I am so. dead. tired. Thanks to Cathay Pacific airlines, I got NO sleep on the plane. Why? Because they had the WHOLE THIRD SEASON of DOWNTOWN ABBEY! Plus a plethora of new-release movies… **if you have a long trip to Asia I would highly recommend flying Cathay Pacific!**
Also, I probably gained like ten pounds from eating things like this:
And I just kept discovering cool things like this:
And eating more things like this:
In case you don’t understand what’s going on here ^^, that is frozen milk shaved ice with fresh mango & strawberries with condensed milk poured overtop. Mmmm…
Also, I am 26 today! (celebrating with sparkling water!) I have actually been 26 for 2 days… I celebrated my birthday in Hong kong, and by the time I landed back in SF it was actually a few hours earlier, same day, from when we took off. I cannot believe I am so old, but so young! I have a happy life, and am beyond blessed to have made it this far. Here’s to another year full of change and growth…and who know’s what else!
My typical, rainy day outfit here in Taiwan: an outfit covered by a cheap, plastic-bag-ish, 50 cent poncho…I can’t stand wearing a thicker one because then you just sweat in it! (thanks for the photo bomb, Chris! I think he really wanted to make it on the blog…)
I took like 2,000 pictures guys…I wanted to share them all with you! But that would be ridiculous… Click here to see a few of the good ones!
(I’m actually in Hong Kong right now, but I finally have more than 2 minutes of wifi, and have a whopping hour to blog! Here’s another taste of our adventures in Taiwan…)
The most important part of this trip was all the special people in my life, who I was able to see again. The second most special part of the trip was the scenery!
Yeah it was rainy…like the whole time we were in Hualien…but is it not the prettiest place to have rainy days? And how can you not have fun when one of your bff’s and her new hubster meet you there?
We stopped and ate some yummy bananas from an old lady. They were as long as my finger!
I could live my whole life on a bicycle in this town.
Now, let me introduce you to…
Asians love their pens. Every color, every style!
(Image via google maps)
It was pretty rainy when we landed….typical Taiwan! It seems like it rains about 50% of the time here. The humidity has me thinking my skin won’t need all that lotion I packed…
Above, meeting up with my mission companion, 張姊妹！Below, too in love with everything I see!!!!
No time to write…off to the beach, then the jungle mountains to feed the monkeys!
I wouldn’t say I’m a travel expert, but I have flown out of the country enough times to have my airline essentials down to a T.
- Eye mask: these are a MUST. Granted, most airlines will give you them on the plane (if you’re flying long distances), but a lot of the time my flight is at some awkward time in the early morning, and I need to be able to doze off in my chair, before I board. Plus, I’m always loosing these, so I wouldn’t hurt to pack an extra!
- Backpack: the brighter the better (if you know me, you know I’m prone to wander & get myself lost…this bright color will make me easy to find! haha). For a long time I would pack my carry-on items in my largest over-sized purse. But have you ever weaved your way around a city (once you’ve arrived to your destination), hopped on a bus, climbed up and down stairs to the subway, all with your piece of luggage and that over-sized purse that keeps slipping off your shoulder every 5 steps??? I have learned that it is TEN million times easier to have everything in a backpack.
- Scarf: this is mostly for the plane ride. Even though it will be bloody hot once I get to Taiwan, we all know that planes are freezing. On the plane, I use my scarf for: a pillow, a blanket, a shawl, a skirt (one time I spilled tomato juice all over my shorts, and hadn’t packed any spare clothing in my carry-on…it worked!)…and the list goes on.
- Orthotics: this is something I wish someone had told me about long ago. I love to wear sneakers, don’t get me wrong. But this trip will be HOT, so I am mostly wearing skirts and dresses. And I just need to wear my sandals too! I bought some orthotics from Costco, that came with two kinds: one for sneakers, and one for sandals/flats! They do WONDERS on my feet, since we all know cute sandals and flats have almost NO support, and my feet would be killing me by the end of day 2.
Also, as you can see I’m wearing an oversized comfy tee (XXL from the Gap!) and leggings. These are pretty much my PJ’s these days, and you better believe that I’m not going to try and pack my PJ’s on my carry-on, only to try and change in those tiny bathrooms on the plane! Wear your comfy PJ’s on the plane, people…it will make dozing off so much easier.
My mother, who started traveling the world on a back-packing, train-sleeping, year-long trip to Europe (when she was 19!), has taught me a simple trick to pack quickly, without forgetting anything!
Think about everything you need, starting at the top of your head, then working down to your toes. For example:
- hair…so I need shampoo + conditioner, brush, style products, hair ties & bobbies, etc.
- ear…phone, phone charger, earrings…
- face…face wash, makeup, toothbrush, face lotion, etc.
- underwear, swimsuit, bra (don’t forget that one!)
- shirts, shorts, tanks, skirts, dresses, workout clothes, etc.
- accessories…necklace, bracelets, watch, etc.
- lotion, shaver
- socks, sandals, shoes
- you get the picture….
There are my travel tips & essentials…what are some of yours?? I want to know because I loving learning new travel tips from fellow travelers! I’ll try and blog a few times a week, while I’m in Asia, but no guarantees… if anything, I’ll be back the end of May! Orevuar mon ami! -hugs, hanalei.
I found these oversized trousers a few years ago, and I’m kind of in love with them. They are just fun to wear and so cool in the hot summer sun. I’ve worn them before without cinching the waist with a belt, and now that I think about it I probably looked like tweedle dee & tweedle dum….if you have baggy trousers like this, I would definitely recommend wearing a belt around the waist!
In Asia, you see tons of girls wearing trousers like these. I can’t wait to show you all the fashions from Taiwan & Hong Kong!
So guys…what do you think. Would you wear these??
I’ve started to notice that I’m getting quite a few international readers on the blog (Albania, Croatia, Turkey, Australia…)(!) so I’ll try to adjust my writing a bit, for them
Mother’ Day is a few weeks away, here in America. I’m usually the kind of person who puts things in the mail 2 days before the holiday/birthday/celebration. But not this year! I got an early start because I’m super on top of things…okay not really, I just have to get them out before I leave (in 5 days!) for China…
I just love making my own cards.
Sometimes most of the time I don’t get it right the first time around, so it’s usually the second or third card that comes out just right.
So if my mama or mama-in-law are reading this…I guess you get a sneak peek into what you’ll be getting in the mail next week!
Back in college, I was thrifting one day, and found a grandma-print blouse that I thought would make the best bag. Then, the name came to me: HO bags! My maiden last name is Ho. I wanted to make bags. HObags? HObags! My husband hates the name, but I think it’s hilarious.
It’s been many years since the first HObag was made, but now they’re baaaaack! This one is for my girl, Kenzie (The blouse + belt were found at Goodwill while we were thrift shopping on Haight Street)
Keep reading for the full tutorial!
HERE you go. I know, it’s painful…most Monday mornings are. This is pretty much what I look like every morning! My cousin Danielle took this picture of me my freshman year at college (2006), and she captioned it “This is what Hanalei looks like in the morning. Scary I know.” Isn’t that sweet of her?
A few reasons why I love this outfit: nice color combination, sweet Santa Claus print on the boxers, and those socks are really soft. Anyone else have an outfit like this? Happy Monday everybody!