Sanctity of Life: The Recipe for Aging Gracefully

My goal in life is to meet and spend quality time with as many beautiful souls as possible such as 80-year family friend George Maggot from St. Helena Island off the coast of West Africa. In London he invited me over for a home cooked veggie lunch that he prepared singlehandedly, a stroll in the garden park and life conversations to appease both our spirits. George walks a few miles daily, eats one main meal a day (mainly veggies and legumes), nibbles on fruits and nuts, maintains  a strong social life, tends to the garden a few hours a day, volunteers his time to help his neighbors and continues to travel to places like his second home in Ghana where he spent 40 years.

I do believe my soul gravitates more towards elders and wise men and women who understand my path deeper than the majority. I am humbled and grateful to be blessed with opportunities that continuously allow me to learn and experience. Thank you George!

-Kimatni D. Rawlins

 

 

Vacation Fitness in Paradise: Experience The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to “The Island of Gods” in the magnificent Republic of Indonesia for an immersive vacation to focus on deeper spiritual awareness and living in the presence of Mother Nature’s serenity. Located between Lombak and Java, Bali is a majestic land consisting of volcanic mountains, mesmerizing topography, stunning flora and heartwarming people. The tropical climate — commingled with deep ravines, hillside rice fields, enchanting waterfalls and delectable Balinese fare — has created an indelible imprint that will remain with me indefinitely.

The lifelong dream of visiting Bali was shared by my wife Misa so we decided to manifest our intentions and make reality come true. Deciding on accommodations, whether it’s a resort, condo or villa, is always pivotal. Since Misa is a Platinum member with SPG we zeroed in on The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali which is conveniently located 10 kilometers from the Ngurah Rai International Airport (resembles an ancient temple) and close to the capital city of Denpasar, the main gateway to the island. The luxuriant 5-star family resort is nestled on white sandy beaches with beautiful vistas of the Indian Ocean. The Westin was perfect for enhancing our constellation of wedding commemorations. [Read more…]

5th Annual Nomadic Journey: Life Rediscovery in Vietnam

The perseverance of the Vietnamese people is unwavering, their spirituality is deep, they are hyper active in terms of fitness, and the plant-based foods they consume are pure and divine. This is why I chose a week-long mountain biking tour with Cambodia Cycling to rediscover life while riding from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Vung Tau beach city. Continue to travel wide my friends and never rest on your laurels.

After a 22-hour flight from Washington, DC the plan was detailed but exciting. Once breakfast was complete we transferred out of the bustling city Ho Chi Minh to Tan Phu Trung village then rode through the rubber tree plantation to the Cu Chi Tunnels which were dug by Vietnamese during the American War. Next we pedaled from Tan Thanh to Ngai Giao then to Xuyen Moc and Binh Chau Hot Springs to have mud baths. Afterwards the team cycled along the coast to Long Hai in route to Vung Tau Beach City. The last leg had us continuing along the coast while finishing with a climb up to Nho Mountain to enjoy the sea view from inside the arm of the famous Jesus Statue. For more info on riding in East Asia visit http://www.cambodiacycling.com/. [Read more…]

Third Annual Nomadic Journey: Mountain Biking Cambodia’s Ancient Temples of Angkor

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Greetings from Cambodia for Fit Fathers’ third annual nomadic expedition, a rediscovery of life, newfangled cultures, freedom from attachment and enlightenment. I’ve been traveling for over 20 years now but just recently began traversing the globe to indigenous countries on solo missions. From Phuket to Nepal, the appeal of simple life, thankfulness, ancient spices and herbs and nurturing foods entices my pallet. So I continue digging deeper for truth, perspective and the freedom of life while doing so on a mountain bikes utilizing the best local tour guides in the field. Welcome to my world.

After a 25-hour commute starting on United Airlines from Washington Dulles to San Francisco to Korea and then on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia I landed rather restless. As usual it was confounding circumstances at the airport when I arrived at 11:30 pm so I feverishly picked out my $9 Tuk Tuk driver and headed to the Grand Boutique II in Phnom Penh for two nights. The streets from the airport into town were pretty dusty and awaiting trash truck pickups. The open ride let me get a feel for the city before the next day’s explorations. Food cart vendors were open for business and those that weren’t were preparing for the next day’s busy day. Keep in mind mopeds and Tuk Tuks rule this town like most cities in Southeast Asia. The 3-star, boutique hotel was a small, quaint spot situated in the middle of the hustle off of 5th street. For about $50 a night it surprisingly included complimentary breakfast (exotic fruit platter, fresh mango juice and vegetable stir fry rice), free WiFi and instantaneous customer service. Mental note, trust is an important trait for travelers and jetsetters so your senses must be keen and instincts impeccable to avoid ominous scenarios. You will never see me rocking headphones to drown out the environment while I’m away.

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I popped up bright and early and went for a run to view the bustle of Cambodia’s busy capital streets. By far, running and biking are the most strategic ways to enjoy new lands while simultaneously energizing the body. With 90-degree weather the entire 10-day stay I promised myself to spend the journey outdoors soaking up Vitamin D. First up was a trot to the National Museum which is actually a temple rich with Cambodian history and relics. Later that night I caught a traditional and magical dance performance put on by the Cambodian Living Arts which was the highlight of my day. The revelry is fixated on love, food and peace. For example, in flourishing countries the masses are devoted to earning their next million, obtaining elaborate jewelry, luxury cars, fancy shoes, expensive purses and the grandest houses, while the poor Cambodian farmers dance fervently in solidarity — Beh Krawine Dance — to bless their crops and well-being. It’s the unpretentious things in life that generate happiness.

Next up was a short flight on Bayon Airlines to Siem Reap for day 1 of mountain biking (MTBing) while visiting the ancient temples of Angkor. After extensive research I selected Cambodia Cycling as my tour guides of choice. The 3-day ride totaled about $600 and included 3-star accommodation, an experienced cycling guide, your bike (Trek or Giant) full board meals (breakfasts, lunch and dinner), boat trip on Tonlé Sap Lake to see the floating fishing village, a support van and a 3-day Angkor pass. In fact, Dara, Son and Greg ascertained that every need imaginable was handled under their care including the litany of vegan grub in the area which I have a penchant for. Directly from the airport we hit the ground pedaling to the temples. Combining the love for cycling with nomadic travel is the best and most modest act a spiritual outlier can ask for.

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The route took us to Prasat Kravan Temple, the Buddhist Temple Banteay Kdei (meaning a citadel of chambers) and the infamous Ta Prohm Temple which is adorned by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. It was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII who is discernibly looked upon by historians as the most formidable Khmer monarch. Keep in mind roughly 80% of all Cambodians are Buddhists. We also admired the Bayon Temple and the temple complex of the breathtaking Angkor Wat. On the gentle ride back to the Angkor Boutique Villa I felt like a kite dancing in a hurricane, flowing freely with thoughts as pervasive as the Andaman Sea. For dinner Son reserved a table at Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant where the open atmosphere was meditative since I was seated next to the garden. Trees grow inside the eco-friendly eatery and bamboo dividers can be rolled up or down depending on the weather. Chamkar serves fine and genuine foods using fresh, local veggies and as organic as possible. Yes, the meals were light, refreshing and pleasing.

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Each day we road out from my art deco suite to a uniquely, mystic pocket of the country ripe with fascination. For the next 48 hours in Siem Reap I embraced adoration of living in the countryside to explore the simple life and the floating village where the locals (mostly Vietnamese fishers) dwell and work. In the country a little girl eats her rice in what seems to be a private abode behind a bush while roosters scream in excitement and rustic bike shops tend to the villagers number one mean of transportation. Both the Cambodians and I were equally curious with each other. Humbled is an understatement, especially since the people here survive off the crops they grow. After MTBing I went back to the hotel to relax, find more veggie grub and attend another dance and arts show later that night. Certainly I will return again to this part of the world, possibly Vietnam.

The nomadic escape on two wheels was another unforgettable experience that I will cherish dearly. No man or woman should ever fear the unknown. Self-discovery is a powerful awareness tool.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Family Vacation

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to the palatial villas at the idyllic Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California for a fun, family spring break getaway with the all-new and innovative 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan for new age families. Tooled with a vehicle that set the standard for group travel with its myriad of infotainment features, cozy seats, European-like drive and storage for days, Team Rawlins set sail for an extended weekend full of excitement, entertainment and bonding. Suffice it to say life was amazing on the West Coast for four glorious days with my wife and two daughters who absolutely adore the Golden State! [Read more…]