In terms of tourism, Germany is much like its treasured National Mannschaft — you can’t pinpoint just one star football player, exactly because the greatness lies instead on each individually high-functioning member (or cities, in this case). Berlin has its Film Festival, Munich its Oktoberfest, Hamburg its Elbphilharmonie, and so on.
Dresden is probably one of the most-underrated European cities. I would boldly say its the prettiest German city I’ve ever seen so far. During my maiden visit to the East, Dresden’s elaborately-decked palace grounds, wistful Altstadt (Old Town) and ever-graceful Elbe did not fail to make the cross-country drive oh-so-worth it. Continue reading Spotlight on Dresden
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
The words “Sapporo in Winter” evoke for me images of pristine powder snow, just the type to drive the biggest skiers to tears. For others, the very same words may as well mean burning your hard-earned money on a Japanese bonfire. At the top of my list was to waddle to my heart’s content in Hokkaido’s velvety snowfall, but I knew a trip to Niseko would be way beyond my means. Fortunately, we soon found out that a tight budget should not get in the way of enjoying a thrill-filled holiday in Sapporo. Continue reading How to Enjoy a Winter Vacation in Sapporo Without Breaking the Bank
Of why I haven’t caught whiff of the free Asahi Brewery tour earlier, I might not forgive myself. My partner and I have always regarded Osaka as a magical place; it was there after all that we first met. We’ve gone back to “The Nation’s Kitchen” twice since then, and I guess among the blur of ramen bowls, okonomiyaki and endless plates of curries, we got a little bit preoccupied.
Continue reading The Sweet Life in the Asahi Suita Brewery
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)
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
Once upon a time, there was a young maiden who had very itchy feet (she suspects it’s a gift from a wise and adventurous fairy-godmother). She had trouble staying still, often daydreamed about far away places, and ogled longingly at maps. One day, she asked her prince, “Can we go away, to a place we’ve never been before?” The young man knew it was futile to discourage her. Luckily, he had easy access to an enchanting and very useful tool people called “Google Maps”.
“Hmm,” he pondered, “since we’re near anyway, do you want to go to — Montenegro? There’s a small city here called, hmm, Kotor. Maybe it’ll be nice. What do you think?” The young maiden had no idea what they would find there, but she could hardly keep her heart from bursting with excitement. Continue reading A Fairy Tale Land Named Kotor
Me: So let’s take that bus to Girona, then hop on to the connecting bus to Andorra for an overnight —
Fate: Nope, stay put! No effing way you’re going to miss Girona. Continue reading Oh My, Girona!
It takes a lot of adulting to prepare for a trip, from planning to booking, from packing to repacking. Once I’m out there on the road though, the big kid in me suddenly wakes up and takes over, gasping aloud at every marvel I come come across, and giddily rushing to see what’s in store on the next corner.
And certainly, the big kid in me broke free, frolicked and lost her mind in the vast purple playgrounds during lavender season in Provence. Continue reading Lavender Fields Forever
I’m not quite sure how the universe has conspired to get me here, but I am here. In Champagne! Champagne, the land of the one spirit to rule them all, the spirit best known for opulence, indulgence, and most of all, exclusivity. You can imagine how bewildering this is for a backpacking, bordering hippie like myself. But, as I’ve said, I finally found myself here. Let’s drink to that! Continue reading Breaking Out the Bubbly in Champagne