Confession: On Roomorama

Sometimes a blog is a confession. Intended or not. Writers spill their secrets, their darkest desires and ensnare you involuntarily into their web. So, here goes – in the depths of my heart – I’ve been cheating. On hostels. Don’t mistake me, I still love the devil-may-care attitude of hostels, the loads of multi-dimensional, sometimes bizarre people you encounter, the management’s admirable attempts at breakfasts you recall from home and the cheap beer easily attainable from a fridge. Just slip some dollars into a jar and let the drinking begin. But now, there’s room for another in my heart: Roomorama. Ever since I got the lucky chance to test drive some properties in Taiwan and Hong Kong, I’ve grown quite fond of you. See – I savor my alone time even more these days. Space for me to roll out my yoga mat. Snort with laughter at things I read or watch. Chat to my close friends back home with freedom to discuss my innermost thoughts without an audience. I was blind to the other side of the fence for too long. That short-term accommodation at times can appear more expensive, but it reaps so many benefits. I’ve touched on this in the past, somehow having your own room is so bloody relaxing. The solo female traveler can unclench – be flexible with her guard a little. Second confession: when researching accommodation options for San Fermin, I was worried. Although my timing of six months in advance seemed smart, hostels and hotels proved unforgiving. […]

By |May 16th, 2012|Girls Running With Bulls, Pamplona, Travel Tips|20 Comments

My Summer Plans: A Bull and Spain

What would an earthquake feel like? You stand on solid ground, a tremor travels from a few feet away until finally it’s throbbing beneath you. The earth could split open under you, reveal her secrets or send you flying into a whole new stratosphere. That’s the only way I can describe my upcoming summer adventure: You heard the rumblings in the past while, a hint here or there. Confirmed. I am participating in San Fermin. If I must sprint alongside six charging bulls –  Oneika, Nicole B., Lois and Nicole S. are worthy partners to do this with me. On that note, I happily unveil Girls Running With Bulls! […]

By |May 1st, 2012|Girls Running With Bulls, Pamplona|34 Comments

Day 3 or 4 UTC: Can’t Keep Count + Surreal Night in Hostel

Day 3 I am seriously losing track of time, but maybe being in a time warp isn’t such a bad thing? You can escape reality fairly easily. After Seville, I boarded another AVE train towards Barcelona. Again, happy to report some comfortable seating and this trip was short and sweet – a mere 5 hours. I can’t get over the washrooms. The futuristic, rounded door! I was propelled into a Star Trek episode. Whee! Seats –  dry as a bone. Look at that floor, clean enough to eat off of. Well, not really, but totally possible in theory. […]

By |September 9th, 2011|Barcelona, France, Paris, Spain, Ultimate Train Challenge|25 Comments

Day 1 and 2 of UTC: Flamenco Dreams and Sleeper Cars

Bad luck.  I seriously had the strangest two days getting from Vancouver to Lisbon. Partly my fault, if truth be told. I really thought I had booked a Vancouver, BC train to Seattle, which was my reality, but reality reality told me I had booked a Vancouver, Washington train. Whoops. All that meant was it left me literally an hour or so to make it to Seatac and board my American Airlines (AA) flight to Dallas. Once to Dallas, I had a long stopover, and thought, hey – work time! I’ll get tons done. DFW doesn’t offer  wi-fi, unless you pay and the arctic air-conditioning nearly left my extremities unusable. The only way I could warm up was by going outside! Weirdness. After muttering expletives under my breath about the lack of wi-fi, I noticed an Ethernet outlet at the business work stations, so I caved in and bought an Ethernet  cable for the free hardwire Internet. It was glorious. Travelers – get one of these! But, no free wi-fi? Dallas, stop remaking the damn show and come back to the 21st century. By the time I hit London, I had planned to do some errands and pick up our Wi-Fi Pocket Devices courtesy of tep.  But, noooo, the universe had other plans for me. I went to grab my backpack and noticed the top compartment was gaping open, mocking me. They at least left me one item – a quick dry towel. I have no idea if I was officially robbed and should be enraged or it was simply an accident. Cynicism calls for the former, but nevertheless, I then had to stand in line at the AA baggage counter and complete a claim. Lost: Steripen, plus filter. A Kindle cord I bought for Michael (he asked me to), all my converter plugs, batteries… I could go on. So, baby travelers, take it from this baby traveler, always secure the top with a small padlock. Let’s call it done and luckily I can drink water from the tap in Europe, when I make it to Southeast Asia, I’ll worry about it then. Onwards! […]

By |September 3rd, 2011|Seville, Spain, Ultimate Train Challenge|17 Comments