My Walking Exploration of Lisbon, Portugal

On my way home from Porto, Portugal, I had a 14-hour layover in Lisbon, Portugal. I arrived at the Lisbon airport late in the afternoon. I bought a ticket for the train and went to the downtown area and went to the hostel where I was spending the night.

Stay at a hostel near the city center.

Hotels are expensive, so I stayed at Castilho Lisbon Suites. It was cheaper than most hotels. I had some difficulties finding it, but after calling their number, I found it. I checked in and found a really nice place to spend the night! Here are some photos I took of the hostel.

Read about history.

On my flight to Porto, I downloaded an audiobook about the voyage of Magellan around the world. He was a Portuguese, but he did not really serve Portugal. He went to Spain and declared his allegiance to the rival empire.

As a result of my reading, and my exploration of Lisbon, I was able to write a poem. It’s in Ilokano, of course. So that might not be useful to the readers of this blog.

That is one thing I try to do if I visit a country, I read about their history. It’s a good way to learn and appreciate the country and its past.

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7 Tips for Visiting South Korea in 12 Hours or Less

The land of Korean telenovelas, K-Pop, castles, kimchi and Korean barbecue! I am not really a fan of K-Pop and koreanovelas, but I love the sense of history of the place and the clash or coexistence between contemporary and historical.

You can visit South Korea visa-free!

Yes that is true if you have a US visa or a green card, together with an onward ticket from or back to the USA can enjoy a short visa-free stay in South Korea! I was surprised to learn this, but it was definitely a welcome development.

After my short trip to Mongolia, then to Malaysia, I planned a 12-hour layover at the Incheon airport so I could visit Seoul for just a few minutes. Thankfully, a friend of mine was there at the time. Another friend visiting from Manila joined us.

If you have a 4 to 12-hour layover, make sure to exit the airport through passport control. Don’t go to the gate of your next flight. I was so set on needing to take a shower after my flight from Kuala Lumpur. I explored Kuala Lumpur the day before and I was so sweaty and feeling icky that I felt like I needed a shower first!

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7 Tips for Filipinos Visiting Mongolia

I travel as part of my job. I’m thankful for the opportunity to see different countries and cities. In 2017, I traveled to Mongolia, particularly to Ulaanbaatar City for a consultation visit. It was a short visit, barely three days. Our gracious hosts took us to some tourist spots in the city.

Here are 7 tips when visiting Mongolia.

Filipinos don’t need visa to go to Mongolia.

Thankfully, Mongolia and the Philippines have a bilateral agreement. Their citizens can travel to either country without a visa.

I boarded my flight from Nashville, went through Incheon, South Korea, then landed at the Chinggis Khan International Airport. I lined up at passport control and after about 3 minutes, the immigration officer let me enter the country. They didn’t even ask any question!

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Exploring Porto, Portugal on a Bike

In September 2017, I had a chance to visit Porto, Portugal. It’s a beautiful city–Portugal’s second largest after Lisbon–known for its bridges and port wine. I didn’t sample their wine, but I explored the city and saw all its majestic bridges! I did that while riding on a bike.

Rent a bike in Porto, Portugal

Renting a bike in Porto is easy. I simply opened Google Maps on my phone and searched for bike rental shops. After reading reviews and comparing costs, I decided on going with Biclas & Triclas, which is on the bank of the Douro River. I was able to rent a bike online, specified the pick up time, and showed up there the next day. Sweet and easy!

Get a Map and Ask for the Best Places to Visit

Pablo, a friend who also attended the same meeting I was in decided to join me. It made the exploration doubly fun. Before setting off, the owner of Biclas & Triclas briefed us on the nice places to visit, where to get lunch, and where the bike paths were. We hit the road and went to the general direction of the city. There was no uphill pedaling for us. It was all flat roads as long as you stay on the paths near the river and along the beach.

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Free WiFi and Other Things I Loved about Flying with Jetblue

Most of my travels are usually with Delta. I have accumulated quite a lot of miles on their Sky Club program, which makes my travel more convenient. I am usually one of the first passengers to board and I enjoy an occasional upgrade.

This time, though, the Portugal Embassy in Washington, D.C. did not send my passport back in time to book a flight with Delta. By the time I received it, the airfare shot through the roof at over $2,500. We explored other options and settled on Jetblue and TAP Air Portugal for my trip to Porto. (I was going to attend a meeting of our partner organization there.) By doing this, we saved $1,000 on my airfare! Not bad for a reservation done, 2 days before the flight.

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How to fill your car with gas

I did not know how to fill my car with gas when I first arrived in the United States. In the Philippines, you just pull up next to a gas filling station. You don’t even need to get out of your car, an employee will go to you. Just roll down your window, tell them how much gas you want and they’ll do it for you.

In the United States, that is not the case. Filling your car with gas is a do-it-yourself process.

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7 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Long-Haul Flight

Does the idea of being up in the air for at least 5 hours excite you?

No? I didn’t think so.

For most of us, traveling long haul flights whether within the continental US, or internationally, brings a big sigh and not of relief. You’re crammed with hundreds of people, your legs barely have room, and to make things worse, someone’s child might cry during the whole flight.

(If you’re the parent of the child, then you’d probably be miserable the whole flight, too. But that’s just how parenting works).

I’ve been to flights that are 12, 14, and 16 hours long! They are not fun. You’re immobile and can’t move around. You’re just sitting, and essentially waiting until the plane lands.

Since you cannot really do a lot, just maximize the time that you have by doing the following:

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Buses from Baguio City to Cagayan Valley: Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Cagayan

It’s not easy to find information about bus travel from Baguio City to Cagayan Valley and Northeast Luzon.

I looked at Facebook, did a Google search, but in the end, what worked is a simple crowd-sourcing question on Facebook, and a quick trip to the terminals in Baguio City.

Here are the buses or vans that you can take to travel from Baguio City to the towns and cities of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, and Cagayan provinces. Although it is not a province within the Cagayan Valley region, you can also go to Kalinga from Baguio City.

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5 Tips on Traveling with a Toddler on a Long Flight

Travel time from Manila, Philippines to the USA is usually between 16-24 hours including layovers. When we traveled, our son was 2.5 years old. He was very young and it comes with a lot of challenges!

For one, we were traveling with 7 big boxes, which we checked in. On top of that, we had three carryon luggage, my backpack, and a small bag for his needs. Here’s a list of 5 tips for traveling with a toddler on a long flight.

Anticipate your toddler’s needs.

Look at the number of hours you’ll be traveling, plan for her meal times and pack some formula, snacks, and other food items you will need. Security at the airport will let you carry some bottled distilled water as long as it’s sealed and unopened. Most airlines would also have food for young kids available. Do check with your airlines at least 2 weeks before your flight.

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My Reliable Swiss Gear 21-Inch Carryon Luggage

My work requires me to travel internationally frequently. And that is why it’s very important for me to have reliable checkin and carryon luggage.

For 5-10 days of travel, I have found the right carryon luggage. I can still have it checked to my final destination usually. But if I carry it with me into the plane, I can take it and go out of the airport right away. No waiting at the baggage claim area.

My reliable carryon luggage is a 21-inch dark grey SwissGear spinner luggage.

Spacious! I can fit in about 15 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, 2 shorts, a pair of shoes, my slippers, and several underwear & socks.

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