April 30th, 2012 by | Country: Costa Rica | No Comments »

When I planned my itinerary, one of my priority criterias for hotels was that hotels should have a restaurant, as I would know that the food is safe, and I wouldn’t have to worry about walking alone as a female at night, especially with lack of lighting in remote areas.

Well, yesterday, I posted this status on Facebook:

So much for traveling during low season…the restaurant at my hotel is closed for lunch and dinner and the closest restaurants from the hotel where I am staying is one mile away… I’m a smarty pant for bringing crackers and bars with me! At least I’m at this hotel for only two nights, and I hope the restaurant at the next hotel will indeed be open, or I’m going to have to make a change of plans… Oh la la .. the dramas of traveling!

So, when I arrived at Monteverde, I didn’t see any nearby restaurants in sight.  I also looked on Google Maps, and it showed that the closest restaurants were at least a mile away from the hotel.  As I was exhausted, I just stayed at the hotel, watched the sunset, relaxed and ate crackers and a granola bar.  Relaxing was extremely important, as I knew that I had a big day ahead of me – Zip-lining and hiking in the rainforest and visiting a coffee plantation.

The green arrow is the hotel where I stayed

The green arrow is the hotel where I stayed

Now, here is my today’s Facebook status:

Learned a lesson today – Don’t pay attention to Google Maps, especially when traveling abroad – it turns out that there are a ton of restaurants and shops “on the other side” of the hotel that I didn’t see yesterday on the way to there AND also on Google Maps! For now on, hotel concierges are my best friends!

I did ask the hotel concierge where the closest restaurants were located yesterday, and he did tell me that there were several about 200 to 500 meters from the hotel, but I just wanted to get a confirmation by looking up the Google Maps, as I indeed didn’t see any yesterday on the way to the hotel from San Jose.  So, I just thought either I didn’t really  know the math and thought that 200 to 500 meters equal to a mile or that the hotel concierge was underestimating the distance.  Well, he was indeed right – they were all right there!  Ah well!

At least this afternoon after my two tours, I got to enjoy walking around the area by visiting shops including one ENORMOUS art gallery.  There is apparently a huge art community in Monteverde where there are not only Costa Rican artists, but also artists from other countries, in particular from the states.


I didn’t bother to get dinner, as the hotel served a NICE BIG breakfast, I had a very nice lunch at my first tour, AND a lovely snack at my second tour.  So, my body is very well nourished for the day.

Stories about the tours will follow in the next post!

April 30th, 2012 by | Country: Costa Rica | 1 Comment »

Last fall, one night, when I had to go back to London to finish up my studies, I learned that my flight was overbooked.  Without any hesitation, I volunteered to be bumped because I knew that I’d be offered with a great reward – $600 voucher from Delta to use for any flight in the world!  After researching to find which destination fit the best within my budget and is also exciting to visit, I picked Costa Rica!

Here I am in Costa Rica for ten days just to explore and have fun!   On the very first day, I arrived in San Jose so that I can have a taste of a big city life.  As soon as I looked out the window from the airplane and also taxi to the hotel, I thought to myself, “Wow!  Costa Rica kind of reminds me of Peru.”  It has a Latin American flare to the scenes, and even a touch of Spanish too.  However, I will say that the cars do look much nicer!  I can’t help it to say that because when I arrived in Peru three years ago, my first impression was that most cars, including taxis, looked like they needed to go in the garbage!

As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I didn’t miss a beat to see the city by heading straight out as soon as I dropped off my bags in my room.  While many people look like typical Latin Americans, Hispanics, there were also quite a few Caucasians although  it was hard to tell if they were tourists or not.  As someone who loves to shop for handicrafts and international specialities, I headed straight to Mercado Central, thinking that I’d find lots of artisanal items.  Ugh – I found nothing but junk souvenirs and food, which I didn’t want to take a chance to try, as I have a history of getting food poisoning.  After that, I just walked and observed the city.  I was honestly too tired to explore the museums.  I will be back in San Jose on the last day in Costa Rica and so, if anyone know of a good place where I can find handicrafts and artisanal items, please do chime in!  I heard that Plaza de la Democracia might have some things – does anyone have info about the place?

In the following morning, I headed to Monteverde to explore the rainforest.  What amazes me is that Costa Rica is so small that I’d think that it would take only two hours to travel across the country.  So, I thought that traveling to Monteverde from San Jose should take only 30 minutes to an hour.  It actually took about six hours including one 45 minute rest stop and a few hotel pick ups and drop offs in San Jose and Monteverde.  I guess that since Costa Rica is so mountainous, the roads are windier and as a result, longer distance!

Stay tuned for more adventures…

April 18th, 2012 by | Country: New York City United States (home) | No Comments »

All throughout my life, I have traveled to NYC too many times to count.  It has been fun to roam in NYC again, but I have been reminded why I will never buy “I ♥ NYC” t-shirt. The city still needs to do a better job of cleaning up!  However, the city is certainly beautiful at night!


March 31st, 2012 by | Country: Other | No Comments »

I sincerely hope to see the northern lights one day along with the beautiful scenes in Arctic!

Source: Arctic Motion on Vimeo on Vimeo

via Arctic Motion on Vimeo.

December 31st, 2011 by | Country: Other | No Comments »


December 31st, 2011 by | Country: Other | 1 Comment »

As someone who has been using Twitter obsessively to connect with other travelers and people who share interests in making the world a better place, I have trouble keeping a track of all the hashtags and weekly chats relating to travels and “saving the world.”  So, I thought I should make a list that would be beneficial for me and others.


#TRAVEX: #TRAVEX - Mondays from 10 PM to 11 PM GMT/ 5 PM to 6 PM EST - This chat is founded by two travel tweeters, @travelsquire and @theexplorateur.


#NUTS: Not-so Usual Therapy Session -  Tuesdays from 8:30 pm to 9:30 GMT/ 3:30 pm to 4:30 PM EST - While the questions are not always travel related, many travelers participate in this chat.

#TTOT: Travel Talk on TwitterTuesdays at 9:30 am and 9:30 pm GMT/4:30 am and 4:30 pm EST - A theme is selected by a group of traveler, and there are five questions, created by any travelers who post suggested questions a week before the chat via Travel Talk on Twitter Facebook fan page.


#TravelBL: Travel Bucket List - Wednesdays at 6 pm and 12 am GMT/ 12 pm and 6 pm EST - This chat, created by Maria at LatinAbroad, focuses discussing expanding your travel bucket list, obviously!

#NPTalk: NPTalk - Wednesdays from 8 pm to 9 pm GMT/ 3 pm to 4 pm EST - This chat allows people to connect with non-profit organizations to share ideas that will help non-profit organizations innovate, be creative and meet their challenging goals.


#EXPCHAT: Expedia Chat - Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7 pm GMT/ 12:30 pm to 2 pm EST - While Expedia sponsors a weekly chat, Spencer at @spencerspellman hosts it.

#TNI: Traveler’s Night In - Thursdays from 8:30 pm to 10 pm GMT/ 3:30 pm to 5 pm EST - #TNI, created by ZipSetGo.com, is one of the biggest travel chats on Twitter.  A theme is selected by the hosts at ZipSetGo.com and/or sometimes, by guest hosts.  These chats often have a sponsor who will giveaway awesome prizes to select people who participate in the chat. For example, one week, DoubleTree by Hilton sponsored the chat and gave away two free night hotel stays to one lucky winner and free signature cookie tin of DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies to ten lucky winners.  I was certainly one of the lucky winners to win the cookies!

If I forgot to mention any other important notable travel-related chats or chats relating to “saving the world,” please do let me know!

December 23rd, 2011 by | Country: Other | No Comments »



December 21st, 2011 by | Country: Other | No Comments »


December 11th, 2011 by | Country: Other | No Comments »


December 10th, 2011 by | Country: Other | No Comments »