Sunday, May 29, 2016

Foodporn while traveling part 1

Soup dumplings in Guangzhou, China. Jan 2013. I was a guest artist teaching and choreographing at a International school for a week. 

Foodporn can bring about envy and hunger on social media. But I love taking pictures of my food especially when I travel. It reminds me of the amazing meals I've eaten and some really nice memories. I find myself 'at home' within my memories so it is helpful for me to have many pictures that trigger these memories. This is part one! 

Fish and chips in London, UK. July 2013. 
I arrived London a week prior to a summer performing at the fringe festival in Edinburgh. 

Peking Duck in Singapore. Nov 2013. 
My birthday meal request. 

Mussels in Valencia, Spain. July 2014. This was the first time ever for me to eat mussels. This little restaurant was so much fun and authentic. We chucked the shells on the floor! 

Paella in Valencia, Spain. July 2014. We found the restaurant that serves the very first paella. 

Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon, Portugal. July 2014. These were so hyped up but once you had one, you understand why. They are super good! 

Shrimp "burrito" Swedish style in Brännö Island in Gothenburg, Sweden. July 2014. This was the best shrimp salad burrito I have ever eaten! It was such a beautiful Swedish summer day. I spent that day lying on a rock like a mermaid basking in the sun. 

Seafood/fish bouillabaisse in Stockholm, Sweden. July 2014. The meal before an amazing night bar hopping in Stockholm. 

Indian food in Singapore, Sept 2014. I rarely eat Indian food as it doesn't sit too well with me. This was a lovely evening exploring a new neighborhood in the east side of Singapore. 

Herring with condiments in Stockholm, Sweden. Oct 2014. A very Swedish meal of herring and meatballs. 

High tea with mom in Singapore, Oct 2014. 

Jamon croquettes and iced lemon mint tea in Singapore, Jan 2015. Dinner with a fabulous group of women before I left Singapore. 

Chilli crab dinner in Singapore, Jan 2015. This was a big going away party and I invited so many people this evening. I was so happy to see a lot of my friends come out to see me off. 

Danish pastries in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jan 2014. I trekked out in the cold rain to find this bakery. The smells of the fresh bread baking in the oven and the large selection of pastries was truly overwhelming! 

Reindeer in Rovaniemi, Finland. Jan 2015. I was fascinated that Santa Claus and reindeer existed in Northern Finland! So the saying goes: when in as the Romans do! 

Chokladbollar in Stockholm, Sweden. Jan 2015. Fika is a Swedish tradition that everyone should adopt. Taking time out during the day to have a coffee break and something sweet. A short break to refresh, socialize, reflect, and recharge with sugar and caffeine. Chokladbollar is my favorite Fika snack and the Bryggt kaffe (black coffee) is strong in Sweden. Just the way I like it. 

Brunch in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Jan 2015. This was my first brunch with a few new friends the first weekend during orientation week. We were excited to embark on a new hospitality program and career. 

Crepe with ham, cheese, and egg in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Feb 2015. An evening dinner with my new classmates/friends to bond together over a yummy dinner of crepes. I always remember this meal whenever I go to this little restaurant. 

Cheese fondue in Geneva, Switzerland. Feb 2015. I went to visit an acquaintance from Singapore who now lives in Geneva and we went to get cheese fondue. This was my first Swiss Fondue and it was so yummy. I'm not used to eating cheese because I didn't grow up eating cheese as a child. So to have a meal of just cheese is quite the experience! 

Chicken satay lunch at my hospitality school in Switzerland. March 2015. One of the coolest things about attending a hospitality program is the fact that you get to eat international cuisine because the chefs and students that cook the food are international and from many different cultures. 

Ham and cheese open faced sandwich with chinotto soda in Milan, Italy. April 2015. This was a simple afternoon lunch that was enjoyed slowly. I remember I spent the day shopping and got famished so I took my time eating this meal slowly and people watching. I love just taking my time during a meal and people watching. It feels very cerebral and relaxing to do this. 

Wiener schnitzel with potato salad. Coffee and apfel strudel. Innsbruck, Austria. April 2015. This meal during the middle of a ski day was enormous but soooooo good. The Austrians do schnitzel so well because it's so thin and battered just right. 

Peach Danish in Vevey, Switzerland. May 2015. Right after our exams, we had two field trips and one of them was to go to the food museum (sponsored by Nestle). We had a mini cooking class on how to make these flaky pastries. This is the Danish I made :-) 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

5 Favorite Travel sites I visit

Radisson Blu Zurich Airport

Radisson Blu Malmö

When I travel I like to do a little bit of research of places to visit that I may be interested so I'm not overwhelmed. These are 5 of my favorite sites

Yelp <-- Add me on Yelp! :-)
I've been a fairly active Yelp-er for a number of years now (since November 2007) and I use this to review and find places to eat (and other businesses but mostly restaurants and bars have the most reviews). There are some drawbacks to this site though... Not all places have many ratings or active users especially if Yelp just launched in that city. That being said, Yelp is growing globally so there are active users of the site around the globe. 

Pinterest <-- Follow me on Pinterest
Pinterest boards are inspiration boards. Sometimes the pictures and linked blog posts about travel are so captivating that you can't help but click on the picture to find out more. I've been chasing the Northern Lights for a while now and Pinterest was where I first saw beautiful pictures of it. (I've finally managed to see a short fuzzy glimpse of Aurora Borealis briefly once on a trip to Northern Finland) I'm still hoping to catch a clearer view of the dancing green lights later this year. I am also a fan of the packing lists that show up on Pinterest frequently as it always fascinates me what people pack in their bags for a trip. 

Though I admit, I am not as active on the site as I am on the other two above but I do look at this site for more travel tips and things-to-do. You can save each Highlight onto a list and it can be a good inspiration to plan out your trip. That is what I tend to do with this website. The pictures and contributors are regular users of the site and journalists for the magazine as well as travel locals. So it is a good mix of people recommending different things. This site also has a lot of lists that will give you even more ideas on what to do.

This website is very popular amongst travelers. I tend to use this to read up on hotel reviews because this is the most popular site for hotel reviews. I rarely use this to look up for things to do or restaurant reviews because the sites above already give me a more visuals. I prefer a website to have more user pictures and less advertisements so I can make an informed decision. Nevertheless, it is a popular site and there are a lot of reviews.

Instagram <--Follow me 
More visual travel inspiration. I follow quite a number of travel instagram accounts and foodie instagram accounts so my feed is always luring me with wanderlust ;-) I like pictures so a social media channel that is mostly visual really appeals to me. #travel #wanderlust

Some other sites that I use are Internations (I ask members for recommendations on the forum boards for specific locations), SANDEMAN's  (They give free walking tours in cities throughout Europe), Airbnb (If I stay in a location for longer than a week, I tend to prefer renting a studio).
I am also a Star Alliance frequent flyer member,  OneWorld member, AccorHotels member, Marriot rewards, Spg, First Hotels, the travel section of American Express, and CitizenM to book flights and hotels. I think being a member of a number of hotel and airline loyalty programs leads to upgrades, discounts, etc. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

6 of my Favorite Travel Memories

These are some of my favorite travel photos that invoke some fun memories from summer 2013- Jan. 2015

C venues headquarters at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2013. I took my dance production "Habitat" to the festival and we performed everyday for two weeks. It was such an amazing time and many laughs with my dancers in and around Edinburgh. 

After the free Sandeman's walking tour in Barcelona, we were on a quest for churros and a coffee break. With our new friend Sheryl, we wandered through the small winding streets of Barcelona and found a cute cafe to order pastries and coffee. July 2014.

Rocky serene "beach" in the archipelago island of Brännö, just a short ferry ride from Gothenburg. That morning a passenger airplane from Amsterdam was shot down somewhere over Ukraine and on its way to Kuala Lumpur. The flight that was trailing not far from the fated plane was a flight from Copenhagen en route to Singapore. It was a flight I was taking to head back to Singapore a week later. Feeling distraught, I felt I needed the day off to be away from people and surrounded by nature. So I took the ferry out to Brännö Island. I spent that afternoon just meditating and sunbathing. Scandinavia in the summer is gorgeous! July 2014.

Technically not a "travel" photo as I had just returned from my European summer trip. I was invited to a third culture kids picnic at Marina Barrage. I used to love having third culture kids picnics in New York so I went. What an awesome time that was catching up with my friends and watching the beautiful sunset. I had never been to the Marina barrage and it made Singapore look so pretty during sunset. August 2014.

A short fall break trip with my friend to Stockholm. That summer I spent a short whirlwind 24 hours in Stockholm after Gothenburg and it was so awesome that I vowed to return to this beautiful capital city. My friend and I went shopping, ate amazing meals, visited Gamla Stan, Vasa museum, Djurgården, and wandered the streets of central Stockholm and Södermalm. We hung out with my local resident friends and we went to the best places to eat & drink. Oct 2014.

This is what winter looks like above the Arctic circle in Finland. I went to Finland before my postgraduate program started to try and catch the Northern lights. I wasn't very successful at seeing the northern lights. This was the coldest temperature and furthest north I have ever been. -20celsius! My friend had a great idea to visit the "summer cottage" and spend a night there. Sounded like a great idea at the time because we might have been able to catch the Northern lights if it wasn't so cloudy. One of the heaters was broken so the cottage was freezing cold, my friend had trouble starting the fire in the fireplace, but the grilled sausages over the fireplace was nice, so was the sauna, and waking up to a beautiful winter wonderland was truly priceless. Jan 2015.