On Traveling [Destinations + The Dread of Long Haul Flights]

Many moons ago, during a spring break week in college, I booked a solo trip to New York City, I spent the entire week alone, unplugged from my phone, with only a guidebook of the city in hand, and a very tight student budget, it was quite the experience. Seeing one of the most inspiration filled cities in the world was mesmerizing, though the short week quickly came to an end, but it has hit me with a rather long-term travel bug. On the flight back to LA, I jotted down the next 10 places I wanted to visit before I turn 30 in my notebook, and the dreaming began. 

  1. Easter Island
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Australia
  6. India
  7. Japan
  8. Greece
  9. Morocco
  10. Galapagos Islands

How am I doing on that list you might ask? 3/10 as of August 2014, a bit far from my goal sadly but I still have a couple of years to make a run at it, 3 countries a year? Ha! 

On the topic of traveling, as much I enjoy going to new places, I don't like long-haul flights, the TV dinner food, the stuffy, recycled cabin air, screaming toddlers(if you are a parent flying with a toddler, I salute you.) and I have terrible flying anxiety. But over the years I have learned to manage my flight stress and make the experience more enjoyable, with the help from a few flying essentials in my carry on.

1. Longchamp Le Pliage foldable  Travel Bag , a must have for me, durable, lightweight, folds away nicely when not in use.  2, H&M infinity knitted scarf (old), this scarf is HUGE, and very warm. It's my pillow, blanket, jacket, you name it.   3. Book & Notebook + Pen, long flights are the best time for me to work through a book, I don't sleep well on planes so it's perfect to catch up on my reading.  4. Muji Clear Toiletry Bag, TSA can be a pain, adhere by their rules as much as possible.   5. Portable Battery for phone/ipad, this one by Jackery holds at least 2.5 iphone recharge, so handy.   6. Zojirushi Thermal Mug, this mug keeps your liquid of choice hot/cold ALL DAY. Bring it to the airport empty and have the FA fill it up for you when you board, stay hydrated!  7. Make-up Bag, for pre-landing touch-ups.  NOT SHOWN HERE:  Muji Travel Pillow, another must have, I don't go on long flights without it.   Compression Socks, I swell up like a balloon in the air, with the socks i'm 95% swell free in my legs/feet.

1. Longchamp Le Pliage foldable Travel Bag, a must have for me, durable, lightweight, folds away nicely when not in use.

2, H&M infinity knitted scarf (old), this scarf is HUGE, and very warm. It's my pillow, blanket, jacket, you name it. 

3. Book & Notebook + Pen, long flights are the best time for me to work through a book, I don't sleep well on planes so it's perfect to catch up on my reading.

4. Muji Clear Toiletry Bag, TSA can be a pain, adhere by their rules as much as possible. 

5. Portable Battery for phone/ipad, this one by Jackery holds at least 2.5 iphone recharge, so handy. 

6. Zojirushi Thermal Mug, this mug keeps your liquid of choice hot/cold ALL DAY. Bring it to the airport empty and have the FA fill it up for you when you board, stay hydrated!

7. Make-up Bag, for pre-landing touch-ups.

NOT SHOWN HERE:

Muji Travel Pillow, another must have, I don't go on long flights without it. 

Compression Socks, I swell up like a balloon in the air, with the socks i'm 95% swell free in my legs/feet.

Dental hygiene products, dry shampoo, avene facial spray, mini loccitane hand cream, lip balm, facial moisturizer & bioderma in muji bottles, Dermalogical hydrating mask, and Nuxe Dry Oil (for hair and body)

Dental hygiene products, dry shampoo, avene facial spray, mini loccitane hand cream, lip balm, facial moisturizer & bioderma in muji bottles, Dermalogical hydrating mask, and Nuxe Dry Oil (for hair and body)

Garnier roller concealer, skin79 bb cream, boscia blotting Paper, eyeliner, ear plugs, chanel travel size mascara, buxom lip gloss, maybelline cream eyeshadow, anessa sunscreen, Makeupforever Aqua Brow + Brush, Chanel perfume sample, mirror. 

Garnier roller concealer, skin79 bb cream, boscia blotting Paper, eyeliner, ear plugs, chanel travel size mascara, buxom lip gloss, maybelline cream eyeshadow, anessa sunscreen, Makeupforever Aqua Brow + Brush, Chanel perfume sample, mirror. 

That's it, everything I need in my carry on to ease the flying process for this anxious traveler. Of course, with most airlines you are allowed another personal item as well (Backpack/Purse/Laptop case). I usually go with the backpack option, with a little crossbody bag thrown in there. It will hold the more important items like wallet, boarding pass, passport/ID, sunglasses etc.

And if you are interested, check out my most recent trip to Taiwan, herehere and here. Taiwan was beautiful, food was amazing, and the people were warm and hospitable, it wasn't on my list before but it definitely should have been. 

The Ones That Stuck

My nose hates most perfumes. Even though I love trying out new scents, I have not been able to commit to any particular scent for too long, a few weeks, at most a few months, I eventually outgrow them or the headaches and sneeze attacks take over. The three below are the exceptions, they have been in heavy rotation for me since early/mid 2000s. And after going through a few bottles of each, I'd like to think of these as my "signature" scents, as cheesy as that sounded. Fragrances are deeply personal and often sentimental, take the time to find the one(s) that makes you feel happy/confident/content/_________<---- (Insert any positive feely adjective here), and take a whiff whenever you need a pick-me-up, oh the small bliss in life.

Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey (10+ years and counting, the lasting power on this is amazing)

Stella McCartney In Two Peony (My wedding day perfume, LE release in 2006, still might be available on Ebay)

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline (featured in a previous blogpost Here)

A few others in my collection:

Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir L'Eau Exquise (blogged here)

NEST Amazonian Lily (new to me, but slowly becoming a favorite this summer)

Tokyo Milk Dark Everything & Nothing (A warmer scent, a winter time favorite)

Narciso Rodriguez Musc Oil for Women (This was the one that got away, Limited Edition release around 2007/8, though some sporadically pops up on Ebay for a bargain at around $250, eeeek!)

Gucci Rush 2 (Pretty sure this is a goner too, I baby the bits I have left in the bottle)

And regretfully, I did jump on the Diptyque bandwagon last year, let's just say I did not stay on for long, the brand image/bottles are gorgeous but the scents just weren't that impressionable to me. 

To try list:

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede

NEST Dahlia & Vines