10 Travel Hacks


A compilation of things I’ve learned so far with traveling and life– advice I wish I knew before I started to travel and live abroad:

  1. When traveling, stay at cheap AirB&B apartments. To save money, cook food at home. Cindy and I have been having tons of fun grocery shopping in foreign cities while living abroad. Probably more fun to shop at grocery stores and cook at home than try out ‘fancy’ restaurants.
  2. Travel with bag of (good) coffee, portable coffee grinder, and ‘Clever’ dripper — and you won’t need to go to a hipster coffee shop to do work. We’ve been able to get good creative work done at our AirBnb apartment (tiny), as long as we have our good coffee at home.
  3. Also, drink lots of matcha green tea + 100% cocoa (no sugar/cream) at home — to switch up with coffee. Good way to stay energized through the day.
  4. To save money, share 1 entree/1 appetizer at restaurant, and if still hungry, cook eggs + extra meat at home (at airbnb apartment).
  5. When eating out, better to eat at a ‘fancy grocery store’ deli, than go to a restaurant. For example, we had ‘Dean & Deluca’ (a high-end grocery store/deli) meal for around $10 (roasted duck) — which would probably have cost us around $30 at a restaurant. And it tasted amazing.
  6. For traveling clothing, Merino Wool is a miracle. Doesn’t smell, dries quickly, stays cool when it is hot, and stays hot when it is cold outside. Thanks to my friend Kevin for buying me an ‘Outlier NYC’ Merino Wool T-Shirt (black), and I’ve been wearing black merino wool leggings + athletic shorts, as well as ‘Darn Tough Socks’ Merino wool socks — the best travel outfit.
  7. At a certain point, all good food tastes the same. Rather than wasting time trying to always find the newest ‘good food’ to eat abroad– rather, just find nice restaurants where you can sit down, chat, and have nice conversations. To me, nice conversations are more important than how ‘good’ the food tastes.
  8. In Japan, the best food to eat is Yakitori (chicken skewers), Ramen (you will never have better broth anywhere else in the world), and conveyer-belt Sushi (cheap, fast, and fun/novel).
  9. I realized that I can sleep well just on the hard floor– it is better to sleep on a hard floor, than an uncomfortable spring-loaded mattress. So if you travel and you are staying at a hotel or airbnb with an uncomfortable mattress, opt to sleep on the hard floor.
  10. Travel with a laptop. Don’t just travel to have ‘new experiences.’ Rather, your travels will be much more meaningful if you travel and CREATE STUFF. Creating pictures, creating blog posts, creating poems, creating films, or creating– anything. Try to create while traveling, don’t just ‘consume’ experiences.

Read more Kyoto Life Meditations


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Umbrella and flash in color. Kyoto, 2017
Umbrella and flash in color. Kyoto, 2017

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