Honored guest for a day in Chile…

Many unexpected, random things happen to me when I travel as a single woman. Seriously. I don’t know how or why but they just happen.

While wandering the streets of Puerto Varas in Chile in early 2013, I saw a family of 4 taking photos along the waterfront. I walked up to them and offered to take their family photo. What happened the rest of the day was like a fairy tale.

Originally my plan for the day was to explore the city of Puerto Varas and then hop onto a bus and travel to a nearby town called Frutillar – on my own. At the end of the day, I was very happy and grateful that nothing happened as planned. Continue reading

Give a smile…

After my recent week in NYC visiting friends and the city, I’m left to ponder how Manhattan has a different pulse to other metropolis.

On first look, it’s known to be a fast pace, densely populated, intense place. Comparable to Hong Kong, another densely packed place that I am familiar with. However, on closer inspection, my recent visit to NYC held some surprises.

1. New Yorkers smile at strangers!

Considering this is my 4th or 5th visit to the Big Apple, I didn’t remember seeing so many friendly faces on the streets prior. For a bustling city, I was pleasantly surprised by the many strangers who offered a genuine, warm greeting or smile. I couldn’t help but to flash back and rethink if I have received this warmth since my return to Toronto in August. I don’t know who instigated the smile or the relaxed greeting (it certainly doesn’t matter if the egg or the chicken came first now) but it sure brightens any day – for me.

I mean while traveling earlier this year, I got used to the friendly faces in the small cities and villages that I traveled through. Somehow I find that people are generally a bit more approachable when found in more intimate settings. However, I don’t want to make an overly general statement about that correlation.

2. New Yorkers are helpful!

With a semi complex subway system to all 5 boroughs, there’s a huge risk each time I might have taken the wrong train. I can read the subway map and follow signage just fine. However, when you’re standing at the track and trying to understand what they just said over the PA system about the arriving train. I just simply don’t know if it’ll stop at the station I want.

I’ve resorted to asking the person standing next to me – more than once, per ride.

Once I turned and saw the person had a paper map, while I was looking at the subway map on my app. We just had the most blank faces we can offer each other! LOL

3. It’s not all peaches and cream!

No matter how lost you are physically or emotionally – Do NOT try to stop a New Yorker who’s out right in a rush. Your shoulder or some part of your body may get hurt if you try to stop them mid-stride.

Pick your person correctly – don’t jump at the first person you see. It’s New York, there are well over 8 million people living in this city. I’m sure there’s a more friendly, less-in-a-rush person for you to stop and question.


All in All, my recent visit to New York City was fruitful and eye opening. So much so I’m even considering living there one fine day! Time will tell – Stay tuned 🙂