I may of healed my former love of Vampires on Jeju Island, but I'm still a fan of pirates. ;)
I did not see this concept coming from A.C.E. Halloween concepts or regular Kpop trial and errors?
Hold onto your Calypso candy corns! You never know what's coming??
A lot of people get creative in their dress ups though! :-o
If you're a natural curly cue like myself, you know the off and on breaks that you need to give your hair from your flat iron and vice versa! It's an intuitive and stylish decision most days. Some days you just want your other hair personality to shine a little. Curly girls definitely have two personalities. ;)
I've yet to communicate with a Poodle or Bichon Frise to see if they feel the same as well. hehe
I have tested my curly hair in both Korea and Japan and the results were interesting. I'm speaking mainly about Millennial reactions. Millennials in America are always "oooo you should wear your curly hair more often, blah, blah". Touchy touchy. haha Please avoid touching a woman's curly hair without asking. :)
Korean Millennials are a bit self conscious. My curls brought about a reaction to check their own hair to make sure that they didn't have any curly cues saying "hi" on their straight hair heads. lol You'll find A LOT of Korean Millennials fixing their hair in elevator mirrors or anything shiny though. Wearing full on makeup and styled hair when it's raining or humid as hell outside is a norm for some as well. The chill Korean Millennials just throw on a baseball hat and call it a day. You'll see your share of those Millennials as well.
Japanese Millennials just don't seem to care what your curly hair looks like. Japanese Millennials just seem to be "eh" about a lot of things. Maybe they are used to Naomi Osaka's Blasian curly hair aka the future! ;) Maybe they are just reserved/introverted in their expressions. Maybe they have seen every type of hairstyle from the creativity and subcultures that roam throughout the cities and entertainment business of Japan. Who knows?
It's all good though curly cues. Do you boo. :)
A leisurely morning errand walk to the supermarket in Japan consisted of walking over a bridge with clean water, past bicyclists, past walking tourists, past shopkeepers sweeping around their entrances, past some city workers, and past some office workers. Although it felt peaceful like a Disney movie, I kept thinking "Why aren't all cities like this?" You forget that you are in a foreign city and just realize that you're in a Great city. Japan and many other countries have that realization affect on many people!
The supermarkets in Asia are a great morning experience. They are pretty empty when they first open. You see a few elderly women and Millennial tourists here and there. It all depends on the location. The veggies and fruits are all fresh and wrapped up in plastic. It's interesting to note the veggies that are on display. It's not overwhelming. It's just a display of "Hey eat this for health" type of display. You don't have to look for signs that say organic. Even if they were there, I didn't notice because I'm not fluent in Japanese. You can't help but want to pick up the carrots that are all wrapped up for some Vit A and/or some oranges (very fresh organic taste), etc.
Although you may run into a little language barrier as you seek out some Grapeseed Oil, the store assistants come together to help you out. Holding up a packet of fresh grapes with the olive oil helped a bit. lol Who knew they would have a large Costco Kirkland product in the supermarket in Japan? The three of us had a little giggle over me going for that one over the small one. I'mma be here for awhile. lol
In Korea it's quite normal to see large items like fruits, etc in bulk. I feel it's due to the family oriented society and/or households. Japan is more single or couple friendly in their packaging. It's good for the daily shopper or the shopper who shops every 4 days. Carts and shopping baskets are small for that reason...unless a Japanese family lives in the burbs and shops at the Costcos in Japan.
Checkout is also very simple as they slide everything down for you to take along in your reusable shopping bag (recommend for every country). Koreans have boxes that you can tape up for your bulk purchases. It can be more of a self bag and/or self checkout situation vs. convenience stores. That's another difference that you'll notice between the two shopping experiences (supermarket vs convenience store). It's all good though.
You can head to the drugstore that's often next door or close by to get all your errands covered in a short amount of time. Now that's where you may feel overwhelmed...sooo many beauty products. lol I just stocked up on more "The Collagen" drinks to finish out the month's experiment by Halloween.
Baekhyun shared his cute vlog in Dubai recently...another Bucket List location! I've never related more to his beginner level vlogging and honesty in it aka long flight body pains, ooing and awwing at accommodations, complaining about the weather, night views, talking more about the food, battery technology drains, etc. His personality managed to keep it cute vs. annoying. That's another talent. lol Sharing is caring though. You don't have to be perfect with it. ;)
Even with Lingmo's One 2 One Translator Earpiece (comes with two earpieces), a new Japanese digital camera (had to figure out how to change the language to English), and other basic work tech, it's still a lot to keep up with when you want to share more than just words.
Here's a cute little preview of what Dubai has to offer for those who like a little fancy fancy every now and then!
After eating food in Japan, I had to restart my Asian food favorites post all over! Oh the nom noms!
I'll have to keep this list updated as I continue my travels. Hopefully this list saves you some time during your own Asian travels in the future...
I found that the best food in Korea came from restaurants and/or was delivered to my hotel room via room service. Korean food is best served hot...literally! The spices really do give Korean food flavor!
My favorite Home Cooked Meals were...
* Soybean Paste Stew with marinated beef or pollack added
* Grilled Marinated Beef with onions and white rice
* Korean Fried Chicken (regular and spicy)
* Pork Cutlet (without the sauce) and white rice
My favorite Convenience Store Foods were...
* Jeju Tangerine Juice and the Teas mentioned HERE
* Breakfast Milk Toast
* Egg Whites (Hard boiled cartons or regular raw egg cartons) - Asian countries don't mess around with pesticides and hormone chickens like America.
* Shrimp Crackers
* Frozen Korean Fried Chicken
* Gimbap (Korean Sushi with beef, kimchi, tuna, crab, spinach, carrots, etc) - * Take the seaweed off if you're sensitive to iodine or getting it from your multivitamin
* Chocolate Cake Swiss Roll
* Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream
You can be a happy camper with Japanese Conbini (Convenience Store) Food. The food and stores are fresh and clean. You can check out some products at the popular Japanese 7-11 https://www.sej.co.jp/products/
You can venture out to a Japanese restaurant if you want though.
I actually prefer Japanese Convenience Store Food over Korea's Convenience Store Food because you can still get Kimchi Fried Rice, Shrimp Crackers, etc if you miss them.
Korea is once again best for Home Cooked Meals, Korean Fried Chicken, and all those little side dishes! :)
My favorite Convenience Store Foods so far are...
* Lipton Lemon Tea (Hot and Cold) and Drinks mentioned HERE
* Ramen - If I'm in the mood for ramen, Japan has some tasty ones!
* Hot Bar Corn Dog
* Hot Bar Pizza Bun
* Caesar Salad Bowl - You can also pick up a lettuce serving bag to make your own salad.
* Marinated Salad Fish & Chicken - Add to a cooked rice 5pk for an easy meal!
* Fish Sandwich with Tartar Sauce
* Pancake Muffins & Pancakes - This is just Japanese genius! It's a fluffy pancake muffin with maple syrup in the middle! My accommodation allowed guests to have 3 for free. Japanese convenience stores have a flat pancake version with butter and maple syrup in the middle! Both are tasty!
* Frozen Beef Fried Rice - Delicious!
* Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Waffle Cone - There is chocolate syrup swirled into the ice cream with a chocolate lining inside the waffle cone. Wha Whaaat! Delicious!
* Kagome brand Smoothies - 16 veggies and 5 fruits + fiber - If you don't want to head to the supermarket for fresh fruits and veggies, here's your alternative!
To Be Continued....
I purchased my first blanket scarf in Japan for Fall and Winter. The jokes kept flowing into my head though when I tried to figure out all of its uses. It's pretty darn genius though for travelers! Here's why!....
* Blanket - This is an obvious use for a blanket scarf. It's great for extra bedding at your accommodations, sitting in planes, chillaxing in trains, etc. I personally purchased the color red because of the association with Fall, energy, warmth, fire, and the live life to the fullest Root Chakra! Red is also eye catching. It gives any piece of clothing a pop of color during the seasonal weather changes! :)
* Shawl - Blanket scarves can act as another piece of clothing for layering up. It's easy to take off if you get too warm.
* Dress or Skirt - You can always tie a blanket scarf with a light belt for a new outfit. Throw on some black tights or leggings for added comfort.
* Scarf - This is also obvious. The throat has sensitive skin. It should be protected at all costs when out and about during cooler temps! Wrap that blanket scarf around you and enjoy the complimentary neck cuddles. haha A little honey and lemon tea can do the rest. :)
I definitely had a past life in Japan! I'm writing this from Japan and thinking..."Dang why is everything so "perfect"? Of course this is only the second city I've visited in Japan. I do have my favorite cities of course. I encourage everyone to visit all the cities to see which one fits you best. You can usually tell right off the bat if a city is your vibe though. I'm going to try and get to as many Japanese cities as I can while in Asia though. The handy bullet trains are a great way to see them all, esp in Fall when the leaves are turning and the temperatures are cooling. I'll do my best to get some new camera tech to share the Fall beauty on my blog. :)
P.S. Don't be a spongebob mocking meme if you don't agree with something that I write on my blog. This is my blog, my experiences, and my sharing is caring posts. Don't be an ass if you don't agree or believe something that I share. Be respectful is all I'm saying. :)
* Polite - Japanese people are really polite. Sure there are some stories of ignorance here and there, but I do feel that all ignorance can be cured with a little patience and education. I've found the Japanese to have a great sense of humor so far. I've laughed with taxi drivers and store workers thus far. I also received a free Japanese Fan as a gift at an accommodation. I'm not used to the bowing yet though.
* Jobs are Done Right - A store worker cracked me up when I was helping her bag some items. She gave me that testy "mom look" like "Girl if you don't let me do my 1 job". hahaha The Japanese pride themselves in their work. It doesn't matter what work it is...cleaning bullet trains or making sure your items are perfectly taped and in the right bags with similar items. In America, people often just want to get the job done as fast and easily as possible. They don't care if you bag your own items or self checkout. haha The "You had one job" statement joke doesn't apply to the Japanese. They get their 1 job done right the first time! Meticulous!
* Clean & Organized - I'm a bit of a Germaphobe so I feel at home in Japan. I've been amazed twice at the cleanliness of their accommodations so far. I'm sure they aren't all perfect, but so far I've seen clean streets, clean accommodations, slippers in plastic, signs that remind people how to treat spaces, recycling containers, and organized store items.
* Accommodating - Many Japanese accommodations go beyond any other country in providing you with everything that you can imagine. Their toiletry kits come with everything! It doesn't matter if it's a budget hostel or a luxury accommodation! Most American plugs work with Japanese sockets as well.
* Quiet & Privacy - I've always liked that the Japanese are a bit introverted. Many people are a little extroverted and introverted. Privacy is appreciated when you're tired and just want to relax in a city. Quiet streets, quiet visitors, and quiet locals are all appreciated in Japan. You will get a good nights sleep in most places! I've yet to hear one car honk at a driver yet! Patience is a virtue! The quiet can get to some visitors though after awhile. I personally like it though. You can always have a good laugh with store owners and taxi drivers if you need it. You can also hit up a Meetup.com group if you need some chatty time.
* Safe - I haven't felt unsafe in Japan's cities. I often stay where the foreigners and locals have a good balance. It's great for having a bit of your comfort zone and being around locals. You'll have locals that know enough english around you to assist if necessary. Walking at night is also pretty safe if you need to make a convenience store run.
* Easy Basic Language - The words for Hello and Thank you can go a long way in any language! Japanese is pretty easy in that regard. It will come easy for anyone!
* Ninja Warriors - I don't mean to get all hehehe girly about Japanese men, but I did see a group of some "ninja warriors" jogging around in one Japanese city. I don't know if they were part of a sport's team or what. They were cute though...mmmmkay. ;) There are also Japanese experiences in pretty much every city that allows you to learn about their martial arts.
* Nature - Parks, Japanese gardens, etc, etc
* Cats - Cat Cafes, Park Cats, Cat Islands, etc. One woman did a survey with me at one Japanese city and gave me a little white cat gift for participating. I'm starting to think that the Japanese just carry around little gifts to give to people for their time and/or accommodation stays?? One foreigner mentioned the same when they assisted a Japanese couple out. They got a little bag of candies. Maybe this is part of Japanese culture to have little goodie bags with them as an Arigato thank you.
* Creativity - Even the graffiti that I've seen (was a great thing to see actually) in one city was nice. Cities in the South are a bit more laid back than cities in the North. However, you will find creativity in fashion to art in every city. Museums are everywhere as well! Japanese architecture is art in itself. It's around every corner mixed in with convenience stores, apartments, parks, etc.
* Bike and Walking Friendly - I don't ride bikes that much. I don't mind walking though. I haven't seen a lot of hills so far. The walking is pretty easy to do. You will see bikers everywhere though. There's something calming and relaxing about cities where people just bike everywhere, esp when they have high speed transportation. It's cute.
Travel clothes shopping can be an intuitive experience when you base it on needs vs. wants...ok maybe a few wants. :) I'm no fashionista. I do have a few tips to share though....
* Gift Cards - Gift cards can be handy if you need to do some last minute travel shopping. Shopping at your destinations can be great if you're looking for something unique.
* Sales - I LOVE Forever 21 and I'm sad to see it go. :( It was the short girl's ideal store for cute clothes. However...it's a blessing in disguise due to all the sales that are going on as it closes its stores. The fact that I'll be in Japan for the sales is great timing! Stock up on Off Season clothes and In Season clothes! Their best clothes are in the stores anyway. ;) Focus on happy colors to stay chipper all year long. :)
* Personal Shopper - If you're up early, head to the stores when they first open! Ask the manager to help you with your clothing selections. Put together some outfits online and print them off. I did this once at Forever 21 in the U.S. The manager gathered several associates together to be my personal shoppers. Clothes were picked from the multiple outfit photos that I gave her. They were all placed on a hanging rack for me. The dressing room gals got me new sizes as I needed them. I felt like a celebrity! This is something that anyone can do though, esp when major sales are going on!
* Delivery/Personal Assistants - This is great for those who don't want to leave their accommodations. Delivery grocery apps and Errand runner apps can bring you clothes from stores like Costco, etc if you make the requests. Tunics to leggings can be delivered within a few hours!
* Convenience Stores - Convenience stores in Asia carry everything from t-shirts to tank tops to leggings to pantyhose to undies to socks to slippers to dress shirts to long sleeve shirts to whatever else you can find! You can easily enjoy a Summer to Fall Island trip on basic convenience store add ons!
Happy Shopping! :)
Intuitive healers naturally have X-ray vision when they tune into the body. My spirit guide lovingly highlights a person's organs, muscles, and chakras that need attention. It's a gift that I open up to only when necessary. Otherwise I would be an OCD mess when traveling. :/
As I was contemplating how to destroy every mosquito that tries to bite me after it rains, I started looking into Asian mosquito repellent products, zappers, etc. This lead me down a mental rabbit hole of other products to purchase as a health conscious traveler. Let's not pretend that germs and diseases don't exist!
Minimalism really helps out though. Minimalism also applies to what and who I touch. I keep my hands to myself in other words...atleast until I get to know somebody. Smiling goes a long way as a formal greeting though for all travelers and strangers. :)
Here's some helpful checklist items to carry and/or purchase when you travel anywhere in the World...
* Tea tree oil - I LOVE tea tree oil. It's all that you need to treat germs, insect bites, plagues, etc. You can still fill up an empty bottle with water and use it. It will just be super diluted. It's the #1 item to pack!
* Antibacterial wet wipes - These are great for wiping down airplane trays, hardshell suitcases, purses, wallets, hotel remote controls, bathrooms that aren't wet bath types, your hands, etc, etc. You can also add on tea tree oil for an extra antibacterial kick.
* Surgical Face Mask - You don't need to feel shy about wearing one on a plane. You will thank yourself when you start doing so! I've found myself smiling behind my sleeping mask and surgical masks as plane passengers start coughing and sniffing. :/ You'll also influence passengers on your row to take a little health conscious nap. ;) A little lavender spray in the air and as a perfume is an extra trick, esp for flights over 2 hrs. hehe
* Hard shell spinner carry-on suitcase - I bought mine from Costco (Delsey brand). It has been great! It's easy to wipe down inside and out, pack groceries in, and take onto planes.
* Satin Pillow Case and Satin Top Sheet - Packing and/or purchasing your own sheets is a no brainer if you've seen any black light hotel news special in America. Satin pillow cases are great for protecting your hair. Satin top sheets are nice to sleep on, esp during colder nights. Both are easy to wash as well.
* Robe and Socks - Robes protect your body and socks protect your feet. Both are comfortable for the early morning and night hours.
* Towels - The amount of cheap hand towels that are used as bath towels in some Asian accommodations has amazed me. Fellow shorties really don't need huge bath towels! Packing and/or purchasing some higher quality hand towels is a great way to enjoy your own personal luxury. ;)
* Rain Ponchos, Teas, Juices, Multivitamins - Take care of your immune system with rain ponchos, Vit C teas (Ex: green tea), Vit C juices (Ex: tangerine, kiwi, etc), and a Multivitamin (Ex: Costco's 500 tablets Daily Multi). Break your multivitamin in half to take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Your body will absorb more vitamins this way.
If you're into traveling and interior design, this post is for you. Contact me if you have anything to add to the checklist as well! This is also a resource for anyone who may want to open up their own accommodation. The Rat Year 2020 and the Ox Year 2021 can be positive for real estate if you know where to look. This can also be handy for people who like to host friends, family, etc.
I'll update the list if necessary...
Side Note: This post came after a dream where I was walking through a resort that had every entertainment option that you could think of for a child. I was just wandering around thinking "This is too much stuff!" I kept hearing the word "Pompeii" as I was traveling through some underwater entrance to the resort. I guess this was the theme? A place to visit? Past life country?
I'm sure Italy is on most people's bucket lists though.
My current Asia tour hasn't even scratched the surface when it comes to checking out all of the cities, countrysides, wildlife, and accommodations. One great thing about Asia are the accommodations, esp if you love interior design. I've never seen so many space saving layouts, unique layouts, and overall affordable options! Westerners can definitely visit a lot more accommodations in a short amount of time when visiting Asian countries. Thai and Bali inspired villas will always be my favorite layout though! It's truly the Future of Interior Design!
Here are some of the BEST accommodation features that I've noticed throughout my 30+ years of travels....
* Room Service - You'll see a lot of room service presentations throughout your travels. I judge room service presentations on the amount of food that you actually get. The best tasting breakfast and room service that I've ever received included scrambled eggs, potatoes, two slices of toast, a bread roll, jam, butter, sausages, bacon slices, tropical fruit (oranges, pineapple), and a salad. Salads are great to eat at the end of your meal for digestion. This is something that you may notice in Japan and Korea.
* Day to day consistency is what you have to look out for though! You may have to request what you prefer the next day or two to avoid disappointments. This is a general rule for room service though, esp if you're a picky eater.
* Complimentary Toiletries - Who doesn't love "Free" toiletries every single day? I had to think about all of the best toiletries that I've enjoyed...
Complimentary wrapped slippers, wrapped brush and comb combo, wrapped kit with a hair tie, cotton balls, and Qtips, shower cap, sanitary bag, laundry bags, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap, Salux (Japanese body wash towel), toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, tissues, local fruits and/or snacks, local teas, coffee, bottled juices, bottled waters, pens, notepads, and travel brochures. Fluffy robes aren't always complimentary. They are nice to have around though with an electric tea kettle for cold nights. You can always pack your own if you're on a road trip!
* Mini Kitchens - Mini kitchens include an induction stovetop, sink, and fridge. They are handy to have in an accommodation if you like to cook your own food. There are portable induction stovetops that you can purchase if you're taking a road trip. It's a space saving and eco friendly kitchen option. You can find these mini kitchens in a lot of accommodations, esp vacation rentals. Some people have them in their Master Bedrooms and Guest Rooms as well.
* Curtains on Bunk Beds - I've noticed these in Asian hostels. Curtains are good for privacy and sleeping. Hostels in Asia are an interior design show. Some hostels even come with work stations, cafes and alcohol bars, adults only rules, tech appliance features, and more. They are much safer than a lot of countries as well! You can view a lot at one time via any hostel or accommodation website.
* Blackout Curtains and Soundproofing - Introverts and Extroverts all love AND need a little "me time" aka SLEEP. There's nothing better than accommodations with blackout curtains and some soundproofing!
* Mosquito Repellent Plug Ins - I've never come across indoor mosquito repellent plug ins until one accommodation stay in Asia. This one was blue with a little switch. It just sat on a table. They are small and handy little devices! All accommodations, esp during rainy seasons should provide them. It's a handy thing to carry with you to tropical locations as well.
* Convenience Stores - Asia's convenience stores really are convenient! Many are inside accommodations, below accommodations, across the street from accommodations, and/or a few minutes walk on foot from an accommodation. They stock everything from seasonal clothing items, toiletries, umbrellas, laundry detergent, food, scissors, package tape, and more! Residents in Asia use convenient stores for daily living (paying bills, receiving packages, etc) as well.
* Ice Cream Shop/Bakery/Cafes - The amount of cafes in Korea are overwhelming! There are some really cute ones though! Accommodations with or near baked goods (complimentary or for purchase) are handy for a carb fix. The accommodations that sell ice cream as well are even better. I remember one resort that I visited as a child that had an ice cream parlor with baked goods. It was one of the resort's best features! Adults loved it too!
Luckily convenience stores provide ice cream for your enjoyment!
* Entertainment and Nature Trails - Private movie theaters for kids and adults to private karaoke rooms are fun. The best entertainment that I've enjoyed though are nature trails near accommodations. Having nature right outside of your room is always a plus! You can get that instantly with countryside accommodations.
* Ocean, Lake, Pool Gear - Some accommodations had a ton of gear for visitors to borrow for free. This included beach blankets, picnic baskets, pool floats, snorkeling gear, surf boards, canoes, paddle boats, life jackets, beach umbrellas, etc, etc. It's a great thing to offer your houseguests if you live near the water.
* Spas - The word "spa" has many different definitions around the World. In Asia, it can mean a foot spa, a Jacuzzi tub, a pool, a get naked onsen or public mineral bath, actual massage rooms, and/or a bathroom that is great for DIY spa treatments. However you define it, it's always a great feature in accommodations for some relaxing pampering. :)
* Relaxing Accommodation Extras - Fountains, Flower Gardens, Fish Ponds, Art Displays, Cabanas, Shuttles, Concierge, Jazz Lounge
I decided to streamline my recent spiritual travel blogging to encompass tips from ALL of my trips thus far. This includes domestic trips in the U.S. to current trips overseas. I've always been a great tourist. Here's why and how....
* Knock Yourself Out - I hate flying! I really do. I do however LOVE sleeping! Get your sleeping eye mask, antibacterial surgical mask, earplugs, magnesium pill, and knock yourself out on the plane. lol If more people did this (babies included), flights would be sooooo much better for everyone! Did you hear something? No? Ok Perfect! ;) Luckily trains, boats, and cars also exist!
* Quiet - Some of us are both extroverted and introverted. However when it comes to public places aka anywhere that's not your own home, it's important to be respectful of your noise levels. Timing is everything as well. A general rule of thumb is that Quiet Hours are from 10 pm onward. This applies to your children as well. I was always a respectful child of this fact because I grew up during the 80s and 90s. This was the rule for coming home from a friend's house, playing outside, having slumber parties, etc. Kids used to play outside all day back in those days. It can still occur when families go on vacation is all I'm saying. ;)
Headphones were created for a reason as well. ;) We don't all want to hear your music. Oddly the loudest music I've heard playing from a tourist in Jeju was classical music. It's not my favorite genre of music I admit. It's great for sleeping though. I was amazed that TWO tourists in two separate parts of the island were playing classical music LOUD. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of what classical music is for? Keep that music on the low low low low. The situations were handled though. :)
* Support the Local Economy - We aren't all rich. It doesn't matter if you're staying at a local hostel (some are really nice in Asian countries) or staying at a resort (some are really nice all over the World). The bottom line is that it's important to support the local economy. Variety is the spice of life. Try and support the Ma and Pa shops to the Big Box stores. Local hipsters often know where the unique attractions and hangouts are.
* Pack Light and Be Resourceful - We aren't all Minimalists. Vacations are a great excuse to try it out though! College students may be the best at packing light due to their resourceful lifestyle. Get yourself a spinner hard-shell carry on and a backpack. My whole life has been in both! Get some handy locks for both as well if you're heading into crowds! I had to pat myself on the back for managing that. Both will come in handy for ease on flights, small "hiking" picnics, and local shopping (food, clothes, and practical souvenirs). Do your research to see what's available before you go as well.
Asian countries have amazed me with their convenience stores. They are all different with different products. They are also included in many hotels. You can easily grab a large or medium size carton of eggs, a chicken or sausage stick, bread and jam, orange juice, etc and have yourself a home cooked breakfast every morning...all from the convenience store! Cooking for yourself can help you feel somewhat in "control" when traveling to new places.
Complimentary teas and coffees can also provide multiple uses. Brew some tea for a light caffeine kick an hour or so after a meal. You can also use the leftover tea as an antioxidant skin cleanser, toner, and/or to exfoliate.
* Recycle - You will go through your share of water bottles, tea bottles, soda bottles, etc. Research the local recycling initiatives OR bag your plastics separately for housekeeping to take care of. I'm still amazed at how many locals and tourists still litter, esp on beautiful islands. :( There needs to be a litter task force that goes around every month to put up signs and/or clean up the countryside.
* Solutions vs. Problems - I'm all about Solutions! Generally speaking it's best to handle matters behind the scenes. I don't have time to protest or make a scene. We all hear stories of bad tourists...and locals. Talk to managers or just leave the situation. I grew up with a lot of Americans that were big on changing hotel rooms, changing hotels, etc without much huff and puff. You can do it in a nice way as well in 2019. Traveling can be trial and error sometimes. You live and learn and move on. ;)
* Off Season - If you're trying to get to know an area, stay for every season. Otherwise stick to the Off Season. Fall is ideally the best season to travel. The kiddos are back in school, many tourists are back at work, and Mother Nature is putting on an Art Show! Your suitcase may require more layered clothes to buy/pack. Luckily convenience stores in many countries have tshirts to camisoles if you're in a quick need for some extra layers.
* Stay Humble - Even though I know I'm a great tourist, I'm always learning from other tourists on what to do and what not to do. Sharing is caring in that regard. Learning a new language and culture from the locals on the ground is much different from online research. You have to be able to adapt to realizing that you're saying a word wrong or assuming something inaccurate.
* Take On New Ideas - I'm big on interior design. It's a big selling point for many tourists. I've been around rich people and in their large homes. Bigger isn't always better! I've seen some great modern features in Asia that are efficient in their use of smaller spaces.
I'm going to provide you with a simple explanation to how Feng Shui Geography works in the practical and spiritual sense. Traditional Feng Shui utilizes both compass directions and the environment. I always carry a compass with me when I travel by the way. Having lived all over the U.S. and spent a good amount of time on atleast three islands (Hawaii, Japan, Jeju), I've really noticed some things...
1. The sensitive types will always get a "feel" of their neighboring countries and islands based on where they reside.
2. Buddhist Temples have really great Feng Shui Geography!
* The North is associated with Career Growth.
It's an Ideal location to have a country or state. There's a reason so many dominant and/or progressive countries are "Sitting on Top of the World" in the North. Island countries can act as their own "Top of the World" North as well. Despite its dominant location, the North is associated with Yin energy, not Yang. Water energy (oceans, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes) are ideal to have in the North.
* The Northeast is associated with Personal Growth.
Mountains and Valleys are Ideal.
* The East is associated with Family Harmony and Ambition Growth.
* The Southeast is associated with Financial Growth.
Trees and Water are Ideal for the East and Southeast locations.
* The South is associated with Recognition Growth.
The South is Yang energy. Deserts are Ideal. It's no secret that Southern countries and states can get pretty hot during the Summer months. This will only increase with Global Warming. Water energy is not ideal because it can "water down" recognition and relationship growth. I've personally noticed that the Southern parts of islands, states, and/or countries never vibe well with me as a Fire Sign. Too much yang is never a good thing. Oriental medicine is all about getting in that yin and yang balance, esp when you're traveling on vacation. I always head to the more Yin Northern locations with water and/or mountains for a reason. ;)
* The Southwest is associated with Relationship Growth.
Mountains and Valleys are Ideal.
* The West is associated with Children and Creative/Artistic Growth.
* The Northwest is associated with Helpful People and Travel Growth.
Water is Ideal for West and Northwest locations.
Building or Buying a Home?
The Ideal Location will look like the image below. This image is from Norway. A single story home is ideal to avoid extra floors/responsibilities "weighing down on you". A protective "mountain" behind you is also ideal. This can be a home that is slightly larger than yours, a mountain, and/or tall trees.
You will want to have a protective "cushion" on each side of your home as well. This can also be mountains, homes, and/or tall trees.
The front of your home can enjoy a nice relaxing river or slow traffic street. A little movement is necessary to keep energy moving. An active fountain or lake can work if nature is active on it. Land can also be in front of your home.
The amount of relationship advice that I've provided to others over the years is amazing to me, esp when many of those years I was simply single and mingling or dating short term! You learn a lot over the years from simply noticing patterns from others, having educational backgrounds in -ology fields, individual research, and unique travel experiences. Common sense also goes a long way. ;)
For some reason a lot of people get into the YOLO energy when they travel, esp overseas. They want to get their spring break "groove" back, hike off the paths, venture into every cave, and jump off every waterfall like it's a slip and slide in the backyard. I'm all for living that adventurous life, but a lot of those "adventures" are quite risky. Dating overseas is the same.
You have to apply the same logic as if you were dating in your home country. As I'm about to embark on an overseas Bucket List adventure, I want to share some dating advice. My spirit guide is already providing me with some funny and annoying dreams on what to avoid...hence this post. ;)
* Stay Safe - Basic rules apply by staying in safe areas, visiting safe areas, hanging out in safe areas, etc. Just do your research beforehand. You know nothing good goes down after midnight anywhere around the World. Have yourself inside by that time as a golden rule. ;)
* Be Yourself - You can be whoever you want to be when you're dating. That's a problem all around because you never really know someone until you have lived with them and/or have dated them for some time. Being yourself just makes things easier for everyone.
Travel mode already makes many people simplify their routines from hair to makeup to styles. This is quite positive for many reasons. The rest is merely about sticking to basic Q & As (first name (Travel Numerology Tip HERE), interests, nationality, etc). If you want to tell people that you're Black, White, and Asian after living in enough countries and befriending enough people since childhood, well then go right ahead! haha Yes I have said that someone before. lol
* Burner Phones - A lot of people get burner phones that they can rent or throw out when they travel. This is a great thing when you plan on meeting new people and/or doing business.
* Be Blind - If your weakness is any and everything pretty, it's time to get mentally strong. Pretty doesn't always mean sane and/or safe! It's easy to fall for that "exotic" stranger in that new "exotic" land that's offering up an "exotic" experience. lol Stay strong ladies! The MIND is always sexier at the end of the day. Have an intellectual conversation first to see what you're working with. That P.Y.T may be off to another after you ask them about their arts and culture interests.
I'm just saying. ;)
Happy and Safe Travels!
Summer is a great season for new adventures all around the World. The travel season comes with its share of annoyances though aka humidity and mosquitos! There are some natural remedies to keep you cool and unbothered though. ;)
* Ice Water - Mosquitos love warm body temperatures. Keep your body cool from the inside out by drinking plenty of ice water, especially after exercising. It will also boost your metabolism for weight loss. Electrolyte drinks are also beneficial for body hydration.
* Coconut Oil - Mosquitos love bacteria on the body. The antibacterial and deep moisturizing benefits of coconut oil are endless! Coconuts grow in tropical climates for a reason. Apply some coconut oil to your body and feet before heading out. A little jojoba oil and/or rosehip oil can be applied to the face for those with sensitive skin.
* Pastel Clothing - Mosquitos are attracted to dark colors (red, dark blue, black). They are little vampires after all! Enjoy loose clothing in pretty pastels to deter hungry mosquitos. Double up with healthy garlic and onion consumptions if you really want to keep mosquitos and/or people away!
* Natural Mosquito Repellents - Mosquitos and other insects hate vanilla, lavender, and peppermint oils. These are great scents to use as natural perfumes, refreshing face misters, and love attractors. Vanilla is associated with sweet and nurturing qualities. Lavender is associated with calm and relaxing qualities. Peppermint is associated with stimulating and happy qualities.
Once your essential oil bottles are used up, keep them! The scents are still active. Simply add some water to the bottles and shake them up. Transfer the scented water to a mini spray bottle for living environments, clothes, and/or body misters.
There are a lot of ways to determine which locations are best for you to live in and/or travel to. I like to keep things simple though, esp for those who have trouble making decisions.
One simple way to seek out compatible locations is to look at your First Name. The 1st Vowel of your First Name is your Soul Vowel. This is the energy that people may keep to themselves. It's what makes you feel comfortable at a deeper level.
Every letter in the alphabet vibrates to a number in numerology. Heading to locations that share your 1st vowel energy may make you feel "at home" with the locations. This can apply to countries, states, cities, islands, etc. You can then visit www.numbeo.com to learn more about locations around the World, esp if you choose to stay awhile.
A - #1 energy, Independence, Initiating, Assertive, Straightforward, Less Talk and More Walk
E - #5 energy, Travel Friendly, Restless, Adventurous, Chatty, Variety, Small Talk
I - #9 energy, Leadership, Healing, Transformation, Influenced by the Past, Rest & Relaxation
O - #6 energy, Domestic, Home Business, Leadership, Nurturing, Planning, Family oriented
U - #3 energy, Social, Humor, Variety, Indulgent, Creative, Chatty, Multitasking
Climate Strikes and Air Pollution concerns have been in the news across the World. As Earth Day approaches, it's a great reminder to take Individual Responsibility for your Health and Mother Earth. Simple tips can go a long way in the overall collective efforts.
You can check out an updated list of the cities with the least and worst air pollutions at www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings_current.jsp You may be surprised at some of the listings. It seems that some U.S. cities should be wearing outdoor dust masks and full eye protective sunglasses! Now you see why so many children today have some sort of allergy or respiratory condition. The future definitely needs some shifts.
* Plant a tree or garden - City gardens can be created anywhere to cut down on heat and pollution.
* Stay hydrated - Water and antioxidant teas clean out toxins and pollutants.
* Indoor Purification - Air filters and houseplants can help remove dust, pet dander, and household chemical products. Keep windows and doors closed with screen filters and insulation if your city has a lot of dust and pollution.
* Toxic Free Cleaning Products - Indoor air can be kept toxic free with natural cleaning products. Try cleaning with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils (tea tree oil, citrus oils, etc).
* Vitamin C - Antioxidant Vitamin C helps to produce anti aging collagen. Collagen can break down in air pollution. Vitamin C keeps your immune system healthy from developing allergies, skin issues, and respiratory diseases.
* Recycle - Recyling paper, plastics, etc can cut down on trash piles. Using products made from recycled products can also assist the environment.
* Minimalism - Less is more. Consider a no waste lifestyle with bamboo utensil sets, glass jars, reusable water bottles, reusable grocery bags, etc.
Mercury is the planet of thoughts, communications, and travel. It heads retrograde three times a year. This is an astrological phase for Reevaluations, Releases, and Rest. The past often comes back around for you to reflect, restructure, and/or release.
Misunderstandings and delays can often occur during Mercury in Retrograde. You can avoid this by repeating important details, getting things in writing, and double checking long distance travel plans. Consider rescheduling important dates like weddings and/or major purchases like cars.
Keep your life simple to avoid foggy thoughts and foggy choices. Streamline and reorganize now for a brighter future.
Full clarity often returns when Mercury heads Direct again. This is when your mind may change from any decisions that were made during retrograde. Be flexible with your developing thoughts. :)
Mercury in Retrograde 2019 Dates
March 5th to March 28th
July 7th to August 2nd
October 31st to November 20th
Minimalist Living is living with what you Need AND with what makes you Happy.
Many experience a taste of minimalism when they go off to college to live the dorm life, apartment life, and/or home rental roommate life during their 20s. Minimalist travels often follow during that time as well. This was the case for me atleast. Even when accumulations happens, there's often a purge sale that gets me back to the minimalist lifestyle.
Minimalism is the desired peace and calm that so many crave.
Here's how I've made Minimalist Living work for me...
* Take Inventory - Taking inventory of what you actually use throughout the day, week, and month can really point you into the right direction. Choose a designated area in each room for those daily items. You'll start to notice how much goes unused. This includes your furniture and appliance uses as well. After awhile you will know exactly what to bag up for donations and/or sales.
Use a picnic basket as an example for kitchen streamlining. Consider eco friendly portable items (Ex: portable induction stove, crockpot, etc). Most people only need and/or use 1-3 items in their daily living (Ex: 3 small forks, plates, glasses, food jars, fridge containers, reusable eco straws, etc).
* Go Holistic - Many people are sensitive to the fragrances and chemicals in cleaning supplies and toiletries. Seeking out healthy alternatives can save you from allergies and headaches. Consider basics like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils for weekly cleaning.
My favorite DIY holistic toiletries are made from oils, salt or sugar, and essential oils. Cleansing oils like Grapeseed Oil or Coconut Oil can be used for just about everything that you can think of
(toothpaste, mouthwash, salt scrubs, body moisturizer, hair conditioner, etc). You can purchase both in cost friendly large containers from stores like Costco.
Eco friendly brand soaps and toiletries are handy for the things that you don't want to DIY.
My favorite anti aging essential oils include lavender (fragrance, sleep aid, salt scrubs, relaxing baths, etc), tea tree oil (face cleanser, mouthwash, first aid, etc), grapeseed oil (lighter oil with more Vit E than olive oil, dark circle removal, hair conditioner, etc), and peppermint oil (fragrance, hair growth, mouthwash, instant peppermint tea, alertness, etc) Organic vanilla extract is a fun fragrance as well.
My makeup is kept simple with BB Cream, Mineral Powder, and Organic Brand Lip Tints.
* Get Comfortable - Comfort is important for every living being. Having comfortable throws, pillows, hobbies (Ex: canvases and paints), teas, pajamas, satin robes, leggings, etc can make you feel at home anywhere in the World! I consider these items my "nesting" essentials. :)
What essentials make you feel at home?
Valentine's Day is a holiday that gets mixed feelings from both sexes. It's a day to be enjoyed though. It's a great reminder to love yourself and others. Enjoy it as a personal Treat Yo Self Day!
Here are some ways that you can enjoy the holiday...and any holiday for that matter!
* Get a fancy car for the day. Enjoy being chauffeured around your city. Pick up some cookies, flowers, discount pink and red pillows, fashion jewelry, etc.
* Get a luxury hotel room for a night or two. Valentine's Day hotel specials come with added goodies. Enjoy the hotel's spa and other amenities as well. Sleeping is great too!
* Order take out delivery or room service. Enjoy those "once a year" indulgent foods. Health conscious singles can enjoy the luxury or having their healthy meals delivered with a little extra flair. :)
The Feng Shui Bedroom is all about Minimalism. Your bedroom rules your health and relationships (business to pleasure). Less is truly more when it comes to both actually! Keeping your bedroom simple, clean, and relaxing is the way to go...
Discover How to Harmonize Your Home with a Personal Consultation HERE.
Do You Need More Sleep?
A great night's sleep is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
A good 8-10 hours of sleep benefits your memory, life span, body's metabolism, and brain's alertness. Sleep alleviates stress, depression, and inflammatory diseases.
Here are 10 ways to achieve a great sleep tonight...
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is a relaxing oil that only requires a dab.
Dab on the soles of your feet for instant absorption, your neck, and/or your scalp.
2. Organic Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a warm and soothing tea to enjoy 30 minutes
before bedtime. It's a wonderful way to wind down for the night.
3. Magnesium Powder
The body requires magnesium for muscle and nerve health.
We can get it from our food and/or supplements. The reason many of us are irritable and/or constipated is due to a lack of magnesium. Smokers are the most deficient. Magnesium is a natural stress reliever as well.
4. Eye Masks
Eye masks are great for blocking out distracting light.
The brain instantly goes into sleeping mode in pitch darkness.
5. Ear Plugs
Ear plugs can assist you on vacations and/or next
to a snoring partner. I would suggest that you or your partner sleep in different rooms if the snoring is really bad. Your health comes first!
6. Rain Soundtracks
Who doesn't love the sound of rain?
Some of our best sleep comes during a rainstorm.
Zzzz off to sleep with a free 24/7 rain stream via www.rainymood.com.
7. Satin Sheets
Combine with satin pajamas and you're good to go for a wrinkle free sleep!
8. Comfortable Mattress
Try an organic memory foam mattress, mattress pads, and/or mattress futon. Take note of your ideal sleeping heights. Some people sleep better when they are low to the ground.
Body pillows and memory foam pillows are great for receiving a great night's sleep.
Sleep on two satin pillows for the perfect wrinkle free beauty sleep.
This will reduce bags and black circles from forming as well.
Place a pillow between your legs to align your body if you sleep on your side.
The ideal beauty sleep position is on your back though!
10. Blackout Curtains
The brain instantly goes into sleeping mode
with pitch darkness. Combine with a blackout eye mask for great sleeping results!
Having a great sense of humor + a healthy mind, body, and spirit will always help you to cope with life. Mental breaks via Staycations are another great way!
Here are some ways to enjoy a Mental Staycation of your own...
* Magnesium - Magnesium is a beneficial mineral for body relaxation and function. High stress times can deplete this vital mineral to the max. Enjoying Epsom Salt soaks, high magnesium foods, and/or Magnesium Powder supplements can help. You can take two teaspoons at night to sleep like a baby. You can also take it throughout the day to ease stresses. Enjoy those nap times.
* Decorate in Blue - It can however bring a cooling and relaxing sensation to living rooms, esp in the North, East, and Southeast sectors of the home. Beach themed decor can really transform any space into a seaside retreat. Simply get creative with ocean curtains, water fountains, and/or ocean soundtracks.
* 2nd Hand Travel - You don't have to leave the comforts of home in order to travel. You can always find someone who has been there and done that around the World. Check out fun locations via travel blogs, vlogs, and tripadvisor. Order your own room service via your favorite local spots as you "cruise" along.
* Local Travel - Staycations at a local resort and/or luxury vacation rental can mentally take you away from your daily surroundings, esp during the off seasons. It's a great way to travel if you're not in the mood to board a long distance plane, train, and/or car. There's always Fall for that. ;)
If you're headed out on a spiritual adventure, there are a few Zen tips that you may want to consider beforehand...
1. Trust Your Gut - Most people know where they'd like to visit around the World. This can be due to past lives and/or present life interests. One trick that you can use is to place an image of a map under your pillow. Literally sleeping on it can bring in intuitive dreams. This will give you an idea of locations that are best suited for your current energy needs.
2. Stick to the Universal 3s - The Universe vibrates in 3s. Take note of the Top 3 countries, states, cities, etc that you wish to visit. You can even take note of the Top 3 landmarks, restaurants, hiking trails, hotels, etc that you wish to visit as well. This can help you to organize your travels without getting overwhelmed. You can even plan a 3 month trip out with 3 week stays in each spot.
3. Stay at Zen Hotels, Rentals, etc - Look for minimalist locations that pride themselves in relaxation. Japantown in San Fran for example is a Japanese escape from the rest of the city. A lot of cities and countries often have zen spots for you to choose from.
4. Incense & Salts - Incense is a great way to smudge your new locations, souvenirs, etc. Everything holds energy. It's personally how women and men mark their territory in dating relationships. They buy you stuff. lol Take some incense sticks with you to give your aura and your possessions a once over. Holding things in your hands before purchasing them can often give you an intuitive sense as well. This is a form of psychometry (feeling out an object's energy). Less is generally more though. Consider if you're actually going to put any souvenir to use.
Epsom bath salts provide your aura with an auric cleanse after a long day of hiking and/or relaxing. You'll also get a healthy dose of relaxing magnesium.
5. Food Options - High vibration foods will keep you feeling energized and less weighed down during your travels. Gather up some fruits and veggie meals via grocery store stops, grocery store delivery services, and/or room service. Discover what's available beforehand to save you time.
6. All Inclusive - Sometimes it's best to just go with an all inclusive resort that does everything for you. These spa resort retreats can really put your mind at ease if you're not into planning activities, meals, etc beforehand.
Happy Zen Travels!