2016 in Travels

Travelling, for me, has become one form of therapy, a way to avoid the stress of urban living. It is a way to recuperate, to heal wounds, and to rejuvenate emptied manna. 2016 has been a great year for travelling. I got to visit and travel to different destinations around the country, whether by plane, by boat or by land transportation.

In 2016 I got to travel more than previous years. More importantly, this year I got the chance to finally travel solo, another item to tick off that bucket list. As a friend has mentioned, I am blessed. And yes I am.

Three years ago I never imagined that travelling would become a way of life. I never for once considered travelling by plane or by boat to various destinations. And I am blessed enough to be given the chance to do so.

Six airplane rides. Over 5,000 kilometers of roads. Numerous boat, jeepney, bus, tricycle and habal habal rides. 10 provinces. Countless destinations. Numerous beaches, mountains and beautiful structures.

These have all added to give me experiences of a lifetime, and memories that I will forever treasure. But beyond these are the lessons and friends I have gained along the way. I will never trade these things for anything else in the world.

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2017 in Perspective

From the great experiences I had the past year, I am looking forward to a better year of travelling. There’s so much more to experience, there’s so much more to visit, there’s so much more to do. 2016 was great but 2017 is bound to be bigger.

With the advent of a new year, everyone’s been listing their New Year’s Resolutions. For 2017, here are my travel resolutions:

  1. Visit at least five more provinces this year. I want to further tick off some items in my Project 81 where I aim to visit each Philippine province at least once. High on my priority list of local destinations are Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Davao Oriental, Marinduque, Bohol and Ilocos Norte.
  1. Travel to any Mindanao destination. I’ve already had my fair share of Luzon destinations and in 2015 I finally got the chance to travel to the Visayas. I think it is high time to finally land on Philippine’s third major island group.

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  1. Beach hop more. Being a beach bum, beaches remain high on my priority list. Among those I am yearning to visit are Bantayan Island and Camotes Island in Cebu, El Nido and Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Caramoan in Camarines Sur and Calaguas in Camarines Norte.
  1. Hike more mountains. As I’ve said, at heart I am a beach bum. However, I don’t mind getting in touch with nature. Mt. Pulag and Mt. Amuyao are rather far-fetched but the possibilities remain to be seen. In the meantime, I am limiting my perspective to easier climbs near Manila like Mt. Maculot, Mt. Batulao, and Mt. Daraitan.

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  1. Take part in a major Philippine festival. Philippines is a land of grand and colorful festivals like Panagbenga of Baguio, Sinulog of Cebu City, Dinagyang of Iloilo City, Kadayawan of Davao, and Masskara of Bacolod. There’s a drawback though, I am quite allergic to large crowds but I am willing to overlook this to finally take part on my first grand festival experience.
  1. Travel to my first international destination. In 2015 I had my first airplane ride. In 2016 I travelled more than I did in previous years though I limited it to local destinations like Palawan, Cebu and Iloilo. Maybe that first international flight is overdue. Any of Philippine’s South East Asian neighbor will do.

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  1. Travel solo, AGAIN. In 2016, I successfully did my first solo trip. All by myself, I braved all odds to visit Coron, Palawan and tick one item off on my bucket list. In 2017, I want to travel solo again.
  1. Travel solo, internationally. Enough said, I enjoy travelling alone because I have one less person to worry about. Should it materialize, I would be hitting two birds with one stone.
  1. Be more of a travel writer. Beyond travelling and experiencing different cultures, I would like to write more about my experiences and the people I get to meet during my excursions. Lately I turned my blog in to a travel one, and maybe justly so.
  2.  Experience more of the great outdoors. This sounds profound but I want to maximize every opportunity to be out there. No more procrastinating. There’s a great world out there after all!
  3. Spend less, save more. I sure have to finance my travels right?

Travelling has indeed become my respite from my tedious urban life. 2016 gave me experiences and lessons that I am going to carry on with me this year and the succeeding ones. 2016 has been great but 2017 promises to be even grander, if not, better.

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