Posts in Travel
El Nido, Palawan: Islands Away

I stood in the middle of the boat surrounded by nature's masterpiece. We were adrift in the middle of the big cerulean ocean, the boat bobbing as we asked them to stop for awhile. There were only limestone cliffs as far as one could see, mountains so lush with green that is absent in the urban grit. This is what life looks like when it is stripped off of worldly dealings and ramblings -- so simple, so unadulterated, so quiet. In the midst of it all, I was not wife, not mother. It was just me as me. I am beholden to you, I thought to the islands that simplified the world at that moment…

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New York City: Culinary Playground

What's there to do in New York when you've done everything else? Eat.

There'll always be something new to try or something classic you'll always go back to. NYC's pretty darn good at food, if you know where to go. Here's a list of some of my favorite finds. 

Classy Musings' (Foodie) Guide to NYC

1. For an al dente cacio e pepe (and if you want to be surrounded and by and stuffed with everything from the boot-shaped country): Eataly 

2. For no-frills, fun-sized, delicate cheesecakes: Eileen's Cheesecake

3. For crispy-on-the-outside yet soft-on-the-inside fish tacos (absolute must-order), milky Horchata, and a sighting of a restored VW van: Tacombi Nolita

4. For an Asian fusion kind of brunch: Talde Brooklyn

5. For outstanding service, thoughtful food, take-home goodies, and a surprise trip to the world-class kitchen of the World's Best Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park

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London: The Greatest Of All

As a naive teenager, I always thought New York City was the pinnacle of every traveler's wish list. Street lights, big dreams, all looking pretty, right? I spent most of my college life daydreaming about studying in the Empire State but when that opportunity finally came along, something quite funny happened. I was pulled to another direction... literally to the other side of the Atlantic. London, London, London... perhaps it was time to try something completely new. I gave it a shot and left my NYC dreams in the wake of my footsteps (and in the corridors of my college campus).  

And when I experienced London for half a year, in all its majestic, quaint, historic, organic, and wonderful glory, I knew that my wanderlust heart had finally found its home. 

One of the best things about London is that - this is going to sound so introverted - one can enjoy it in solitude. Virginia Woolf said, 'To walk alone in London is the greatest rest.' With all the cultural, artistic, historic, and culinary offerings this city boasts of, Woolf's statement still holds a strong footing...

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Sydney: A Cosy Kind Of Cosmo

Sydney has always been the cool kid of Australia (sorry Melbourne, you know we love you). It must be the glorious beaches they're known for, the waves dotted with surfer dudes and the shorelines peppered with beach babes. Paired with the eternal sunshine (and their distinct accent), it seems like it could be forever summer here.

Or that magnificent harbor whose skyline is filled with the steel shape of the bridge or the unparalleled silhouette sails of the Opera House. Clearly, architecture has held its footing here in Sydney and it is revered the world over. Then there's the city with its upscale bars and restaurants, the local dwellers in their stilettos and suits leaving a trail of sophistication in their wake as they hit the streets.

But as my husband and I flit from one neighborhood to another, from one harbor to the next, we noticed that it was not the cosmopolitan, not the cool we thought it would be. Instead, we were spun around on our feet and shown a different kind of Sydney that left us wanting more...

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Melbourne: Hit The Laneways

My travel checklist for Melbourne contained many things when it should have said only one: pound the city pavements. Traditional guides will tell travellers to venture to Yarra Valley, Philip Island, and the Great Ocean Road among others (all well and beautiful in themselves) but locals will lure you into cafés and to come, sit a while. While staying in might seem like missing out, it seems that over the years, the people have made the streets of Melbourne the sole institution, the main feature.

Laneways - that's what they're called. Where entrepreneurs of all kinds set up shop, daring to release their inner creativity and vision, hoping to cater to the niche and the crowd. Where paperback bookstores, jewellery boutiques, art galleries, barber shops, chocolate connoisseurs stand side by side, offering services and stories...

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