A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted a question about Evernote and Day One. Which one is better? I admitted that I was leaning on Day One because of the pretty user interface, but I needed to know if the app can handle my workflow. A blog reader then suggested I should write a comparison between the two and I thought that was a brilliant idea (Thanks, Danica!). A thousand words later, here I am with a comparison post!
Growing up, separately, JP and I both learned to love Japan’s culture through its anime shows and food. I must’ve watched almost ALL shows aired in ABS-CBN, GM7, and AXN — all before Animax because an independent channel. I particularly loved animes by Clamp, a set of female manga artists who likes to create unbelievable gorgeous hair and outfits for their characters. They were also the ones who created the popular anime series, Card Captor Sakura, which led me into finding my own space on the Internet world. Anyway, given that our love for Japan was something JP and I both have in common, it seemed naturally fitting for us to travel there together.
This was the longest trip we’ve had, having spent a total of 6 nights exploring the metropolis on our own, getting lost on a consistent basis, making our way through the sea of people, and getting overwhelmed at the their one-stop stores, which I would say was our favourite part of the trip, but more on that in later blog posts.
Out of the three visa applications I’ve done, the one for Schengen Visa was the messiest and bulkiest. Not to scare you or anything, but at that time, my Petition for Correction of Clerical Error on my birth certificate has begun and I had to submit twice as many documents to prove that the name I’ve been using my whole life is the one I use in all of my documents, including summer workshop certificates! Fortunately, all those trips to Manila City Hall and to the lawyer’s office did pay off because the Embassy of Italy granted me, and my family, a tourist visa.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa (Short Term Stay)
Back when I was still on Tumblr, I used to write a weekly segment called The Monday Grace where I listed down some of the things that I’m thankful for. I don’t know why I stopped, but I think it’s very important to continue fostering that habit to practice gratitude every day, especially on the most hated day of the week a.k.a. Monday.
So I’m going to make it a bi-weekly (or monthly) segment, and I hope you could join me in the fun! To start off, here are some of the things that I’m thankful for:
- Mom’s homemade chocolate banana crepes.
- Achieving Inbox Zero! I love receiving emails, but it feels reaaally good to have all of them read and responded.
- Realizing that I did pretty well, financially, for the first half of 2015.
- But more importantly, acknowledging the fact that I am doing way better than most people. I’m also grateful for the privilege that was given to me.
- Planning what might be another travel opportunity.
- Being in healthy and loving relationship despite the distance. I terribly miss him though.
- The creative insights from 99u’s Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.
- Learning new things through online classes and workshops.
- Evernote and how it helped me spend more time doing other things I like to do.
- Focusing all of my energy on pursuing dreams and making things happen .
I was having a pep talk with my boyfriend last night. We talk every day, but due to our busy schedules, we don’t get a lot of chances to have a lengthy discussion about anything. Anyway, I suddenly blurted out last night how frustrated and overwhelmed I was with my life. He lovingly reminded me several reasons why I shouldn’t be punishing myself and it felt so damn good to have someone whom I can express all of my insecurities without the fear of getting judged or ridiculed. Throughout the discussion, he reminded me not to be too cynical and to be constrained of my circumstances. He also told me to choose a direction and just go for it! :)
How about you? What are you thankful for this week?
There are different types of travellers in this world. Backpacker, business travelers, flashpackers, tourists, budget travelers, volunteers, and so on. I’d like to think that I’m a mix of all these labels, possibly falling into the tourist, flashpacker and budget traveler category the most. I say this because I like cheap travel, but I also want the place where I’ll be staying in to be nice and comfortable enough. If it’s my first time traveling to a certain country, I’d like to see the top tourist spots and landmarks first because they’re famous for a reason. Not all, but I aim for the ones I think are a must-see landmark or something that has piqued my interest. I prefer such thing because if I die, at least I could say that I was able to live a life where I’ve witnessed the beauty of Big Ben and watch the sun set against the Tokyo Tower silhouette. You know something like that.
Anyway, that one thing that makes traveling uber expensive are accommodations. A week-long stay at a three-star hotel in Tokyo, booked through Agoda, is roughly PHP55,000. The rate doesn’t even include complimentary breakfast and wi-fi. Just the room and bathroom, and maybe housekeeping. As much as we love to stay at a luxurious hotel, JP and I know the value of money and that hotel rate is too much for two people who will spend most of their time outside. Fortunately, technology opened new means for people to travel at a cheaper cost. Hostels, couch surfing, au pair, Airbnb — You name it! So, for our Tokyo trip, we’ve decided to give Airbnb a shot.
What is Airbnb? Airbnb is an online community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts. it’s like a booking website but instead of reserving at a hotel, you live at someone else’s home. The whole idea sounds scary but I believe that Airbnb is safe, only if you’re smart about it.