Five things I never fail to do when I travel

I'll be traveling a bit in the next couple of weeks - with friends in La Union and with my love in Malaysia. It's my first time to go to both places, so I'm pretty excited! I just want to relax for a bit out of town, see the sights, completely get lost in a place. Technically I'd still be working my ass off (there's no break when you're running a company) but it is nice to explore and get inspired by new things. I travel so I can clear my head, make way for new ideas!

I just want to share five things I always do whenever I travel. Everything else is up in the air, but this check list for me is non-negotiable. Let's hear it!

1. Pack smart and light. I'm proud of my ninja luggage skills. I always fill only half or even 1/4 of my suitcase (or carry-on bag if I don't need one) so there's space for shopping. Honestly though, this is mostly because I dislike carrying heavy things or bringing unnecessary possessions. I'm taking a break, not taking my house with me.

I like organizing everything in neat folded areas and pouches so I can easily live off my luggage for the next few days without having to remove everything. Finally, I never forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes. I've been burned trying to look fashionable but dying all the way inside because of the discomfort.

2. Look up art stores and book stores in the area. I love collecting art supplies. Sure, I might not be able to use them as often, but I like the fact that I'll never run out of papers and colors. You know what I mean? I also enjoy trawling book stores for art books and stationery. I'm going to own it and admit that I prioritize this more than looking for beauty products, haha.

3. Graze street food stalls. Street food is life! I seek out cheap, bad-for-me food whenever I'm away. I love fried, saucy things that steam up in my face as I eat them fresh off the pan. I always look forward to this part!

4. Immortalize memories by taking and sharing photos or videos. I make it a point to be "in the moment" when I travel, but some memories are too good not to share with others. You guys may know that I do some urban sketching on the side. It's the best way to absorb everything about a place as once I've sketched something, I will never forget the temperature, the smell, every color and shadow in the scene. I love sharing my sketches along with my travel photos and videos, so I can look back at photos and remember how amazing that time was! It's great to get feedback from other people too, especially food recos in the area when I post about my trip.

5. Check in with my family and check up on Snaps! As much as I enjoy being away, I always look forward to seeing my family and of course, Snaps. I update my parents in a group Facebook chat where I am and share photos or videos there directly. I also call Snaps on video so I can talk to him before we go to sleep (his yaya uses my phone at home to facilitate this haha). Even though we're far from each other, I still feel connected to the ones I love because of Smart LTE, which is always on when I'm in the Philippines, and on which I rely heavily when I'm abroad (it's not so expensive actually as they have a flat 24-hour rate - just P550).

Recently, Smart upgraded their LTE network to be faster like never before. With faster internet connection and wider network coverage, it's easier to be there for your friends, and family! They've recently rolled out network improvements in Manila, Cebu, Davao, and CDO to name a few so you can rest easy knowing you can access people, informations, and apps at a reliable speed.

For more details on network improvement, visit www.smart.com.ph/about.newsroom.

I hope you enjoyed going through my list! What's in yours? Have you been traveling this holy week as well?

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