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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

citizen*N* says

June 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Earlier this month, Sarah and I pretended we were livin’ the dream and were travel bloggers. Thanks to the Tumi Golden Ticket competition I’d been trying to win, I found out about a new branch of the trendy boutique hotel citizenM opening in Paris, and they were offering free nights to ‘test sleep’ at their newest hotel in exchange for feedback. Sounded good to me!

The Top Line: If you’re looking for a hotel in the CDG airport area for a good price, citizenM is a great option with its cute, creative and modern set-up and very friendly staff.

Here were our top ‘liments and ‘laints: Read more…

It’s still Christmas in Warsaw

February 11, 2014 1 comment

This is what James the my Great gave me for Christmas:

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🙂

Not only was it a great surprise that we were going away somewhere, it was a riddle!! I love riddles.

Unfortunately though, before I figured it out (because it was hard! And my Google skills are waning/I never went past page 1 on any of my searches, because I don’t remember the last time I went past page 1 on any of my searches…), I had a mishap and clicked a subscriber email from TripIt, emails which I NEVER open, when I meant to click something else entirely, and saw that ‘James has a trip planned to Poland’ and before I knew what was happening, it was too late. I didn’t even know James used Tripit!

The night before, I was actually so excited that I couldn’t sleep, so only ended up getting about 4.5 hours before I had to up and shower and head to the airport for our flight before noon on Friday. As we landed, we could see snow blanketing the ground. It was kind of the best because we didn’t have to stay indoors because of wet, freezing weather, but still got to walk around for the weekend seeing beautiful snowy whiteness and hearing the satisfying crunch under our shoes. We settled down at our hotel, (The Warsaw Intercontinental!) in our room with an amazing view of the Palace of Culture and Science:

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aka best hotel room timepiece ever

and got ready and headed out for some drinks and the Polish National Ballet’s production of Read more…

‘How young do you turn on Friday?’

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

-my new desk bud at work

That’s a good start, right?! I guess it’s great to be the envy of older people at work and stuff? That, plus, I haven’t felt an onset of those birthday blues mentioned below yet, so I’m counting it altogether as a win.

25. 25!!! I don’t know. I don’t want to do another ‘what I did’ or ‘what I’ve learned’ post, so I’m at a bit of a loss and waiting for inspiration to strike.

By way of an update, we’ve moved! Goodbye, Pimlico, hello, Tower Bridge Road balcony with a view of Tower Bridge!

It’s also a big sports year and we have tickets between us to Wimbledon, the Royal Ascot, the Olympics (swimming, soccer, gymnastics and one more I can’t remember), and hopefully soon, the Henley Regatta, which one of our colleagues will be racing in! Oh, and the London Marathon was yesterday and we could see them running by from our balcony 🙂

Travel-wise, since that is obviously the moooost interesting part of my life! This year has been much calmer than last. Less visitors too 😦 (HINT) But so far: James and I went to Paris for his birthday, Sara Glen and I to Dublin for St Paddy’s Day, MeMyself&I to Cardiff to spend Easter with my godparents, and in three weeks, my good ole travel bud/officemate/roommate/Mrs Dara and Mrs…? are heading to Croatia! One of our colleagues was so sweet and offered us her place in Split for a weekend! We are both soooo excited! (That sounds like an engagement comment) And since Sarah told me that London temperatures are supposed to hit freezing in MAY, it will be a welcome end to these ridiculous April Showers.

BY GEORGE (Really. It’s St George’s Day), I’VE GOT IT!

Sorry. No, I don’t. Sorry for the bore, but some time for me to get back into the swing, please?

XOXO

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(Signs it has been so long since the last post.

-I didn’t know how to get into the admin part of wordpress
-I didn’t know my username
-I didn’t know my password
-Today is April 24th, 2012. The last post is from April 27th, 2011. SAD. TIMES.

It’s not that I’ve had a lack of things to write about, it’s just that I’ve been doing instead of writing! /Okay. I may have gotten a little behind and then wanted to catch up. In chronological order. And then got demotivated and then lazy…)

23:59

April 26, 2011 1 comment

Today, I had a minor case of the birthday blues. I dont know why, but Karishma and I seem to have gotten them every year for the past few years.  But as I thought about it and constructed the list below, I realized that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I also realized that this year’s blues were probably brought on because, judging from this list, how could any year be better??

So here’s my thanks. To 23, the year I think I can safely call the best year of my life-skål! (That’s Danish for ‘Cheers!’–I learned it this weekend in Copenhagen :))

In the past 365 days, I have:
-started off my 23rd birthday by interviewing for a job I was dying to have, and 2 days later,
-found out that I got said job!
-graduated from UT with my bachelor’s and master’s and got to have my Achachan, Dolly Aunty, and cousin Pranay there
-had an amazing graduation party, thrown by my great fam

-been on 24 planes
-been in 10 countries
-been to the US Open in the midst of an awesome weeklong NYC trip
-been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the 1st annual three sisters trip
-been to Thunder from Down Under and learned how to play Big Six in Vegas
-lounged on beaches and adventured in Xcaret in Cancun, Mexico
-started my first job, for which I
-moved to London
(these show how I feel about this move:
   )
-stood among the throngs in Leicester Square for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 premiere and caught glimpses of Rupert Grint, Helena Bonham Carter, Evanna Lynch and a few others
-sung with a pianist at Show Off multiple times – Phantom of the Opera, Sixteen going on Seventeen, to name a few
-seen Matthew Fox (from a box seat!), Olivia Williams, Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in plays on West End
-seen Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time – and loved it – and am now spending a weekend at the castle where it was set in early May
-spent New Year’s Eve on the Thames with Lauren, with whom I’ve had a plan to ‘go to England together’ for about 13 years now, watching fireworks over the London Eye
-been driven and ferried to Germany and given an amazing personalized tour by Sirs Sertan and Grant Sanderson
-flown into beautiful beautiful beautiful Geneva, Switzerland and attended My First Drag Show
-jetted back to Texas for a quick weekend to celebrate the wedding of Felisa and Matt Prosen
 and then
-watched my dad star in a Tamil play (this is not even one of the six languages he knows!)

-adventured in Malta and Gozo
-frozen in Sweden, BUT, with my best friend Vershaaaaaa and three other fabulous travelmates, Mariam, Maggie, and Ayesha

-lucked out with weather in the 60’s in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I met a ton of Great Danes and walked my feet off
-made plans to go to south France in May, Lisbon in July, and family travels to Budapest, Prague and Vienna in August
-have booked a docked yacht in the Thames to celebrate this 24th birthday with a few friends and a shameless use of the Royal Wedding to make it my Royal Birthday to force them all to get all dressed up
-been to places like Greenwich Park and Hever Castle – places where, the last time I was there was 20 years ago! Old. Times.
-visited the 100 Acre Wood and Pooh Bridge and played a failed game of Pooh Sticks
-signed up for tickets to the Olympics in 2012
-discovered that this picture doesn’t make as much sense as I would like it to:

-learned how to tie not just any tie, but a vintage IASC tie:

-been on a pub quiz team with Chairman of the IASB, Sir David Tweedie, and got a high-five from him when I got a question right (yesssss.)

-somehow survived 47 days without bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc — ie, anything magically delicious. But. I tested myself. And came out on Easter Sunday eating this great first meal of walnut pancakes with raspberries to break[my]fast!

-and to come full circle, tomorrow morning, on my 24th birthday, I present my very first paper to the International Accounting Standards Board (on the accounting of fair value hedges, in case you were interested :))

I think this picture, from my masquerade birthday party last May, accurately reflects my year:


a little off-kilter, a lot of happy, and surrounded by friendly, helping hands the whole time. Plus. Someone I was a pretty big fan of once told me that he really liked this picture. So thanks, 23. I loved you and will miss you.

(PS If there’s something I’ve forgotten, please tell me!!! I want to add it so I can have this record!)

Namaste, I’m in Nepal

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I left off last time with a story about Eid Al Ahda. I was so proud about my story about Ibrahim, but turns out I had a few parts of the story wrong. Whoopsie daisy. I won’t make corrections because it’s just funny to read. Well, to continue on with Eid, I flew to Nepal last Wednesday- my first time in that part of the sub-continent.

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10 comments about my trip to Nepal

1. Mental Note: Fly Dubai airlines goes to Kathmandu, Nepal – there’s no need to fly Air Arabia from Sharjah.

2. Kathmandu is a dirty beautiful place: Never in my life have I seen so many people and homes crammed together in one city. The view of Kathmandu from the plane was a complete clutter. It’s a dirty place, however it’s filled with so many lovely people. There i just something I love about traveling to poor countries.

3. Driving disaster: Now imagine this crammed place and driving through it. Let’s just say you can get away with any driving tricks in Nepal and drivers are willing to make any moves to get through traffic. Also, pedestrians don’t care about getting hit – crossing these dirt streets with a traffic jam without looking both ways is not too important to them, I guess.

4. Do go out in Kathmandu: A big group of us started the night off with a few drinks at a lovely place called Garden of Dreams. It was the most beautiful place I  had seen in Kathmandu. Then we headed to these run down bars on the corner of every street. At one bar, 10 of us ordered rounds and rounds of drinks and food for 4 hours. We get the bill and it is US $ 80. Unbelievable! 10 BUCKS a person for several rounds of drinks and food. Quite a bargain.

5. Head towards Pokhara for the view of a lifetime: A few of our friends traveled to Pokhara before us and didn’t get the opportunity to see the mountain views and snow caps because of the fog. We got lucky one morning and were able to catch the view. Magnificent scenery!

6. Tea Houses are highly recommended: Tea houses offer the most minimal accommodation, it was enough to sleep comfortably. I would have even preferred it over the 5 star hotels in Kathmandu. Not only are you served a delicious meal but you get to enjoy it with a mountain view at these Tea Houses.

7. Masala tea with milk: My drink of the trip. I would have it with every meal. Perfect warmth for the tummy.

8. Drive from Kathamandu to Pokhara, don’t fly: We took a 30 minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and had to wait for hours both ways due to “fog.” The drive would have been perfect for viewing the scenery. Someone try it next time and let me know how the journey is.

9. Veggie Momos: Nepal is known for their Momos. Basically they are dumplings, but are shaped different and called Momos. One of the best dishes Nepal has to offer.

10. Trekking in Nepal is the best way to get into shape: All of us are in our twenties and a 44 year old man was a better trekker than all of us combined. It hit us how out of shape we were. Next personal goal is trekking for 21 days in Nepal.

 

24 Hours in Jordan

October 22, 2010 1 comment
My friend Serene and I planned a 24 hour trip from Dubai to Jordan. We jetted to Amman last Friday to attend Rama and Basil’s Wedding at the Movenpick Dead Sea – it was a beautiful Greek Orthodox ceremony. The reception was at sunset and overlooked the Dead Sea. The most incredible part about the view of the Dead Sea is being able to see Israel across the water.

 

I had the pleasure of traveling to a new country in the Levant region – JORDAN. This is a country known for its rock cut architecture called Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and the Baptism site of Jesus. Unfortunately, my 24 hour trip to Jordan didn’t give me the chance to tour the ‘must sees’ of the country. Tour of Jordan coming soon…

 

A few words from last weekend’s Arabic wedding:

1. Girls can wear white to a wedding and the bride won’t kill you.
2. Dressing for an Arabic Wedding = dress as if you are attending a red carpet affair (Long dresses are a must.)
3. It is tradition for the bride and groom to cut a 5 layered cake with a sword. A SWORD!!! not a knife. It was awesome.
4. Arabic dancing is all about moving the shoulders, swaying the hips and moving your hands out as if you are pushing someone away. I have the move down!
5. No slow songs allowed.
6. Only on the bride’s wedding night can she feel zero pain after dancing for 6 hours in 4 inch heels. Props to Rama!
7. It is possible to get ready for a wedding in 45 minutes and still look good.
8. Don’t bring a wedding gift to an Arabic wedding or you will be the only one standing there with a cupcake stand with a big bow on it.
9. No date required: with your girlfriends and plenty of the bride and groom’s family, you will enjoy yourself and be dancing for over 6 hours.
10. To all who are engaged and planning a wedding, do it the Arabic way by feeding your guests with a courtyard filled with food and unlimited champagne.

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Jules in real life… almost

October 14, 2010 4 comments

Let me give you a bit of an overview of my life the past few years. I won’t go into too many details or name names for now, but as the postings keep coming I’ll start elaborating more.


January to May 2009: College was fun. I was soaking up my college life and enjoying my last few months of freedom more than anyone I knew. I thought college would be the best four years of my life and they really were… well until I moved to Dubai, but I’ll tell you more about that later.
May 2009: I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin after studying Economics and Business Administration for 4 years. Diploma check. Job uncheck.
July 2009: My graduation gift from my parents was a trip anywhere in the world. Being a young girl from Texas, I never really got out much and trust me when I say that. I had never even been to NYC, Chicago or DC and still haven’t been today. In the end, I decided to take a mini Euro trip where I visited Barcelona, Madrid and Paris. While traveling the beautiful city of Paris, I had a phone interview for a job in Dubai. I was excited by the city and the thought of a potential job.
September 2009: Got a job offer and was asked to relocate to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at the end of the month. Had my Dubai-bye parties, said my farewells and flew to the Middle East.
August 2009: Needed to find an apartment! Thanks to the creators of Dubizzle.com, I found an apartment  (flat, as they call it here) on the 37th floor of Bahar 5 in Jumeriah Beach Residence where I lived with 6 amazing people. 3 guys and 1 girl from the UK, 1 guy from Pakistan and another guy from Germany. The landlord owned 6 different flats at the top of this building where I was able to make more friends and party just as much as college. Life was great in this new city.
October – December 2009: Work. Parties. Friends. Exploring new places. I was happy. At times I got sad – I missed home. I laughed. I cried. I complained. All normal emotions for a single girl in a new country. At one point I considered moving home, but I pulled it all together. One thing to be said – the experience would have never been the same without my flatmates. My best friend in Dubai was one of my flatmates. He was an entertainment journalist – and let me add, journalists have nice perks! During those months he invited me to all the hottest parties in town with all the drinks I could ask for, free tickets to comedy shows, free gifts, free concerts, VIP this and VIP that. We were honestly living it up.Let me add one thing, all you can drink Christmas brunches are the best and bringing in the new year with Rihanna was one hell of a way to end 2009!
January 2010: I made more and more friends, but these certain friends I made that month became like family to me. The most generous and caring people I had ever met in my life. I loved them from the start and the friendship/familyship just grew from there. Oh and how could I forget to mention, I met a boy. We were introduced at a house party, went on dates and the relationship quickly grew from there.
March 2010: Hello, Ogilvy PR. I was offered a new job at Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations where I became the Account Executive for the Technology Team. I managed Samsung and in a few months I began managing Yahoo! Maktoob – more positive changes in my career.
April – May 2010: I became an aunt! My brother and sister-in-law had a beautiful boy named Luke Slater Nguyen. He was born on April 28th at 7.55 PM – 8lbs 14 oz , 20 inches. I still have yet to meet him.During those months, my main focus became work. I helped manage sponsorships with Dubai Fashion Week, Samsung’s 3D TV press conferences, worked on press releases, managed coverage reports and soaked up the work experience. PR isn’t as fabulous as it sounds- it’s constant hard, demanding work, but I loved it and still love every part of my job today.
June 2010:  I leave the UAE for the first time. My boyfriend, my two closest friends and I planned a trip and jetted off to Koh Samui, Thailand. A vacation we all needed to take a mental break from work and Dubai. A relaxing filled holiday with plenty of street shopping, inexpensive but exquisite Thai dishes and elephant trekking.
September 2010:  My one year anniversary in Dubai. I celebrated with a camel – the animal with humps, not a cigarette.
October 2010: And so here we are, I’m off to Jordan tomorrow to attend a wedding at the Movenpick Dead Sea. Stay posted for updates about my trip next week.