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One Week in Tokyo

Experiencing Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, a melting pot of old and new, tradition and business, temples and neon lights, was one of the primary reasons why we travelled to Japan. When we were looking at accommodation (two months in advance) we almost cut down our days in the city due to the high prices and lack of availability. But we stuck to our plan of spending a week there and booked a small, cute and modern private apartment conveniently located by the largest JR station. We used credit card reward points to offset the price and justified it due to the fact that our trip was nearing it’s end and we were running short on places to splurge. Continue reading

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Macau: The Vegas of Asia

Macau, officially ‘the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China’, is a autonomous territory on the southern coast of China… just like Hong Kong. When we read that it was the “Las Vegas of Asia” and only a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, we decided to do a day trip. We left Hong Kong in the morning and returned in the early evening. Continue reading

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Siem Reap: More Than Just Angkor Wat

We spent over a week in Siem Reap and got to see a bit more of the city than the typical one to three night stopover meant only for visiting Angkor Wat. The touristy part of the city is quite small; almost everything is within walking distance. And walking is exactly what we did, due to the fact that tuk-tuks charge absurd prices just to take you around the corner.  Continue reading

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Phnom Penh: Happy to be Back in Southeast Asia

I love Southeast Asia and when we landed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I couldn’t have been happier to be back. I first visited the area just under two years ago on a two-month backpacking trip by myself where Dan joined me for two weeks in Thailand – our first trip together. My love of SE Asia is hard to explain – it has something to do with hectic cities that are somehow calm and refreshing; the amazing mix of nature and ancient cultures with hints of westernization everywhere and of course, the people. Continue reading

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100 Days in Europe: From Iceland to Hungary

It’s been less than two weeks since we left Europe for Asia, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. That could possibly be because we’re in Varanasi, India which is a whole world different than Europe. Having had enough of the sensory overload from the city, we’re hiding in a café drinking coffee (made with filtered water) and reflecting on our 100 days in Europe. Continue reading

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Budapest: My New Favourite European City

Budapest has it all. Seriously, within a few hours of being there I had settled on the fact that it was my favourite city so far in Europe. And that’s not an easy feat, we’ve covered most of the ‘must-see’ European cities: Reykjavik, London, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Athens, Munich, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, and Bratislava. Yes, I admit we’ve missed a few, but you get the point. I thought Budapest would be cool, but I didn’t expect that much – and it blew my expectations away. The city just has so much to offer from modern vegan and raw food eateries to wine bars and hip cafes to a huge influx of craft beer and brewed-in-house bars to organic food markets and Christmas markets all mixed with traditional markets and delis selling Hungarian sausage and around the corner from a crumbling church hundreds of years old is a crumbling building turned into a Ruin Bar. I mean, every European city is a complex mix of hundreds (usually thousands) of years of history and modernization (which in many ways is synonymous to Westernization) but Budapest seemed to pull off the mix of new and old best. It has managed to keep it’s complex and lengthy history alive while showcasing how far the economy and people have come in the past decade. Continue reading

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Rome: An Ancient City in Full Restoration Mode

The founding of Rome is dated back to around 753 BC – the Colosseum was completed in 80 AD, almost 2000 years ago – and thus, it’s not a secret that many of Rome’s ancient and aging monuments are in desperate need of restoration. It appears that many high-end Italian fashion brands have stepped up to make that restoration possible. All at once. To name a couple, Fendi, one of the biggest names in Italian fashion, has donated approximately 2.10 million Euros to restore the 18th century Trevi Fountain in order to preserve this precious heritage; the first of five fountains they have pledged to restore. And Tod’s shoes founder Diego della Valle donated approximately 25 million Euros to help restore the Colosseum from its aging and deteriorating state. In addition, Renzo Russo, founder of clothing company Diesel, is providing $6.7 million to restore and clean the oldest bridge spanning Venice’s Grand Canal, the Rialto.

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