Viewing entries tagged
exploration

Bagan: A Life Changing Experience in Myanmar

Bagan: A Life Changing Experience in Myanmar

Bagan will be a life changing experience for avid and newfound travelers alike. The ancient land is a juxtaposition between the temples of the past and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the present day. 

Top 5: Long Layover Friendly Airports

Top 5: Long Layover Friendly Airports

Let’s face it. No one likes long layovers. You are already exhausted from the woes of travel, but attitude and distraction is everything

My First Impressions of Myanmar

My First Impressions of Myanmar

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It's not Throwback Thursday, but I wanted to share my first impressions of Myanmar in lieu of a podcast that I will be featured in about Inle Lake  (in collaboration with @stylematicapp) due to be released this week. This trip was a life changer for me, and I will share more about my time in this wonderful country to encourage you to travel more, and worry less.

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Originally written December 12, 2013

Okay friends, it has already been five days since I have landed in Yangon. I thought it would be fun to answer the top three questions that most friends and family have been asking me since I have arrived. ..and here they are!

1. What are your first impressions?  It has been at least two years since I have been fortunate enough to explore a new country. I had zero idea of what to expect. I looked out the airplane window, and as it landed, I felt like I was 10 years all over again when I first landed in Sri Lanka. I saw a lot of lush green trees, land, and water. Certainly more land than people, buildings, or city lights. As my friend Mike picked me up from the airport I took some time to absorb my surroundings, checking out the roads, and buildings in the 90 plus degree weather. One thing I wasn’t expecting: to see Revlon ads posted all around a shopping mall!

2. What’s it like there? People are very sweet and pleasant. Colonialism can still be felt through the architecture of buildings, like the old railway station you see below. Other than that, Yangon is a city that is bustling with opportunity. There are plenty of marketplaces, hotels, and restaurants to experience. I honestly did not expect to see so much commerce here. There’s also the Yangon Bakehouse that not only has exceptional artisanal goodies, but also works to create job opportunities, skills development, and fair wages to disadvantaged women.

3. How do you like it there? It’s pretty awesome. I am already surrounded by some great friends. I’ve already been to my first soccer match: Myanmar v Cambodia. I can’t wait to visit the local pagodas, eat more of the local cuisine (yes, I’ll be trying out all the local places that Anthony Bourdain has).  Most of all I see so much opportunity, and I’m so excited to delve into al the work I envision for Evolvemint’s future.

I realize that I am being general here, SO keep the questions coming! I will do my best to take as many pictures and to capture stories while I’m here. FYI: I’m obsessed with taking pictures of fruit stands and marketplaces…..more to come about them.

Much love…

Travel Unplugged

Travel Unplugged

Lesson learned for the week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: sometimes you NEED to travel unplugged.

Papilia is Going to Punta Cana!

Papilia is Going to Punta Cana!

Since February, I have been testing out Papila’s concept by providing travelers with personalized advice on how to pack efficiently and appropriately for their destination. 

7 MUST DOs Before Your Trip

7 MUST DOs Before Your Trip

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a newcomer to the world of traveling, there are certain things you should never leave without. I recently had to make a trip overseas on very short notice, and completed most of these items, and forgot to take care of some. I would hate for the same thing to happen to you.

1. Check the currency of the country. You will want to be prepared to take cash just incase you cannot use a credit card.

2. Call your credit card company. If you plan to use your credit card, the company may put a hold on your card for suspicious activity. Believe me, it's the last thing you want to experience overseas.

3. Call your cellular company if you need an international plan. It's a quick call before you get on a plane; and you will save tons on money.

4. Make copies of your passport. A safety precaution that you will not regret.

5. Check the voltage of the country. You may need to bring a converter for your electronics.

6. Bring your personal medication + other cold/stomach medication. Enough said.

7. Last but certainly not least, check the weather so you appropriately pack clothing for your destination/activities. You want to enjoy your trip to the fullest, right?

If I am missing any MUST HAVES or MUST DOs, please let me know!

For the Love of Travel

For the Love of Travel

Have you ever asked yourself what is stopping you from doing what you love? 

Do you even know what you love? 

Do you know what you are afraid of? 

I never asked myself these questions until 2010, and now I ask myself these three questions at least once a day. 

I’ll answer them right now for you.

Have you ever asked yourself what is stopping you from doing what you love? 

Initially, my fear of taking risks and feeling like I had to follow a societal norm stopped me from thinking outside the box. After years of asking myself this question, saving money, and quitting my job to do what I believe in, I’m starting to figure it out.   I started to pay attention to what made me happy and what made me a negative person. What made me love life was exploring a variety of cultures; using all my five senses to maximize each experience. I’ve never looked back and I am the happiest I have ever been, even if it requires a roller-coaster of ups and downs.

Do you even know what you love? 

I absolutely love to travel. I love to be creative, and I love having a flexible schedule that allows me to work hard and play hard. Papilla incorporates all these elements, and I’m willing to work hard to inspire other people to travel more and worry less. 

Do you know what you are afraid of? 

I’m afraid of failure. Intellectually I know it’s the best way to grow, but emotionally I don’t want to fail. I have a mini motivational moment every day. I remind myself that I am doing what I love and the decisions I make are my own. The world is truly my/your oyster.

I encourage you to ask yourself these questions; and I would be thrilled to hear your responses.

Do what you love. Life is too short.

Live an Inspired Life

Live an Inspired Life

My love for travel undoubtedly originated from my childhood.  I was lucky enough to be exposed to a variety of cultures at a young age without even realizing it until my 20s. 

When I was 10, I lived in Sri Lanka for two years; they were the most formative years of my life. I will never forget the first feeling I had as the plane door opened in Colombo. The humidity immediately infiltrated the air conditioned airplane. A ’sea’ of palm trees covered any trace of buildings or people. It was a complete change from what I was used to in California. I had never seen or thought tin structures could get prime real estate on the beach. Everything I thought I knew at that age completely changed. I was exposed to a variety of religions, races, and situations of political unrest that called for frequent curfews. My curiosity to learn stemmed from the lifestyle of Sri Lankan people, along with many beautiful landscapes, rich history, and spicy food (each topic will have to be covered in a separate post). 

These treasured memories will say with me forever, and this is why I encourage you to travel more, whether it is 100 miles or 1000 miles away. 

1. You learn to appreciate everything you have with a fresh perspective. 

2. You will discover something new about yourself

3. You have created memories for a lifetime. 

 Our lives tend to be so fast paced. Traveling brings me back to reality and reminds me to stop, reflect, and appreciate.

Bottom line: live an inspired life.