Vacations are More Important Than You Think

April 24th, 2017 Comments off


My river cruise with AmaSerena was truly a memorable Easter getaway.  The unforgettable voyage that set sail across Europe with my family left me with memories that I will always cherish.  It brought about countless memories with all the great people I met, food and experiences that I will never forget.  But the one thing AmaSerena truly did for me, was relieve the endless amounts of stress I was facing in school.

Vacations and breaks may often be perceived as opportunities to relax and nothing else. That is not the case.  Vacations serve as a gateway to break the chronic stress cycle. (Read this link for more information about vacations and chronic stress: )  As students, this is extremely important, even though teachers may think that students have no reason to be stressed and vacations just cause students to lose focus while in class. They are completely wrong.

The importance of taking breaks or vacations in general is that it breaks the chronic stress cycle.  While this cycle may not seem severe, these symptoms and effects of the it will reveal just how dangerous it truly is:

  • When you are stressed out and tired, you are susceptible to illness, your arteries are damaged, and there is a higher chance of an accident to take place.
  • Another major issue is that your sleep will suffer.  Sleep deprivation can cause many unthinkable disasters to your body. Sleep deprivation can not only cause impaired brain activity, depression, memory loss or high blood pressure, but it can go so far as to cause accidental death. (Read this for more information about sleep deprivation:
  • During the stress cycle your mental health is also gravely affected.  You become more irritable, depressed and anxious but your discussion making will be hindered as your brain is deteriorating.

The hazards this chronic stress cycle bring about are extremely severe and should be taken seriously. Read more about the chronic stress cycle: (  This should convey a message to teachers that they must understand the stress students are going through. Teachers should consider to completely take away homework during the breaks as this only adds to the students’  stress while they are away, leading to the possible cause of those hazards which will result in terrible performance overall: losing focus, grades dropping, weakening in a sport and many other activities.

While vacations may be a time to relieve stress, students should take note that this only happens if the “vacation is successful”.  A successful vacation will result in the disruption of the chronic stress cycle, increased awareness of our problems, valuable opportunity to relax with family or friends, and a much needed respite from the sources of stress.  A successful vacation may require a lot of dos and donts, but these are extremely simple to carry out to ensure a successful vacation.

  • “Plan Ahead”
  • “Know the rules and regulations”
  • “Don’t feel guilty because you are going on a vacation”
  • “Don’t feel guilty if you’re gone and you check your e-mail”
  • “Make your vacation a true adventure”
  • “More practical advice”

These tips will help students be able to ensure that their vacation is not only enjoyable, but stress-free. (Read this link for more information about chronic stress and the 6 steps for a successful vacation. )

Breaking the chronic stress-cycle every time there is a break(vacation) is crucial.  Students and teachers should both understand the importance of relieving stress and should take a look at these websites to understand.  In the end, this article should convey critical messages to both teachers and students.  First to teachers, that giving homework during the break, is basically taking away their free-time, and enhancing the stress-cycle which could lead to severe disasters. And mainly to students, that ultimately they are the ones to ensure that their vacation is successful in breaking the chronic stress cycle.


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3 ways to stay well with your host family during AMIS or IASAS

April 20th, 2017 Comments off



Using some school days and some holidays from April 5th to 9th, I went to Jakarta for AMIS choir with other 11 students and choir teachers from ISM. AMIS is an opportunity to meet people from different school, who are interested in choir, learning about singing and making friends. And to be able to attend AMIS in Jakarta Intercultural School, there must be a family from JIS hosting some of us. That means that they are providing us a place to sleep, food, and transportation. Luckily, me and my friend Happy stayed nice and safe for the whole trip with a nice host family. And from this trip, I got some few tips of how to make your host feel comfortable by having a good attitude.


Since host family provides the food, they are usually concerned if we like the food or not. I also have been hosting AMIS band, and this was one of the worries I had if they like the food or not. When I was hosted, I really liked the food and I tried to tell them that it’s really good, since it would make the host feel better. Whether you like the food or not, I think that you still have to be thankful that they’re providing food for us. So the best way to describe that you like the food is to just finish the food and empty the plate. Emptying the plate would be an effective way of showing them that you like the food, instead of telling them. From this action, I’m sure that the host can feel proud and relieved.


Depending on how you talk to your host, it can make them feel awkward or fun. Building up conversation with the child or the parents from your host family is the best way to get close to each other. You can talk to them in the car, or in the meal time when everyone comes in one table. Ask some questions that would help you and your host family to get to know each other. And during the conversation, don’t forget to keep your smile!


Last thing you can do is quite simple. It’s just to remember to greet your host whenever you have to. This is also a way to show manner and not to be awkward. When they provide you a snack or a meal, thank you is required. You might worry because this sounds very general, but you are always welcomed to write a letter to them and describe how thankful you are before you leave. Make sure you greet the parents or anyone when you come back home, and not just go straight away to your bedroom. Also while talking to your host, smiling would make everyone feel much better.

So if you are one of the people that’s getting hosted in AMIS or IASAS, these tips are going to make your life easier during the travel. It’s important for you and your host to not be annoyed by each other, and I’m sure if you just keep these attitudes, you will be successful of getting closer with your host.

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Ramen Street in Japan

April 20th, 2017 1 comment

Ramen Street is an area in the underground mall under Tokyo station, where there are eight ramen restaurants. At each restaurant, rather than having a waiter take your order, as you wait in line to get seating, you get a ticket from a machine with your order that you hand to the man at the front.  The lines are very long, but the wait is well worth it.  The eight restaurants are the most famous in Japan, the most popular being Rokurinsha, famous for its thick noodles with dipping sauce.  Oreshiki Jun is famous for having the best tonkatsu.  Tanmen Tonari is known for being is the healthy option on ramen street with lots of different vegetables.  Ikaruga has a very large variety of options such as spicy and dipping ramen.  Hirugao is famous for its shio (salt) ramen in chicken and seafood broth rather than the normal pork broth.  Soranoiro Nippon is good for Edo style ramen and a vegan option.  Kizo has good beef tongue Shio ramen.  Chiyogami is famous for its modified chukka soba, which is actually originally Chinese noodles.  The station is always extremely busy, with many people eating ramen.  Most of the people on Ramen Street are men in business suits taking a break from work.  

My family took the train to eat at Ikaruga.  Surprisingly, the line was very short and ordering the ramen was extremely simple.  The food came very fast and was very good.  Overall, the ordeal was not very long and very enjoyable.  Ramen street is the perfect tourist site for visitors who want to eat the best ramen in Japan.

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5 Ways to Deal with Clam Bites while on vacation

April 20th, 2017 4 comments

Though not often, people can get deep clam bites while snorkelling or deep-sea diving. It can happen very randomly, and the pain won’t be registered till you’re out of the water.
So here are 5 ways to deal with clam bites on a vacation, so that you won’t miss out on any fun:

  • Be Calm

    • Though very cliché, this is the most important advice. Clams aren’t poisonous or dangerous, just scared. Sometimes the bite may be deep, but it won’t affect you that much. If you were with a guide, or maybe your family, just call out to them. Panicking will be useless and very dangerous in free water, so try to stay calm.

  • Go to the nearest hospital

    • Though it was previously mentioned that clams aren’t poisonous, extra safety never hurt. A doctor can help you properly dress your wound, and give you proper shots like tetanus required. The doctor can also provide you with the bandages and antibiotics needed for healing, which’ll help you recover quickly.

For information about more types of stings and injuries:

  • Take one day of rest

    • Though it’ll be boring, this is required. The first day is always the hardest. Besides, vacations need to have fun and rest. This’ll be your time to be more focused, and get some extra work done. For faster recovery, try to get more sleep.

More info about the benefits of sleeping:

  • Use proper bandages and eat your medicine

    • Throughout your time of injury, be sure to change bandages regularly, so as to prevent infections. Also, remember to have your medicine at the proper time, so that you’ll get better quickly.

  • Try to have fun

    • Lastly, after a day or two of rest, it’s time to hit the beach once again. On a tropical vacation, where such incidents happen, you simply just can’t pass up on beaches. Don’t strain yourself too much, but try to have fun in ways. If you’re to go near sea water, then be sure not to get your  bite too wet.

More info about saltwater healing at:

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How to spend your holiday break wisely

April 19th, 2017 2 comments

You have just been liberated from the conformist dystopian world called school, but for only a week. That is too short for a pleasure cruise to Hawaii or a suntan in Copacabana. Sometimes you just want to stay home and enjoy a long slumber. If you are like me and prefer to stay at home during these short breaks, try doing these things so that you have something meaningful to say when your teacher asks what you did over the break.


  1. Organize your calendar for next semester.

Wait, what? I’m on break. Why should I care about school? Honestly, it does feel like a burden to be concerned about school when you should be relaxing. However, taking an hour or two from your 168-hour break to be planning ahead and getting organized will avoid conflicts in scheduling later. More importantly, it will help you get better grades, especially if they are not as good as they should be.


Related article: 4 tips for organizing your daily schedule


  1.   Exercise for at least one hour every day.

Many of you, especially teenagers, are tempted to play video games all day, or watch TV marathons of shows that were missed. However, it is very important to limit those games and TV shows to one or two hours a day. What really pays off is ensuring that you exercise daily for thirty minutes to an hour. It can be anything from cycling to jogging to swimming. The important thing is that you get moving. Not only will it be good for your health, but it will also make you look and feel good. Even better, you will feel recharged and refreshed when you return to school.


Related article: Fitness 101: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Exercise


  1.   Spend some time with family.

Sometimes, school can be so stressful that we cannot go on alone. That is why we need family. They love you and you should love them back. Short breaks such as this can be used to improve your relationships with your family. Perhaps you can watch movies together, or go on picnics, or maybe just stay home and relax. What is most important is the time you spend with them. Every moment counts.


Related article: 7 ways to spend more family time together  


There are many other tips to spending your break productively, and these are just a few of them. In an era where computers and smartphones dominate the lives of many, and Netflix and Spotify are the cinemas and gramophones of today, it is important to take some time off of them, and do other things that count. So next time you go on break and pick up your headphones, please try to think again and remember the things that really matter to you.


Read more: The 10 things you should do over holiday break

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How to spend vacation without being bored : Haikyuu!!

April 19th, 2017 4 comments

Because I didn’t go anywhere during the break, I had to spend every single day at home, wondering what to do. Though I had to read and study, there still was a lot of time left. I didn’t have any idea how to spend it. Later during the break, one of my friends recommended me an anime named Haikyuu!!. At first, I refused to watch it because I was not used to animes and had never finished one. However, not knowing what to do anymore, I started to watch it, discovering that it was an interesting and exciting anime that kept my company throughout the rest of the break.

Haikyu is originally a manga written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Later the anime was premiered on April 6th, 2014 and ended on December 10th, 2016. There is a total of 60 episodes and three seasons premiered currently, the fourth season yet to be presented.

The storyline of the anime is basically about various volleyball players playing and improving throughout mistakes.


I strongly recommend this anime, and there are mainly three reasons for this.


  1. Impeccable Drawing
    1. Haikyuu displays flawless drawings throughout the whole animation. Even though the drawing of animation is a tough work, the illustrators somehow manage to keep a perfect quality.
  2. The Characters
    1. Because it is a volleyball animation and there isn’t only one team playing by itself, lots of character appear in the anime, all of them with different skills, talents, and aim. You will find yourself drawn to the characters.
  3. A Well-knit Plot
    1. Each character has their ability represented in numbers in different areas such as technique, skill, or speed. So according to this stat, the position of the player and the team’s potential is decided.

I hope by reading this post, you would try to watch Haikyuu. It may not be as interesting for the first few episodes, maybe even a little bit cheesy, but please be patient, and I am sure you will be addicted to this wonderful anime.

Haikyuu Wikia:!!_Wiki (It may contain spoilers. Be careful!)

Another post related with Haikyuu:

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3 Things You Must Do in Boston, Massachusetts

April 19th, 2017 6 comments


Boston, Massachusetts is a city located in the United States of America and is a historic place filled with many different sites to see. Here reside many famous schools such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT. Now, in 2017, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the USA, and attracts many visitors yearly! Here are my top 3 things you must do in Boston to ensure a historical yet fun filled adventure!


  • The Freedom Trail


Image result for freedom trail boston

The seal that marks the start of the Boston Freedom Trail, surrounded by red brick.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile or 4-kilometer route that leads to 16 famous sites where history took place during the American Revolution that began in this very city. You may stumble upon this path as you stroll around the city, highlighted by red brick in
the concrete sidewalks. It takes around 2 hours to complete but is worth the time as you discover more and more about how the US gained independence through meeting different characters and traveling to many well-known churches, markets, and museums.



  • Faneuil Hall


Image result for faneuil hall

The facade of the main building of Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall, named after Peter Faneuil, is made up of 3 markets – Quincy, North, and South. A great place to explore, shop, and eat, this area is a perfect place to enjoy Boston culture! Through enjoying dishes such as bacon-wrapped scallop, and fresh lobster soups and rolls, you experience the different tastes of Boston. You may also visit the variety of shops that line the hall, which is perfect for all kinds of shoppers, whether you wanna buy clothes or shop for souvenirs for friends at home.

Check out more here:


  • Duck Tours


Image result for duck tours boston

The massive vehicle as it makes a splash, entering the Charles River.

The Boston duck tours are a great way to explore the city while having fun inside a giant, WWII landing vehicle. You’ll pass by and learn all about all the most historic places in Boston, accompanied by your conDUCKtor and hilariously interesting commentary. In 80 minutes, not only do you explore the places on land, but you take a dip into the Charles River, where you have the opportunity to take charge and drive the massive vehicle! The Duck Tours will seriously be an unforgettable experienced, loved by those of all ages. This experience is something you must not miss out on, during your visit to the city of freedom and independence.

Learn more:


With the use of these 3 steps, Boston will truly be an unforgettable experience! No matter who you travel with, family or friends, the journey through this historical city will always leave you wanting more.  


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5 Ways to Counter Boredom at Home

April 19th, 2017 Comments off

There has always been an instance in which we have nothing to do during a long weekend or a long school break. Try to find something you are interested in, talk to friends who live nearby, or even do school-related activities to have a sense of productivity during your break!

5: Do your homework, or study!


Yes, none of us like it. Some may even argue that it is worse than a slow weekend at home, but doing your homework can prepare you for your next school day, and it can also give you a sense of accomplishment for your academic life. According to The Good School Guide, studying will not only keep you busy but will also allow you to improve your time management skills and allow you to engage in your studies.

4: Play a sport with a group of friends

Playing a sport already gives you health benefits, so why not play with friends? According to Let’, playing a sport with a group of friends can help you build up your confidence, develop your relationships, and can provide someone with a sense of respect and sportsmanship.

Benefits of group sports:

3: Read a Book

Though some may find this boring, reading anything from a short story, to a novel can surely help you recover from a severe case of boredom. According to, reading reduces stress more than listening to music. In fact, reading can reduce your stress levels down to 68 percent of its original quantity. According to the same website, reading can help us recognize new patterns of letters and characters, which helps increase our sight for new words.

2: Resort to electronic forms of media

If reading a book isn’t your thing, nor is doing something you enjoy, resort to electronic forms of entertainment. Though not exactly proving a positive effect on our minds, electronics like a phone, tablet, or TV can help us unwind and relax during a slow day. We are in the midst of an electronic age, take advantage of the many inventions that we see in our daily lives.

1: Talk to someone

This is something that has stuck with us for our generations. Talking is an essential part of our daily lives, whether it is asking for a certain product you want while shopping, or talking amongst friends. According to, talking can help you sort through your thoughts and can give you a new perspective on a certain topic.

Benefits of talking to someone:


I hope this blog post helped give ideas to those who currently feel bored at home. If you feel like you need more tips to counter your boredom at home, feel free take a look at some of these other blog posts.

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A Walk Back to History

April 19th, 2017 4 comments

As much as Rome’s great monuments – the Colosseum, The Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica- what I love about Rome is its tiny details that make the country like a walk back to history. This great city has cobbled lanes, hidden corners, the vivid colors and undiscovered architecture. Rome’s streets are an endless source of entertainment.

First things first. When you arrive in Rome or even going visiting attractions, I recommend walking. It might even be an hour away but I still suggest walking because you discover hidden restaurants, cobbled lanes, and beautiful churches that are filled with paintings but are undiscovered.

2. The Famous Architecture
Rome isn’t a full trip without visiting the famous monuments such as,
– The Colosseum
– St. Peter’s Basilica
– The Vatican Museums
– The Trevi Fountain
– The Roman Forum
These architectures may be filled with other tourists but they definitely shouldn’t be missed. Out of all of these, I really enjoyed the St. Peter’s Basilica, it was a breathtaking church filled with amazing paintings. For more information about tours and architecture visit here.

The St. Peter’s Basilica is the city’s outstanding church, it’s Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. Its magnificent interior contains many spectacular pieces of artwork, including Italy’s most acclaimed masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.

Italy has many great choices to eat, and if you know most of the food is going to be pizzas and pasta. This list will give some restaurants that create unique and exciting tastes out of pizzas and all kinds of pasta:
– Colline Emiliane
– Pianostrada
– Pizzarium
– La Prosciutteria
– Bistro del Quirino

My favorite restaurant was Pizzarium because it had many different varieties of pizzas that were unique and at the same time tasted like a good original Margherita pizza. For more options click here.

4. Background Information about Rome
– Julius Caesar was the first to introduce the modern 12-month calendar
– The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums has the same dimensions, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of —-
– Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
– Rome built the first ever shopping mall
– Women in ancient Rome dyed their hair with goat fat and beechwood ashes. Red and blond were the most popular colors.
For more fun facts click here

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The 2 Best Things To Do In Queenstown

April 19th, 2017 5 comments

So, you might be wondering, what is Queenstown? Well, according to it’s website, Queenstown is a resort town on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, with a population of around 16,000. However, that doesn’t include the amount of tourists that come in day-in and day out, experiencing all that the resort town has to offer. In 2014, Queenstown’s tourism industry hit record numbers: according to Stuff, there were over 2 million international guest nights in 2013.

But, what is actually in Queenstown? Queenstown itself is home to a vibrant extreme sports scene, with bungee jumping, paragliding and skydiving all being available, as well as being surrounded by lush natural scenery, which can be seen from the Skyline Gondola, or the numerous hiking trails and walking tours that are offered. For those who are of a more literary bent, you’re also in luck: In nearby Glenorchy, and all throughout the Otago region that is Queenstown is located within, there is a Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit tour, letting you see where many famous scenes from the books penned by Tolkien were translated into film.

Without further ado, here are my top 2 recommendations for what to do in Queenstown:

  • Taste The Great Food

A double Fergburger.

While this may not exactly seem like the classiest thing to do in Queenstown, it is one of the most delicious things you’ll do in your life! Fergburger is a small burger joint located on Shotover Street, and if you walk down there at pretty much any time of the day you will see lines of people all waiting to get a burger. Open pretty much 24 hours a day, Fergburger even serves breakfast burgers with the delightful Dawn Horn, containing lettuce, tomato, and even a hash brown contained within the buns. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of burgers, Fergburger has something for you, with it’s wide array of well, burgers. Go grab a bite!

However, if you’re looking for something a bit more (or a lot more) upscale than Fergburger, you’re still in luck! Rata offers fine dining and authentic New Zealand cuisine, with a wonderful beef wellington and pork belly! There’s also some mushroom ravioli if you’re a vegetarian or simply want something a bit lighter, and if you’re looking for something else, just look at their menu!

  • Take In The Lovely Scenery

A shot taken, capturing the views of Milford Sound.

So, let’s start with the facts. Milford Sound isn’t actually a sound, it’s a fjord. So, you may be wondering what the difference even is. I know I was when I initially discovered the fact, but through my research, as well as helpful tour guides, I’ve discovered this: fjords are similar to sounds, but fjords can only be formed through a glacier, while sounds can also be formed through running water, such as a river, according to the World Atlas. Either way, however, Milford Sound is filled with beautiful snow-capped mountains and perhaps even waterfalls if you’re lucky enough, featuring sweeping views and cool, bracing breezes. According to the official tourism website for the Sound, there are a variety of tours to get you set on your journey cruising through the Sound and back to Queenstown, even if it will take you about day or so for a full tour! Go on, and set sail!

An image of the Skyline Gondola above Queenstown.

If water isn’t really your thing, the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown is ready to serve your needs! Purportedly the steepest cable car ride in the whole Southern Hemisphere, the Skyline Gondola brings you 450 meters up, and when you arrive at the top, you can find wide range of activities to do, such as getting a meal, luging, and even hiking all the way back down the Tiki Trail, and get down and dirty with the scenery that surrounds Queenstown.

With these recommendations and suggestions in mind, I hope your Queenstown experience will be great and filled with adventure, wherever it takes you. Good luck with your trip!

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