Thursday, August 27, 2015

An early flight to Hong Kong, Sex and the City for breakfast, and a hot springs weekend in Hokkaido.

With President Ramos at the Manila Golf Club last night,
living a #Travelife

Good morning at 730 AM from the airport lounge in Hong Kong, living a #Travelife. Or at least trying to.

I was on the 520 AM flight out of Manila, which is way too early for me to be anywhere, considering I was up till way past midnight getting some work done before flying out on a two-week holiday pretty much off the beaten track, and after spending the evening listening to former Philippine President Fidel Ramos expound on the rather sorry state of the nation at a dinner at the Manila Golf Club.

The lounge in Hong Kong Airport in real-time
DONE IN FIVE MINUTES.
AND I HOPE EVERYTHING MATCHES.

As I'd been so busy this week, I literally packed in five minutes this morning, just before heading to the airport, with very little sleep. 

I threw in all my exercise wear in varying shades of black and every piece of Issey Miyake clothing I own into one large luggage, hoping everything will somehow match when I unpack at my destination and I will manage to look chic, on a hot springs long weekend in Hokkaido and a long and leisurely cruise on the Silversea Explorer, living a #Travelife.



WAY TOO LITTLE SLEEP

I'll be landing in Hokkaido this afternoon and we have a fancy dinner planned at a pretty famous restaurant in the middle of nowhere. 

Somehow, I think I'm going to fall asleep in the middle of my soup.

On sale everywhere now. Scroll down to read more....



BANGUS AND GARLIC RICE,
AND RERUNS OF SEX AND THE CITY
FOR BREAKFAST

I thought I would try and sleep on the way over to Hong Kong, but -- just my luck -- it wasn't a flat bed plane and they had fish with garlic rice for breakfast.

So I ended up eating a full breakfast on the plane, even after having wonton soup and sausages and garlic rice at the lounge in Manila, and watching old episodes of Sex and the City.





REMEMBERING CARRIE BRADSHAW

I don't usually watch this show, but I remembered a hilarious conversation with someone last weekend about Carrie Bradshaw, so I chose this on the entertainment system.

Not the usual way I spend my morning, but it was a relaxing way to start my holiday.

Now all I have to do is try and get some shut-eye on the five-hour flight to Sapporo so that I can land in Japan refreshed, ready for the next adventure in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife. 

Hot springs weekend in Hokkaido and two weeks on the Silversea Explorer ship



So by this time tomorrow, I'll be in Hokkaido, spending a long weekend at a hot springs, living a #Travelife.

And then I'm jumping on a Silversea Explorer ship that will navigate the truly rarely trodden destinations of Japan and South Korea over a period of two relaxing weeks.

It's for this reason that I've been working pretty hard over my two-week stay in Manila, so I can get some downtime, just being amidst nature while sailing on one of the most luxurious explorer ships in the world.

SEE YOU SOON, SILVERSEA



I'm a very big fan of Silversea and it's really the only cruise line I've sailed on so far for private trips on ocean voyages, having loved the experience from Day 1 of my very first sailing nearly 20 years ago.

I was on the maiden voyage to the Ukraine on a private holiday.

I like the intimacy and country club atmosphere of the Silversea ships, and the pampering onboard


On sale everywhere now. Scroll down to read more....


THE EXPLORER SHIP
OF SILVERSEA

For the Silversea Explorer ship, it's 120 guests max versus the crowds of the big ships which make me feel like I'm stuck in a ballroom of people I don't really know, eating way too much of the kind of tasty but generic food you get at fancy wedding receptions.

And I know all the Silversea ships by heart save for the new Explorer ships -- which is why I'm quite excited to do this quickie holiday (if you can call two weeks a quickie) before my three week trip to Morocco with 35 friends. And am I so excited for this upcoming #Travelife to Morocco, too.

Anyway, more on Morocco and also on my Silversea journey later.

silversea.com

A HOKKAIDO WEEKEND

For my Hokkaido weekend, someone is meeting up with me in Sapporo and we're staying in three places I've always wanted to stay in around Hokkaido, mostly in hot springs towns I haven't been to yet.

I actually sent this guy my wishlist of ryokan and restaurants to stay in just as a courtesy proposal as we are planning this holiday together, after all.

And within a day or two, there was an email in my In Box with a short but succinct message as he's an incredibly busy person of few words: "My secretary has booked everything as you wanted. Happy?"

Scroll down to read more...
http://www.travelifemagazine.com/2015/08/join-us-for-travelife-magazines.html

DOWN THE HIGHWAYS OF HOKKAIDO

Of course I was. And he's rented a pretty spiffy sort of sports car to tool around Hokkaido in,  too, although I still don't know how my Silversea luggages will all fit in the back of the car.

I never travel light.

He's coming along on the cruise as well, although just until a midway point, as he's got to fly back to Chicago in a rush.

Read about one of the Philippines' most tantalizing locations in our new issue... 



FROM CHICAGO TO THE SKY.
OR ACTUALLY, THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

So in some pretty middle-of-nowhere seaport in Japan, he's getting off and arranging for a car to drive him to the nearest functioning airport of a large city. 

From there he's arranged for a private plane to link him up with a flight back to Chicago from the nearest international airport of Japan.

As for me, I'm continuing on till the end of the voyage, which docks in Kobe, just in time for a very nice Kobe beef lunch with friends and some shopping, before I head to Kansai airport to catch a flight back home that same day.

Read about an amazing glamping holiday in Sri Lanka in our new issue...



JUST IN TIME TO COOK 
SOME VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS

I land within hours of our next Travelife event, which is a very special cooking demonstration and lunch at the New World Manila with some of the top chefs of Ho Chi Minh.

 This is going to be such an enjoyable event, which I hope you'll consider joining.




HOSTING 
PRE-MOROCCO TRIP COCKTAILS


Then I'm hosting cocktails that same weekend for all my 35 friends joining our upcoming trip to Morocco.

Everything's set but I thought a cocktail party would be a nice way to start a trip of a lifetime, literally showing my friends the very best of Morocco, as always living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Doing over 10,000 steps on the FitBit while the world stock markets drop. And about the million dollar question.

fitbit.com

So yesterday morning, there I was at the office living a #Travelife, and on the phone to an old friend in Singapore.

I'd called her just to shoot the breeze about the state of the world's stock markets, and miraculously I'd managed to catch her on her mobile phone for her precious five minutes in between two meetings.

"It's going to be a W," she said, which is something I agree with. And we discussed currencies and markets in rapid machine gun fashion, the way we often do as we both have absolutely no patience for slow talk, slow thought and slow action.

On sale everywhere now. Scroll down to read more....



THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

Then I prepared to get off the phone, conscious of the fact that she had a meeting in her part of Asia and I needed to start heading out for a lunch with senior executives of Citibank.

Just as I was about to say goodbye, she said, "Do you have one more minute?"

For her, of course I did.

And in my mind, in that split second, I reviewed my thoughts on the Nikkei, the CAC 40 and the some other markets that I  thought we would talk about.


Scroll down to read more...
http://www.travelifemagazine.com/2015/08/join-us-for-travelife-magazines.html

13,000 STEPS ON A FITBIT

But instead she shot me a whopper of a question.

She said: "Can I just ask you? How are you managing to do 13,000 steps on your FitBit everyday? My husband's convinced your strapping your FitBit on the legs of a dog or a child."

I burst out laughing with this.

Yes, she and her husband had gotten me into the FitBit the last time we were all together in Tokyo, which was just a few weeks ago, and I'd gotten into the FitBit with my whole heart and soul. I'm not the type to do anything half-heartedly or half-baked, you see.

If I get into something, I get in to be #1 or I don't do it at all. Lukewarm is never an option in my life.

The countdown to a great adventure with 35 friends begins. 
Scroll down to read more...



THE BATTLE FOR #1

And now her husband and I were in this daily battle for the top spot on FitBit, which is a pedometer that syncs you in online with your other friends who use FitBit, so that you can see who is walking how many steps at any one time, by the way.

And even more interestingly, you can see which of the friends of your friends is doing good or bad. 

So her husband's doing five kilometre runs every morning before the start of a high-powered job and clocking in above the target 10,000 steps a day. But most of the time I do one-up on him and clock in about a thousand steps more.

Just for the fun of winning over him.

fitbit.com


THE MAIN POINT

So I replied: "I'm certainly doing it all on my own."

There's no point in winning by having someone else do the steps. I want to lose some more weight and get fit doing this, after all.

So, yes, I'm clocking over 10,000 steps everyday, working hard, playing hard and living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.