Sydney Eats – My Favorite Places

I think it’s obvious, but Charlie and I are total foodies. Hence, our Good Bad Foodie venture. When we travel the way we want to experience a foreign place is through their food. We want to eat where the locals eat, we want to experience the places that the locals enjoy!

Ready for food adventures!

When we were in Sydney one thing we noticed is the food scene is very international, which we like! It reminded me a lot of the food scene in LA – lots of variety. Though the closest thing to “authentic Australian” we had was at Fortune of War, Sydney’s Oldest Pub. We loved the character of the pub and the variety of bar food they had. I had a couple Bilpin Ciders and shared some appetizers with Charlie.

The sign lured us in lol 🙂
Bilpin Cider – not to sweet!

Charlie and I love to stay in Airbnb’s  mainly because we love to cook while we’re traveling. Like I said, “Live like a local.” Aside from our epic food crawls and food excursions we like the idea of trying our hand at cooking in other places. Over at Paddy’s Market you can buy fruit, vegetables, as well as meat and seafood. It was a foodie’s dream!

Just one of the many produce stalls inside Paddy’s Market

One of the first places we went to eat in Sydney was at Din Tai Fung. I know this isn’t that unique, I mean come on, we have multiple in LA. The obsession in Sydney is far less than here in LA. No wait so we jumped at the chance. Silver lining is I can at least fulfill my craving here at home if I’m feening for some of those pork and crab soup dumplings!

Silken Tofu and Pork Strings with Century Egg from Din Tai Fung
Pork and Crab Dumplings from Din Tai Fung

Our go-to spot the entire time we were there were all these quick take out sushi stops. If you know me, you know I love me some sushi! Our favorite one was Sushi Hub near Central Station.

Photo Credit: Architect Magazine

My absolute fave food stop in Sydney came as a recommendation from our Airbnb host

Spice Alley in the Chippendale area of Sydney

You’ve got to check this place out if you are ever in Sydney! It’s this small little corridor that has different food stalls inspired by different countries in Asia. I wanted to try something from every stall but there were too many stalls and too little time!

Takoyaki
Karaage Chicken Udon

Packing for Australia and the Philippines

Packing for Sydney and Manila was actually really difficult. In August, it’s winter in Sydney (high 50’s to low 60’s). In the Philippines it’s always hot and humid. So I had to pack for 2 climates which made for more items to pack – yikes.

I have a general packing list that I keep in Evernote. It has anything and everything I can think of that I personally take with me on trips. Everything from my laptop, to my in flight entertainment, to my undies lol! 😛 To see my current packing list, click here.

So, how’d I do it?

Well, I wanted to travel as light as possible going to Australia. I knew we were going to take the train from the airport to our Airbnb. LOVED our Airbnb by the way, I don’t think I could ever travel any other way. But more on that later.

So our plan was to take 1 carry on and 1 check bag each to Sydney, fly to Manila with said bags, and buy/borrow an additional check bag each on the way back. Side note: we always buy A LOT of stuff in the Philippines so a 2nd bag each was a must.

That being said, we needed to pack as light as possible. But how do we do that packing for cold and hot weather?

I knew the hardest thing to coordinate would be shoes and coats. I wanted a pair of flat boots to wear in Sydney and sandals in the Philippines. I knew I wouldn’t need either in the other place, but I knew those were a must. Coats were another must in Australia that I wouldn’t need in the Philippines, but no choice. So in they went.

Carry on – emergency clothes, shoes, and essentials in case our luggage gets lost

Next was my wedding attire. We were traveling to Sydney to attend my brother-in-law’s wedding. So in went my shoes, my dress, another formal outfit, and my jewelry. I also needed all make up and hair stuff since I was doing my own. So in those went.

Now that all the must have’s were packed, time to plan my outfits. I figured the best strategy was to dress for the summer and then layer up in the colder climate, so that’s how I planned my outfits. I think it worked out really well. I packed a lot of t-shirt dresses, leggings, and t-shirts. I then paired those with boots, scarves, beanies, etc. in Australia and stripped those off and work the dresses with sandals in the Philippines.

Clothes side of my check bag
Shoes side of my check bag

Voila!

A couple tips that I learned packing for this trip:

  1. I over packed, I always do. But the thing I want you to know is that I overpacked on the wrong things. I brought too many pairs of shoes. 1 pair of boots would have been enough, I brought 3 lol.
  2. This time around I used my carry on as an emergency kit. I packed an outfit or 2, an extra pair or shoes, and my bridesmaids dress in there just in case the airline lost our luggage. Thank God they didn’t but you never know, and if they do, you don’t want to be clothes less until they find it. So pack whatever it is that you can’t go on a few days without in there.
  3. Make space for shopping! You know you’re going to do it, so you might as well make space for yourself and the gifts you’re going to be taking back home.
  4. Use grocery bags for shoes. I was shopping for shoe bags and then realized, WTF WHY?! Grocery stores use thick plastic bags now-a-days, why not use those! I mainly use them so that my shoes don’t just lay on my clothes and get them dirty so I don’t need anything fancy!
  5. I love packing cubes. Is that what they’re even called? I don’t know, but they’re awesome! They saved me so much space in my luggages. Highly recommend!
  6. Check baggage requirements by your airline. Dimensions and weight restrictions vary from airline to airline (and sometimes departure city as well) so make sure you do your homework and check!

That being said, here are my top things on my list that I recommend purchasing/using if you’re planning on traveling.

Passport Wallet. Mine was from Ban.do but here’s a really cute one I’d use

 

Packing Cubes. This is what I was talking about!
 

J Pillow. I really like this pillow. The other ones still make my neck hurt.

 

Travel Adapter. We have this one, worked like a charm.

Happy traveling my friends! Already planning our next adventure. I wonder where we’re going to end up next! 🙂

xoxo,

Tips for International Travel

I’m sitting in my office and I can’t believe that we’re already back from our trip. It almost felt a bit surreal because I only had a week between 2 different countries. I haven’t had the opportunity to internationally travel much as an adult but I’ve got a laundry list of countries I want to visit with Charlie.

En route to LAX for our 2 week adventure!

Preparing for international traveling is much different than traveling domestically, at least in my opinion. I’ve never really had to think too much into traveling logistics until we started traveling to different countries. 

Here are my tips to help prepare for international travel:

  1. Visa requirements: Check if you are required to apply for a visa for the particular country you will be visiting and how long it will take to get approval by their government agency.
  2. Roaming charges: Find out if your cell phone carrier charges for roaming. Sometimes it will be more affordable to just get a sim card in the country you will be visiting.
  3. Data speeds in different countries: Trust me, if you’re planning on using a map on your smartphone you’ll see how important this one is. Not just that but, what about your Instagram posts and stores that we’re going to be jealous of?!
  4. Plug/Outlet voltage by countryCheck the voltage of the country you’re visiting. I noticed most countries are 220/230V while the US is only 110V. 
  5. Passport regulations: Check when your passport expires! Some countries will deny you entry if your passport expires within 6 months.
  6. Be smart about medication you bring. I say it that way because I always bring certain medications with me like allergy medicine and pain relief. But say you’re going to the Philippines where it’s humid and Filipino mosquitos love Foreigner Blood. Don’t buy mosquito repellant from the US, buy it from the Philippines. Take it from a girl that had 3-4 mosquito bites on each leg this last time, it doesn’t work. Maybe they’re immune, IDK. But the mosquito repellant in the Philippines worked like a charm on those damn things!
  7. Get a travel credit card. We have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which has no foreign transaction fees

Not sure where we’re traveling to next. It’s nice to enjoy the company of our pups and our home for the time being. Let me know if there’s a place you recommend I go on my next adventure!

Missed my boy
Who can resist that face?!

xoxo,

Kissa