My husband and I like to travel. A lot. So over the years, I’ve gotten my packing down to a science, especially since I seldom check in my luggage (except on the way back from a trip IF I bought some 3 oz. liquids). Here are my essentials to make the travel experience a tiny bit more pleasant.
A hard shell suitcase (easier to clean). Preferably in a carry on size. I love the ones from Away — mine has lasted for years through multiple countries and being dragged along for miles on all sorts of bumpy streets.
Although I aim to live somewhat minimally… I do fall prey to amazing finds abroad. However, I try to be mindful about what I purchase. I do my best to find items that are handmade, unique to the region, consumable, and/or from small shops. Here’s what I picked up from my trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Seoul! (The only items not included here are the billion Kit-Kats in different flavors that I picked up for friends!)
Tokyo was our last spot after our trips to Seoul and Kyoto. It was nice in a way, because, compared to Kyoto, we felt like there was less that we HAD to do beyond enjoy good food, see some sites, and walk around/take in the neighborhoods. I know everyone tends to really focus on Shinjuku and Shibuya but ultimately, I preferred the quieter neighborhoods that we visited. We did go through the Harajuku neighborhood (which had great vintage shopping AND crepes!) but we also got to explore a bit of Ginza and, my favorite, Daikanyama (aka the Brooklyn of Tokyo).… // Continue reading.
“I loved the quiet places in Kyoto, the places that held the world within a windless moment. Inside the temples, Nature held her breath. All longing was put to sleep in the stillness, and all was distilled into a clean simplicity.” ― Pico Iyer, Video Night in Kathmandu and Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East
After our weekend in Seoul, we took a short flight over to Osaka and then the train over to stunning Kyoto. As soon as we entered the city, a sense of calm took over. Kyoto is all about nature, beauty, and aesthetics married with ancient traditions and an underlying current of spirituality.… // Continue reading.
My husband and I had a chance to spend a weekend in Seoul before our 10 days in Japan (more on that later!). Thankfully, we had a wonderful guide as an old friend currently lives there — which made getting around and communicating so much easier!
Seoul is a MASSIVE city so definitely plan well if you’ll only be stopping through for a weekend. You definitely won’t see everything but, hey, it’s a great excuse to come back! Here were some highlights of things to do if you’re in Seoul for a weekend and my recommendation for how to split it up between two days.… // Continue reading.