a brunch guide to Kuala Lumpur: what to order + where to go

I wrote my first brunch guide years and years ago when I realized I spent an abundance of my time in ordering coffees, cafe hopping being something I truly find joy in. However, there have been one or two of these brunch guides that have only offer a few options— NOT ENOUGH! We like as many cafes as possible, always. So, when I returned to Kuala Lumpur thanks to Air Asia, this time, I spent a week in Malaysia, and more than a few days in its capital city so that I could take in all the adventure and eat all the brunch {literally like two brunches a day were had}.

FOR THOSE WHO ANSWERED MY INSTA-POLL WANTING A BRUNCH GUIDE, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU.

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an Instagram guide to Kuala Lumpur: the coolest places for pics in Malaysia’s capital

I found Kuala Lumpur full of hidden treasures, easy to navigate, and oozing with art. Instagram, Culture Trip, Pinterest, and stumbling onto the right streets lead me to amazing photo opportunities. Now, I’m here to pass on my favourite places for pictures in Malaysia’s capital city. To keep things fun, I thought I’d include some of the outtake photos from my most recent stay in Kuala Lumpur, including a picture with my eyes closed in Perdana Gardens and a picture with me and everyone else in front of the Petronas Towers.

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hotel highlight: the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton on Penang Island, Malaysia

Arriving at the DoubleTree Resort in Penang after a 4 AM wake up in Kuala Lumpur for a 5 AM flight, I was more than a little ready to devour pancakes and down copious amounts of coffee. I walked through the stunning front lobby where I was given a warm welcome cookie by the smiling staff. The concierge grabbed my carry-on to escort it to my room and kindly pointed me in the direction of caffeine and carbs. Here’s the skinny on my stay!

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the cutest brunch spots in London's northern surrounding villages

My most recent trip to the U.K. had me spending time North of London in nearby villages. I was on full feed. No carbohydrate or flat white left behind. Here are my picks for some of the cutest cafes + eateries just north of London!

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from farm to table: a tour of Living Land Farm with Backstreet Academy

Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Maybe you make the effort to buy organic fruits and pesticide-free vegetables? But what about your rice? Do you know where it comes from? I didn’t. More than that, I didn’t know how much work it was to grow it, harvest it, and get it on my plate.

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close encounters: an intimate non-riding experience with the Mandalao Elephant Conservation Project

I pull another leech off my leg as Lan, my guide, sprays it with a lemongrass and water mixture he carried in a fanny pack. “You just donated blood to nature,” he says, laughing. I’m unbothered by the little leech. I’m walking in the jungle of Laos on a day when the heat isn’t insufferable…next to elephants. And all thanks to the conservation efforts of Mandalao.

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a guide to free fun in Luang Prabang, Laos

People come to Southeast Asia for a variety of reasons: the gorgeous natural landscapes, the exotic food, the unique cultures, and, it goes without saying, the low cost. Months in certain destinations can cost you as much as days or weeks other places, especially if you’re a tight budget traveler. Despite the already low cost of Laos, I’m always looking for the best deals and free attractions, events, and general goings-on happening in the city.

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Bao'en Temple in Nanjing, China: what you need to know before you visit

Bao’en Temple was by far my favourite temple I visited while living in mainland China. And, by all accounts, it was the most unusual. I arrived on a breezy spring day and while there were two school tour groups visiting at the same time, the place felt nearly empty; a rarity in China. The entrance fee wasn’t outrageous and the history mixed with strange statue homages to Hans Christian Andersen made Bao’en as odd as it did beautiful to me.

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playing with fire: Backstreet Academy's Hmong vegetarian cooking class

Waking up early is easy for me, but it’s made even easier knowing I have a local guide courtesy of Backstreet Academy waiting to whisk me off in an electric tuk-tuk to a village in order to learn how to cook traditional Hmong vegetarian dishes.

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hotel highlight: My Dream Boutique Resort in Luang Prabang, Laos

I was surprised for my birthday with my inaugural night back in Laos spent at My Dream Boutique Resort. The little jungle getaway lies away from the tourist side of town and right on the river, making it feel like a hidden oasis. The driver that picked us up from the airport asked if it was our first time in Luang Prabang and we both kind of laughed to one another. No, it definitely was not. Upon learning that Luke formerly worked at the free Children's hospital and that it was my birthday, the man insisted that our accommodation be upgraded. And that's what lead to me having a Mowgli-style birthday.

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an epic guide to expat life in Nanjing, China

There is a lot to know before coming to China for the first time. Much more than anyone tells you. This is a beast of a post created with the hopes that those looking for answers to their questions about expat life in Nanjing are answered in one place-- right here. 

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how to spend the trendiest 24 hours in London on a budget

It's no secret that London is expensive. Luckily, like other big cities, it offers a lot of affordable and free ways to make the most of a visit if you're willing to be flexible and do your research ahead of time.

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28 // the state of the union

The night before my birthday, right after Tavener continued the birthday-eve ice cream tradition, I had a bit of a panic attack. I felt far away from New Zealand, the place that feels most like home. I felt far away from my friends. I began to think about time and distance and changes and the fragility of life and regrets and the future and it just felt a bit...heavy?!? But then, I arrived back in Laos. I took a dip in the pool and drank a mojito. I sat in my white robe and I got ready for a dinner with friends and I just thought to myself, "You live a good life, T." Even when it's hard or chaotic."  

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a photo diary of pictures not from London

London is like other great cities with its endless list of things to see and do, places to eat, history, art exhibits, and architecture. But the lesser heard about villages and towns surrounding London deserve a little love. They've got their own quirks and charms. They've got their own histories. This post is a little love note in photos to those villages. 

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hotel highlight: the Qbic Hotel in London, England

Planning a more environmentally responsible trip to London? Surrounded by world famous street art and just steps away from the easy-to-navigate Underground lies the eco-accommodation you've been searching for-- the Qbic Hotel London City. With perks like complimentary bikes, shelves stocked with board games, and free cocktails for those looking out for Mother Earth, Qbic is the perfect base for any conscious young traveler looking to visit England's capital city! 

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a weekender's guide to Beer, Devonshire

It only took me minutes to fall in love with Beer in East Devon, so after a few days, I was begging to stay near the ocean air and pebble beaches. Sure, the weather was gray off-and-on, but the charm of the English countryside made my heart skip beats. 

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