5 Reasons I'm Grateful For 2012.

1.  Expanding my book collection

No matter how integral a role the iPad now plays in my life, I will always prefer looking, touching and smelling a real book.

* Books on History, Travel, Comics, Religion and Humor rule.

7 Other Things To Do In Barcelona

The first stop on our Eurotrip was Barcelona.  I was told by all of my friends not to miss this city as the culture and history is just so beautiful.  In many ways, they say that it is even more beautiful here than in Madrid (which I hope to see in a future trip).  Now apart from seeing the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Cathedral, here are 7 other things that one MUST do while in Barcelona.

1.  Walk Down The Las Ramblas

This is what travelling is about!  Full of great shops, cafes, street performers and interesting sights, walking around and getting lost in the various alleys intersecting the main street is such a pleasure.  Stretching on for about a kilometer and a half, this is the main tourist spot in Barcelona, kind of like how Times Square is to New York and Nanjing Road is to Shanghai.  Prepare to get culturally stimulated, just mind the pickpockets! (And there are a LOT of them)

Barcelona Cathedral and La Sagrada Familia

1. The Barcelona Cathedral

Imposing and located on the famous Gothic Quarter next to the Las Ramblas, the Barcelona Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic Architecture.  Dark, huge and full of gargoyles, the Cathedral manages to retain some sanctity as there were more people praying in it than people taking pictures.

8 Awesome iPad Apps for Travelling

My iPad was such an indispensable tool of my last three trips (Mid-East, China, Europe) that it has become THE constant source of Ready Information and Entertainment in other facets of my life. With so many great apps out there, I decided to concentrate on the 8 that are truly useful for the budget, foot travelling, wanna-experience-all-the-sights-and-sounds-in-limited-time traveller such as myself.

1.  Goodreader ($4.99)

One of the best PDF readers for the Ipad, Goodreader not only allows you to read the PDF’s, it also allows you to highlight and add notes on the pages.  I loaded this app up with various DK Travel Series and DK Top 10 Travel List books (the best travel guides due to the abundance of pictures and maps) and was particularly helpful in Barcelona, Rome, Paris and London.

Eurotrip (8/29/12 - 9/15/12)

Europe has always been my dream destination.

Having been to the Americas, China, Middle East and around Southeast Asia, it was the one area of the world that seemed so elusive to me.  Part of what made it so was the fact that my family always chose to go to the States for the holidays.

So when I found out that there was a chance that we were going to go this August, I was beyond excited.

My cousin, Rachel, decided to have a destination wedding; and being the romantic that she is, she decided to have it in an actual castle in Florence, Italy.

* Ate Rachel and her fairy tale wedding.

Now it seemed like we were not only going to Europe, the whole family was going as well.  Around 20 of us, including my lola.

The month leading towards the trip, I got excited about the prospect of seeing all these beautiful faces that I had only read about in books and seen in movies.

I got word that the wedding was going to be part of a Mediterranean cruise. So I suggested to my folks that after the cruis…