On Location Lesson 3: International Travel Tips and Karlyn Holman Workshop Announcement

Tuscany Here We Come!!!!!!

 Sunlit Tuscan Hillside

Dreams really do come true!  Thanks to help and encouragement from my friend and mentor Karlyn Holman, my home away from home will very soon be a beautiful and modernized medieval monastery in the heart of the Chianti wine region in Tuscany.  The name of this Tuscan retreat is Borgo San Fedele.  It’s location is a short day trip away from some of the most charming towns I’ve ever visited in the region of Tuscany.  We will have chef/sommellier Andrea Anichini, giving us cooking lessons and preparing our meals all week.  In addition, I will be giving pointers and art lessons to those who are interested.  We will have the opportunity to paint and sketch on location and in the studio at San Fedele.  Under the Tuscan Sun, we will tour, photograph, and taste our way around the area’s towns and vineyards during the harvest season.  In the evenings, I’m hoping that our resident minstrels will serenade us on guitar after dinner on the terrace “Under the Tuscan Stars”.  Sounds dreamy,  right?

Our chef and cooking instructor
Andrea Anichini

Want to Join Me Next Year?

If you’re interested in joining me for my next visit to Tuscany, it’s time to get on board!  I have another trip in the works tentatively set for October 2015.  I hope to combine this lovely location with an added excursion to Venice!  I am going on a scouting mission to Venice in a few weeks. I will check out locations and begin to make the plans for next year.  If you’d like to come along, then please contact me and send me your information!  As details come available, I will be sure to keep you posted.





Borgo San Fedele
Our “Home away from Home”

In case you’re traveling to Europe anytime soon, here’s a few travel hints you may enjoy reading…

Cell phones:  I have an iPhone with Verizon on a business account.

  • The rate for calling or receiving calls in France and Spain is currently $.99 cents/minute for a business account.  Non-business accounts have rates available of about $1.25/minute.  Call 611 from your phone to set up an international plan for yourself or check if there are better rates available to you on your account.
  • I plan to disable my Data services while abroad.  This will prevent charges from texts or unwanted push notifications while I’m there.  You disable this by going following this path-  “Settings”-“Cellular”-“Roaming”-“Data Roaming”- “Off”.
  • Verizon doesn’t charge for WiFi usage overseas…it simply charges if you receive texts or calls using their Verizon data plan.  If you have apps like Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, or Tango, you can use the apps to communicate free of data charges whenever you access WiFi on your trip.  These apps allow calling and texting, so long as whoever you are calling or texting also has that app.  It’s a reason to get your frequent callers, family and friends to download the app before you leave.
  • Charging: Don’t forget your charger!  My iPhone is capable of converting the voltage from European outlets to charge the phone. All that is needed is a plug adaptor- something that changes the shape of the plug on your charger so that it can mate with the wall outlet wherever you are traveling.  A converter is not needed for the iPhone.
Camera/ iPad
Watercolor Painting- Borgo San Fedele
11 X 15 Rebecca Zdybel
  • Taking photos from my new iPad mini gives me great shots and allows me to paint or sketch from the screen with ease.  This way I avoid dealing with my photo card and the need to download the photos to my computer in order to edit or view them.  The iPad mini does not work well in bright light…the screen is hard to visualize outdoors with glare being the problem.  It also is cumbersome to carry and shoot with
  • Getting photos from my camera to my iPad is a different matter.  It requires a lightning adaptor for an SD card.  In researching the options, it seems to me that the Apple brand is only a few dollars more than some of the off-brands, so I purchased the Apple brand SDadaptor.
Credit cards/Insurance card /passport/precautions:
Bubble Boys- Tuscany
11 X 15 Rebecca Zdybel
  • I make a photocopy of my cards, passport  and ID and put them in my carry-on.  When I arrive at the hotel, I put them in the safe.  Just in case
  • Contact your credit card company to tell them you’ll be traveling abroad.  It avoids fraud protection issues that can impact your ability to access the card while traveling.
  • Check to see if your card charges foreign transaction fees.  Ask your credit card representative.  If you will be charged fees,  think about getting a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.  I have one from Barclay and also Bank of America.
  • I always bring my medical insurance card and my healthcare savings credit card.
  • Always keep your passport in your hand…do not set it down or let it go out of your sight with employees of any restaurant or rental companies.  Hotels sometimes keep your passport on tours, and though this really bothers me, I will cooperate if they insist.
  • There is a new scam around being run at security checkpoints in airports.  It involves theft of unsupervised bags…While you go through the X-ray scanners separated from your bag, someone grabs your bag and goes.   Wait to put your bags into the scanner until just as you go through your body scan.  It will help to minimize your time of separation from your bags.
  • Another new way to steal is on trains.  Baggage is often stored at the entrance to the train car that you occupy.  I’ve been told that stealing bags is becoming common when they are out of sight.  The suggestion is to buy a lightweight bike lock and secure your bags together and to the luggage rack.
  • Consider money belts or bra-wallets to increase the safety of your cash, cards and identification.
  • I generally make a manila envelope my travel file.  I keep my boarding pass there, and I put copies of my itinerary there and any travel emails sent to me by my carriers or travel companions.  That way I have one place to look when I want to refer to travel arrangements.  I keep this with me while I travel in my carry-on.  I also make a copy for my husband to keep at home if he’s not traveling with me.
New Painting- New Lesson for Tuscany!
Watercolor and Ink on Paper Rebecca Zdybel 11X15 $177
I wear primarily athletic attire and pack for 1 week.  Then I wash clothes in the sink.  I bring flip flops because floors are cold and sometimes its comfortable to just flip flop around.  Stone buildings tend to retain their sense of cold, so be ready to layer.  For dressier moments, I bring some jewelry that can  take my black top and black pants into evening.  I also bring scarves for pops of color or a dressier look.  Remember that women need to cover their shoulders inside church buildings.  Scarves are good for doubling as a shawl in this instance.
For a list of Art Materials I plan to bring- see the Travel supply list on my home page.

I wish I could take all my friends and students with me, but if you can’t make it, then I hope you’ll join me vicariously by subscribing to this blog.

I’d love to read your travel suggestions.  Post them here and we can all learn from one another =)

Links to my previous On Location Lessons
On Location Lesson 2: “I’m So Dizzy!” Solving Perspective Problems
On Location Lesson 1- Choosing Your Subject


Special Karlyn Holman Workshop

Karlyn and Rebecca in the studio together in France
Watercolor by Karlyn Holman

Karlyn Holman Watercolor Fun and Free Workshop
Dates: Feb 23-27, 2015
Beach Cove Resort,  4800 S Ocean Blvd. , North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Cost: $500, $100 Deposit reserves your seat

This exciting watercolor workshop will be coming soon with Karlyn Holman!  I wanted to let my friends and students have first crack at registration, and and it’s already almost ½ full!  Her workshop at Cheap Joe’s has a waiting list of 8 people.  If you might be interested, I encourage you to sign up early before the course fills up.  Karlyn is amazing and we are so fortunate to have her!  Email me and I will gladly send you a brochure.


Watercolor by Karlyn Holman


Watercolor by Karlyn Holman


Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art!

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at https://rebeccazartist.com/

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Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

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