TRAVEL

WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR CARRY-ONS

travel

I detest long distance travel. If you know me, you'd know that I'm easily one of the most impatient people to ever walk the planet - I walk fast, I write for the Internet (which has a really speedy turnover rate compared to writing for print), I even enjoy 20-minute workouts that are so intense, they usually leave me on the floor weeping for my mother. 

Which is why long-distance travel is sheer torture for me. My journeys to LA are basically 22 hours of doing nothing but waiting: waiting to check in, waiting to board the plane, waiting to get to a certain altitude so I can plug in to my iPhone and play my Spotify playlist and hope that the Wifi on the plane works, waiting to board another plane, waiting for immigration... you get my drift.

It's all worth it, of course

travel

I am glad, however, that J is coming to Singapore this time around instead of me flying out there. My last LAX-SGP flight is still fresh hell in my mind, so I'm glad I have more time to get over it before I fly out again in the near future.

All that said, when you travel cattle class like I do, you want to be as comfortable as humanly possible, which in all honesty can be quite a feat when you're squished in a metal coffin with 600 other human beings 40,000 feet in the air.

Here's what I lug with me on every journey without fail:

My own pillow & blanket - Call me obsessive but I don't want to think of where those pillows and blankets they hand out on the plane have been. Instead, I bring a travel pillow I very smartly bought on my transit in Minneapolis from Austin four years ago and washed very often. I also have a light, trusty travel blanket that's much warmer, longer and cleaner than the ones issued on planes.

Fresh knickers - It's too much of a hassle to bring fresh outfits, but knickers, I can do. I usually switch to fresh undies when I'm transiting and waiting for the next journey. Makes all the difference!

travel

Multiple little bags within one big bag - I like to compartmentalise things and so I carry an A4-sized zipper bag within my bag. This usually contains another smaller bag with all my liquids so I can just fish that out at security, my passport holder which also has space for a pen and my tickets, wallet, earphones, iPad Mini, meds, basically everything I need in a clear bag that I can fish out of my bag and put in the seat pocket in front of me. It saves me from having to rummage through my bag mid-flight or worry about my valuables. 

Beauty products - Within the bag above are tons of beauty and hygiene essentials, of course. You don't need to carry full size beauty products or buy travel-sized bottles. Instead, get a bunch of contact lens cases from the dollar store, pump a little bit of product into them, and you've got a perfect on-the-go beauty travel case with you. I usually put face wash in mine because it's most important, and a hydrating wash-off mask of some sort.

I've recent discovered Skin Inc's Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask and I suspect it'll be accompanying me on my long distance journeys, and so will my specially concocted My Daily Dose serum. Breath spray is important, as well as toothbrush and toothpaste, especially when J is picking me up from the airport! ;o) Oh yeah, and wipes for downtheres. You won't be showering for a long time, so keeping as clean and fresh as possible should remain top priority!

What do you pack in your carry-ons?


WE'RE HEADED TO SAN FRANCISCO!

I've been in LA for a few days now, and while my jet lag hasn't left me as quickly as usual (I blame it on ageing) we're headed to San Francisco tomorrow. Since I started my back-and-forth jaunts to LA, we've explored several cities in California including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and San Diego. They've all been road trips, and this is the first time we're hopping on a plane and heading somewhere.

It's always exciting travelling to a new place, but I get particularly excited when I go to a place I relate my love for pop culture to. So many movies I watched growing up have been shot in San Francisco, including The Maltese Falcon, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Mrs Doubtfire, The Princess Diaries (pre-Hathaway baring her boobs to the world era).

Can't wait. Watch this space!

P.S.: I'm going to start uploading more videos on YouTube. Subscribe here!

THE THRILL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Part of the reason why J and I make an awesome couple (besides our devastating good looks... heh heh) is how much we have in common. The specifics may be different, so are the cultural differences, but considering the fact that we've grown up literally on the opposite sides of the world, it's shocking how alike we can be. 

One of the things we've always talked about and finally got to doing is hitting a themepark... or more specifically, going on a bazillion rollercoasters, and this last trip back to LA, we finally did! 

Driving into Six Flags Magic Mountain

Driving into Six Flags Magic Mountain

We were lucky enough to score complimentary tickets as well as Platinum Flash Passes. Flash passes let you book a slot in the queue without having to actually wait in line as long as those without Flash Passes have to. Depending on the level of Flash Pass you purchase (Regular, Gold & Platinum), your wait in line decreases extensively. 

If you can afford it, get the Flash Pass. It's worth not having to wait forever in line. You can also ride twice consecutively on some rides without having to wait in line a second time. More details and prices can be found here

I honestly think the longest we waited to go on a ride was ten minutes, which would piss those without Flash Passes of course, who have been waiting for 90 mins or so on some rides (ouch). 

The irony was, we waited in line for an hour to get turkey legs for lunch. Hah. 

 

J and I went on a grand total of 14 rollercoasters (three of them twice) and Tatsu (video embedded above) is one of our top favourites. You hop on the rollercoaster seated, but it gets tilted down so you have no choice but to look down, with your legs dangling in the air. We waited to go on the first row, and that was unreal.  Superman is a really good one to go on too, and we did, twice! Try and get on the first row on that one too.

The latest rollercoasters (as of 2013) X2 and Full Throttle are definitely must-rides. My favourite of all the coasters we went on is X2. It's is a thrill ride that pushes all limits - with 360° rotating seats and head-first, face down drops, with five dimensional effects. It short - it's a batshit midfuck, and a rollercoaster's junkie dream-come-true. If you watch the video below, you drop head-first right from the first drop. Seriously?!

MORE POINTERS: 

  • Newer rides are not included in the Flash Pass scheme. This year, it was X2 and Full Throttle. We paid $15 per person per ride to go on it once without having to wait in line. We were given timings. Make sure you give yourself sufficient time to get to the ride. It's a massive park, which I only understood after about three blisters later.
  • When using a Flash Pass, you're obviously cutting lines and some people who've waited for hours at end can kick up a fuss about it. J mentioned that he read about that online and true enough, it happened to us once. I'm like, "I'm sorry you've waited forever, but bitch please. Don't give us flak for things that are bound to happen." 
  • Comfortable shoes and clothes! I thought I was wearing comfortable shoes until I was in pain in the afternoon. People wearing flip flops took off theirs on rollercoaster. Which I thought was gross. 
  • Since a lot of people went in larger groups, we got to skip multiple lines because the groups wanted to ride with their friends and family instead of being separated, so if you can, go with one other person.
  • There are lockers before every ride that you can rent before you go into each ride. They cost $1 each time, or $6 for several hours that you can use for multiple locations. I used the locker once for my phone, and then just stuffed it in my bra after (keeping it classy, you know). My phone stayed put, so that was good. ;o) 
  • Get lunch before everybody gets hungry - or after. We were in line for an hour for what-was-supposed-to-be fast food.  
  • Don't leave for home without a funnel cake! J and I shared one indulgent funnel cake with powdered sugar and strawberries. After all that sweating, and all that running around, we deserved it. 

INSTA UPDATES

From top, left to right: In front of the Rag & Bone store on Bleeker St in NYC; Trying on a Bettie Paige-esque dress after yoga class. New $20 shoes from DSW; Food trucks in front of the Warner Brothers office in LA. Local psychic; 21lbs of turkey before going into the oven. Bundled up going to yoga class; some new sparkles from J Crew.

I decided to make my Instagram account private recently, after Instagram went on the web. For some reason, I felt like my Instagram life was being. Going private also helps with the ridiculous spam that's been plaguing the app; I approve human 'follows' though, so hit me up at @fazabdulgaffa.

Trust me, I've got major updates that I will be announcing soon. ;o)

A DASH IN THE CITY

Hello from the East Coast of the big US of A, lovers! We took a drive up to the big city yesterday, and while there was festivities and stunning decor everywhere you look, there were also a ton of people you had to take on [more than usual] as you made your way around the city. We walked about thirty blocks, we ate a whole lot and we came home exhausted, but happy.

Follow me on Instagram at @fazabdulgaffa for more! ;o)