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travel talk

SEE YOU TONIGHT at Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel 7pm

RSVP: Click here!

diamond head 2013

Please join us LIVE October 16 at Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles for a travel talk! If not, join us October 23 for an  online webinar with the University of Pennsylvania on Exotic Burma!

More of our recent news:
Aloha Hawaii, 
Hello Los Angeles

Our recent 5 days in Kauai were filled with hiking the Napali Coast, enjoying Waimea Canyon and driving a car! During our 5 days in Oahu, we were hosted at the Lotus Honolulu and theOutrigger Reef on the Beach . We can highly recommend these hotels and look forward to sharing photos and videos with you. We loved hiking Diamond Head (photo above), learning to Stand-Up Paddle board, Yen’s INCREDIBLE Hawaii Five-0 Tour and our rides around town with Uber.

Giant thank yous to Yen from Gogobot, Josh and Liz from Lotus Honolulu, Lisa and Malie from Park Restaurant and Tommy from Uber for the incredible reception and event! (See photo below). We had nearly forty people come to our Travel Talk Story. It was so great to meet new travel friends and share about our memoir, Traveling in Sin and our last 15months on the road. We hope to see you at one of our two upcoming events.

We chose to return to Los Angeles to be home to celebrate my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. We are fortunate to be supported by our families in all our adventures. Next update from PANAMA!

We appreciate all of you who read our newsletters, articles, website and BOOK! Thank you to everyone for your support of our journey and all our writing. Connect with us on FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest,  SlideShare ,  Twitter, and YouTube.

Happy and Safe Travels! Mahalo and Aloha!

Lisa and George (Click here to sign up for this newsletter. )

More articles to enjoy: More about our event with LACOT October 16, our final video on Myanmar leaving to Thailand!, and our site in the TOP 100 Travel blogs! WOW! The last 15months of travel have really grown our site!

G Kamna LG OahuFrom LACOT:  Join us at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on October 16, at 7:00 PM. Our friends and LACOT members Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna are back in Los Angeles from a career break, and eager to share their story. The first 40 guests to show up for this Festival of the Pacific meet up in Los Angeles will receive drink tickets, but don’t come just for the wine!

If you’ve been to one of the LACOT meet-ups before, you know what they’re like. This one will be similar, but also with a strong focus on Lisa and George’s experience. Come connect with LA-area travel bloggers, travel writers, and members of the tourism industry. If you’ve ever daydreamed about quitting your day job to become a world wanderer-slash-travel blogger-slash-book writer, you should meet Lisa and George, because they’ve done just that. Their talk will be moderated and they’ll stick around afterwords for the usual mix-n-mingle (that’s the most fun part).

Festival of the Pacific is a celebration of travel and transformation hosted by PennClubLA, LACOT, Dave’s Travel Corner, We Said Go Travel and partnered with Gogobot.

First 10 people that are registered with www.gogobot.com that attend will get complimentary drinks on Gogobot!

The theme, “Living Without Regret: Travel, Love and Success: Make your Dreams a Reality,” is presented by the founders of We Said Go Travel, Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna, who will give an inside look into their long-term exotic international travel across Asia over the last fifteen months. They will share their travel expertise, read an excerpt from their new memoir, “Traveling in Sin,” and provide information about We Said Go Travel’s writing contest.

UBER-LACOT

Every attendee will receive a raffle ticket — for free! –  upon entering our meeting space. The raffle includes a handful of neat travel-related prizes. For example, someone will win a great voucher for Uber, the taxi alternative. Have you heard of Uber? It’s the luxury car for hire service, a nicer ride than most taxis, and someone will win a $150 voucher for Uber use. That’s a lot of rides! People new to Uber will also receive up to $20 on their first use of the service (it’s an app, too) with a special code.

Another item in the raffle will be a night at our wonderful host hotel, the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel. Perfect for a local getaway. We also have tickets to the Skirball Cultural Center, and two vouchers for like a billion museums (well, that’s an exaggeration) for LA Museum Season. This is actually good for free admissions and gift shop discounts at over 25 Los Angeles cultural institutions including LACMA, the Getty Center, Hammer Museum, Pacific Asia Museum, the Paley Center for Media, and many more.

We’re trying to keep a closer eye on the RSVPs this time, so please go to Lisa and George’s special events page on Facebook and RSVP there. Alternatively, you can go to the PennClubLA website and RSVP there.  If you forget, no worries, just show up anyway. While we’d like to know how many people to expect, this is more of a ballpark figure.

Long story short: join us for conversation, drinks and the raffle, at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on October 16, at 7:00 PM.

Luxe Sunset Blvd Hotel
11461 Sunset Boulevard
LA, CA 90049
(310) 476-6571

Park restaurant waikikiHello Honolulu!

We look forward to seeing you TONIGHT October 3, 2013

7pm at Lotus Honolulu for 

Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George from We Said Go Travel: Living without Regret

Have you dreamed of long-term international travels across Asia? Considered quitting your job to become a travel blogger and book writer? Want to connect with travel-minded community members?

Festival of the Pacific is a celebration of travel and transformation hosted by We Said Go Travel. The theme, “Living Without Regret: Travel, Love and Success: Make your Dreams a Reality”, presented by the founders of We Said Go Travel, Penn graduate Lisa Niver Rajna (C’89) and her husband George Rajna, will give an inside look into long-term exotic international travel across Asia. They will share their travel expertise, read an excerpt from their new memoir, “Traveling in Sin,” and provide information about We Said Go Travel’s writing contest, and upcoming community.

Join us for an evening of Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George, network with the travel community, and enjoy hosted pupus and drinks. There will be goodie bags for all attendees and raffle prizes.

Mahalo to our Sponsors:

Lotus Honolulu for providing the venue space. Book your stay at Aqua Lotus Honolulu for a peaceful retreat steps away from the beach, Kapiolani Park, and Diamond Head.  The hotel decor is Bali-fusion inspired with Hawaiian warm hospitality. Aqua Lotus Honolulu amenities include in-room high speed Internet & WiFi, safe, complimentary coffee and tea service in the lobby, daily local newspaper, valet and concierge services, banquet/meeting facilities and complimentary use of beach items such as sand chairs, umbrellas and mats for the beach just steps away. Lotus Honolulu’s Facebook Page  / @LotusHonolulu

Park Restaurant for hosting pupus. Park Restaurant uses fresh local ingredients.  The food will take you on a culinary journey of infused flavors borrowed from French and Italian, to Greek and Egyptian influences. Chef Collantes’ menu promises a dining experience that is as much adventurous as it is comforting. Park Restauurant Waikiki’s Facebook Page  / @ParkHawaii

Zaratez Mexicatessen for donating to the raffle prizes.  Dine at the restaurant for home style taqueria including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Zaratez Mexicatessen’s Facebook Page / @zaratez

Uber Honolulu is providing the first 35 attendees roundtrip car service to and from the event for NEW USERS, up to $30 each way.  Please download the Uber app for iPhone or Android and use the promo code traveltalk2013 or the link http://uber.com/go/traveltalk2013 when signing up.  This code is only valid for Thursday, Oct 3rd.

Gogobot Oahu for collaborating with We Said Go Travel. Download the Gogobot travel app (on iPhone and Android) and join the millions of travel community members in reviewing and sharing travel experiences and postcards. Gogobot Oahu’s Facebook Page / @GogobotOahu

Isle Discount for donating discount cards for the goodie bags.  The iDcard is an annual membership to exclusive network of savings at your favorite local restaurants, retailers, bars, and attractions in Oahu, Maui, Las Vegas, Japan, and Canada.  Isle Discount’s Facebook Page / @islediscount

 

lotushonoluluTravel Talk Story with We Said Go Travel: Living without Regret

Have you dreamed of long-term international travels across Asia? Considered quitting your job to become a travel blogger and book writer? Want to connect with travel-minded community members?

Festival of the Pacific is a celebration of travel and transformation hosted by We Said Go Travel. The theme, “Living Without Regret: Travel, Love and Success: Make your Dreams a Reality”, presented by the founders of We Said Go Travel, Penn graduate Lisa Niver Rajna (C’89) and her husband George Rajna, will give an inside look into long-term exotic international travel across Asia. They will share their travel expertise, read an excerpt from their new memoir, “Traveling in Sin,” and provide information about We Said Go Travel’s writing contest, and upcoming community.

Join us for an evening of Travel Talk Story with Lisa and George, network with the travel community, and enjoy hosted pupus and drinks. There will be goodie bags for all attendees and raffle prizes.

Mahalo to our Sponsors:

Lotus Honolulu for providing the venue space. Book your stay at Aqua Lotus Honolulu for a peaceful retreat steps away from the beach, Kapiolani Park, and Diamond Head.  The hotel decor is Bali-fusion inspired with Hawaiian warm hospitality. Aqua Lotus Honolulu amenities include in-room high speed Internet & WiFi, safe, complimentary coffee and tea service in the lobby, daily local newspaper, valet and concierge services, banquet/meeting facilities and complimentary use of beach items such as sand chairs, umbrellas and mats for the beach just steps away. Lotus Honolulu’s Facebook Page  / @LotusHonolulu

Park Restaurant for hosting pupus. Park Restaurant uses fresh local ingredients.  The food will take you on a culinary journey of infused flavors borrowed from French and Italian, to Greek and Egyptian influences. Chef Collantes’ menu promises a dining experience that is as much adventurous as it is comforting. Park Restauurant Waikiki’s Facebook Page  / @ParkHawaii

Zaratez Mexicatessen for donating to the raffle prizes.  Dine at the restaurant for home style taqueria including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Zaratez Mexicatessen’s Facebook Page / @zaratez

Uber Honolulu for providing sleek black car service for attendees to this event. Sign up for Uber by downloading the app (on iPhone and Android) and request your black car service on the event day. Uber’s Facebook Page / @Uber

Gogobot Oahu for collaborating with We Said Go Travel. Download the Gogobot travel app (on iPhone and Android) and join the millions of travel community members in reviewing and sharing travel experiences and postcards. Gogobot Oahu’s Facebook Page / @GogobotOahu

 PLEASE RSVP: CLICK HERE

Hello Fellow Travelers!

Thank you to everyone for supporting us and for coming to our travel events inLos Angeles! We appreciate all who tweeted about our events, shared an email,found us and even SHOWED up to one of our events! Thank you for creating acommunity! We loved having over 65 people show up at Traveler’s Bookcase onTuesday to hear Rachel Friedman read from TheGood Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost.
Our nextevent, Oct 18 isthe National Meet Plan Go event! There will be programs in 17 cities on thesame night. We have five superb speakers and included in your ticket price is anincredible Indian Buffet dinner, all for only $15. Get your tickets now before we sell out! More info about thespeakers at this link:  http://meetplango.com/national-event/2011-los-angeles-event/

If you would like to get involved and help on Oct 18 or with a futureevent, (picking a location, finding a speaker, if you would like to be or finda sponsor for our group), please email me! Feel free to share this email withfriends and travelers to help grow our group. We would love for you to”like” our facebookfan page, We Said Go Travel, or join our meet-up group: We Said Go Travel Los Angelesso you won’t miss any news from us as we rarely send an email!

We do posthere on our blog, www.wesaidgotravel.net,every Sunday. If you want the latest from us, add your email address to the topright corner of our blog and don’t forget to open and validate the email fromFeedburner so that you get to see our latest posts, videos and songs everySunday. You can also find us ontwitter and Linkedin
Question for the LACrowd: Would you bemore likely to come to an event on a Tuesday night? Saturday night? Sundayafternoon? Do you prefer to come to an event with a speaker? Let us know! Wouldyou want to go on a trip with us?

Videos from past events:Our June Travel Happy Hour and Morocco Talk are on our YouTube channel! Feelfree to subscribe so you can see our newest videos of Samoa and Tonga. We willbe loading the video of Rachel speaking soon!


Photos from our event Tuesday withRachel Friedman:
Please tag yourself!
We hope to see you Oct18!
Lisa and George
Get involved: Buythe book EndMalaria. The essays are all top notch and your money is going to a greatcause….ending Malaria by 2015.
On the Radio:Lisa is featured in the second hour of TogetherAgain about speed dating! Show aired September 8, 2011.
New Series:George will be writing a series of articles about Tonga to be featured at theclymb.com. Make sure you follow our blog aswe should have a link for you worth $10 which will post on our blog this month!
In the news:Lisa in Bootsnallarticle! Written by Adam Seper, all about the benefits of a career break.

Author Rachel Friedman
Author Rachel Friedman’s
travel memoir

The seasons go round and round sometimes without notice, but I like to pay attention. The Labor Day holiday reminds us that summer has almost ended and the school year will soon begin. This year my contemplation of beginnings and endings includes my Aunt Iris’s passing and Christopher Rowe’s (my friend Michelle’s son) untimely death at 4 years old.

Thinking of these transitions, I wonder what will I do for myself this year as both a family and community member, tasks that may give meaning to these seemingly unreasonable events.

In addition to Labor Day and school starts, September also brings with it Rosh Hashanah, literally the “Head of the Year.” Between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur are the ten days of awe which feel like a frozen moment in time, an opportunity, or maybe even a commandment to observe my direction in life. I often use these days to reflect on what I did and did not accomplish in the past year. Did I take advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves in the past 365 days? Did I use my talents to create tikkun olam and help to repair the world or did I stand idly by as the world moved on around me.

Is there room for me in the Book of Life? September is a month of new beginnings and old questions for me.

And so Rachel Friedman’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a Jewish journey, a personal narrative of facing fears, transforming internal ideas and metamorphosing into an adulthood grounded in the art of wanderlust. Getting Lost is part travelogue and part personal transformation. This memoir combines the author’s personal journey and travel discoveries woven into her stories, along with her reflections about success, failure, life and the meaning of the aforementioned.

Most people do not ever realize, before traveling that is, that looking at a map of a foreign country in a language you don’t understand will lead you eventually back to yourself. As Ms. Friedman says in her book, “After all these travels, I find I no longer have that fear. Life feels full of opportunity and possibility—and maybe even adventure.”

When I travel, I too find that the journeys to the far reaches of the world lead me back to myself – but a new, more insightful self.

Find out if you too can take this road on September 6, 2011…Gather with travel veterans and Travel dreamers to Rachel Friedman read from her book. Plan to share your travel stories and travel dreams.

Meet Lisa Niver Rajna and author Rachel Friedman on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 7:00pm at Traveler’s Bookcase 8375 West Third Street in Los Angeles.

For more information: www.wesaidgotravel.com
This article first appeared in Westside Today.


Have you seen our youtube channel? See our latest videos:

Photo
Sunset in Marrakesh

I promised to share my travel talk, “Uncovering Jewish Morocco” with you! The video clips below are from my recent talk at Stephen S Wise Temple in March. More segments will be uploaded in the future. Many people have asked to travel with us and now we have a trip available. Please join us in Morocco next April 2012! We have 16 more spaces and would love you to join us! Please contact me with any questions or for more information.

Lisa Niver Rajna at Uncovering Jewish Morocco Travel talk
My travel talk last week could have been a total bust. That was essentially what one Rabbi told me on December 2, 2010, 
What is the worst-case scenario? Can you live with doing this talk if you have a small group size? Of course, the best case is your talk is to lots of people.
I felt at the time that he was trying to discourage me from giving a talk without the sponsorship of a specific group, but I think he was being realistic. What would make people leave their home on a rainy night when they could watch news about bombing Libya, the “American Idol” results show or the new “Gray’s Anatomy” on television? I wondered last week, would any of the people show up?
During the process of getting a room, creating publicity and writing my talk, one or two of my friends called me relentless, but I prefer the label tenacious. A different rabbi told me that I am “relentlessly tenacious.”  Maybe that is what is required in our society to do something really different. When my husband and I were away for a year in Asia on an eleven-day trip, camping in tents, called Gers to the Gobi Desert, a few of our companions said, “We just don’t want to go back home and watch television every night. While we are traveling we do such interesting things. We want to find a way to do that at home also.”
Now that we are home from our travels, I want to share my experiences and reluctant foibles of traveling. My Uncovering Jewish Morocco travel talk had 37 guests and well over 75 on the list of yes and maybe RSVPs. I spoke to so many travelers on the phone. It was really incredible!

One email about my talk (which was sent to my parents who were out of town): 

Lisa did a fantastic job…she was charming, very enthusiastic, well prepared, delivery excellent, truly created a desire to see HER Morocco…..we loved our trip but must say she did it in depth with a purpose…we were tourists…and she introduced me to a taste I cannot believe I never enjoyed…CINNAMON sprinkled on orange…anyway, she was awesome…the photos George took were quite good too! So puff out your chest and take pride in knowing you have a very dynamic daughter.
I had great responses on the written survey we handed out at the end of the presentation. Many people said they would even come to another talk! How exciting! 
Another email reminded me how so many cannot even imagine speaking to a group:
Just thought I’d let you know we thought you made a very good presentation and spoke confidently and warmly.  I guess speaking to a classroom every day gives you the background to speak to a room of adults, too.  They say that speaking before an audience is the thing that frightens people most.
I think that not traveling frightens me the most. I just love to be on the road exploring and learning. I look forward to sharing the video of my talk with you soon. Negotiations are in process for our next talk. If you want to be part of making that happen, contact me at this email.
I often have to remember everything starts by taking the first step, and even though I seem relentless at times, I am frequently reluctant. “Taking a risk and a deep breathe, I said yes.” That is the line I wrote in our book about choosing to go with George on a yearlong career break in Asia. He asked me to quit my job, leave my condo and travel for a year in South East Asia. I said yes, but I had so many objections. It took a lot of negotiating for me to actually go.
Then last year he wanted to go to Morocco, where I said adamantly at first, I am not going there to mingle with those people.  As a place I did not want to visit at first, I did my research and realized the trip could be great. Usually when George wants to go somewhere and I don’t want to go, I end up having the time of my life. Poor expectations are good for something, I realize! An open mind is even better.
One survey respondent at the end of the talk said:
You were so confident and had a lot of interesting information. So glad I got off my couch to come.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and think about your dreams and get ready because, We said GO travel! I hope that you will rise from your couch and take a first step today. I am soon going to book a flight for my next adventure. How about you?
Michael and Adam setting up the video….we will share the video with you soon!

Uncovering Jewish Morocco

Lisa Niver Rajna will share travel tips for and information about the Jewish side of Morocco and Marrakech tours.

By Amy Sommer  |  March 06, 2011

We’ve heard so much about North African turmoil of late that it is easy to forget that this part of the world is the cradle of history for most of our planet’s inhabitants and that despite the political unrest, these are great travel destinations.

Lisa Niver Ranja will talk about one such trip, “Uncovering Jewish Morocco”, at Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Udko Annex on March 24 7pm-8:30pm.

The presentation will explore Jewish roots and how the Jews of the region people followed in the footsteps of Maimonides from Spain through Morocco and finally to Israel.

The presentation will include photography of the Marrakech synagogue and the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) in Fes el-Jdid with its extensive Jewish Cemetery and other highlights from Niver Ranja’s own three-week journey in the country. Complimentary maps and other enticements to be us

ed on a future trip of yours will be given out.

As Niver Ranja says, “travel stories help us find a unique side of ourselves and our ancestors, through travel we are brought together to discover the common bond of humanity that ties us despite the vast lands and time that separate us”.

So take the first step and attend the March 24th lecture — who knows, you might like it.

About the Speaker:
Lisa Niver Rajna is an accomplished travel agent, author, blogger and member of the Traveler’s Century Club, a unique travel club limited to travelers who have visited one hundred or more countries. She traveled for seven years to six continents with Club Med and with Princess Cruises, Renaissance Cruises and Royal Caribbean International as youth staff and Senior Assistant Cruise Director. She and George Rajna spent eleven months wandering from Indonesia to Mongolia and have a book in process about the journey. Their blog, http://wesaidgotravel.blogspot.com/, is listed in the Top 100 at technorati.com with a #5 travel blog rating out of 1445 travel blogs in January 2011.