Physically she was in the Philippines, mentally she was still in America. I used to listen to a friend recounts the life she left behind in the States. I would lend my ear everyday, even when she tends to repeat her stories. Before her, I never had such a burning desire to travel. In a way, she opened a gate to a world that both fascinated and tormented me. In my head, I told myself, “I want to travel,” to which my pessimistic self would reply, “you wish, traveling is expensive, you’re broke.” I am writing about this because even when I believed that pessimistic voice for a very long time, I was able to break free from its truth. I didn’t have an epiphany, it didn’t take a broken heart to make it happen. Just one day, I started traveling and continued doing it to this day.
2017 is the year I’ve had more trips than ever before. It wasn’t a goal, I didn’t have a number in mind, I just went whenever I could. And to start the New Year right on my blog, join me as I journeyed back in time to relive the memories of my travels in 2017.
I started out 2017 with a trip to Taiwan and in all of my solo travel abroad, I consider this trip as my most favorite. The people are the most helpful bunch that I’ve encountered. The street food is so good I did not hold myself back. And the weather is so cold I couldn’t flex my fingers. Taiwan sets the tone for the rest of my year.
Mt. Batolusong, Batangas
Every time I climb a mountain, I tell myself, never again. But in February, I gathered my friends and together we conquered Mt. Batolusong in Batangas. The climb went well, but we didn’t see what we came for; the sea of clouds.
Puerto Galera, Mindoro
On the same month, I went scuba diving in the open sea for the first time. A feat that I never thought I’d ever accomplish given my irrational fear of deep water and sharks. This happened in Puerto Galera as part of a good cause. More than the fun side of it, the trip taught me that sometimes we can surprise ourselves. That the limitations we have set for ourselves can be broken if we would look fear in the eye and say, “Fudge it, I’m doing it.”
In yet another year of Banahaw Tugtugan, my friends and I were present. We went to Bangkong Kahoy in Dolores, Quezon and spent the night listening to music; well at least my friends did, as I stayed inside the tent to sleep.
Beautiful but not as equally famous as some tourist destinations in the Philippines, Quirino is my most important find in 2017. The long hours spent on travel, even our encounters with the not-so-friendly locals, I considered small sacrifices to see the natural and unspoiled beauty that lies in this part of the Cagayan Valley.
In May I realized I can be flirty if I want to; well if I got drunk enough that is, lol. After not dating for years, there I was, kissing a guy I met in Subic the entire night. Want the full story? Check out my article at Worldinmywords.
El Nido, Palawan
July, I returned to one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines, El Nido, and fell in love all over again. This time I traveled with some good friends.
One of my goals last year is to celebrate my birthday in another country and I made it happen when I went to Singapore. I was fortunate to have a good friend who was willing to host me. I haven’t done telling you my Singapore as I had been quite busy in the latter part of 2017. Stay tuned for my Singapore post in the coming days.
Mt. Manabu, Batangas
In November, a mountain hike I originally organized with some friends, turned into a family affair. There in the muddy trail, we climbed Mt. Manabu, a mountain that you can climb with a promise of coffee.
Out of all my trips this year, this one, I didn’t see coming. I left my previous company and started working for Datacom, an Australian-based IT company. Not only do I get a better pay now, I was also sent by the company to our headquarters in Sydney, Australia in November. My Sydney series will also be published in the coming days.
Siargao, Surigao del Norte
You’ve probably seen the movie (I didn’t), but Siargao, the surfer’s paradise in Surigao del Norte is all that it promises to be. A quiet town with that chillax island vibe, beautiful and unspoiled, relatively speaking, to the more popular island destinations in the Philippines.
Mt. Ulap, Benguet
In December I met my favorite mountain. Mt. Ulap. The view is breathtaking, the trail is fairly easy to hike, and I had the perfect company. Watch out for my Mt Ulap story on the blog soon.
It’s been one hell of a year for me. There were some sad times but they were only fleeting. And this is the year when I can honestly say, I have completely recovered from my depression.
I’m happy, healthy, single, and excited for the amazing things that 2018 has in store for me. 2018 is going to be epic. Claim it! Bonne année!