Tag Archives: Travel

Top 4 reasons why you should travel on your 20’s.

This world is so amazing and you’ll only realize it once you’ve decided to actually see it.
Hannah Oliveros

You are on your 20’s, you just graduated from college, you’re young, ambitious, you feel like you can conquer the world. And maybe you can, but let me ask you this question. How much of this world have you actually seen?
How many random people have you met through traveling? How many countries have you visited? Have many passport stamps do you have? None? Well, my friend, it is time for you to do something about that. It is time for you to pack your bags and go travel.

Why? Well, let me tell you the reasons why you should do it now than later.

1. Traveling will help you understand who you truly are.
There is so much you can learn from traveling, including who you truly are. You will learn how you handle yourself when in distress, you will learn how you deal with people and you will learn how accepting you are with differences. Traveling is not always smooth and easy, it is why doing so will really test you and your character in all level. Try backpacking in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. This route is not really that easy, but it is really fulfilling.

the probing wife- iceland
Young and carefree. (Reykjavik, Iceland)

2. Traveling is an adventure.
You’re young, so live like one! Go and have an adventure of a lifetime. Embark on a journey outside of your comfort zone, live it to the fullest. Go to countries you’ve never thought you’ll go to. Go to Europe and start backpacking or camp in Iceland while staring at the Aurora Borealis. Life is an adventure, so jumpstart your life now.

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Iceland

3. Traveling gives you a new perspective.
Meeting people from other culture will teach you a lot of things. You’ll even realize at some point that you are looking at the same thing but see them entirely differently. Furthermore, you’ll even realize that the way you see the world has major flaws, and you’ll learn to correct them. You’ll learn so many things, not just about another culture but life in general.

 

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Prague, Czech Republic.

 

4. Traveling will help you heal and move on. You got your heart broken? Lost someone you love dearly, travel. Going to another country can heal you. It will help you move on. It will help you be happy again. It will help you remember the good, and not the bad. It will help give you another reason to live and to choose life. Who knows, you might even bump into your destiny on the road.

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I am no expert in life, and I am truly aware of that. It is actually one the reason why I travel. Because traveling educated me the way the four corner of the classroom failed to. It gave me valuable insights about life, about living, about happiness.
While you are young, travel. See the world. Expand your horizon. This world is so amazing and you’ll only realize it once you’ve decided to actually see it. Going out of your comfort zone can be unnerving, but I tell you, it will be worth it.
So what are you waiting for? Jetset and go!

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2 Days Itinerary in Edinburgh

‘Edinburgh is a sweet surprise. A city that depicts the past yet reflects the future at the same time.’ – Hannah

After our trip to London, my husband and I thought about making use of our UK visa again. A few hours after that, we found ourselves booking cheap tickets and flights to Edinburgh, Scotland.  And off we go.

This is not our first time to travel of course so we know the drill. We researched and map out our itinerary for Edinburgh. While doing our research, we saw some pictures of Edinburgh and my husband and I were quite dismayed. It didn’t seem special at all. It didn’t seem beautiful. To be honest, we thought that if this trip will not push through we will not mind at all.

Then came the day of our trip. The day before that I had a really high fever and even had a bacterial infection in my throat so I am not really in a happy mood. When we got in Edinburgh, everything changed.

We took the bus 35 from Edinburgh airport to the Airbnb apartment we rented. The fare was just 1.65 GBP. There are other quicker options like Airlink and Tram but cheap as we are, we opted for the bus. By the way, the buses in Edinburgh accepts cash and exact amount only. If you insert 5 pounds in the machine be ready not to get any change.

We arrived at around 8:00 in the evening. After settling in the apartment, we went out hoping to catch the ghost tour which was scheduled at 9:00pm. We walked from the apartment to the city for 30 minutes, and much to our dismay, since it is winter they do not do the 9pm tour anymore. But it was worth it, though. On our way to the city center we were saying that there seemed to be nothing special about Edinburgh but when we got into the center, our jaw dropped. Truly the pictures online did no justice to how beautiful Edinburgh is.

Even at night, it was magical. With a castle towering behind the whole city, it felt like we were immediately transported back in time where kings and queens look over their dominion from afar. Seeing and hearing everything that is happening in the town below.

After the walk, we made our way to the apartment. We had dinner on the way in our favorite restaurant in the UK, Nando’s.lol, Enough about us, let’s talk about Edinburgh and what are the things you should definitely do when you are there.

Edinburgh - The probing wife
Off we go to Arthur’s Seat. Taken from the top of a double-decker bus.

Day 1.

9:00 am – 12:30 Arthurs Seat and Salisbury.

If you want to see the whole see from a top of the mountain, you should definitely hike your way to Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury. Everything that you can see there is majestic. There are 2 main ways that you can use to go on top of the mountain. One is the steep, slippery and less taken while the other is the easy and flat road. Of course, my husband I chose the road less taken. Slippery, muddy and steep. We all have different preferences so go and choose the one that suits you. Either way, you’ll reach the top and be mesmerized all the same.

Edinburgh- The probing Wife
View from Arthur’s Seat.
The probing wife - edinburgh
Cheesy. Cheeky. On top of Arthur’s Seat.

After the long hike, we made our way to the city for our scheduled free city tour.

2:oo – 4:00  Free City Tour.

I know most of you do not like tours, but my husband and I really love them because we learn a little something about the history of the city and the country as well. And if you are lucky enough to have an amazing guide that brings you to the not so touristy part of the city, that is a huge plus. During this tour, my husband and I found out that JK Rowling wrote most of the book in a small cafe in front of the Greyfriar Cemetry. We even got to see the school that looks like Hogwarts, and for a reason. This is the school where JK rowling based the idea of Hogwarts itself, especially the facade and the fact that the school has 4 houses as well.

the probing wife - edinburgh
Never ever think that this heart symbolizes love. Contrary, it symbolizes hatred and disgust. Yep, we had an amazing guide.

7:00 – 9:00 pm Free Ghost Tour

It is creepy. If you don’t feel chilly and cold enough on a winter night, then join this tour. You’ll feel the chills running through your vein the whole time. You’ll know about baby strangling, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, witches, vampire, he-who-must-not-be-named and much more.

Day 2.

After a whole day of walking, needless to say, we are very tired the next day. So we started our second day with a little hike.lol, Here’s the second day of our Edinburgh adventure.

8:00 – 10:30 Calton Hill.

The way to Calton Hill is not as steep as Salisbury nor Arthur Seat but it was equally magical. Ding ding ding! Fairytales are real.

Edinburgh - The probing wife

Edinburgh - The probing wife
Edinburgh. Athens of the North.

10:30- 12:30 Holyrood Castle.

Holyrood Castle is right below the Arthurs Seat. As a matter of fact, you can even start your trip here then go to Arthur’s Seat. We just didn’t do that because we were excited about the hike. There is usually an entrance fee of 12GBP to go in the castle but my husband and I were at a perfect time because that day it was free entrance so we grabbed the opportunity and toured the castle.

holyrood-castle

By the way, it is not allowed to take pictures inside the castle, so take as many as you can while you are still allowed to do so.

Holyrood Castle - the probing wife
So touristy.

1:00- 3:00 Edinburgh Castle.

Every 1:00 in the afternoon the Edinburgh castle has an old tradition where they set off a canon. It is an amazing tradition and one that you should definitely look forward to. There is an entrance fee of 16GBP. We have had a lot of castle for a day so my husband and I didn’t go in. But for all of you who loves castles, this is definitely for you.

 

Edinburgh castle - the probing wife
Edinburgh Castle

 

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Edinburgh Castle

We spent the rest of the day walking around Royal Mile, Grass Market and more. There is truly more to Edinburgh that meets the eye. Be ready for an adventure because you will not lack one in Edinburgh.

 

‘Go and travel. The world is waiting.’

– Hannah 

 

 

P.S.

Here is another airport transfer service from Edinburgh Airport to the city.

 

Airlink 100- 4GBP

Tram – 5 GBP

Bus- 1.65 GBP

Trip to London: Day 1- After the Storm

If you have been following my blog, you know that our first few hours in London fell nothing short of an adventure. It was like a race against time. Had we been contestants on Amazing Race, we would have won the race, no doubt about it!. If you haven’t read about it, feel free to check it out here. During those times, I can say it really pays to marry a Superman.

After the fiasco, we went to our Airbnb apartment and rest for a while trying to catch our breath and get a grip of what just happened. The moment we recovered, my husband and I realized we’re famished. Good thing his friend came to the rescue. He works for a Japanese restaurant in London as a chef and he invited us to come over.

Travel Tip: If you will stay in London for 3 or more days, it best that you get an Oyster Card. We bought an oyster card good for 7 days so we paid £37. Oh, when you are done using the oyster card you can return it and then get a refund of £5. 🙂

Since our apartment was conveniently located near the city, it was pretty easy for us to go the restaurant. My husband and his old friend said their hi’s and hellos. I wasn’t paying much attention because all that I can think of was food! They talked about our little adventure that day until our order was served.

The moment it was laid on the table, I immediately took a bite. I do not know if I was just very hungry but it tasted nothing like anything I have ever tasted before. It was so good! My husband’s friend Kuya Rey (the chef) ordered a lot for us! Even if my husband and I were hungry, we are not really big eaters so we were taken aback by the amount of food served on us.

Remember when I said the food was so good and my husband not being big eaters? Well, scrap that. The food was not just good, it was heavenly to the point that my husband and I finished EVERYTHING! I mean, we had Volcano Roll (sushi), Spicy Mango Roll (sushi), Rib Eye, Wagyu Beef and rice. All of these were served in huge portion but we were able to consume it all plus the desert!

murakami-wagyu-beef

It was the best way to start the calm after the storm and I wouldn’t really wish it any other way. We loved the food so much that before our flight, we decided to eat again in Murakami and it was yet again another gastronomic experience!

After we left the restaurant, my husband and I walked around the city to take touristy shots.Our first stop was, of course, the Big Ben. I was beyond amazed when I saw the Parliament and the Big Ben! I can still remember it explode from the James Bond movie so I was beyond thrilled that finally, I AM IN LONDON! (And we found my bag with everything still in it!)

Right across the bridge was the London Eye. Yes, you read it right. I saw the freaking London Eye! I literally have to pick up my jaw and screw it back. It felt so surreal for me. It was just beyond amazing! My husband loves taking pictures of buildings at night so we have decided to go somewhere else since it is still early. He asked me where I would like to go.

“I am just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her back…” That was all I can ever think of during that time. And so off we go to Notting Hill. 

When we got to Notting Hill, we immediately started looking for the blue door and the bookshop. We were so happy when we found it and took loads of pictures. Apart from the blue door and Travel/Book shop, Notting Hill is a pretty amazing street so if ever you are in London, I suggest you put it on your list.

After going all cheesy in Notting Hill, we have decided it is time to go somewhere magical. And what could be more magical than Platform 9 3/4? I am a Potter-head so seeing that platform in real life made my heart leap for joy. You can take pictures on the platform but there are also photographers there from the Harry Potter store (conveniently located next to it) that can take your picture and print it for £15. My husband is not a fan of printed pictures so we decided to take pictures of our own and it turned out pretty amazing.

After the magical encounter, we went back to the parliament so my husband can take pictures and then went home around midnight. The train closes at 01:00 so we still had plenty of time. But since we were so tired, we have decided to end the Day 1 of our London Adventure.

 

 

PS.

Day 2 will be even more exciting so don’t forget to follow so you will not miss anything. 🙂 Also I will write about our Where to Eat in London so we can talk more about the food and of course more pictures! 🙂

 

UK Visa Application Guide

I have read in many group pages a lot of query about visas going to London. For European citizens, this might be a puzzling question because they do not need any visa at all, but for us Asians especially Filipinos, this is not new.As I have mentioned in my previous Blog, 5 Important Tips in Traveling, visa inquiries/passport regulations are always and should be on top of our deciding factors whether we will go to a country or not.

These past few months, my husband and I have been scouring for cheap tickets and the cheapest that we always find is a RyanAir flight bound to London. So we decided to book the flight and then go to London. Now here comes the bloody part, visa application.

We are fortunate enough to have never experienced rejections in any country that we want to visit and so we prayed that the UK will not be the first. I have been dreaming about going to London ever since I was young. So going there will surely feel like re-living my childhood dreams and memories!

The first thing we did is to comply the documents for the visa requirements.

Here is the list of documents that you need.

  • Current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Evidence that you can support yourself during the trip. E.g. bank statements or payslip for the last 6 months

Seems easy right? But they can ask for more documents if they want to. So here is the list of documents that you MIGHT need but be sure to give these just when SPECIFICALLY asked to.

  •  bank statements or letters issued more than 1 year before the date of application
  •  driving licence
  •  photographs (other than passport photographs required in section 1)
  •  notarial certificates
  •  business cards
  •  hotel bookings
  •  flight bookings
  •  photocopies of bank cards
  •  credit card statements
  •  certificates relating to leisure activities
  •  evidence of car ownership
  •  travel insurance
  •  sponsor’s utility bills
  •  sponsor’s council tax bill

After you have prepared all the documents that you need, you have to register and apply  in GOV.The UK and pay the application fee. Just to give you and idea, my husband and I paid 190 Euros each for 6 months’ multiple entry visas. Expensive, I know.  But I’m sure it will be worth it! (I need to tell this to myself every day just so I can move on from the fact that it is really expensive!)

After registering in GOV.uk you have to register again in their outsource company under Teleperformance. It is called TLSContact. It is important that you sign up on this website so that you can track your application. Also, it is in their service center where you will pass the requirements. Their address is,

UK Visa Application Centre
Regus Copenhagen
Orestad Fairway House
Arne Jacobsens Alle 7
Center Boulevard
S 2300 Copenhagen
Denmark

Before you go to your appointment, make sure that you have everything that you need. Here is a checklist that they provided in TLSContact.

  • printed copies of your appointment confirmation,
  • printed receipt(s) of payment of Added Value Services if applicable,
  • original documents,
  • online application form,
  • passport,
  • residence permit if applicable,
  • other documents you want to be considered.

So as you can see in the list, you need to bring the copy of your payment receipt. You will receive this copy via email after you paid the application fee, so make sure to print it out.

Okay, now, let me tell you what I submitted for the application. I submitted a lot of documents! Since it was mentioned that I can bring any documents that I want to be considered, I took the liberty of taking all the documents that I have!

Here is the list of documents I submitted excluding the above-mentioned requirements.

  • Photocopy of my passports. (Old and New)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Hotel booking
  • Airline booking
  • EU residence permit (Pink Card) and Social Security Card (Yellow Card)
  • Personal bank statement
  • Shared bank account statement of my husband and I
  • My husband’s bank statement
  • My husbands’ certificate of employment

You might be wondering why I included my husbands’ Certificate of Employment. The reason is actually very simple. I wrote in my application that I am TOTALLY dependent on my husband so I included his bank statement to prove that he has the capacity to pay for our trip and also his Certificate of Employment for them to know that we will not stay in the UK more than what we are supposed to because he has a job that he has to go back to. Let’s call it perks of being married. So what’s his is mine and what’s mine is…uhmm…I actually have nothing. Joke!

Now,for my tips during the interview.

Visa applications are always tough but it is doable! Just always remember though that when you are applying for a visa,you have to look presentable and likable. Smile and greet everyone you meet there. And the most important thing, be honest on what you write in your application. They always have a way of finding out the truth.  The processing time is just about two weeks Good luck and enjoy the UK!

P.S.

For security reasons, I will not post a copy of our visa. Rather we will post a picture of our trip to London after our vacation. 🙂 Happy traveling!

 

 

Iceland: Love at First Sight

Do you believe in love at first sight? It’s like the moment you laid eyes on that someone or something, the world seemed to stop. Your heart is beating so fast and you can’t contain the happiness you feel. And for no reason, you find yourself blushing and giggling all over! Call me lucky, but I know exactly how that feels because I have felt in when I visited Iceland.

 The first time I laid my eyes on that far-flung but fascinating country, I was really smitten by its beauty. It was so much beyond words. I felt like I was on another planet. I have never seen anything as serene, as pure and as amazing as this country. Iceland sure did give justice to the word “foreign”. It was a real FOREIGN country. Nothing about it seemed familiar to me, not even this so much happiness and amazement  that I feel in my heart.

Iceland is not as tourist pack as other countries but one should not take it against Iceland. It is actually a good thing because you can have freedom exploring the country. You can take great pictures and also really just take your time savoring this wonderful country that is truly one of a kind. Walking in the streets of Reykjavik is like walking into the pages of history books. The small houses, the cold weather, the Viking shops…all these little things adds to the charm that only this cold country can offer. There are so many things to do in Iceland. But for those of you who wants to make the most of your visit, here’s my shortlist of things you should do when in Iceland.

 1. PLUNGE INTO THE BLUE LAGOON
Needless to say, Iceland is a very cold country. What better way to keep yourself warm than swimming into this warm water which as its name suggest is colored blue!lol.  It is so refreshing to swim in this lagoon! The weather might be dropping but this lagoon is forever warm! Furthermore, the warm water is also very rich in minerals like Silica and Sulfur so bathing in it is told to be good for people suffering from skin diseases. The warmth of the water is just perfect. It was so soothing! The entrance fee is around 30 euros. Just bring your own towel and swimsuit so you can avoid other charges. By the way, out of all the tourist attractions in Iceland, this one is the most packed so be prepared to see A LOT of tourists. Though in my experience, it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the place. Looking back, I didn’t really even cared about them! I felt like it was just me and the lagoon!haha Oh, I almost forgot, just at the side of the lagoon, there is natural Sauna. It was truly great to sweat off in that cave like Sauna!

2. TRY THE FAMOUS HOTDOG STAND BAEJARINs BETZU
Do you want to eat where the kings and presidents eat when they are in Iceland? Oh, don’t worry! Your pocket will not burn on the price. Go to the hotdog stand Baejarins Betzu. This is the most famous hot dog stand in Iceland. There is nothing special in this hotdog stand, but if you look at the pictures hanged on the cart you will see famous people eating their hotdogs. And when I say famous, I am not exaggerating. Ever heard of the name Bill Clinton? The Kardashians? Oh yes, they have tried it! So why not try it too? But do note that they only have one table so be prepared to eat your hotdog while standing. Well, I think the better way to eat it is by walking around exploring the city. It is very near the bay so you can savor every bite while letting your eyes rest in the beautiful surrounding.

3. GO TO THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Would you like to see a frozen waterfall, a very panoramic view or a Geysir? Well, you are definitely in the right place! Iceland has all of these. You have to drive south-west of the country to go the Golden Circle but its just a good 1 hour-2 hours drive, not a biggie for the view that awaits you. On your way, you might have to slow down when you are on the “ICE MOUNTAIN” as I call it because everything can be covered in the total mist…Though it is not like a scene from a scary movie. More like a taste of what heaven may look like. If you are renting a car, be careful when driving because this is ZERO VISIBILITY at its peak.

4. TAKE A PEEK INSIDE THE OPERA HOUSE
The Nordic country each have an opera house designed by one architect, and Iceland has one of the most beautiful opera houses. It changes its color at night, but be careful! Iceland is a very windy country and since the opera house is in a beachfront, it might get a little more windy than the usual. Don’t be like me, trying to be oh so tough and heavy. Needless to say, I almost went home blown by the wind.

5. HAVE SOME STEAK
I love a good steak! And so far, Herreford in Reykjavik has served me one of the best! They have what they call, “Hvad” Steak, a unique cuisine that only this steakhouse can offer. It literally melts in the mouth! I don’t want you to hate me so don’t translate it, please! It might be very delicious but never let anyone know you had it. That is if you do not want to be persecuted by PETA or GREENPEACE.

6. WAIT FOR AURORA BOREALIS
Do you believe in magic? If not, after seeing the northern light, I am sure you will believe in it. There is just something magical and whimsical with the aurora borealis. I don’t know but it really made me happy. There is a kind of happiness and peace that only it can bring. Best time to go and see this is February, so start saving up and embark into this one of a kind journey!

PS

After I got back from Iceland, My friend asked me where I have been. I told her…to another galaxy. That is how beautiful Iceland is. So out of this world! ❤

Go and travel..the world is waiting. -HKC

5 Important Tips in Traveling

For a lot of people, traveling can be very tiring. They think that there are a lot of things to do and prepare when you go out of the country but actually, this is very wrong. Traveling can be as easy and smooth as pie. I have been to a lot of countries via bus, train, plane and even on a ship, and I have never had any bad experience. Traveling had always been a pleasant and great experience for me. I will share with you some of the things that I bear in mind when I travel.  Just 5 things and you’re on the go!

  • CHECK PASSPORT REGULATION.

    This is the first thing that you have to consider when traveling abroad. You can’t book first then worry about the immigration rules of the country later. For Filipinos, there are a lot of countries that we can’t visit without a visa. But don’t lose hope; there are also a lot of countries that we can visit without worrying about anything.

 Here’s a list of those countries.

Bolivia – 60 days

Brazil – 90 days (for holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports, visa-free for (a) duration of tour of duty or (b) 180 days for official business or tourism)

Brunei – 14 days

Cambodia – 21 days

Colombia

Costa Rica – 30 days

Ecuador – 90 days

Hong Kong SAR – 14 days

India – Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days (limited only to New Delhi and Mumbai airports)

Indonesia – 30 days

Israel – visa-free for tourists (no. of days of stay will depend on Immigration); visa-free for holders of diplomatic and official passports; visa required for business)

Laos – 30 days

Malaysia – 30 days

Morocco

Mozambique – Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days

Palau – 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)

Peru – 60 days

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Singapore – 30 days

Sri Lanka – 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)

Suriname

Thailand – 30 days

Taiwan-  30 days

Tuvalu – 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return /onward plane ticket)

Vanuatu – 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return / onward plane ticket)

Vietnam – 21 days

Zambia – visa upon arrival; 3 months for tourism, 1 month for business

  • BOOK A HOTEL AHEAD OF TIME.

    Booking ahead your hotel is very helpful. It gives you a lot of time to check on the hotels with the best deals, gives you time to check the hotels’ accessibility and other services that you might want to have.

  • BRING YOUR OOTD’s and CASH.

    Travel gives everyone the opportunity to post countless OOTD shots. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to go to other country and see some really amazing sights, right? So, go on and take those #OOTD pictures! Anther thing that you should bring is CASH. Most people might say it is safer and better to bring credit card when traveling but for me, I always make sure that I have cash on hand just in case I need it. The best bargain and cheapest souvenirs for me are the one’s sold on the street and of course they do not accept credit cards, so having cash is really a must for me. Furthermore, some transportation means like a bus or traditional transportation like “tuk-tuk”  (Thailand) do not accept a card. SO for a better and fuller travel experience, better to have cash in hand.

  • MEDICINES.

    Being on vacation doesn’t mean you are immune to some sickness. Worst you might even get the flu while on vacation so being a “girl scout” wouldn’t hurt. Also, trying out new food might take its toll on you, so better be ready with those tablets!

  • ITINERARY.

    You have to be wise when traveling. You have to make the most out of every day but do not go overboard and plan for more than 24 hours. Remember, there’re just 24 hours a day! Do some research about the best places to go to, take a look at your map and plan your trip. You can try to download “Ulmon” on your mobile phone. It can work even if you are not using data so it is really helpful.

That’s it! Enjoy your travel, jet-setter! ❤