious trap of social media and live a life full of knowledge, joy, and inspiration.

1. Coursera


Coursera offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on wide range of subjects from hundreds of institutions and renowned professors. You can teach…

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Choosing a Cruise Ship Cabin or Suite

If you are a true “newbie” to cruising vacations, you may want to get familiar with some nautical terms. The placement of your temporary abode is as important as choosing the right ship. Locations to choose from include the interior (no window), ocean view, balcony, upper and lower decks, midship, aft (back of the ship), forward (front of the ship), starboard (when facing the front of the ship is the left side) and port (right side). With these things in mind, consider the following:  cruise ship.forward

  • Take a look at the deck plans to get familiar with the locations. Ideally, you want to make sure you aren’t near high-traffic areas with elevators, buffet restaurants, or children’s activity centers.
  • If it’s a one-way trip, find out which side of the ship will be facing land and be sure to get the view you want.
  • Suites in the front of the ship have great views, but you will feel more of the movement of the waves in that location especially on higher decks.
  • Cabins in the back can have larger balconies, but you will feel more vibration from the mechanics of the ship.
  • Suites with outside or balcony views at bargain prices might have obstructed views. Ask about the view.

cruise ship.aftIt is common to get automatic cabin upgrades, so ask about promotions especially with Carnival, MSC, Holland America or Norwegian. Even if you’ve already booked, check two to three months before departure for reduced fairs and upgrades.

Mini scribe logoClick Here for 16 Cruise Reservation Tips

Another money saving tip:

Traveling as a group is a great way to save money. and  have perfected the bulk buying process. Contact an agent at to discover any cruise deals they can offer your party.

Share the research and assign an itinerary for each person at different ports of call. Meet up pre-cruise to share activity options or hand the entire process off to the concierge service and let them build the excitement of your upcoming adventures.

The larger cruise ships can be like floating cities, so it’s easy to lose each other. Be sure to pre-arrange meeting points and times to keep in touch with members of the group.

Remember your phone will be on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges and Wifi is expensive due to the use of satellites for service.

Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or you are looking for more information.




16 Cruise Ship Reservation Tips

Be armed with some basic tips regarding cruise line reservations. The more you know ahead of time, the easier the planning process will be and the greater the experience. Nothing is worse than unexpected disappointments that could have been avoided.

Retro antique

  1. Booking six to nine months in advance of your planned departure date gets you better deals.
  1. Plan to book in September when all the major cruise lines release new itineraries and offers.
  1. Consider taking a short trip for your first cruise. There is more to choose from January to April.
  1. Repositioning cruises (when ships change their seasonal itineraries) can be heavily discounted because they only sail one-way with no stops. Remember to factor in your flight home.
  1. Use a travel agent or travel consultant with concierge reservation and travel information services. They will narrow down the right cruise based on your needs and access better offers than booking directly. Get more details on attravel, lifestyle, passive income Lifestyle Entrepreneur travel blog or and talk to a consultant.
  1. Before traveling, research ports and activities. You can save money when you book independently, but make sure you are back in time for departure. Ships do not wait for guests to return to the ship.
  1. If the cruise line books these activities for you, book them early because excursions fill up quickly.
  1. When arriving at your final destination, you may need to kill some spare time before a flight home. Book a short sightseeing tour if you have time. Your luggage will often go straight to the airport leaving you free to roam about.
  1. When checking in at the ship, there will be heavy crowds for the first few hours as they board. Get there two hours ahead to avoid lines.
  1. You can more easily enjoy the pool and promenade decks along with other facilities by skipping excursion trips on port day when everyone else exits the ship.
  2. Book meals coinciding with theater shows for more space and time to eat.
  1. Travel light, save your back and additional luggage charges and take advantage of onboard laundry service.
  1. Remember to pack a swimsuit and change of clothes in your carry-on luggage for the first day aboard because it takes some time for luggage to arrive at your cabin.
  2. Using the internet on a ship is slow and expensive. Find a café with free Wifi when you dock if you need to use it. If you research before leaving, you may use authentic local restaurants with beautiful views instead.
  1. Your mobile phone needs to be on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges while away.
  1. Food on cruise ships is decadent, so be careful and count calories, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and use the onboard gym facilities.

travel light.luggage

Mini scribe logoClick here for how to choose the right cruise ship cabin or suite.

Click here for a guide on packing for a cruise ship adventure.





Karabin, L. 2015. LiveShareTravel, Liberating luxury for the smart traveler,


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A Purpose for Blogging

I have kept a running journal most of my life. Sometimes I just physically feel a need to write, and other times I have thoughts I want to mull over and I am not ready to share the information with another person. Many times I don’t want to forget the details of something notable that happened.

I currently write professionally and incorporate blogging because it is what I enjoy doing and it fills that urge to compose. There seems to be a great need for both personal and professional content writing for online platforms. I attend network events and find small business owners struggling with creating a website and then keeping the content both current and engaging. I offer to take some of that off their plate. My business is small and I can sympathize with their plight in marketing themselves. Blogging gives me a way to share my skills and ideas, contribute and connect with people anywhere in the world, and earn a living doing what I love. At the moment, I have more than one blog to accomplish that goal and that provides many topics to cover.

Topics for Scribe Syndicate

content writing, copyediting

For my business site, Scribe Syndicate, I write about many different topics, but try to keep the blogroll based on marketing, advertising, writing tips and ideas, and simplified ways of creating a website using basic tools. I will sometimes link my site’s article library for additional information on projects I’ve done for other people. They can request this when they are looking for ways to use backlinks or capture page download information. It provides mutual traffic. I will also do a guest blog article for the same reason and may ask for one in return. By learning to maximize my own visibility, I am able to help other clients and bloggers.

Topics for Travel the Sphere

travel, travel writing

For my travel site, Travel the Sphere, I want to post about travel and how it can expand your world view. Americans don’t travel as much as the rest of the world since we have the fewest vacation days of any first world culture. That is upsetting to me. I am curious by nature and love learning new things. Opportunities to explore the world are first on my list once I feel secure enough in my ability to work remotely. If I wait for the perfect time and financial scenario, I will never do it. I have to be able to earn while I’m traveling and I want to find like-minded people and help them do the same.


Topics for Lifestyle Entrepreneur

travel, lifestyle, passive income

For my client, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, this is a very similar goal. He gets into the sharing economy, gig jobs, and direct-selling avenues that can allow people to travel and still earn a living. He often focuses on people of retirement age who need additional income streams since the economy bottomed out in 2008.



I want to connect with other writers, other travel enthusiasts, people attempting to earn a living through their blogs, and those who believe that they should focus on what makes them happy, healthy, and uniquely spiritual about life. It’s important for me to find and help people who can’t or don’t express themselves through writing and help them overcome the barrier of publishing thoughts and ideas personally and professionally online. Millennials seem to do it naturally, but the rest have past experiences that have taken them through several stages of technology and have navigated around different comfort levels with online communication. There is an abundance of new opportunities, but you have to understand the new process of engaging in order to take advantage.

I hope to have a stable income that allows and even requires me to travel. I hope to be part of a group of individuals who stay connected based on finding natural talents and skills that make their quality of life a primary focus. I hope my own writing will impact that process and, if travel is part of the goal, I can aid in that effort as well.

Feel free to share your reason for blogging by leaving a comment!

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Online Paid Opportunities through Direct-Selling for Additional and Passive Income

digital nomad picThis new way of doing business has also impacted Direct- Selling opportunities that already offer products directly to a customer away from a fixed retail location. It’s gotten even easier with the use of social media to build a customer base. These companies bring to mind everything from financial products (Primerica), gourmet food (Pampered Chef), wellness products (Isagenix and Herbalife), Cosmetics (Avon and Mary Kay), home décor (Home Interiors), travel discounts (WorldVentures), and other product categories including kitchen products, high-end jewelry, clothing, organic gardening supplies, and spa products.

Do an Internet search to find out the buzz about a company and whether its sellers or regulators have reported problems. After running a search for recent articles and blog posts, do another one using the company’s name and words like “scam” or “complaint.”

Then click here for a list of 6 questions you should ask a company representative to determine if it is the right company and product for you sell.

  • What are your annual sales?
  • How much money did you make last year — your income and bonuses, less expenses?
  • What percentage of your sales were made to distributors? popular direct selling logos collage
  • How much did you spend on training and buying products last year?
  • How much time did you spend on the business last year?
  • How many people have you recruited?

Most direct sales firms are multilevel marketing companies, or MLMs. These are sometimes mistakenly referred to as “pyramid schemes” structured with the intent of defrauding the public. They are illegal and the vast majority of their participants lose money because they make a profit off new recruits instead of product sales. Each recruit pays large upfront fees and has to buy large amounts of inventory with little actual value and is non-returnable. The Federal Trade Commission and state regulators regularly dissolve such companies. If the company you are looking into has been around for a number of years, they should be authentic.

direct selling association code of ethicsLegitimate MLMs charge a relatively small fee for their starter kits, sell products that are purchased by the end user, and normally offer representatives refunds for unsold items. The Direct Selling Association’s website is a good place to learn about firms. Its members follow the group’s code of ethics. You can search a company by name, product or service.

Remember, you can’t earn serious money through direct sales unless you make a sustained effort. To earn the equivalent of a full-time salary, you have to work full-time.  The option to use this part-time is what makes it so appealing for baby-boomers looking for additional income and flexibility to design a life that works for them.

The FTC has an excellent online list of queries of additional queries.

To read more about the new ‘Share Economy’ and additional income for retirement, visit the Lifestyle Entrepreneur travel blog.


Visit and Dreamtrips Travel Club to learn more about this direct selling travel company. To become a member, visit Stay Calm and Travel with Don on Facebook and have Don answer the 6 critical questions about WorldVentures opportunities, or email for more information and get an immediate reply.

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Gig Economy in Pre and Post Retirement

share economy image 3With the increase in activity online, there has been a shift from information and entertainment to potential online careers and opportunities to work remotely. It can be hard to determine how credible these jobs prospects and offers are when initially there seemed to be more scams and vague material involved. Like many of these evolving ideas on the internet, there really are some great ideas for earning income, sharing resources, and the flexibility of working remotely.

The ‘Gig’ Economy or Sharing Economy Concept

A gig economy where you can share things you own or services of your choice for a fee you determine at a time that is convenient. Sound too good to be true. It sure used to be, but the internet has changed that. These new business platforms assign a percentage of what your hourly rate or wage is in exchange for connecting you easily to your customers, providing peer and client reviews, and facilitating trust and cooperation for face-to-face interaction.  They break down barriers and connect people to the community while eliminating the pesky billing and marketing tasks of business.

Check out these 20 Gig businesses and their links:

Uber – drive sharing, taxi

Lyft – drive sharing, taxi

Bla Bla Car – carpooling

Relayrides now Turo – rent your vehicle, car sharing

GetAround –  rent your vehicle, car sharing

JustShareIt– rent or share your car, minivan, SUV or camper

AirBnB – home sharing, renting home, room, or a couch

VRBO – short term and last minute vacation rentals

Roomorama  – short term and last minute vacation rentals

DogVacay/CatVacay – in home pet boarding

TaskRabbit –  home services and tasks including troubleshooting appliances, installing light fixtures, assembling furniture, laundry folding, shopping, take-out delivery, etc.

Snapgoods – rent tools, appliances, and equipment like mixers, sewing machines, saws, cameras, instruments

Zilok – rent anything large or small

ParkingPanda – rent parking spaces like your driveway

Skillshare – education and improvement through connected talent

Betterfly – teach a class in home or online, friendly, vetted guys move bulky furniture for reasonable fees

Instacart – grocery delivery

SpinLister-rent outdoor activity equipment, your bike, surfboard, skis, or paddleboard, etc.

Feastly – hosting dinner parties in your home for travelers, more personal and cultural experience

Leave a comment here for others regarding your research into this site or your personal experience!

To read more about the new ‘Share Economy’ and additional income for retirement, visit the Lifestyle Entrepreneur travel blog.


Visit Stay Calm and Travel with Don on Facebook and have Don answer questions about direct-selling  from home with a travel club called Dreamtrips.

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