I've known some people with very elaborate spreadsheets tracking everything they spend on, and I'm really not that person. I realised that I needed to hack my lifestyle with simple enough changes I could actually implement if I wanted to travel the way I wanted to and not scrimp on food or shopping while I was in Paris or say no to a more luxurious hotel in Bangkok.
Kandy was a Kingdom founded in the 15th century, where the Sinhalese Kings in Ceylon fought the Portuguese Empire, and when it wasn't looking so good, called out to the Dutch for help. And then the Dutch took over for a bit, so nobody really won that one. Thereafter the Kandyan Wars (not to belittle history but could they not have named this the Kandy Wars?) were fought between the Kingdom of Kandy (such a win of a name) and the British in 1796. So the Brits won, and there ended 2,357 years of Sinhalese independence.
Barbacoa is in Jalan Petitenget, which isn't too far from Seminyak where we usually stay, about a 10 - 15 minute cab ride. The food here is Latin American inspired, with tacos, BBQ suckling pig and a fascination with roast and grill. The loft style dining area is spacious, beautifully tiled and complemented with dark wood beams. If you choose an outdoor table you get a view of their private rice terrace to enjoy sunset cocktails with.
One time Shawn and I travelled 9 months out of 12. That year we visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia over the weekend, took my parents to South Korea, relaxed in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, cruised Halong Bay in Hanoi, hit the beach in Bali, hiked Burma, and ended the year with a road trip through my favourite place in the world: South Africa.
A starting point here: I gym about 2-4 times a week doing a light 20 minute jog on the treadmill, and if whatever food I've been thinking about for that 20 minutes hasn't made me too hungry, I'll fit in about 15 mins of weights. I feel OK about my less than strenuous workout, it keeps my double chin from showing.
"Things we don't need", we mumbled to ourselves as we scoured every inch of the store, fingers brushing every vase, woven basket, brass pineapple, ornate headdress or wooden statue. But Shawn and I love dressing up our home with items we've bought from around the world. We're nothing if not determined, and we've dragged everything from South African carvings to cat trees from Bangkok back home without additional shipping.
Zurich is one of those cities where the old meets the new, and I feel the old city most exemplifies the essence of Zurich. It's unforgivingly modern, but its innovation and grungy grassroots all roll into an unmistakable charm. I always like to start out first in the old city, get the sights in and from there open up to the newer parts of the city.
The Local's ethos is based on a simple theory of preservation: recipes passed down from generations of chefs, cooks, grandmothers. Some of these recipes are royal in origin, having been created for Kings in the royal kitchens. Some are more homely, kept close to the hearts of families and passed along to the Local's chefs to recreate.
A lot of folks are surprised I travel so much, even while I've got a full time job. It was almost a stigma at one point of time that I travelled almost every other month. Conversely I was surprised with all of the reasons why people sometimes talk themselves out of travelling when they have a 9-6 job.
One of the first things that strike you when you step off the plane and out of the airport in Beirut is the number of armed UN soldiers stationed outside of it. Then, as your senses begin to acclimatise, you notice the yelling. The roaring of taxi drivers to each other, to others, with a constant tussle for passengers and their right to whatever they happen to be doing. It's chaos, within a system. It's chaos that is a way of life.
You probably have an imported version of this in your nearest mall food court or a passable version in your neighbourhood restaurant. In Tokyo, instead of the more well-known drench in mayo and goopy sweet sauce, we discovered toppings of fresh spring onions, seaweed strips and salty seafood roe. SOO delicious.