Experience the French Countryside in Travelers Rest at Hotel Domestique

Whether you’re searching what to do in Turks and CaicosWith, or looking to access the most premium manicured vineyards and long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the luxurious Hotel Domestique is perched atop 29 acres of rolling hills amongst fountains, lush gardens, and courtyards.

Brothers George and Rich Hincapie purchased the 13-room French-inspired hotel, formerly named La Bastide, from foreclosure in 2011 and spent two years and millions of dollars transforming it into a luxury boutique hotel with a slant on cycling. Both George and Rich grew up in the cycling world. George, who retired from pro cycling, competed 17 times in the Tour de France, sometimes alongside teammate Lance Armstrong. George and Rich also own Hincapie Sports, which specializes in custom clothing and accessories for cyclists.

This article was published November 2014 at See the South and OurUpstateSC.info

Backpacking Through India: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

India, the jewel of Asia and the travelers’ paradise. Every year thousands of people head for the majestic land that is India. While most stay in luxury, other choose to rough it and backpack their way through the countryside. While this sounds like the biggest adventure of your life, if not carefully planned the trip may go awry. If you are reading this article, then chances are you are already dead set on backpacking. If this is the case, or you not 100% on board then read on to learn the dos and don’ts of backpacking in India.

Expenses of travel through India

India can be as cheap as it is expensive, but with careful planning, you can make those pennies stretch. Before you go out to eat or book trains or buses, do your research on the cheapest rates available. Act like you are a local, otherwise, you are likely to be taken for a very expensive tuk-tuk ride when you could have taken a ride on the bus of less. Before you leave research and plan a route to take on your backpacking journey, so you can budget accordingly and never carry more cash than you need as pickpocketing of tourists is a common complaint. A portable solution from https://solarbackpacking.com to your device charging problems, a backpack with a solar cell can help you relieve your stress on those days where you forget to charge up.

Choose your destinations wisely

For the most part, India is friendly to backpackers but the expenses of living vary from state to state, so make sure you can afford to stay where you plan to travel and avoid tourist trap areas because they have the worst rate hikes I have ever seen.

How much time should I spend on a backpacking trip in India?

That is like asking me what the winning lottery numbers are. But if I am being serious the four weeks is ample time to be able to see all the hotspots and a few places off the beaten track. 

Where should I begin my journey?

Now that one is up to you. If you are the type of tourist who wants to backpack, then you probably don’t want to start in a major hub. Use the internet to research other backpackers route and see what works for you. If it was me, I would start my trip in the north (Dehli, Rajasthan) and then work my way down the country. If you want to end the trip on a high note, then head on down to Goa for sun, sand, and beaches!

What type of insurance do I need?

If you are backpacking then you are roughing it, so I would recommend you get full coverage travel insurance and make sure all of your health insurance will be covered. India is a beautiful country, but it also has diseases and bacteria that you may not be accustomed or immune to. On that note, it may be prudent to bring some water purification tablets with you as some backpackers have gotten a little green in the face from the drinking water.

As for funding, of course it’s best to prepare for the spending on this trip months before. However, if you do need immediate cash but have a negative credit rating, you can still borrow a considerable amount via bad credit rating payday loans. Just make sure that you borrow only what you can repay.

So those are just a few of the tips and tricks we have for a successful trip to India, Good luck and have a safe and happy journey.


Spotlight on the Mountain Lakes Business Development Corporation: Helping Entrepreneurs in the Upstate

MLBDC's Oconee Center

MLBDC’s Oconee Center

Working with a team of volunteers and in partnership with the Tri-County Technical College and Clemson’s Small Business Development Center, the non-profit Mountain Lakes Business Development Center (MLBDC) works to help budding entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality.

Utilizing mentors, offering education opportunities, and providing a cost-effective, shared-use business development facility, the MLBDC helps Upstate residents in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties start new businesses and grow existing ones.

This article was published February 28, 2013. Click here to read the full article.

Spartanburg Gives Thanks through the County Foundation’s Annual Community Thanksgiving Service

Thanksgiving began as a time to celebrate the end of a good harvest season. And while that may still be true for our country’s farmers, others use it as a time of year to reflect and express what they are thankful for; be it good health, a steady job or their family.  It’s also a time when many seek out to assist those that are less fortunate. This article was published in the OurUpstateSC.info site and newsletter.  For the full article click here.

The Sparkling Holiday Tradition of Tiny Town

Nothing says the holidays are here more than twinkling lights and a Christmas village, but Tiny Town in Easley, South Carolina takes things to a whole new level. An annual tradition for thousands of people, this free-to-the-public display features building replica’s lit up creating an entire mini-town.  This article was published in the Nov/Dec 2012 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine.

Halloween is Brewing With Fun at These Upstate Attractions

The leaves are falling and the temperatures are finally starting to get cooler.  What does that mean?  That it’s almost Halloween in the Upstate.  The Upstate has a ton of great options for Halloween, whether you want a scary woods experience, a haunted house or a family friendly event, the Upstate has something for everyone’s ghoulish tastes.  This article was published at OutUpstateSC.info.  For the full article, click here.

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Performing and Visual Arts Events this fall in the Upstate

Fall in the Upstate becomes not only a time when the temperatures start to drop and the leaves turn to vibrant shades of red and gold but also a time when we tend to slow down and reflect.  Performing and visual arts are one way to admire the vast talent that is right in our own backyard. While most of us know to check the bigger venues like the Peace Center in Greenville and the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg for such events, there are also other venues and other communities in the Upstate that have some great happenings as well. This article was published at OurUpstateSC.info and See the South.

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Fluor, One Hundred Years and Still Going Strong

Fluor Corporation has been a major corporation in the Greenville landscape for 78 of the company’s 100 years. The company was originally founded in Southern California as a general contracting business by Swiss immigrant John Simon Fluor in 1912.  Fluor invested $100 into his humble construction company to get it off the ground. Today, the FORTUNE 200 Company is headquartered in Irving, Texas, has 30 offices on six continents, employees 45,000 people and had revenue last year of $23.4 billion.

This article was published by OurUpstateSC.info.  For the full article click here.

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Want to go on a safari and see movie stars this summer without breaking the bank?  Well you can do both at Hollywild Animal Park in Inman, South Carolina.  Upon arriving at the park, you’ll soon realize this isn’t your typical zoo.  If the dirt parking lot and no-frills exterior doesn’t give it away, the prompt attention by one of the many roaming animals will. Chickens, peacocks, ducks and other tame animals greet visitors as they enter the park.

This article was published in the July/August 2012 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine.

Hollywild Article for Foothills Spotlight Magazine

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BMW, the Ultimate Roadside Attraction in South Carolina

Most of us jump in our car and are just happy that it gets us from point A to point B, never giving any thought to its mechanics or how it was made.  But a visit to the BMW Zentrum Visitors Center and a tour of the BMW manufacturing facility in Greer will change that. Even non-car aficionados will enjoy watching the robots putting the cars together as they move down the assembly line, checking out the Z3 Roadster used in the James Bond movie, “Golden Eye” and  seeing the small Isetta cars that were manufactured in the 1940’s and 50’s post-war era. This article was published in the July/August 2012 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine.

BMW Article for Foothills Spotlight Magazine

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Discover Louisiana’s Other Side

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” might once have described the dynamic duo of Shreveport and Bossier City, in northwest Louisiana, but no more. Once known more for its river boat casinos than anything else, “SBC” is no longer a seedy gambling place. Today, the cities have thriving downtowns, progressive arts and film venues and outstanding cuisine. As the wedding metaphor goes, the area is now every bit the beautiful bride as The Big Easy, in the diagonally opposite corner of the state.

This article was published by Cityroom.com and The Simpsonville Sentinel and See the South.

To read the print version of the article, please use the links below.

Grits and Groceries

Grits and Groceries is a contrast of contradictions. It’s seemingly out in the middle of nowhere yet it’s a busy little place. It has the exterior of a greasy, dive cafe’ but you’ll find they serve high-quality, fresh local cuisine. You don’t expect to find seasoned Paris-trained chefs from New Orleans, who worked with Emeril Lagasse, but here they are.

This article was published by ourupstateinfo.info and at See the South. For the whole article, click here.


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Ten Tips to Cut Your Business Travel Budget

I have traveled (and still do) a lot for business.  After all I am a travel writer!  Anyhow, I thought I would share some tips that I have gathered over the years on ways to cut your business travel budget.  While I’ve targeted this post for business travel, most tips can also be applied towards personal travel as well.

This article was published at View on Travel.  Read the full article here.