How I like to travel.

places + travel

Exploring and taking photographs are some of the things that I enjoy doing. There’s something incredibly relaxing about being in a new space, in the middle of new culture and taking in the sights slowly. If you ask ten people on the street on how they like to travel, you’ll probably get a myriad of different answers ranging from the luxurious comfort of high-end hotels to the very frugal backpacker. Travel is different for everyone and what is one person’s cup of tea may be someone else’s poison.

When I travel, there are a few things I have in mind that dictate my choices: accommodation, transportation and local sights. My decision-making process usually isn’t linear by any means, but major decisions are made in tandem with one another, for example, flight and accommodations. When it comes to food, I try to keep costs low by visiting the supermarket instead of eating out at restaurants every day. I do, however, set aside money for the occasional cup of coffee, pastry or some local food that I deem is a “must try”.

For the most part, I like making the most of my leave days, which means I am all up for waking up in the middle of the early morning when it’s pitch black to make it for a 6am flight if needed. Yes, I am that person. I remember the time when I had a week off school during my days as a teacher. I flew out to solo Japan on the Saturday school holidays commenced, arrived in Tokyo that ame day and spent a week exploring before arriving back home in Singapore on a Monday morning, with only enough time to freshen up at home before heading to work that same afternoon. Crazy? Yes. Why not?

My style is pretty laid back. I don’t like rushing from one local attraction to another nor do I absolutely have to try the most famous local delicacy. Holidays for me are all about the chill vibes. That usually involves a cup of coffee or tea in a local cafe and people watching. If a location is too popular with the tourists, I’ll usually give it a miss. And if the prices for entry to certain attractions are beyond my budget, I am perfectly satisfied with the exterior. Routes are therefore very important so I can make the most of my day, seeing as much as I can at a relaxed pace. That doesn’t mean that I have to complete my course for the day, I give myself plenty of space to do spontaneous things that may strike my fancy.

When it comes to souvenirs, I used to buy something at every location to remind me of my travels. Since taking on the minimalist mindset, however, I am perfectly happy with the photos I take on my phone or camera. If I need something or really like something and can justify the purchase (like a cloth tote bag I bought in Porto), I would just go for it.

If my holiday is solely about relaxation and unwinding, I’ll most likely be found by the beach, swimming, snoozing and doing pretty much nothing but read or watch dramas. That’s rare nowadays, because I really love exploring what this gorgeous planet and the cultures around the world have to offer.

My last week in Portugal.

It's been more than 2 years since I began living in Portugal and in the blink of an eye it's time to return. Of course, this remark is slightly tongue-in-cheek, because this journey certainly has had its ups and downs. So it does feel like I've been here forever on...

My non-relationship with exercise.

If you’ve been around these parts long enough, you’d know that one of the banes of my life is exercise. I should do it to be healthy, but I don’t. I’ve tried all sorts of things – jogging, lifting light weights, home exercises, tennis… but none of them lasted long.

Magical Madrid.

Two things about Madrid stand out to me: how bright and clean it is and also how different the architecture looks compared to Portugal. To be honest, I thought that there wouldn't be much difference between the buildings of the two countries but I was very surprised...

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