Traveling is one of my greatest passions. I'm constantly fascinated with cultures, history, cuisines and traditions from around the globe. By traveling, I observe and understand how and why people behave in their own unique ways. I always learn something new in a foreign place. For examples, Peking Duck is always served in front of you and must be sliced into 120 pieces in China. Spaniards have late dinners (9pm) because they take siesta breaks in the afternoon. The clanking sounds you hear near the Swiss mountains are cowbells worn by freely roaming livestock. And it's always good to know some basic words of the local languages to navigate around the country. Even if they don't understand you, a smile and hand gestures help.
I research places to visit by reading from official tourist websites and up-to-date travel guide books such as Lonely Planet and Eyewitness Travel. I recently stumbled upon HSBC Country Guides and found it to be resourceful. When traveling, I like to equip myself with maps from local tourist centers, local currencies, a rough itinerary to guide my way, and knowledge of the nearest US or Malaysia Embassy.
For budgeting and paying overseas, I typically use my $0 foreign transaction fee Capital One credit cards. I don't have to worry about carrying tons of cash with me. However, having some cash is useful in less developed nations especially when eating out on roadside stalls or mom-and-pop stores. I plan ahead and take advantage of rewards offered by my credit cards. For example, Discover was offering 10% cashback when I booked hotel rooms with hotels.com through ShopDiscover.
For websites that allow different currencies as method of payment such as Air Asia, I use this Visa link to calculate the exchange rates and select the currency that gives the lowest equivalent US dollar for my purchases. It may appear like I'm saving pennies but they do add up especially when I make several large purchases. I also use this link to compare receipts with charges on my cards' statements for any fraud.
If you know of any good travel tips, don't hesitate to drop me a comment or two.
Below are some of the places I've visited and the food I discovered along the way. Please take some time and enjoy reading!
Panoramic photos from around the globe
12 most iconic rivers in the world
Beyond Jerusalem, Israel
Amman, Aqaba, and Al Karak, Jordan
Jerash and Madaba, Jordan
Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan
Bethlehem and Jericho, West Bank
Grand Canyon, Page and Williams, AZ
Death Valley, CA
Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA
San Diego, CA
Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, CA
Dark Sky, Westcliffe and Royal Gorge Bridge, CO
Big Island, HI
Miami and the Keys, FL
New Orleans, LA
St Louis, MO
Crater Lake National Park, OR
Las Vegas, NV