… it’s not where you go. It’s who you travel with. – Charles Shulz
You know you have an incredible set of family, friends and supporters when they all join together to send you to a luxurious dream trip to Florence!
Yes, indeed! My fambam, peeps, posse, tweeps, twiends, fans, followers — whatever you want to call them — have pulled through for me and voted by sharing my story, Mea Culpa! What NOT to do When Dining Overseas, which was shortlisted and eventually won LaCure’s Tell A Great Story contest.
Read about how it all happened here: LACURE’S TELL A GREAT STORY WINNER IS GOING TO FLORENCE!
And if you must, check out the luxury villa where I will be spending my days enjoying the Tuscan sun: The Villa That is Florence’s Treasure. Yes, you really must check it out! Fabulously stylish, isn’t it? I am really excited! Travel dates are yet to be set, so stay tuned for more info.
Picture this: you are in a foreign land far far away, with a totally different culture, with people speaking a language that sounds very Greek (or Japanese, or Chinese, whatever) to you, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even with food you don’t recognize at all.
Not to worry, my friends, for I am here to guide you on what NOT to do to avoid committing some gaffes when it’s chow time.
Lifted from Facebook: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Ironically, songs have referred to New York as the city that never sleeps, but it is also where dreams are made of, apparently. So when in NYC, it’s up to you whether to dream or not sleep at all.
Text & Photos by Jennifer Ellson
Alicia Keys also claims that this concrete jungle’s streets will make you feel brand new, and that there’s nothing you can’t do — to which Jay-Z agrees.
Long before them, though, Frank Sinatra already started spreading the news that he wanted to be a part of it.
All three of them said that if you can make it here,you can make it anywhere.
Meanwhile, when Sting is in town, he’s an alien, he’s a legal alien because he’s an Englishman in New York.
Between the peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, Vancouver often reminds me of Japan not only because their climates are almost the same, but also because the sights, sounds, smell, tastes and feel are very similar.
Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson
Vancouver: a Canadian coastal city right by the Pacific Ocean, which means an abundance of fresh seafood for the taking. Now, combine this with a large Japanese population and what do you get?
Between its peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, you get a spate of sushi bars which, together with Starbucks, are popping at every street corner in this city.
Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional Photos by Tourism Philippines
Lent has several names in the Philippines – Semana Santa, Mahal na Araw, Holy Week – however you call it, one thing is certain: it is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines (but self-flagellation & crucifixion are not!)
For meat lovers, however, a word of warning: it is probably the only time when the Philippines turns vegetarian, or fishetarian for the not-too-religious.
Being a predominantly Catholic country, Lent is a significant religious festival in most parts of the nation’s 7,107 islands. It is elaborately celebrated with gruesome re-enactments of the final hours of Jesus’ life, where real penitents wear makeshift crowns of thorns, whipping themselves in silent processions and ending with crucifixion, for real!
The sausage was invented by a butcher from Frankfurt, who had moved to Vienna, which is why in Vienna it’s called a frankfurter, but in Frankfurt it’s called a wiener (Viennese).
Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson
Try to order a frankfurter in Frankfurt, and you’d most likely get a blank stare. But ask for a wiener or a Vienna sausage, and the Frankfurters — the residents, not the sausages — would know what you’re talking about.
Meanwhile, do the same in Vienna — ask for a Vienna sausage, instead of a frankfurter and you’d probably hear “was is das?” (what is that?). Yes, it happened to me.
Confused yet? Bear with me, as I confuse you even more.
How can something so simple be this good? Fried, boiled, steamed – brown, white or wild – how much do you know about this most important staple food for a large part of the human population? Here’s what I know about my favorite food – fun trivia I’ve picked up from eating buckets of rice all over the world.
Text and Photo by Jennifer Ellson
In China, one asks “have you had your rice?” (“ni chi fan le ma?”) in lieu of “how are you?”
Meanwhile, rice is so well-loved in Japan that two car brands were named after rice. Toyota means ‘fertile rice paddies’, while Honda means ‘the base rice field’.
Back in China, there is an old wives tale that a girl who doesn’t finish her rice will have a future husband with many pockmarks on his face – as many as the girl’s uneaten grains! Oh how cruel! But there’s also a Chinese belief that leftover rice is a cure for migraines, so I guess there’s the silver lining for her: ugly husband, but migraine-free.
Here are other facts and trivia: