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November 22, 2016

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Travelers 101: Avoid the Tourist Trap

A few years ago first time I visited Asia, it was hard not to stand out. I clearly remember how all the vendors swarm towards me and try to sell whatever they can sell. It is an awakening experience for me, and a realization that I can never get a Bargain on anything I want. So here are some of the suggestions I have:

Research -  Before you hop the plane and daydream about your destination, it is good to equip yourself with the knowledge about the country you are visiting.  Read a lot of blogs, not only just one, also the reviews and comments.  You will learn a lot and it will prepare you.  The earlier you blend in the better, you will not be tagged as a tourist with lots of dollars to spend.  Be confident and act that you know the places  (and the prices) so it will be easy for you to say NO to anyone overcharging you.

Befriend the Locals – The best way to blend in is to befriend locals or expats living in the area.  You can get the best tips about cafes, restaurants, sights to see that are not overrated.  

Avoid tourist spots – Along with your research and preparation, you can also find out the places that are designed to lure tourists to spend.  As much as you want to avoid these spots, you also want to check out the famous sights. Make sure that you know all the ticket prices and the reasonable tour packages.  So that no one can fool you otherwise and rip you off.

Be Smart – Last but very important, in everything you do – Be smart. Have the sixth sense to identify people taking advantage of you between people who just want to earn decently.

October 10, 2016

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Handling Failure

It is human nature - no one wants to fail.  Everyone wants to be on the winning side.  But reality is, life is not a series of winnings there will be time when you end up losing a battle.  Well, success will never be sweet if we didn't experience failure in the first place.  So we should handle defeat in a very good manner.  Here's how: 

Don’t dwell on it. –  When indeed we fail, first thing we should do and probably the hardest part is to learn to let go.  We should not let it linger in our heads and minds thinking what could have been.  Replaying in our heads the feeling of failure will make us depress and difficult to move on.  We have to accept that it has happened and we can't turn back time.  There is no point blaming yourself. Let it go and forgive yourself.  Focus on what's ahead and not the past.

 

Change your perspective about it – Shift your paradigm.  Look into it as a learning experience rather than regret that it never happened.  Consider everything happening in your life has a reason and a lesson to learn from whether good or bad.  Shift your mind to positivity.  You may have lose a battle but you intend to win the war. Take pride in the journey and learn from it.

Don’t take it personal –  Just because you did lose a battle or experience failing, it does not mean that you are living a bad life.  Do not let failure define who you are.  How you react on what life throws to you is what will make the difference.  Rise above the situation and count your blessings in life.  Tomorrow is another day to correct the mistakes you made. Everyone is always given a chance to get things right and win in life. Best believe that.

October 03, 2016

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The Ideal Socks

I am a huge fan of Natural Fabrics and for me the best socks will have to be made of Merino Wool. Let me go into the details why Merino is winning it over other socks: 

Breathable –  Merino wool is like magic.  It absorbs moisture vapor then let is evaporate into air. An extremely soft yarn that completely regulates your temperate and avoids bacterial growth.  Your feet stay at the perfect temperature, and the smell never comes

Comfort and softness – The merino fibres itself are very fine. Thus, giving a soft and comfortable feeling on your feet.

Won’t stink – Since the fibres are breathable, the properties of the fabric regulates the temperature. It feels cools when it warm and warm when it’s cool. You realize that no matter how long you have been wearing it, from a long days work to going home. Your feet still fresh.

Maqoo created Regulates and they are the Ideal Socks that you are looking for. 

We look forward for you to try it and let us know how you feel.

 

September 16, 2016

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My biggest splurge: Travel

Though I practice frugality and I try to perfect a minimalist/simplified lifestyle, I still do spend and splurge from time to time. And this guilty pleasure as some people may call it, is everything related to TRAVEL.  

So, where did my dollars go:

Airfare - Though I am always on the look out for good deals, and I want to make sure that I am still on the range of my budget.  I always try to balance having comfort and budget.  Sometimes, I do not have luxury of wasting 10 hours in layover just to get a cheap fare.  So, I do splurge on getting reasonably priced ticket just to be efficient with time.  Especially if I have work the next day after a long holiday.  The prices are good but sometimes they are not that cheap. I weigh in the importance of my time vs. the money I may spend. A few hundred dollars can be worth it.  

Hotel - Again, I am not for luxury but I always do the math when choosing accommodation.  I will consider the location of the hotel/airbnb where I stay and the benefits of staying there rather than spending money on taxis and the travel time of getting from one place to another. I would rather book a slightly higher accommodation in exchange for comfort, efficiency and also safe neighborhood.

 

Food - One of the best way to also enjoy and know the culture is to eat their food.  I will not splurge all the time for a good meal but I will make it a point that on one night (at least) I will taste something authentic.  It may cost higher than usual.  But hey! we need to treat ourselves sometimes.  The best way to do it is satisfying our hunger.

 

Travel Gear – I pay attention on my travel gears. I splurge on these as I know the quality of my gear like suitcase, camera, clothes etc. will last longer. I highly recommend you research on your travel gear before purchasing. Do not buy the hype, buy the things that are necessary and will give you benefits.  I personally like Maqoo Underwear when I am going traveling.  

August 26, 2016

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From Night Owl to Morning Person: Developing Good Habits

 Let's admit it, we all had our fair share of long party nights or binge watching your favorite Netflix till the wee hours.  Yes, we all had to face 8am meetings being half awake and brain completely useless.  That was the old me, then I decided enough of this.  I made a conscious effort to become a Morning Person and to be Mr. Productive.  Yes, I did not regret every inch of it.  Here's how:

Good Sleeping Habits - It all starts with discipline. Easier said than done but try to go to bed at the same time everyday. Consistency is key.  The worse thing you can do is vary your sleep schedule each night.  Begin with setting your bed time, and hit the sack within 30 minutes of that time each night.  Trust me you feel a whole lot better the next day.

Wake up early - Sleeping early also means starting your day early.  Most productive people set their alarm as early as 5am. In the beginning it will be a struggle but take baby steps.  Start with setting your alarm 30 minutes before your usual wake up time. Your body will gradually adjust and you will be used to be awake before the sunrise.  Drink two glasses of water once you are up. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you and energizes you. 

Work out - Since you are up and moving, keep moving then by working out in the morning.  Make a part of your routine to burn calories. Exercise will make you think clearly.  Aside from boosting your energy, doing morning exercise yoga or any work outs, will make you fight whatever stress you may be facing on the day's ahead.

Eat breakfast - After your work out be sure to eat your breakfast as this is the most important meal.  Make sure you eat healthy and right.  Breakfast will give you the nutrients and energy through out the day. 

Find motivation - As you replenish your body, be sure to feed your mind. Find time to motivate yourself.  You can read a inspirational books, quotes and the likes.  It is important in the beginning of the day, that your mind is clear from negativity rather you are enriching with motivation. You will likely be more focused on what’s ahead.

 

Start with the BIG stone - Plan your day ahead and start with working on the BIG stone or the most important and urgent thing for the day. It is better to start with the most difficult task because once you are done with the big hurdle, it frees you up with more time.

It gives you more freedom as the day ends enjoying quality time with loved ones or even just more time to enjoy for yourself.

 

 

August 10, 2016

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Why traveling is good for everyone

As Helen Keller puts it, life is either a daring adventure or nothing.   Traveling is more than just vacation or business trip, it is a wonderful experience and a true awakening.   Some people may insist that traveling is not for everyone but I beg to disagree. I think one should be able to appreciate the benefits of it. Here are some of it:

INDEPENDENCE -   Traveling has made me more independent and at the same time, a different sense of freedom. Traveling will push you out of your comfort zone in a good way. I have known real independence and freedom. It is more than just moving out of your family home. It is when you put yourself in situation wherein you literally have no one to lean on and you only have to rely on your own initially. You will know yourself more, your strengths and weakness. It may sound scary at first but it is actually fun too. The mixed feeling of adventure within gives the thrill of it all. But more than that, you learn on your own even in small things you do everyday like what food to eat, where to go, etc. There is a big sense of responsibility – doing what is best for yourself. Traveling did that to me and so much more.

 

You will LEARN a lot – Traveling is a learning experience. It made me realize how little I know of this world. Sometimes we think we know it all already, having been tagged as a grown up and starting a life of your own. Not to mention, the degrees you’ve earned and all the work recognition. Still traveling humbles me because I do not know it all.   I start seeing the beauty of other culture, and learn that I have so much to understand about humanity. I have learned to appreciate the difference of other country’s cultures and values. Respecting their traditions as well as sharing our own too.

 

Changes your VIEW - Traveling made me have a new perspective in life. It changed my views in many ways for the better. It also made me appreciate HOME (the United States) more as well in the process. We tend to forget the comfort we have here at home.   It may not be perfect but it is a better situation and sometimes far more good than other places. It made me realize how blessed we are compared to others.

 

There are probably more benefits that I can list down but these are things that close to my heart. So next time you travel, travel with all your heart.

August 02, 2016

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For your next long flight...

So you are off to your International Flight and you think that the next 13 hours will be  torture.  Don’t fret, here are some of the things you can do in order to let the time just pass by:

Book the best seats – First order of business, book the best seats. They are very important as they will make it or break it. It can define the whole flight itself. Of course it is still personal preference, but choose the seat you are likely to be comfortable. If you plan to have no disturbance and interruption, best book the window seat. It is also best for leaning up against. But if you want to move around, walk and have more access to the restroom, book the aisle seats.

Comfortable Clothing – Always dress comfortably when you are looking to travel for 13 hours or more. Make sure you wear the right clothes. Being an advocate of natural fabric, it is important to consider the fabric of what you wear. I suggest linen shirts if you are traveling to warm climate and wool sweater for winter. Also, the start of comfort begins in your underwear. Highly recommend Maqoo linen underwear and Maqoo wool socks - if you want to feel fresh all throughout the flight.

Be productive – The best way to make use of your good 13 hours, is to choose to be productive. Imagine long hours of no interruption, you can truly focus on your report. Personally, it helps that wifi is not available. It does not distract me from checking social media from time to time. I can be 100% focus on my graphs and data.

Fight Jetlag – If you are going to a different time zone and you know that you are required to adjust as fast as you can. Prepare yourself for the flight. I suggest that you work out before your scheduled flight so it will be easy for you to rest once on board. Make an effort to prepare yourself mentally and physically as well.  Try to avoid stress so your mind will be relaxed. A good earplugs and eye mask can also help. Drinks lots of water to hydrate and avoid caffeine all throughout the flight. So you can sleep like a baby. 

Enjoy the free time – But if you are not pressured at all to finish a work or not pressured to adjust on your destination’s time. You can choose to enjoy the 13 hours of free time for yourself. Consider it a “Me Time”. You can read a good book to inspire you. You can catch up on the series you have missed. You can watch documentaries about your destination. Reflect on your personal goals. 13 hours or more is a good enough time to do so much. Just consider it the beginning of your vacation that you are there to relish being free. Let the good energy start while you are on the plane, and then you can carry on the good vibes throughout the whole trip.

June 12, 2016

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summer ›  


Let's beat the summer heat in a simplified way

Summer 2016 is just around the corner and it is going to be record-breaking heat this time. Thanks to Climate Change! I really hope we can deal with this Global problem but this will be another story to tell.

 Anyway, the best way to beat the Summer Heat is to adapt to the weather.  Here are some of the simplified tips to get by:

  1. Always stay hydrated

 Staying hydrated is a must during Summer. Make sure that you drink plenty of water; it is best if you take in more than eight glasses a day to avoid rapid fluid loss. Sports drinks rich with electrolytes can also help replace minerals.  Also some cool fruit drinks can be a good companion during the very hot and humid weather.

 

  1. Take a cool shower

Taking a cool shower once or twice a day will be a big relief from the heat. Frequent showers help lower body temperature while also rinsing off body sweat, making you feel a lot more comfortable even during hot days.  

 

  1. Wear light-colored clothing with the right fabric 

Dark-colored clothes tend to trap heat coming from the sun, keeping our body feeling more warm. While light-colored clothes as it helps maintain normal body temperatures. 

At the same time, choose the right fabric for your clothes. Linen is the best for summer.  Wearing linen shirts, linen pants and even Linen Underwear can save you from feeling un-fresh.

Due to high humidity and sweat, our clothes becomes damp and stays damp.  Once this happens this feels extremely uncomfortable. I am a fan of Linen Fabric.

 

Reasons why I love it:

  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Antimicrobial
  • Material keeps you cool

 

June 10, 2016

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Travel Hack 101

We all like to travel but we do not want the “not-so-fun” part like packing and airports. But here are some best-shared travel hacks

  • Loyalty pays so keep your miles – If you will have very frequent flights across the globe. Using the same airlines can be a good option. Not only will you acquire mileage points, but loyalty pays (especially in flying). They usually give good deals and upgrades for loyal customer/frequent flier
  • Book the best seats -If you can pre-book them online, it will better. Choosing what suits you best will define the whole trip. Are you the window seat person? Or the Aisle person? If you want to have more access to the restroom or walking around, aisle seat are recommended. During check in you can also ask for empty rows, if you get a whole row then that could be a bed for your whole flight.

– 

  • Timing - Better have time for check-in counters, long immigration lines and very far walk to boarding gate. This is very important when you are overseas and you are not familiar with their airport.
  •  Dress appropriately – Always, always dress comfortably when you are looking to travel for 12 hours or more. Make sure you wear the right clothes. Linen can be worn if you are going to travel in a warm weather. Wear wool if you are off to a cool country.
  •  Beat jetlag – Since you are going to a different time zone. Try to adapt on it while on the flight. Avoid caffeine if you can. When it is time to rest and sleep, a good earplugs and eye mask can do the trick. This way, it will somehow ease your jetlag.

 Once you arrive at your destination, you will feel more relaxed and stress free if you follow the simple hacks. You will never look at traveling as a burden again.

 

 

 

April 16, 2016

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Why Polyester Clothes Stink.

It’s not you, it’s your clothes.  When it comes to stink, we really mean that.  

The reason those polyester sports shirts become stank so quickly is due to the particular bacteria that colonize on the fabric.  This bacteria is different than what grows on cotton or other fabrics.  According to the University of Ghent in Belgium, Micrococcus bacteria is particularly fond of polyester.  And it so happens that this bacteria doesn’t smell very nice.

man wearing polyester gym shorts

So there is your consolation that it’s probably not you that contributing to that awful odor from your gym clothes.  

The interesting thing is that the stink bacteria Micrococcus is not generally found on the body.  So how it first starts to breed on damp polyester fabric in the first place is still mystery.  

The bacteria commonly found on the body is Corynebacterium or Staphylococcus.  If you find the stench is occurring with whatever fabric you are wearing, you may want to consider trying to decolonizing these bacterias from your body.  A simply full body wash with Hibiclens (or any generic Chlorhexidine soap) for a few days should do the trick.  The skin is always covered with bacteria as a normal biological part of our being, however, the point with a Chlorhexidine wash is to eliminate these unwanted bacterias.  Discuss this option with a pharmacist of your doctor.

Of course there are benefits to thin polyester sports clothes. For high intensity sports there is no fabric that can absorb and release perspiration fast enough, so polyester fabrics will work best for these conditions.  The thin polyesters do not absorb moisture, so the excess sweat will fall off the body.  However, do to the bacterial welcoming nature of polyester, you’ll need to be sure to wash your sports clothes often.

 

Men running with polyester sports clothes

There are treatments to increase odor resistance to polyester fabrics, such as silver nano particles or triclosan, however,  the evidence is inconclusive to how effective these treatments really are.  Furthermore, the tendency for these treatments to wash out is an issue yet to be refined.

So our parting advice is stick to polyester for high intensity sports but be sure to wash them soon after.  For normal activities or moderated intensity sports, stick to natural fabrics with exceptional odor resistance like linen or merino.

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WAIST
S M L XL XXL
inches 27 - 30 30 - 33 33 - 36 36 - 39 39 - 42
cm  68.5 - 76 76 - 84 84 - 91.5 91.5 - 99 99 - 107

 

These are USA sizes.  Size down for European. 

HOW TO MEASURE

Wrap a measuring tape around your hip bone line, making sure the tape is parallel to the ground. This measurement determines your waist size.  IMPORTANT: Do not rely on your jean size measurements. Just because your jean size is 34 does not mean your waist is 34 inches. Usually, your waist measurements are greater than your jean size.

 

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