This Month Win a Royal Robbins Embossed Discovery Skirt

by Beth Whitman (April 1st, 2015)

Royal Robbins Embossed Discovery SkirtI’ve never quite been a big fan of skirts. But I think my mind has just been changed by the Royal Robbins Embossed Discovery Skirt.

The main reason for my newfound crush is simple. The fit. It’s rare, no it’s been never, for me to find a skirt that fits me well in the waist and then hangs in just the right manner (not too tight, not too billowy) and at just the right length (not too short, not too long) that I’m comfortable in it. Yay for Royal Robbins.

But with the Embossed Discovery Skirt, it’s not just about the fit. This skirt has some features that are good for travel.

On the right side, it’s got both a mesh-lined zippered pocket and a lower hanging pocket that snaps shut. The zippered pocket is large enough for a passport or cellphone although I don’t know if that’s where I’d place either. More likely I’d keep some small amount of cash in there. On the left side, there’s another pocket that snaps shut. Again, good for some lightweight items such as a bus or train ticket or even a small notebook.

The embossing throughout the skirt is subtle but still quite feminine as you can see from the photo below.

The material has a bit of Spandex in it so there’s also a nice stretch to the skirt, making it Royal Robbins Discovery Skirt Printeasier to get in and out of a plane seat.

A few other deets:

  • The material is UPF 50+
  • The skirt zps in the back

The Embossed Discovery Skirt comes in three colors – Light Taupe (pictured at top), Light Aqua (at right) and Obsidian.

About Royal Robbins
Royal Robbins produces practical outdoor travel clothing that utilizes performance fabrics, making their clothes not only comfortable but excellent for packing and for adventure activities.

Wanna win your own Embossed Discovery Skirt?
During the month of April, you can enter to win your very own Embossed Discovery Skirt from Royal Robbins. One winner will be chosen on May 1, 2015.


1) Sign up for the Wanderlust and Lipstick newsletter. This goes out just once a month and your information is never shared.

2) Sign up for the RSS email feed (see the “subscribe me” box in the upper right) to receive an email each time I post to this blog (usually no more than 3x per week).

3) NEW for 2015! If you’re already a newsletter and RSS email feed subscriber, leave a comment below and let me know where you would wear your Embossed Discovery Skirt from Royal Robbins. I’ll then include you in the random drawing.

If you’re new to the site or this blog, do all three and you’ll have three chances to win!

Oh, and get some good karma by forwarding this to friends whom you think might like to enter to win an Embossed Discovery Skirt from Royal Robbins.

Value: $65

The Deets
This contest closes at 11:59 pm PST on April 30, 2015 and the lucky winner will be chosen on May 1, 2015. Royal Robbins will ship to the U.S. only for this contest (sorry!).

The winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen.

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Disclosure: Royal Robbins provided this skirt to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.


Vibram Bikila EVO Shoes ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (March 25th, 2015)

Vibram Bikila Evo ShoesDepending on whom you listen to, you might think that minimalist or barefoot running (and walking) is completely passe. A fad that’s gone the way of Crocs.

But for those of us who got hooked on this style, we remain fanatics and there’s little changing our minds.

As you likely know, I really only started running a few years ago. I switched from my clunky (very old) gym shoes to minimalist running shoes when I got tired of packing my larger sneakers for trips. My decision to run in minimalist shoes was a practical travel one. I wasn’t trying to make a statement or follow a style. I simply wanted running shoes that were easy to pack in my carry-on bag.

I started with the Merrell Barefoot Run Pace Gloves. They definitely served me well (for far longer than they should have) but they needed to be retired. Merrell no longer makes that style which forced me to look elsewhere for a running shoe. While I’ve had Vibram walking shoes for years, it was only recently that I turned to them for running options and tried out the Bikila EVO shoes.

To understand what’s so great about the Bikila EVOs, you should know a little about minimalist/barefoot running

When running in minimalist shoes, your foot strikes the ground in the front (on the ball of your foot) as opposed to the back (on your heel) as is common with most other running shoes. This way of running forces your body to engage a different set of muscles. Therefore, it’s easy to get injured if you haven’t properly gotten these muscles used to working in a new way.

As a result, there’s been a bit of a backlash from people who’ve sustained injuries from running in minimalist shoes. The reality is they likely just jumped right in to doing long distances rather than slowly increase their mileage over time. Minimalist shoe companies have been very forthright about providing detailed instructions on how to run in minimalist/barefoot shoes so this is not new or hidden knowledge.

For me, minimalist/barefoot is basically how I learned to run. And other than testing out some other styles of running shoes, I don’t really know anything different. Running in Vibrams is pretty new to me, however. But I am now so hooked that you couldn’t pay me to stop running in these.

Why so awesome?

In addition to these being easy to pack, the feature that I find the most outstanding on the Bikila EVOs is the additional padding on the bottom that slightly softens the impact on the ball of my foot as well as my heel. I’m a road (well, technically, sidewalk) runner and while most of the paths I run are smooth, the times I’m making my way across gravel means that I can feel what’s underneath my foot, but it’s not uncomfortable. There’s no doubt these are minimalist, but with this extra padding, there’s no jabbing, sticking or poking into my foot. Vibram Bikila EVO bottom

The padding on the heel makes them comfortable for walking (when your heel lands first). I didn’t realize this was so important until I wore another brand of minimalist shoes on a walk that did not have this padding and it was pretty uncomfortable with every heel strike on the pavement.

Look, I know they look weird. And for some people that’s going to be a turn off. But the comfort level these provide me far outweighs the look. And, honestly? I kinda like the weird factor. :-)

Unfortunately, fewer stores are carrying minimalist shoes these days but they are definitely available online. These come in Black/Magenta (pictured), Yellow/Pink, Orange/Purple, Purple/Grey and Blue/Green and are available on the Vibram site for $120.

Be Bold,


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Disclosure: Vibram provided these shoes to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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Tapping Into Your Potential

by Beth Whitman (March 23rd, 2015)

PotentialI’ve been thinking a lot lately about possibilities and boundaries. The possibilities to accomplish things we never dreamed of and the self-limiting boundaries we put on ourselves on our way to pursuing certain goals.

Many of us tend to talk ourselves out of doing something before we even think through what the end results might look like.

Certainly multiple times each week I hear people make excuses for why they can’t do something. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • I have no money to travel
  • I couldn’t travel alone, I don’t like eating by myself
  • I have no time to exercise
  • I could never meditate, there’s too much going on in my head
  • I can’t run, I have bad knees (or a bad hip or…)

The truth is, often we’re only motivated to do something when the fear or pain of NOT doing it outweighs whatever it is we’ve already talked ourselves out of doing. In other words, it isn’t until that balance is tipped that we become motivated enough to pursue what we’ve been telling ourselves we can’t do.

I’m not immune to this. But I think the fact that I’m aware of this bit of human nature is helpful. I often stop myself from saying “no” and “never” when it comes to new opportunities because under most circumstances whatever excuse I have is simply BS.

For example, I had always told myself that running was not for me. I had a whole list of reasons why. But one day a few years ago I stopped making excuses, bought some running gear and am now training for my first marathon.

Never say never.

As I push my own physical boundaries to see what I’m capable of, I realize there are a lot of women who are trying to push their travel boundaries to see what they are capable of.

For one woman, it might be taking the first steps toward a solo journey after the death of a significant other. For another, it might be putting everything in storage and traveling for a year while she rents out her house.

It doesn’t matter where you are on the experience scale, we all struggle with pursuing some aspect of travel. Whether we think we’ll never be able to afford our dream trip or never be healthy or bold enough to pursue some exciting adventure, we’ve probably all used one excuse or another.

Most of us are have some internal self-doubt talk. We’re surrounded by it, whether we get it directly from family, teachers and community or culturally through messages we receive about our race, gender or age.

But it’s important to make thoughtful decisions that are based on a world of possibilities rather than limitations. Allowing these attitudes, these excuses, to influence the decision-making process is a lazy way to live a life. If you buy into the fact that you are only capable of certain things, that’s all you will ever accomplish. As Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

I challenge myself every day by asking what’s holding me back from accomplishing something or feeling at the top of my game. What can I do to be a better, healthier, more centered person? And as a Buddhist practitioner, I’m often reminded that not only does improving myself Vietnam Lotus flowerhelp me but it benefits others as well. Kinda like the instructions for putting on the oxygen mask on a plane – you gotta take care of yourself first before you can help others. If I’m not living my best life, how can I help others live theirs?

I’m a work in progress (for sure) and am always looking to others for inspiration. I generally find it in those who approach every day with a can-do attitude despite their setbacks–whether it be age, illness or personal problems out of their control.

Whatever is holding you back from fulfilling a travel dream or personal goal, remember that it is (likely) a temporary setback and that you can make a plan to overcome your obstacles.

If a lotus can bloom from mud, we can certainly make our own beauty in this world.

Be Bold,


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Photo credits:
Potential – Thejas Panarkandy via Flickr

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