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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Traveling 101

Two weeks ago, I attended the BDJ (Belle de Jour) Fair for their launch of the 2012 BDJ Power Planner.  I have been a fan of BDJ Power Planner ever since a friend gave it as a gift to me on my birthday last 2008.  I liked the content and of course the coupons which made me anticipate for the next BDJ Planner.  So basically, I'm in my 5th year of BDJ Planner and I'm still loving it!

Anyway, I'm not going to blog about the BDJ Planner itself (maybe in my next blog).  I'd like to share with you what I learned from the BDJ Fair.  This year's theme is about traveling since the 2012 planner has a travel-like design.  I registered for the following talks during the fair: Shop Around the World by Alyanna Martinez, Trippin' by Sole Sisters, and Get Lost In Style by Divine Lee.  I'm excited to hear the talk from Sole Sisters since I've read (and followed) their blogs about traveling.  They mostly blog about budget traveling.  I've also met ChiChi when I was in Calaguas but didn't personally know her, just an acquaintance.

The talk was presided by Lois, one of the blog owners of Sole Sisters.  Her talk was about how they were able to travel to 9 countries for 6 months under Php 100,000 budget.  (You can also find the details of her talk in their blog).  Inspiring isn't it?  I want to accomplish that too.  Well, maybe not soon as I have a current job (unless our company decided to retrench us).  But still, I want to do what they have done.

What I have learned

Money.  Of course you cannot travel without money.  What Lois and ChiChi did is that they both quit their job and using their backpay to fund their travel project.  They then started ditching inessential stuff like buying Starbucks coffee.  Aside from that they also sold some of their unused items on garage sale.  ChiChi alone was able to acquire Php 50,000 from selling her items in garage sale.  That's inspiring.  I may not be able to quit my job in an instant but I can definitely sell some of my items, especially my clothes.  I joked my friends that I will clean up my closet, as in CLEARING them out.  I may only leave the basics behind but definitely my target is to get rid of those items I haven't been using for more than a year.  Thinking of it discourages me.  I know I've tried doing it before but I failed.  I still kept those "sentimental value" items.  It maybe hard to do (and hard to let go) but I will still keep on trying just to fulfill my dream to travel.  At the same time, I know it will help me declutter my closet and of course my room.

Plan Your Trip.  Good thing I enjoyed researching and planning for a trip.  It maybe tedious at times but I find it fulfilling afterwards.  Girltalk has been a very reliable forum for me everytime I research on my next trip.  But Lois also presented some blog sites for online support where you can find tips on your next destination.  This gave me an addition blog to bookmark.

Pack Your Stuff.  Lois mentioned that you should only pack essentials.  Well, that's what I really do.  As an additional tip, I personally determine our itinerary so I could better plan the things that I will wear for a day's activity.  Lois also mentioned that when your going to a country with cold weather, of course you'll bring along a jacket or cardigan.  But make sure you take it off during picture taking especially if you brought only one jacket (advisable to avoid bulky luggage) and you'll be wearing it all throughout your trip.  This will give an impression that you've only been to one place.  This is also my philosophy when it comes to swimwear.  My motto is you should never be caught wearing the same swimwear the following day, moreso in your next beach trip within a year.  People who will see your picture will think you've only been to one and same beach area.  With this motto, I've kinda "inspired" my friends to do the same thing.  So whenever we travel in a beach for 3 days, they also automatically brought 3 types of bikini.  Going back to Lois talk, she also mentioned to always look good in pictures so bringing make up is essential but bring only the basics.  Also, accessories is helpful in making you look good on pictures.  I seldom bring accessories, except for watch.  But now maybe I'll bring a few.  Also, I don't bring my all my beauty rituals when traveling, except for moisturizer (for face and body).  Besides, I will be only breaking my beauty ritual in a few days.

Budget traveling.  My travel buddies and I always ensure that we make the most out of our trip without spending much.  We're also in a look out for a cheap hotels or hostel but we ensure that the place is at least have a nice rest room with efficient water flow.  With what Lois mentioned about skipping flights, I think it will only be applicable if you have a lot of time available.  But if you only have a 3-4 days vacation, then you will be needing all the fast moving transportation available to get to your destination fast. When it comes to street food or any budget meal, I personally don't have a problem with that.  It maybe scary to eat  just any food especially if you're in a different country but I would never skip the chance to even just try the best or specialty food in that country (or even in that province).  I'll just bring along first aid kit or medicines specifically for stomachache in case any problem with my stomach arise.

Lois' talk was an additional knowledge for me when it comes to traveling.  I really got inspired on how eager they were in attaining their 9 countries travel in Asia within 6 months with just Php 100,000 budget.  I would want to start saving up more to do the same in the future.  Thanks again to BDJ Fair for this worthwhile event!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Favorite Apps

Here are just some of the Apps I downloaded for my iPod touch.

My Secret Diary

I so love this app! It's a walking diary which I can carry anytime, anywhere. In case I have new ideas or I am furious about something or someone or if I just wanted to write about what's on my mind, this comes in handy.  I now have an available writing tool in an instant. You can even include pictures and emoticons.

Expense Log

This app is very useful in tracking my expenses.  You can check how much spending you have every pay day, write down all the dues you need to pay (and how much money left you will have), monitor the money given to you, monitor the money people owe from you, etc.  Anything related to money and your finances can be written here.  This will help you manage your spendings and savings.

Photography Apps

I've downloaded A LOT of photography apps.  As I have mentioned in my previous blog, these apps made me vain in taking pictures of myself.  I enjoy experimenting with pictures using various background, lights, lens, film, color, etc.  It also has editing pictures which can change your background, color effect, scene inclusions and even removing your acne (i so love that!).  With lots of photo apps I've downloaded, I already have 2 folders for it.

My personal favorites are Leme Cam (which imitates an actual camera) where you can change the camera type, lens and frame (this is ideal if you want lomo type of pictures); Picture Magic, where you can edit pictures using lots of available background and effects; Fotolor PS and Fotolor Camera FX, where you can edit pictures including removing acne; Pici booth, I like this better than Pop Booth since you can save pictures in your photo library; Night Cam, for great pictures at low light or at night; Click, where you can zoom your shots including micro shots.

Game Apps

I have various game apps installed including Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds.  Below are my recent favorites.

Cut the Rope - even adults can enjoy this too!

Where's My Water - a true mind exercise game

I've got more apps installed though I haven't tested all of it.  Of course I have those common apps like Facebook, Twitter, iLoader and Blogger.  Because of the various applications available and can be downloaded for free, you will really fully utilize your iPod touch.  I do.  It's not only fun and games.  Its also a great companion for your everyday activities.  I'm so lovin' my touch!

What's your apps?  Care to share?

Another New Toy

You may find it weird but I never got attracted to any apple product.  Not really never.  My first apple product was the iPod shuffle, the clip type (square size, I forgot what generation was it).  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it because its small and handy.  Then when iPhone 3G S was release, I was amazed at its wonderful features but still I didn't bother to buy it.  Then came the iPod Nano clip type.  As soon as I saw it in Apple Store, I told myself I will get one.  I bought mine in the US, a little cheap compared to the price here.  I let go of my shuffle in replacement of my nano, since they're both of the same function and physical attribute.  When I bought that nano, my sister is pursuing me to buy Mac Book Air since I'm also thinking about buying a laptop.  It's very thin feature attracts me however the capacity was not enough for what I'm looking for.  Those were the only Apple products I laid my eyes onto.

These are exactly the Apple Products I own, then and now.

When my sister had her iPad 2 then later my other sister abroad had her iPod Touch 4th Generation, it wonders me again whether or not to buy one, even just the Touch.  My main reason was so I can better communicate with my siblings all over the world through Apple's technology: the Facetime.  I was jealous with my sisters as they often chat through Facetime.  It took me months before I bought my iPod Touch 4th Generation and it was even by accident.  My brother bought it abroad and told me he'll sell it to my sister.  I told him that they already have one so I'll buy it instead.  Finally this is it. I already have my iPod Touch.  After a few weeks, he send it over here in the Philippines.

At first, I thought, I won't be able to utilize it much because I know its mostly used for games.  While browsing the Apps Store, I was amazed at the many applications I can download for free and that's not only games.  I got addicted to various photography apps.  I'm not so into photography but I enjoy playing with pictures.  With these photography apps, it already made me vain in taking pictures of myself.  There are also some writing apps which I also love since I am fond of writing.  There's this Secret Diary apps which I can write anything I want in an instant.  And of course there are the various game apps.  Its really enjoyable and helps kill time.

I'm not giving up my nano yet even if I had my touch.  All my music are still stored in my nano, while the movies and other stuff are in my touch.  I'm loving it so far :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Posting via mobile

This is just a test :) I'm using my ipod touch 4th gen...