25 May 2015

Beyond Travelogues

and all else...

Travel musings

In Keio, I'm currently taking a module on Travel Writing. I thought it would be fun like writing travelogues and blog entries but oh my I was utterly wrong. Instead it was about reading up on 19th century travelers and how they set out on their long term voyage. I hate doing research especially not on history or historian figures. Gosh like why must I read and write someone from the past plus traveling back in those days (probably on a ship) is already so different from today's context.

But for the sake of class, I had to do my research on some famous travellers and to my surprise, I actually do respect them. They are the meaning of traveling, they set out to explore the unknown and to make sense of different cultures. Fast forward to today's world, we tend to travel for beautiful sights and probably for amazing photos. You know there's this "Places to go before you die" kinda articles which entices you to Wanna visit that city or so. I myself am no exception, I'm always so amazed at these photos and I tell myself, one day I want to be there. Truth. But for these historical travellers, their mindset probably wasn't that reason being there wasn't the Internet showing them how the place looks like, directions there and so on. They were really in for an adventure. Which sets me thinking  Instead, I set out to do something for myself more than anything else. Traveling allowed me to explore the possibilities and to see the great big world out there (come to think of it, we are really that small). You will never ever finish exploring every part of the world, even if you are in a particular country for a long time, there's bound to be a part that you won't cover. And someone else may or rather would. Like I always say, going to touristy areas are not enough and will never be enough, to truly experience being a part of the city that you are in. You need to live in it! Which is why I always enjoy long trips so I can truly say yes I've been there, done that.

It's never going to be easy. No one said it was.
But, I'll do it, because I want to.

14 May 2015

Hokkaido

Having a rather bumpy flight back from Sapporo to Tokyo while I’m typing this right now. Everyone else around me is fast asleep. It’s an early morning flight (we almost missed it) and I honestly had a good piece of mind to sleep too but after using my laptop for awhile, the announcement that we are arriving at Narita airport in 25mins time was made. So I decided to put my writing cap on and blog, finally something, for the longest time ever. Sometimes, I wonder… where’s my commitment to my precious blog. As much as I love blogging, truth is, I prefer travelling. And when I travel, sometimes I just have no time (or yes I am lazy?) to seat down and pen down my thoughts and reflect on each trip. You see, every time I seat down, it’s to plan the itinerary for the next day or even, the next trip. So yup! Planes rides are probably the best time to do so. Plus, thoughts are definitely fresh from my head since I just had the trip!

First time flying on Peach airlines, thankful for domestic airlines at a lower fare which makes travelling so much easier. Always very thankful for a safe flight regardless of how bumpy it gets. Safety is of utmost importance.

Anyways, back to the past week spent in Hokkaido, mainly Sapporo and some day trips out of the city.  In Hokkaido, it is best to drive, do a roadtrip or something. In fact, roads are wide, traffic is not conjested; it’s a great place for a road trip. I love road trips, reason being it lets me stop by anywhere I wish, like if I drive pass a scenic route or a very beautiful photo-worthy spot, I can just simply stop the car by the road side and snap a picture! Sadly, for this trip, it was just the two of us so we didn’t choose to drive. Well, on hindsight, it’s a good thing because now I can share with you how to get to the places with public transport! Well, it’s an alternative (and probably cheaper) way to get by… J

Highlights of Hokkaido:

Blue Pond

Cape Kamui

Lake Toya

Sapporo – Odori Park, Nijo Market, T38 Observatory Deck

Chocolate Factory

Otaru

Travelling to Hokkaido May is probably the wrong season, yes it’s less crowded, non-peak, great and all, but it’s not the season for seeing the attractions I wanted to see. We decided to give Farm Tomita a miss, no rainbow flower fields and all, reason being the flowers only bloom in late June-July period, so yes, it will probably be a barren land if we visit it. And since, it was quite out of the way, with a sunken heart yet practical mind, yup lets not go. On this note, it made me want to come back again in July (but we’ll see about it, hahaha, I want to, BUT there’s so many other places to explore!). The statement of “so many things to see, so little time”, is very true.

Till then,
Toodles!

15 April 2015

Exchange Beginnings

Hello from another part of the world...

EXCHANGE BEGINNINGS
april 7TH, 2015

Today marks the first day of school.
Week 1


It's my 3rd week here in Tokyo, besides the oh so not-very-fine weather, I'm adapting just fine. As usual.

It snowed.

It supposed to be springtime.

Where's my sunny days? I can't wait for summer.


 It doesn't take long for me to adapt to a new environment, after all, I am used to being alone and used to going for self-exploration trips. Well, I always remind myself, as I enter a foreign environment, patterns of thinking, behaving and feelings just need a little twitching here and there.

It's your choice.

Stay in the small bubble or Explore the Unknown world out there.

I choose the latter.

Be comfortable with taking risks, you'll learn more and be satisfied at the end of the day.
Like what my Dad always says, 'Travel more, you'll learn much more through travelling than your books'


Till then,
gone exploring

12 March 2015

shewriteslove

Give to me the gospel if the fields and woods,
The sermons written in the book of books;
The sweet communion of the things on earth 
Fresh with the warm baptism of the sun; 
Give me the offertory of bud and bloom, 
The perfect caroling of happy birds; 
Give me the creed of one of God’s fair days 
Wrought in the beauty of its loveliness; 
And then the benediction of the stars, 
His eloquent ministers of the night. 

-Ravenscroft

09 March 2015

Simplicite Cafe

NEW GEM AT EAST COAST
march 5th, 2015

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More options for our sweet palates!

Chanced upon this new cafe while driving pass it the other day, did some research on it and what attracted me to try it was their pretty blossom waffles! I've seen round, heart, even snowflake waffles but never a floral waffle in typical cafes before, and I thought since it's so close to my place, why not give it a try!

“because new is always good"

Was there on a weekday during its non-peak hour and it's no surprise that we were the only customers there. The cafe just opened for about a month or so and not many have blogged or published on their social media platforms yet. It's quite underrated thus I recommend it's a good time to visit it before it gets too popular in future! I personally love the place and its simple dessert offerings!

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Living up to its name, the cafe has kept things simple with its minimalistic decorations. Spacious, white, wooden furniture. Really, it's pretty much fuss-free with nothing to be excited about, but one thing that impresses is the humility and good service attitude of their staff which made me feel like home upon entering. It's very important especially for a small start-up cafe like theirs. I enjoyed my time there over some sweet nothings.

Menu's pretty limited, simple like I mentioned above. After all, good food should never be too complicated. The cafe doesn't serve any all-day breakfast nor real food for lunch or dinner, think just coffee, tea and desserts (like their daily bakes) and of course the speciality blossom floral waffles with Gelato/Sorbet. They have normal shaped waffles but of course, since I was there for the floral waffles, I ordered that with a scoop of dark Belgium chocolate gelato!

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 single scoop floral waffles ($11)

"Did you know, psychologists have proven waffles taste better when they look prettier?" Well, I'm the psychologist...

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It proved to be a great choice! Not only were the waffles pretty looking, the taste was up to my standards! Not too sweet nor buttery, but rather it was crispy (yay my favourite type!) and light! It came with a perfect combination of chocolate sauce and lovely strawberries and blueberries. You could opt for the whip cream as well but I decided not to have them. As for the gelato, my dark chocolate was not too sweet, just the way I liked it to be. They have a special "Guess This" flavour, and it turned out to be Cherry Tomato! How special but not my cup of tea, hahaha!

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A sweet start to 2015, glad I found this gem in the east coast!
And for those who stays nearby, you'll be happy to know that they open till Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.


Simplicate Cafe
425 East Coast Road, S429012