How my Thailand vacation turned into a Hong Kong vacation, or the importance of keeping your crap in order: part 1.

Apparently, a passport that is valid for the duration of the stay with enough blank pages for stamps is not always good enough. I hope, my story will help and inform those in situations similar to mine. Let my mistakes teach you a lesson, because I sure as hell am learning a good one.

Thursday, February 5th, 2015.
Around 10 PM.

My family: the parents, brothers, grandmother, my cousin, her husband and their newborn baby George, and I have anticipated our Thailand vacation since the dates were booked earlier in January. My plan is to meet them in Koh Samui, stay there until the 16th, then fly to Hong Kong for 4 days, and then back to Vancouver. I booked my 2 weeks off work, and was lucky enough to purchase my tickets right before the Canadian dollar made an unpleasant dip, and sunk down to around 75% of its US accomplice. Both of my brothers, who have oddly left one and two days respectively prior to my departure, have already started their journeys, not without issues – bot did not have a sufficient amount of money on hands, relying solely on magnetized plastic: credit and debit cards, so my mom was already having a minor freak out; and now, to top it off, after browsing through the document list just to double-check that I am aware of all the requirements (this was my second trip to Thailand, and the last time I had gotten my Thai visa right at the airport within 15 minutes) I have found myself realizing that Thai authorities require a passport to be valid for 6 months or longer.

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Tiny houses in Vancouver

10866742_10204843906075253_1928781705_nI’m sure that you have noticed these adorable little houses built on top or instead of garages in residential single family homes units. These tiny houses are a part of Vancouver’s sustainable living plan, and they are called laneway homes, AKA granny flats, AKA Fonzie suites. I have a friend whose parents have built one for additional rental income, and another group of friends who occupy one.

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Buying stuff from China

Yesterday I bought 10 pairs of breathable bamboo fiber socks for $4.65, that will be shipped to my doorstep free of charge. Intrigued? Read further. Note: buying stuff online is not for everyone, and if you lack patience and are not willing to accept certain risks, do your shopping at physical stores.

Vancouver living is expensive. According to livingwageforfamilies.ca, the living wage for two working parents with 2 kids in Vancouver is $20.10/hr, with both parents working full-time. I too have been in a situation when I had to decide between buying new socks or something other than ramen noodles for dinner. However, if you have been on my blog for long enough, you know that there are ways of saving money in Vancouver. I have found yet another way, which I am happy to share.

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