Category Archives: travel

One week

In less than 7 days, I’ll be on a plane back to beautiful Bali for an indeterminate amount of time. Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I happy? Yes. Am I sad to miss Christmas? Hell yes.

I’m not worried though – Bali charmed me the first time around, I have no doubt that I’ll fall under its spell again…

Oh, and if you have any suggestions on bringing Christmas cheer to paradise, I’m all ears 🙂

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Life Nomadic…

I was glancing through my friend Allen Trottier’s site when I came across a blog that he had posted the link to. The description read: Tynan with a meta tag that included phrases like ‘ignoring common sense’ and ‘want more out of your life’. Naturally I clicked and have been intrigued ever since. Tynan, who was once a professional gambler and (interestingly enough) room-mates w/ the writer of The Game, is all about living life outside of the box and encouraging you to do the same. The blog itself is quite interesting but he also offers a few pdfs for download – one of which is entitled Life Nomadic – How to travel the world for less than you pay in rent. You can choose to pay for the pdf or not – it doesn’t really matter. His mission is for you to simply read the darn thing.

So I downloaded the 157 page long pdf and started to read. I’m only on page 30 but I’ve got to say that a lot of what he has said so far resonantes with me. Maybe because I’m also in the midst of packing up my life but I feel a certain kinship to him and even found myself nodding in agreement to some of his points (dorky, I know). He does have a section on being a minimalist and I’m not sure that I have it in me to be one – those closest to me will attest that I’m a hoarder and a pack rat and come from a family of them. I don’t think I can physically ever give up all of my possessions – not that I have a lot of valuable items, just that I’ve placed a lot of sentimental (undue perhaps) feelings on many things. I just don’t think I could ever get rid of it all!

Anyways, if you want to read along with me, download Life Nomadic here. I’ll let you know what I think when I finish…

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你好 – nihao pt. 3

Check out some pics (thank you image uploader for working finally!)

In front of the entrance to the Forbidden City

Playing the ‘tourist’ in the courtyard of the Temple of the Heavens

Before the great trek at the Great Wall

The Summer Palace
A few of the tasty treats at a food market in Beijing
My cousin and my niece
Of course we had some. In fact, we had some everyday we were in Shanghai – about 5 days worth… yum
The Canada Pavilion @ the Expo. If you show Canadian ID, you get to bypass the crazy lines! Definitely worth it as the line was about 2 hours long.
Similar looking to the rice terraces in Bali… except these are tea trees and we’re in a city outside of Shanghai.
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你好 – nihao pt. 2

It was my first trip to China (excluding my foray to HK a few years back) and I must say that it was pretty incredible. My mom and I flew into Beijing and hit the ground running. Over the next 2 weeks we visited: the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall (Badaling section), Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Xiemen and Quanzhou (to visit my mom’s cousins and aunts), Shanghai, the World Expo, Suzhou, Hanzhou and Wuxi. Phew, it’s exhausting to even type that out!

We did the tour thing in Beijing and Shanghai and I’m not quite sure that I would do it again. In theory, it’s a pretty good idea. Pay about $200 for a hotel for 3 nights, 3 square meals a day and explore a city and its main attractions. You get to meet a bunch of people (some cool, others not so much) and make quick friendships. However, you’re constantly on the move and always on someone else’s schedule. I like to take the time to explore a city on my own – do what I want to whenever I want to and that’s virtually impossible when you join a tour. Plus anyone who knows me knows that I take my sleep quite seriously… and I wasn’t quite happy with the amount that I got during the tours 😛

It was also really nice to spend some time with our relatives. It was too bad that they didn’t speak English or Cantonese and that I didn’t speak Mandarin or any of the other 4 dialects that they all spoke quite fluently… it made for a lot of non-verbal communication – some of which I’m not 100% sure they understood.

Ps: If I had to choose between Beijing or Shanghai, I would definitely choose Shanghai. While Beijing has all of the popular attractions, it was really dirty and old fashioned in its culture (not in a good way). I was expecting a more modern city after the Olympics but that wasn’t the case at all. Shanghai, on the other hand, is a very typical Asian metropolitan city. However, it has a certain charm and vibe that I didn’t find in Jakarta or HK – closest comparison I think would be Tokyo. Lots of glitz and shiny lights but also a lot of Chinese culture mixed with international flair. It has a really unique vibe and pulse that I quite enjoyed. I guess it also helps that my mom and I had a few days to really explore Shanghai on our terms and on our schedule… that probably had a huge factor in the city charming us both.

Also, I’ll upload photos as soon as the image uploader on blogger starts working again..

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你好 – nihao

It’s official…. I can now cross climbing the Great Wall off of my Bucket List!

A more detailed post to come with pictures…

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