Camping at Joshua Tree National Park, summer of 2014. The climb was arduous and shaved a few seconds off my life, but the views made it worth it.

No sugar-coating here

Tired of getting all amped up for a dream vacation, only to be sorely disappointed by failed expectations? Inconvenient truths that no guidebook or travel blog told you about? Maybe if you’d been prepared, it would’ve been different.

Howdy! My name is Lydia I’m here to provide tips for luxury travel on a budget (who doesn’t love that?), and bless you with the hard truths about travel. Because travel isn’t all scenic views and friendly locals. Travel is also messy, troublesome, and sometimes scary.

I have moved from one country to another, plunged into a long-distance relationship and ended up married, and jetted from one side of the world to the other and back again.

Since I moved to the USA, I’ve been lucky to travel more. I also realized one thing – travel guides and travel blogs don’t tell you everything.

In fact, I found personal reviews on sites like Expedia and Yelp were more likely to tell the truth.

Why is it that travel bloggers and writers found the need to hide the less-than-convenient truth about places? Why set people up for disappointment?

I won’t sugar-coat anything in this blog. I’ll provide behind-the-scenes stories. I’ll tell you how it is. These are real-life stories, and my personal opinions. Your opinions are welcome – just keep it civil. We’re in the 21st century, after all.

About me

TL;DR, I am:

  • science/culture geek, bookworm, introvert
  • aspiring fantasy/sci-fi writer, hobby photographer
  • moleskine aficionado/stationery addict
  • a global citizen
  • Singaporean living in the usa
  • a city-girl/creative dreamer married to a country-boy/practical engineer
  • crazy cat mom to 3 furry babies

Being born and raised in Singapore ingrained a deep love of travel (and food. You’ll hear a lot about that.)

Singaporeans are travel nuts. There are only so many places to go on our 266.7 square-mile island-city state. (That’s 2/3 the size of New York City, but with 6-7 million people living on it.)

As a child I was fortunate to travel with my family to several countries. After I graduated from college with my BA in English Literature, I moved across the world to be with my husband.

This blog helps me stay sane by reliving the adventures I’ve had. And by writing. I love writing.

Things I’m not so fond of: heights, drowning, and dark alleyways. I’ll leave adventure travel to my sister Lisa, who took all the bravery in the family. You’ll see her featured in many of my posts (like when she clambered onto an ancient wall.)

My sister and I at beautiful Ostia Antica, Rome

Traveling is one of the rare things that make me light up, ask a ton of questions, and talk a lot. (The other things are food, books and cats.)

So setting up a travel blog was the natural thing to do!

So stay awhile. Leave a comment, say hi! I am most active on Instagram (love the new stories feature.)

Countries Visited

  • Singapore (aka home)
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • China
  • Japan (10-hour stopovers count, right?)
  • USA (aka 2nd home)
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • England
  • Scotland


  • iPhone 6 Plus (mine), iPhone 6S (sister’s)
  • Sony RX-100 (light and compact)
  • Canon Rebel XSi (kinda bulky. I don’t bring this around very much)