Would you travel abroad to find love?

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A friend mentioned taking some time off to travel to another country and find her Mr. Right. I’m not sure that would work but we all get into our Eat, Pray, Love moments from time to time.

But it got me to thinking, with the advent of online dating and apps, people find love close and far, is it so far fetched (assuming you are willing to relocate) to take a trip to find more than a good time, yourself, and peace but love too?

long-distance-relationship

Is it a good idea?

The Pros are you could find a culture that strongly appeals to you. Just because you were born in a certain place doesn’t mean you have to stay there. There’s a large world to explore full of many types of people.

A major Con is being apart from loved ones and maybe the normalcy you are used to. My friends who thought about leaving figured they would stay at a destination a month to get a feel for the place. Seeing that it takes 30 days to break a habit I can see the logic that it could take just as long to get used to a new place to best decide if it’s worth the upstart.

Sites

One good way to get your toes in the water is trying out online sites and apps. One new site I discovered called Miss Travel takes the idea of online dating and mixes it with travel. On this site you can post a trip you’d like to go and set up a profile much like any online dating. You can search within your parameters for travel companions or search for trips they have posted. You can go 50/50, pay for both people, or look for someone willing to pay for you to travel with them (side eyes).  Not certain on the safety of this (I’d play it smart and book your own separate hotel room and maybe do some phone and skype sessions before). However, I can see the thrill in going to a new place and having a possibly cute partner to meet and accompany you.

Meet up is another good site to check out to get immersed into a culture on your own. You can join a group in the area you’d like to check out (maybe even an expat one). You can also reach out to local members before you arrive and perhaps set up a meet and greet.

Tinder can also be a tool to meet people and maybe find love abroad. It’s an international app so who knows who you can meet while visiting your destination.

Trip Advisor is one of my favorite travel planning sites for just about everything. However, you get the best use out of it if you go to the forums. Many times soon to be visitors will do a roll call to see who is going to the that particular place when they are. It’s a way to make friends (just be smart) if you are outgoing enough to reach out to the forum writers. Many locals are also on the site to give advice and guidance on their country which can be another way to meet people far and away.

Destinations

I can’t say there is a good place to find love (well maybe China since there is an overpopulation of men in need of wives). The places you might typically think are romantic might not lead to love. Therefore, I say go where your heart calls, where your passion calls.

However, if you are looking for places that might put  you in a romantic state of mind check out the following:

Italy- just about anywhere. How many movies are there where Italy is the setting for love? I’m partial to Florence/Tuscany myself.

Capetown, South Africa- This is where my friend thought she’d find love. With the beaches and social scene perhaps it’s possible.

Buenos Aires, Argentina- If the city is as sexy as the tango, maybe romance is here as well.

Caribbean- Many a gal and guy has gotten swept up in a romance in Jamaica. But be careful of swindlers.

London, England- Some may disagree but I found my time there, especially when I spent a semester, a bit easier to date. It’s an easy city to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Bali- I just keep hearing good things about it. I mean it was the love in Eat, Pray, Love.

Good luck on your international love.

 

 

 

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Quick Cook: Turkey and Rice

Found this recipe in a magazine and tried it out. Pretty tasty and super quick to make!

rice dish

Here’s what you need:

skillet

sausage of your choice

2 cups rice of your choice

2 cloves crushed garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 red bell paper sliced thin

1 small yellow onion, sliced thin

1 package broccoli or fresh broccoli

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and garlic in skillet, add sausage until browned. Add pepper, onion, broccoli, broth, tomato sauce and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile make rice according to package instructions. Stir in cooked rice to skillet and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Done in no time.

 

 

How to pack for the right trip

So after traveling to Malaysia and Thailand and experiencing lugging heavy bags, differing luggage limitation with all the plane rides and just buying more than I thought, I began to rethink how I pack for trips.

I love fashion and makeup and hair care is very particular for me because not everywhere I got will have what I need. However, to make your life so much easier in your travels, remember that packing is not a “one size fits all” type of event. So for my fashionable cosmo folks here is my suggested fashion packing ideas depending on trip type.

Beach Trip

Think Jamaica. There are the obvious beach toiletries like sunblock and insect repellant. But when you talk fashion keep it casual. If you are going to be on a beach climate the whole time there is no need to bring heels. Not even platforms. Everytime I do I feel like it’s a waste of space because I never wear them. The key word is Casual.

  • Swim suits
  • Coverups/romper
  • beach flip flopsbeach wear 1
  • “fancy” evening flat sandals that are easy to slip on and off for beach parties
  • day time sandals
  • shorts/tops
  • sun dresses/maxi dress
  • Simple accessories
  • tinted cc cream, powder or concealer; bright lip stick (pink, tangerine, red); colorful eye liner (blue, green, purple); shimmery/gold shadow; blush, lengthening mascara
  • find ideas here http://www.modcloth.com/shop/beachwear 

Big City Trip/High Fashion

Think Paris. When I went to Paris years ago one thing I noticed is that fashion is not a game. One way to scream “I’m a tourist” is to walk around wearing tennis. The women were serious about fashion no matter the age. I hung my head in shame when an older diva walked past me in heels with me in my gym shoes. Now I’m not suggesting go sightseeing in 4 inch heels but the key word should be Trendy.

  • Jacket/Shawl
  • comfy yet fashionable flats (think converse or toms or ballet flats)
  • Jeans/cargo pants and tops
  • “fancy” top to go with jeans
  • Little black dress /evening dresses/jumpsuitcity 3
  • strappy heels
  • booties
  • statement necklace/bracelet/earringscity 2
  • primer, foundation, powder, high lighter, light and dark eye shadow, black gel eye liner, high volume/lengthening mascara, dark lip color and neutral lip colorparis 2
  • see ideas here: check out tjmaxx for ideas

     

City Trip/ Casual Environment

Think South Africa. A place where sight seeing and exploring is the number one goal but yet happening night life still exist. The key word is Adaptable

  • Cardigan/Shawl
  • flat sandals
  • tennis, toms, ballet flats
  • shorts/jeans/cargo pants and tops
  • evening knee length or mini dresses
  • cute evening tops
  • “fancy” flat sandals, maybe a comfortable platform
  • neutral color jewelry (think gold/silver) both simple and statement
  • tinted cc cream, foundation, powder, pinks/reddish lip sticks, brown/neutral shadows, brown and black eye liners, high volume mascara
  • Check out www.asos.com for ideas 

 

Pack smart!

Products I Like Right Now

So new random post of beauty products that I like:

  • Skin Food Tea Tree Clearing Emulsion– Emulsions are a Koreanteatree type of beauty product, thinner than a serum so they should be the first level for product application to the skin. This is a good product to help with acne prone skin
  • NYX Wonder Pencil– It’s a three in one flesh toned pencil good for covering spots, brightening eyes and lining lips to prevent feathering and bleeding of lipstick.
  • Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector– This is pricey but if you are a super oily gal like me it’s worth it to prevent crazy shine. You can wear it alone or under makeup and put it on later for touch ups.
  • Clinique Pep-Start – A good eye cream that gives you a wake me up in the morning if you have “tired looking” eyes. Just put on the skin under the eye.
  • clinique
  • Peter Thomas Roth Firm Peeling Gel Exfoliant– Also super expensive but I just get the travel size. I use this when I get dry, peely skin. Just massage into skin and it gets the dead skin, then rinse off with water.
  • Good Genes by Sunday Riley– Extremely expensive. I got a travel size. Can be used as a serum or overnight mask. It’s an all in one Lactic Acid Treatment which I use to plump any facial lines, even out my skin tone and exfoliate. sunday riley
  • Sephora Colorful Cheek Ink Gel– Great gel blush, really pops on brown skin and just makes me feel cheerful.

Welp, these are my favorites right now! Till next time!

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur

Stay

So this a funny story, my group actually switched hotels as soon as we arrived. It just wasn’t in the best of areas (a bit sketchy) and the accommodations just weren’t up to our standards. Call me a snob but, no buts, I’m a snob. So before my head even hit the pillow I already booked another hotel. Not going to bad mouth the place we were at and name it but we relocated to the Metro 360 hotel. Very nice hotel with a pool and a  block away from a ton of restaurants, bars and a large street food area. Also not too far a walk to the metro.kl1

To Do

Kuala Lumpur is a small city but there is tons to check out. A must is going to the Batu caves. It is a religious cite with amazing statutes and the caves are uniquely up stairs. 270 something to be exact. But it’s well worth the exercise for a cool cave experience. kl2

I spent most of money on this trip in Malaysia. As a shopping fiend this place is dangerous. Our tour guide took us to a Butik Shop, and you’ll find lots of these all over, where you can get local, handmade scarfs and clothing with prints more local to Malaysia.

I also swung through China Town for some light shopping and then on to Central Market which was more of the highlight of my shopping time where you can find a lot of local items to buy. It’s also where I got my fish pedicure (tickles)

If you are looking for more mainstream/western shopping then check out the KLCC Mall. It’s located in the Petronas Towers (worth a side visit to the top).kl3 The mall is super huge. Six floors. And, as I explained in Thailand, the food courts are serious foodie events. The food court on the higher level is very much local fare so I’d recommend that for the more adventurous eater. The lower level food court has a mixture of every single type of food you can imagine, from Pho to Pasta to Pizza. I want to go back and eat my way through the place.

kl5

Nom Nom Nom

Ok, moving on.

Nightlife

Like I said before, our hotel is near a bunch of nightlife on Bukit Bintang and that’s pretty much where I hung out (although I do recommend a visit to the SkyBar if you can make it, great views).

So near my hotel I went to Elevate night club which was good for RnB, Hiphop and reggae. Gypsy Bar also had good music.

The Whiskey Bar was dark, cool and trendy and had a drink named Obama. Good but pricey whiskey based drinks and the food, I heard, was pretty great. And they have cigars so they cool and stuff.

Opium served me the best meal of my trip

Noteworthy

So, Kuala Lumpur is a very liberal, majority (well 50%?) Muslim country. The next major ethnic group is Chinese, then Indian. There is also a large influx of Africans. This particular group has not always been met with open arms. This is in part due to some crime brought by certain African immigrants that “spoiled the bunch” sadly. However, I didn’t have any problems with how I was treated. We did not stand out like we did in Thailand. The most I got was a request to touch my curly hair (which was odd to me because I ran across a few locals with a similar curl pattern so I wasn’t that unique). I did not allow people to touch my hair because…

Ok so there were several places that did not have toilet paper. I’m not an expert in the culture but I was informed that the process is to clean with a hand (left?) and wash off (there were water hose type things in each stall). I carried tissue with me, although most places I went to had toilet paper. Cultural differences are always interesting to me. In the airport two women who were not used to toilets but there was a stall with a “hole” in the ground so they waited to use that one stall. I’ve seen such squatting toilets? in my travels before and had to use them. Had being the operative word. So to see women who preferred to use them over a regular toilet was curious to me. But I guess you go with what you know.

Overall this was a great trip and I’d definitely go back to Malaysia again and maybe check out some other nearby countries while there (Singapore and Bali are calling me!). Till next time…