Travel Diaries, Uncategorized

The best sneakers will take you places

I love shoes. No – the better term would be, “I am crazy for shoes.”

I am the type of girl who can go on without gems or precious stones but I can never survive without a good shoe on my feet. On my social media accounts, I am the girl who post photos like these:

As you can see, I have a type when it comes to the shoes I wear: I love brogues and oxfords; and would favor flat ones as opposed to heels (because I am a klutzo). I don’t own any corporate shoes (i.e. the type best worn in the office) and would instead insist on wearing what I want (regardless of the look – please note the gold beauties shown above from Zalora) when I want it.

I am also a bit OC where I shop when it comes to footwear: it’s usually at H&M, The Ramp or Forever 21; online — I am a disciple of Zalora and Lazada — but more of Zalora because they have really cool brogues in stock. I seldom buy shoes in any specialty shop or boutique unless I really have to.

My relationship with my shoes is best defined by one of my favorite sayings: “The best shoes will take you to the best places” (This is a line which I first heard while watching “Meteor Garden” — yes, the one with Dao Ming Zi and  Shan Cai — and it stuck ever since) and I would like to believe it’s true.

Some of my best projects at work was effortlessly achieved while wearing some of my most wicked footwear. Somehow, knowing that I am wearing any of my so-called “f*ck ’em” shoes gave me the needed boost of confidence. Unsurprisingly, the best footwear was also with me whenever I travel to new places and discover new sights:

 

Unfortunately, the one time I tried to bring one of my prized Oxfords while on travel – it ended in disaster.

waiting for the plane

My silver Oxfords promptly disintegrated after I have used it going around Taipei last November, shredding also my feet to pieces in the process. What I need actually, more than boots because it won’t be raining or snowing every time I travel, are good sneakers that can take me places without compromising on style.

While visiting Seoul two years ago, I became fixated on getting New Balance shoes – preferably one that is color Pink with a lime green “N” emblazoned on it. Blame it on seeing South Korean millennials–particularly couples–wearing it just about any where. I see it in the train, at temples, while at castles and most especially in the airport. The men usually pair theirs with ankle-length pants, cardigan over button-down polos with a soft blazer completing the look  while girls looked so cute wearing the adorable trainers with their dresses, coat and black leggings or stockings.

A quick trip to ZALORA confirmed my suspicion that they have the best sneakers brands like New Balance available online. I immediately zeroed in on this pair:

new-balance-7598-343854-1(1)

It’s so pretty and stylish while looking undoubtedly comfortable enough for long trips and just walking around the city. I am actually considering getting one in time for my planned birthday sojourn to Lego Land.

What drew my attention to New Balance is the ability to mix form and function, producing comfortable pairs without sacrificing the pair. The price points are not prohibitive too — like the pair above which retails for PHP2,995 only. It’s a great buy and a good investment — especially if you are a traveler that loves to roam around. Believe me, your feet will thank you.

 

 

 

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Taiwan, Travel Diaries

Eating my way through Taipei 

 Taiwan is one of the places that I have come to love  – there’s something about the country and its people that I have come to love. 

I’ve been to this beautiful island nation twice, but I have yet to see a lot especially in the provinces. In a way, it’s a blessing because it’s a sign that I should keep going back. 

One of the things I love about Taiwan is the food. They have the abundance of crisp vegetables, the sweetest fruits and the best grilled meats. Obviously, bubble tea and milk teas are everywhere as well as huge chicken fillets that are bigger than my face. 

We stayed in Ximending where it doesn’t matter if it’s 10PM or 2AM, you’ll be sure to find something to eat according to your liking: matcha Japanese cake, soft tofu, hot noodles, flavor shaved ice, little strawberries encased in syrup – there’s something for everyone

Japanese cake with matcha and red bean

 

shaved ice, condensed milk and tapioca

  
  

 

Combini shopping is one of the first things I do when I travel to check the merchandise – the 711 in my neighborhood in Ximending has tea eggs, fresh salads, sushi and milk. Nothing  beats the Life Supermarket in Tokyo where there is an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and fresh produce. 
 

Like before, we found the time to go to one of Taipei’s neighboring counties. This time, I went to Jiufen, home of the famed neighborhood which was one of Hayao Miyazaki’s inspiration for “Spirited Away.”

   
 With its steep stairs and winding alleyways, looking for the famous “tea house” was an adventure in itself. This was also the surest way to get famished – perfect for the many treats I found along the alley ways of Jiufen

   
    
    
 
There were mochi, grilled mushrooms, ice cream wrapped in rice paper sprinkled with ground peanuts, hot red bean soup and many others. The problem was which one to eat first. 

   
    

steaming hot rice topped with stewed ground pork and paired with chinese sausage

 
There are a lot of themed restaurants in Taipei like the Modern Toilet (which I visited once and vowed never to return again unless for am eating for free), Jay Chou’s series of restos, the famed PS Bubu for Meteor Garden fans (two thumbs up), among others but for this stay, we decided to eat more of the street foods being offered. If you want to try fast foods, I recommend you go to MOS Burger: 

   
 
On our last night in Taipei, we splurged a little and had a quiet dinner in this nice hotel bar inside Ximending’s many alley ways. 

   
 
With its hipster vibe and laid back atmosphere – it was the perfect way to end a fun visit in Taipei. 

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