10 Ideas for a Wanderlust-y, Travel-Themed Wedding

An event as momentous as your wedding warrants your personal touch. Think about it –it’s an occasion wherein your closest loved ones from both sides come together, most meeting for the first time, to celebrate precisely the fact, that the two of you are together. How much more personal can that get?!

For Daniel and I, we knew we had to work in TRAVEL as a theme for our wedding, as it laid deep in the core of how we’ve met and how much we’ve grown with each other. We also knew that we’d rather save up for our future home, rather than go overboard with the expenses, so that meant DIY all the way. The craft-crazed kid in me cartwheels.   Continue reading “10 Ideas for a Wanderlust-y, Travel-Themed Wedding”

A Brave New World

How time flies! It’s been almost six months since I made the big leap and turned my world upside down. Leaving a stable job and a comfy existence, I slingshot myself halfway across the world to Germany to finally be in the same timezone with the man of my dreams.

As you can imagine someone who was raised in a (very noisy) household of seven strong women, I was always taught to always flaunt my smarts and my strengths, no matter what anyone else thought. Of course, this giant shift from career woman to penniless student for me was not without doubts and scolding from my own subconscious. I thought, however, I would be holding back  a part of me, a part of me whose strengths I have yet to uncover, if I didn’t make this jump.

And so I leaped, and so far, no regrets.  Continue reading “A Brave New World”

25 Travel Goals to Set for the Year (For Those Who Can’t Wander Very Far)

This is not your usual travel bucket list, where Mt. Everest, Aurora Borealis, and Oktoberfest are sure to be in the line-up. Most of these, in fact, can be made right in your hometown, or at least would simply ask for just a bit of gas money and, of course, one’s own resourcefulness.

You see, goal-setting for this year poses a bit of a challenge for me. As I have recently made the leap from being a corporate bee back to a penny-pinching student, I needed to be more creative this year with quenching my wanderlust, without draining my savings.

The more I gave it thought, the more I realized that there is no reason why travel goals should be restricted to globetrotters. Continue reading “25 Travel Goals to Set for the Year (For Those Who Can’t Wander Very Far)”

What a year! Top 12 Highlights from the Rollercoaster Ride of 2016

Love it or hate it, 2016 is definitely a year to remember. It was when I felt the wind getting knocked out of myself, as it seemed that one by one, the world seemed to veto the principles I thought were universal. It was the year when I realized, more than ever, that there is much to the world that I have yet to know, more perspectives that I have yet to comprehend, more life experiences that I have yet to open my heart to.  Continue reading “What a year! Top 12 Highlights from the Rollercoaster Ride of 2016”

30 Lessons I’ve Learned From Travelling

1.) Bloom where you are planted.
Whether fate takes you to a beach, a mountain, a bustling city, or an isolated shack in the middle of nowhere, make use of every opportunity thrown your way to be an even better, stronger and more enlightened person than when you first came.

2.) Travel light.
Leave behind as much belongings behind as you can; packing is a good lesson on prioritization and improvisation. Also, leave behind your prejudices and grudges. Every destination has a lesson to teach you, and it doesn’t help if you let your past disappointments get in the way of meeting your future happiness.

At the Jungfraujoch rail. Dawg, stick your head out that window!

3.) Sometimes, destinations will disappoint. Have fun anyway.
That rustic, peaceful paradise you were looking forward to might not have been as isolated as you’ve hoped. Timings might suck. Loved ones will bicker. Having a sense of humor might just make the difference between what could have been a total disaster or what could have been your best travel story.

4.) It’s always about the people. Always.
It’s great to check off seeing the Statue of Liberty, and other famous landmarks in the world. But one sure-fire way of missing out is to close yourself off to making new friends, or maybe even to getting to know your loved ones in a whole new light. More often than not, your go-to travel stories will mostly be about the funny experiences you’ve had with wacky personalities you’ve bumped into, and the enlightenment you didn’t expect them to share with you.

Solid friendships found in Greece

5.) Learning a bit of the language goes a long, long way.
That teeny bit of effort into learning how to say even just ‘Hello’, ‘Thank you’, and ‘Delicious!’ in the local tongue has a mighty pull on the heartstrings. It has the power to instantly put a smile on a person’s face, and that could pave a way to a warmer welcome than you had expected.

Continue reading “30 Lessons I’ve Learned From Travelling”

Project 366 – 2012: The First Half

Since the start of the year, I’ve been bent on capturing at least a second’s worth of clips each day, so that I can compile it to a 2012-series video, which I can look back to whenever I’m wondering where my time went. I’m supposed to wait until the actual end of year before I begin piecing the clips together, but just in case we … Continue reading Project 366 – 2012: The First Half

5 Tricks to Re-Simplify Your Life

When Facebook set ‘It’s complicated’ as a valid status, no one really batted an eyelash. Whether it’s about relationships or something else bigger, we all get it. We’ve all been there — that point where we wonder when life started to be one big mess, when we all just wish that we could conjure a big wind that would whoosh us away to the simplicity of childhood.

While there is no magic formula that will instantly wipe out all inevitable complexities of life, there are some tips and tricks that you will stumble on along the way to help you regain your peace of mind. Here are some of the ‘hacks’ that have worked like a charm for me; hopefully, you guys will find them useful too.

1. Actively de-clutter.

Start with your mail, then raid your closets, your drawers, and the junk underneath your bed. This is effective for two reasons: (1) de-cluttering with active use of your hands does wonders for the mind, and (2) seeing something that used to be in shambles now as clear as a canvas, gives you some space to relax and to be creative. One adage has stuck and has incessantly fed my motivation to de-clutter through the years — if I can fix my room, I can fix my life. Continue reading “5 Tricks to Re-Simplify Your Life”

How to Torture Yourself at Your Swivel Chair

It’s usually when the clock on my taskbar says something 13:50-ish that my mind begins to swim in daydreams of other pursuits worth losing time over, instead of me flattening my bum like a good corporate stooge, willing the same clock to fast forward to 18:00.

As if poring over mind-numbing error logs wasn’t torture enough, I frustrate myself further by thinking of other people who actually get PAID to do kick-ass fun stuff.

I've got the best job in the world!

Exhibit A: The Travel Show Host — who wouldn’t want to be that girl who gets paid to show everyone else all the fun they’re missing? Continue reading “How to Torture Yourself at Your Swivel Chair”

2011 and Bugsy

Coming across Paulo Coelho’s story of Ali, Aydi and the fire of friendship, I immediately thought of this gorgeous throng of kindred spirits from childhood that I am blessed to have. As 2011 was the year I was reunited with my blood sisters, I felt that 2011 was also the year for another batch of my sisters — Bugsy. The year that just had past … Continue reading 2011 and Bugsy

2011’s Gift of Sisters Galore (a.k.a. the ‘Ganda-mo-teh’ post)

 

In the Gagno residence, we have a gaggle — a gaggle of 5 spunky girls, each of whom went their own way as they grew up, with literally an ocean between them. Yet I would remember 2011 as the year that brought all of us together under the same roof, after 5 long years of never being in the same country. Continue reading “2011’s Gift of Sisters Galore (a.k.a. the ‘Ganda-mo-teh’ post)”