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User Rating:  / 4

by Jennifer Laidlaw

Vignettes of Taiwan coverAt 155 pages, Vignettes of Taiwan is a relatively short book, full of tales and large, vibrant photographs. The book is set-up for both the newcomer and the old friend. It begins with a note on the choice of names used throughout, explaining the difficult circumstances around deciding upon “the correct” Taiwanese place names due to numerous name changes based on politics and the adoption of various systems to account for foreigners, Chinese rule, and Taiwanese governments.

Joshua Samuel Brown ventured to Taiwan in 1994. A fresh university graduate hoping to strike gold in Japan’s land of the rising sun, Brown was convinced by the owner of a small dim sum café in Rochester that he would be better off living in her homeland of Taiwan teaching English. His wallet agreed. A decade later, he still calls Taiwan home.

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User Rating:  / 4

by Rick Green

Misty Mountain Willie Wickers packageWhen heading to Asia, packing is an important pre-trip planning consideration. Everything that I need to take with me must fit in my versatile Eagle Creek Switchback Max ES 25 luggage. If I can take less, it leaves more room for gifts and Canadian craft beer, which I like to bring to share around with locals while travelling.

So when I came across a blog post about travelling on two pairs of ExOfficio underwear on a major trip, I was intrigued. What's not to like about reducing the amount of clothing needed and laundry costs at the same time? Looking for a Vancouver retailer that carried these, I found the first-listed store on their website had closed. I then called the second one, 3 Vets, and found they were out of stock. However, they did have Misty Mountain Willie Wickers briefs which were just as good and on sale for half the regular price of ExOfficio's Give-N-Go briefs. Sold!

My first major test for the Willie Wickers was my three-week trip to China and Hong Kong in May/June 2013. I chose black Willie Wickers because they hide stains. Even though I was going to wash at least one pair of underwear every day, you still get discolouration with lighter colours, meaning you tend to discard those sooner. It turned out to be an excellent choice. I'm very happy with the recommendation I got from 3 Vets.

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User Rating:  / 1

by Jennifer Laidlaw

Best multi-purpose shoe ever! If I could live in these, I would.

I grabbed a pair of Sanuk’s Sidewalk Surfers at the end of last summer. I thought they were kind of funky and they were on the sale rack. Little did I know, they would quickly become my favourite pair of shoes. I think I even attempted to wear them to the office once or twice.

The Sidewalk Surfers are one-part shoe and one-part sandal – the upper protection of a shoe built on top of the flexible bottom of a sandal. They are light-weight, comfortable, and like a second skin.

I wear mine at the beach, in the water, through mud, on hikes, to summer dance parties, out shopping, and on airline flights. They barely take up any room in my travel pack. And because they serve as both shoe and sandal, they are all the footwear I need. (Okay, who am I kidding?) And, unlike most shoes, they are also easy to wash and quick-drying.

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User Rating:  / 4

by Jennifer Laidlaw

otg_soap_webWhen I travel, I carry two passports – my blue Canadian passport and a little passport booklet of 20 On-The-Go Soap Sheets. This little booklet of cleanliness has come in handy more times than imaginable!

The thin soap sheets come in a plastic, water-proof container wrapped in a cardboard booklet titled PASSPORT and tied shut with a little yellow string. It is both cute and compact.

The lightly-scented soap sheets dissolve in water and can be used in a pinch to wash clothes in the sink, clean hands after a charming soap-less bathroom experience, or freshen up in a public washroom.

These sheets are perfect for carry-on luggage because you can avoid the hassle of airport liquid restrictions.

They dissolve best in hot water, but you can still get a mild soapy clean out of them in cold water. I have even borrowed a sheet from my travel stash to use in the washing machine at home when I have suddenly run out of proper laundry detergent.

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