Traveling with a smartphone

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I’m not a big fan of social media (or anything social), but I do use it often to connect with people I do know (and actually like). Gadgets have always played a big part in my travels, even more so now with smartphones and tablets.

What I really like about traveling with them is that it lets me connect with family and friends, sharing photos as often as the free wifi availability would let me. I have access to my email, and sort out problems on the go. As much as I would love to disconnect while on a holiday, I have come to accept that these gadgets are here to stay.

Just a standard neighborhood scene in Mykonos

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Are you ready for your trip?

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Plane tickets purchased, hotel rooms booked. Guides are contacted, meet ups with friends and locals are scheduled. You feel you’re ready for your great adventure, but are you sure?

Be sure to pack the essentials!

If you have been traveling often, you probably already have a check list of things that you need to do before heading for the airport. However, if it’s the first time you’ll be traveling overseas (or first time after a very long time), it may be too overwhelming and you might end up forgetting to do something vital before you leave.

I have shared my personal check list over at It includes tips on passports and visas, travel insurance, travel advisories, and international roaming. Do check it out, and if you have your own list, share it in the comments!

Tips for festival travel in the Philippines

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January in the Philippines means mild climate (or as mild as the tropics can get), people trying their darndest to hold on to their New Year’s resolutions, and the Sto. Niño festivals.

Many of you are no doubt flying out to Cebu for the Sinulog festival or to Kalibo for the Ati-atihan festival, or to Ilo-ilo for the Dinagyang festival next week. If this is your first time to attend a Philippine festival, here are some handy tips for you:

Muji Canvas Sneakers
For any travel, comfortable footwear is a must!

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2013: The trips I never blogged about

When writing my year end posts, I browse through my photo archive and my blog archive. I noticed that there’s a huge discrepancy between the two: there were plenty of photos, but hardly ever any blog posts.

Cintai Corito’s Garden is made for relaxing

Frankly, I am aghast at my laziness with my blogging, with most of the blog posts I wrote this year were for sponsored products, hotel stays, and advertorials. It seems I am only arsed to blog when I’m obligated to. There was no pressure to write about my personal trips, so I kept putting it off until I find myself not wanting to write about them anymore.
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Chubu Trip Wrap-up

What a trip to cap the year! I have been looking forward to this trip for months, and speculated endlessly about our itinerary. When I received the itinerary, I ended up having to Google every place listed, because I did not know any of them, apart from Nagoya, Takayama, and Shirakawa-go, which was actually perfect, since I’m all too happy to go off the beaten tourist path, specially in Japan.

Dai-o Wasabi Farm at Azumino
A section of the Daio Wasabi Farm where Akira Kurosawa filmed the “Village of the Watermills” segment in his movie “Dreams”

The Chubu region shows plenty of promise, and it’s an amazing place to explore. If you love history, heritage, nature, and small towns and cities, this is the place for you. I liked Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, but it can get too crazy and crowded there, so I take refuge in smaller, quieter places in between.
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