Top 10 Travel Essentials



When packing for a big trip, it’s tempting to include everything save for the kitchen sink. However, with so much time spent on the road–especially if you’ll be carrying all your gear on your back–you’ll soon realize that you really will need to pack light for a truly fun trip. (Plus, imagine the backache you’ll have!)

So when it comes to packing, heed these wise words:

“Pack everything that you think you need. Walk around the block to see how it feels. More often than not, you’ll be raring to remove half of the items in your backpack.”

So how do you travel comfortably and with ease, without skimping on the things that you really do need–or, at the very least, will help you with your journey?

The answer: Choosing and investing in smart travel gear.

While essentials like clothes and toiletries aside are a given, this list of essential travel gear will help you travel more efficiently with less bulk.



It may seem simpler to just roll your clothes and stuff it in your bag, but don’t count this cool travel item out just yet! The Hoboroll via Gobi Gear allows you to create even more space in your pack. This organizer helps you keep your foldable or rollable items in one container. And the container itself can be further compressed into a smaller, tighter roll–leaving you more room in your big backpack for your other gear. Plus, if you just need to take a short trip, you can use it on its own as well.



Whether you’ll be staying in hostel or camping in the mountains, a quick-drying easy-to-pack towel will make it easy for you to keep clean without worrying about having to carry a heavy, soggy towel around. The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel also has anti-bacterial properties, keeping bacteria at bay–thus keeping it stink-free.



Face it, if you’ll be on the road, you’re eventually going to need to do some laundry. And by “laundry”, we mean washing your clothes in the bathroom sink. And if you’re staying in a dorm or hostel, drying your delicates on top of random bunk beds might not be ideal. So an accessory like a peg-less clothesline makes it easy to dry your handwashed items overnight–without the need for clothes pins. Plus, it’s small, pocket-sized case makes it easy to tuck it away when not in use.



Wherever you go and whatever you do, always be prepared. And thanks to this tiny, compact, and virtually indestructible Sardine Can Survival kit, you won’t have any excuse not to carry it with you. This airtight, waterproof can comes with 25 essential survival items such as a hook and line (no food? go fish!), a compass, first aid supplies, matches, razor blades and more.



Stay connected (nearly) anywhere in the world thanks to the GO-SIM CARD, which provides coverage in 195 countries all over the world. While it’s tempting to leave your phone behind, having a sim card will make it easier to make plans or reservations, as well as have a phone for emergency situations.



Whether you’re a photojournalist on a rough-and-tumble adventure or a professional traveling for an important business meeting, keeping your essential files safe is extremely important. And while a hard drive is the best way to store your files and photos, most hard drives are extremely vulnerable–dropping or getting your hard drive wet or dusty could result in major data loss. But thanks to this rugged hard drive, which is covered in a rubber material that keeps your data drop-proof (up to 78 inches / 2 meters), you can be as active and as rugged as you want without worrying about losing your most valuable data. Plus, it’s lightweight and has 1 TB storage capacity and features an AES 256-bit encryption system.



Sure, carabiners are items that most people pack anyway but this Mountain Gear Series Water Resistant Carabiner Clip-On Watch with LED Micro Light takes it up a notch. More than a simple carabiner, this useful piece is also a water-resistant watch and has an LED night beam torch light.



There’s nothing better than heading to the beach or pool while on vacation, but carrying necessities–and having to find a place to put it in without fear that it’ll get stolen–can be a drag. But have no fear, the Reef Stash Sandals will keep your precious tootsies AND your gear protected. These comfy yet durable sandals have a secret slot where you can hide valuables like cash, credit cards, and keys so that you can jump into the water without constantly having to keep an eye out on your stuff.



Whether it’s used to bide time until your next flight connection, on the bus to  your destination, or just relaxing on the beach, reading is something that travelers all love–and need–to do. But carrying all those heavy books is no fun at all. However, an e-book reader will solve your storage woes and satisfy the bookworm in you. Thanks to Amazon’e Kindle E-book reader, you can bring a library of books–200 books, in fact–without worrying about space or baggage weight.



Every traveler heading to a foreign country should make sure to bring an adapter. Not all hostels and hotels will have adapters, and if they do, you’ll most likely have to rent it for a fee. However, instead of having to bring several adapters, simple get an all-in-one adapter which can work for any trip that you take and can last a long time.





















Explorer of the World Q&A Series – Kakay Oloroso and I AM HIP

What could be better than traveling the world? Well, traveling AND doing good infinitely increases the pleasures and joy of travel. Whether it’s building houses for a community, teaching English, or organizing fund drives, volunteering isn’t just fun, but is also a rewarding, fulfilling, and life-changing experience.

10615640_1470467046544201_2588193995759853385_nPhotograph courtesy of I Am HIP’s Facebook Page

For this installment of’s Explorer of the World Series, we are excited to feature 31-year-old Kareen “Kakay” Oloroso, a traveler who has not only journeyed to some of the most exciting places in the world, but through her organization I AM HIP (Helping Islets in the Philippines) has paved the way for people from all over the world to volunteer in the Philippines and share their skills and expertise to communities in need.

2013-11-30 10.06.52Photograph courtesy of Kareen Oloroso


Read on to learn more about what drives this inspired—and truly inspiring—traveler, what makes life as a volunteer worthwhile, and what YOU can do to help.


Where are you from? What place do you call ‘home’? Questions like “where are you from?” and “where is home?” are in some way confusing for me and for friends. I always say I am from the Philippines. However, at a very young age, I was [already] moving to and living in different places. I have [people I consider as] mom and dads from all-over [the globe]. I can say that my home is the world.

traveller-349963_1280Photograph via Pixabay

How many places have you traveled to? What do you love most about travel? What is your favorite travel destination and why? 


I have traveled to 15 countries; most of which have been in Southeast Asia and Europe. I have covered most of the Philippines since I have been—and am still—jumping to and from different islands. I love feeling the breeze on my face while crossing the seas, the sound of the waves, the smiles from children’s faces, the strange yet familiar food, the simplicity that is the islets, the kiss from the sun when you crawl out of your tent in the morning, the silence of the evenings and the blinking lights of the fireflies. My favorite destination is Negros Island. It has been home for almost half my life and most of my good friends are there. It’s so easy to go around the island. I can always find campsites along the coast and up the mountains. It is a one-stop station for adventure. And the food? Simply amazing.


Tell us about your organization. What is I Am HIP? And how did the idea come about?


HIP or Helping Islets in the Philippines is a private initiative that I started immediately after Typhoon Yolanda.


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(Ed’s note: Typhoon Yolanda, also known as ‘Haiyan’, occurred on November 8, 2013 and is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record. The typhoon killed over 6,300 people, left countless people homeless and injured. As of this writing, there are still bodies being found and people considered missing.)

10800156554_c166f9c692_zEffect of Typhoon Yolanda. Photograph by Arlynn Aquino and posted on ECHO Flickr page. Photograph via Flickr Creative Commons. 


Before Yolanda, I regularly organized outreach activities with friends and acquaintances. I do it once or twice a year and do them in remote areas (coastal and mountain communities). When the news about Yolanda broke, lots of my friends started calling and asking [me for advice on] what we could do to help. They were willing to share some money. It was a difficult time for me as I myself was in a bit of a shock. I just missed Yolanda by a day. I managed to take the first flight out of Tacloban a day before the typhoon hit land. I initially collected around 600 Euros from friends when I told them I would like to spend Christmas in a community affected by Yolonda. The main purpose was to keep Christmas going inspite of the disaster. With all the focus in Leyte, there was not much news about the other places. A friend of mine told me to check the situation of the local government of Bantayan. With lots of telephone exchanges and validation with the help of the locals and the municipal government, the first site for HIP was identified – the tiny island of Silagon with 300 residents.

1896871_1405679789689594_890337210_nPhotograph via I Am HIP’s Facebook Page


From Makati, I organized everything with the help of my friends in Bacolod who are my constant volunteers for all the outreach that I do. And for the slogan, it just came one night when I was brainstorming with another friend. I was so tired and just wrote her, “what do you think about I am HIP = I am Helping Islets in the Philippines? It is a bit kitschy but it is also simple and catchy.” And that was it. I worked on the blog t ( all night and a designer from Germany volunteered to make the logo. It’s really is so hip, right?!



How does I am Hip work? Why do you think it stands apart from all the other volunteer organizations out there? HIP gets its funds from friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers. One hundred percent of all the funds go to the communities that we help. As for the overhead, I get it from selling shirts and bags… and my savings. HIP supports the local economy, too, so even in December, even when the markets in Bantayan are not yet back 100%, we managed to get almost 50% of all our needs for the Christmas Party there.


1012420_1405685499689023_2024312486_nPhotograph via I Am HIP’s Facebook Page

Volunteering with HIP is not complicated. I do the screening of the volunteers and the community have the final say if they want them. I only send volunteers to the area when there is work to be done.


How many volunteers do you usually have? What countries do they usually come from? What’s their age range?  

The biggest group was 20 during the Christmas break but I had volunteers who stayed by themselves on the islets. There are also now homestays where the volunteers live with the foster family, share meals with them and help with some household chores before they head to work. It makes things easier for me and for all and I am really happy that there were no complaints about the volunteers. In my estimate, 50% or more of the volunteers are Germans. Some are interns here in the country, some are doing volunteer work for other organizations, most are my acquaintances and friends. The youngest volunteer would be my 17-year-old nephew (better to start them off early, right?) and the eldest would be a woodwork expert from Germany (50+) who stayed for almost three weeks on Panitugan Islet and helped a lot with the repairs of the elementary school there. The average would be around 25 years old.

16084_1472579972999575_3075805952273209680_nPhotograph via I Am Hip’s Facebook page

Why do you think so many people have participated in your program? 

They believe in volunteerism and that they can do something to uplift the community’s spirit. The mere presence of volunteers in these remote areas sends a message that the people of the community have not been forgotten; having volunteers around reminds them that they are not alone. The volunteers, I believe, don’t feel intimidated since they are welcomed as they are. When I first called for volunteers, I asked them to write me about what they can possibly contribute to the community and they have lots of talents and skills to offer. The community accepted them with open arms—volunteers feel like a part of the family immediately upon setting foot on the islets.

10522154_925214427494388_5120150527368652308_nPhotograph by Yo Pastrana and courtesy of Kareen Oloroso

What areas / regions does I AM HIP cover?  At the moment, we are working with these three islets that belong to Bantayan Town in Cebu Province. We are now on the weaning out phase. We have help repair a daycare center (Silagon Islet), build one (Panitugan Islet) and also help in the repair of the elementary school in Moamboc Islet. The only projects there now are on building up the libraries. So, I am still collecting books.

There is a new site that I am working on at the moment, which is an indigenous people’s community in the south of Palawan.

11581_1405636889693884_1949915571_nPhotograph via I Am HIP’s Facebook page

How does your organization merge travel and volunteer work? Why did you decide to incorporate travel into your organization? 

It is more like the traveling off the beaten track. The experience the volunteers gain from it is extremely different from what other travelers experience. You live with the community, so you also have to deal with the same “limitations” or obstacles that the locals face: no electricity, no water source, and waiting for the tide each day so that you can move to the next islet or the main land. But this is something that can keep you in the present moment: there’s no internet, no phone service, and you also learn to become more patient as you wait for the tide to come. I guess this is one of the best ways to understand how living in an archipelago works and it is something most of our tourists won’t be able to experience. I am not saying, though, that I am necessarily promoting voluntourism. I am just more for volunteerism and the organization welcomes tourists who would like to help. 1524267_1409835839273989_59336933_oPhotograph via I Am HIP’s Facebook Page


All my free time and vacation leave from work since Yolanda has been devoted to HIP. However, even before Yolanda hit, I had already been devoting most of my free time to the communities. I don’t see it as work, rather as a homecoming. And I believe it was the same to the people in the barangay and the community who are continuing to assist me even during holidays or weekends.


Why do you think travel is so important? Do you think it has the power to change lives? How so?


Traveling is one way to be wise. As Jostien Gaarder puts it: “There are two ways of becoming wise. One is to travel out into the world and to see as much as possible of God’s creation. The other is to put down roots in one spot and to study everything that happens there in as much detail as you can. The trouble is that it’s impossible to do both at the same time.” 



1900080_1405638733027033_1645872382_nPhotograph via I Am HIP’s Facebook page

And I am still on the first way and I still am planning to see more of the world before putting down roots. Growing up, I never have thought that I would be able to explore the Philippines or even other countries. Looking back, it was the best thing that has happened to me. Traveling widened my understanding of the world and of people. And it made me gain so many friends and families all over the world. I always send postcards to my nephews and nieces and they are loving it. Every time I visit them, they would ask me about the things I saw and experience in the place that I’ve been and they would start planning their own trips. These are kids who around 6 to 11 year old, and I can’t wait to bring them on their first camping trip.


10448214_925213920827772_8064070367703364811_nPhotograph by Yo Pastrana and courtesy of Kareen Oloroso

Want to know more about Kakay and her organization I Am HIP? Check out the official I AM HIP blog or their Facebook page. Interested in becoming a volunteer? Contact Kakay through the I Am HIP Facebook page or send her an email at


We’re scouring the globe in search of intrepid travelers to feature on the blog! If you love to travel, have a ton of stories, experiences, and advice to share just send us an email at with “Traveler Q&A” on the subject line. 

Spectacular Sunsets from Around the World

Welcome to’s Sunset Sessions.  This series will showcase the best spots to see and experience the most spectacular sunsets from all around the world. After all, is there anything more satisfying than watching the sun dip down the horizon and the sky explode into a palette of blue, red, yellow, orange, and purple? Better yet: the opportunity to catch a stunning sunset from a place other than home.



1st Manila Bay Manila, Philippines Watch as the sky breaks out into a virtual tangerine dream.2370656204_d36a002d2f_z

Photograph by Aaron Paggabao via Flickr Creative Commons

2 Village of Oia

Santorini, Greece

Oia’s white washed houses glow as dusk descends.


Photograph by Pedro Szekely via Flickr Creative Commons

3 Bayon

Ankor, Cambodia

Watching the sun set behind the temple is truly a spiritual experience.


Photograph by Ethan Crowley via Flickr Creative Commons

4 View from the  Montparnasse tower

Paris, France

Watch as the ‘city of lights’ literally lights up as night falls.


Photograph by kluzniak mariusz via Flickr Creative Commons

5th Entrance of Charles Bridge

Prague, Czech Republic

Statues transform into silhouettes as dusk descends.


6 Rooftop view of Manhattan

New York City, USA

See the Entire city in silhouetted against the sun’s golden-orange hue …


Photograph by Shelly via Flickr Creative Commons

6 Maasai Mara

Kenya, Africa

Feel at one with the earth as you watch the sun set over this national game reserve.


Photograph by The.Rohit via Flickr Creative Commons

7 Hawaii beach sunset

Pretty much from any vantage point in Hawaii

Whether you’re watching the sun dip below the horizon on a Waikiki beach or catching the day end from Mount Haleakala, Hawaii’s sunsets will surely take your breath away.


Photograph by  Louish Pixel  via Flickr Creative Commons

8 Kruger National Park 

South Africa

Africa’s wild animals come alive at sunset. Plus, the pink and turquoise sky is a breathtaking sight.

2204785523_844857dccd_z Photograph by  jomilo75  via Flickr Creative Commons

9 Grundarfjordur


Situated between a lava field and majestic mountains, this small town is one of the best places to catch Iceland’s spectacular sunsets. 9273551880_fd6240b486_z

Photograph by David Whelan via Flickr Creative Commons

10 City pier

Barcelona,  ​​Spain

Grave a bottle of Spanish wine, a few snacks, and join your fellow city dwellers and sunset revelers and watch the dusk descend on this lively city.


Photograph by MorBCN via Flickr Creative Commons


11 Djeme el Faad

Marrakech, Morocco

The Djemaa el Faad night market Virtually cracks open and comes alive as the sun sets over the Atlas mountains.

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Photograph by  juanjolostium  via Flickr Creative Commons

12 Golden Gate Bridge 

San Francisco, California, USA

Watching hey sky change from bright blue to light pink to lilac behind the Golden Gate bridge is truly a sight to behold.


 Photographer via Pixabay

13 City skyline

Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s famed TV Tower (Fernsehturm) Seems to light up like a disco ball as the rays from the setting sun bounces off its mirror-like surface.


Photograph by  Nico drinking house  via Flickr Creative Commons

14 Port Melbourne Poles, Princess Pier

Melbourne, Australia

The pole’s artfully reconstructed site – Which is at its most stunning at sunset – is a testament to the skill of engineering and architecture.


Photograph by Pixabay

1 5 Nagao Shrine,

Katsarugi, Japan 

Sunset at Shinto shrine this will make you feel at peace with the world.


Photograph by Pixabay


Festivals in Europe – September 2014

Pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled September! Here’s a list of some of the coolest, hippest, and craziest events from all over Europe!


September 3, 2014

DNA Berlin, Germany

Magnet Club

Falckensteinstr. 48, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Facebook Event Page 


 Image via DNA Berlin Facebook Event Page

Kick off the start of Berlin Music Week with DNA Berlin! This event is the ultimate mashup of art and music. Here, creative communities come together to showcase the best in art, music, and visual media content and promote creative collaborations. Plus, there will be hip DJs, food trucks, and more! Find out more by following the hashtag #DNABLN. And you can RSVP for  free entry until 11pm to
(RSVP closes on September 1st)
September 5 – 7, 2014


Join the revelry during the first week of September as Berliners and travelers alike party the night away in the Tempelhof Airport. (Yes, you read that right—the Tempelhof Airport—evidence of how creative and kooky Berlin’s party scene can get!) The event usually draws big acts and this year is no exception, with bands like Bombay Bicycle Club and Warpaint scheduled to perform. There will also be an Art Village and a Silent Arena. What’s a Silent Arena, you say? It’s an area dedicated to “quiet” dancing time—everyone dances with their earphones on.


September 4 -14, 2014




 Photograph by Shadowgate via Flickr Creative Commons

The Amsterdam Fringe Festival is a celebration of all that is quirky and avant-garde with over 80 productions of hip local and international acts and artists in over 25 locations across Amsterdam.


September 6, 2014


Memorial Park, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland


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Photograph by Fouquier ॐ via Flickr Creative Commons

Check out or even participate in feats of physical strength and agility in Scotland’s rugged landscape. The event draws over kilt-wearing 20,000 people each year and includes activities like Caber-tossing, an uphill race, hammer-throwing and more.


September 24 – 28, 2014



Photograph by Glenn Rice via Flickr Creative Commons

Love movies? Then you’ll enjoy the Branchage Film Festival in Jersey. This popular event features the best in the country of Jersey and often takes place in unique locations like forts, castles, barns, and even a tugbat in St. Helier Harbour.

September 20, 2014


Want to experience the “Good Life”? Well, if you travel to Wales on September 20, you just might get your chance to get a taste of what it truly means to be living life to fullest! From Balkan beats to classical music, Welsh singer Cerys Matthews has created an array of diverse and lovely music that audiences from all walks of life will enjoy. But the good life isn’t just limited to music—it includes great food and culture, too. Plus, there will be a morning yoga class, axe-throwing demonstrations, and cool retro rides.


September 9 – October 5, 2014



Photograph by xsnowdog via Flickr Creative Commons

No journey to Germany is complete without experiencing Oktoberfest. As one of the country’s biggest and most popular festivals, Oktoberfest is an unforgettable—not to mention, fun—experience. While the main artery of this historic folk festival takes place in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest is celebrated not just all over the country—but in other parts of the globe, too. Here, people dress in traditional German garb (yup, we’re talking about lederhosen), and breweries offer up every kind of ale and traditional Bavarian treats. And the soundtrack of the festivities? Live brass bands playing Bavarian tunes and happy folks singing warbling beer songs.



City Profile: Barcelona, Spain

Want to experience the BEST of Barcelona? Check out this guide of must-see sights travel!

La Sagrada Familia – Gaudi


Admission: Prices start at 19.90 Euros (with audio guide)

ADDRESS: Calle Mallorca 401

8034 Barcelona

OPEN: 9 am to 6 pm

TRANSPORTATION: Metro Line No. 5 station

If You Could only see one thing in Barcelona, ​​make it the La Sagrada Familia. The sight of this jaw-dropping (unfinished) cathedral will have you in a state of wonderment and awe. As Gaudi Had died in 1926, his master piece Which left unfinished and the continuation End of month Has the been the subject of many heated debates. HOWEVER, de four new towers of the Passion facade (south western wing) is nearly finished and the final date of completion Has yet to be deterministic mined.

Park Guell – Gaudi

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Photograph by fstifter via Flickr Creative Commons

Carrer D’Olot 


OPEN: opening: 10am, closing time DEPENDING on the season, mostly around 7pm

TRANSPORT: Green Line: Lesseps, Vallcarca

Commissioned by the rich industrialist Eusebi Güell as a recreation area for the Barcelonian aristocracy. The park’s twisting rock pillars, jaw-dropping view of the city, and sheer size will keep you occupied for most of the day.

Palau de la Música Catalana


Photograph by John Picken Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

ADDRESS: Carrer Sant Francesc de Paula 2

08003 Barcelona

OPEN: box office 10 am-9pm Mon-Sat. guided tours daily 9.30am-3pm

TRANSPORT: metro: line 1 and 4 to “Urquinaona” bus no.17, no.19, no.40, no.45

The façade of Domènech i Montaner’s concert hall, with its bare brick, busts and mosaic friezes Representing the regions musical traditions and composers is one of the best examples of the Catalan Modernista movement ever built. The interior of this sight is equally, if not more impressive with its multicolored stained glass ceiling and half-relief figures of the musical Muses.

Parc de la Ciutadella


Photograph “Ciutadella Park fountain” by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons 

ADDRESS: Passeig Picasso 


OPEN: 10am – sunset daily

TRANSPORT: metro: “Arc the Triomf” or “Barceloneta”

The Parc de la Ciutadella leaves no room for boredom as its attractions include the Natural History Museum, a gorgeous lake, and more than 30 pieces statuary. The park contains artwork by Antoni Tapies, Josep Llimona, Carles Fontseré and many others.

Casa Amatller


 Photograph by Ulf Liljankoski via Flickr Creative Commons

ADDRESS: Passeig de Gràcia 41

08007 Barcelona

TRANSPORT: Buses: 7, 16, 17, 22, 24, 28; Metro: L2, L3, L4 (Passeig de Gràcia) 

The Casa Amatller, Which is Adjacent to Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, Which designed by the artist Josep Puig i Cadafalch. A tile located at the floor of the entrance of the sights entrance marks the 0 km. of the European Route of Modernism. The goal behind creating this route to what extend the model of the Barcelona Route of Modernism to other cities on the continent thathave Comparable architectural styles in order to promote the artists and Their Work. Though closed to tourists, the main entrance is always open and there is an interesting chocolate shop offers a look into the history behind the building’s did construction.

Font Magica de Montjuïc


Photograph by Amy Goodman via Flickr Creative Commons

ADDRESS: Plaça d’Espanya 


OPEN: MAY-SEPT 8-11.30pm Thur-Sun; music every 30mins 9.30pm-midnight. OCT-APR 7-9pm Fri, Sat; music every 30mins 7-9pm


The Font Magica de Montjuic is a spectacular display of color, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. It’s first performance Which falling on the Great Universal Exchibition on May 19, 1929 The designer Carles Buigas submitted his plans one year before the exhibition commissioning over 3000 workers for the project Which was completed in less than one year.

City Profile: Kuala Lumpur Food Trip

Photograph by Trey Ratcliff via Flickr Commons

If there is anything more adventurous and satisfying in traveling through Southeast Asia, it’s testing out the diverse, unique and interesting selection of food. Kuala Lumpur is one of the hottest and most exciting locations for food lovers, taste bud adventurers and fans of cooking travel shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour.” The plethora of eateries and dishes will make you sweat­from the humid Malaysian weather, the full­bodied spices and most of all, from the excitement of having so many distinct and delicious options laid out before you.

With a cuisine that reflects the multi­cultural history and influences of Malaysia, there is more than one way to eat in KL. The country’s food options have been derived, fused and influenced by Indian, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Arab and Portuguese cultures which makes it entirely possible not to eat the same thing twice.

So take this gastronomic adventure through the city where you’ll not only have your mouth watering for more, you’ll also learn more about the country’s rich history and culture as well as the most intriguing sections in the city.

Some helpful keywords to use on your adventure:

ayam ­ chicken
ikan ­ fish
garpu ­ fork
lembu ­ lamb
mee/mi ­ noodles takeaway ­ food to go roti ­ bread

Terima kasih ­ Thank you teh ­ tea
teko ­ teapot
teksi ­ taxi

Selamat datang ­ You’re welcome Selamat tinggal ­ goodbye

Here, a guide to everything you need to know about Malaysian cuisine.

Malaysian Indian 

Kuala_Lumpur_Little_India_0009Photograph of Little India by Stefan Fussan via Wikimedia Commons

The country was and is still highly influenced by the Indian culture. With a historical relationship dating back to the 3rd century B.C., wherein Indian traders and fishermen came to Malaysia to trade with the locals and the Chinese. For true Indian cuisine, Brickfield’s is the area to be. This section of Kuala Lumpur is also known as “Little India” and is where you’ll find the best banana leaf rice cantinas, chapati breads and thosai (South Indian pancake).



 Photograph by Krista via Flickr Commons

Mamak, which refers to Indian Muslims, have created their own distinctly Malaysian­Indian fusion of food. One of the most popular category of food is the “nasi kandar,” which originates from Penang.



Photograph of Mamak Stall by Krista via Flickr Commons

Mamak stalls (a.k.a. mapley) are widespread throughout the city as well as the rest of Malaysia, wherein some are even open 24 hours a day and is considered as the local “watering hole” where people gather to eat, gossip and watch football games (its extra crazy during the World Cup). You’re bound to come across one of these tiny cantinas or stalls wherein you’ll feel fully satisfied by the freshly made roti canai (thin, flaky bread), Nasi Lemak (rice steamed with coconut milk), Teh tarik (literally, “pulled tea” with condensed milk). These stalls (some even illegal­which makes it more fun) can be found in streets and near parking lots all over the city, but a great spot to find a mass of these eateries is by the busy Jalan Imbi section of Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Chinese


Photograph by Pavithran via Wikimedia Commons

For those craving some good ol’ Chinese takeout, you’re bound to be delightfully surprised. Though still influenced by the cultural melting pot that is Malaysia, the food remains discernibly Chinese. Though Chinese food is often rife with pork (which is not allowed for Muslims), there are many vegetarian, chicken and halal (ingredients that are allowed in the Islamic religion) options. A good bet to find fabulous Chinese food is obviously, in KL’s Chinatown as well as in the grungy, red ­light district of Chow Kit (Jalan Chow Kit Road) which has an interesting wet market, an Indonesian community, an African community and a night market.

Malaysian Dessert


Photograph by Jonathan Lin via Flickr Commons

For dessert lovers who’ve made a special pact with the tooth ­fairy, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory­–Malaysian style.

Kuih which is Bahasa (language in Malaysia) for sweets and pastries which are made fresh with natural ingredients, can be found in specialty shops all over the city.

Most of Malaysian desserts are made with coconut milk and local fruits. For health buffs and/or fruit lovers, you can find your fix in any local outdoor market and must try delights are: mango, mangosteen, pineapple, rambutan, star fruit, jackfruit, langsat, watermelon, papaya, banana and fresh coconut. For other traditional desserts, try: Cendol ­ Green rice noodles served in chilled coconut milk and gula melaka (coconut palm sugar). Ais Kacang/ Air Batu ­ Shaved ice with sweet corn, red beans, condensed milk and sweet syrups. Sago ­ Rice balls or cubes served in chilled coconut milk. Pengat ­ Tapioca and banana with thick, melted brown sugar mixed with coconut milk, traditional fruits Ondeh­ ondeh ­ Pandan flavored balls of glutinous rice flour which is filled with gula melaka (coconut palm sugar) and rolled in coconut shavings.

Explorer of the World Q & A Series

Want to be an explorer of the world? Find out how other intrepid travelers have found a way to make their vagabond dreams come true by checking out’s quick and on-the-spot Explorers of the World Q & A series.

First up is Akshay Wagh, a 29-year-old adventurer from Singapore who has been to 49 countries—and counting!


17646111_l_15373945c4462fe09ef4d6b440ab73a6 Shot in Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.

What do you love about travel?

“I love the thrill of seeing and experiencing the unknown—whether it’s venturing to a new place, eating food that’s new to me, taking pictures of the area, or talking to the locals!”


What has been your most memorable and rewarding travel experience?

“I love Eastern Europe and Scandinavia (Russia/Iceland/Norway) because of all the  nature and the cold weather. I travel there every December and stay for three weeks. I’ve been this for the past five years now.”


Shot in Russia. Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.

What has been the biggest challenge about traveling?

None. In my opinion, the key to a good trip is keeping an open mind and maintaining an even temperament. Also, I have never travelled to any ‘dangerous’ places or war zones.


Skydiving! Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.


How do you fund your travels?

 I save up for it.


What are your TOP 5 travel essentials?

1.       Books to read during the flight

2.       DSLR

3.       Moisturizer

4.       Jumper

5.       Wikitravel printouts of things-to-do


What’s next on your bucket list?

South America


Any advice for aspiring travelers?

Traveling is easier than you think; it’s not always the big deal that it is often made out to be.


Want to know more about Akshay’s adventures? Check out his travel page And if you’re curious about Singapore, he also has a fantastic Singapore-based travel page at
We’re scouring the globe in search of intrepid travelers to feature on the blog! If you love to travel, have a ton of stories, experiences, and advice to share just send us an email at with “Traveler Q&A” on the subject line. 

Must-Watch Travel Movies (With Quotes!)

Love movies? Get inspired to hit the road with these must-watch travel films!

1) The Motorcycle Diaries

“What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.” - Ernesto Guevara de la Serna

2) Wild (Coming Soon!)

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told.” – Cheryl Strayed

3) Into the Wild

“The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” – Chris McCandles

4) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – Walter Mitty

5) L’Auberg Espanole (The Spanish Apartment)

“When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense. Everythings unknown, virgin… After you’ve lived here, walked these streets, you’ll know them inside out. You’ll know these people. Once you’ve lived here, crossed this street 10, 20, 1000 times… it’ll belong to you because you’ve lived there. That was about to happen to me, but I didn’t know it yet.” – Xavier

6) UP

“Adventure is out there!” – Charles Muntz

7) A Map for Saturday

“In fifty or sixty years I’m dead. I want to say ‘I had a good life’.” –Jens 27 Germany

8) The Darjeeling Limited

“I love the way this country smells. I’ll never forget it. It’s kind of spicy” – Peter

9) Lost in Translation

“Can you keep a secret? I’m trying to organize a prison break. I’m looking for, like, an accomplice. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?”-Bob

10) The Beach

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.” – Richard

11) In July

“My darling, I’ve traveled thousands of miles, I’ve crossed rivers and moved mountains. I’ve suffered and endured agonies. I’ve resisted temptation, and I’ve followed the sun, so that I could stand before you and tell you I love you.” – Daniel

12) Amelie

“Amelie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It’s a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her.” – Narrator

13) 180 Degrees South

“Taking a trip for six months to get in the rhythm of it. It feels like you can go on forever doing that. Climbing Everest is the ultimate and the opposite of that. Because you get these high powered plastic surgeons and CEO’s, they pay $80,000 and have sherpas put the ladders in place and 8000 feet of fixed ropes and you get to the camp and you don’t even have to lay out your sleeping bag. It’s already laid out with a chocolate mint on the top. The whole purpose of planning something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain and if you compromise the process, you’re an asshole when you start out and you’re an asshole when you get back.” – Yvon

14) The Endless Summer II

“I thought the locals at Huntington were mean!” – Peter

15) Seven Years in Tibet

 “In this place where time stands still it seems like everything is moving. Including me. I can’t say I know where I’m going nor if my bad deeds can be purified. There are so many things I have done that I regret. But when I come to a full stop I hope you understand that the distance between us is not as great as it seems.” Heinrich 

Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or send us an email at!




Top 10 Adventure Destinations for Travelers

Seeking adventure? Add these top spots to your bucket list!   1. Trek the Himalayas Kathmandu_,_Nepal,Himalayas,Everest (1)

Photograph by ilkerender via Wikimedia Commons

2. Take a Trek Through Chile


Image by Trey Radcliff from the blog via Flickr creative commons

3. Take a bike tour through Asia!


Photograph by Dan Woods via Flickr Creative Commons

4. River rafting at the Bhote Kosi River, Nepal


Photograph by Anil Simkhada via Wikimedia Commons

5. Check out the sea life at the Great Barrier Reef


Photograph by By Richard Ling via Wikimedia Commons

6. Skydive in New Zealand


Photograph by Mark Houchin via Flickr Creative Commons

7. Hike through the Fish River Canyon in Namibia


Photograph by Namibie Fishriver Canyon Photographie prise par GIRAUD Patrick via Wikimedia Commons

7. Take a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge


Photograph via Wikimedia Commons

8. Go whale watching

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Photograph by By Hans Bernhard (Schnobby) via Wikimedia Commons

9. Take an African safari


Photograph by  Simone Roda, derivative work by Jean-Jacques MILAN via Wikimedia Commons

10. Do some extreme Zorbing in New Zealand or the UK

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Photograph by Harry Malsch  via Wikimedia Commons

Do you have some adventures that you’d like to suggest? Send us an email at We want to hear from you!

10 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

 How is it did some people come back from a trip slimmer and sleeker, while others did find

they’ve grown at an extra tire around their belly? For the Latter, the stress of the voyage and having less control over Their diet and fitness regimen Often results in Abandoning exercise and mindless eating. HOWEVER, just because you want to maintain a fit figure does not mean you did have to spend countless hours trapped in the hotel gym.

Take advantage of the physical aspects of travel and not only will you end your holiday a few pounds lighter but so having had the time of your life.

Here are ten ways to get fit on the road Whilst satisfying your sense of wanderlust.


Image By Eschubie (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons


1) Forgo the junk and go for quality local delights: such as a cup of Thailand’s Tom yum soup or a small plate of mouthwatering Italian pasta.




Image via Wikimedia Commons by Kcdtsg

Methods You may think you’re cutting calories by choosing did generic crackers or playing it safe by going into yet another fast food franchise, but the only thing you’ll be losing out on is a nutrient-packed cultural tastebud extravaganza. Favor flavor and freshness over packaged and processed meals. Meander through outdoor markets and discover the diverse array of fruits and vegetables Which make delicious on-the-road snacks.

If you’ve ditched the unhealthy fare, you can eat whatever you want … in moderation. Giada de Laurentiis, celebrity chef and host of the Food Network’s Everyday Italian, is not only known for sinful butter-and-oil soaked recipes but so her enviable physique, Which she credits to portion control and eating several times a day.

THEREFORE, you can savor did scoop of creamy gelato or savory Spanish paella, but keep in mind did a little bit can go a long way. Be a mindful eater and put all your senses into it: smell the blend of herbs and spices, look at the colors on your plate, feel how the textures blend and melt together and finally, let the key takeover. Now, that’s true satisfaction.

2) Sit Down and Enjoy Your Meal

Outdoor_dining_ (1)

Image by Chris Spielmann (Photographer) via Wikimedia Commons

The philosopher Epicurus Believed that “The road to happiness Means never eating a meal alone.” THEREFORE, sit down with friends, join the city dwellers or the lush scenery make your companion. Taking the time to enjoy your dish will not only let you better appreciate its mix of flavors, but that is the process of your journey.

3) Get involved in the sport of the country.


Playing_soccer_on_a_sunny, _peaceful_day_in_Kabul_ (4445090017) (1)

Image by NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan from Afghanistan via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a chance to get toned, acquire a new skill and meet new people. You can find opportunities to flex your athletic prowess in one of the community centers or parks, or through the tourist information offices. Wouln’t it be great to go home a lean fighting machine due to karate lessons from a genuine Japanese Sensei or by having battled it out on a rugby field in Sydney?

4) Run or jog!


Image by Jeff Drongowski from Los Angeles, CA, USA via Wikimedia Commons

There is no better way to see the city than by pounding the pavement. For nature lovers, you can ask your hotel reception to recommend a jogging path. If running is too strenous, then walk your way to health. Turn the task into an adventure by plotting out a theme for your route,: such as visiting the locations cited in the Da Vinci Code for Paris or museum-hopping in London.

5) Do a bike tour


Photograph by By Ptakrichard via Wikimedia Commons

Pedal your way to a better body by touring a city on a bike. Like running and walking, this is a fun way to cover some ground Whilst getting a good workout. Get your heart pumping as you weave through alleyways and over bridges and enjoy the true heart of the city.

6) Be a “stair-climber”


Photographer byBernt Rostad (Flickr: Zhujiajiao ancient town) via Wikimedia Commons

As a traveler, one must come to accept ‘that’ in every town or city, there is bound to be a site with a daunting flight of stairs. Do not flee this challenge and make like Rocky Balboa and charge up Those steps.

7) Just say ‘Om’

512px-Yoga_dancer_pose_at_Independence_Pass, _CO

Image by Mark Donoher / Daniel Case prior to upload (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons


Before you leave for your trip, invest in learning a few yoga stances. Yoga is an exercise you can do anywhere. It has Numerous health benefits,: such as Increasing your cardiovascular efficiency and flexibility thereby giving you the energy to explore your destination. From doing the sun salutation on the sand or the warrior stance in your hotel room, it is a relaxing way to start or end your day.

8) Do not let the kids have all the fun! Tap into your younger self and play, jump and laugh.




Image by Karen Laubstein, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve got children, join them in a game of tag on the beach or “Marco Polo” in the pool. Malthus, you will not even notice you’ve did spent the day getting a full body workout. So it is an opportunity to build precious memories with your family.

9) Make your vacation in unforgettable one by pushing yourself to the limits.


Image via Wikimedia Commons by


Do not just lie on the beach, jump into the water and spend an hour or two surfing, snorkeling or diving. Hire a certified guide and hike up a mountain trail or go spelunking. Not only will you torch fat, but you’ll be able to experience the beauty of nature and work your way to a more active lifestyle.

10) Complement the physicality of your travels by doing practical musclebuilding exercises: such as crunches, push-ups and squats.


Photograph by Mike “Michael L. Baird, via Wikimedia Commons

Create a three to six day, 30-minute workout routine and devote a session to a specific each set of muscle groups (ex. Day 1: arms and shoulders, Day 2: thighs and glutes). Resistance bands, Which you can find in any sporting goods store, is an effective, portable and affordable way to build strength. You can use synthesis elastics in a variety of ways,: such as bicep curls and tricep and shoulder flys. If you’re pressed for time, squeeze in a few moves by doing lunges as you brush your teeth, calf raises when you’re waiting in line or simply stretch your arms and back on the plane or train.

Finally and most importantly, immerse yourself in the experience of travel by getting out of your comfort zone, exploring a new environment and practicing the value of moderation. Not only will you return trim and healthy, but with a Renewed sense of self and the world.