Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seeking Ideas on Causes to Support this Holiday...

We're finishing up plans for a holiday initiative that will make it easier than ever to bring a little Tomgirl adventure into your lives in 2010. And we’re seeking your input and ideas in finalizing one integral element of this program: giving back, by way of supporting charities for causes near and dear to Tomgirl Tours--like education, preservation and women's health.

It's been a difficult year for many non-profits and we want to not only help, but also help you help. Like adventure travel, doing what we can to make a difference in the wider world is quite empowering--to both giver and receiver.

We have a couple organizations already lined up, but right now we're seeking two additional causes to support with this initiative. First, an organization that makes a difference in the lives of troubled or disadvantaged girls; second, a preservation group, specifically one in a region we love to travel to on our tours: the White Mountains.

Please let us know your ideas? (and stay tuned for developments!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tomgirl's Newest Journey: the Path to Financial Empowerment

Personal finance has always been a passion for me. Understanding what, how, and when I need to manage my money in order to have a secure, healthy and comfortable lifestyle makes me feel good about myself, my family and my life situation. It's a great feeling to get to a point where you aren't worrying about credit card debt and your ability to the pay the mortgage on time but rather to focus on the things we need to do to proactively create wealth - small or large wealth; either way, it doesn't matter... what matters is thinking and planning. I've educated myself in many ways, and one of my favorite sources of information is Suze Orman, but I--like many women--could have used more proactive help over the years.

Enter Tomgirl Tours' newest tour feature: financial planning workshops on our Vermont tours next year. You might be asking yourself: “Financial planning and adventure travel?” Well, this workshop will be less like a “typical” financial planning seminar than like an adventure in itself.

My partners in this are Ameriprise advisors Chris Hager and Chris Di Fronzo, who are going about this with a unique approach - we are going to start with your dreams and desires and set about creating your wealth vision. Huh? What is that? Your wealth vision gives you the chance to "dream" about what you really want (I mean, what do you really, really want? A farm house in the woods; a cupcake truck business in the summer? More time with family?) In this area we'll help you to create your dream board. From there, Chris and Chris will go through the steps of planning and executing each aspect necessary to meet your vision. We will talk about things like passive and passionate income; tax avoidance strategies; wealth protection and the usual stuff like stocks, bonds and insurance... After all, a goal starts with an end result in mind (and on paper) and the clarity of purpose and actions to make it come true.

I’m excited about these sessions and helping other women dream, plan and execute their futures - ones that hold security, comfort and the wonderful feeling of empowerment that planning and taking action gives to us.

Money grows exponentially and so can we!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Get Outdoors and Do Your Mind (and body) Good

On these absolutely picture-perfect New England autumn days, when the blue skies and crisp air beckons, it can be hard to focus on work (especially for tomgirls like me!). As we tend to the business of planning and preparing for our upcoming tours, I keep looking out the window and thinking about why nature and outdoor activities are such a lure. I know why I am personally drawn to them but, given that Tomgirl Tours focuses on exhilarating adventure in the great outdoors, I poked around a bit online--in the name of business research, of course--and found some interesting reports on exactly why outdoor adventures like our tours aren't just good for fun, but actually excellent for your health.

According to this report from Kent State University: Outdoor recreation has psychological benefits, including the prevention or reduction of stress; improved self-esteem, confidence and creativity; spiritual growth; and an increased sense of exhilaration, adventure and challenge from life.

This study, meanwhile, shows not only the individual mental and physical benefits of outdoor recreation, but also how getting outdoors with friends and family builds and strengthens bonds (exactly what we always say!)

Finally, the Public Health Agency of Canada offers this about physical activity: [it] allows daily tasks to be accomplished with greater ease and comfort and with less fatigue.

So, if you'll pardon me, I'm heading out into the sunshine now... some might call it playing hooky, but I call it doing my body (and mind) good.