Destination: Nepal

For today’s blog post, I thought I’d do a quick fact info on Nepal. Unfortunately, this past Saturday Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake that was measured at 7.8 on the richter scale. More than 4,000 people pronounced dead and many more injured.

Nepal is located southwest of China and northeast of India. It is a landlocked area with about 120 different languages. More than 10 million speak Nepali as their first language and many others speak it as a second language.

The population in Nepal is over 29 million inhabitants.

I have never been to Nepal and only imagined what it would be like in my mind by viewing pictures and surfing the net.  I did discover there is a BIG spiritual need in Nepal because the 2014 yearbook showed that there were only 1,911 publishers with an average bible studies of 3,890. And there are still many more interested because Memorial attendance was at 5,556. Definitely something to think about…

May we continue to have Nepal in our mind and to pray for our dear brothers and sisters there.



Carry-On Bag Must-Haves (TSA Friendly)

When I fly, I slightly have more things in my bag to carry than normal. The reason for this is that I like to be prepared for anything. I need to be able to entertain myself, to keep myself hydrated inside and out, and to keep myself comfortable. This is what I like to have within reach:

  • Water. I usually buy a bottle of water after I go thru TSA. I have seen others bring an empty bottle and fill it with water after passing through security.
  • Wet Ones aka Wipes. I like keeping my hands clean, especially when you are in an enclosed area for hours.
  • Wallet.
  • Kleenex.
  • Lubricating Eye Drops. The air, in planes, can get so drying and irritating to my tired eyes that lubricant eye drops is vital.
  • Lotion.
  • Evian Spray or Water in a Spray Bottle. My nose dries out quickly and I hate getting that feeling…so every few hours..I give my face a mist.
  • Pen. Darn those custom’s forms..
  • Passport & Passport Holder. A bright-colored passport holder to easily spot in your bottomless pit of a bag is very practical. Especially when that passport holder can hold all your boarding passes and luggage tags.
  • Notebook or Travel Journal. I enjoy planning last-minute itineraries on the plane.
  • Ipad or Surface or Nook… to watch movies or read books. Most planes have Wifi and movies available to watch straight from your Ipad.
  • Earbuds or Headphones. This is necessary to watch films, listen to music, or just to block out the noise.
  • Phone and its Cords.
  • External battery pack. Super handy especially for those long flights without having a power outlet to plug your phone or ipad in.
  • Makeup Bag. I like to keep just the basics in this bag. That includes: A small tinted moisturizer (TSA friendly), eyebrow pencil, tinted lip balm, a compact, blotting sheets, blush that can be used in cheeks and lips, travel size mascara, a taupe colored eyeshadow, and a small kabuki brush.
  • Gum. Helps with takeoff/landing pressure in ears and freshens breath.
  • Roller ball perfume. Helps perk you up.
  • Hair tie.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Pantiliner and/or Pad.
  • Sleeping Eye Mask to block those stubborn lights out. I found this very useful in having a good night’s/day’s rest in the plane.
  • Prescriptions. You need any meds with you in case of an emergency.  With that being said, I also like to travel with some form of pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol and Dramamine.
  • Change of clothes. I just recently started doing this because I discovered the larger airports have shower facilities in which you can shower before your next flight. I would advise to check ahead to see if your airport offers this and to check if you will have enough time between flights to shower. But, trust me, you will instantly be in a better mood after a nice shower. And if you do bring a change of clothes, I like to pack this in a gallon size ziploc and roll until all the air is gone.
  • And if you know you’ll be in a long flight with no food…I would suggest packing a snack that will hold you over.

My Reasons for You to Visit Guam

Yay! I finally got my charger back and now I’m ready to type away…

So, naturally a portion of my heart will always love Guam. It’s where I was born, it was where I was raised, and majority of my family and friends still live there. That is reason enough for me to keep coming back. However, for those who don’t have family nor friends there, this is why you should visit Guam:

  • Gateway to Asian countries or the United States..depending where you come from. Guam is 3 hours away from the Philippines and Japan. There are direct flights daily with various air carriers. Guam also has a direct flight to Honolulu, Hawaii. Although, Guam is a U.S. territory, it is safer for U.S. citizens to travel with their passports instead of their Driver’s License because some of the connecting flights to Guam are from International countries. For non U.S. citizens, you may need a Visa to enter Guam, depending on your country of origin.
  • Shopping. Guam offers an array of affordable fashion and high-end boutiques ranging from Calvin Klein, Nine West, Coach, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors to Louis Vuitton, GUCCI, Prada, CÈLINE, CHANEL, and Hermès. Not only is the selection optimal, but I also discovered that prices are lower in Guam than it is stateside. For example, the LV Favorite MM is listed online in the U.S. as $985.00. It is sold in Guam for $900. Also, the popular bags, such as the Speedy and Neverfull, are made in France or Spain, whereas stateside these bags are made in the U.S. itself.
  • People. Guam is a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. Many Filipinos have migrated to Guam from the early 60’s to the 70’s and made Guam home. I am a  product of a Fil-Guamanian home. My parents are not indigenous to Guam, and therefore, I don’t call myself a Chamorro, but I am definitely Guamanian. There are also a handful of Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Micronesians, and Middle Easterners that have made Guam home. Because there are many ethnicities on island, you will find that local people are friendly and welcoming. With that being said, don’t try to claim the island as yours or give someone the staredown, because you’ll be creating enemies instead of friends.
  • Lifestyle. Every island I’ve ever been to, has a much laidback approach. Guam is no exception. Everything runs on island time. And that could be a good thing or a bad thing. However, the hustle and bustle of city life does get old and sometimes you just need to slow things down a bit…and Guam is all too familiar with that. Also, Guamanians and Chamorros are not big on brands and fancy clothes (ironic considering we have a huge selection of high-end stores.)  You can walk into any store with flip-flops, t-shirt and jeans and be treated the same, or even better, than the average tourist.
  • Food. Now because the island is a melting pot of different cultures, you will also find a variety of different restaurants and dishes. Many places have been influenced by the local market. For instance, Jamaican Grill, which from the name of it denotes that it serves Jamaican food, however, you will find local favorites like red rice and chicken kelaguen. The McDonald’s on island serves portuguese sausage and rice. And, you will discover many other restaurants that offer local favorites with outside influences.
  • Beaches. White sandy beaches for miles, which is all public property. Guam boasts a number of different beaches all around the island that offers a variety of sea life and sand life. You will also find lots of beach space ALL to YOURSELF.
  • Tax Free. Although in line with shopping, this is a reason in itself. No sales tax! I love going to Wendy’s and paying only $.99 for a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger or shopping at Ross and finding an awesome dress for $19.99 and paying the actual sticker price with no tax added…Love it!
  • Warm Weather. Winters give me cold feet..literally and figuratively. I dream of defrosting in a white sandy beach, with a moscow mule in my hand, and the sun setting before me. This works if you have warm weather around you… and you’ll find plenty of that in Guam. Typically weather ranges between low 80’s but expect humidity. That is island life..

So, I hope I have convinced you enough to go and take that plunge and visit the beautiful island of Guam! If you do, don’t forget to make some friends along the way…and tell them that IslanderinHeels sent you there.