explore. dream. discover.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." This site will take over from my previous blog: http://dayumnicebridge.tumblr.com

Category: travel

The ultimate first world problem.

You’d think that with a three week
European holiday looming I would be dreaming of the beach and planning what tourist sites I want to visit. Instead, mum has decided that it is much more important to plan exactly what I’ll be wearing for each leg of our 20ish hour journey.

As one who normally travels in old leggings (often with holes) and an oversized jumper, I’m finding the concept of having multiple, socially acceptable outfits for the flight a little hard to get my head around.

An important thing to realise is that there are a few factors that must be considered when choosing inflight attire. You must look “smart”, you must be comfortable, you must choose something that isn’t easily stained and if all else fails you must have one outfit to get on the plane in and an entirely different one in which to endure the long hail flight. You must also have a different, sometimes pair, of outfits for each port you’re due to stop off in. It’s also important to look comfortable but classy during the flight in the rare event that an attractive male is in your vicinity. Last but not least there is the climate you will be arriving in.

You now see my dilemma.

I have my first outfit down pat. Simple Capri pants with a smart jumper and flats for the QANTAS lounge and benefit of customs officers in Sydney. This is combined with a pair of comfy leggings and a t-shirt to switch into and watch inflight movies and possibly drool on in a Valium induced nap. But, what do I wear once I get to Dubai? And then again on the flight from Dubai to Malta. Finally, what do I change into once I arrive in Malta so that my Nanna, whom I haven’t seen in 2 years, won’t think I’m some husband-less slob! At least I’m getting my hair styled beforehand, translated to, at least it won’t be in a sweaty bun.

All in all, I’m sorry for the three people reading this but I have no conclusion to offer on this matter. It is a first world problem that I am yet to solve. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned for the clich├ęd “departure sign” photos that are a staple of gen y travellers to find out what I finally decided on.

Until next time,
Jess

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Dumplings of the gods

On a Saturday afternoon, starving after a hard morning of manis and pedis, my aunty Anna and I approach the little Asian restaurant on the ground floor of high point shopping centre. Lucky for us there is a rare lack of people trying to get a table and we line up behind one other group. Most people have chosen the take away line instead as the restaurant is already packed with people.

After choosing and paying for what we want to eat we wait patiently for the host to find us two seats. We aren’t waiting long when were ushered to two spare stools at the end of a long table, the food comes almost instantly. A bamboo bowl is place in front of us with the flawless dumplings inside, little blessings filled with pork and about to be dipped in chilli oil. I believe that if gods shopped at high point, this is where they would stop for lunch. We have ordered only 6 yet I could have eaten 60 in the name of true happiness.

As more people begin to flood in the masses of people only add to the atmosphere. You would be easily forgiven for believing you were in New York City at the latest Zagat hotspot. There is an endless interchange of people, eating and leaving. I’m assuming hundreds come through here every day. What a little gold mine dumplings have proven to be.

As we leave a ginormous man is looking for a seat and I finally understand how it is people get to be so large. It is seemingly a mixture of impeccable dumplings and as a result being too full to bother exercising.

Until next time,
Jess xx

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Melbourne – part dos

Last time I left you, avid readers, mum and I were on the plane with a casual thirty firemen. Spoiler alert: that’s not all that happened on my weekend away, it’s not even everything that happened on the flight!

So I’m sitting in my allocated seat, reading The Economist (broadening my horizons and such) when the lovely flight attendant comes by offering tea or coffee. “So what are you going to Melbourne for? Work? Travel?” The gentleman asks “a funeral” I reply. “Oh man, trust that the first person I stop and speak to, I put my foot in it” the poor man goes on. “Tea or coffee?” Asks his colleague. “Wine? Would you like wine? I’ll get you some wine” he urges me, to the surprise of myself and his female partner on the cart.

After the exchange I went back to reading my magazine, mum is trying to get to the next level in candy crush and before we know it two bottles of French champagne are being thrust at us. “Celebrate the life” he says, smiles and leaves.

I truly believe that some people in this world are here to make us realise that not everyone is a below par human being.

Apart from the flight, our weekend in Melbourne consisted of a very sad funeral and some great fun with my relatives. To see everyone, drink with everyone and most importantly, eat with everyone got me all excited for the cruise. I spent Saturday with my aunty flicking through the cruise brochure, looking at the boat online and deciding when we would take the train to Milan (before or after the cruise, obviously not during). We then went to get manicures and pedicures before looking around the shops and inevitably heading downstairs for dumplings.

Now, I don’t want to oversell this, but these dumplings were freaking awesome!! The best I’ve ever had…ever. For lack of a better way to describe them, they looked like boobs…sweet sweet boobs filled with delicious pork. The lady behind us had ordered 10 just for herself and to be honest I was oddly impressed but a little perturbed because well, come on lady I was struggling with three!! She must really like boobs…or dumplings… Maybe both?

I will now leave you salivating over the amazing boob dumplings and go to check whether I’ve set a record for saying boob the most times ever in a blog post.

Until next time,
Jess xx

Farewell Angsana

To compare Angana resort to a slice of heaven would be too easy. A sheltered part of paradise hides on the beaches of Langco, where the locals are some of the gentlest creatures I’ve ever met, and the happiest. As we leave the resort headed to the airport, we drive past the shadows of the mountains on one side and the rice and fish farms on the other.

Yesterday, our tour guide Djong, told us that electricity had only come to Langco six years ago and that some of the farmers couldn’t afford the new equipment and so farmed with buffalo instead. In a world where my birthday presents cost more than the average Vietnamese citizen earns in two months, you could say the experience has humbled me and planted a new seed in my heart.

I have made friends among the staff at Angsana resort. The wonderfully attentive and slightly mischievous Nhen was our waitress at dinner on New Years Eve. She taught me the true value of laughter, language and how telling the bartender “En yu ahn” or “I love you” can brighten up the otherwise boring dinner shift. She taught me a few words and organised a cooking class, where she joined the chef and myself, talking my ear off about my travels, friends and asking me why I didn’t have a boyfriend. I won’t ever forget her or the playful spirit she was.

Unexpectedly Vietnam has been one of my favourite holidays. The only shopping I did was for a book and a small collection of souvenirs and I’m happy about that. It’s been a holiday for my mind. There are people I would love to bring back here and today I am leaving with the feeling that there is so much more to see, touch, hear, smell and taste…especially taste.

Next I will write all about the food that I have tasted, from the food I would live off to the dish that could only be described as warm tinned tuna that might have actually been salmon.

Until next time,
Jess x

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Good morning Vietnam!

Hi Chi Minh City, like New York, is always under construction. The city is constantly moving, awake at all times with the continuous honking of horns creating a perfect soundtrack. People on bikes (sometimes four at a time) fill the roads creating the perfected art of organised chaos. Watching the traffic from above the city provides hours of entertainment as I watch in wonder how they avoid collision. Giant roundabouts with no lanes or use for indicators are a “cross or die trying” game for pedestrians. Brave families with children under the age of five, cross fearlessly as of to say “I dare you to hit me”. It is fair to say that the Vietnamese could be the worlds best drivers.

Obviously, the food is phenomenal. The freshest cuisine I’ve tasted and the most fun to eat. Rolling your own rice paper rolls at the table and attempting not to spill the entire bowl of pho down your front at breakfast.

The most interesting part however is trying not to laugh at my parents social media ignorance…
Dad: oh look Scott liked your photo, so did cayleigh. Cayleigh liked all of your photos, what is she doing in the back streets of St Ives?
Me: Yes dad, I got the notification, I realise who has liked my photos.
Dad (to mum): Why do you have a photo of Cayleigh on your iPad?
Me (to dad): That’s Facebook dad
Mum (to dad): Cayleigh’s my friend.

And so on… I will provide more anecdotes later. For now I will amuse myself watching Dad eat musli out of a tiny jar.

Until next time,
Jess x

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A glass case of severe regret.

So for breakfast on the plane I chose to have fried rice instead of poached eggs and I’m definitely starting to regret it.

I had a feeling that eating that one prawn was a bad choice. Now I’m trapped in a glass case of stomach pains.

On the plus side, if my situation starts to go south, it could be the best weight loss technique I’ve tried so far.

In the mean time I’ll try and find something more entertaining than the bathroom to help me pass the next five hours at Changi airport.

Did someone say cocktails?

Until next time,
Jess x