Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hong Kong = Best Foot Massage

The Far East had always felt so distant to me, until I began my career in the fashion industry.  Working in fashion has enabled me to connect with many Chinese vendors and business people, so it was only a matter of time before I would be embarking on my first trip to Hong Kong.  In 2008 my boss informed me that I would be joining the design team on their semi-annual development trip to Hong Kong.  The purpose of the trip was to begin development for the 2009 Spring/Summer collection by visiting our agents and new prospects in Tsim Sha Tsui, at the heart of the city’s busiest commercial, shopping and business hub.

Big cities require a lot of walking, and a lot of walking means sore feet!  What better way to experience Hong Kong and nurture my aching soles than to have a traditional Chinese foot massage! I was touring the Central area on the island with my colleague Clare when we decided to indulge in some reflexology.  Clare is a London native, who lived in Hong Kong for two years, and is now working in Toronto.  She knows the city very well and so she recommended we stop into the Lan Kwai Fong location of Happy Foot reflexology spa.

This little gem is located on the 19th floor of what looked to be a very busy office building.  Off the elevator we entered a foyer facing the spa entrance and to the left of the doors a group of Cantonese women were engaged in a friendly game of mahjong tiles.  Once inside the spa a feeling of calm immediately wrapped my body.  The music was soft; the lights were dim, the people -very kind and gentle.  We entered a room and sat in oversized, comfy leather chairs, removed our shoes and prepared to be pampered.  My feet were soaked and washed before 75 minutes of the most amazing leg and foot rub I’ve ever had.  Once complete, my feet felt rejuvenated and equipped to walk across the rest of the city.  The cost of this worthwhile experience was a mere $300 Hong Kong dollars, which translates to approximately $35 to $40 Canadian dollars.    

Traveling often requires a lot of walking, and when you’re in the fashion industry, beautiful shoes aren’t always the most comfortable.  Exploring big cities in the summer months can leave your feet achy and dusty; a foot massage can provide relief and longevity to your tender soles.  Since having this wonderful experience I now make it a point to take a reflexology break when in New York or any big city’s Chinatown.

Categories: Asia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

About Diana….

My next guest blogger is not only a fellow traveller, but also a very dear friend.  Diana’s desire to travel the world is infectious! She was even blessed with the opportunity to live in Italy for a year. I’m extremely excited that she has agreed to share her amazing experiences on my blog!

I hope she inspires you to travel as well! ~Jenn

Travel has been an important part of my lifestyle ever since I can remember. From my first visit to Walt Disney World at age 1, to riding camels in the Sahara desert at age 30, each place I have traveled to shaped me into the person I am today.   I am a designer by trade and always looking to be inspired. I use my trips to give me ideas and enrich my thoughts about colour, texture and pattern outside of the ordinary.  I can thank my dad for dragging us on family vacations every summer and instilling the value of travel in my soul.  Through personal trips, educational ventures and work travel I’ve been to many countries in Europe, traveled across Canada and the United States, Hong Kong, Mexico, Egypt and the Caribbean.  In one week I can add Israel and Jordan to my list…

Categories: Asia, Meet the Travelers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dubrovnik: Pearl of the Adriatic

What can I say? I have been watching Game of Thrones this season and I’ve been inspired!  The backdrop for filming this great series is the historical city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. I can’t help but to get excited when they show scenes of the “kingdoms”. Much like what’s depicted in the series, Dubrovnik isn’t in need of special effects – it just really is that stunning! It’s a beautiful coastal town full of medieval castles, history, restaurants and beaches. There’s a reason why Dubrovnik has been dubbed as the Pearl of the Adriatic.

To get to Dubrovnik can prove to be quite difficult. If you are cruising this will likely be a stop. However, if you decide to discover Croatia on your own I found transportation can be rather complicated and time consuming to get from point A to B as their train stations aren’t quite as reliable as other European countries and buses are long overnight hauls. I would recommend flying into Dubrovnik from either Zagreb or Split. Both flights are fairly short and the price to fly within Croatia is fairly inexpensive. Don’t let the prices fool you…all prices are set in Croatian currency (kune) not the euro.

So now, what’s there to see in Dubrovnik? Tons! I’m not a history buff, if you read my blog you would know that. But you can’t help but to see history around you and Croatians are extremely passionate about their roots.  I couldn’t help but to want to learn and see more! So, here’s where to start:

Ancient Walls and Old Town – This really should be top priority. It would be a sin to go to Dubrovnik and not spend time here. Every local bus leads to the Old Town and the drive is beautiful. Once you enter the Old Town you will be surrounded by nothing but watch towers, ruins, the ancient walls and the sea. It truly is unbelievable that the Old Town has been so well maintained. By day, climb to the highest points of Old Town and take in the amazing coastal view. At night, restaurants and cafes are open in every nook and cranny, entertainment and music is all around and the energy is just incredible.

Port – Still along the Old Town, this port is certainly not like the port in Monaco. Like the entire Croatian culture, they live a simple and non-excessive life. That is reflected when you stroll through the port. Here you will see a line of fisherman boats, rowboats and canoes. *Note: this is an incredible photo opp during a sunset!

Internet Café – I thought I’ve seen it all, but clearly I was wrong. As I was walking back to my hotel I came across an internet café. But not just any café, it was in the middle of a forest! Don’t ask me where the electrical connections were made, but it’s pretty awesome to be in a forest using technology of any sort.

Beach – You may hear conflicting recommendations here. When we arrived, our hotel staff and some other tourists we met recommended Banje Beach. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it that impressive. When we spoke to the locals they recommended Lapad Beach which was a lot more secluded and private. Regardless, the water is immaculate, but make sure to bring water shoes. Croatia’s beaches are made up of small pebble and rocks, don’t expect white sand!

Restaurants – Seafood! If you’re allergic, too bad. Bring your epipen! It’s a tragedy to order anything but seafood.

If you still aren’t entirely sold on Dubrovnik, it’s too bad. Croatia in general is a beautiful country with so much to offer. It’s slowly creeping up as a top tourist attraction, so try to go before it gets very expensive

Safe Travels!

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Packing Light

I think I have packing down to an art. I really should teach a course. Depending on where you’re going and for the length of time, it is very possible to stick to one suitcase when you pack! If you’re really good, maybe just a carry on!  So how do I do it. Let me tell you!

Start with a list – I’m a bit of an organizational freak. I make lists for lists. That’s just my personality. But, if you make a list of what you need (I mean what you really need) that’s really all that you should pack. Don’t worry about extra clothing or the pair of shoes you might wear. Just worry about the essentials!

Plan your Outfits – Sounds weird, I know. But it actually works! If you plan what you are wearing everyday on your vacation, and throw in a couple of extra items just in case, you won’t run the risk of overpacking.

Wear the heavy stuff – This works when you are going somewhere cold. Don’t pack your boots…..wear them on the flight. Don’t stuff your jacket into your carry on….wear it. If you’re hot….too bad! Just deal with it. You can take it off when you’re in the air.

What can you buy?Very important. If you know your hotel is close to a shopping area, why are you going to pack things that you can just buy there? It makes no sense.

Hotel Amenities – Ladies, you know what I”m talking about. A blowdryer is our best friend, especially on vacation. But if you’re hotel provides a blowdryer, tons of toiletries and complimentary slippers…..why pack them?

Travel Size Everything – I’m not talking about the obvious stuff like shampoo and conditioner. I have a travel size flat iron and a travel size clothes steamer that I take with me everywhere I go. And yes, my suitcase is always under the weight limit!

There you have it. Just a few things to consider when you are getting ready for your next adventure. If you pack light, you avoid a lot of lineups and questions at customs. It’s a time saver too!

Happy packing!

Categories: Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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