Hello, this is The Glassy speaking
Prepare for smooth travels ahead.
The Glassy started with a medium.
I was writing an essay about intuitive healers, and as part of the reporting process booked a session with MaryAnn DiMarco—a Long Island-based psychic who communes with spirits to give people answers. (Isn’t that all we really want in life?) Most people come to her with specific requests—often involving connecting with or getting closure with a deceased loved one—but I was just looking for, well, a good story.
DiMarco walked through the door like sunshine incarnate, the type of person who instantly puts you at ease. And so I sat and listened as she described my Guides (the crew of spirits that surround me), passed along the information they were sharing with her, and left me with three very important notes:
1) That I needed to update my glasses prescription.
2) That a relationship I had just ended was definitely over for good, and it was time to move on.
3) That it would be very important for me to go on a silent retreat in the American Southwest.
The first two, I would realize within a few months, were spot-on observations—and easy enough to accomplish. (General PSA: Your eyesight will probably degrade over the course of 10 years, so maybe don’t wear the same prescription for an entire decade without bothering to check on it.) But the third option proved difficult—more difficult than getting over a relationship of seven years, in fact.
Because when I went to do some travel research—a task that, as an editor who has been writing professionally for 15 years, I’m paid to be good at—I came up with lots of silent retreat options. (385,000 total, according to Google.) But none of them were decent options. Or at least, there wasn’t a good way for me to navigate these options. Some programs just didn’t look like my vibe; others were, but then the instructor seemed a little…creepy. There were retreats that showcased sumptuous bedrooms and indulgently healthy menus alongside their spiritual programming, but they also cost about six months’ worth of rent. And without a single TripAdvisor review to testify to their brilliance, I just couldn’t bring myself to blindly trust the promises listed on a website.
Even the big-name travel magazines, which I love to lazily flip through from the comfort of my couch, weren’t quite speaking my language.
I emerged from a multi-hour black hole of internet research with nothing to show for, except extreme frustration. Why was it so hard to find trustworthy travel information around the people, places, and destinations that a healthy-ish person like myself would be seeking out?
And it’s not just the woo-woo world that I realized was seriously lacking; even the big-name travel magazines, which I’d love to lazily flip through from the comfort of my couch, weren’t quite speaking my language.
There’s a whole generation of people who are seriously into travel—whether for business (fun fact: out of all age groups, Millennials travel the most for work) or for pleasure (cue the work hard, recharge hard mindset). And yet while airlines, hotels, organized trips, and retreats start to catch up to our needs, there’s no site that’s gathering that information, vetting the options, and sharing the need-to-know details with a side of wanderlust-fueling inspiration that will get us logging our PTO days and putting up an OOO.
So that’s what The Glassy is here to do: be your feel-good travel BFF.
The Glassy isn’t a travel agency, a hotel chain, or a tour group (at least, not yet!). The Glassy isn’t a TripAdvisor or Yelp, where you get opinions from a lot of strangers who maybe know a ton about vegan Mexican food…but who also maybe had no idea the place was going to be vegan, or are actually cousins with the owner and are obligated to leave glowing reviews. The Glassy isn’t a dinosaur of a travel magazine, where you read 5,000 words about Paris without actually, you know, getting any addresses to the places mentioned or any sense of where they are in relation to one another.
Instead, The Glassy is a highly curated, super-obsessive destination for the modern explorer. From packing hacks to airplane intel, retreat reviews to hyper-picky (and mobile-friendly, because duh you’re using your phone and not a guidebook when you’re actually traveling) city guides, we’re here to make your intentional travel a bit more effortless. (And if you’re wondering why the hell it’s even called The Glassy, here you go.)
Basically, The Glassy is the virtual form of that friend you always hit up for city recs because they somehow always know the exact best places to go. Only here, that friend is comprised of a network of insiders—from ultra-discerning professional travelers (yup, that’s a thing) to local experts who have already been vetted, so that you don’t have to. And then there’s me, lead tour guide. The short of it: I’m a lifelong traveler who spends a ridiculous amount of time thinking about how I can feel my best, and ready to share that intel with you.
So that’s what The Glassy is here to do: be your feel-good travel BFF.
I’ve been an editor at Elle, Nylon, and Well+Good, and a contributor to more publications than I have space to list (think Vogue to the New York Times, and everything in between). I helped Urban Outfitters launch their activewear and adventure brand Without Walls, where I was tasked with free-climbing in California’s Big Bear, joining a beer-drinking run club in Austin, and more, all in the name of creating wanderlust-fueling content.
Although New York has always been my base, the real through-line in my life has been a love of travel: I’ve called Buenos Aires and Tokyo home, spent weeks crossing Eurasia via the Trans-Siberian Rail, and regularly circle the globe in search of good (and warm) surf. And when I’m home, I’m daydreaming about being somewhere else. It probably explains why, all these years later, the thing I remember most about my internship at Jane magazine (RIP) was helping editor Katy McColl plan her travel stories, as it meant I got to spend a week doing a deep dive into local spots (quite the heavy lift in the early aughts, when Yelp wasn’t really a thing) before putting together an itinerary for her.
When I hurt my back in 2013, my life values shifted. Suddenly, staying in on Friday night so I could make it to my Saturday morning yoga class wasn’t lame—it was liberating. I started researching anti-inflammatory ingredients and workouts that wouldn’t wreck my body, and before too long I was doing all of my food shopping at the farmers’ market (remarkable because up until then the only food I made was reheating pizza in my toaster oven) and going on sugar- and alcohol-free stints. I’ve also tried everything from gua sha to—yup—mediums, and haven’t met a superfood (or superherb) I won’t try at least once.
Basically, the virtual form of that friend you always hit up for city recs because they somehow always know the exact best places to go.
I’m not perfect, but I’ve realized that I feel a hell of a lot better when I’m taking care of my body—mind included—and that’s extra-important whenever I’m away from home. And though I still haven’t made it out to a silent retreat in the Southwest, when I do, you’ll definitely hear about it.
So here’s to the journeys to come—this personal journey (eye roll, I know), as well as all of your journeys. Let’s get glassy together. —Rebecca Willa Davis, The Glassy’s Editor-in-Chief
PS: I want to see where this site takes you—tag @the.glassy on Instagram, or using #glassytravels. And for real, drop me a line to say hello, ask for recs, or share any tips you’ve got: info AT the-glassy DOT com.