• Mexico,  Travels

    Oaxaca: colour and heart

    Since my trip to Oaxaca City (pronounced wa-ha-ka) last Spring, several friends have planned/are planning trips to this colourful city and have asked for recommendations.  B and I were lucky to meet an American (J) who had been living there for some time on our second night in Oaxaca.  He introduced us to all the best restaurants and hip bars in town.  Most of the places we went to were featured in season 5 of Somebody Feed Phil, which aired a few months after our trip.  It was so fun to watch that episode and see on-screen all the places that we’d been to, including the little street taco vendor…

  • Mexico,  Travels

    CDMX, Te Amo

    “I’m going to Mexico in December, I need to use up my holidays and I need to get some sun!”  That was pretty much the main premise of my trip to Mexico.  I left it super open-ended, booking a one-way ticket to CDMX.  The only things I had booked in advance were my Airbnb for the first 10 days in Mexico City and a one week Español course to refresh my basic Spanish. In total, I spent almost four weeks there over December and January and explored quite a few things.  The vibes and people in Mexico City are so warm and energetic.  So much going on there, one of…

  • Cultural Marketer Podcast Icon

    My first podcast interview: living and working in Singapore

    Recently recorded a podcast with Florence at the Cultural Marketer.  I am a big fan of podcasts and was excited to do one when she asked.  We chatted for over 30 minutes about what life is like working and living in Singapore.  From office culture to food to traveling around Southeast Asia, it was a fun little journey down memory lane of my time there.  Click here or below to listen.

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  • Braised pork belly
    Food,  Recipes

    Melt in Your Mouth Braised Pork Belly

    My Dad is a great chef and never follows a recipe.  So, in putting together these recipes, it’s my best attempt to extract the details from his brain and document them.  #DadsCooking It’s no secret that Chinese people eat a lot of pork and we are no different.  Growing up though, I wasn’t (and still am not) a big meat eater.  I prefer my veggies, I’m a self-confessed carbaholic, and have a big sweet-tooth.  Days go by where I haven’t had any meat at all, and I’m not even consciously aware of it.  My Grandma and Dad would make these dishes of soft, tender, braised pork chunks, and I’d be very…

  • 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…

  • Great Wall
    Asia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Hiking up the original Great Wall of China

      My first visit to the Great Wall was when I was a wee little five year old lass.  My mom, grandma, and I were in Beijing to get our visas/passports to move to Canada.  Evidently, you had to personally go to Beijing to get these things, back then.  My memories of that trip are extremely fuzzy, but I do remember desperately wanting to climb “to the top” of the Great Wall.  Whatever that meant.  And I remember being disappointed, when my mom, wearing incredibly impractical shoes, refused to go with me. Fast forward to 2015 and I was in Beijing again, with my Dad and Mom, for medical reasons…

  • Travels,  Vancouver

    Reo Rafting wilderness retreat

    With the pandemic in its second year, I’ve adjusted my travel focus to more local destinations this year.  Tofino, Victoria, Sunshine Coast, and the Okanagan were all on the agenda.  However, with the crazy heat and fires sweeping across British Columbia, we had to pivot our Okanagan plans to avoid forest fires and smoke. Reo Rafting wilderness retreat to the rescue.  About a three hour drive from Vancouver, I spent the weekend at a beautifully remote wilderness retreat, glamping, rafting, and getting my downward dogs on. As soon as we pulled into the guest services lodge, we noticed the sound of cascading water that was the Nahatlatch river running down…

  • Vancouver

    Visit Vancouver

    Over the past year as I’ve settled back into Vancouver, I’ve found myself saying “I haven’t been there in a decade!” a lot.  And that’s not an exaggeration.  Living abroad for 8+ years with only brief visits back, I’d usually only have time on these short trips back to see close friends, eat at a handful of favourite restaurants, and spend time with family.  That meant that I hadn’t visited many sights, neighbourhoods, areas of Vancouver for a loooong time. I’m writing this post to share my favourite recommendations for Vancouver.  I will admit the list of restaurants and bars is not the most up-to-date or hip, but they are…

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  • Asia,  Bali,  Food,  Travels

    Bali Part 1: Ubud

       Quiet, except for the singing cicadas.  Thick air, the smell of incense heavy and slow in the steaming heat.  Green leafy trays of floral offerings along the pathways.  Orange marigolds, strung around the necks of Ganesha or placed on stone steps.  This is waking up in Ubud. I love this “island of the gods” that is Bali and Ubud is the spiritual heart, located in the middle of the island, amidst the lush green rice fields, far from the pulsing beats of the bars at Seminyak.  This is my third trip here and I can confidently offer some suggestions for you, if you’re planning a trip. Wander the charming…

  • 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. …

  • Bucketlist Collage
    Travel Bucketlist,  Travels

    My Travel Bucket List

      The good ol’ travel bucket list; who doesn’t love to dream and make a list of places they want to visit eventually? I’ve been lucky to have lived in a few different countries and have taken the opportunity to visit many others.  Knowing myself, this list is always going to be a certain length because the more I see, the more I want to see! My current list, in alphabetical order… Argentina – Buenos Aires and the rest of it Belize Bhutan Boston Brazil – and catch Carnival China – a big trip Colombia – all the parts I didn’t see yet eg. Bogota, Ciudad Perdida, Salerno, Cali Czech…

  • Friends

    How to make friends in a new city

         Probably one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when moving to a new city is making new friends and forming new social circles. I moved to Sydney in 2010, and then picked up and moved again in 2014 to Singapore.  The challenge of finding new friends is definitely real but essential for feeling happy and settled in a new place.  Even now, relocated back in Vancouver, I find myself going through this same challenge again.  Making new friends is arguably a lifelong process; here are some strategies I’ve employed over the years… Organised social networks In this day and age, there are many different social networks available with…

  • making wontons
    Food,  Recipes

    Wrapping up 2018 and wrapping up some Shanghainese wontons

    This is my last post for 2018, and as I wrap up the year, I’m going to share a very traditional recipe that also requires some wrapping up.  Today I’m sharing our family recipe for Shanghainese wontons.  It takes a bit of effort, but homemade wontons are much yummier than store-bought frozen ones, definitely worth the time.  We always make extra to put in the freezer for later as well. Leaving aside cantonese wontons for now, there’s usually two types of Shanghainese wontons:  small ones or big ones.  Literally that’s what they’re called in Chinese. Small wontons (小云吞)- usually filled with just meat and maybe some shrimps, these are “wrapped” as…