For the first time in almost 3 years, I'm actually in New York City for Fashion Week. I have been very blessed to have been invited to two very different types of fashion previews - the first was an intimate gathering for the newly launched Á Moi Atelier's Ready to Wear Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview at designer Alejandra Alonso's Soho apartment and the second, detailed later in this post, was an invitation by The Mobile Media Lab + Tommy Hilfiger to a New York Fashion Week Instameet.
Ben Scorah, Head Mixologist of Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make a Porn Star Martini. This colorful and fruity drink with loads of passion is to be chased with a shot of prosecco!
Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make The Windsor's speciality cocktail, the Half Windsor. It's a light and refreshing drink that is only 90 calories!
Personally, I'm not a big fan of watching sports on TV, but if you had to drag me out to watch a game, at least drag me out to a place where I get dressed up nicely and enjoy some great cocktails. This classy sports bar in Midtown Manhattan is a perfect mix of sports and sophistication. In this video, I hang out with Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality to try out some of The Windsor Gansevoort Park's gourmet bar snacks.
Many people have asked me how I do it - travel constantly without losing my mind or my bearings. It's true my travel schedule is jam packed with so many things, at times it seems like way too many.
Grounding yourself is very important when you travel. It's very easy to go off balance and turn into a complaining [insert whatever profanity works for you here] when you're jetting from airport lounge to terminal gate, airplane to train to bus to taxi to pedicab to hotel room.
But what I've done that really works for me is to establish a morning routine or a morning ritual. That's the first thing I do in the morning to get yourself ready to face the world - whichever part of the world I am in. I believe the reality you create on the outside is reflective of who you are inside so it's very important to check in and take care of yourself - both inside and outside.
Let me share with you what I do:
I do a morning meditation (anywhere between 20-30 minutes) depending on my time. This doesn't have to be anything grand or done out loud with chants and gongs and monks or religious statues, but just simply:
I lay in bed and check in on the thoughts inside my head. What's the topic of conversation in my head today? I just listen to the natural thoughts buzzing inside and I let them flow... and then I let it go.
I don't question my thoughts, I don't wonder why I think my thoughts, I don't scream my thoughts on the top of my lungs. I don't do anything about them, I just observe them. I say to myself "How interesting that I feel that way." No, "I wonder why I feel that way." or I don't judge myself or try to fight them. I just lay in bed, let all the emotions and thoughts wash over me, and then I let them go. I clear my head of yesterday so that I am able to let the new day in. This is easier said than done. This practice of reseting, freeing yourself to truly be in the moment is something I learned (and am continuing to learn!) to do from the 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat I did. Check out my article about the Seven Things I Learned from FREE Vipassana Meditation Camp. This is something I highly recommend if you're able to take some time for yourself and it's 100% FREE. By doing this, I remind myself that I am in control of my emotions and I don't let that emotion dictate the rest of my day.
After my meditation, I Set An Intention. Out of the one million things that need to be done right now, what are the two things that am going to get done today? Then I think of one or two more pending items on the to-do list just in case I get through the two things that I am going to get done.
Once I decide on what my intentions are, I Listen to Music - My song of the moment is Modest Mouse "Float On" [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTAud5O7Qqk]
I LOVE the guitar riff! It's also a great reminder that "we'll all float on okay... and we'll all float on anyway, well... do do do do do do!"
Yesterday, it was The Killers "Human"
And to this music, I jump around and wash my face, brush my teeth, shower, and Abyanga (self massage) lovingly.
I feel completely jazzed to face whatever the day brings.
And if things are a lot more cray cray than usual, I take a minute out of my busy schedule and sing. Yep, I belt it out and lose myself in some YouTube karaoke. My mom's Filipina so karaoke is in my blood. The Philippines is a nation that is obsessed with karaoke. Every family I know in Manila has a karaoke machine and isn't afraid to use it, even early in the morning.
I made a little video for you to sing away your stresses... with me! So whenever you find yourself discombobulated and want to sing but feel silly singing alone... sing with me! Just play this video!
It's been more than a week and I'm already nostalgic for TBEX. It was a breath of fresh air to be in a room of people who were just as crazy as me. It was really refreshing to be in a roomful of other individuals who fully understood my addiction. It felt amazing to not have to explain that this wanderlust of mine was not just "a phase" that was going to go away until I finally found "a grown up job". It felt really good to be with people who understood that travel was not just a luxury, but a much needed call to be open-minded and open-hearted in an increasingly global society.
I know that this collection of ragmatag travel bloggers and video bloggers (both veteran and newbies) that I met at TBEX were into chronicling their travels because, just like me, they truly loved exploring the world and sharing all their eye-opening adventures. I can't express how lovely, accessible, and warm-hearted everyone was.
Here's a list of follow-worthy Travel Vloggers and Bloggers I admire and hung out with at TBEX. Check out their awesome stuff! (in alphabetical order by first name)
Alexandra Baackes of Alex in Wanderland, a travel and diving blog that's a guide to working and playing all over the world.
Alicia Taggio of My Life Untethered, a social media specialist and New Media producer based in Canada who is fueled by tea, travel and hustle.
Ashley Castle of Travels with Castle, an AFAR ambassador living life inspired through the lens of travel.
Brock of BackPack with Brock, an adventure coach and backpacker extraordinaire.
Calin O'Neil of Travel Yourself, a world travelers web series.
Charu Suri of Butterfly Diary, an online magazine, focusing on travel as a transformative experience.
Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark of Captain and Clark, the one and only Modern Cartographers.
Courtney Scott Radovanovic,Travelocity Senior Travel Editor, as well as Producer & Host of Travelocity's Let's Roam Show
David Lee of GoBackPacking.com, an amazing around the world travel guide.
Ethan Gelber, founder and editor of The Travel Word, that showcases local, sustainable and responsible travel.
Gareth Leonard of Tourist 2 Townie, chronicling his quest to travel like a local.
Jessie Festa of Jessie on a Journey, a kickass girl's guide to adventuring.
Julia Rosien of GoGirlFriend.com, a blog to inspire intelligent women to travel smarter.
Juliana Broste, a travel vlogger and Denver-Based Video Journalist, Producer, Writer, Shooter, and Editor.
Jodie Ettenburg of Legal Nomads, a former lawyer from Montreal currently eating her way around the world.
Kate Thomas of TravelwithKate.com, an online host and media producer who susses out what the locals know in her travel web series.
Kelley Ferro, the Travel Hostess with the Travel Mostest of TripFilms
Kristen Sarah of HopScotchtheGlobe.com featuring travel tales from an adventure junkie and her traveling pants.
Lisa Cohen of Make Me Hungry, a fresh food blog worth salivating about.
Luke Armstrong, the vagabond behind Travel. Write. Sing.
Matt Stabile, editor of The Expeditioner, a travel mag for the avid traveler.
Maria Laborde of LatinAbroad.com, a Spanish Translator and Digital Marketing extraordinaire, this Latin diva is spreading her spiciness all over the world.
Mickela Mallozzi of Travel Bare Feet, a webseries where she penetrates into local culture, one dance at a time.
Mike Corey of Kick the Grind, the beautifully filmed video blog of a breakdancing biologist at heart.
Mike Shubic of Mike's Road Trip, where you can find hidden gems of the road.
Monica Suma of Whimsical Tales of Travel & Lifestyle, a travel writer, blogger and social media maven who can't sit still.
Nadine Sykora of Hey Nadine, a video blogger, world traveler and internet personality.
Nathan Fluellen of World Wide Nate, a lifestyle travel show that's A Guide to Living a Global Lifestyle
Ryan Van Duzer of Duzer TV, a sportsman, adventurer and of course, a paradise hunter.
Ross Borden, CEO of MatadorNetwork -- the world's largest independent travel online publisher
(if I missed out anyone, please just gently but firmly scold me in the comments section below and I will promptly add you!)
I was finally able to meet so many of the Travel Vloggers that I've only seen online. I am SUPER HONORED to be imitated in this video by put together Kristen Sarah of HopScotchtheGlobe.
Other than the new friendships with my fellow adventurers, I made loads of contacts with tourism boards, travel companies and got loads of FREE stuff (which is ALWAYS nice). So overall, this conference was very fruitful. Check out the video (below) I edited of my TBEX experience and some of my favorite things from my TBEX goody bag. Watch til the end you'll get the chance to win one of my favorite items - a cable wrap bag from STM Bags!
Hope to see you at the next TBEX!
Safe travels! (and to quote Mike Corey of KicktheGrind.tv, "but not too safe because that's boring.") xoxoxoxo
4.30pm is the worst time to hail a cab in New York City. My advice: take a pedicab instead. A pedicab, one of those bicycle powered rickshaws is a summer staple of Manhattan. Not only are they eco-friendly and fun to ride in, they can also be your knight in shining armor.
Here's my pedicab to the rescue story...
Flashback to the summer of 2012: It's 4:45pm. It’s raining and it’s 15 minutes until my bus leaves for DC. I’ve been standing outside trying to hail a cab for 25 mins. Everyone’s off duty and I’m infuriated. I’m having a heart attack because I’m going to miss the last Tripper bus of the day going to Arlington, VA where I’m supposed to meet my friend Anna. And I already missed the earlier bus that I was supposed to catch. Argh. Off-duty cab after off-duty cab and another 5 minutes pass me by. 10 mins left until my bus leaves! I’m not sure what to do anymore. My clothes are soaked and I’m screaming inside. Suddenly, the solution appears. Low and behold, a pedicab pulls up before me.
I only need to go 3 avenues away, I tell him. 30 bucks, he says. I only have 20. He says 25. I only have 20 in cash and I need to catch my bus pronto.
Although a cab is much cheaper, I’d pay extra for the human powered vehicle as long as I don’t miss my bus!!!
He helps me put my two suitcases for my month long Best of the Road trip on his little vehicle and pedals his mighty legs through the sheets of rain and zig zagging through congested traffic and even through a red light. Go Mr. Pedicab Man!
We get to my bus 2 mins shy of it’s departure. Whew! A BIG thank you to Mr. Pedicab Man. I am eternally grateful.
[youtube=http://youtu.be/cFrh0XjzcnA] Hey guys! Here's a 3-minute preview of my travels to Nicaragua this past February. I had way too much fun editing this video so I hope you enjoy it! There's going to be more to follow!
I also entered this video into a contest by MyDestination.com to win a 6 month trip ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP around the world so please VOTE to help me WIN by using your social media clout and CLICK HERE TO VOTE!
And please remember, if you haven't yet please subscribe to me on Youtube and follow me on Twitter!
Gracias and muchos besos in advance! xoxox
There were two ways to get to our destination: by the local collectivo, Puerto Jimenez' public pick-up truck, or by kayak. Marcos, a sexy tattooed dark-haired, blued-eyed, half British-Spaniard and I decided the journey to Matapalo point, a surfer's haven, would be more fun by kayak. When the staff of Blue Osa, the yoga retreat we were staying at on Playa Tamales, learnt of our mid-day plans, they deemed it foolish. Sarah, one of the prep chefs, told us it was going to be about an hour each way at least and suggested to siesta instead during the scorching afternoon heat.
Being avid adventurers, we weren't going to let a little sun get in the way of our plans. Plus, we had a lot of sunblock and water with us so we weren't worried.
I was looking forward to a leisurely paddle through the beautifully serene waters of Golfo Dulce that were surrounded by lush rainforest where tree roots literally extend right to the water's edge.
What I didn't realize was that we would be accompanied by three others.
Two black labs and a golden retriever. Pete, Steve and Shiva were their names and as soon as we pulled our kayaks into the water, all three were happily swimming alongside us.
They belonged to Aaron, one of the owners of Blue Osa, and they loved interacting with the guests. They similarly accompanied Marcos and I on our afternoon run the day before yesterday. I quite enjoyed their company, but that was different: Deep water populated with bull sharks was not involved.
We were about one-third of the way of our intended journey when Marcos stopped paddling.
He was afraid of the dogs drowning. "I don't want to kill Aaron's dogs," he told me. He then relayed a story about a dog who suddenly died from exhaustion without warning as it accompanied a horse-riding tour at his family's equestrian hotel, Can Jou near Barcelona.
"I want to be here for five more days without feeling guilty about killing three dogs," he said. I agreed.
"Go home!" he yelled out to Pete, Steve and Shiva. They ignored him blissfully as they continued doggy-paddling. It was clear. They were not going to leave us alone. No matter how far we were going to kayak into the gulf.
Marcos laughed and said, "Look at them. Going around like loonies. They don't even know where they are going."
Marcos pulled one of the circling black labs onto his kayak to give it a rest. I tried to do the same with Shiva but alas, he paddled away from my grasp.
"Shall we go back?" Marcos suggested. "For the dogs?"
I nodded as I watched Shiva's friendly face as he happily swam by me. I wouldn't know the first thing to do with a drowned dog and the thought of any of the much-talked about bull sharks getting to these guys worried me even more. These were dogs that would definitely be missed.
by Patricia Serrano Delray Beach, FL is the ‘rehab capital’ of the USA, the Most Fun Small Town in America, and also an ideal place to get over a breakup.
There is a quote by American novelist Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977) that reads, “When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.”
I love my life way too much to commit suicide, so when I come to a low point in my life, such as a breakup, loss of job, or just plain bad weather, I always find myself traveling to recover.
The first time I visited Delray Beach, FL was at the end of June with Rand McNally and USAToday’s Best of the Road. I was there for three jammed-packed days, fresh from the wounds of a break up, and because of that, I was busying myself with non-stop activity trying to determine the Most Fun Small Town in America with my awesome gal pal, Anna Haas, to keep my mind off things.
Being tasked to pick the most fun small town in America isn’t so easy, especially when there are so many awesome other small towns to choose from. So, after our roadtrip was over, I couldn’t help thinking – did we really make the right choice?
November in Brooklyn – I’m freezing and still not fully recovered from my horrible break up. I’m cooped in my cold apartment because of Hurricane Sandy. My mind’s racing with toxic romantic memories and I need out, pronto. What’s the first thing I think of? My summer memories of Delray Beach.
I couldn’t stop wondering about how much warmer Delray Beach was in the winter than New York. And how much warmer the water was. So, I checked out weather.com and got these results.
So, I did the natural thing and bought a one-way ticket down there ASAP.
I spent the next three weeks exploring the town at my leisure without the pressure of having to squeeze 10 activities a day into an itinerary. I thought 3 weeks would be more than enough time to fully explore this town like a local. I also went there at the perfect time – early November, the very beginning of tourist season so places weren’t jammed packed with Northerners flying south. I spent those three weeks getting to know numerous Delray locals and discovering the spots that they hang out in. I also spent a lot of my time here just giving myself a break after an emotionally tumultuous year. Delray Beach is definitely a destination to do some major relaxing, being the rehab capital of the United States.
Here are 50 things that I did while nursing my emotional health in Delray Beach. All the activities here were recommended to me by local Delray residents.
1. Get up early in the morning for a stroll during Delray Beach’s sunrise. There are many things to do for early risers on the beach. Early morning classes in yoga, boot camp and even stand up paddleboarding. By 7:15am, there are already lots of people on the beach. Just seeing the sunrise in the morning makes me smile.
2. Mark some turtle nests. Do your good deed for our eco-system. These species are endangered! Numerous leatherhead and loggerhead turtles nest on Delray Beach as early as March until late August. It takes approximately one to three hours for the female turtle to lay a hundred ping-pong sized eggs.
3. Ride around town on the Delray Downtowner (561) 702.8519, delraydowntowner.com). This is the town’s 100% electric eco-friendly transport carts. Although convenient, the service runs with limited hours and within a certain radius so I would call in advance to check how far these electric carts travel. Hours: M-F 5pm-11pm; S-S 11am-11pm. You can even go to their website and reserve a table at a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue and book a ride to and from that restaurant online.
4. If you’re in town for Thanksgiving as I was, why not have a No Drama Thanksgiving Buffet at the Marriott Delray Beach (10 N Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 274-3200, marriottdelraybeach.com). No turkey to prep, no table to set, no dishes to wash, no family to squabble with. Utter peace during one of the most hectic holidays of the year.
5. Lounge out by the pool. Need I say more? If you’re vacationing in Florida, I fully believe you need to be in swimwear at least 55% of your vacation. All that vitamin D from tanning does wonders to my mood.
6. Sunday brunch at the Holiday Inn Highland Beach (2809 S Ocean Blvd Highland Beach, FL 33487, (561) 278-6241, highlandbeachholidayinn.com) . It’s about a 20-minute bike ride off the main Atlantic Avenue strip, but it’s secluded and you can’t beat the beachfront view. They also have the most extensive Sunday brunch I’ve ever had, complete with unlimited oysters and mimosas! A lot of local residents in the neighboring towns come out here to brunch, so it’s also a great way to meet the locals.
7. Swim in the cenote at the Sundy House (106 S Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL, (561) 272-5678, sundyhouse.com). This 11-room luxury boutique hotel has a beautifully landscaped fresh water pool that is modeled after the famous natural swimming holes in the Yucatan peninsula.
8. Cruise along the ocean on a rented bike from Richwagen’s Bike & Sport (298 NE 6th Ave. Delray Beach, FL, (561) 272-BIKE, delraybeachbicycles.com). Cruise down the A1A during the day. This scenic and historic coastal highway stretches 328.9 miles with loads of lush and tropical scenery of the Atlantic Ocean. Very therapeutic.
9. Sit in a cabana on the beach and bask in the SoFlo Sun. You can lay on a beach towel for free but if you want a less sandy experience, rent a cabana for the day. Oceanside Beach Service (beachservice.com) manages the beach rentals that range from $3 per hour for a single chair to $25 a day for two.
10. Eat sushi at Buddha Sky Bar (217 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 450-7557, buddhaskybar.com). This discreet Asian fusion sushi bar is on the third floor and yes, here in Delray, the third floor is a high enough to be called a sky bar. Under the glass-incased rooftop, you’ll have magnificent views of Atlantic Avenue all the way to the ocean.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ifBPYbyM_Q?wmode=transparent&autohide=1&egm=0&hd=1&iv_load_policy=3&modestbranding=1&rel=0&showinfo=0&showsearch=0&w=500&h=375] Crave paella? Check out this place in Soho I went to with a Spanish friend to test its authenticity.
Socarrat Paella Bar 284 Mulberry St (at E. Houston) http://socarratpaellabar.com
Video: The Flight of the Ultralight I get drunk on Mexican coffee [hint: it has tequila] and take to the sky in an airplane that looks like a kite glued to a lawnmower. Video produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano. Field Producer: Arthur Kanegis.
Video : On the Road to El Salto Canyon I risk my life driving over precarious Mexican roads to a hidden canyon and spill juicy tidbits about my shameful driving history. Video produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano. Field Producer: Arthur Kanegis.
My mother told me Mexico (Baja in particular) was dangerous. I didn't believe her so I took the trolley from San Diego down to the border to see what it was really like. First stop, La Fonda Hotel, a secluded getaway where secrets come to die. Video produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mShrL5yb15g?hd=1]
Video: Puerto Nuevo Part I I go to Puerto Nuevo, the famous lobster village of Baja, to check out the sea crustaceans and end up trying to find a fisherman to take me fishing. Video Produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano. Field Producer: Arthur Kanegis.
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Video: Solar Heated Pool Some Asian chick in bikini goofs off in a homemade solar heated pool in Mexico. Muy caliente! Video produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano
Video: Puerto Nuevo Part II Not letting treacherous waves get in the way of my craving for fresh fish, I seduce a Baja fisherman into taking me on his boat for a taste of what he does everyday. Video produced by Brandon Li and Patricia Serrano. Field Producer: Arthur Kanegis.