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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…

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. 

The Importance of Travel + Attire #CultureTrav

The Importance of Travel + Attire #CultureTrav

We wake up every morning, go about our daily morning routine and make decisions about our attire according to our activities and weather for the day. This decision is made whether we realize it or not; perhaps because we are aware of our surroundings, and know how to acclimate to our own culture.

What about when we travel? How do we prepare to dress appropriately for another culture? I have to admit, I did not give attire too much thought when I was in my 20s; I wore clothing that I was comfortable in, not realizing it may not have been appropriate for the cultural setting I was placed in. In retrospect, seeing people look at me a certain way, made me feel out of place, and placed me in a dangerous position since I stood out looking like a ‘foreigner’. 

Attire can make or break a personal experience. Anxiety when packing appropriately for our destination can also negatively impact our experiences.

This is why I’m elated to discuss this topic on the #CultureTrav Twitter chat June 25th at 2:30PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) hosted by @Nicolette_O and @JLipowski

Please join us as we ask all you savvy travelers about your experiences regarding travel and attire. 

A preview of our questions below: 

Q1: How long does it typically take you to pack for your trips? Why? What dictates which clothes to bring? #CultureTrav

Q2: Do you shop for attire you need before departing, or wait to shop from local stores? What do you prefer? #CultureTrav

Q3: Have you ever over or underdressed? Share your experience with us. #CultureTrav

Q4: Is there a particular type of attire you really love or appreciate from another culture? Got a pic? #CultureTrav

Q5: What role does one’s attire play in being safe while traveling and is it specific to only women? #CultureTrav

Q6: Share a photo of traditional clothing or attire from your country or heritage. #CultureTrav

BONUS: If you could wear one thing the rest of your life, what would it be and why? #CultureTrav

Does Culture Matter?

Does Culture Matter?

I am in the beta stages of working on Papilia, a travel app that helps you pack efficiently and culturally appropriate for your destination

Papilia Will Revolutionize the Way you Travel

Papilia Will Revolutionize the Way you Travel

I am more than thrilled to introduce Papilia to business and leisure travelers who revel in the thrill of exploration and adventure as a part of their daily lives.