• Chinatown
    Singapore,  Travels

    Returning “home” to Singapore

      This week, I’m returning to my former “home”, Singapore.  It’s been over 7 months since I left Singapore and I had been missing it so much.  Returning after only 7 months is nice because things haven’t changed so much here yet that I feel like I’ve lost touch.  Most of the friends I had are still here, and I’ve even been able to crash at my old flat, so I’m truly feeling like I’ve returned home. When I am in Vancouver, Singapore seems like a dream, so long ago, but back in the stifling steamy heat of Singapore, I feel like I’ve never left! But Singapore doesn’t slow down. …

  • Santa Marta waterfront
    Colombia,  Travels

    Santa Marta | Gateway to adventures in Northeast Colombia

    I took the bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta, planning to use it as a base to discover what the North East corner of Colombia had in store. The town of Santa Marta itself is tiny, with a few hostels and restaurants catering to passing tourists.  Hot & sunbaked, I wandered around with my camera, capturing a few sleepy moments of the golden hour.                                     From Santa Marta, there are a number of interesting places on the backpacking trail including: Tayrona National Park, Minka, Palomino, Ciudad Perdita, and Aracataca (only of interest to…

  • Ajiaco
    Colombia,  Food,  Travels

    Las comidas de Colombia | Food of Colombia

    For me, one of the best parts of travel is to taste the different foods of another culture.  Colombia has not disappointed so far, and though I am not a fan of ALL the food here, I love observing and trying. Colombia is not the land of healthy green juices and salads (at least not yet, but it’s coming fast I’m sure).  Tis the land of fried empanadas, platanos, french fries, fried chicken, fried dough balls, and more.  If you like greasy fried food, you’ll be in heaven. Some classic Colombian food… Empanadas – corn flour “dumplings” filled with beans, cheese, and meat.  Relatively easy to make!  We made these…

  • Sunset views by Santa Marta airport
    Colombia,  Travels

    Aeropuerto El Dorado | El Dorado Airport

    Bogota’s El Dorado airport has been a pleasant surprise.  Big, modern, with decent amenities, I am impressed.  I even had a chance to chill at the El Dorado lounge, thanks to my Priority Pass access and was blown away.  Nicer than many Airline VIP lounges, I got a chance to snack, eat, drink, and use the WIFI at this expansive and opulently decorated lounge.  Inside the lounge, there are plenty of seating areas, reclining chairs perfect for sleeping, showers, a beauty salon (no joke!), and a full on bar. Within the international wing of the airport, there is an Avianca Lounge, an Avianca and Star Alliance Diamond lounge, and a…

  • Cartagena
    Colombia,  Travels

    Cartagena de Indias: amor a primera vista | love at first sight

    I fell in love as soon as my taxi conducir drove through the narrow, balcony-shaded laneways of Cartagena’s old walled town.  Charming, beautiful, cute, photogenic, insta-worthy?  Si Si Si!  Like a slightly bigger and busier version of Galle, a cleaner and shinier version of Zanzibar, this old Caribbean city is a photographer’s dream and oozing with beauty and charm. Back in the 1500s, Cartagena was an important port for the Spanish Empire for exporting riches from South America back to Europe.  Like Zanzibar, it was also a trading post for slaves from Africa.  Today, Cartagena is a popular vacation destination for Colombians and international visitors alike.  The streets in the…

  • Sydney Harbour
    Sydney,  Travels

    Sydney walks

    One of the most beautiful cities in the world, thanks to it’s vast and splendid harbour, Sydney has so many gorgeous walks for visitors to enjoy.  While living in Sydney, I never owned a car so unfortunately didn’t explore some of the more harder to get to walks; I did manage to get to most of the ones relatively close to the CBD.  Sharing my favourites with you now. *** The showstopper – the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.  No visit to Sydney is complete without doing this walk.  I try to do this every time I visit and it never gets old.  On a good day, you might even…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…