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Life is a Journey, Savor it.


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Ambon, Indonesia brought me to my knees

Currently I’m stuck in Ambon, Indonesia. I want it to be an idyllic, oozing sort of tropical provincial capital city but my optimism has mangled to carrion. Death by bugs, rain and bland bustle.

Despite the guidebook’s attempt at a favorable description, Kota-Ambon fails to live up to anything but reality: this is a bonafide bustle in a country that holds up universally-execrated Jakarta as a model metropolis. Ambon fits the mold of its big, mean, ugly older sister city: it’s polluted, littered with trash and produces odd smells that mix feces with NASA-grade adhesives. It is uninspiring to the extreme despite its picturesque seaside setting–and I’m a devout “always look on the bright side” kinda gal. What a shame. My impressions are not rectified by the citizens who seem to have either an unfortunate lisp, poor comprehension of anatomy or highly misinformed English teachers–or might they be cursed with all of the above? “Hallo Mister!” children and teenagers jubilantly proclaim to me as I stroll past in teal skirt and purple sunglasses.

Before arriving to Ambon I’d read the Lonely Planet guide and brushed up on travelers forums about my short-stay home. The research hardly required even one cup of kopi rorobang, the local answer to caffeine-injected rocket fuel… Prior to immersion I learned that Ambon is best known for three things (besides its aforementioned notoriety as the capital of one of Indonesia’s most scattered and largest regions): Continue reading

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Pro-Tips: Tablets & ebooks

By far one of my favorite, most used and most employed travel accessories is my Apple* iPad mini.

My favorite thing about the mini is that when loaded with a bevy of apps it turns into a powerful and flexible ereader for everything from the latest best sellers, to classics and even graphic novels. Typically I enjoy reading multiple books at once; when traveling by backpack this is a luxury I previously had to forego… Until ebooks came along. On my mini, I’m able manage multiple titles at once, store news articles for offline reading, and even subscribe to my favorite magazine all on 1 slim package weighing less than a pound. Technology nirvana indeed! Continue reading