5 Reasons You Should Visit Almaty

Kazakhstan is a cosmopolitan place that borders the cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe. The vast country stretches from China to the Caspian Sea. It is one of Asia’s diverse cultures where Russians and Kazakhs border the Ukrainians, Tatars, Uzbeks, Germans, and scores of other cultures mix harmoniously.

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Almaty is the country’s financial and cultural center and custodian of the essence. It is also the biggest city falling short of being the capital city after the young flash rival, Astana. The town sits amazingly below the snow-capped peaks of Zailysky-Alatau Mountains. It is pleasantly green and very relaxed with fountains, fancy malls, black-windowed SUVs and busy and pretty busy boulevards. The town is modern and a sophisticated hub for booming petro-economy, one that has many surprises that make Almaty the focus of any tour around Kazakhstan.

  1. The wonderful ski spot fit for royalty

The ski resort of Shymbulak is about 30 minutes drive from the city. In 2014 the resort became famous in when Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas went skiing on the slopes. It is ritzy and the sunny, chilly winters guarantee varying good conditions and crispy cold snow well into the month of April. The ski lifts leopard-print cabins are painted so in honor of the snow leopards that are rarely seen roaming the mountains. The 4kmseries of ski lifts run up to 3180 meters Talgar pass.

  1. You get to enjoy yourself along the Silk Road

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The bustling green bazaar market halls, filled with traders from across far as Korea to central Asia gather to hawk are a fantastic way to get familiar with the multifaceted ethnic mix of Kazakhstan. The foothills near Almaty are said to be home to the apple fruit, and it is said to massive proportions. Almaty translates to “father of the apple”.

 

  1. The impressive socialist architecture and art

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Soviet War Memorial in Almaty looms vividly in front of the city’s former army command center. The city’s finest museum, Kasteyev State Arts Museum, was named after Abilkhan Kasteev-Kazakhs greatest painter. Along with the huge collection is the intriguing room dedicated to his depiction of life in the former Soviet era from portraits of the peasant life to the canvases of the fast developing landscape.

  1. The second tallest wooden building in the worldnki

Proudly standing in the leafy Panfilov Park is the Cathedral of the Holy Ascension; a mix of pastel-colored gables, a gilded dome and brightly painted tiles that rise 60m high. All built with no single nail.

  1. The Russian baths are the finest in Central Asia

The Arasan Bath’s complex in Almaty is the most highly styled bathhouse in this area. It was built in the early 1980s as a notable statement of the Soviet ambition. Pick your slippers, conical felt hat (shapka) and a towel and join fellow bathers in the fiercely hot Russian steam room (parilka). Bundles of birch or oak leaves (vyeniki) are used to thrash on each other. This wince-inducing practice is believed to improve circulation. From the parilka, you are to upturn over yourself a bucket of gasp-inducing cold water. To finish up a dip in cool plunge-pool under the domed atrium will leave you refreshed.

Want to go on an exotic tour with us? Drop us a note at askus@ladyredot.com


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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10 Unique Things To Do In Singapore That Some Singaporeans Might Never Have Been To

Singapore is a country rich in culture and traditions. There are many touristic sights that are informative and hold a healthy recount of the history of the Singaporean people.

These sites have been preserved over the years to keep the history alive.

The 10 things include:

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  1. NUS Baba House

This magnificently restored Peranakan family residence which is managed by the University of Singapore. This abode is a historical depiction of Peranakan era with an intricate architectural plan of the habitat and antic carvings. To visit, you need to book online and only 15 people are allowed at a time. The tour is free.

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  1. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

The museum has two floors. The first floor has the general innate record of the world, whereas the second floor focuses in particular on the rich history of Singapore. The exhibits on the first floor are set in a way to communicate the account of how natural world around us developed.
The second floor has exhibits and stories about pre-colonial and post-colonial history of Singapore’s loaded biodiversity.

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3. The Intan

The Intan is a private residential repository, which brings out the loaded society of the Peranakan account. The tour guides are cooperative and well-informed and will lead you through the entire museum, explaining the Peranakan lifestyle and antiques put on show.

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  1. The Helix Bridge

The helix bridge is an architectural work of genius found by the marina bay. A great location for having family snapshot sessions because of the spectacular view it offers. The lights at night are a spectacle and phenomenal to experience.

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  1. Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Reflections at Bukit Chandu, a museum depicting Japanese war in Singapore. Put on show are the arms and military gear that the Japanese army used. Admittance to this museum is free.

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  1. Coney Island Park

Coney Island offers flora and fauna and for those that have an admiration for natural world will be precisely at place. The Park offers bird surveillance opportunities, picnic sites, sporting ventures and serene snapshot spots. If you are only out to enjoy nature in its rawness, park benches are available at various scenic points for your convenience.

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  1. The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges present a beautiful nature-walk spot within a city. It is a 9 km stretch with several exists should you opt not to cover the complete stretch. The view of nature from above is refreshing. The vegetation is inviting and the bird calls are calming. If you love nature, this is a fantastic place for you.

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  1. Chinese and Japanese Gardens

The Chinese and Japanese gardens are a stunning and serene place. You get to spot striking pagoda and Chinese and Japanese conventional buildings. You will also find a Turtle museum, a lake full of turtles that children will enjoy. The repository is called Bonsai museum which showcases small Japanese trees.

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  1. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

This Wetland Reserve is quiet and calm. It’s an excellent place to stopover if you love nature. The migration time is from Sept to Mar, which will give you an immense experience.

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10. Haw Par Villa

The gardens are devoted to two brothers who produced Tiger Balm, and the grounds were designed to recount of the story of the Chinese Gods. There are thousands of Chinese fashion figurines and ancient scene sculptures to be seen here. Entry into Har Par villa is free.
Singaporean tourist attraction sites are numerous and diverse. Every one gets to experience something that they truly enjoy. The sites are family friendly and informative. Prehistoric sites have been kept in impeccable state to facilitate the passing on of the rich culture like the NUC Baba House. Nature walk sites and reserves are also available for the great outdoor, some of which are easily accessible from the city.

Your visit to Singapore will be rich and packed with tours to undertake. You can contact us @ askus@ladyredot.com for more information.


KallyKally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Burma’s Rising Capital

Naypyitaw, the roughly 12-year old nation capital of Burma, has been called many things since it was created. A ghost town, a post-apocalyptic suburb. Its 16-lane roads are vast and endless, and apparently unused by motorists or pedestrians. The larger-than-life mansions and villas that look uninhabited. You could hear a host of negative things about Burma’s relatively new capital, all of which will discourage you from even thinking of the name of the place.

Or you could hear another view: Naypyitaw is awesome. Yes, the place is quiet, and yes, it looks like actual living beings are scarce, but Naypyitaw is awesome. You can’t let that turn you away from visiting one of the most beautiful nation capitals in the world now, will you?

Naypyitaw – Not Isolated: Surrounded

The city is said to be isolated on all sides for at least fifty miles around (verification needed about that), but Naypyitaw is actually strategically located between Rangoon, the former capital, and Mandalay (verification provided).

Naypyitaw is also a part of another town called Pyinmana, which is another place you should visit in Burma. It is a lovely historic town with teak and brick edifices and shady, leafy lanes.

With the number of residents increasing, mosques have been built, and there is also a Catholic Church in the city if you really need to go to church.

Naypyitaw – No Ghost Town

People actually live and work in the new capital, and, despite the fact that there is seemingly no traffic, the roads are used by people coming and going in trucks or on motorcycles.

Naypyitaw – There is Food!

Where there are people, you will always find food. Restaurants are thriving in the new capital, with several options to choose from, depending on your tastes and your pockets.

The Santino Café is a restaurant and bakery mix that serves a broad spectrum of dishes, including Japanese, Thai, European, Chinese, and American.

Maw Khan Nong 2 lets you enjoy bowls of delicious Shan noodles with a cold beer on the outdoor terrace.

You can visit the YKKO to sample their noodles: they are to die for. What’s more, your dining options are all in the same area, so you can’t get lost.

Naypyitaw – Not a Boring Moment

There are places to go and things to see in the new capital for everyone. History buffs can visit the museum to see the rich culture and history of Burma, or go to the Uppatasanti Pagoda, a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, which is filled four jade Buddha images facing the four directions, and carved reliefs showing scenes from Gautama Buddha’s past lives.

Love nature? Visit the Naypyitaw Zoological Gardens, and the Safari Park, which has many species animals, including the rare white tiger.

Naypyitaw – Who Said You Can’t Stay?

There are several hotels operating in Naypyitaw, including the Hilton, which has rooms with a ore international feel to them; Kempinski, built with classic Bamar-style wood carving and roofed walkways; and the Lake Garden MGallery Collection, whose on site restaurants are among the best in the city.

If you love exotic travels as much as we do, come and drop us an email askus@ladyredot.com to find out where is our next adventure!


Hi, I’m Kally. A Singaporean who has been relocated twice, first to Shanghai, now based in Kuala Lumpur. I have always been the avid traveller since young. I had my passport made even before I went to primary school! I travel extensively during my free time, either on tour groups or backpacking around Europe and all within the recent years. I am exposed to many different cultures and places, which allow me, to have the ability to look at many things and situation from various angles. Having gained 20 years of corporate world, I decided it is time for me to hang up my briefcase and heels to indulge my passion: Writing and Traveling. The two passions that give me pure enjoyment and liberation. As much as I enjoy traveling and writing, I strive on assisting people in making their lives easier. This is evidently shown in MiddleMe.net where I am the founder and editor. Allow me @ kally@ladyredot.com to help you to pen down your next trip abroad!

Unusual Beaches in the World

Beach. It’s a place usually dotted with palm trees where you get sand between your toes, get a tan under the heat of the sun, and bathe in crystal clear waters. Sure, but did you know that there are beaches in this mysterious world that offers more than that?

Did you know that there is a beach in this world that has glow in the dark particles dwelling in its waters? Did you know there are beaches in this world with green, purple, pink, black, and red sand? Prepare to be amazed as we show you the unusual beaches in the world.

  1. Red Sand Beach (Rabida, Galapagos)
    This beach is unusual because, yes you’re right, it has orangey red sand. The red sand is not because of blood of course, but it’s because of the oxidation of lava that contains a high level of iron and tiny bits of corals washed up.
  2. Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach (California)
    It’s named “Purple Sand Beach” obviously because of its purple sand. Its sand however, is not purple all over. It has streaks of purple that look like someone spilled purple and indigo watercolor. No, nobody spilled watercolor on the sand. The purple color is because of the manganese garnet deposits from the hillside soil eroded to the beach.
  3. Pink Sand Beach (Bahamas)
    Here’s another one named after the color of its sand. Pink Sand Beach is pink because of the tiny pieces of coral that are broken down and washed ashore by the strong waves. Just imagine the blue waters and the pink sand! Just perfect!
  4. Papakolea Green Sand Beach (Hawaii)
    The first thing that you’ll probably think of when you see this beach is how slimy the sand must be because it looks like it’s covered with seaweeds. But no, the green shade is not because of seaweeds but because of Hawaii’s volcanic mountains. When the volcano erupts, the lava that reached the sea produces a mineral known as “olivine.” It’s the reason why the sand is green.
  5. Glass Beach (California)
    This beach is unusual because it is covered with tiny bits of glass. Sure, it may look nice and unique, but its history is exactly the opposite. Long ago, Glass Beach was the residents’ landfill. Locals used to dump their rubbish in the beach. The glass sand is a result of the waves pounding the glass materials into tiny pieces.
  6. Maldives (no specific beach though)
    Who says you can only enjoy the beach at daytime? In Maldives, visitors laze around the beach at night. When the sun goes down, when the stars appear in the sky, the bioluminescent phytoplankton gather up and line up the shore. The microscopic organisms glow in the dark as a reaction to the strong movements of the water. Oh so magical!
  7. Giants Causeway Beach (Ireland)
    This beach is unique and very picturesque because of its mysterious rock formation. Several million years ago, basalt lava rose to the surface. When it cooled, it cracked into gigantic columns that still exist until today.

Aren’t you attempt to pack your bags and go? I am! Come and join me for a trip today at askus@ladyredot.com.

Close Up in Nature in Melbourne

Melbourne is not all about the hustle bustle of city life. It is also blessed with beautiful landscapes from tranquil forests to staggering cliffs that are specially crafted by mother nature. Therefore, let yourself submerge into the beauty of Melbourne’s finest nature attractions, by going through the enthralling exploration in these four magnificent places.

 

  • Sherbrooke Forest

As a part of Dandenong Ranges National Park, Sherbrooke Forest lies at an altitude of 220-500 m, 40 kilometers east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.   It was the home to the Eucalyptus regnans , which is the tallest flowering plant in the world. Aside from its function as conservation center, there are a lot of activities that you can do in the area of Sherbrooke Forest. If you are a cyclist, try the 1 in 20 bike lane, where it is named as Melbourne’s popular climbs since it has challenging obstacles. The ride passes through fern gullies and grassy forest, and end to the appealing hilltop village of Sassafras.

Meanwhile for the family-friendly activities, the Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk is an easy trail route that encompasses of 6,6 kilometers of length. Take your kids for a morning walk, and introduce them to nature as they can witness various vegetation of plants, ferns, and vegetable growing during World War II. Moreover, if you are lucky, exotic animals such as wombats, samp wallaby, possums, and owl may greet you during your walk. Lastly, to end your adventure, top it off by sharing meal together with your family and closest friends at Grants Picnic Ground.

  • Cloudehill Garden

Still located in Dandenong Ranges, Cloudehill Garden is a unique concept of garden that combining art and natures at the same place. Feel the classic ambience of old European garden landscape, as various of trees, plants, and flowerbeds are neatly placed. With many areas to be explore, Cloudehill Garden offers various         photo spots that surely will elevate your Instagram feeds. For its iconic attraction, visit The Maple Court, where there are two gigantic maple trees standing strong since 1928. The garden is constructed around them. The Gallery Walk is a hidden gem with immersing types of roses like Scotch briars and Rosa spinosissima . Watch as it starts blooming from spring to early summer, with hints of cool sculpture collections scattered everywhere in the garden which should not be missed.

  • Sandringham Cliffs

Feel the warm breeze, sunny weather, at the bayside in Sandringham. Back in the days, Sandringham was originally known as “Gypsy Village” that is nothing more than a fishing village. Fast forward to the present time, Sandringham is a lively suburb with plenty of palm trees along its street. Situated on the opposite of Sandringham Hotel, there is a famous landmark known as band rotunda located on a clifftop overlooking the beach. Surrounded by palm trees, lawns and gardens, the scenic views are breathtaking as you can see endless ocean view from the top.

 

  • Alfred Nicholas Garden

Admire the seasonal highlights in Alfred Nicholas Garden. Whether you come in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, the scenery of Alfred Nicholas Garden is always mesmerizing to see, where each landscapes are wisely forming into colorful paintings created by nature. Watch as golden leaves scatter on the ground during autumn filling the lake with vibrant colors, or witness the blossoming of cherries flowers the spring comes which made Alfred Nicholas Gardens as a beautiful spots to take pictures. Open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm every day, the garden itself is also equipped with linking paths that take you beneath the canopy of the Mountain Ash trees. Walk down to the picturesque lake and set picnic by the boathouse. In addition, Alfred Nicholas Garden provides wide area of spaces to rent as wedding venue. If you’re interested, do contact the official website for further information.

Whether you are a nature lover or you like to have your wedding photoshoot in Melbourne, reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com and we will be happy to help you plan!

 


 Hello, I’m Jenica from Indonesia.  As a law student in progress, studying law can sometimes become really boring.  That’s why I always like to wander around and exploring new, unusual places to relieve some tension.  I also like to capture my experience through lenses and especially from writing, because it helps me to create memories that will last forever, yet it can also enjoy by a lot of people.  Meanwhile, if I don’t have time to travel, you can find me easily at the markets while trying delicious street foods from various local food stalls.  Nasi goreng, rendang, and martabak are my all time favourite that will never be replaced with anything. For me, diet always starts tomorrow so  let’s enjoy the life to the fullest!  If you want to know more about me, drop me an email now.

To The Ends Of The World in Choquequirao

Many people say only the tough ones can make it to Choquequirao in Peru. They may be right. To get there, one has to tackle the 45 kilometer trek (back and forth) and numerous elevation change. It’s definitely not an easy feat, but it is going to be totally worth it.

Brief Background

Choquequirao, Chuqi K’iraw or Chuqik’iraw, which means “cradle of gold,” is a remote Incan site  in the Andes. It is on the Vilcabamba mountain range and is 3,050 meters above the ground.

People call it the “sister of Machu Picchu” because aside from the fact that it is located in Peru, its structure and architecture are also very similar to that of its more famous sibling. Choquequirao, however, spans up to three times the size of Machu Picchu (although only 30% of it is visible) and gets only a handful of visitors daily. (Machu Picchu has more than 2,000 visitors a day while Choquequirao has only had about 5,000 visitors since 2013).

How to Get There

Choquequirao can be reached by hiking or trekking for three days (or even up to more than a week) just outside Cusco. The starting point is the village of Cachora (just 5 hours away from Cusco), and then through the Apuramic Valley, and then to Chiquisca where travelers pitch their tents and spend the night. The next morning, the journey involves uphill trek to Santa Rosa and to Marampata. The travelers will then have to descend to 2000 meters, and then ascend again to 3000 meters (and this pattern repeats all throughout).

Choquequirao is, again, not easily accessible (but the 5,000 travelers who have gone there will surely tell you it will be all worth it). The journey requires high level of fitness and determination. To get around, it is also advised that you get an experienced guide.

P.S If you are wondering how to get back to the starting point, it’s the same way you came: trek up and down!

When to Go

It is best to go anytime between May and October as this season has the driest months of the year. However, still expect occasional rain even during the dry season.

While in Choquequirao

Choquequirao gives you a glimpse of the ancient Andean life. Although you only get to see the ruins of the structure, the richness of their culture and the brilliance of the people behind the amazing architecture are very apparent. For instance, you will notice that the water fountains were strategically made of large rocks for durability, and  flat slabs of stones were inserted under the windows which refrigerate stored food. You will also see terraces that were decorated with white stones formed into llamas, animals that played an important role in ancient transportation.

Aside from the majestic ruins of the Incan royal estate, you can also marvel at the beauty of the surrounding snow-capped mountains of Ampay, Panta, and Quishuar. It’s easy to get lost in the mystery of Choquequirao. So don’t forget to look up and witness the marvelous mountains around you.

Looking for a totally unique location to explore? We specialised in creating unique experience for you. Just askus@ladyredot.com!


 

Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

 

 

Shopping Paradise in Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers not only good food and city attractions but also retail therapy. If you haven’t been in this shopping paradise, learn the ropes by reading this article.

The Best Time to Shop
Well, Hong Kong is a great place to shop all year round. However, if you are keen on saving some dough, it’s best to go during the sale seasons: Summer Sales, which runs from July through September, and Winter Sales, which runs from December through February (or from Christmas to Chinese New Year or Spring Festival).

Shopping Finds
Whether you are looking for international labels or local goods, Hong Kong has a wide array of merchandise no matter the season. Its top sales are from electronics, beauty products and perfume, and apparel. However, you can also find designer bags, gems and authentic jewellery, leather goods, luggage, and even local delicacies.

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Where to Go
Hong Kong has a number of shopping areas. From street markets to shopping malls, it’s obviously not difficult to find what you need (or want) in Hong Kong. So with all that shopping spots, where should you start? It depends.

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Street Markets
If you are looking for local goods with affordability as your priority, the street markets are your hunting ground:

Li Yuen Street – Offers fancy jewellery, affordable clothes and shoes and souvenirs.

Stanley Market – Has one-of-a-kind goods like artworks, silk and collectable items.

Ladies’ Market – If you like to follow the latest fashion trend but have a limited budget, visit this place. Shoes, clothing and even stationery can be found here.

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Malls
Whether you’re looking for luxury goods or affordable ones, we give you three of the many malls in Hong Kong that offer you the best shopping experience:

Harbour City – Located right on the pier at Kowloon, the biggest shopping mall in Hong Kong offers not only shopping but also dining and entertainment. It has around 700 shops, cinemas, and several dining spots.

Pacific Place or Admiralty – This mall has a broad range of stores, from the affordable Zara and H&M to high-end brands like Chanel, Cartier and Chloe.

Landmark – This mall’s location gave it its other famous moniker: “Central”. It is Hong Kong’s oldest and most famous shopping mall. Among others, you can shop in Dior, Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols in Landmark. It also offers an exceptional dining experience in top-end restaurants.

Citygate Outlet – If you are a bargain hunter, you will know Hong Kong is a tax-free paradise, and it is even better when it is paired with factory outlet shopping! Citygate Outlet Mall is perfect for those who are on a stopover in Hong Kong as it is only 10 minutes drive away from the airport.

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Specialty Stores
Looking for something not found in any of the previously mentioned shopping places? Try these:

Tai Yuen Street – This is a paradise of purchase for the young and young at heart. It offers fantastic yet affordable toys.

Goldfish Market – It’s called the Goldfish Market because of what is sold there: yes, goldfish (and other aquatic animals, actually). Visit the place and get a lucky goldfish for you or a loved one.

Flower Market – Flowers, plants or anything that is garden-related can be found here. If you enjoy growing your greens, this place is perfect for you.

Jade Market – Tourists flock here for everything jade. There are also occasional rare gems, but jade is its main feature.

We can help you to plan your shopping route, sniff out the best bargains even source for delicious food, best-valued accommodation and cheapest air tickets to squeeze every penny and every single minute for your next shopping trip in Hong Kong. Just askus@ladyredot.com!


mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.