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How to Travel With a Full-time Job

April 12, 2017

Got a full-time job and still want to rid your travel bug? I got some tips. I’ve read the blogs where these travelers quit their job to travel full-time, or watched youtube videos of how amazing their life was after they made the decision to leave their 9-5. Props to them for taking a big risk and succeeding!

I have to say, I thought about it too… but I just cannot commit to that. At least for now. I enjoy my career and what I do, but this also funds my travelling adventures, I have the right balance, why would I leave that? My situation does not allow me to travel full-time and heck I don’t even have many days off to do so, but I make it work, you just gotta be flexible!

If you’re just starting out in the adult world, many fulltime positions only give you 2-3 weeks of paid vacation plus a few “personal” days. In my opinion, its not enough, but think about it this way… You are getting paid to go on vacation!

Here’s my secret:

You don’t have to take the 2-3 weeks vacation all at once. Sure, you get more of a “break” but I learned when you’re on vacation, you don’t really get “rest”. So the day after that long flight will still leave you tired either way. Besides, I don’t want to be working for the entire year and yearning for my one “break”. Be smart with your days off and BREAK IT UP. Visit multiple countries! I like to tie in my vacation days around long weekends and maximize my time off. I’m utilizing this coming Easter weekend for a trip to Lisbon. How cool is it to tell your friends you are going to Portugal for the weekend? I only took two vacation days FYI and I have a full 4.5 days in Lisbon! Just don’t get CRAZY and go to Thailand for the weekend, be SMART!

Pro tip:

Try to find a flight that leaves after your work day. For example, I finish work at 5PM this Thursday and my flight leaves at 8:30PM. Totally enough time to get to the airport within 3.5 hours. Just make sure you’re all packed and ready to jet set straight from the office (PS. No one should EVER judge you for that). You arrive the following day bright and early  and voila! You are in another country!

If your company has something like flex hours, or “summer” hours, then utilize that too! Some places let you leave half day on a Friday or a full day off as long as you work those hours throughout the week. This is your key to quick getaways in the summer. Last year, I went to New York City by leaving the office on a Friday at 1pm and tying it in with one of the long weekends. If you want to go for a longer trip but take less days off, then this is the prime time! 10 days in Thailand with only 3 vacation days? Doable but I’ll let you figure that one out 😉

You could easily fit in 3-4 vacations throughout the year. I usually like to do 2-3 small ones and 1 BIG vacation!

You don’t’ have to be drastic and quit your job to travel. All I’m doing is putting a twist to “getting paid to travel”.

Am I wrong?

Lifestyle Travel

Travel Inspiration

April 1, 2017

As I’m planning away with my trip to Lisbon and Vancouver in the next few weeks, trying to fit in another trip between those cities AND starting to figure out where the travel duo will be heading next, I had a random thought – “Woah, I’m actually a traveler now”. Where did I get this travel inspiration from?

Travelling EXCITES me, the thought of finding my next destination gives me the butterflies. If I had the capacity to travel more, I would. No doubt. When I am abroad, I am 59% happier than when I am at my home base. I am free of the responsibilities and commitments temporarily when I am away. It gives me a high.

I tried to remember when this all started… HOW did I become this so called “traveler” but honestly I think I’ve always had it in me. To no surprise, my parents also love to travel, and they brought me along. I’ve grown accustomed to the airports, the packing, the flights, etc. But it wasn’t until my exchange that REALLY did it for me.

2014 was a highlight year for me. I lived abroad in Hong Kong for 9 months as part of my international exchange program in university. If you have the opportunity to do this, I HIGHLY recommend. I had the best time meeting new people from all over the world, fully immersing and discovering a new city. Going into it, I didn’t think to travel on my exchange, it wasn’t at the top of my list. But thankfully that changed. That year alone I went to 5 different countries across Asia.

Each time I pass through immigration, my need to travel and see the world grew. I became obsessed with all things travel.

Loving to travel doesn’t happen overnight, each flight I take made me develop into who I am today (corny, I know).

My Lisbon trip will be another travel milestone for me, I will be going solo, and I am SO SO SO excited for it. Ask me a year ago and I would have told you “you’re crazy”. But here I am anxiously waiting. Nervous? Yeah. But I am so excited to see what this trip brings for me.

Follow my adventures on Instagram or Youtube.

Lifestyle

Wallet Accessories

March 27, 2016
wallet accessories

I am so over the fat wallet (I don’t even have any money in it, just receipts!) Since I like putting my wallet in my back pocket, it really destroys the shape of the wallet! Don’t you just love wallet accessories? I mean there are only two solutions… I either have to lose weight because clearly I’m too heavy for my wallet or I just get a new wallet. So I go get a new wallet…

IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!

You know the saying, “keep it simple stupid”? Well, this applies to everything right now, including my wallet choice. I decided to remove all the unnecessary junk from my old wallet and opt for a slimmer alternative. My TUMI cardholder is just that, a cardholder that includes a pocket for cash, a clear film to easily show your ID or Metropass, and a few slots for your credit cards. DONE.

tumi wallet accessories

tumi wallet accessories

Seriously guys, have you ever wondered how it looks when someone notices a GIANT LOPSIDED BULDGE in one of your back pockets? ITS HIDEOUS, LIKE SOMETHING IS GROWING OUT OF YOUR LEFT BUTTCHEEK! No amount of style can help you there!

Let’s ban the traditional wallets, and “keep it simple, stupid!”

Here are a few slim card cases that I really like:

                         
Ever heard of the 3 taps? Phone in one pocket, keys in your other, and wallet at the back.
Lifestyle Travel

HONG KONG: Part 2

March 25, 2016

Aside from eating, Hong Kong has an abundant amount of activities for any type of person. If you are that city dude or gal, Causeway Bay is a great shopping district. If you are more a nature lover, hit up some beaches, hikes, or parks!

Speaking of hiking… did you know Hong Kong is known for their trails and hikes?

As dense as the city is, Hong Kong has a backyard with tons of natural scenery. My favourite hike was Dragon’s Back! A wonderful hike for beginners with a beautiful scenery. This is where you can get that perfect Instagram picture staring right out to the Pacific Ocean. Oh, and I almost forgot, the hike ends on a BEACH! Nothing better than sitting on the warm sand with a cold beer to relax yourself before heading back into the hustle and bustle!

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If you are not tired yet, hit up the nightlife… It does not even have to be on a weekend because there will srurely be people drinking… one because its a heavy tourist area, and two people love to drink in Hong Kong, it is a great stress reliever after work!.

Where would you go you might ask?

LKF. Enough said. My best nights happen here, I don’t even think they have a last call here! Be ready to be out until the sunrise. LKF or Lan Kwai Fong is a dense block of clubs, bars, restaurants, and 7/11s (CHEAP BOOZE!). A few years back when I did my exchange in Hong Kong, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night (I know…) will always start off at 7/11 (aka club 7/11). For those of you who don’t know, 7/11 is a convenience store that is literally in every block of Asia. You can find almost anything here. But if you want something more quiet and discreet, SOHO is up the corner too. Oh and food after drinking is a must, go to the 24/7 Chui Wah to experience Hong Kong comfort food, or slurp down a hot bowl of Ramen at Ichiran!

Lan Kwai Fong Sign

In a nutshell, Hong Kong is the whole package. Mouthwatering food, beautiful nature and scenery, and an exciting nightlife, I truly will never get bored of this city! The best time to visit is during the fall season, an abundance of sunshine, low humidity (that’s another topic for another day), perfect weather (think 25 degrees!) and cheap flights.

 

photo by:
Lifestyle

Winter Skin Essentials – L’Occitane Shea Butter Collection

February 6, 2016

The Winter season in Toronto this year really isn’t all that bad, well if you compare it to the previous two years of -40 degree weather, frozen trees, and consecutive blackouts across the city, it is indeed pretty mild. I really hope I did not just jinx it. But winter is winter, and during these cold months, my face is CONSTANTLY dry. I have had many failed attempts for my winter skin essentials until I FINALLY came across the L’Occitane Shea Butter Collection.

My remedy is simple, easy, and trust me, IT WORKS! I have tested out plenty of products but this range really does wonders!

L’Occitane’s Shea Face Comforting Oil is perfect for dry skin. I know what you might be thinking… oil? That’s kinda cray cray, but trust me, it absorbs abnormally fast and leaves your skin supple and hydrated. Come touch my face if you think it leaves my face oily. I dare you.

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BUT here’s the thing, this alone really does not do it 100% for me. Which led me to experimenting with L’Occitane’s Ultra Rich Comforting Cream.

25%
I first apply two pumps of the oil on my face and then use the cream on top of it. THAT is my secret to moisturized skin in the winter. This tag team effort does wonders for my skin, and to my surprise, people DO notice and comment on how my skin looks (oh stop it you!).

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I do this at night, because this routine might be a bit too much for me in the morning. Besides our skin absorbs and repairs itself best at night anyway.

In the morning I apply L’Occitane’s Shea Soothing Face Fluid, a light moisturizer perfect for dry patches on your skin. Great for people with sensitive skin as it helps with drying, skin stress, and pollution (yeah, pollution does affect your skin!).

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Protect yourself! Don’t be a dud, look awesome!

Eats Lifestyle

Cold Pressed Juices

January 30, 2016

So I’ve tried a bunch of different cold pressed juiceries in Toronto because I thought that I was going to look cool holding that bottle in my hand while walking down Bay Street. I probably fooled myself in thinking that until I remembered I paid $10 for ONE BOTTLE. It’s okay, I didn’t really need to eat that week anyway! (isn’t that the point of a juice cleanse?)

Juice Cleanses weren’t a thing until the peeps in LA decided it was, so of course Toronto proceeds to open up a bunch of different Juiceries in downtown EVERYWHERE. My favourite is the Daily Press Juicery.

These are not just regular juices you can find in the grocery store, these are cold-pressed with a Hydraulic Press Juicer which means its super healthy… Or so they say, but I don’t doubt them… Shhh! Don’t make me regret my purchase.

Although each type of juice has their own benefits like weight loss, immune system booster, I didn’t pick base on their benefits, I pick based on how good they look 🙂 Me being me, the first one that I grabbed was the black one rightfully named Maleficent. Oooooo Spooky~ I also tried the Pink Mylk and Sunset Blvd. They are available in two different sizes.

All the juices taste great, the Maleficent had activated charcoal, lemon, agave nectar, and alkaline water (yumm… charcoal always taste great right?), meanwhile Pink Mylk is more of a thicker consistency with nuts and fruits so you can feel full. Sunset Blvd is perfect because of the name… and because it has a little bit of spice in it from the ginger. I feel healthier sipping on ma drink so I’m happy!

(photos courtesy of their facebook page)

Don’t have time to pick up your juices in store? FOODORA will deliver this straight to you!

Check out their instagram page! Juicery accounts always have the best pictures!
http://www.dailypressjuicery.ca/
200 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON

Lifestyle

L’Occitane x Pierre Herme: Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe

December 6, 2015

So I’m not usually a perfume or cologne kinda guy, and I’m also not that experienced with this stuff. Did you know that the difference between Eau de parfum, toilette, and cologne is simply the concentration of essential oils in the fragrance? Intensity goes from parfum (the highest concentration) to cologne (the lowest concentration). Cool huh?

This holiday, French international retailer L’Occitane en Provence partnered up with renowned pastry chef, the Picasso of Pastry, Pierre Hermé (the guy that basically created Laudurée for you macaron lovers) to create three limited edition fragrances; the feminine Jasmin-Immortelle-Néroli, the spicy Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe and the tangy Miel-Mandarine. These scents are concocted by Pierre’s infamous unexpected inspirations.

My favourite? Absolutely the Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe collection. Now to be honest, I am NOT a lover of citrus scents, it is boring and uninspiring, so I was not excited for this AT ALL. However, after a few encounters with this range, I started becoming more and more addicted to this grapefruit scent.

I think the main reason for it is because it is not like the other citrusy scents. This one has layers; upon first contact, there is a refreshing grapefruit scent, and as the fragrance absorbs into the skin, there is a certain spice to it. This is due to the nutmeg, cloves, and rhubarb along with the cedar notes that transform this tantalizing scent into a woodsier one!

It is absolutely delicious and definitely a fragrance to be enjoyed by both men and women!

The eau de toilette ($65) is my favourite in the entire collection, there are so many layers to it and I just love having this scent on me first thing in the morning!

But here’s the thing, it does not seem to last the entire day… and that kinda sucks :(. However I do get compliments (that’s the next thing, no one ever compliments me on my fragrance choices) throughout the day so I guess it is because I am used to the scent on me that I don’t smell it anymore.

But if you guys want the scent to last longer, the secret to that is to moisturize. Moisturizing the skin helps the fragrance stick to your skin. Essential oils do not like sticking to dry skin, so always remember to moisturize! L’Occitane got you covered with their shower gel ($22) and body lotion ($32)! Perfect for a morning shower, as this zesty scent will definitely wake you up!

If you just cannot get enough, there is also the hand cream ($12), enriched with Shea butter harvested sustainably from Burkina Faso. Unlike L’Occitane’s original Shea Butter hand cream, this grapefruit one is more gel-like in texture which has some sort of cooling effect.

Sadly, this is just a limited edition for the holidays, I REALLY REALLY hope L’Occitane can make this scent permanent! This collection is also selling like hotcakes since it is already out of stock online! Head to your nearest boutique and snag that PAMPLE, cause once it’s gone, it’s GONE!

Website
Instagram

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As much as I am raving about this product, no it is not a sponsored post.

Eats Lifestyle

The Perfect Picnic

October 11, 2015

On a beautiful Sunday, I felt the sudden urge to have a picnic in the middle of High Park. It was sunny and the weather was crisp. Since Fall in Toronto realistically only lasts one week before all hell (winter) breaks loose, we had to optimize this perfect weather.

Normally, people prepare for picnics in advance, but since we always play by last minute, we went to our closest dollar store and picked up some snacks, chips, and juice. But we did have some real food to satisfy our constant hunger; wings, and ribs… at a picnic… I know.

But you know what makes a picnic fun? Bluetooth speakers.. YESSSSSS #distractallthepigeons, along with some champagne and this somehow turned into a very VERY fun picnic!

Just remember guys… alcohol and music always make every setting optimal.

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Lifestyle

Essentials for the First Year College Student

August 30, 2015

Its back to school season and OH GOD, I TOTALLY FORGOT I’M NOT IN SCHOOL ANYMORE! SAVE ME. *ahem* that’ll take some getting used to… But for everyone else out there that is heading towards their first year into university and moving into dorms, here are a few essentials that JUST might make the next eight months tolerable!

  1. Toilet Paper

Some of you might just let this important essential slip your mind especially when you have other things to worry about! But you will now remember because I mentioned it. You are welcome, unless you have communal showers… but ew.

  1. Speakers

For those nights when you just want to blast some music and sing along without knowing all the lyrics. OR when you want to look cool and invite a few (or maybe a dozen… PARTY) friends over. I really like BOSE’s SoundLink Bluetooth speaker.

  1. Hoodies & Sweatpants

The real advantage of living on campus is the fact that you can roll out of bed 5 minutes before class and STILL be earlier than some that woke up at 5:30 this morning for their 8am class. It’s a blessing, so why not flaunt it by letting people know you don’t give a damn about how you look. Go support your local university and buy their overpriced sweaters on top of the 15 grand you just dropped for school. #nobig

  1. International Student Identity Card

Forget Fake IDs, this student card is internationally recognized and can give you some major perks and discounts. Speaking of discounts, make sure you familiarize yourself with all the benefits of being a student, always ask if stores have student discounts because they usually do! H&M constantly has 15% off for students, and that right there, is the secret to success.

I think I just compiled a very weird list of “essentials”, I did not want to list the typical ones like pencils, paper, laptop blah blah blah, those are a duh, so this is what I came up with instead! But in all honesty, bring an open mind, the next four years of your life will be incredible!

Good Luck!

Clothing Lifestyle

HOW TO: Get through A Heat Wave

July 30, 2015

Summer decided to finally show itself after a month and a half of teasing us with somewhat hot weather and blue skies, but this week mother nature really cranked up the heat… and the humidity, my worst enemy.

I always tell my friends not to complain about the heat, because in a few short weeks, winter will be making its way back to town and let’s just say… I am not looking forward to that day.

Humidity > Wind Chill am I right or am I right?

In difficult times like this, make sure you wear shorts, tees, and tank tops, wear everything that exposes as much skin as possible, and oh… if you like to go against the status quo and still would like to wear black when its 30 degrees outside, wear something that is thin at least!

For example: I’m wearing a thin drop tail tee from Cotton On and slim white shorts from a boutique store in South Korea!

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Annnnnnd make sure to always have a bottle of liquid ready, now I like my water, but it does get boring… so I tend to change things up by getting myself a bottle of cold-pressed juice from Smash Juice Bar! I love it there, it is delicious, and healthy PLUS their glass bottles make good water bottles after consumption! 😀

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Make sure to check out their storefront at 36 Toronto St.
Website // Instagram

Or just be like my friend and grab a mimosa to refresh yourself! Cheers!

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