• Medellin cactus house street photo
    Colombia,  Travels

    Las Paisas | The Paisas

      The people of the province of Antioquia (where Medellin is) are known as Paisas.  Two weeks into my stay here and I have come to experience first hand their warmth and friendliness, time and time again. It started from the day I arrived, super early in the morning.  Ill prepared and thinking my two weeks of Spanish courses in Costa Rica would get me through, I landed at the airport and left the building without bothering to look for a SIM provider.  I had the address to my Airbnb and figured the cab driver would be able to find it.  Not the case. Instead, I got dropped close to…

  • Guatape
    Colombia,  Travels

    Un dia en Guatape | One day in Guatape

      Guatape, an adorable pueblo 2 hours east of Medellin, is the perfect day trip from the city of eternal spring. I managed to recruit some fellow students at the Spanish school to go with me.  We arranged to meet at La Floresta metro station at 8am on Saturday.  Here’s a quick guide if you want to go without a tour: Take the metro to Caribe station.  There is a massive bus station right next to Caribe metro station.  You can get bus tickets to many different places from there.  Ticket counter 9 and 14 sell the bus tickets for Guatape.  ***Tip: if you are in a group, you can…

  • Hola
    Colombia,  Travels

    Aprendiendo Español | Learning Spanish

    “Why do you want to learn Spanish?”, I’ve been asked.  Me gusta, is the short answer.  I like it.  And because Spanish is a widely spoken language, it’ll make my travels through any Spanish speaking country much easier.  It’s supposedly an “easy” language to learn, and I want the challenge of actively learning a new language.  Though I speak fluent English and conversational Chinese, I acquired both these through osmosis, rather than through an form of active studying.  French, Italian, Japanese have all been attempted in the past, but nothing stuck. My goal is to be able to have basic conversations with others.  During the process of learning Spanish, I’ve…

  • Comuna 13
    Colombia,  Travels

    Observaciones de Medellin

    In Medellin for a week now and loving the vibe of this energetic city.  My observations so far are that it’s young, fun, and changing really quickly. I first heard about Medellin maybe 6-7 years ago when some friends of friends had come back from extended stays there.  “Colombia?  Is it safe?”, I had asked.  Fast forward to 2018 and Colombia is a poster child for transformation.  The drugs and violence of the past have diminished drastically and the locals are positive and proud of where they are today. Getting Around The Metro system of Medellin is the hallmark of this attitude.  Constructed ~30 years ago, this is the only…

  • Medellin street art
    Colombia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Let me guess, you’re a digital nomad?

    No?  Then you must be an English teacher. So it seems these are the careers du jour of the extranejeros (foreigners) I’ve met so far in Medellin. In my clase de Espanol, amongst our small group of 5, there are three English teachers.  B & J are an English couple, teaching English to Chinese kids, via the web.  They have classes usually from 5am – 8am, to coincide with timezones in China.  Then, there is B, an older senora from North Carolina, who’s also teaching English online, but to adults all over the world. English teaching via the web is a phenomenon that’s exploded.  I first heard about it in…

  • Waterfalls
    Costa Rica,  Travels

    Exploring the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

    Finally getting my butt out of Jaco, I spent my last weekend in Costa Rica exploring Marque Manuel Antonio and doing a hike to a waterfall not too far from Jaco. Together with two other students, we had originally planned to take the bus from Jaco centre to Quepos, then take another bus or a cab to Manuel Antonio.  At the very last minute, Colin, a Texan with a big personality, decided to rent a car since he had to drive to the airport early the next morning anyway.  Perfecto, this gives us much more flexibility. The drive was 1.5 hours to Manuel Antonio from Jaco and a few tips…

  • Jaco
    Costa Rica,  Travels

    Spanish, Surf, and un poquito Sun!

    Wrapped up my two weeks of learning at the Escuela del Mundo today.  It’s been fantastic, and I’m a little bit sad to leave this little oasis in Jaco. This past week, I switched my photography class to surfing.  The school’s main focus is really on surfing.  The teachers are chill but professional and they really make sure to teach you at your level.  On Monday, my first surf class here, I was with C & K, a German couple, and J, another German.  The four of us were with Estanban, one of the instuctors.  It was a rough day at sea, with light rain coming down and fast choppy…

  • Surfers
    Costa Rica,  Travels

    Primero semana en Jaco (First week in Jaco)

      Hola muchachos! It’s Friday and I’ve just completed my first week of school at Escuela del Mundo in Jaco.  A few stories to share, to help paint a picture of what life at the school here is like. First class on Monday, I meet Lyda, mi professor de Español, and my fellow beginner class classmate, H.  H is German, just finished high school and on a gap year…as the Germans tend to do.  Oh to be so young again! We start slow and the pace is generally kept slow or slower, for the rest of the week.  I can’t say I’ve learned that much Spanish so far, but the…

  • Costa Rica,  Travels

    Packing for Costa Rica

    I’m going to be gone for at least a month, maybe more, so my backpack is stuffed pretty full of clothes and toiletries.  Here’s what’s in my carry on and in my backpack.  Amazing I managed to get it all to fit into the 50 litre backpack!  This is an old Macpac Pegasus I bought in 2012 when I did my ‘Round the World trip.  It originally came with a little 15L daypack attachment, which I’ve since left behind in Singapore as it was getting way too dirty and worn out.  That little gem had been with me through a lot and it was time to let it get some…

  • Cooking classes
    Asia,  Food,  Travels

    Cooking classes abroad

    I LOVE taking cooking classes whilst I’m travelling abroad.  To-date, I’ve tried cooking classes in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bali, and Vietnam.  So much fun, and if you’re a foodie like me, it’s fascinating to see how some of your favourite exotic foods are made.  Next time you’re on vacation, try one out. For inspiration, here are some info and links to the ones that I’ve done in the past. Vietnam: I did the Hoi An Eco Cooking class (in you guessed it, Hoi An).  It’s a super cute family run course and the bonus is you get to ride a little round bamboo boat to the facility where the…