The last time I remember being this light, this joyfully happy, this optimistic, and this positive was the summer of 2013. I can pinpoint triggers in my mind and there are precisely two to be exact. The first was in July when my daughter and I went on a very fun weeklong road trip in India before she moved away to head to uni in the UK. We drove the chauffer (not Shiva!) mad for hours-on-end singing our favourite songs from the 60s to 2000s, had wonderfully long…

After 18 months of living in Kuala Lumpur, I am so thrilled to have finally been invited to my very first Malay-Muslim wedding reception. Well, I had attended one last year for a short time but it was a spontaneous thing and I hadn’t actually known the couple (see that video here). This time, I’ve known the groom Kamal for close to a year and was wonderfully happy to meet his lovely bride Suhada and be able to take part in their lovely majlis bersanding.

It’s wild how different Thai street food is compared to what I’ve known for the past 18 months here in Malaysia.  They’re super keen on literally ANYTHING on a stick it seems.  Spicy is better.  And there is huge pride in the freshness and quality by the hawker and food stall owners.  Come with me as I explore a night market in Phuket and some local hawker street food along the seafront at Panwa Beach.  I tried a few meats-on-a-stick that included a real first for me, chicken…

Ever since my daughter and I explored the cemetery island in Venice, Italy back in 2008 I’ve loved visiting cemeteries.  They are a beautiful and unique way to better understand a country or region and its culture.  That is certainly true for Malaysia, which I discovered first in Penang at a Protestant cemetery and now here in Kuala Lumpur at the Chinese Cemetery located right downtown (but feels a million kilometres away).

Yum, yum, and double YUM!!!! What a lunch! As you’ll see I not only had a rockin’ time with friends old and new … I also dug into a brand new burger that was invented for Merdeka 2017 … and damn is it tasty! I was invited by my friend Razif Hashim to try this new deconstructed char kuey teow burger that has been created to combat the crazy nasi lemak burger 😉

I’ve been an expat most of my adult life, moving from country to country and along life’s path as it opened up to me. However, until this year I never identified as a Digital Nomad. Pretty much because I wasn’t, even though most people in my life saw me that way. I’m a Californian and have worked in digital comms in Spain, India, China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia for local start-ups. Never on assignment as a foreign worker for a large company and rarely working freelance. So sure,…

HISTORY Con MY is going on this weekend in Kuala Lumpur and I just had a sneak peak at all the fun and antics you and your family can get up to there! Some of HISTORY Channels top celebrities are on hand, including Masterchef Australia judge Matt Preston who sat down for a one-on-one with me and talked … yep you guessed it … all about FASHION!!! It was very fun 😉

Malaysia is home to some of Asia’s most wonderful street and hawker food and Penang is the undisputed king when it comes to showcasing its bounty (at least in my opinion!). I’m in George Town at least every six to eight weeks and I always find time to spend an evening (or at least a very long meal) at Red Garden Food Paradise located next to The Edison and The Blue Mansion heritage hotels 

I fell in love with Leica last year when I saw a review from one of my favourite travel vloggers Jon Olsson using one of their cams. The 4k video quality was off-the-charts and looked nothing like even the BEST the videos I was producing. So when I decided that it was time to upgrade from the iPhone + DSLR setup I was using, it was a Leica that I wanted. I did my research and chatted with the guys at YL Camera, Malaysia’s largest camera retailer, for…

The first time I realised that the beauty of a city is reflected and can be found in the history of its cemeteries was in October, 2008.  My daughter and I were in Venice, Italy celebrating her 13th birthday and we took a vaporetto (water bus) to the cemetery island there and found the experience left a lasting impression on us.  So when the opportunity arose to explore Penang’s most famous cemetery I leapt at the chance.  The UNESCO-protected Old Protestant Cemetery (or Francis Light Cemetery) offers free…

Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur is so wonderfully festive and exciting, full of vibrant food bazaars and nights markets that welcome those breaking fast and visitors like me to an array of diverse and YUMMY choices night after night.  Last night I went for the very first time to the Masjid India Ramadan Bazaar and WOW was it good fun.  This pasar malam starts at the foot of the Masjid India mosque and seems to go on and on without end, it’s fabulous!

Come with me on a tour of 157 Hampshire Place, my new home in Kuala Lumpur for the next 2 years. I have moved from quite an expat-heavy residential area into something akin to an oasis inside the heart of the KLCC urban jungle.  The neighbourhood is called Hampshire Park and it’s located just two blocks from Petronas Twin Towers and I couldn’t be happier.  Literally within a 5 – 7 minute walk I now have countless cafes, amazing restaurants with rooftop views of the city, street food…

Living in Malaysia is always awesome but it’s never better than during Ramadan!  This is my first year with Muslim friends and I’m going to take advantage of this by exploring the infamous food bazaars of Kuala Lumpur and breaking fast with them at hotspots like TAPAK, Malaysia’s first food truck park in the heart of KLCC and just a stone’s throw from Petronas Tower.  TAPAK calls itself ‘urban street dining’ and it’s all that and more, including cool live entertainment 🙂

I was recently staying at the gorgeous Casa Del Rio hotel in Malacca, which is the perfect hotel for anyone looking to be pampered while exploring UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka 😉  Well, while there I arranged one of the city’s infamous Trishaw tours and it was hella-fun!  This is basically a bike peddled rickshaw but bling bling’d out in over-the-top ways.  I had gone on a Hello Kitty trishaw when my Mommy came to visit last so that was what I went with again this time.

Sooooo I’ve just returned home to Kuala Lumpur following an 11 day solo road trip in and around Cameron Highlands and had a fascinating adventure at a typical Malaysian rest and truck stop.  It was my 1st solo road trip here AND the very 1st time I’ve driven in Malaysia, which mad it extra-super-duper-hella-fun!  In fact, it was my first time driving since a solo road trip in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado while on holiday in the USA back in 2014 … but shhhhhh, don’t tell my friend…

Malaysia’s Night Markets Never Disappoint!!  Cameron Highlands Pasar Malam is the ONLY one in all of the surrounding hill stations and it is full of some unique and tasty treats, tons of organic fruits and vegetables from local farmers, homemade honey and juices, and local handicrafts. The next time you’re headed up to the gorgeous hill stations of Cameron Highlands, plan your trip around the weekend so you can explore the delicious and fun night market there. If you’re coo coo for strawberries, well this place is your…

Today is Mother’s Day back home in the USA, here in Malaysia where I now call home, and in lots of countries around the globe. First and foremost it is the day to acknowledge our moms and be grateful for the person they’ve helped us become. But for single moms (or single dads), it’s also the perfect day to celebrate the adventure and the beauty that our extraordinary ‘single parent’ life holds. Although my daughter left for university in the UK a few years ago, she’s still the…

It felt so amazing to see my YouTube channel grow to over a thousand subscribers today. I’m so grateful and simply want to send a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has signed on to follow my journey as a Californian living in Asia (specifically, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia at this moment). I love sharing the beauty of living abroad and exploring fabulous places to eat, drink, sleep, and play all around Asia.

WHAT FUN! I just had the pleasure of listening to one of Malaysia’s amazing talents share his tips on travel photography (and how to pack for a trip in style, given that the event was a joint effort between RIMOWA and Leica Malaysia!). Zung Heng (AKA Zung Ninja Photographer) is a truly inspiring human being who seems to see the beauty and the story behind faces and moments in a way that unites us all and brings us closer. He has shot American presidents, the Dalai Lama, Richard…

It was bound to happen sooner or later … I hated my Malaysian street food I picked out for lunch! It’s my own fault because I love going to street food stalls, carts, and food trucks and (boldly) ordering without knowing what exactly that something I’m ordering actually is (I’ve done that at every night market and LOVED it normally).  But today was a huge, fishy disaster!! I just couldn’t eat it 🙁

Looking for a zippie way to get around the Kuala Lumpur? Well, I tested out the LRT line next to my new condo this weekend and had a blast! It’s crazy cheap, easy to navigate, clean, lively, and efficient. I live next to Petronas Tower now and have experienced first-hand how insane the traffic is here at peak hours so the LRT to/from KLCC to just about anywhere is a good plan and beats sitting in an Uber during rush hour traffic 🙂

Wanna see what fast food looks like in Malaysia? And exactly what USD $1.50 / 7 Ringgits will buy you in Kuala Lumpur? Well, this nasi kukus ayam goreng berempah is a hell of a lot healthier and yummier than what $1.50 would buy you in L.A. or San Francisco that’s for sure 😉 And not only is the food fresh and absolutely tasty but the packaging is eco-friendly and it is the perfect amount so we don’t overeat.

I only started drinking coffee when I moved to Hong Kong in 2014 and I know my palette is still not very mature even after two years. It’s basically like when us girls first start drinking alcohol and we can only really enjoy the sweet, fruity drinks … I think that’s still where I’m at with coffee, which is massively embarrassing given that I’m a food blogger!!  So when my new favourite Malaysian coffee brand invited me to learn a bit about Cold Brew I jumped at the…

After travelling all around and now living in Malaysia for the past 1 year, I have finally tried the decadently naughty fried street food truck just a short walk from Petronas Tower and DAMN it was tasty!  Check it out, sweet and savoury treats for any palette, and not at all spicy really (which surprised me). This is Kairol’s truck, just off Jalan Ampang in Hampshire Park, the new neighbourhood I just moved into and am already feeling very much at home.

I remember down to the day that I fell in love with ‘the idea of falling in love’ with a chef. I was living in Sitges, Spain, a quaint seaside village just south of Barcelona. It was the summer of 2006 and I was having dinner in the port at a VERY upscale Mexican restaurant called Don Ramon, owned by a dear friend of mine from Mazatlan. It was the first time I was dining there and I was introduced to something wonderful called a molcajete and ended…

Little India is Penang’s MUST VISIT spot for anyone with a love of India, Bollywood films, or who simply wants to tuck into a good curry!  I sadly didn’t have time to sort out the best restaurants in Little India on this trip but I plan to do that next time so please follow my journey for that video soon 🙂

If you’re looking for an authentic local Chinese meal within the historic UNESCO zone of Penang, then look no farther than Tek Sen Restaurant in Georgetown.  This 50 year old eatery is infamous!  I was there recently with Chinese Malaysian friends, a couple of whom are restauranteurs, and this was their lunch spot of choice.  Don’t miss the stir fried pork with duck soy, the spinach, and the clams … they were the 3 favourite dishes on the table.

I’m the biggest fan in the world of hopping aboard a plane, train or automobile and having a marvellous adventure to wash away the stress of life. Letting your hair down returns you back to work refreshed and ready to battle through your day but, sadly, there are still some things you’ll have to look out for when travelling abroad.

Just like Spain felt like home, and India after a couple of years, Malaysia is finally, truly feeling like home to me. It is full of possibilities, and new friendships, and blissful happiness. Bloggers will understand that my (blog) babies are a part of me, or at least an extension of me …. so it’s amazing to have them showcased in a magazine here for the 1st time for contributing to the positive image of Malaysia to the outside world (and probably for making Malaysians laugh as I…

It’s 1am, 2017. Looking back, 2016 was fabulous, it was an evil bitch, it was scary, and it was wonderfully memorable. I’m a single mom with a daughter in university in the UK. I pay for my life and her life and university expenses and living expenses 100% on my own without any help from my ex (well, her doting grandparents in the U.S. chip in way more than they even admit to me and for that I will always be forever grateful).

Exploring the natural beauty of Malaysia and it’s rich cultural heritage was never more fun for me than THIS trip to Sarawak, Borneo (check out day one of my trip with the bats and Canopy Skywalk).  Heading out on a traditional Malaysian long boat before any other tourists in Gunung Mulu National Park was the BEST choice to enhance my travel experience.  Not only was I able to shoot the Cave of the Winds and Clearwater Cave in the UNESCO World Heritage Site without anyone else around but it offered…

I’ve never seen any Christmas celebration quite like what I witnessed last night.  I couldn’t sleep because of the fireworks so I headed out at midnight to pop around to the corner market and landed right in the middle of the craziest Christmas eve I’m sure I will ever spend in my life!  And that’s counting the time my daughter and I spent it at a restaurant called The Cowboy in Prague!  Honestly, you have to see it to believe it because my words fail me right now…

I’m on a mission to explore as much of Malaysia while I’m living here as possible and Borneo was high on my list!  Come with me on day one of my amazing adventure at Gunung Mulu National Park, a highlight of all my travels in 2016.  It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with amazing experiences in the Sarawak rain forest.  I walked on a half kilometre Canopy Skywalk and was in the Deer & Lang Caves, which boast over 2 MILLION bats! In fact, I saw thousands…

Ageing is a serious bummer, and a funny twist of fate. I am 46 but in my heart and my day-to-day self, I still feel mid 30s at best. I bounce when music comes on. I see triggers that remind me of my younger days and think …. ‘ahhhh if only!’. All the time!!! When I was in my 20s I remember wanting to be perceived as grown up and mature. 

When it comes to street food in Malacca, all I’ve ever really heard about was the Jonker Street Night Market.  It’s a super lively and memorable adventure, but it has felt quite touristy the couple of times I’ve been there, so not reaaaaaly my thing.  So now that I’ve discovered the Pasar Malam Malim Jaya night market, I hope to convince everyone (yes, yes of course that means YOU!) to plan their Malacca trip around it because it is fabulous and hella-fun!

It’s bound to happen to anyone with strong feelings against Trump and his platform of hate, sexism, racism, and xenophobia. But I promise you I never thought that the first person I would unfriend on Facebook would be a deeply religious family member. Someone I assumed cared about every life, about truth, and about championing someone who walked an admirable path. Yet here I am, taking pen to paper (well, clicking away on my MacBook) and wondering … what the hell is going on in our world?

After struggling all week to organise my thoughts and feelings over this Trump win, I’ve resorted to stealing.  Partly because I’m so very angry and confused, partly because I refuse to write a piece penned out of anger that I will regret for years to come, but mostly because my fabulously eloquent brother Nick has shared his thoughts and they mirror mine to a ‘T’ … albeit missing some of the expat perspective I can offer as I’m currently residing in Malaysia — a predominantly Muslim country that…

Heyyyy KL, are you interested in shooting fun street food videos or maybe starting up your own blog or YouTube channel?  Well, I’m teaching my first masterclass on the art of food vlogging at TAPAK and I’d love for you to attend.  I’m doing this with my friends Maria Tunku Sabri, the gorgeous pioneer food channel tv presenter, and the charming and hilarious Razif Hashim … and our goal is that you walk away with MAD SKILLS to be an awesome food blogger, food vlogger, or TV show presenter.  Woohoooo!

After 8 months of calling Kuala Lumpur my home, I finally have the perfect shot of Petronas Towers. This was taken about 10 days ago on my 46th birthday with my fabulous Aussie mate Lukas (who I was thrilled was in KL) and it really is THE PERFECT SPOT.

My good friend Teresa messaged yesterday to say that I’d better do something fabulous enough for my birthday that I could blog about it … and it turns out I really, really did!  This is the very first birthday I’m spending in Malaysia.  Fingers crossed it is the first of many to come.  I turned 46 yesterday and had a BLAST doing it.  My new friend Maria Tunku Sabri (a celeb in Malaysia who pioneered the country’s cooking shows on TV) had invited me to try the Crab Factory…

Penang is famous for its non-stop street food and night markets, so I was excited to discover a wildly wonderful food pavilion next to Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion (within the protected UNESCO zone) while I was staying there. Red Garden Food Paradise is a covered food court and open nightly, with live music and even a Thai-styled ladyboy show by the lovely Penang-based Selena.  I ate everything from fried oysters and the BEST spicy clams to crêpes and dim sum.  OH, and they serve wine, which is something…

Glass bottomed cable cars, panoramic views, and a terrifying glass window you can stand on hundreds of feet above ground … well, those are just thrills that await you on the Langkawi SkyBridge and SkyCar, the biggest and best ‘must do and see’ activity on Langkawi.  Opened in February 2005, the main boarding station for the gondola-style cable cars is located at the foothills of the picturesque Machincang mountain, said to be on a part of Southeast Asia that is the most ancient and the first to have emerged from…

Holy yummy night out!  Don’t even think of visiting Penang without a visit to the Batu Ferringhi night market located just one street off of the beach.  Known locally as the Batu Ferringhi sidewalk bazaar and not so much as the pasar malam (night market), this fun collection of the best local food and shopping stalls extends for block after block, in and out of small fixed shopping centres, permanent food courts, and pop-up sidewalk carts … it’s really an interesting concept and they’ve pulled it off perfectly.

From the moment I separated from my ex-husband, when our daughter was one year old, I made the choice to lead a joyful life with no regrets. My ex was a bully, had dominated and controlled me, and had made me absolutely unhappy. At the time I was 26 and believed that a miserable married person would struggle to be a good parent … so I decided then and there to live a happy life for ME so that I had the best chance of being a wonderful mom to my…

Come explore one of the most important Hindu shrines outside of India with me, taking in life around the caves and temples in the early morning to start.  Then we’ll climb the 272 steps up to the cave, where you’ll see statues, art, and live music played for those who’ve come to worship in a truly memorable setting.

You never know what life in Malaysia will bring your way, and this was never more apparent to me as when I was spontaneously invited to my very first Malay-Muslim wedding reception in Kuala Lumpur.  It was so lovely, with such beautiful traditions and customs, and so splendid to behold.  The setting looked like the scene from every little girl’s fantasy of what her wedding day would look like, it was magical.

Looking for something hilariously FUN to do while visiting Malaysia? Well, how about a ride in a super neon Hello Kitty tri-shaw blasting out pop music from massive speakers!  My Mom was here recently and that’s what we did and as strange as it is to admit, it was actually a highlight from her holiday, (no joke!).

As dorky as it may be, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for using my first Bahasa word in a blog post title!  For anyone who doesn’t speak the language (like me), sedap means DELICIOUS … and that’s exactly what you’ll experience at TAPAK.  Launched just over 3 months ago by 4 reunited school mates to meet the growing demand in popularity of food trucks in Kuala Lumpur, TAPAK is KL’s first non-night market ‘urban street food’ experience open 7 nights a week, right downtown in the heart of the…

Woohooooo! My 1st (non-airport) experience with the Malaysian government was fantastic … every single employee was kind, gracious and helpful (NOT something expats experience in some countries, trust me!!! I’ve been yelled at in China and India for not being in the right queue so this was a lovely experience!).

Come explore Plaza Dataran Merdeka, Dataran Underground, and the energetic KL Hari Raya Eid Mubarak Festival 2016 with me! Coordinated by the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau to showcase the beauty and diversity of Malaysian culture and their cuisine, they extended an invitation not only to special guests but to every tourist in town to come enjoy themselves, and it was a day I won’t soon forget … with so much food I’m not even sure I captured it all!

I’m currently spending a month in Bali curating travel content. This makes the 2nd time in less than 9 months that I’m here, with the previous visit lasting 60 days. It’s hectic, it’s fun, it’s a wonderful break from my own ‘real life’, and it reminds me often about what is really important as I see life through the eyes of the gracious people of Indonesia.

This week I received an email from an aspiring writer looking for an opportunity to contribute to a blog.  He shared in his email that writing was his dream but that he has been met time and again with obstacles to his dream by publishers and blog owners refusing to give him a shot at doing what he loves.  And certainly we can all sympathise on some level with those types of frustrations.

I’m a California native, 5th generation descendent of Irish, German, and British immigrants to the United States of America. My family didn’t go to the U.S. because they had a foreign worker’s post in the embassy – or a job at all! They were fleeing from a poor economic climate (mostly from Ireland), looking to improve their life in a country that promised a brighter future. My ancestors were immigrants, plain and simple. Luckily they weren’t fleeing to escape shellfire and tyranny like so many millions of people…

As you know, in some Asian countries all it takes is one unconscious act (ehem, mistake) to appear culturally insensitive, insult someone, or lose a friendly or business relationship altogether.  I’m from California and have resided and worked as an expat in Spain, India, mainland China, Hong Kong, and briefly in Bali so suffice it to say that I’ve made a fair share of (luckily, non-catastrophic!) cultural blunders over the years.

While abroad, the most common question any traveller hears is ‘So, where are you from?’ and I always share the same answer. That I’m from California but I haven’t lived in America in 13 years. When I was living in Europe, half of the time that would be enough but definitely since I’ve been living in Asia I always receive an almost instant, ‘So long! Why don’t you live in the U.S. (and of course, where do you live)?’ Again, I always share the same answer. The lack…

I’ve officially been a food and luxury travel blogger since the summer of 2011. It started innocently enough with one Sunday brunch write up in India and I’m very proud to say it skyrocketed from there because my blog has introduced me to some amazing people, led me to experience new things … and it’s become my #1 favourite hobby after travelling. I don’t have a huge following on social media but my luxury travel blog is successful because it ranks #1 on Google because of the hundreds…

My last romantic kiss with a man was in India on August 1st 2013. Longing for that Indian in Bangalore played the biggest part in the first year of my quiet – good girl – celibacy but the 2nd year until now really is more a factor of my life and being overwhelmed by circumstance than anything else. I’m now in Bali for 2 months reviewing 5-star hotels and boutique villas – and well into year 3 alone – and wondering when is ‘enough’ enough?

{Originally published via LinkedIn on the day of the match, Sunday 29 June 2014} Some social media train wrecks are quite fun to watch. My favourite is still Amy’s Baking Company with the crazy owners and their heap of lies. Indeed there have been some doozies this year but for the most part my recent favourites appear to have all been genuine mistakes from human error.

This month marks one year since the Guns N’ Roses tour and looking back I realise that not only do I continue to feel humbled to have been chosen to handle the Tour’s social media but that I am truly thankful for the experience because it changed me.  I was privileged to take in private backstage moments and saw literally every facet of the ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’ lifestyle played out during the tour … but it was the lessons I learned online from the fans…