Where to Now?

2019, due to my life reboot, was a very slow travel month. I was less active, travel-wise because of pecuniary constraints but nonetheless, I was able to go out and explore my country. I had no international travels during the year, but it was fine because it enabled me to explore other parts of the Philippines.

A Recap of my 2019 Travel Resolutions

Before enumerating my resolutions for the year, it is just but right to look back to how I fared in 2019. I failed, on an epic scale, to keep up with my 2019 travel resolutions. Of the eleven resolutions I listed, I only managed to accomplish one – revisiting Cebu. For the rest, I failed even though I did make some dent on some.

My first 2019 travel resolution was to climb 20 mountains. I only managed to climb nine of the possible thirty, and two of these mountains I’ve climbed previously before. Technically, I climbed just seven new mountains. Part of my resolution is to visit five new provinces. I only managed to visit one new province – Ilocos Norte. At least I’ve finally ticked off all four Region 1 provinces. I also failed to travel to either Boracay, Caramoan or Calaguas. I also didn’t have any international travels. But all these failures only serve to inspire me to have a better 2020 travel resolutions.

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With the past at the back of my mind, it is time to look forward to the year that is. Without more ado, here are my 2020 travel resolutions:

1. Hike 15 mountains. In 2019, my goal was to climb 30 mountains, which, as I’ve already mentioned, I totally bummed out. To keep a more realistic number, my goals is to climb 15 new mountains. I want to go for 20 but I want to keep my goals more realistic and attainable, with all the hubbub that is surrounding me. Actually, I am raring to go back to climbing but I just cannot seem to find the right climbing buddy. Haha.

2. Climb at least one mountain with a difficulty level of at least eight over nine. This is a carryover from my 2018 and 2019 travel resolutions (which, unsurprisingly, I’ve failed to achieve). It does sound a little far-fetched (maybe). I know I am on the right track and with the proper training, I know I can take on more challenging climbs like Mt. Guiting-Guiting, Mt. Sicapoo, the feared Mt. Halcon, and Mt. Apo. But maybe I’ll start with Mt. Pulag’s Akiki trail.

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3. Visit five provinces I have never been to before. For two years in a row, I failed to complete at least five new provinces. For the third year in a row, my goal is to visit five new provinces. I’ll include provinces I’ve been to before but not for the purpose of travel (like Apayao and Cagayan). With the same aspiration as the previous years, I fervently hope that I can tick off more provinces from my Project 81.

4. Visit all three Philippine major island groups. This a new goal for me and something that I just thought of right now. With over 7,000 islands, Philippines is divided into three major island groups – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I’ve been to all major island groups but never in the same year. For 2020, I hope to achieve this feat.

5. Travel to either Calaguas, Caramoan or Boracay. In the past three years, I was more of a mountaineer than a beach bum although I was originally the latter. I’ve always listed visiting more beaches, but I never got around to doing it. Thankfully, I was able to cross out one item in 2019 when my colleagues and I traveled to Bantayan Island in Cebu. In 2020, I am relisting these three beachy destinations as my primary goals. They’re touristy destinations but I, unfortunately, belong to the rare breed of those who are yet to visit any one of them. Haha!

A fine day at Manjuyod Sandbar, Negros Oriental

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6. Experience a Philippine festival! This one has been lingering in my travel resolution year in, year out but I never truly got the chance to experience any major Philippine festival. The Philippines is a land of grand, diverse, and colorful festivals like Cebu City’s Sinulog, Ilo-ilo City’s Dinagyang, Davao City’s Kadayawan, and Bacolod City’s Masskara. Due to my aversion to crowds, I never got to immerse in any of these festivals, not even in my native Baguio’s Panagbenga.

7. Travel to at least two international destinations. My 2019 goal was to visit just one international destination, and of course, I failed. But I am nonplussed. In 2020, my goal is to visit at least two international destinations. I do love the Philippines but I also long to explore the world beyond my home country.

8. Board a flight at least ten times. This one’s a bit ambitious but I guess, to some extent, logical. In 2019, I boarded the plane just twice – one to Cebu and one back to Manila. I hope get to board more flights this year than I did in 2019.

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9. Travel solo, AGAIN. This one is another carryover from my previous year’s travel resolutions. I’ve already experienced traveling solo both internationally and locally. I really don’t mind where my itchy feet would take me. On my first two solo adventures, I’ve learned more about myself. I maybe out of my comfort zone but it was nonetheless opportunities to broaden my horizon. “Another City Not My Own” as the Dominick Dunne book goes (although the book is not about traveling!).

10. Write more about these experiences. This one goes without saying.

11. Ease my writing backlog. I focused too much on book blogging in 2019 that I forgot about my travel blog pipeline. I still have a lot of travel experiences to write about, and some that are from as far aback as 2014! I have to ease the load this year and (again), hopefully, I would be able to finish and publish all my backlogs this year, or at least make some serious dent.

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12. Spend less, save more. This is in line with my 2020 Bookish resolutions. I need to save more to buy more books and travel more! Haha!

I am still a bit apprehensive considering my success rate in the previous years. I hope I am not making a very tall order for myself. Nonetheless, I am quite happy with the list I came up with. Let us see how 2020 will pan out. With how 2019 went, I am hoping for more adventures in 2020. How about you reader, what are your traveling goals in this new year? Share it in the comment box, or perhaps you can tag me when you decide to do your own.

Happy and safe travels in 2020 everyone!

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