How Basketball Helps Me Stay In Touch With My Friends

basketball with friendsI used to play allot of basketball when I lived in the United States, and personally I think I was very good at it. I am pretty tall for a Vietnamese, or at least that’s what I am told, and every weekend me and my friends would go and play a quick pick up game or just shoot around and catch up on our week. It was one my favorite activities to look forward to.

So when I moved back to Ha Noi (my favorite place in Vietnam) I wanted some sense of continuity. One of the first things I did was to start playing basketball with my co-workers, who later on became my best friends.

My Favorite 5 Places To Visit In Vietnam

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay

I love to travel, and even though must of my trips are to the United States, I frequently get a chance to visit Europe and neighboring Asian counties mainly because of their close proximity to Vietnam, and other times because of work related conferences. Yes, even High School teachers get to travel for work!

However, sometimes the best place to travel to is just under your nose. So here I made a mini list of my top favorite places for tourists and locals that never truly explored Vietnam.

How To Increase Your Passive Income As A High School Teacher

make money with online teachingI am so excited! Next week I am finally going back to Los Angeles to visit my friends and relatives. Its been quite a while since my last visit as I took on more responsibilities at the High School I teach at, so I didn’t get a chance to take my vacation this past two years. But, now I get to combine my days off and get an extended vacation.

I think this is better since its such a long flight anyway and I would rather have an extended downtime to really relax and not rush my stay while I am in Los Angeles. This trip, however, is going to be a bit more than just the usually fun and play with friends and family, I am going to research on how to make additional income online as a High School English teacher.

Organize Important Things in One Place If You’re Always on the Go

aloneFor a person who always travels, it would already be expected from me to share a lot of insights on the key things that one must know about when you’re always on the go. For one, traveling for newbies might really be a very daunting thing to do. Everything is so new to you and you basically aren’t sure where to start. But once you find the reason for you to keep on traveling, then it’s pretty much a routine from there on.

We all know that in every routine, there are set of tips to follow, like keeping the IDs, cards and money in one place. When you travel around you want everything to be very much accessible for you. It would be very inconvenient to be looking through your stash of things to find your passport let alone your wallet when you’re at the airport. This can be a very inconvenient and embarrassing ordeal to deal with, especially if your things aren’t really that organized either. Add in the fact that you might lose some of your things while you’re busy tossing things around.

Before you hop in that flight, or before you even start traveling at all, make sure that you would be able to make a few changes for yourself.

Start with the basics

Make it a habit to your things neatly. It could really take time to master the art of putting your things orderly in your luggage, but once you get the hang of it, it pays off in the end.

Focus on the fundamentals, like the duration of your trip.To help you decide on which items you should have try this website. This could tell you what sort of luggage you should be packing. If you have issues on how to pack correctly then just remember that there are so many tips and tricks that you can do to maximize your luggage space. For instance, you can roll your clothes so you get more space for your other things. You can also compartmentalize your luggage so you could separate some stuff like toiletries and the like.

Then you should also practice putting your documents in one place. Never ever forget to do this one. It’s a must for every traveler around. You can keep them in a travel wallet, a travel document holder or a passport protector. You could go for one travel wallet for everything else, or you can just buy a separate passport protector and a travel document holder. That would entirely be up to your preference.

You would definitely see the difference

It is extra stress free when you know where you placed your socks or your favorite shirt, without needing to go through your things one by one. Plus, you also get to know what things you brought with you, so you don’t panic on the way thinking whether you brought them or not. You would also get to know what you lost along the way. You know what they say, “you can’t know what you lose when you don’t know what you have”.

Keeping the Fire of Love Alive Years After You’ve Been Married

handsIf you have been with your partner for many years now, you might have come to a point where you are already bored of each other. You no longer do the same thing you did when you were younger. You are just together because you have kids or you don’t want to waste the time you’ve shared as a couple. I can totally understand this since I am in the same situation right now. I have been with my partner for many years now and we have gone through a lot for so many years. From my decision to work in the US to teach and come back to Vietnam along the way, we remained strong as a couple.

We have survived a lot together from financial hardships to the difficulty of being apart from each other. Those are tough times, but they didn’t hinder us from staying together. Sadly, we are facing a much bigger challenge now and that is losing our interest for each other. It seems like we have been together for so long that we are no longer as passionate with each other as we used to be. The moment I realized this, I decided to do something and act on it. In an instant, I broke the routine and went out of my way. I don’t want us to grow old hating each other and just sticking with each other for the sake of our kids or for the fact that we’ve been together for a long time.

Start doing again the things you loved doing before

We have always loved going to the movies when we were younger then walk back home. We don’t do it anymore since we are always tired from work. Besides, we have a television set at home. I decided to bring this tradition back. I personally advice that if you want to keep that fire burning, you remind yourself of the cray things you have done as a couple when you were younger and try doing them again. Whether it is traveling to a foreign country, eating exotic dishes or trying bungee jumping, it is ultimately your call. Click here if you need more ideas. As long as it reminds you of how much you love each other, then go for it.

Never forget to say how much you love each other

When you grow older, you no longer say affirmative words for each other. You justify it by saying you already know it. However, this is not enough. Sometimes, verbalizing it helps a lot. I started this tradition again and it was really awkward. Eventually, we have learned how to say it to each other and we mean it each time we say it.

Do something unexpected

Of course, I loved doing this when I was younger. I’ve sent flowers for no reason. I invited her for fine dining even if there is no occasion. I no longer do these things so I decided to try them again. These are the small moments that made us love each other again.

I believe that you can also survive this stage in your life if you just hold on to your relationship. It worked for us, and it will work for you too.

Parents are Constantly Faced with Issues Related to Drug Abuse

urlI have been teaching for several years now both in the United States and in Vietnam. I have encountered a lot of students who are very much willing to learn and are excellent in class. Sadly, there are also those who face a lot of problems at home and in their environment that they started drug abuse at such a young age. Seeing the eyes of their parents after knowing that their children are in deep trouble is very depressing. They work hard to give their kids the quality of life they deserve. They think that their kids are going home to school every day. Eventually, they realize that their kids spend their time in a bad company. When they knew about it, their kids have already become drug addicts.

Lessons learned

The challenges that these parents are going through taught me a lot of lessons as a parent. First of all, there is really no excuse for not being around for the kids. Most of those who have fallen victims of substance abuse are those who were not guided well by their parents. They might be wealthy, but they didn’t get the love and care only parents can give. They end up searching for it from other people. Unfortunately, they fell on the hands of bad influences. This taught me to be there for my kids no matter what happens. I will feel even guiltier if my kids end up in the same path simply because I am going to school every day taking care of other people’s kids. If I can’t guide my kids in the way they are supposed to be, then it will be a reflection of how much of a failure I am.

A wake up call

Though it makes me feel bad to see these kids as a fellow parent, it is even worse for me as a teacher. I meet these kids every day at school. I didn’t realize that they are already going through something. Some of those kids are really good at hiding their problems. They seem to be doing well in school. They might have a few absences here and there, but they are generally doing well. They also don’t fail their classes.

This made me realize that I am not doing well enough as a teacher. I might have to spend more time with some of my students. I need to know them deeper. Perhaps, I have to check with their family every now and then to see how they are doing at home. I also have to pay more attention to more subtle details that could give me information about their drug abuse problem.

There is an increase in the number of youths trying out drugs and ending up being addicted today. Given the fact that these drugs are easily accessible, even high school kids dare to try them. This is why as parents and teachers, we need to be more vigilant. If you want to know more about substance abuse, read more from this link.

Finding Cheap but High Quality Home Items

Finding Cheap but High Quality Home ItemsWhen you take a look at the items you need at home, they are not really that expensive. Basic supplies or even small appliances are within your budget. The only problem is that you need a lot of them. You also need to replace them often. Therefore, even if they are cheap, you will still end up paying a lot. This is not wise spending. If you wish to spend your money wisely, it is important to know exactly where to buy and what to look for in an item.

For instance, there are a lot of items you needed for your bathroom. From toiletries to the right shower and bathtub, you really have to pay a closer look at the prices. There is always the dilemma of buying cheap items at a low cost versus high quality products sold at a high price. If you want to avoid spending a lot, then you need to look for high quality products that are on discount or promotion. You might be surprised to find them if you are just patient in looking for them.

 

Go online

Buying items online is becoming very popular these days. With the ease of purchase and various modes of payments available, online shopping has become a popular choice. You just need to make sure that you choose the right website. Read reviews or seek for recommendations. You also need to check the policies when you buy items from said website.

 

Look for coupons

You might think that it is something that only poor people do, but the truth is that anyone who is financially savvy will find this technique useful. In fact, online coupons are also available. You just need to look at the right places. You will be surprised that the item that you really wanted can be bought at half the price or even more. In some cases, you might get large items free of shipping fees.

 

Never sacrifice quality

Even if you are looking for ways to spend your money wisely, it is still important for you to look into quality. For instance, if you want to buy a new showerhead, then durability and overall appeal must not be sacrificed. Even if you spend a lot, it is fine. This is the type of item you need at home that you can expect to last for a long time. If you wish to find out what the best options are from shower head reviews, go ahead and read about handheld showerhead reviews. You can also check out the best high pressure shower heads. When you compare the options available, you can easily cross out the ones that don’t fit your criteria. This might be a tip related to buying showerheads, but this is applicable to any other item you need at home.

 

For now, you can look for the best sites where the best and most unique home items are sold at a price you can afford. Saving money when buying also entails patience and tons of sacrifices.

My Experiences with Divorce in Different Cultures

divorce-countryOne of the good things about traveling in different countries is that you get to experience various cultures, beliefs and traditions. It’s fascinating to learn about these as they open your eyes to things that you may have not known before or things that may be norms for them but not for you. Divorce is one of them. In the United States, divorce is something that is very common, although a 2009 study showed that there was a decrease in the number of divorce in the country, which experts attributed to the failing economy. Couples may not afford the cost, which is why they don’t go through the process.

Divorce in Different Countries

While divorce is legal in the United States, each state still has its own law regarding this and there are states where the process is easier than the others. More than half of the married couples in the country end in divorce. However, it’s not the country with the highest divorce rate as there are others that have higher rates and one of them is Cuba. This country has 56% divorce rate and their culture can have a lot of things to do with it. Having a communist government, the state could pay for their wedding and honeymoon expenses. Since they don’t have to worry about this cost, many people just jump into marriage without really getting to know their partners or being sure if they are committed in making it work. In the more recent times, many couples are losing their interest in marriage and prefer to live together without tying the knot.

Spain was known to be a follower of Catholicism and its religiosity helped in keeping marriages intact for a long time. However, with the legalization of divorce in 1981 and the continuously decreasing number of people attending church services, divorce rate in the country is 61%. Belgium has the highest rate of divorce, which is at 71%. One of the factors that may cause this is the Church’s decline in the country, just like in Spain.

Although there are countries that make divorce easier for couples and where services like TexanaReview are very sought after, there are those that make the process more difficult in order to lower its rate and save marriages. For instance, in Iran, couples must attend a state-run counseling to be considered for divorce. The reason why the government wanted to control the growing divorce rate is that it wanted its population to grow. China also saw an increase in divorce rate, which the government tries to fix through the Family Education Bill. One of the pointed reasons of the increase of divorce rate is the change in culture. Some of these changes include more freedom, social media and prosperity.

In Italy, divorce is a difficult process. The quickest that couples could have it finalized is within three years. Divorce is not legal in the Philippines. The country has close knit family ties. Keeping the family intact is very important in their culture. Although divorce is not legal, annulment is, which can be very expensive and time consuming.  Chile only legalized divorce in 2005, but the process is still difficult as this is a conservative country that is influenced by the church. Japan has the quickest process as couples can sign the document without going to the court.

Staying Safe While Traveling Between Countries

safe-travelWhen you are familiar with another country and you are heading there for a personal or business trip, everything might be easy for you. It is just like your usual travel from home to work. The same thing cannot be said when you are heading to a country you’ve never been to before. This is why you need to take extra precaution. This is also true if you are transiting to another country, which is not your actual destination. You might know a lot about your final destination, but you might have limited knowledge on the country where you need to transit. There are ways for you to remain safe when traveling

Keep your baggage close

You need to count your baggage all the time. Determine how many items you’ve had for check-in and how many you’ve decided to carry on. Keep all your important documents somewhere safe like this. When you are transiting in another country, find out if you need to claim your bag at the baggage belt or it will be transferred by the airline for you. These details are important so you don’t lose anything along the way.

Read the dos and don’ts

There are also different rules when it comes to what is allowed on board and what are not. You need to know all these details so you won’t have issues later on with the security personnel. There are also certain rules in every country in respect with their local cultures and traditions. You need to be aware of all these details to avoid being deemed disrespectful by the locals.

Ask for a local guide

If you are heading to a place that is known for being not secure, find a local guide to help you out. This person can coordinate with security officers to ensure your safety. He can also translate for you if the locals don’t speak the same language as yours. If you are there for an official business trip, paying for a special guide does not seem to be a big issue at all. For personal trips, this can be optional depending on your budget.

Read about the places you will visit

It is also important that you have prior knowledge to the place you are visiting. Read about what you can expect from that place. You should also know how to get there and what mode of transportation should be used. You must also read some tips made by foreigners who have visited the place before. They might help you with their pieces of advice.

Be vigilant

To be safe at all times, you need to know what is going on around you. Check your bags at all times. You should also keep your kids close if you are traveling with them. You must also find out the safest routes possible. Avoid places that have negative reviews or are known for criminal activities. Avoid taking the risk especially if you are alone or you are with kids.

These are just a few of the tips to ensure that you can come back home safely and enjoy the trip at the same time.

My travel experience to and fro between Vietnam and the US

Being an English teacher in Vietnam, I usually spend most of my precious time in school attending to students. I love my job, but just like any other individual; I realized I needed a break from class. What came to my mind was taking a trip to the US and explore what it has to offer. I used to read more about US and so I needed to go see for myself. I had saved enough cash to cater for my holiday and so all that was remaining was to take my family and get going. When I informed my family about my travel plan, they were all very thrilled and soothe following week we set off to the airport and headed to the US. In fact, my youngest son had issues with his teeth discoloration and since he wanted to look spectacular during the trip, I purchased the best teeth whitening toothpaste from recommendations here and his teeth were left as white as snow. Since budget is very important when travelling, before purchasing the toothpaste, I had to go online and research about the teeth whitening cost just to be sure that I am within the budget and also not to affect my savings.

I used to read about famous tourist attractions such as the museums of Washington, Disneyland, Hawaiian beaches, the panoramic hills of San Francisco and more, but I love extreme adventurous trip and so I decided to visit destinations that I found to be really wacky and definitely not to be missed by anyone.

The extra terrestrial highway
This awesome destination is just an hour drive from Las Vegas. It is a lonely road that meanders past the popular area 51 and it seems to stretch out to nowhere. Area 51 is known as a site where several aliens visit the earth. As we drove down the road, I felt as if we were about to smash into a hill but that was never the case. Another interesting thing about this highway is a big metal mailbox where you can leave a message for the aliens. In fact, I did leave a letter.

Rock city
Located in look out mountain in Georgia, rock city is a good looking and highly structured garden that was structured by Frieda Carter, who is the wife to Garnet Carter, a miniature golf inventor. This garden is lined with uncanny gnomes, eerie statues and other bazaar characters from fairytales. My son really loved this place.

The top-secret upside down white house
This giant and magnificent white house is located in Wisconsin Dells and it is the biggest white house which is upside-down in the US and it is quite amazing. With its floor facing the sky, this structure sits on its own roof. As we walked through its roof, you might come across artifacts that are well reserved. There are more interesting things in the house and I think one day I will bring kids from my English class to enjoy the site.

I found these sites so interesting that I yearned to go back to Vietnam and see what it has to offer before school re-opens also. I agree that the sites in the US were so amazing that I did not feel like going back to Vietnam, but I had to.

Ho Chi Min
Hitting the journey to Vietnam, I was not sure of what to expect. Our journey began at southern Vietnam in Ho Chi Min, which is formerly known as Saigon. We began by exploring the city with our driver who kept on saying, “got mouth to eat, and got mouth to speak”.

Cao Dai Temple
After exploring the city we then travelled to Cao Dai Temple whereby the experience felt like walking through mad wonderland dream. The architecture was what I had never seen before since it was modern with lots of details and exquisite art everywhere. The religion here was a combination of teachings from Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and other religions with an aim of promoting peace in Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels
Another highlight was visiting these tunnels. I was able to see how resilience the Vietnamese were during the American war. Vietcong controlled undergrounds while the Americans controlled the air and land. The tunnels were so tiny and it was amazing to learn that people, who lived there slept, cooked, used bathrooms and also had kids.

There was much to see and do in Vietnam, but time was not on our side and so I had to plan the exploration for another holiday. To conclude the fun time, we were taken to an outstanding hotel to have dinner in a completely different world of Vietnamese food before dancing all night long. After all that fun, I was ready to go back and do what I love most, teaching.

Why we need water softeners in vietnam: Water quality in the USA vs. Vietnam

One of the big differences between the United States and Vietnam is the quality of water that is generally available. In the United States we generally do not think too much about it, on the whole there is no shortage of clean water – turn on the tap and there it is. It is a different story in Vietnam. The dangers of not having clean water are well documented and it is a problem that many developing countries are struggling with. Globally, waterborne illnesses are one of the biggest causes of death for children – particularly those under the age of five. In this article I wanted to focus on some of the ways that water is made suitable for drinking in the United States and also look at how these lessons are informing initiatives to help ensure that clean water is also available in countries such as Vietnam.

 

Water purification

All of the water that we drink starts by being drawn from one of the many natural freshwater sources – whether that is a river, a lake, or an underground aquifer. But these sources of water are likely to carry with them microorganisms, chemicals, or other contaminants and so water suppliers use a treatment process that purifies the water and makes it suitable for domestic use. The first tsp in water purification is that a coagulant is added that makes any particles in the water solidify together which enables their removal. The water is then filtered and disinfected to remove any contaminates not removed during the filtration process.

This purification process can be replicated on a smaller scale by filtering the water through cloth and boiling the water to help disinfect it. Another option is to add a few drops of iodine, or to use chlorine tablets.

 

Ceramic water filters

Ceramic water filters have been a breakthrough in creating clean, drinkable water at the local level in developing countries. It is a water purification device that is made from fired clay – the tiny pores of the ceramic material is small enough to effectively filter the water from harmful bacteria and other contaminants. The ceramic water filters utilize gravity to slowly filter the water and deliver clean, drinkable water that will help prevent disease and death. The great thing about these filters is that they can be small enough to be used on a domestic scale – so each household can be equipped with its own water filter.

 

Using water softeners

The term “water softening” is used to describe the removal of elements of calcium, magnesium, and traces of other metals or minerals in water. One of the benefits of water softening is that it makes the water more compatible with soap and also extends the lifetime of domestic plumbing. The process of water softening is generally conducted by using lime softening or ion-exchange resins. For more information about hard water including water softener reviews, visit the water softener critic

You don’t realize how precious clean, drinkable water is until it is not available. We have the technology and the expertise to create clean water for everyone around the world – it will have enormous health benefits for everyone, especially our children.

Night Sky Writing Assignment

Most of you know that a new school year just recently started. After summer break, most of my students come back with fresh minds waiting to be filled with all sorts of things. This year my new kids had all taken vacations and some had even travelled to new countries. This past summer I took a break to go back home to Vietnam just like I always do, but being back to the US and I was excited to start my job as an English teacher all over again. The new school year always feels like a fresh start, even when you’re a teacher.

My first lesson of the school year is always the same, and this semester was no different. As I entered my class, I saw all those young faces waiting for me to begin. But they didn’t seem half as eager as I was. “Typical,” I thought, as a slight smile on my face. High school kids never want the summer to end. I set my bag and my telescope on the table and smiled at them.

“Before I begin, let me just ask you to shift your attention from the equipment on the table to me, and if you do, I promise you, it will be worth it.” Ah, there was some excitement.

“So I’m guessing you all had eventful summers, but we won’t be talking about that. We will, instead, talk about my summer. Here, pass these around” I said as I handed out pictures I had taken in Vietnam over this summer. Pictures of Vietnamese children in traditional , cuisine, the flag.

“I want you to look at these pictures and note down the differences and similarities between the subject of the picture and what the picture would look like had it been taken here in the US. So, for example, look at the picture of the food and compare it to what your food looks like. Hand in your notes at the end of the class.”

As they turned in their assignments at the end of class, I began to read their notes and they were just as I had expected them to be: not one kid found any similarities between themselves and the pictures. The next lesson was completely different compared to the first one. It was a lesson on basic Astronomy. I taught them how to identify and notice the stars in the sky, and how to connect them into basic constellations. You’re probably as confused right now as they were back then, but it all fell into place this week. Just this week, I took them to their nearest observatory for some pseudo star-gazing.

Our observatory has a huge indoor auditorium, and the ceiling is a large moving replica of what our night sky looks for any given time of the year. I handed them pictures of the constellations that I had taken with my digital telescope that I recent picked up on review site and asked them to find in the observatory night sky the stars and constellations from the pictures. With a little time they all found them.

The next day, I started by asking, “You know the constellations you identified yesterday in the sky using the pictures as reference?” They all affirmed that they did.

“I took those pictures in Vietnam. Did you spot any differences between them and what you saw in the observatory?” No one was able to name one difference.

“You know what that means? That while you believe that you and the people back home have nothing in common, you just proved yourself wrong. No matter where we are, we all look up at the same night sky.”

After than I began reading some journal entries from kids in Vietnam. As always my students found it a little easier finding similarities between them and children in my home country. They began to identify with many of the emotions expressed in the journal entries I read to them. Their first major writing assignment of the year was to describe their experience and how connected (or disconnected) they feel with This week they learned that  we are all human beings stuck on the same planet and at night we all look up at the same night sky with the same fears and dreams driving us onward.

Travelling Can Be Exhausting Without Healthy Food And Good Sleep

It’s been long since I joined the educational sector, and started teaching students. However, my travels between the US and Vietnam have been more frequently lately. On various projects, I’ve had to visit the United States almost every month. At first, I was happy with the assignments. I have always been interested in travelling and exploring new places. I thought so much travel would be a thrilling and exciting experience. To my surprise, it turned out to be thrilling for only the wrong reasons.

A couple of months back, I started experiencing digestive problems, fatigue and tiredness. I consulted doctors, who prescribed some general medications. For a while, I was fine, but it started again. Thus, I looked up for information online. Everyone was talking about diets, workouts and sleep.

I guessed travelling so much was a good workout in itself. Thus, it didn’t take long to realize that the problem was with my diet and sleep. Due to my frequent travels, I had not been able to focus on a healthy diet. Moreover, I had started snoring recently. This had caused problems regarding sleep. Thus, I thought about buying two things that changed my life, and have allowed me to stay healthy.

Pressure Cookers for Healthy Eating

When I was looking for information about a healthy diet, most nutritionists online explained the benefits of cookers. These cooking devices were being considered the best way to prepare healthy meals. I had always used cookers to prepare rice and other basic food items. I never knew cookers could be used to prepare a wide range of delicious and healthy dishes, including gravy, chicken, soups and more.

With a lot of options to choose from, I was quite confused about these devices. I wanted to invest my money in something that could give quick results. Moreover, since I travel a lot, I wanted a portable cooker. I searched online for customer reviews and testimonials. The information I found helped me make a good choice. I am completely satisfied with the one I bought. If you’re looking for pressure cookers, visit this site to find out more information.

Anti Snoring Devices for Good Sleep

As mentioned above, I recently started snoring. Maybe it was because I had to change beds frequently or respiratory problems caused by change of weather. Regardless of the causes, I bought an anti snoring device to make sure I could get good night’s sleep. When you need to travel a lot, you just can’t take sleep casually. In order to feel energetic and refreshed, it’s important to get good night’s sleep.

The anti snoring device closes my airway at night to make sure excess air does not enter my lungs. It’s worth mentioning that I started noticing positive results from the very first day. Although some people take a few days to get used to the device, I was fortunate to find something perfect. With some simple research, you will be able to find an affordable and effective device. If you want to know more about anti snoring devices, check out this site.

The Importance of Packing List for Travelers

For a person who is used to travelling, packing up is easy. However, there are instances when even the most experienced traveler sometimes forgets what essentials to bring. To ensure that mistakes like this is avoided, prepare a packing list prior to your date of travel. A packing list is a list of important items to carry with you when you are travelling.

The items that you put in your list will depend upon your destination. Are you going to a warmer or colder climate? What activities are you planning to do once you arrive at your destination? Are you there for site seeing, shopping, conference, exhibition, or just to relax? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself so that you can start organizing your packing list.

What items should be included in the packing list?

Before starting out your list, categorize it accordingly to make it easier for you to remember. These are:

  1. Important Documents – these documents will include your ticket itinerary, passport (if you are travelling outside your country), driver’s license or international driver’s license, visa, contact information about your hotel and a copy of your reservation, emergency contact number, and at least one personal identification card for back-up. Make sure that you have a photocopy of these important documents in case you lose one of them.
  2. Finances – these includes your money either cash or ATM/credit card. It is important not to place all your money in one wallet. If possible, use at least two wallets when you travel. In case one wallet gets lost or if you are being robbed, you will not lose all your money as you have back-up.
  3. Toiletries – the items listed under this category will depend on whether you are a male or female or an adult or a child. But the basic necessities are toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, tissue, hand sanitizer or alcohol, comb, and lotion. For men, they have the option to carry their shaving kit. You can search the internet what electric shavers you can use for travelling. For women, they usually bring personal hygiene items. Soaps and shampoos are not really necessary if you are staying in a hotel. Hotels usually provide these kinds of necessity.
  4. Clothing and footwear – clothing and footwear items will depend on your destination. For warmer climate places, bring something cool and comfortable such as shorts, sleeveless, T-shirt, skirt, hat, and sunglasses. For cooler climate destination, bring a sweater, jacket, boots, and any thick clothing materials.
  5. Electronics – these includes your cell phone and its charger, camera and its charger, extra memory card, and USB cables.
  6. First Aid Kit – these includes pain relievers, band aids, sunscreen, medicines (vitamins, colds, fever, or prescription MEDs), insect repellant, anti-biotic cream, and petroleum jelly (good for treating insect bites and rashes).
  7. Other Important Items – these includes guide or map of your destination, water bottle, and pocket knife.

The items listed above are basically an example of what a packing list should contain. It serves as your guide so that you will have an idea on how to prepare it. You can modify it accordingly. As mentioned above, the list will depend on your choice of destination. 

Education: A Bridge to a Better Life

Education is always a hot topic, and when something is in the public eye constantly, people become de-sensitized by it, and usually stop caring and move onto something else that sparks their interest, which is a shame because now, it might be more important than ever. I have to say, without the intention of underestimating anyone, that people in the U.S. often don’t bother with thinking about serious topics, because they are too comfortable, lulled into their sense of security and well-being. I myself am a living example that you can make it in the States, if you work hard enough and educate yourself, but people over here, often take all the amazing opportunities they have for granted. Again, it’s all because of being comfortable, and not knowing what else is out there, and how fortunate they are.

You may think of my rant as a given, since I am a high school teacher, but there is more to it. I am of Vietnamese origin, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel back and forth between Vietnam and the U.S. many times, bringing back impressions and experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life, and refresh each time I visit Vietnam again. I have spent some time teaching there, and that’s why I’m so passionate about education, and why I always try to alert people on how important it is. Often, it’s the only way to end the cycle of poverty and make a new life for yourself. I have also seen how difficult it is to be a teacher over there. And not just a teacher, because all of the other professions that are meant to help people are, while appreciated and valued, underpaid.

Self Improvement with Nursing Careers

Nursing staff, for example, may seem relatively underpaid even in the U.S. Have a look for yourself – this nursing salary website will show you how much registered nurses can make in different states. The same career in Vietnam pays about one third of those salaries! Medical assistants are probably the lowest paid nurse type careers in the U.S. but again in Vietnam are paid much less. Of course the cost of living there is significantly less, which you need to take into account. Yes, it’s not the best paid career path, if you take into account the long hours, the sensitivity of working with sick patients, and the responsibility of keeping them alive and well. But a career in nursing has many other benefits – not least of all the fact that you are providing a very useful service to those most vulnerable in society.

In Vietnam, even these low paid jobs offer a certain status in society. They offer a way to improve people’s lives and these careers are highly prized – much more so than in America. I may be biased, but Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. But, for all its beauty, it has so many issues to deal with, the most important one being education.

Education and training are a ticket to a better life in any country. Believe me, I have been a passenger on that train, and while it may sound like some cheesy, fortune-cookie mantra, it is the truth. Which brings me to back to my point at the beginning. Don’t take it for granted. Learn as much as you can. I’m not just talking about formal education. The more we know, the more we are worth, and that’s one fortune-cookie motto you should always remember.

The Best Supplements To Take When Travelling Overseas

I love travelling and especially to Asian countries – love their culture, food, weather, the people and the shopping, but there is one thing you have to be careful of and take into consideration when travelling to some parts of Eastern Asia – that is, what vaccinations to have before you leave, and what supplements to take with you.

Vietnam would have to be one of my favourite travels destinations in the world, it is important, however, to take the following vitamins/supplements away with you, for continued health and wellbeing :-

taking supplements can be important when travelling

  • Multivitamins – a dietary supplement multivitamin should give you all the vitamins, minerals and nutritional elements that you need when you are at a home away from home. These vitamins will also boost your daily energy levels;
  • Omega 3 softgels – although fish and seafood are rich sources of omega 3, when dining in countries like Vietnam, it is best to rely on a supplement rather than the fish iteslf. Not saying avois all fish when travelling to Asia (as some of their best dishes are fish/seafood), but sometimes its hard to know what waters these fish are from and what toxins and comtamination are in them if any) – but why take a risk?. Noone wants to be subject to high mercury or heavy metal levels;
  • Alpha lipoic acid – these supplements will help convert glucose (sugr levels) into energy, and let’s face it, when we are on holidays and doing all that exercise walking, etc, we want our energy levels to be at their best. It also acts as an antioxidant;
  • Vitamin D – the best source of vitamin D may be to sit out in the sunshine, but some parts of the world, the suns rays appear more harmful and can affect our skin in different ways.  UV rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and that is not a risk we should take. A vitamin D supplement is essential for strong bones, muscles and overall health – a true winner, when it comes to vitamins!;
  • Zinc picolinate – zinc is a trace mineral that is needed by the body for optimal health, there taking a supplement can be most beneficial, as it promotes and supports absobption. Zinc is also a primary component to support the matabolism in your body. ; and
  • Resveratrol – a supplement that again is classed as an antioxidant. It protects the body against the big killers like cancer and heart disease and although found in many food items, like the skin of red grapes….this does not mean that red wine is a good alternative!

Don’t let the above information put you off though. Whilst some may think I’m a little over-cautious and this is not entirely necessary, I beg to differ. Many people I know (including myself) have become sick at some time travelling to Eastern Asia and it pays to be careful and watch what you eat and drink.

As long as you follow my vital information, you will have an absolute ball in these Asian countries, espeucally Vietnam.