You are utterly unfair. How dare you have beautiful beaches, after already laying claim to one of the most bewitching mountain views I’ve ever seen while standing in the middle of a city?!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to use the rest of this post now to absolutely gush all over Vancouver.
Continue reading “To Vancouver, A Letter” →
I haven’t seen anyone from my side of the family in over a year, and it was starting to show. Me throwing jealous looks as my husband jokes around with his siblings around the dinner table, me counting all the holidays I haven’t spent Filipino-style, me insisting to follow the lone Filipino food truck I’ve found around food festivals. Of the 10 years I’ve spent living abroad, I have never been homesick — that is, until now. Maybe it’s all those postpartum mommy hormones that are to blame, but I was now reaching new levels of brooding, and it wasn’t pretty.
Maybe that’s why I was desperately counting down to May 10, like I was gasping for air after holding my breath for so long. It was the day we were to fly to Toronto, for my then 6-month old baby, Tobias, to finally meet the Filipino side of the family for the first time. Continue reading “Baby Meets the Flip Side in Toronto” →
It’s every flyer’s dreaded sight: that parade of babies through the priority boarding queue, threatening to crush any dream of peaceful sleep during the flight. I confess, I used to cringe whenever I would see a family with a baby settling within a 10-row radius from my seat.
Now, I find myself on the other side, the bringer of the ominous boarding infant. I braced myself long and hard, and obsessed with every detail to prepare ourselves for Tobias’ first long-haul flight. I even dressed him up in an adorable tiger onesie, to make it at least a bit impossible to stay angry even if he makes a scene. Continue reading “Lessons Learned From Our Baby’s First Long-Haul Flight” →
Have you tried every app, book, site or workshop out there, and still feel like you’re butchering your target language whenever you speak? I’ve been there, feeling like I should apologize to every native speaker for forcing them to listen to my atrocious interpretation of their own tongue, even after months of taking classes.
So you’ve hit a plateau. This might actually be where things get interesting. If the old formulas no longer work, then it may be time to set your sights on the unconventional, to take approaches you’ve never tried before. Reframing your mindset might just be what you need to send the gears whirring again, to rewire your brain to finally make that new language stick. I’ve got a few ideas — shall we start rewiring? Continue reading “Creative Ways to Learn a New Language” →
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” →
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” →