Suzanne Stavert is redefining what it means to be an empty nester. Instead of settling into a quiet midlife after her children reached adulthood, Suzanne began exploring. Full of curiosity and the desire to connect with other adventurous spirits, Suzanne has said yes to many new and exciting ideas. This open-minded attitude has taken her to places beyond her wildest dreams.
Suzanne founded her travel and lifestyle blog, Adventures of Empty Nesters, to share stories and inspiration and to showcase hidden gems around the world. She collaborates with many cutting-edge travel and tourism brands and hopes that her enthusiasm and eye-catching photography will inspire others to plan their own adventures.
Suzanne: I have been traveling since I was in college, but I really got hooked once our children were grown. When you're not tied to someone else's schedule, the possibilities are infinite!
Suzanne: We tend to explore the luxury side of travel. We do, however, enjoy learning about the local culture from the inside. We especially enjoy visiting farmers markets, exploring the restaurant scene, and the intrigue of architecture.
Suzanne: We really enjoyed our trip to Italy last summer to see the Palio. We took three generations, including my mom and her husband and our two grown kids and their significant others. We all stayed in a villa together (successfully!) and witnessed the most amazing sports event in the world. The Palio is a horse race where the riders ride bareback, there are no rules, and the track is located in the city square of Siena. The passion and emotions of the crowd were palpable!
Suzanne: That is a tough one! I would probably say the Grand Hyatt Resort in Kauai. There were orchid petals in the bathroom, and there was champagne in the living room. There were sunsets to make you swoon, and we took long walks along the Pacific Ocean. The resort is quiet and lush, and the staff treated us like newlyweds.
Suzanne: The island of Mallorca! Americans don't travel there nearly as much as people from other countries do. Just off the coast of Spain, it is only a 45-minute plane ride from Barcelona. It is incredibly beautiful, and the ocean is turquoise!
Suzanne: I have always wanted to go very far south to Antarctica. One day soon I will add this destination to my adventures list!
Suzanne: Italy has the very best food; however, I opened my mind to delicious food while in Bangkok, Thailand. The cuisine there is absolutely delicious, but it can be very spicy. I asked my fellow travelers to taste it first and let me know how hot it was. I didn't like mango before I traveled to Bangkok, but mango sticky rice is the dreamiest dessert I have EVER tasted!
Suzanne: We stayed in a treehouse in the Daintree Rainforest near Cairns, Australia. My city-boy husband hated it. I loved it and felt like I was in The Swiss Family Robinson!
Suzanne: Yes -- a thousand times yes! The best way to learn more about a country is to cook that country's food. I have taken amazing classes in Tuscany with Tuscan Women Cook, ridden bicycles in Amsterdam on a food tour, toured Berlin's food scene with Viking Cruises, made ceviche in Costa Rica with the Andaz Papagayo chef -- I could go on and on. Find a class or food tour in every city if you can.
Suzanne: There is always someone to meet and talk with. Never stick to yourself; always say hello and learn something new. I love that part of travel.
Suzanne: It drives me crazy when tourists aren't aware of their surroundings. Pay attention, people!
Suzanne: I always pack my iPad. This is where I store my library of books. I cannot travel without it!
Suzanne: Make new friends! Talk with your tourmates and learn about them. They will enhance your trip in ways you would not anticipate.
Suzanne: Shopping. Go see the city, and do not worry about the souvenirs.
Suzanne: Relax and enjoy the moment. Travel expands your mind and enlarges your heart!
Suzanne: GO! Do not wait. Now is the time to get out and find adventure.
Visit her website, Adventures of Empty Nesters.
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See her photos on Instagram here.
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