How to Capsule Pack for a Beach Getaway in 7 Easy Steps

What is capsule packing? Well, it’s packing minimal items that you can wear in various situations. Below are the steps to take to pack lightly, which can save you time, space and baggage fees!

Things to keep in mind before you start:
  1. You will probably be going somewhere nice for at least one night. 
  2. Evenings can get chilly. 
  3. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen or aloe. 
  4. If there’s anything to bring extra of, it’s an extra pair of flip flops and sunglasses. (I can’t tell you how many times I have lost both.)

Your Steps to Capsule Pack:

Step 1: Plan your color scheme.

Start by choosing 1-2 neutral colors, then add 1-2 accent colors. The key is that all items can mix/match with each other so you will want complementary colors. Color Scheme example: white and beige neutrals. Light blue & hot pink accents. 

Step 2: Build your basic items. 

You will want to think of how many days you will be staying at your destination. Whatever that number is, cut it in half and that’s how many bottoms you should bring. For example, if my stay is for 6 days, then I bring 3 bottoms. Here is a starter list of items you will need: 

  • Bottoms
  • Tops
  • Dress 
  • Cardigan/sweater 
  • Pair of nice shoes
  • Pair of casual shoes
  • Rain protection (jacket, poncho, or umbrella)

Step 3: Arrange your outfits. 

In a large space (bed, floor, etc) lay out each item and arrange your outfits. Tip: I make sure each item can be worn twice. I usually start with the bottoms, and alternate tops to create different outfits.

Step 4: Add accessories. 

Accessories can definitely transform an outfit, but try not to add too much jewelry, as this will add to your luggage weight. A good way to accessorize is with light scarves, hair accessories, or a hat. Tip: Use a light wrap/scarf to use as a blanket on the plane, as well as a scarf to change an outfit. 

Step 5: Review.

Now that you have your outfits planned, let’s make sure they actually work with your itinerary. 

  •             Do you have comfortable items for the plane ride?
  •             Will this work for an evening out? 
  •             Are these shoes comfortable to walk in? 
  •             Do you have something to wear if it gets cold? 
  •             Can I wear this for (activity)? 

Step 6: Rearrange. 

If there is any conflict to the questions in Step 5, then swap them out accordingly. Again, make sure each item can be worn twice. If it can’t, toss or swap it!

Step 7: Reflect. 

After you return from your trip, think about items you could have used or didn’t need at all and apply that to your next pack!

Need more travel tips? Check out these posts: 


30 A Day: Why People in Japan Live Longer

In Japan, it is known as Shokuiku, the importance of teaching healthy eating habits. It is so important in Japanese culture that it starts in primary school, and in the home as soon as birth! The guideline is to eat 30 different varieties of food a day. No, that does NOT include pizza, donuts, fries, chips, Oreos, etc. It needs to be nutrient-dense foods. Eating 30 different nutritious foods is the best way to achieve optimal health for your body and therefore a longer life!

So, what should you consume?

I know what you’re thinking, “Eating 30 types of nutritional foods a day sounds tedious,” and I assure you, it is! It takes preparation, time and commitment. For example, my entire Sundays are dedicated to grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, packing, and so on. But to me, it is worth it if it adds a few extra years to my family’s life.

Here are some of the best foods you can put in your body and why:

Seaweed– supports thyroid function, a great source of minerals and vitamins, promotes healthy skin and hair.

Fish– omega 3, promotes brain function, and skin health.

Umeboshi (pickled plum)- high in antioxidants, promotes GI health, protects the liver, prevents cavities and oral disease.

Kimchi (spicy, pickled cabbage)– healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) may prevent cancer growth.

Citrus fruits– vitamin c, supports healthy skin.

Lotus Root– Boosts digestion, improves skin, hair and eye health.

Red beans– antioxidants, fiber, protein (when eaten with whole grain).

Okra– promotes digestion.

Green Tea– antioxidants, cognitive function, energy booster.

These are the foods that are typically in a Japanese diet, and well, they have some of the oldest people in their country so…

What does my 30 a day look like? 

Breakfast
Lunch

With just these two meals, I have already hit 30. I know, you’re probably counting and saying “there aren’t 30 different foods in this photo.” But drinks (milk, tea, juice) and other ingredients (vinegar dressing, sesame seed topping, etc) still count!

Tip: If you like soup, this is a GREAT way to consume many food varieties in one sitting!

 


The Crack Chicken I Cant Refuse: Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Grapow Gai Kai Dao)

This is my FAVORITE dish in Thailand. And chances are that the US version tastes nothing like it does here, in Thailand.

But don’t worry! I have the authentic recipe! While living in Hua Hin (a beach town 4 hrs south of Bangkok), I frequented the restaurant right next to my apartment. The owners were a brother-sister duo. The brother spoke no English, but the sister was married to an Englishman, so I was able to converse with her. She taught me a.) how to order this dish in Thai (pad grub-pow guy kai dow) and b.) how to make it!

Serving: 2 (unless you’re American, then probably one serving)

Ingredients (in order of appearance):

1 tbls Sunflower oil

7 Garlic cloves (minced)

2 Chicken breasts (thinly sliced)

4 tbls Soy sauce

3 tbls Oyster sauce

6 tbls Fish sauce

9 birds eye chilis

½ cup green beans (chopped)

1 bunch Basil

1 bunch Culantro

2 cups rice

2 eggs

1 Cucumber (sliced)

  1. Thinly slice 2 Chicken Breasts, mince 7 Garlic Cloves, slice 9 birds eye chilis, and chop ½ cup green beans.
  2. Set heat to med-high, then add 1 Tbls of Sunflower Oil in a pan.
  3. Add Garlic. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. Add Chicken and Green Beans to the pan. Stir until mixed.
  5. Once Chicken is stirred, add Soy, Oyster and Fish Sauce to pan. Stir and sit for 1 minute.
  6. Then, add Basil and Culantro. Stir. While that is resting, plate your cup of rice.
  7. Add mixture from the pan next to the portion of rice.
  8. Immediately fry one egg, over medium, then add to the top of the rice.
  9. Add sliced cucumber for garnishment. Add extra fish sauce and sliced chili’s to taste.

Aroi Mak!


Another Year Older: My Birthday Reflection

First, I want to thank you ALL for the kind birthday wishes! Y’all are so thoughtful, and your words meant a lot to me.

I am so grateful to have spent my birthday abroad and with some of my family (ie., Joey and Mom). I had a wonderful celebration! Enjoyed great food, great company, and great champagne! Champagne is ALWAYS my drink of choice, whether it’s my birthday or not. I know, I know…. champagne is not meant for every day consumption. BUT, living abroad and living with less has taught me to celebrate EVERY day and EVERY occasion.

As a gal that lived in Atlanta her entire life, moving to the other side of the world has been a HUGE adventure! The first time I lived here I didn’t know a soul. This time, I get to share my travels and memories with my two best friends: Joey and Mom.

Living on the other side of the world has opened my eyes to so many new things. Things you can’t imagine unless you’re here to witness it yourself. I’ve realized how insignificant my life in Atlanta was compared to the rest of the world. There are so many people. So many different types of people; bigger, smaller, stronger, weaker… 

At the end of the day, we are all contributing to life in this world, and not just in Atlanta. It has been a humbling year and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey abroad.

My best,

Jessica xoxo


Do They Celebrate 4th of July in Thailand?

 

Haha, you’d be surprised how many people from the US ask if they celebrate holidays like 4th of July and Thanksgiving in Thailand. The answer is… NO! If you didn’t know, Thanksgiving and 4th of July are USA specific. Thailand does not celebrate any independence, as they a monarchy. But, there are many US citizens in Thailand, so we congregate together and celebrate the holidays the best we can.

It is difficult, however, to spend the holidays without your family. I miss the delicious food that I am accustomed to during Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. AND I certainly miss seeing my entire family and catching up on current events.

This Independence Day the only way I celebrated, was going to the roof of our high-rise and we had our own picnic that included overpriced hot dogs from a US restaurant in Bangkok (foreign meals are like triple the cost than Thai meals). No fireworks, no family cookouts… just a girl with her processed food and a soda!

I hope you all cherish the memories with your friends and family, and have a happy and safe 4th of July!