Wanderlust Glutton

I’ve always love Penang since my first visit. So much that I actually chose to do my internship in Penang five years ago instead of the comfort of my hometown. If that’s not enough to show my love for the island – I’m also in love with a man whose born and bred in Penang. 🙂 There’s just something about the island – maybe it’s the vibe or maybe it’s just the endless installment of scrumptious food on all my visits. 

I’ve been wanting to write this post for the longest time. All the food reviews of Penang has always been leaning towards the common food as listed on my title. Don’t get me wrong – they are all really very good. But the great food is beyond that. There’s a lot more good food that Penang offers!

Here’s a list that I compiled from my numerous visits in Penang:

1. Pulau Tikus Lok Lok

I’d say this is probably the most underrated food in Penang that hardly made it to the list of food one should not missed when in Penang. 

Here you’ll find a table spread of an assortment of cooked and uncooked ingredients and vegetables skewered on sticks. The most extensive selection of all lok lok I’ve been. The cream of the cake is the dipping sauce! There’s six types, all home made and just tasting it you’ll know the ingredients used are carefully selected. Definitely not your normal chili or rojak sauce you get at the regular lok lok joint. Even if you don’t like lok-lok, I’ll suggest coming just to taste the awesome dipping sauce!

Sharing table is common here if you come in small groups. If you find that uncomfortable i’d suggest going there earlier. Once I shared a table with a couple who was so obviously in a “forbidden relationship” and it felt so uneasy! Also because the boiling pot of water is communal you might want to give this place a miss if you have an OCD for hygiene. 

There’s actually two stalls there – one on the corner left and another in the middle. I’ve never tried the one in the middle as I really like the corner one that I frequent. Rumors had it that both stalls are actually the same but the man who started the business had two wife. 😛

Location:

Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Georgetown, Penang.

Open daily from 4 PM to 11 PM.

2. Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng Sotong

With a history of more than 80 years, you’ll be sure that the plate of noodles serve on the table is a plate of goodness.

The noodles are skillfully  fried  in a big wok with potatoes, crispy cuttlefish together with their legendary signature spicy-sweet red sauce . Spot on flavors! The owner pride in using only the freshest natural ingredients that are prepared daily and the plate of delicious fried noodles is an evidence to that claim. It isn’t a dish that will sweep your feet off but one that i’d say very pleasing to the taste buds. Something you can easily have a few times a week! Service is also interestingly swift despite the endless stream of customers. Uncle who manned the stall speaks Hokkien like any other native Penangite so don’t bother ordering in other language if you can speak Hokkien. 

Location:

Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng (Seng Lee Cafe)

270, Jalan Burma

10350 Georgetown, Penang

Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM, Everyday.

3. Jalan Transfer Roti Canai

Having not blessed with a good metabolism rate, I try to avoid roti canai as much as I can. It’s a completely different case when it comes to the one in Jalan Transfer. It’s so good that I find it almost like a sin if I come to Penang and leave without making a visit here. The roti canai here is crispy thin, flaky and dipping into the curry kuah is undoubtly a beautiful affair that makes you goes MMmmmm

I happened to watch them appearing on See Toh’s programme in AFC before and apparently the “founder” was originally from India. Hence the recipe used in their curry is slightly different to what we normally have. I’ve never been to India to judge the difference but i’d say the one here is heavy with its spices especially curry powder. Many think their popularity derived from the curry and not the roti but i’d say both complements each other as a great dish.

OH, and do order their teh tarik here too! 

Location:

56, Jalan Transfer

Georgetown, 10050 Penang.

Open daily from 6.30 AM – 1 PM & 3.30 PM TO 7 PM

4. Sky Hotel Char Siew

I’ve always been a fan of anything meat but i’d say Char Siew is one of my least favorite version of cooked meat and other than the one here, I almost never bother to eat Char Siew at all.

The meat here is roasted to perfection – complete with a coating of caramelized sugary fat that melts in your mouth at every bite. Neither too lean nor too fat. I don’t even know how to explain how good this is in culinary term …literally an explosion of the most beautiful fireworks of flavors! 

They are sold out sometimes as early as 12.30 PM so do make your way there early to avoid disappointment. 

Location:

Sky Hotel Char Siew Rice,

Chulia Street off Jalan Masjid,

10200 Penang.

Opening Hours : 11.30 AM – 2.30 PM

Monday to Saturday

5. Continental Bakery Egg Tart

The first few days when I started my internship years ago, I overheard my colleagues mentioning about this out-of-the-world egg tarts that they just bought. I was still very shy then so I didn’t dare to ask. A little over the time though, when I’ve build rapport with them one of them brought me there!

Since then, this has been the best egg tart in my books. There’s this really special vanilla aroma in their egg custard that makes it different from others. I gotta admit though that the quality of the pastry has deteriorate a little as compared to the first time I had it but their egg custard is still unbeatable. You can also get fresh home-made quality pastries and bread here. 

Location:

33, Nagore Road,

10050 Penang.

Open daily from  10 AM – 7 PM

6. Uncle’s Burger

Mention street burger and every Malaysian would picture a sloppy, sauce-flooded burger. Uncle’s burger though is the total opposite of that. Instead of spamming the burger with chili sauce, Uncle Wong would generously flood his signature pan fry caramelized onions and cabbage. I usually don’t like cooked onions but he managed to make it so tasty that I actually want a lot of it! 

Eating the burger is also not a messy affair – there is no need to quickly run and grab a piece of serviette to wipe that dripping sauce. I’ve also read that their patties are specially ordered from a shop so it won’t taste like your regular Malaysian street burger.  

There’s always a queue (you can even spot Caucasians queuing up for it!) on most business days so be prepared to spare at least 15-20 minutes of waiting time. 

Location: 

Jalan Sungai Kelian 

11200 Tanjung Bungah Penang

Open daily from 7 PM – 11 PM

(Spot the mini lorry park at hillside)

7. Dato Keramat Chicken Rice

Others sing praises for Ipoh Chicken Rice but I’d say it’s nothing like like what they have here. Not even close. Maybe it’s my love for the place that made me have a bias judgement but one thing I know is that I always make sure I allocate a little space in my stomach for this in every visit. 

The wonders of this dish is not really in the poached chicken but more on the delicious big bowl of complimentary “Chai Buey Thng”. The preserved vegetables soup are boiled in hours using stock made of roasted duck and chicken. It has all the flavors that will tinge your taste buds – salty, spicy and sour! Strangely, only Penang does this soup best. Tasted a lot elsewhere but nothing come close. The fragrant oily rice here is really good too. 

Just give me that bowl of soup and a plate of rice, you’ll make my stomach happy already. 🙂

Location:

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the exact address for this place but it’s the corner coffee shop that is directly opposite Ah Leng Char Kueh Tiau, along Convent Dato Keramat. 

8. “Guleng Peng”

This drink is a concoction of grenadine syrup, evaporated milk and shaved ice – very much like a Chinese Version of Air Bandung. Three very humble ingredient but makes a great thirst quencher, especially with the hot and humid weather of the island. I’ve never seen this sold anywhere outside Penang but you can get this in almost every Chinese coffee shop in Penang. My favorite though is the one in New Lane.

Location :

New Lane off Jalan Macalister,

10040 Georgetown, Penang

(Look for Sunway Georgetown Hotel)

Open daily from 5.00 PM – 11.00 PM

With all the food options though, I still think one should not leave Penang without savoring Char Kueh Tiau.

I don’t know how they do it – but it’s just so scrumptiously good in Penang. My all time favorite is Ah Leng Char Kueh Tiau in Dato Keramat.

YUMMEH! 

Want To Learn Spanish? | Cure My Wanderlust

If you are interested in learning a foreign language, you might be interested in Spanish. Why do I say this? Only because Spanish is one of the most commonly studied foreign languages. Especially for English speakers, Spanish is a very popular choice.

In the United States in particular, Spanish communities have grown greatly in recent years leading to an even greater demand for Spanish speaking skills.

If you are thinking about learning to speak Spanish, maybe you are doing so because you want an advantage in your job or current occupation. Or, perhaps you just want to make better friends with your co-workers or clients.

Learning Spanish can bring you a lot of help and rewards that you will enjoy greatly in your future, however, it should also be told that learning a foreign language like Spanish is no easy task and should be taken seriously if you want to reach your ultimate goal of being proficient in the language.

A foreign language, including Spanish, is best studied a little bit every day instead of once a week or once in every great while.

The reason for this is because the longer you wait between study periods, the more you will forget and the more time you will thus need to spend reviewing instead of gaining new ground in the material.

This process of a little bit of study each day also increases your ability to adapt to the new language and so you are better able to get a handle on it than if you were to study it every once in a while.

So, for whatever reason you are studying Spanish, I wish you good luck in your studies! It is a great language to learn and can provide you with many rewards if studied properly.

Robertson B. Kunz is the author of a language learning guide to help you get fluent in a foreign language faster. Visit his website to get more great information on learning languages. Also, find more great information on Spanish language articles.

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Top 5 Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines have the charm to attract everyone irrespective of age. Its huge fleet of 21 ships sails to more than 170 destinations around the globe. It is beyond question that one does not enjoy a Royal Caribbean Cruise. These ships are fully equipped to give you the maximum thrill and excitement on the cruise. Rock climbing, wave pools, boxing arenas and mini golf courses are a few of the activities that these ships offer. You can enjoy the most romantic dinners and spa facilities on these ships. Everything is designed to make your journey a pleasurable one.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines are always trying to plan new ways to keep their customers happy, and this makes them the leaders of the cruise industry. They have subdivided their fleet into five sets of classes to choose from, so everyone would get exactly what they have in mind.

The Freedom Class comprises of three ships: Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas. Freedom of the Seas has the honour of being the biggest cruise ship of the world with extra features like the Flow-Rider and the H2O zone, which is specially designed to entertain kids. It has a 400-foot mall called the Royal Promenade, which is a major attraction for the guests. The Mall has beautiful shops, arenas, pubs, bars and a caf? called Caf? Promenade.

The third biggest ship of the world is a part of the Voyager Class, which has 3 other ships as well. They promise to give you unparalleled thrill and adventure of playing in mini-golf courses, skating rings, basketball courts and pools. The night life is extraordinary alive with the glittering bars and cafes.

You may choose to travel in style in an environment-friendly cruise that is powered by gas engines, in the Radiance Class. The public rooms are magnificent and the elevators give a splendid view of the exterior with its glass walls. The glass construction of the dining room area is beyond words and one can play billiard on the self-levelling tables to the desire of the heart.

The Vision class consists of 6 ships that have been joined into 3 pairs of sister ships. These ships are famous for their extensive glass construction. Enchantment of the Seas was renovated in 2004, and a new section was built that now holds suspension bridges and a beautiful pool. This area also includes specialty restaurants that offer food from all around the world.

The Sovereign class has set new standards of the shipping industry with its grandeur and opulence. Its open air reception halls are one of its kinds. The other characteristics are huge swimming pools, bars and theatres.

Having to choose from so many different classes is just to give the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines an idea of what you are looking for. The real experience would begin after you have boarded one of the ships and it shall be mind blowing in all the right aspects.

James Prestwich is a travel agent. You can avail complete information and booking details for Royal Caribbean Cruises and avail huge discounts at his recommended website http://www.cruise1st.co.uk.

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A pleasant encounter with a stranger

With the constant flow of everything that happens in life, I find that I forget the importance of self care and how much it lifts my mood. Today was just a simple two hours of going to the salon to get my winter damaged hair trimmed as I wanted it prepped for the sunshine of spring. I have been putting it off for a while, stomped at which salon I should go to because of my previous bad experience, but given the brittle ends and hard to manage hair, I decided to take a gamble and hope for the best!

Toronto has had some terrible weather these past few months and as the sun peaked through the skies with the rays of warmth, I got myself ready and leisurely walked towards the salon. I was greeted by an elderly man’s gracious smile as he asked me how I wanted my hair to be cut. I knew exactly what I wanted so I explained in detail to cut off the dead ends, long layers and to keep it simple. As he massaged my scalp and shampooed my hair I felt relaxed to be pampered as I am a low maintenance girl who rarely treats myself, so this to me was what I regarded as special.

I moved to the main chair and was not sure if he was going to be relatively quiet during my trim or one of those talkative stylists that have excellent social skills with an intrinsic ability to spark up a conversation out of nothing to anyone. It turns out he was a natural social butterfly, effortlessly transitioning the topics from the beautiful weather to his family. He glowed in a way only grandparents could as he spoke about his 5 year old granddaughter. We spoke about random topics, such as the differences between Vancouver and Toronto and he offered some suggestions of restaurants for me to visit that had authentic, delectable dishes that would not disappoint.

During the small talk, he took his time with my hair, asking if I wanted it thinned, I politely said no sharing a childhood story of my inability to have thick hair when I was younger, which always worried my mother. I enjoyed his company and could tell that he loved his job, as he carefully sectioned the hair and talked me through the steps to ease my anxiousness of having too much length cut off. I was curious so I probed him on how many years he was in this field, he perked up and looked me straight in the eyes with pride, as he uttered 30 years. We went into detail of his scheduled days, working at two different salons with the loyal client base he established over the years. That statement seemed to stick with me, 30 years in the same industry and still willing to work every day for the love of the artistry, behind making someone walk out feeling satisfied each time.

It got me thinking about work and how certain fields are seen as nobler than others in the mission. But I think if we look at people mastering their skills with passion and love no matter what their title, there is splendor and reverence in all. There was something about his energy that radiated and it instantly made me feel comfortable and contented to have been in his presence through a random act of cutting my hair. As I got up from the chair, grabbed my jacket and thanked him profusely for taking his time, he handed me his business card. We exchanged smiles and walked away saying it was a pleasure to have met you as we ended our lengthy conversation. Today was just a simple Saturday, with the encounter of a kind stranger, living every day with a sense of purpose and fervor for the service of others.

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November | 2011 | mel’s wanderlust

i’ve been mia the past couple of weeks because of my sister’s wedding and the lead up to it. luckily i now have plenty of time to get back to blogging and thought i’d just do some crazy posting this evening and show you the beautiful clothes i got to dress up in for the special occasions as well as some buys i and gifts i picked up along the way!

so on the 12th of november it was my sister’s hens day. we celebrated with friends and family at high tea where we sipped on cocktails named breakfast at tiffany’s as well as some tasty teas and munched on the cutest little cupcakes ever. we also played some fun hens games such as hand bag bingo, quiz the bride, and a great activity where every one wrote out a piece of advice on a small piece of paper. i then turned them all into a really cute scrapbook which i gave to my sister.

i completely forgot to ask someone to get a head to toe picture of my outfit for the day/night. here is the best one i have of the majority of my outfit:

dress: alannah hill

an image of the dress i took prior to the occasion!

jewellery for the evening
earrings: bought from a cheap stall in the middle of my local shopping centre
ring: lovisa
cuff: colette

clutch: peeptoe

shoes: lipstick [as seen in this post]
they were extremely painful and for the evening celebrations i eventually changed into a pair of fold-able flats which i bought from priceline for about $10. definitely a fantastic investment.

the other bridesmaid and i also gathered together to buy my sister a wonderful gift to say thank you for including us in her wedding. hopefully when she wears it i can get a good snap of it but for now we’ll have to do with pictures from the website!

tiffany & co. graduated bead necklace

the necklace is just beautiful and also had matching studs [which i bought her for her birthday in september] and a matching bracelet. will definitely have to borrow it. i am a big fan of tiffanys!

all in all, we had a wonderful day and fabulous evening sipping cocktails and enjoying great company!

mel. x

Top Ez Car Rental Reviews!

Automobile rentals have become more common within the last few years. Today individuals regularly rent a vehicle for trips, business as well as just for fun. You can get excellent discounts for car rentals as well as much less advantageous offers what exactly does one do to receive the best deal for the car you need and also steer clear of unnecessary charges?

Car rental companies run specials and busy periods tend to be whenever the smaller gas efficient cars or cars having special characteristics may be harder to obtain, therefore find out which kind of rental-car you need before you decide to go shopping and make a reservation in advance whenever possible, particularly when it is a holiday or peak time period for travel.

Check your own insurance coverage before adding additional insurance to a rental-car. You will need to have insurance coverage and rental agencies offer it however if your own insurance company already covers you while in a rental auto then extra insurance is not needed.

Look for car rental bargains. A few companies will offer a weekly rate that is a substantial financial savings over a day rate and often will offer you specials. While looking for a right car deal compares apples to apples.

There can be a large difference in applicable surcharges and fees among states and the good offer on a car rental can wind up costing you when you don’t look over the particular conditions.

Ask about drop off fees. If you are picking up the motor vehicle rental and dropping it off at another location, car rental companies often times convey a drop off charge. Expenses or taxes are often added for taking the car out of state.

Child car seats are mandatory for driving together with little ones in the US. But the price of renting a child car seat instead of bringing your own might cause a shocking surprise. Extras might contribute substantial costs for a car rental; decide what you are willing to pay more for extras like GPS or infant safety seats.

Automobile rentals are usually for the day a 24-hour time period with a 1-hour grace period (that varies according to the company). If you will be several hours overdue, you may end up paying for an additional day.

Read the stipulations of the contract carefully. If you’re returning an automobile you rented on a weekly rate a full day earlier, you may be charged for a daily rate. Know what if any fees are in effect if you bring back the car rental early or give it back late.

When you give back the car rental having an empty gas tank you’ll find the prices billed by the car rental company will be significantly more than if you had stopped and filled the tank up yourself. Buy your own gas when possible.

Examine the car and the miles just before you drive off the lot. Make sure that any kind of damage is listed on the rental agreement and also the miles are correct.

If you shop carefully, understand what additional charges tend to be enforced by states and areas and know how far you’ll be driving in the car rental then you can get the best package on the precise vehicle you want.

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  10. Selecting The Best Car Rental AgencyWhen it comes to choosing car rental companies there are number of things that you should be aware of. It is always best to plan your trip in advance and make your investigations about rates that are charged by the … Continue reading →…

Wanderlust Glutton: July 2014

Before making our way to the capital of Perak, we asked our friend for his recommendations of food. We are both not a fan of the famous chicken rice so we were ecstatic that his recommendation were not of the much celebrated dish. Instead he told us to not miss this really good Indian Food in Chemor that is about 20 minutes drive from Ipoh town.

The big ceramic pots of curries greeted us as soon as we entered the restaurant. I thought it was a very inviting sight and just looking at the curries has got me salivating. I just couldn’t wait to savor them!

Restoran Samy is a banana leaf concept Indian restaurant so once seated you’ll have the banana leaf placed on the table, a serving of rice together with a few vegetable dishes and piece of poppadom. The cup of Rasam comes last. For the uninitiated Rasam is a sourish “soup’ made of tamarind based and a lot of Indian spices – believed to aid digestion and serve in many restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine. I also know many Indians who lose weight just by drinking Rasam a lot in their diet. But as much as I love Indian cuisine, my taste bud has yet to accept the taste of Rasam. Tried many times and fail all the time.

I had already had my eyes set on the Chicken Varuval the moment I saw them looking oh so appetizing at the ceramic pots near the entrance so when my partner asked what I wanted I was quick to point out my choice. First impression didn’t fail, the varuval was robust, bursting with flavors and fiery. Perfect match with white rice! 

The other half too was quite predictable in his choice. Being a fan of fish dishes it is no surprise that he chose fish curry. I am not a fan of anything fish but did had a spoon of the gravy to sample. It was aromatic from the heavy use of spice, slightly tangy and very palatable. 

The fried chicken is interestingly served with a quick dash of curry gravy by the side. I don’t think it does much to the taste though. The fried chicken simply lack of oommph, wasn’t crunchy and was cold. 

While paying for our meal, we also spotted these appetizing looking coconut candies and laddus and we got some to try. The great looks didn’t lie, they are one of the best Indian candies I have tasted! Right amount of ghee and spice, perfect to wash down that curry meal.

Location:

70 Main Road, Chemor.

Tel : 05-2014066

Operating hours : 7 AM – 9.30 PM, rest on Monday every fortnight.
(They are usually very packed during lunch hour so do make your way there earlier.)

August | 2013 | mel’s wanderlust

NYC6

Before I show you some of my pretty pictures, I want to tell you a little about my experience of, and in, New York City.

So my Mr. and I flew from Sydney to NYC (via LA of course) and landed safely at JFK Airport where we then caught one of those much-too recognisable yellow cabs to The Bronx. Now you’re probably wondering why we would choose to stay in this “burrow” of New York – well basically, we decided we wanted to spend more money on going out and having a good time, and less money on where we would be sleeping (because let’s face it, that’s all we would use our accommodation for.)

Our friendly little cab driver was happy enough to drive us to the wrong address, tell us the place we were staying at “doesn’t exist” and then charge us $60, including that pesky tip. By the time we decided to hop out of the cab and find the place ourselves, it had started to rain and we were cranky from jet lag (and the price of the useless taxi). We struggled through the rain with our heavy suitcases, walked a few blocks and stumbled upon our new digs.

That evening we decided rather than go back out into the pouring rain, umbrella-less and dressed in summer clothing, we’d go for a walk around The Bronx and find something to eat. Well of course, The Bronx was exactly what we expected it to be. Dirty, a little grimy and not at all glamourous, but of course, as I said, we knew this is what we had signed up for. It did however slip our minds that there would be such a strong Hispanic presence throughout America.

It’s a funny thing to forget really, when we know that so much of the western coast of America especially, being so close to Mexico, would have a huge Hispanic population (don’t forget South America is so close by too!). But of course, in Australia, so many of our TV shows are FedEx-ed straight from the States, and so many of these shows rarely include characters from Hispanic backgrounds. Food for thought.

Back on track. We spent 7 nights in NYC, we explored Midtown, the Upper East Side, Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. These previously mentioned TV shows that for some reason, had very much influenced my expectations of America, gave me false hopes of a beautiful city, bustling with people and simply, the definition of glamour. What we found however was of course, a concrete jungle, bustling with people, many of whom were homeless, and dirty, grimy streets that very much matched The Bronx. But if you’re a New Yorker, or a firm believer of what you see on TV, don’t fear or get upset. This was my experience of Midtown – a tourist trap – Times Square sparkling with bright billboards and annoying people badgering you about seeing comedy shows. While considering this was THE destination for tourists in NYC, it was in pretty bad shape. Luckily the rest of Manhattan was quite different.

We were lucky enough to explore Downtown Manhattan with some insider advice by our sides. A friend of ours who was born in America and residing in NYC summoned us for lunch at Chelsea Market, which was just the most fantastic place to eat (I went for an American staple and ordered a “Grilled Cheese”). We explored most of Downtown Manhattan and fell in love with Bleeker Street’s surroundings. In the evenings we headed out to bars downtown and finally started to feel a little like we were living in a Gossip Girl fairytale (well I did anyway), more so than when we walked the streets of the Upper East Side.

We walked the High Line and took in the sites, walking alongside old railway tracks now lost beneath beautiful shrubbery. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, ate bagels in the park and were lucky enough to eat our way through the food markets nearby. We went to the MET, up the Empire State Building and walked through Central Park. We ate hot dogs outside Tiffany’s, caught Wicked on Broadway and ate giant pizza pieces for dinner.

We put on a little too much weight, both around our waist lines and in our suitcases and decided we had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. While it’s clear that I didn’t much like Midtown, it’s definitely something you have to see, but if you’re thinking about heading over there I would suggest you look at staying around, or heading into Downtown Manhattan for most your trip.

Now here are some snaps (of course there are a lot more than these, but I wouldn’t want to bore you!):

NYC1NYC2NYC3NYC4NYC5  NYC7NYC8NYC9NYC10NYC11NYC12NYC13NYC14NYC15NYC16NYC17NYC18NYC19NYC20

Must for Wanderlust: March 2014

I figured before I’m off to Amsterdam next weekend I should write more about Norway. Other than, of course, what I’ve written about our ridiculous CouchSurfing experience. So on a lighter note, onto breaking down what I spent!


View from the Opera House


Flight: 36 EUR (Ryanair)

Bus to & from Dublin airport: 14 EUR

Bus to & from Rygge airport: 36 EUR
Thinking back, it would’ve made more sense to just book with Aer Lingus to save us the one hour bus ride each way. In all honesty booking with Ryanair saved us maybe 10 or 20 euro tops.



Overlooking Karl Johans Gate


Accommodation (Hostel): 30 EUR
Fortunately after being stranded my Norwegian friends pulled through for us, except for the last night which we just decided to book a hostel. Booking last minute of course upped this price, but for reference hostels in Oslo do tend to be on the expensive side. We stayed at Anker Hostel.

Transportation: 35 EUR
Basically just metro tickets. I made the rookie mistake of buying single tickets until the 4th day where I finally caved & bought the 48 hour pass, though I was reluctant to, for no valid reason.



Food: 78 EUR
Food was my biggest cost, unsurprisingly being that I’m a hardcore foodie. I only ate in an actual restaurant once though & the meal cost me about 23 euro for a pasta dish that would’ve cost 8 euro in Dublin. Other than that we did groceries, but since we didn’t have a homebase for the trip we did end up making a few fast food runs which weren’t really necessary. A Big Mac meal costs about 13 euro in Oslo, which actually makes it the most expensive Big Mac meal in the world!


Oslo Harbour

Museums & Attractions: 0 EUR
Every museum I visited I saved for Sunday, which happens to be free entry for most museums in Oslo. This saved me a ridiculous amount, though an Oslo Pass is a possible option as well & a smart one at that. You have the option of choosing 24, 48 or 72 hours. Transportation is also included in the pass.

Alcohol: 25 EUR
We bought our Jameson duty-free at the Dublin airport & I actually only bought one beer out. Cheers for duty-free is all I have to say about that.

Total: 256 EUR, or 397 CAD… Which equals roughly 79 CAD a day, including flight.


Basically our trip… Ha

Now in reality I could’ve spent an insane amount more. But I also could’ve spent an insane amount less. Considering all of the mistakes I knew I was making, I’m pretty happy with what I spent & have no complaints. Saying that…

My backpacker budget tips for one of the most expensive cities in the world:

  • Seriously consider which airline you choose, you may end up saving money by NOT flying Ryanair & flying directly into Oslo airport, saving the bus trip from Rygge.
  • Stay with friends &/or family. I would say CouchSurf but I’m not the biggest advocate of it after our fiasco. Otherwise, book your hostel WELL in advance & go during off-peak dates, during the week & from January-March are most affordable.
  • Buy either an Oslo Pass (price depends on length of pass), the 24 hour metro ticket for 9 euro, or the 7-day metro ticket for 23 euro. You can walk most places in Oslo, but it is a pretty large city & some of the cooler destinations you will need to use the metro. The Oslo metro system is one of my favourite in Europe though, being extremely efficient. Also, no matter how many zones you cross your ticket remains the same price & is usable for one hour after you buy it!
  • Grocery shop! Noodles on noodles. Or live off the hot dog stands scattered around the city… I must say they’re pretty amazing when you’re a starved backpacker. Also, Grønland is one of the areas in Oslo with the best prices for fresh fruits & veg. Meat too of course. If you’re into markets be sure to visit here! 
  • If you don’t want to spend the money on the Oslo Pass (like me), visit whichever museums you’d like to see on Sunday! Most are free. A lot of the attractions in Oslo though are honestly outdoors & free anyway.
  • Don’t drink or buy your alcohol duty-free & pre-game, hard. Enough said.

I’d love to know, do you guys skip the more expensive cities or try to work them into your travels anyway? & if you do work them in, which cities?!
xxx

Frognerseteren, last stop on the metro line 1

People reappearing in your life from the past

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”

Bob Marley

I had someone pop into my life from the past and I am not sure what to make of it or why it had to happen right now. It got me thinking of how we parted ways many years ago, with brazen comments and crushing statements that took a very long time to heal. Five years later and my inbox, is now filled with an apology saying that I was right for everything that happened.

Not to get into the details but I was left to analyze and question, narrowing it down to regret and grudges. It took me a few years to let go of the hurt that I felt being shattered and bruised from the sudden events at the time. I held on to a grudge and despised the person until I came to a point of internal forgiveness, when I heard the definition described as “letting go that the past, could have been any different.” For whatever reason I had to experience that pain, I could not change it and I knew it was not something I did wrong. I simply moved on, and let go of the anger and hate that was suppressed.

When I read the words a few days ago from that person, I realized that they were living with regret for years. It was not the first time an attempt was made to get into contact with me, but the first time an explanation was shared. I do not condone the act that was done in the past, but I have forgiven the person and decided to let them know so they can release the guilt. People are human and make mistakes that destroy a person’s dignity and it takes time for wounds to heal and for confidence to strengthen. I am a firm believer in people crossing your path to teach you a lesson, and for me it took a lot to acknowledge and express forgiveness. At the end of the day, regret and grudges are pointless to my and anyone else’s balance and contentment. Give yourself a chance to free yourself of the unnecessary baggage and do not let your ego get in the way.

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