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APRIL 2014

Traveling on a

SUPER STAYCATIONS

Budget

Where to find great getaways in the Twin Cities and Minnesota

You won’t sacrifice fun or adventure with these tips

Travel Light Master the art of light packing

KISS & TELL Stephanie Kotelnicki talks about bad kissers

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PROFOUND journey Jennifer Grant travels to find the peace and transformation she seeks


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in this issue 04.14 in every issue 4 editor’s note 6 local finds

cover story 12 a profound journey Jennifer Grant travels to find the peace and transformation she seeks – and then brings her lessons home.

fashion 7 on the go Wear these comfortable, adorable looks while on vacation or on the go.

8 travel light Taking a trip? Check out these tips from

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Kelcie McKenney, an expert at packing light.

relationships 9 fatherhood Chris Egert explains how Homer Simpson ruined fatherhood. 10 making out Stephanie Kotelnicki kisses and tells in her latest relationship column.

love & life 16 globetrotting a-gogo Linda Bendt shares her

16 18

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passion for finding adventure around the world.

18 close to home Thinking of staying local? Amanda McKnight checks out the best in Twin Cities and Minnesota staycations. 20 traveling on a budget Recently home from the Philippines, Naomi Krueger shares her top tips to save money while traveling internationally. 22 explore your intuition Jodi Livon, author, intuitive reader and resident psychic at Twin Cities Live, answers reader questions about intuition.

savvy’s mission Savvy Magazine aims to educate and inspire a community of Twin Citiesarea women who share personal stories and real-world information on how to feel, live and look the best they can. Through original reporting, local events and journalistic integrity, Savvy is the source for how to be healthy, happy, fashionable and connected.

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Savvy Magazine strives to publish accurate information in every edition. When necessary, we will correct and acknowledge errors.

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savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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editor'snote

PUBLISHER Jennifer Sorenson EDITOR IN CHIEF Britt Johnsen GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Nicole Bullock | Lindsay Gergen CIRCULATION MANAGER Ruby Winings CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Scott Fagerstrom | Stephanie Kotelnicki Naomi Krueger | Jodi Livon | Liv Lane Amanda McKnight | Kelcie McKenney COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Steve Lucas Photography CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Carrie Rood WEB Adam Westland SAVVY EDITORIAL BOARD Britt Johnsen | Jennifer Sorenson Becky Poss | Kristen Brown Kari Davis | Ashley Fox Katie Kline | Maren Pfister Barbara Server | Leesa Shane Paula Wilhelm Savvy Magazine is published monthly by Southwest Newspapers. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of Southwest Newspapers, 952-445-3333, P.O. Box 8, Shakopee, Minn. 55379.

CONTACTS: CONTENT: Britt Johnsen, 952-345-6387 or editor@savvy.mn ADVERTISING: 952-345-6477 or advertising@savvy.mn SUBSCRIPTION AND ADDRESS CHANGE: Ruby Winings, 952-345-6682 or circulation@swpub.com

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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Gotta Get Away I don’t know about you, but I cannot get the picture of being on a warm beach out of my mind. This winter has been long and difficult for so many of us. The day that I wrote this column, a coworker commented to me about how she heard birds chirping outside her window while she was getting ready in the morning. We both sighed in tired relief that the cold weather may have an expiration date arriving soon. If you haven’t taken a trip to recharge after our exhausting winter and are instead plotting a spring or summer getaway, this issue is for you. This is our Travel Issue. This month, our reporters cover everything from staycations to international travel. My hope is that it sparks your inspiration to get the most out of wherever you are going next (and whenever that getaway might be). Our cover model, Jennifer Grant, is definitely inspiring. The Twin Cities-based life coach was invited to go to Bali last fall to write a book and network with other authors. Her trip there - and, as she tells our writer Scott Fagerstrom, same goes for her other international adventures - taught her many lessons that transformed her life. She is now on a mission to share what she has learned with others. Read her beautiful story on page 12. A couple of other globetrotters grace our pages this month, as well. Naomi Krueger learned some lessons about traveling on a budget. Fresh from a trip to the Philippines with her husband, she shared her advice with us. Check out her story on page 20. Meanwhile, Linda Bendt tells Liv Lane about her passion for taking international adventures, as well. Her story is on page 16. Personally, my favorite is the weekend getaway. With our fast-paced, plugged-in lifestyles, I deeply believe we all need more rest and relaxation than we get. But not all of us have the time or resources to take major vacations. So I’m a big fan of the short but sweet getaway - whether to a friend’s cabin

or a one-night bed and breakfast, or even an afternoon in a park. The nature, fresh air and time for fun and play can be just what the stress doctor ordered. To read all about the best staycations in Minnesota, turn to page 18. So what is your favorite kind of getaway? I’d love to hear your story, whether sent to editor@savvy.mn or by commenting online at our website or Facebook page (and if you haven’t checked out our Facebook community, check out our new monthly sweepstakes; you can win a gift certificate for interacting with us on Facebook). Have a fabulous month,

Britt Johnsen Editor in Chief


      

         



         



   

                 

                   

            

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APRIL 2014 | savvy.mn


fashion | trends

1 2 3 Go 4 8 7 6 5 ON THE Try these finds to look adorable and stay comfortable when you’re traveling or on the go. By Kelcie McKenney

1. Polka Dot Back Pack. $29.99, Target. Sometimes a purse just doesn’t hold it all. This adorable backpack will hold everything you need without compromising your look when you’re on the go. 2. Metallic Sweater. $64.95, Gap. Adding a little sparkle, like the metallic rows on this sweater, spices up the average comfy sweater 3. Striped Keds. $75, Keds.com. This alternating pattern makes these tennis shoes look just as cute as they feel on your feet. 4. Linen Top. $24.95, H&M. With a fabric as comfortable as linen, this cut polka dot design will look good and feel even better. 5. Maxi Dress. $24.95, H&M. Maxi dresses are the easiest one-item outfit, and the floral pattern on this jersey dress adds just enough flair. 6. Linen Pants. $23.99, Kohl’s. If you don’t own a pair of linen pants, you are missing out. Completely breathable and in a bold olive green, these pants will put your legs in heaven. 7. Tank. $29.95, Cotton On. Adding details, such as a pocket, will make an already comfortable cotton tank just darling. 8. Leggings. $15.80, Forever 21. Leggings are the comfiest form of pants, and with the detailing on these your legs are sure to stand out. But make sure to wear a shirt long enough to cover your backside.

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fashion | packing

Optimize Your Space Take these efficient packing tips with you on any trip. Whether you’re flying, driving, or just going away for the weekend, packing everything into one suitcase can be challenging. Whether you’re a serial over-packer or you’re just looking to down size suitcases, these tips will help to conserve space and optimize packing.

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BY KELCIE MCKENNEY

FORMATTING IS KEY

Putting heavier and larger items, such as pants and chunky sweaters, at the bottom of the suitcase will keep everything in place when the rolling begins. Use the extra space between sections of clothes to put smaller items such as chargers or brushes.

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SHOES, SHOES, SHOES

As tough as it is, limit yourself to only two, or maybe three, pairs of shoes total on your trip. Pack a simple dress pair, such as a nude or black heel, for fancier outfits and wear a comfortable pair during travel. Also, be sure to wear multiple layers during travel because you can wear those clothes again during your trip and they won’t take up any suitcase space.

THE GO-TO DRESS

You should absolutely bring a versatile dress that is easy to dress up or down. Bring a statement necklace to wear for one outfit and a scarf and cardigan for the next. This flexibility will save space and give you more use out of your looks while traveling.

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COMPARTMENTALIZE

To avoid spills in your bag, pack toiletries and makeup in a separate pouch or bag. This will also make unpacking easier when you arrive at your destination because you can just pull out the pouch and be ready to go. Also, try to find as many smaller sizes of your favorite products to conserve space. Don’t forget that most hotels have shampoo and conditioner!

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ROLL IT UP

The best way to conserve space is to roll up what you can instead of folding it. Shirts, blouses, cardigans and shorts won’t only fit better, but they will also have fewer wrinkles. Because of rolling, this carry-on suitcase has enough clothing to last for a ten-day trip.

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Kelcie McKenney is Savvy’s fashion writer. Send feedback to editor@savvy.mn.


relationships | views from dad

How Homer Simpson Ruined Fatherhood BY CHRIS EGERT Where were you in December of 1989? That’s the year most people first met Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. I was in high school, and my parents wouldn’t let me watch the Simpsons, as it was a little too “provocative” for them. It wasn’t until one of our best friends came home from college with a VHS tape containing several episodes of the Simpsons that we were exposed to this dysfunctional family from Springfield. I still have the tape, but no VCR; our son took it apart a few months ago. Would you believe 58 percemt of Americans still own a VCR? Flash forward 25 years, and the Simpsons have become the longest running sitcom in American history. Ladies, you can ask your husbands if they feel this way, but I get the feeling that the world believes many men today are Homer Simpson. Bumbling idiots who barely get by at their jobs, can’t manage their money, and certainly can’t be a very good role model for their family. Can you think of a show on television today that shows men as strong, active, and involved? Anyone who watches the Simpsons knows that Homer spends a great deal of time sucking

down “Duff ” beer at Moe’s Tavern. In truth, men do spend more time than women in leisure activities, according to findings released by the Pew Research Center that came out last March. Pew stated that “Among parents with children under age 18, fathers spend, on average, 28 hours per week on leisure activities, while mothers spend 25 hours on leisure.” Wow, where do these guys get the time for leisure? Don’t get me wrong, there are a few nights a month where the neighborhood bonfire keeps the daddies on the block up a little too late, but it rarely cuts into family time. The reality is that men’s role in the home has increased significantly the past several decades. That same report found: “Fathers have nearly tripled their time with children since 1965. Mothers’ time with children has also increased, and today’s mothers spend more time with their children than mothers did in the 1960s. There is still a large gender gap in time spent with children: Mothers spend about twice as much time with their children as fathers do (13.5 hours per week for mothers in 2011, compared with 7.3 hours for fathers).” So men are spending more time with their children, yet why do I feel like Ward Cleaver is giving me the stink eye somewhere? This is

all Homer’s fault. His buffoonery has not only created a pop culture where all dads are dolts, but many of us are so hell bent on not becoming him, that we rarely take time for ourselves. In the course of writing this column, I was developing the idea one night, nose down in my iPhone making notes. The overall theme I hoped to project was something like: Men, you are officially on warning, don’t be Homer Simpson. World, please don’t think of us as bald, overweight, drunken, irresponsible idiots. And then my phone rang. It was the receptionist at LearningRx in Chanhassen, she wanted to know if I was going to come and pick up our 8-year-old who had been waiting there for me for an hour. Somehow that slipped my mind. In the words of Homer Simpson: “Do’h!”

Chris Egert is morning news anchor for KSTP, and was previously cohost of Twin Cities Live, which has a partnership with Savvy. Send feedback to editor@ savvy.mn.

savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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relationships | dating

the predicaments of mediocre

BY STEPHANIE KOTELNICKI

MAKING OUT

“ I

just can’t believe guys think we like that!” my friend laughed as she made knob-turning gestures with her hands. “I mean really? Tuning Tokyo? Calling Japan? My breasts don’t rotate like that!” “How about when guys jam their tongue down your throat during your first kiss?” I exclaimed, both of us erupting into laughter. Giggling, we continued exchanging bad memories of make-out sessions and intimate moments gone wrong. “So,” she said, her tone becoming more serious. “What are you going to do about You Know Who?” I sighed. “I don’t know. There never seems to be a right time to… really talk about it.” “You addressed his overly-aggressive kissing, right? Didn’t he improve?” “Yeah, but that was the last time we were fooling around. He seems to have regressed since.” You Know Who (my on again/off again make-out buddy) was fun, but he could never fully spark my sexual energy. There were some enjoyable moments, but compared to how jazzed and uninhibited I got with other men, my lower-level sexual response to him was my own version of, dare I say, frigid. This concerned me. I was attracted to him, and we had chemistry. I wondered, Could he tell? Was he secretly not as sexually stimulated either? Did he notice when I wasn’t “as into it”? How could he, he had never seen me really into it. Sure there were other complex factors: feelings, resentment that he was rarely available when I wanted some “benefits,” etc. But there were also fundamental physical problems. You Know Who was overly eager and had almost zero tact. There was no sense of pacing, rhythmic changes, timing or variety of touch during our intimate encounters. He was far from sensual and didn’t really seem to grasp the subtle intricacies of how to “take” a woman. Foreplay was always predictable, like prom night scenes in a

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cliché rom-com. To make matters worse, some of the choice phrases he used were mood killers. “Is he still saying ‘Just be honest with yourself ’ and asking you every 10 seconds if you want him to stop?” my friend asked carefully, knowing despite my disappointment I would likely defend his efforts no matter how unappealing they were. I frowned. «Yes. Truthfully, when he says those things I want to scream, ‘The only question you should asking me is ‘Yeah, baby, do you like that?’! And ‘Yes, I do want you to stop – TALKING!” “You’re just afraid of being Stephanie the Moment Destroyer again,” she laughed. “But if he’s sort of unknowingly ruining the moment anyway, why worry? She was right, I was afraid of how to

approach these concerns. I knew all too well about opening my mouth at the wrong moment and being overtly honest. Tyler, my college boyfriend, was the perfect example of that. Tyler was a shy cowboy from Montana who was tall, handsome, and across-theboard enthusiastic about me. His first. Curled up together one night after our first long awaited intimate evening he was positively gleeful; radiating joy and pride the way one does after losing their V-card. He scooped me up, looked deep into my eyes and asked, “So, how was I?” Like my present day counter part, I had zero tact. I awkwardly blurted out, “Yeah, it was okay. I’ve had better if that’s what you’re asking…” Wrong answer. Very wrong answer.


relationships | dating Even though it was truthful – very, very wrong answer. “Oh,” he murmured softly, looking down. I had never seen shame in a man’s eyes before and immediately I tried to recover and remedy my thoughtless words. “But it was your first time,” I began stammering. “I just…I mean...It’ll get even better each time. We’re learning each other.” We were. I knew that, and was kicking myself for not starting there and using a well-intentioned white lie. “Yeah,” he agreed quietly. “You’re right.” I could see him slowly recovering as I continued highlighting various aspects of our first time, but it was too late. No matter how special I told him it was, Stephanie the Moment Destroyer had shown up and ruined things. I had left him with an inadvertent, callous response that could never be replaced or changed. And while I knew I wasn’t the same inarticulate person I was then, it was still a hard memory to shake. “That isn’t quite the same situation,” my friend noted, pulling me back to the

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present. “First, you didn’t need Tyler to tell you that you said something dumb – you were smart enough to catch that on your own. You Know Who isn’t. Second, you two aren’t as physically intimate as you were with Tyler. And hell never hit a home run with you if he doesn’t know what’s stopping his game! If he’s smart, he should be open to hearing suggestions.” “Keep in mind ego; he likely thinks his ballpark figure reflects his skill level. She burst out laughing, “Another mistake men make! Higher numbers don’t equal talent!” I had to laugh; there was truth to that statement. “Bottom line, keep being direct if you want more satisfaction. It worked once; it can work again. And if nothing changes? No harm, no foul. You’ll stay less attached.” True, I thought. That’s why mediocre make-out sessions aren’t all bad, and you can’t lose whether you speak up or not. Say something: get more pleasure. Say nothing: remain less attached and be adequately satisf ied. And maybe that is how I wanted to keep it: Low risk.

“I’m not making any promises,” I chuckled. “But next time he asks me to ‘just be honest with myself ’ he may get a response that was more than he bargained for!”

Stephanie Kotelnicki is truly terrified that someday she will be “that old lady with cats.” Not because she is afraid of being old, or lonely, but simply because she does not really care for cats. She thought it made sense to write this column because she is one of many single women traversing the complicated terrain that is dating, love, sex and life. In the short amount of time she’s spent on this planet she’s learned the following: It isn’t fun to date boys who don’t like it when you win at card games. Friends are your best resource for support and fun but they can also drive you a little crazy. People will always ask, “Why?” after you ask them, “What is your astrological sign?” And finally, no matter how tenderhearted Stephanie may be, her foot almost always ends up in her mouth.

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PHOTO CREDITS: STEVE LUCAS PHOTOGRAPHY

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES: CORSET STYLING


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PROFOUND journey Jennifer Grant travels both internationally and within to find the peace and transformation she seeks.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~ T.S. Eliot BY SCOTT FAGERSTROM hen Jennifer Grant signed up for a writers’ retreat in Bali last October, she was hoping to network with fellow authors, finish a long-planned book and pick up a few tips on how to get published. Grant accomplished all those goals, but even more important, she returned home from the journey with something far more important: a profound new insight into human nature and the meaning of life—an outlook, Grant now says, that will change her perception and attitudes forever. The people of Bali, a small, predominantly Hindu island in the Indonesian archipelago, are desperately poor by American standards: “The infrastructure there is horrific, the garbage and the rubble you see on the streets is terrible.” But the citizens of that country have “this incredible peace of mind that just blew me away.” In Bali, work isn’t primarily about making money, but about offering thanks to God for one’s existence, by providing a service to other human beings: “The average Balinese person makes about $100 a month, but they show up as an expression of compassion,” Grant says. “It isn’t just work,” she adds. The Balinese

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Jennifer Grant’s trip to Bali was life-changing for her. The Balinese “attitude of devotion extends to every aspect of their lives. The first day I was there, I was talking with some of the locals, and I learned that they look at a country or community’s tallest buildings” to ascertain what’s most important to those societies. In Bali, “the tallest buildings are temples, because for them, life is all about compassion and love. It’s beautiful.”

“attitude of devotion extends to every aspect talking with some of the locals, and I learned of their lives. The first day I was there, I was that they look at a country or community’s savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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tallest buildings” to ascertain what’s most important to those societies. In Bali, “the tallest buildings are temples, because for them, life is all about compassion and love. It’s beautiful. “Right from day one, I started wondering, ‘If that’s the case, what do our tallest buildings represent?’ Health care? Lawyers? Money?” Grant says she couldn’t help but reflect on her own priorities, and how those priorities have affected her professional and personal decisions. Once upon a time, travel was practically synonymous with spirituality. For thousands of years, Jews have been “going up” to the Holy City of Jerusalem, and Hindus have been making pilgrimages to the Ganges River. The roads of medieval Europe were crowded with Christian devotees seeking inspiration at Santiago de Compostela. Making “the Hajj” to Mecca has been a requirement for Muslims who can afford to do so since the foundation of Islam. In the past 50 years or so, however, international travel has become routine, and as a result, the potentially transformative nature of that experience is lost on many of us. We can fly to some exotic location, relax on a beach or network with colleagues, then return home with nothing more impactful than a nice tan, a wallet full of business cards, or a few extra check marks off the list of “places to see before you die.” But as Grant’s recent trip to Bali illustrates, travel can also represent something far more significant, especially for travelers making a conscious effort to achieve enlightenment. “When I travel,” Grant says, “I don’t want to just show up and be a tourist, I want to dive in fully, to get messy. I think the locals like that, too. To me, it shows more respect. I’m not just here using your space. I’m here with a real desire to learn more about you and your culture. “Every place has something amazing and magic. It’s my desire to find out what that magic is.” Grant is uniquely qualified to seek out and celebrate transformative experiences. She’s a life coach, and her business, “Inspiring Radiance,” is dedicated to helping clients reach their full potential. “We all have this beautiful gift we can offer” to the world, says Grant, who lives in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis. “There’s something that comes naturally to us, that

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Grant learned in Bali that people’s happiness did not necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with wealth, she began wondering how different American society—and her own life— might be without such a strong focus on time management.

you lose yourself for hours and hours “Finding your easy” isn’t necessarily easy doing. It comes easy for you, and I help people in itself. When something seems “too easy,” realize that your ‘easy’ is your gift.” it’s overlooked when contemplating a career,


The people of Bali are desperately poor by American standards; the average Balinese person makes $100 per month. “The infrastructure there is horrific, the garbage and the rubble you see on the streets is terrible,” Grant says. But the citizens of that country have “this incredible peace of mind that just blew me away.” Work there isn’t about making money, but about offering thanks to God for one’s existence.

Grant says. And then, there are the people who, at a deep level, don’t really believe they deserve happiness or fulfillment. Grant’s own story is a case in point. A native of Isanti, north of the Twin Cities, Grant grew up in one of those families where a thin veneer of happiness and normalcy— “nights and weekends on the lake, surrounded by kids, all the recreational toys and activities”—masked a dark undercurrent of familial conflict, alcohol abuse and divorce. In particular, Grant said, she grew up with the message that she wasn’t good enough to accomplish much of anything significant, a message she took to heart for the first 32 of her 37 years, as reflected in a series of abusive relationships, career detours and short-term jobs. “I just muddled through life. For a period of eight years, I had no less than three or four jobs a year, just looking to see what I was meant to do. I’d get jobs, but if things started getting too good, within months, I would sabotage and self-destruct. It felt good and I couldn’t understand ‘too good.’ “What you’re looking for—that’s what you find. There were always these little moments of inspiration, knowing there’s something else, the possibility of something bigger. But I convinced myself that was for other people, not for me.” Grant’s eureka moment came during a 2009 seminar, when a speaker called Grant out of the audience, and told her, before a group of

Late last year, Grant spent a week and a half in Steyr, a small town in western Austria. It was a pleasure trip—her boyfriend’s father owns a cottage in the ancient city— but Grant still gained new insights into her own priorities and lifestyle. When Americans go out to eat, for example, it’s typically a “get in, get out and move on” sort of experience. Austrians, by contrast, spend several hours at dinner, reveling in the chance to mingle with others in their community. “It’s about enjoying the experience of life, to really enjoy whatever it is you’re doing, rather than worrying that it’s 8 o’ clock and you’ve been sitting in the restaurant for hours. They’re so connected,” meeting weekly, or even several times a week, in a way that most American families only enjoy at Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings. Austrian society, Grant says, is set up in a way that pushes people out into the community: “The refrigerators hold a day, maybe two days’ worth of food … you have to be out in the community. And they’re blocked off the road so you can’t drive vehicles; you have to get out and walk.” Grant’s favorite part of Austrian life was the greeting of “gruss Gott!”—which roughly translates as “God bless you.” “Every time we were on a walk or out in nature, we always heard it. You were just ‘gruss Gotted’ everywhere you went.” As in Bali, where Grant learned that people’s happiness did not necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with wealth, she began wondering how different American society—and her own life—might be without such a strong focus on time management. “On our final night there, we went to dinner—probably 15 of us—and took over the restaurant for four and a half hours. You sit there and tell stories and enjoy the trout caught in the stream right behind the restaurant and demonstrate your respect for the elders.” It’s in such moments of discovery, Grant says, that travel takes on a spiritual dimension. “For me, it’s all about diving in and getting to know the culture and the people, getting to know and understand their values and what makes them tick. When I do that, I end up finding myself.”

400 fellow students, that she was “born into greatness.” She didn’t believe it, but decided to experiment with the idea by using positive affirmations for three months, and seeing if they had a measurable impact on her life. “I stopped the experiment after two months, because life had already changed for me so profoundly. All it took for me was to shift how I thought about myself.” At the same time, Grant discovered that counseling people was her own “easy,” so she acquired a life-coaching license and started Inspiring Radiance, leading clients to the same sort of shift in thinking that had changed her own life. “I’m on a journey to support others in recognizing that they’re already ‘enough.’ You’re enough because you’re here.” The message seems to be resonating with Twin Cities area women, and especially with young women, whose self-image is too often based on media-driven ideals. “The message is, ‘You’re amazing. Not because you get good grades. Not because you’re tall and skinny. Not because you have large breasts or a lot of money. Just because! My whole idea is to take what society has told us over and over and say, ‘enough with that.’ It’s time for people to know they’re amazing. Already.” Teachers take refresher courses to stay atop their game. Grant, who teaches people Scott Fagerstrom is a Twin Cities-based to question their long-held assumptions, freelance writer. Send feedback to editor@ savvy.mn. often does the same by packing her bags. savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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love & life | pathfinder

a passion for globetrotting An exchange program gave Linda Bendt her first chance to travel. She was smitten from the start.

BY LIV LANE World traveler Linda Bendt knows exactly when and where she discovered her passion for globetrotting: at age 17, during her first trip away from the Wisconsin farm where she grew up. An exchange program with families in St. Louis, Missouri, provided Bendt with her first chance to travel, and she was smitten from the start. “It opened my eyes to what life was like off this hard-working, family-run farm,” Bendt says. “I instantly wanted to know more about other areas of the U.S. and eventually the world.” Bendt made it her personal mission to visit all 50 states before getting married (she made it to 48) and then travel internationally throughout her life. Her favorite spots so far include Alaska, New Zealand, Southern Africa and Hawaii, where she lived for three years.

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“I thrive on meeting other people, learning how they live and what they value, seeing amazing sites and just taking adventures,” says Bendt, who has run her own public relations consultancy for 14 years. “For me, travelling is not necessarily something I do to go off and relax, although that’s a bonus if it happens. It’s a way for me to explore, open my mind to things I don’t get in my day-to-day routines and serves as a reminder of what this world and its people has to offer all of us.” Luckily, Bendt found the perfect partner to explore the world with; husband Jim shares her love of travel, and was co-owner of Travel Beyond in Wayzata for many years. When the chance to sell his half of the company arose, the couple decided to go into business together, launching Pique Travel Design (PiqueTravel.com) in downtown Excelsior last spring. The firm specializes in four- and five-star experiences, creating customized trips for clients. The new agency is a family affair, with the couple’s well-traveled kids – 11-year-old Andrew and eight-year-old Abby – serving on the company’s board of directors. With both children enrolled in the Minnetonka school district’s Spanish Immersion program, the Bendts love visiting countries where Spanish is the native language. The family’s spring agenda, in fact, includes trips to Puerto Rico, Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands. “I get so excited to share the world with our kids,” Bendt says. “It gives us new appreciation for what we have, or don’t have in some cases. And it shows them that no matter where we live or what our beliefs are, we’re all human beings at the core that share common needs.” As soon as the jet-setting foursome returns from one trip, Bendt says they’re ready for another adventure. “Jim and I refer to travel as our ‘drug of choice,’” she says. “We always want to know where we’re going next and can’t get enough of it.”

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savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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love & life | staycations

Explore Your Environment Visit anywhere in Minnesota to find relaxation or leave your comfort zone for adventure.

BY AMANDA MCKNIGHT One of the greatest qualities of Minnesota is its availability of things to do every season of the year. We are a state of ice fishing, skiing and snowboarding in the winter; hiking, biking and baseball in the spring; tubing, kayaking and camping in the summer; hunting and apple picking in the fall. And that’s not even touching on the thousands of exciting places to visit indoors in Minnesota. My family doesn’t get many opportunities to take full-blown vacations to Europe or the tropics, so if we want a long weekend away, we usually stick relatively close to home. Your destination likely depends on what you are looking to do on your mini-trip. Here are some ideas:

1. MINNESOTA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR WATER PARK ENTHUSIASTS. There are several indoor water parks throughout the state. Alyssa Ebel of Explore Minnesota Tourism says these parks can be popular destinations in the spring because people are antsy to get outside, but it’s still too cold to go swimming outdoors.

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APRIL 2014 | savvy.mn

Luckily, Minnesota has several indoor water parks. Big Splash in Alexandria is 38,000 square feet and has three four-story waterslides. The water park at the Rapid River Lodge in Brainerd has a 250-foot tube slide, and the Great Serengeti Water Park in Owatonna also has two large indoor waterslides. Of course there is always the Water Park of America in Bloomington for those of us who don’t want to travel very far.

2. THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS FOR BEER AND WINE LOVERS. “We have nearly 60 craft breweries in the state, and we are one of the top 10 craft brewery producing states in the country,” Ebel says. “We also have 600 vineyards in the state.” Six hundred?! With white wines as one of my guilty pleasures, this is a fact I wish I had known about long ago. My husband doesn’t know it yet, but he might be tagging along with me to some vineyards and wineries this summer. Ebel recommends wine lovers check out the Three Rivers Wine Trail that starts in Stillwater and goes to Red Wing and Cannon Falls.

“It features five wineries in the St. Croix, Mississippi and Cannon river valleys,” Ebel says. And for those looking to make it more than a day trip, there are plenty of hotel and bed and breakfast options in the river valleys. If you stay in Red Wing, you could also visit Red Wing Pottery or take a morning hike up on the bluff for a gorgeous, panoramic view of the city.

3. LOVE THE OUTDOORS? YOU’RE IN LUCK. Ebel recommends a trip to Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. Of course it’s great in the winter for ice fishing, but in the spring it can also be a great place to do some hiking and biking, Ebel says. Why not take advantage of the bike trails in a state that boasts of more than 4,000 miles of them? Fishing isn’t only popular in the winter at Lake of the Woods, though. “People could do some river fishing in the spring,” she says, “and the walleye opener is in May.” There are plenty of resorts and cabins for rent, so if you’re looking for a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities, this might be a good destination.


love & life | staycations The Northwest Angle – sometimes referred to as the chimney of Minnesota – is just west of this area, too, so you could explore both if you had the time. “I’ve heard it’s one of the most fascinating places in Minnesota,” Ebel says. “It’s great for birding, fishing, golfing.”

4. THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPTIONS IN THE TWIN CITIES AREA, AS WELL. “People in the metro area could go check out Como Park (in St. Paul) or the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (in Chaska),” Ebel says. “In every nook and cranny there are very diverse offerings, but people just don’t know enough about it.” Como Park, Zoo and Conservatory is a great choice because it’s family friendly and free. If you’re looking to make a night of it, downtown St. Paul is nearby and has several hotel options with beautiful views of the river and the bridges connecting the two parts of town. Ebel also suggests people take advantage of the shopping opportunities in our state and especially in the metro area. The Grand Avenue area of St. Paul and Uptown area of Minneapolis are two

great places to start if you are looking for a unique shopping experience. The Galleria in Edina is also a must, particularly if your style is upscale or if you are searching for a unique gift. Some people live in these areas of the city and are so used to their surroundings they may never think to take advantage of it, but Ebel urges people to get out and explore

their environments. “There’s plenty to do around the state,” she says. “We are a four-season state, and we are very diverse. It’s easy to get out and explore the state of Minnesota.”

Amanda McKnight is a staff writer for Savvy. Send feedback to amcknight@swpub.com.

savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

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love & life | adventures

Traveling On a Budget You won’t have to sacrifice fun or adventure with these tips

1. CHOOSE A CHEAP DESTINATION. The first step in trip planning is to choose where in the world to visit. There are countless destinations around the United States that will satisfy the travel itch and thirst for new cultural experiences. Domestic airfare is hundreds of dollars cheaper than international flights, or you could take a road trip along scenic routes to enjoy the slower pace of travel. International destinations don’t need to be out of reach either. Your biggest expense will be the airfare, but after

that there are many ways to save a dollar while still having a marvelous time. The wisest choice you can make in choosing a destination is choosing a country or city where the cost of living is lower than yours. This will automatically lower your overall expenses. The Philippines was an ideal destination for this very reason (that, and Tim grew up there, which was our primary motivation for visiting.)

2. AVOID RITZY HOTELS. A person with a true traveler’s spirit desires cultural exchange along the journey. One of the best ways to do this is to stay with locals. If you can, visit places where you know people. This could be close family or friends, but more likely it’s distant relatives or friends of a friend. Don’t be afraid to invite yourself over! Another option is couch surfing—a network of hosts willing to open their homes to you for free. It’s easy to search and connect with locals all over the world through the website (www.couchsurfing. org). Tim and I couch surfed one night with

a Filipino named Philip in his family’s home in Cagayan de Oro. We had a wonderful time experiencing a real Filipino neighborhood and getting an insider tour of the city. Another low cost lodging option is hostels. Some hostels have shared dormitories where you bunk with other travelers, but many have private rooms. Every hostel I’ve slept in throughout the world—whether it was Russia, Poland, Ireland, Lithuania, or the Philippines—has been clean and comfortable. Often I’ve met interesting people this way too, and have received excellent insider tips from the staff about the locale. The accommodations are simple, but who needs a fancy hotel room when you’re spending most of the day traversing the city or lying on the beach?

3. SEEK FREE ENTERTAINMENT. Wherever your traveling feet take you, you will no doubt have an abundance of high-priced entertainment opportunities. Theatre, cultural shows, museums, adventure sports, and guided tours will inevitably be on your itinerary, but they don’t need to drive your fun. Based on your budget, choose just a couple higher priced outings and then find low-cost or free things to do in between. It’s okay—and even desirable—to take things slow and not be constantly busy while you travel. Go hiking, sit on the beach, window shop, and people-watch from park benches. When we were on the beach in Boracay, the premier white sand beach in the Philippines, Tim and I enjoyed cultural shows without paying a dime. We hovered around a beachside restaurant and watched fire dancing from the beach! We weren’t the only ones and it seemed perfectly acceptable. Sure, we had to stand or crouch on the sand, but we were entertained without spending a cent.

4. EAT CREATIVELY .

Naomi and Tim with their couch surfing host, Philip.

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APRIL 2014 | savvy.mn

I love eating out, trying local cuisine, and splurging on cocktails and fancy desserts. But it’s simply not feasible to do this for every meal. Consider buying lunch fixings, fresh fruit, and snacks from grocery stores

PHOTO CREDITS: NAOMI KRUEGER

BY NAOMI KRUEGER Traveling to new places, experiencing new cultures and reveling in the beauty the world has to offer may be a dream that seems just out of reach. Food, transportation, lodging, and entertainment costs add up quickly. But, if you really must travel—and really, you must—you can do it on a frugal budget without sacrificing fun or adventure. Here are six money-saving tips my husband Tim and I put into practice on our recent vacation in the Philippines.


love & life | adventures

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The sailboat ride price was negotiable in Boracay.

or outdoor markets for one meal each day. Another great way to save money is to try street food or local family-owned diners. Choose to be an adventurous eater and you’ll save a lot of money.

6. DO AS THE LOCALS DO.

walked down the sidewalk to a crowd of Filipinos lined up for the yellow metered taxis. We had to wait a bit longer, but our total rate at the end of the ride was a third of what the first taxi service charged. We also took the more commonly used public transportation options when we could, including jeepneys, pedicabs, buses, and trains. Some forms of transportation are slower or more inconvenient, but there’s no better way to feel part of the local culture than to ride in a jeepney pressed between twenty Filipinos, bags of rice, and even a rooster to get from one part of a city to the next. Traveling to new places and experiencing cultures different from your own will change the way you see the world. Traveling is exhilarating and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Next time you hear adventure calling, don’t let a tight budget stand in your way. In many ways, you’ll even have a more authentic, up-close travel experience.

Pay attention to locals. Where are they eating? What taxis do they hire? What market vendor do they swarm around? Use your observation skills and you’ll get better deals practically without trying. When Tim and I landed in Manila we were accosted by a salesman for an airport taxi service, charging an exorbitant fixed rate to our particular destination. Having been warned to avoid fixed-rate taxis, we declined the offer and

Naomi Krueger is a Twin Cities based freelance writer. She loves to travel and explore new cultures, having been to nine countries on five different continents in the past ten years. She blogs about justice, human rights, and cross-cultural awareness at www.naomikrueger.com. Send feedback to editor@savvy.mn.

5. HAGGLE FOR A BETTER DEAL. In most cultures outside the United States, negotiating a lower price is not only acceptable, it’s expected! Be bold, and don’t get ripped off. Tim negotiated a 25 percent discount on our three-hour sailboat ride around the island when we were at the beach. We tried to get them to throw in the snorkeling gear too, but that didn’t fly. It may not be appropriate to haggle over museum admission or a restaurant menu, but sidewalk goods, transportation fare, and adventure sports are all fair game. Just be prepared to walk away if the vendor won’t go low enough.

Dwain Greer 952-937-6290 www.dwain.automaticbody.com dwain@automaticbody.com

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savvy.mn | APRIL 2014

21


love & life | intuition

Explore

YOUR INTUITION with Jodi Livon

J

odi Livon, author of The Happy Medium, intuitive coach and resident psychic at Twin Cities Live, says everyone is intuitive. Each month readers ask Livon about their questions around intuition and all things supernatural. In this month’s edition, readers ask about signs from loved ones who passed, “billet” readings and dreams. How do you use your intuition while datJodi, I love watching you on TV, especially when you talk about people who died. I’m a believer but my family mostly thinks when you are dead, you’re dead. But my little brother says in the morning he smells Youth Dew, a stinky perfume my mom loved. He dreams about her so much, too. I am more open-minded, but he gets the signs. Why don’t I? People who love us don’t stop doing so when they die. Your mom isn’t playing favorites; your brother is more easily reached because he simply isn’t expecting anything. Signs from the other side are subtle and when we try too hard, we inadvertently block ourselves from seeing them. Spirits don’t have an audible voice so they place thoughts in our head and share pictures and messages telepathically. Pay attention to thoughts that are not triggered and just “pop” into your head. Spirits goof around with electrical

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APRIL 2014 | savvy.mn

objects, make buzzing sounds in our ears, come through in dreams, love us through an animal, and/or repeatedly place tiny items like pennies or rocks in our path. My favorite sign from spirit is when they plant a serene sense of love and peacefulness firmly and sweetly in the center of our heart. I refer to this as being hugged from the other side. Release your expectations and realize that even when a loved one is in spirit, love keeps you in sync.

What does it mean if I repeatedly dream that I am having a baby? Dreams can definitely provide signs, and recurring ones are like receiving a cosmic text message. There is, of course, a lot of room for interpretation and a variety of possibilities. In dreams, anyone can get pregnant no matter the gender or age! Pregnancy in a dream can signify that we are embarking on an innovative endeavor, giving birth to a new part of ourselves, ready to burst with When doing billet readings, some can be emotion, or are actually pregnant. It can also regular, and some can be very easy to read. herald an upswing in prosperity, creativity, And then one comes up that I just can’t get and courage. much info from. What can I do to help me get into the zone on difficult reads? Send your questions for Jodi Livon to “Billet” is the French word for “note.” Savvy Editor in Chief Britt Johnsen and Billet reading is the art of determining the your question may appear in an upcoming contents of a sealed letter or folded note edition of the magazine. Livon can’t answer through use of intuition and is a popular every question but she’s grateful to receive all way of demonstrating and practicing psy- of them. Johnsen is at editor@savvy.mn or chic ability. When information isn’t flowing (952) 345-6387. during a reading, slowly inhale and exhale deeply three times through the nose. Imagine washing a white board perfectly clean Jodi Livon is an author, resident psychic at Twin and then allow the images that appear to Cities Live, and she’s an float toward you. There may be a number of intuitive coach for the them but the ones with the most relevance business sector. She will be more vivid and will float higher than also offers readings for the rest. This technique is also amazingly individuals. Her website is beneficial in problem solving and works TheIntuitiveCoach.com. wonders to unblock creative flow.


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Connecting ng Women In Business Shakopee Chamber 2014

Join us for our 4th Annual Women’s Event. This year’s luncheon will include presentations & networking all focused on helping connect women in business. Learn ways to successfully grow & develop in your career & network with others. NEW THIS YEAR will be networking activities & breakout sessions! Our vendor marketplace will be filled with products & services to enrich your professional & personal lives.

Thursday, May 1 11:30 - 3:00pm Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel Prior Lake, MN Ticket Price: $25pp or 2 for $40 Your ticket includes lunch, presentations, a swag bag & a chance to win fabulous door prizes To register & for more information visit www.shakopee.org or call (952) 445-1660.

Featuring: • Mary Brainerd, President & CEO of Health Partners, sharing her story of success, offering tips on becoming a leader & how she manages it all • Teresa Thomas, Director of Women in Networking, sharing her passion for connecting women & possibilities through networking • Kristen Brown, The Happy Hour Effect, providing actionable ways to make meaningful changes that will lead to professional growth & personal fulfillment

Presented By:

I Zen Spa | St. Gertrude’s Health & Rehabilitation Center Thrivent Financial for Lutherans • Karen Borresen-Berg

April 2014  
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