iTravel NZ: Paragliding in Queenstown

Queenstown is well-known for extreme activities (i.e. bungy jumping, sky diving, hang gliding, paragliding, etc). I have chosen to try paragliding this summer and I will never regret it. My friend and I booked from GForce few days before the trip and we were able to get discount. This activity is weather dependent and it was nearly cancelled due to strong wind on our scheduled time. Fortunately, I managed to ask the management if we can do it ahead our schedule and we did it! From the Skyline Gondola, we were brought to a mountain with good view of Queenstown and nearby places.

The experience was superb! It was indeed an amazing 10-15 minutes of my life. Dan, the professional guide, was very awesome and generous to extend the paragliding experience.


Physical fitness. I still have the energy to do the things that I can possibly at this age so why not? Maybe 10 years later my body will not be as responsive as how it is nowadays so I might as well go for it.

Time. It is summer vacation at university so I can steal time and do things which I cannot do during school days.

New experience. I have always wanted to experience flying in the air to overcome my fear of heights. Few years ago, one of my students showed me his photo paragliding and I thought it was awesome and told myself I’ve got to try it someday–and that someday is this day.

History. A story I can look back on and share to my dear ones today and someday.


  • You will have to book in advance and check weather update before and during your schedule.
  • You will be weighed. 🙂
  • You will be taken to the mountain by car or by foot.
  • You MAY be allowed to take photos BEFORE the adventure but you will not be allowed to use any device DURING the paragliding.
  • You will be briefed as to what to do and what to expect.
  • You will glide and fly!
  • While paragliding, the professional guide will talk and talk with you, take photos and videos.
  • You will be asked if you are comfortable to do the GForce move (roller coaster experience). I did!
  • You ask questions. Communication is a two-way process.
  • You will be asked to pay for the photos and video if you want to have it as souvenir.


  • You must wear closed in footwear i.e. trainers shoes.
  • Dress warmly as the air can be cold once you start flying.
  • Max weight is 110kgs & minimum weight requirement is 30kgs
  • Photo & video options available for purchase ($50 for video & photo pack)
  • The Gondola ride is not included in the price & must be purchased on the day at the Skyline ticket office at the base of the gondola. Cost is $32 for adults & $20 for kids. Alternatively you can hike up the walking track which takes about 45 minutes. Your hand will be stamped once you have checked in which allows you to ride the gondola back to the top for free
  • Flight time is weather dependent. Make sure to check the weather update in their site
  • Suitable for people of all ages, shapes and sizes (moderate level of fitness and agility required)
  • Enjoy the experience

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Travel With Me,
👣The Official Traveler



Full-time Scholarship: The Schwarzman Scholar

If you’re looking for a full-time scholarship, you may want to consider this.
DEADLINE: September 28, 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

According to its website, the Schwarzman Scholarship does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements.

The application should be completed online and submitted electronically once you have answered all required questions. You do not have to complete the online application in one sitting; you may access, save, and continue work on your application as frequently as needed prior to submitting the application to the Schwarzman Scholars selection committee. It is recommended that you SAVE your work often. The application form must be completed in English.

Please note that the email address provided to create your account will be used for ALL future correspondence about your candidacy. After creating an account, you will receive a system-generated email prompting you to verify your email. Keep your login information in a safe place, as you will need it to access your application in the future.

Currently enrolled undergraduate students should coordinate with their campus contact early in the application process. Some universities/colleges establish internal pre-application deadlines to ensure that all the application requirements are met prior to the September 28 deadline.

Check it out! You might be the next scholar!

Eligibility Requirements:
For technical support, please contact:


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Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated in this organization. I am simply sharing what I’ve found worth-sharing 🙂

25 Principles for a Lasting Relationship

Twenty-five principles to your relationship, that could make a life-changing difference in your marriage! In no particular order.

1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling.

2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse.

3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage.

4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character.

5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh.

6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution.

7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.

8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it!

9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got!

10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else.

11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique!

12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage.

13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy.

14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage.

15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.”

17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important that your schedule.

18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives.

19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them.

20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places.

21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits!

22. Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family.

23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it.

24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time!

25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!


Traveling Has Made Me Learn A New Hobby!

I love traveling but I’ve never thought I would be learning a new hobby because of this–guess what? It’s travel photography. I used to ‘just’ capture photos for memories but my recent travel to South Korea made me realize that there are rare but beautiful things all around us waiting to be captured and appreciated for a lifetime. So while the other tourists were still sleeping, I got up early and headed to Namsan Park to catch the sunrise and capture my first shots.

As I returned home from the trip, I smiled of the thought that I am a newbie travel photographer who wants to keep her portfolio alive. I walk, I look. I stop, I photograph!

I walk, I look. I stop. I photograph 📷
The Official Traveler

I’m not really sure if I did the capturing right but I’d love to hear and learn from professional photographers  or other photography learners for tips as I harness this new skill. Help me.. Yeyyy learning 🙂

1. N Seoul Tower


If you feel like a character in “My Love from the Stars” or you want to trace the footsteps of K-pop queen Boa, and the Korean heartthrobs “Boys over Flowers,” then hop on a cable car, after a short walk from MyeongDong.

Along with the spectacular view, you can make a love pact at the “Locks of Love” area, a spot that has witnessed numerous proposals and pledges of love—real and the reel. You can also drop by the Teddy Bear museum shop for cute souvenirs, get high at the tower’s observatories, or try the unusual Sky restrooms! We’re not wondering why Namsan tower is a favorite shoot location of Korean shows: it is picturesque, romantic, and worth every penny.


2. Gyeongbokgung


If you want to see historical palaces and feel like you were part of the Joseon dynasty, head to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of Korea’s Five Grand Palaces. Gyeongbokgung Palace housed Korea’s early rulers, and every part seems to tell a story. You can also witness a re-enactment of the traditional change of guard ceremony and have your photos taken with palace guards, as long as you treat them with courtesy.

3. Nami Island


Even if is almost two hours by train from Seoul, Nami island is worth the long commute. For your ultimate Korean-drama experience, Nami island offers a lot of picture-worthy spots, including the Metasequoia footpath, an aisle with perfectly-lined trees where stars of “Winter Sonata” professed love for each other. img_0204_


At Nami island, you can also ride a couple bike for hours or go on a simple picnic while enjoying the cool air. See squirrels freely interact with visitors—interacting with nature at its finest.

Camera Used: Nikon COOLPIX S7000, IPhone 4

This post is inspired by the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rare.

Where To Stay in Seoul: Cheap, Clean & Accessible


Looking for a cheap place to stay while in Seoul? Let me share with you where we stayed during our trip. Being a budget traveler, I prefer to stay in guesthouses than in expensive hotels. Although it is relatively cheaper than 5-star hotels as to cost, it does not look cheap as the name implies. In fact it is also clean, affordable, and cute. It has almost the same services as hotels offer. It has free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast, too. What I like best about this is its location. For a newbie traveler, this has friendly location. It is walking distance to subway station, and the famous shopping street (Myeongdong), and the N Seoul Tower. SO if you are looking for a place to stay temporarily, go for this!


We stayed in 24Guesthouse near Namsan in Myeongdong station. It is very accessible from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong station, Exit 3 (50 meters walk from 7-11).


Photo: 24Guesthouse

We made the reservation online for Triple Room (since there’s three of us: 2 adults + 1 child). Within an hour, I received a confirmation through email. When I checked the price through their website, the cost is (KRW85,000) / Fri-Sat(KRW95,000)  per room per night however when we arrived on a weekday, we were only asked to pay for KRW60,000/night (probably the child is free of charge? I’m not sure). Yes, it doesn’t require reservation fee which is also a good thing especially when you suddenly have change of plans.

The Triple room comes with free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, private restroom, free toiletries, towels, and slippers. It has television, air conditioner, blower, coffee maker, hot & cold shower, emergency light, etc. Other budget rooms are also available in their website.


For reservations, you may visit:
or Call:  +852-774-1212

Hope this helps! Enjoy your stay! 🙂

👣 The Official Traveler

Mt. Jumbo: Sunrise View, Let’s Go!

You do not need to go as far as Mt. Pulag in Benguet to catch the sunrise and have a good look of clouds and town view from the top. If you live in Northern Luzon, Baguio City or La Trinidad, it is just few kilometers away! Now, if you are interested, keep reading… (or Watch it here)

Where to Go?

Mt. Jumbo is located in Tawang, La Trinidad, Benguet. It is still unimproved in terms of artificial aesthetics thus it is uniquely authentic in nature. On top, you can see the full view of La Trinidad and a portion of nearby city, the City of Baguio. It has gained popularity among locals and soon to be widely known as a famous tourist spot in Benguet. So while it is authentic and not too many tourists, then I urge you to grab the chance and take advantage of its perks. A couple of years ago, climbing was free but as of January 2016, the entrance fee is P30.00. This amount is collected by some town officials who are guarding the area. Sooner or later the price might hike as it gains popularity over time.

When is the best time to go there?

  • It depends on your preference but I recommend early morning (5am onwards) or late afternoon (4pm onwards).

What can you do?

  • If you want to catch the sunrise, start hiking at around 4:30 a.m. and enjoy the view.
  • If you are lucky enough, you can see some clouds hovering the area.
  • There are formations of rocks in the area where you can take photos and be like Superman.
  • You can set up your own tent and stay overnight to gaze the stars/clear sky and the city view from the top. Just make sure you bring your own tent and blanket.
  • Take some silhouette photos by 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Play with friends and create unlimited memories.


  • If you still have plenty of time, eat some bread/snacks while waiting for Mr. Sun. There are no stores (open) nearby so plan on buying your own water and some snacks ahead of time.
  • Wear your most comfortable clothes and footwear for the hike. It is COLD during the night and at dawn. It’s better to be prepared than be sorry ^_^
  • Warm yourselves up as it is windy and cold especially in the morning. Limited only to a certain few, some people set up bonfire…just make sure you do not burn the mountain.
  • Bring “SELF-DISCIPLINE” with you as you start your trek. 🙂 Respect nature, respect the local citizens. So, please TAKE YOUR GARBAGE WITH YOU when you leave. It matters!

How to Get There?

Option A

If you aim to catch the sunrise, it is better to hail a taxi at 4 a.m. and tell the cab driver to drop you to the turning point of Tomay. There is a junction on your right with a signboard, “To Lubas…”. Start walking from there following the main road—about 2 kilometers to the bottom of the mountain. Unfortunately, there is no signboard that says, “This way to Mount Jumbo” or “Welcome to Mt. Jumbo” (as of January 2016) so you have to figure it out on your own. You will pass by a “This way to barangay hall” and “Tawang Elementary School” sign posts on your right as you walk straight following the main road (near Tawang cemetery). It will take about 30-40 minutes walk up to the mountain.

[Extra Tip: There is a sign post, “PIGS 4 SALE” near an electric post. If you see the concrete road going up, then you are on the right track. JUST go up, follow the trails, and create unlimited (photo) memories!]

Option B*

If you are traveling on a daytime (6a.m. onwards), you can ride a jeepney located near the bridge at Pines Park in Km 4. Inform the driver to drop you off at Sitio Banig to go to Mt. Jumbo.

Option C*

If you are familiar with Balili’s footpath, you can hike from Km 5 passing through Balili to reach Tawang. When you reach the main road, walk for about 30-50 meters and you can find the trail going to Mt. Jumbo.

*These options are a little bit tricky and risky for first-timers because you may miss it out. If you can, it is better to ask local who is familiar with the place to go with you to make sure you can reach the mountain top on time for the sunrise and sunset.DSC_0482


Wishing you a Happy Journey,

👣 The Official Traveler 

Visit Japan: Lesson Learned

I am privileged to have my Autumn trip successfully this year. This is one of most remarkable travel experiences I’ve had. I fell in love with Japan. I’ve discovered culture and differences, and most importantly, I’ve learned a lot from this 10-day trip.

Trip to Japan: November 2015
Duration: 10 days
Places: Nagoya, Kyoto, Shizuoka, and Tokyo
Super Likes: Food, people, transportation system, Mt. Fuji, Autumn colors, a lot more. 🙂

Little by little I will share them more of my Japan experiences in my succeeding posts.

When you travel, you will see many things. Your perspective may change. Your passion can be redirected. You will even see a clearer picture of yourself and the future you wish to have only if you sincerely search for it while you are traveling. You will begin to expand your horizon. You just have to figure out how to start and how to keep going. Don’t stop. Research. Plan. Act. Do. Outsmart it.


It’s my first time to travel to Japan.  I cannot deny but I am quite amazed at how Japanese creatively devise mechanisms to innovate and create jobs for people not only for local citizens but also for other nationalities. I wish someday I can learn some technology, innovate my own, and create jobs for my fellowmen. I hope to share the same vision with other young Filipinos who are aspiring entrepreneurs.


👣 The Official Traveler/HistoryMaker