A week of detox at the Fusion Maia Resort, a destination spa in Danang, Vietnam

Read about Danang, 
and one of Asia’s top destination spas, 
in the June-July 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine. 
On sale everywhere until August 15.

In Danang, Vietnam last May, living a Travelife, I was right next to this beautiful and empty white sand beach. It’s one of the most under-the-radar and yet also convenient holiday places in this part of the world.

It was wonderful to be able to enjoy it before the rest of the world discovered it. 

Dragonair, Cathay Pacific’s sister airline, just started direct flights here from Hong Kong, and I think I was one of the first passengers.

When I made my booking, you see, the Hong Kong – Danang flight wasn’t even on the online reservation system yet, so we had to request it manually.

And sometime in between a hundred massages at the Fusion Maia Resort, a wonderful destination spa right next to Danang’s beach, and right now considered one of the best spas in Asia, I had an appointment with a very interesting lady named Bhavini.
In this day and age of enlightened spa and wellness, she’s what you would call a Lifestyle Consultant.
She used to be a high-powered executive until she realized her true calling and happiness, helping people find themselves and their own happiness.
I wasn’t really planning to see her, actually, as — between you, me and the 850,000++ people who read this blog regularly around the world — I think I have my life going well and my lifestyle pretty organized.
As for the happiness bit, well, I certainly can’t complain in that department.

It truly is a pretty wonderful, amazing and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

No kidding.
But I was sitting in the spa reception room one day, waiting for my Thai massage session, when one of the spa managers came up to me and said: “I think you should book a session with Bhavini.
Up for anything in general, as long as it’s not illegal, I just said yes.
And that’s how I got my appointment with her one afternoon.
But when I finally sat in front of her, I have to honestly say that I sort of regretted it.
I’d had to cut short an aromatherapy facial to fit this appointment in; and all I could think of at that moment was this: “Oh no. I gave up my facial to talk about New Age stuff and self-awareness for an hour.
I’m a very practical person, you see, and I generally am not big on New Age stuff and other things like this. I get enough self-awareness exercises in my never-endingly eventful Travelife as it is.
If you travel as much as I do, some of that travel is going to be by yourself — and that means tons of thinking time to get to know yourself, and to think about where you’ve been and where you’re headed
I have lots of friends who are happy to plan trips with me, so I do go on some amazing adventures with a shortlist of friends.
There are friends for spa trips, friends for painting or culinary trips, friends for driving trips and shopping trips, and even a friend for safari experiences.
But inevitably, you do spend time on your own.
Scroll down to read more…

And, as I’ve already explained, one of the benefits of this alone time is that you end up with a great degree of self-awareness. It’s really all that thinking time when you have no one but yourself for company. 
I love it, and I think everyone should travel by themselves every so often.

My two-bedroom villa at the Fusion Maia

So, the long and short of this is that I’m one of these people with not much patience with projects to discover one’s self.
Bhavini wasn’t about to give up on me, though.
She said with the kind of bright smile that doesn’t fade even on a 35+ degree day: “Tell me about yourself.
In a paragraph? Or a minute? Thank goodness my college professor at the Ateneo taught me the value of brevity and how to be most concise and direct.

So I said, trying to make things as simple and understandable for her, as I didn’t want to spend an hour explaining myself to her: “I live in the moment as much as possible, and I never over-think anything. I take everything at face value.”

Then I added: “I never regret the past and I don’t really worry about the future. I try to find something to be happy or grateful about every minute of every day, and I’ve done it so much that it comes naturally. Even if my life requires never-ending multi-tasking, I generally focus on whatever I’m doing at the moment and exclude everything else. I’m very much an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person.
She replied with a smile: “Looks like you know yourself very well.”
Yes, it’s really all that traveling in a never-endingly eventful Travelife.
But then she asked me an interesting question after that. “What are the five most important things in your life?
And this began a pretty comprehensive and profound discussion that really made me see my life in a completely different perspective.

There’s no wrong or right answer, of course; just the most accurate, authentic one.


At the beautiful Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad,
reportedly the most beautiful palace hotel in the world.
Read more about it in the June-July 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine.
On sale everywhere until August 15.

I can’t tell you in this blog what the five things are, but Bhavini did say that if I get all these right in my life, my alkaline levels will go up and I’ll have 99% happiness instead of just 95%.
Or something to that effect.
From a holistic perspective, you see, we all should have high alkaline levels to keep healthy.
So it was so worth giving up the facial after all. I really understood myself a whole lot better.
My Tinsley dresses went on holiday with me to one of Asia’s best destination spas.
And they had so many massages, that they had so little time to keep up this blog.
Then she said something that really made my day.
She said, and without any irony or jest: “To keep yourself alkalineyou really need to keep traveling and staying in beautiful hotels, and having spa treatmentsIt’s just in your DNA, and to not have these in your life would go against your cellular fiber.”
La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa.
One of my favorite hotels in the world.

A weekend here certainly made my blood alkaline.
For a second, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to hug her.
Oh yes. Luxury hotels are in my DNA. And was this official permission to keep living a never-endingly eventful Travelife?
I kid you not. She said something like this. And I just can’t not agree with her more on this point.

She didn’t say anything about safari experiences, though.

Tanzania, see you soon…

Maybe I’ll email her later to ask her whether three upcoming luxury safari experiences in Tanzania will help keep my alkaline levels high.

That is, if I can tear myself away from all the bargain sales in Osaka today, which is where I’m spending this weekend, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.