Through the Local Lens

One of the things we love most about travelling is meeting people, and in the course of our travels, we have come across some truly inspiring individuals who have shown incredible passion for their country and craft. We’ve hence decided to start a feature series on some of the wonderful people we’ve had the privilege of interacting with, and allow them to share with you some insights into their jobs as well as tips and tricks on their city. 

Amsterdam Through the Local Lens: Rachael from Hungry Birds and Brews & Tales

Amsterdam is notoriously known for being Europe's capital of sin and debauchery, but our experience there revealed that this gorgeous city has so much more than pot and prostitutes. We speak to Rachael, who had brought us on a gastronomic tour around Amsterdam, forever debunking the myth that the only thing worth eating there are stroopwafels. What makes Rachael special to us is the fact that she's Singaporean as well! Despite only moving to Amsterdam two years ago, her job as a Hungry Birds Food Tour guide has led her to become a local expert, so much so that she was inspired to set up her own tour! Read on for her candid answers on the challenges (and perks) of moving to Amsterdam, her favourite spots & restaurants in the city, and what you absolutely must avoid there!
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Rachael offering some very happy Singaporeans Amsterdam's version of kueh lapis.

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Barcelona Through the Local Lens: Cristina & Guillermo from Barcelona Slow Travel

Barcelona Slow Travel

Img Credit: Barcelona Slow Travel

One of the highlights of our trip to Barcelona was our EatWith experience with Guillermo & Cristina as they gave as an insightful introduction to one of the city's many markets and made our tummies very happy with their tapas and paella cooking class. This amazing couple are also the founders of Barcelona Slow Travel, a tour company that seeks to allow tourists to experience this amazing city as authentically as possible. In this version of "Through the Local Lens", we are really excited to share their very candid responses to the tips and tricks for visitors to Barcelona and some amazing food and cultural recommendations! Enjoy (:
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Iceland Through the Local Lens: Oli

One of the things we love most about travelling is meeting people, and in the course of our travels, we have come across some truly inspiring individuals who have shown incredible passion for their country and craft. We've hence decided to start a feature series on some of the wonderful people we've had the privilege of interacting with, and allow them to share with you some insights into their jobs as well as tips and tricks on their city. 

Our first feature is special to us because we see him as the man who helped preserve our lives in Iceland. Oli (full name: Ólafur Schram) was our guide for five days and we honestly would not survived the trip without his expertise in driving as he navigated us through raging winds and snowstorms. Yet what makes Oli an exceptional guide is not simply his ability to maneuver a 4WD. Throughout the trip we were amazed by the immense knowledge he had of his homeland and the incredible number of contacts he had. This is a man who knows so many people his partner, Kate, has an endearing term for the random people who greet him everywhere he goes - "Oliminn"! We saw for ourselves that the Oliminns included anyone from gas attendants, to hotel receptionists, farm lads, drivers along the road. The range of his contacts was also evident from how he had access to private churches and farmhouses owned by friends who trust him to bring guests around their property.

Oli við Gullfoss 3

Oli is Iceland. - Wise man on TripAdvisor

Read on to find out more about Oli, and why you should definitely consider hiring him as a guide for your visit to Iceland.

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Forget the Bucket List [Reblogged]

This is an article I'm sharing from the blog of a wonderful couple, Brad & Mesi, whom I got to know while volunteering in Peru. It really resonated with me, because just a few weeks ago, I tried my hand at coming up with a bucket list, and I really wasn't very happy with it because everything on my list seemed to either come from some Tripadvisor/Lonely Planet Top 10 compilation or was an aggregate of other people's unfulfilled dreams and wishes. Most items involved oft-overhyped "must-see" tourist hotspots like "Have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower" that honestly proved to be rather uninspiring and underwhelming. So reading this was a really refreshing reminder that while it's good to have an idea of sights you want to see and experiences you want to have, enjoying the present moment and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to surprises and unexpectedness is perhaps what might bring about greater satisfaction.

Enjoy (:

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