How to Pinpoint What Makes You Happy for Future Reference

By on July 17, 2017
ghent, happy

^(Walking around cities make me happy, in Ghent.)

Sometimes it seems that life is against you. Everything is going wrong and you feel trapped, stressed, saddened, and generally heartbroken by all of the bad luck and negatives. However, to combat these feelings in the future, you need to have a go-to pinpoint of what makes you happy.

Reflect on Your Life to This Point

There are always pros to go with cons, so for every bad thing that has occurred, there is a counterbalance of good things too. Reflect on your life to this point, remember the good times, and take solace in the fact that life is a series of ups and downs. Live for the ups and learn from the downs.

santorini, happy
(Seeing cities that were once on my bucketlist makes me happy…Oia, Santorini.)

Compile a Mental List of Your Hobbies, Past and Present

Do you love to paint murals? Do you love spending time with your kids? Hosting summertime pool parties for the neighbors in your backyard? Or, simply vegging out in front of the television? Whatever you love to do, or have loved to do in the past, remember it now and use it when you feel sad in the future. Consider this list a go-to of hobbies to help lift your spirits, zen your mind, and make you feel better.

Compile Another List of Things You’d Love to Do

Sure, you have your lists of passions and hobbies, but you also have a mental list of things you would love to do one day—a bucket list, if you will. But instead of calling it “things to do before I die,” consider calling it, “things to make myself happy and satisfied in life.” See the world, do things that scare you, tell people you love them, etc. Don’t be afraid to take those plunges NOW. You could even throw in an impulse or two. For example, do you want to take a day trip to the ocean to jump the waves for a few hours? Hop in the car, slather on some reef friendly sunscreen when you get there, and go for it.

venice, happy
(Me in Venice…doing what I love best: taking photos)

Rifle Through Your Best Memories

Everyone has a memory bank of their best memories, be it from their childhoods, or the dinner they enjoyed hours ago. When you feel stressed, lost, or generally upset, go through those memories and pick out the moments that you love to relive the most. Think of these, over and over again, until you feel happier and more complete. Create a go-to bank of memories for those challenging times in your life.

The aforementioned coping methods are meant to help you deal with the negatives of everyday life. No matter what put you in a bad mood, or what upset your day, you can look to these methods and use them as tools to make the proverbial lemonade out of life’s lemons.

leon (2)
Our cats make me happy and relaxed, too. meow….


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Combining Cool Clubbing with Hot Summer Adventures in your Magaluf Resort Holiday

By on July 10, 2012
photo via

The alluring Spanish Island of Majorca has plenty of tour attractions that make it a popular destination among tourists during the summer. A popular way to enjoy the island is to spend some time in Magaluf, the hottest venue for beach action and night time entertainment frequented by young holidaymakers who love the clubbing scene. Although they are known for clubbing, Magaluf also has plenty to offer for families and retirees who would like to enjoy the numerous attractions and entertainment that the resort has to offer during the summer holidays.

Most of the tourists that flock to Magaluf during the summer are those who are around the age of 18-30 years old. The major attraction for this group is the combination of great beaches with fine sand, clear waters and panoramic views and the non-stop party action that starts and sunset and ends at sunrise. The most popular nightclub in the area is the BCM where you can also find some of the coolest DJs from the UK . This resort competes with Benidorn and Ibiza when it comes to sizzling summer night life in the region. The fun formula here is great music, affordable drinks and lively crowd that you can easily blend with. Aside from this, the resort also features some activities that may also be enjoyed by people belonging to different age groups. Families may enjoy a dip in shallow areas of the beach with their children or get into exciting water sports like jet skiing, windsurfing, and scuba diving to name a few. There are also some theme parks around the area that include Marineland, Western Park and Aqualand. One kind of entertainment that is unique to the island is the Pirates Adventure Show which comes in a wholesome version for the whole family and an Adults Only version with more vulgar language and skin exposure from the actors.

With everything that this island has to offer, one can be sure that a trip to Magaluf is something to be enjoyed. You need not fret about the budget. Cheap holidays to Magaluf are available online, so you can save on costs without scrimping on fun. Take advantage of hot deals that will take you to this hot destination by booking early. The best time to visit the island resort is during the summer season when the hot beaches are cooled down with fun frolics in the morning and spectacular parties at night.

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1001 Places | Travel Plans | Traveling

1001 Places I’d Like to Visit before I Die # 6 – Egypt

By on February 26, 2012

I’ve been digging the archives again and it’s surprising how much photos we’ve accumulated through the years. Speaking of digging, Egypt is perhaps one of the cities that has had so much antiquities being discovered, extricated, probed, unearthed, the fascination to its ancient civilization has never ceased. So much so that many of these discoveries or parts of can be found in museums or private collections around the world. One of the photos I dug and wrote about on our art blog is about the Sphinx of Tanis, the biggest Sphinx outside of Egypt that can be found at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Seeing this again made me want to book the first of those advertised cheap holidays to egypt on the sidebar of this blog,  I am after all one of those caught in the magic of Egypt’s mysterious past.

sphinx, egypt
The closest I’ve been to Egypt is via the Tanis Sphinx at the Louvre Museum.

When Egypt is spoken about, the pyramids, sands, sphinx, dates come to mind…but for me there’s one particular vista that I’d love to see personally, the Nile river. As a child exposed to Bible history I had always wondered what the Nile river really looked like when Moses as baby was sent adrift in a basket to escape death. I have an image of how it was when it turned blood red but being there to see it actually would be a different experience. The riverbanks of the Nile has definitely changed especially the modern Cairo area, Egypt’s capital…a big contrast to the ancient customs of daily life but there are still parts of the country where feluccas bring tourists to the rural side. Won’t you be delighted to cruise and see this magnificent sight?

Nile River
Nile River photo courtesy of

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A Camping Checklist

By on February 22, 2012

When you are planning for a camping trip, the most important thing that you need to do is to rent a car suitable for the trip. Then, build a checklist for your trip. Some of the criteria for the checklist are that you must list out all the items that you need to bring. No matter how small or insignificant the items that you list out, you may regret your decision for not listing it out when you are already at the camping site. Then, give priority to the items listed out where the greater the weight, the more important it is for your camping.

Camp Fire

Here, we will list out the most important things that you need to bring for your camping trip. It is not listed in a priority order because they all have the same importance to everyone.

1. A deck of cards, puzzles, board games – to fill in the time when you have nothing to do at your camp site.

2. Blankets – to keep you warm during the night.

3. Camera and film – to capture all the memorable moments of your camping trip. Make sure that you prepare some fresh batteries that can replace the ones currently inside the camera in case they dried out

4. Clothing, underwear, bathing suit – always bring them in a suitable quantity and do not bring too many clothes.

5. Map and compass – to help you guide your way during a jungle trekking session.

6. Hand lotion and cream – to help you moisturize your skin after a tiring day in the jungle and the lake. Some types of cream can also act as an insect repellent because they emit an odour that the insects hate.

7. Personal flashlight – to help you see in the dark. Can also be used to signal where you are in case you are lost in the woods.

8. Prescription medications (if applicable) – for those who have illnesses, make sure that you bring your medicines along with you, even if you do not take them currently. This is because anything can happen while camping

9. Sleeping bag – the most important thing during a night. If you have enough money, you can try buying a sleeping bag that can warm you up during the winter and cool you down during the summer.

10. Toothbrush and toothpaste – a need for everybody’s hygiene

11. Whistle – can be used to replace the use of flashlights if the batteries are out to help signal for your location when you are lost in the woods.

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Airports | Traveling

Most hated airports

By on November 14, 2011

In early September Geoffrey James wrote about his awfully disappointing experience of Manila and the exact, unimpressive aura of the Ninoy Aquino International airport that it has since time immemorial (stress on this two precise places). As expected, hate comments came pouring in and sad to say, those came from my fellow Filipinos. Well, those who either turn a blind eye to the country’s stagnant stature or simply those with misplaced pride. The article is solely about the author’s experience and does not reflect the city nor the Philippines as a whole. James wrote what a frequent foreign traveler have observed for more than 15 years. Anyway, what he did pinpoint of the airport are the same sentiments I have.

To support his claim, CNN’s article on the ten most hated airports would be helpful. Since we’re talking about the NAIA let’s go with the 5 most hated starting from the top.

1. Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France

It was in 2002 when I first set foot on this huge airport. I was traveling with my year-old daughter and it was a good thing that we have 3 hours waiting time before boarding the plane to Vienna. There were shuttles available but I didn’t get to board for lack of experience traveling then (and I don’t remember why we don’t have a stroller that’s supposed to be provided by the plane). I wasn’t sure about the signs leading here and there — I even got into the wrong line once. Long story short, I was able to find the platform for our connecting flight via a long distance, we only had to wait 30 minutes and for the positive in it, I walked/exercised. ^_^

The last time I was at the CDG Paris Airport, we were at the other terminal meant for shorter flights (European) so the area is not as congested as that for international flights.

2. Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, United States

LAX, hubby said, is chaotic in the sense that….he just shrugged his shoulders and gave me this link…a summary of what travelers have experienced.

“Worst airport, long lines, horrible, grumpy people and nasty staff”  are some of the descriptions I read a lot of times.

3. London Heathrow, London, England

Parking messes. Busted baggage carousels. Deadlocked security lines. Long walks (or, more commonly, runs) between gates to a frenzied soundtrack of “last call” announcements are among the many concerns in the famous airport of Love Actually.

4.Toncontín International, Honduras

According to the article Tincontin’s runways are too short even if lengthened by 300 meters.

5. Ninoy Aquino International, Manila, Philippines

I have been going to the Ninoy Aquino International (NAIA) airport since I was a kid, it was then named MIA or Manila International Airport. I was 7 when it was changed to NAIA but that could be the only thing that has changed…particularly in Terminal 1…if it did, it is perhaps for the worse.

Terminal 2 or the Centennial terminal fares very well opposed to Terminal 1.  Terminal 2 is the exclusive terminal of the Philippine Airlines and is used for both its domestic and international flights. Last time I was there was in 2009, waiting to board our plane going to Singapore, there I spotted Kris Aquino, Ninoy Aquino’s daughter with then husband waiting for their flight to Hongkong.

Many has aired concern about the big difference in the two terminals but nothing, of course, has been done. Obviously for me who pays a fee when leaving the country after a vacation and another 700pesos for each of us (we’re 5 in the family) – terminal fee which is said to be used for maintenance of the airport, I would wonder where the money goes.

 Edit: Terminal Fee is 750pesos, not 700. 🙂

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Travel insurance

By on November 7, 2011

If you’re a constant traveler you know the importance of travel insurance well and surely  you’ve availed of them often in your traveling life. Unexpected events could happen, that’s a given. There could be delays, interruptions, flight cancellations or even accidents. These may be self-inflicted, unintentionally but it will be really bad if caused by other people or unforeseen incidents. Having travel insurance is beneficial to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and those other losses incurred while traveling.

You can compare cheap travel insurance quotes and see what they have to offer. On the policy checklist of what they cover would be:

  • personal accident
  • legal expenses
  • accident
  • illness
  • jury service
  • bad weather
  • trip cancellation
  • personal liability insurance
  • lost baggage
  • damaged, lost or stolen items

Interestingly, travel insurance could be broken down or categorized into annual, single trip, student, ski insurance and more. Choose one that fits your needs. Here are some of the most bought insurances by travelers.

Annual Travel Insurance: provide protection for trips  taken throughout the year. Sometimes, discount rates are given to families.

Single Trip Travel Insurance:  recommended  for  single trip or shorter stays with sufficient cover for winter holidays,  cruises or sports holidays

International Student Travel Insurance: international student travel for short trips up to 6 months or long stays up to 12 months.

Ski Insurance: as the name implies aimed for ski fans —- probably what I need to get hubby. ^_^

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Travel Plans | Traveling

1001 Places I’d Like to Visit before I Die # 3 – Jamaica

By on October 16, 2011

Bob Marley's house Jamaica

(Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s house from google images)

Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, undoubtedly one of 20th century’s greatest musician and the most revered performer of reggae music was born in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. There, a mausoleum has been built in memory of Marley, this was actually his birth and burial place and is rightfully called Nine Mile. It would be nice to look into the life of Bob Marley and meet his relatives…

Jamaica holidays will not be complete without visiting Bob Marley’s mausoleum…and Discovery Bay, the spot where Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Island. Visitors also need to experience climbing one of Nature’s best work of art,  Dunn’s River Falls. Just looking at this photo of a wonderful limestone rock formation with water cascading down makes me feel all dreamy. Would definitely want to take a photo of these waters splashing down the adjacent ocean. To Jamaica, let’s go!

Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

(photo credits:

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1001 Places | Travel Plans | Traveling

Dreaming Dubai – 1001 Places I’d Like to Visit before I Die # 2

By on October 15, 2011
dubai tower
(photo borrowed from a friend)

I love snow globes, I collect them as souvenirs whenever we visit another city. I sometimes ask friends to buy me some if, for example they are to visit me. Like a friend (whom I borrowed above photo) now based in Dubai who intended to visit come spring (she’s actually like to see snow in winter)…ironically, I asked her to buy me a snow globe forgetting that the industrial city is a sand haven…she jokingly replied “we don’t have snow here so maybe they only make sand globes…” haha. Well, kidding aside, I look forward to her coming over to spent even a week here. We’re having a week off in April which is the best time for her to visit…spring weather with some parts still having snow, maybe she’d somehow see them firsthand.

I want her to enjoy her stay so that when I/we decide to spend our holidays in Dubai in the future, she’d be happy to tour with me…Regardless, I have a different view of Dubai now because of hers and another blogging friend- they post photos of the wonderful emirate. I would like to experience riding Abras and the rails there as well, I would love to see the Deira Clocktower, the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab too, they make great night photo subjects! Woot! If given the chance and resources,  I’d love to stay even for a day and live like a queen. Most of all, even if I’ve tasted shawarma around here, eating it in a real Arab nation would be really different. Here’s crossing my fingers…

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1001 Places | Travel Plans | Traveling

Dreaming Greek – 1001 Places I’d Like to Visit before I Die #1

By on September 18, 2011

(photo from getty images)

When you dream, they say, it is connected to your subconscious. Like the innermost feelings you have of things that you long wanted to do, people you wanted to see and other desires that you get conscious of when…well, asleep. If there are recurrent scenes, so to say in my dreams it would be Greece holidays.

Would be more than enough already how many times I mentioned my Dad in connection with Greece…his favorite land, his favorite city Athens. I will dream of the sunsets, the blueness of the water, the whiteness of the pillars and the grandeur of the Parthenon as long as I haven’t seen them myself.

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When Packing gets boring

By on August 6, 2011

Well, it has always been boring for me. 😀 I am not the type to organize things very well so whenever we travel, the day before is so stressful for me. I’m in that predicament now. We’ve planned on going somewhere near than to visit the Philippines. The travel distance that takes about 14 hours is just too much, not to mention the plane fare for 5 people isn’t really cheap. Comparing the budget, the plane fare alone would be enough for a 5-day-stay at any Tuscany Villas.

So our target will be Fürth and Nürnberg again. We’ll be leaving a few hours from now and I’m still awake…trying to figure out how to pack our luggage…

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