Bora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion

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Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt….. Did your mind quickly conjure up the movie Jaws? Jaws was a thriller, blockbuster film released in 1975, by director Steven Spielberg, with an unforgettable theme music to portray the shark attack. Were you, like myself, afraid to enter water ever again?

Nevermind, thinking of swimming, especially thinking about swimming in deep ocean water. I wonder how many of us, since the film’s release and its later sequels, developed this fear of being eaten alive.

For me, I was fine with going in the ocean or other waters as long as I could see my feet and touch the bottom. Dark, deep waters were out for me, especially after I was subjected to swimming in lake water where I could not see, but only feel the things that rubbed up against me. I still shudder.


However, on my most recent trip to French Polynesia, and her island of Bora Bora, I participated in an excursion which turned out to be one of the best moments and activities of my entire visit. We did the Swim with the Sharks and Sting Rays excursion.

I was so excited! My mind was like “cool”, we will be in a contained area of shallow water with sharks and sting rays. Wrong!

The Shark and Sting Ray excursion in Bora Bora is roughly a 3 hour small group excursion.

They take you out by boat. And when I say out, I mean out to the wide, open, deep, blue sea. Clear as a bell, but don’t even think about touching here. When the boat dropped anchor and I realized we were getting out into the open waters, my heart started pounding. Snorkel gear was handed out, and we were told that if we didn’t want to get in we could stay in the confines of the boat, where I could just watch the feeding of the sharks while the others snorkeled with them. Well, as they say, “When in Rome..” So, I gathered up all my nerve, put on me gear, scooted my rear to the edge of the boat, and jumped in! Oh my gosh, it was so amazing to put my face in the water and see the tropical fish and shark swimming around me as the driver of the boat sprinkled food across the top of the water. These were blacktip sharks, not known for desiring humans, and certainly not nearly as frightening as the Great White portrayed in Jaws. We also saw a few nurse sharks a bit deeper in the water.

Once back on board the boat, I was so exhilarated. I was just beaming, for not only the experience, but the fact that I had conquered my fear. I was so excited to head to our next spot to see the sting ray. The sting rays were awesome! When the boat anchored here, all we needed was a pair of reef (water) shoes. The water was only about waist deep. Once we were all in the water, the guide got in with a bucket of food. The sting rays along with a few more blacktip sharks immediately surrounded us. They were like puppy dogs or cats, but much more slimy feeling, rubbing up against us. So playful! We had fun stealing kisses and petting them. I hated to leave and move onto our third stop.

The last stop of the excursion took us to the Coral Garden.

We once again donned our snorkel gear and hopped overboard for a swim amongst the rainbow colored coral and tropical fish. The fish loved to get really close whenever you stayed still, even bumping into your face mask. We all tried very hard to capture a picture of ourselves underwater with the “I Love Bora Bora” written in the depths below us. The morning couldn’t have been any better. It was truly an event I will never forget and certainly will repeat on future trips to Bora Bora.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslBora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion
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Souvenirs that Last a Lifetime

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Are you a collector?

Most people have collections or souvenirs of some sort. I come from a family of collectors. I have gathered various collections over the years of my traveling. Some I have inherited from my family and others I have started on my own. I have a collection of elephants and tea cups that are on display in my home that came from my great grandmother. In my younger years I had a book of stamps. I was particularly fond of the ones from foreign countries. As I got older, my tastes changed and I switched to collecting spoons. I still purchase a spoon from each destination I visit as a memento. My husband and I began a collection of beer glasses and steins during our marriage which he still adds to on a regular basis. Our children have followed suit and they each have their favorite souvenir. Our eldest collects shot glasses, the middle collects key chains, and the youngest snow globes when we vacation.

This year I began a new type of souvenir, tattoos;

they not only remind me of where I’ve been, but are an expression of my passion and love for travel. Travel for me, is more than visiting a place and having a good time. I have truly been affected by the places I’ve been. When I travel, I am like a snake, shedding a layer of myself and growing with each new destination experience.

I have always wanted a tattoo, but it wasn’t until my second visit to Australia that I was so profoundly affected that I came back and began getting the artwork on my body. The first tattoo I received was an outline of the country of Australia, located on the inside of my right wrist. Always I have been in love with this country, as long as I can remember, and it is the passion that I have for this beautiful place that led me to open my travel agency Boomerang Escapes. The map outline itself was copied by my tattoo artist from the name badge that I wore during my #amazingaussieadventure sponsored by Travel2, a supplier of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific vacation packages. It truly inspires me as I glance at it during my work day.

I received my second tattoo on the same day as the first. It too represents my love for Australia, but also the passion for my business. I showed the artist my business logo, which is comprised of two koalas on a branch, and adapted it to a tattoo for my lower back right hip. For me, it provides reinforcement and drive to make my business a success. In addition, I get to see my favorite animal in the mirror.


My third tattoo, came only a short couple of months later. It is a dragon fly located on my left big toe. I chose the dragon fly first because whenever I go out to my backyard to lay out at the pool they gather around me and settle often on my toes as I sit soaking up the sun. They are such a beauty to watch. The second reason is what the dragonfly symbolizes:
Maturity and Depth of Character
Power and Poise
Defeat of Self-Created Illusions
Focuses on Living in the Moment
The Opening of One’s Eyes
These are all characteristics that I seek to practice and embody in my own life and work. I find travel to be a powerful tool for achieving these states and the tattoo on my toe a reminder of the direction I am heading.

My fourth tattoo came with my last trip. This tattoo was more than getting a tattoo, but to actually have it be part of my trip experience. We were made aware that it was possible at several of the resort locations in French Polynesia that we would be visiting that we could have a tattoo artist meet with us in the resort’s spa. I decided to wait until my last island experience on Taha’a to arrange to have an artist from Rangiroa come over to the spa. It was such a special experience as the artist asked what I wanted and why I wanted it. He then created a one of kind tattoo to represent something personal for me. I ended up with four flowers that encompass the French Polynesia triangle. Within the tattoo is a the Tiare for Tahiti, one for Rangiroa and one for Taha’a with a final flower that brings all the islands together. In addition there are other symbols, such as triangles to represent shark’s teeth for protection.

You may have noticed I did not say my last tattoo. I have plans to collect at least 3 more souvenir tattoos to complete the areas of the South Pacific that I specialize in, Cook Islands, Fiji and New Zealand.

Just recently I did a webinar on New Zealand and found that I can take care of this when I visit Roturua on New Zealand’s North Island. Similar to Tahiti, you can meet with an artist and discuss your design and what meaning it has for you. However, for those of you not quite ready to take home a permanent souvenir on your skin, you may have your tattoo design done on fabric. Your unique design and cultural artwork could then be framed and become an original piece for your wall at home. No matter what you collect or bring home for a souvenir it is bound to have lasting memories of an experience your heart treasures.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslSouvenirs that Last a Lifetime
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Strategies to Be More Mindful

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Do you want to change something in your life but constantly get derailed onto other people’s paths?

Mindful living is the constant awareness in the present moment on purpose without judgment to achieve an understanding who we are and how we relate to the world.

I remember when I first learned this. It sounded so simple. I thought no big deal, I could do this. I wish I could say I found it easy. What I found was my mind was all over the place. I spent half of every hour bringing myself to the present moment. I’d be reading but thinking about the grocery list. I’d be grocery shopping thinking about the bills I have to get paid. I’d be walking down the hall at work to a meeting, thinking about what I have to get done after my meeting, and interrupt that thought with a judgment on someone’s outfit.

To get there I had to start doing things differently. Eventually I got the hang of it and getting there was well worth it. I found that as I practiced mindful living, the art of being aware in the present moment on purpose without judgment, an intense sense of relief and peace came over me. At first the feeling would only last for a short while, but years later I am happy to say I can sustain this sense for most the day. When I deviate the from the practice, I can tell immediately and shift my thoughts.

12 Strategies To Be More Mindful – These will help you stay attentive, balanced and calm:

1. Breathe. Your breath is incredibly powerful and the foundation of mindfulness. How you’re breathing reflects how you’re feeling, physically and mentally.
2. Create. Integrate creativity into your day and the way you do things. I love to cook and will often create a new recipes. Mindfulness really boosts your creative flow.
3.Disconnect. Set rules for use of digital devices. I stopped beginning and ending my day by checking emails. I also put my phone away when I’m with loved ones and eating.

4. Dream. Give yourself some time to just sit and wander from time to time. I know it seems this would not be mindful living. There have been studies that indicate the more mindful we live the better our dreams.
5. Eat well. Pay attention to what you put in your body. Make the best decision you can to nourish yourself. If you don’t enjoy something, don’t eat it.
6. Experiment. Try new things willingly and often. There’s nothing like totally being in the moment during a new experience. I got to zip line about a year ago and I was overwhelmed with such an intense feeling of joy and peace hanging above the Black Falls in Jamaica. I felt blessed to be in the presence of wild beauty.
7. Feel. Own your feelings and give yourself permission to feel them. This isn’t about stuffing your feelings so you can be happy all of the time. Remember not to judge yourself and resist how you feel.
8. Focus. Integrate mindfulness throughout your day by deliberately focusing on what you are doing. Studies show those who do this are 27% more productive.
9. Laugh. Finding a way to laugh at your problems can improve the way you deal with them.
10. Limitations. Limit the television you watch, the social media you chat on and on-line games you play. Too much of any of these has show to increase depression and insomnia.
11. Meditate. Meditation is not about having no thoughts, it’s about emptying your mind of thoughts.
12. Walk. Take walks to clear your mind, change your lens or perspective of a situation as a result your awareness is amplified.

During my talks I always dig deep into mindfulness. During one of the darkest times in my life, this mindfulness is what got me through. I firmly believe mindfulness is where anyone who wants to change anything in their life should start.

Question: How to do say mindful about your path, your goals, or your dreams?

Put It To Work: Practice mindfulness for a week. Notice how this transforms the way you experience everything. Morning walks or rides in the car, not looking back or forward, just being in that moment, with the momentum carrying you from one step to the next while you enjoy mindful living. Tell me what if feels like to life from that place.


Carmen M. Perez, is the founder of www.EffortlessLivingOnline.com, a lifestyle e-magazine for entrepreneurs.

We help entrepreneurs understand they do not have to sacrifice their health, happiness or lifestyle to succeed. by sharing strategies to help them reclaim their time, calm the chaos and transform the way they experience their world. Sign up for your FREE content packed e-book, “Let’s get on with it! How to Survive Life’s Thriving Lessons” and receive her weekly advice on bringing order to chaos, busting through stress, and making the most of your time and living with passion, purpose, and play, visit www.EffortlessLivingOnline.com.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Carmen PerezStrategies to Be More Mindful
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LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI

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As many of you may be aware, my 2014 ended with a fabulous training familiarization trip to Tahiti. It is part of the three step process that Tahiti Tourisme requires for travel agents to become Tahiti Tiare Specialists.

Visiting a destination provides such valuable information that cannot be found in brochures or online. I am privileged that I had the honor of being selected to attend this event and obtain this first hand knowledge of truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am excited to share with you a recent press release regarding my trip to the islands of French Polynesia.

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI

Memphis, TN (January 8, 2015) – Lisa Rossmeissl, owner of Boomerang Escapes, was one of a select few travel agents from the US and Canada to be invited to the Tahiti Travel Exchange, which included a two week tour of the islands. The tour consisted of learning more about the layout of the French Polynesian’s Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Taha’a), the climate and it’s culture. Thorough inspection of the resort facilities included various amenities, food and beverage menu selection, food and beverage tasting and overall quality of service. Lisa also participated in several excursions as well, providing a full immersion experience. Some of the amazing highlights included 4WD tours, snorkeling coral gardens, and swimming with sharks and stingrays.

In addition, Hotel Le Meridien showed its spirit of giving by supporting the Association of Perehau Here O Te Tama (“The Wings of the Growing Child”) for the pediatric unit at Taaone Hospital. Lisa and other attendees were asked to bring a tree ornament that represented who they are and where they are from. This provided the children an opportunity to see different ornaments from all across the country. The tree was sponsored by TTNA.

Travel2, a well renowned travel agency supplier, bestowed the well deserved honor of selecting Lisa for this unique Tahitian tour. She is nationally and internationally certified in a number of travel categories. Her expertise and testimonials from clients and colleagues truly speaks volumes. To learn more about Lisa, Boomerang Escapes, travel information and more exciting adventures, please call (844) 386-3600, email Lisa@boomerangescapes.com or visit the website at www.boomerangescapes.com.

About Boomerang Escapes: B.E. helps couples and families return to their ‘happy place’ by allowing them to escape the tethers of life by providing unique custom vacation experiences that leave them transformed.

updated 2020


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslLOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI
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Top 10 Things Clients Have Forgotten on Their Trip

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Top 10…..Things Clients Have Forgotten on Their Trip

To begin the New Year, I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of the “uh-oh” moments some of my travelers have experienced when embarking on their vacation. I decided to take cue from David Letterman’s famous Late Show Top Ten List. For those not familiar, or like myself tend to already be in bed by the time Dave comes on, the Top 10 is a regular segment of the television show Late Show with David Letterman. It was adapted from Letterman’s NBC show Late Night. The writer’s of the show compile the list. The entries are read in reverse order by Letterman with a drum roll before each. The lists are usually developed from one of six categories: pyramids, athletes, taxi cabs, water towers, sewer covers and then of course there is always something if it is a campaign year. Inspired by this regular segment I have created a list of the Top 10….Things Clients Have Forgotten on Their Trip.

So drum roll please as we roll out the Top 10…Things Clients Have Forgotten on Their Trip

10. Toothbrush-no need to worry if you forget this one as most hotels have a spare you can get from the front desk
9. Swim suit-not a problem if your staying at some place such as Orient beach where bare is the décor of the day
8. Pajamas/sleep wear-definitely an issue if you are rooming with someone you have never met before
7. Underwear-going commando is always an option
6. Shoes-a woman’s worst nightmare
5. Camera-does anyone still use one of these
4. Phone-this is huge and may cause insanity from lack of connection to social media
3. Driver’s License-forgetting this can making renting a car an issue not to mention getting a drink at the airport bar
2. Passport-watch out for TSA, as you will not be able to depart

And the number one item…..drum roll please……

1. Suitcase-be sure the car you drive to the airport is the one in which you put your luggage in


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslTop 10 Things Clients Have Forgotten on Their Trip
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