The first half of 2016 didn’t fly as fast as the past years and I can attribute it to opportunities to travel since January. Hindi pa din naman jetsetter levels but knowing me and my attachment to sleeping in and my catatonic extent of TV and movie marathoning, this has been a welcome change.
I was ready to book my solo trip to Penang for my birthday in January when I learned that my office bestfriend R was being sent to DC for training. We had talked about going to NYC for years so I definitely had to join her! Looking back, my first decent lunch on that trip (we were graciously hosted by R’s sister’s friend) was in Penang Malaysian Restaurant in downtown Boston so it’s like saying, “Sorry Penang, this shall do for now!”
It was all fun and new adventures from Harvard, Boston Commons, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the 4-hour Amtrak ride to Penn Station, snowy tour of the common NYC touristy spots, the Hamptons, more DIY tourist walks, to my forever love affair with San Francisco and its famous spots, wineries in Napa, burgers and more burgers, Tselogs (which serves the best Pinoy comfort food in all of the West Coast), and basically more food and time for friends and family. Some photos below:
April saw me in Bangkok for a leadership training. I skipped the usual Thailand tourist activities because I did them 10 long years ago, when without wise counsel I booked a flight to Bangkok because it’s my birthday. It was all kinds of, “What the hell am I doing in this area of Bangkok?” and “I’m naively stupid, let us just charge it to experience.” So when I went back, it felt familiar, save for impressive urban developments (which made me slightly jealous). I didn’t pay for it so I was housed in a fancy hotel with an incredible view while having breakfast, kung saan a fancy buffet breakfast had me eating their anchovies for seven straight days. I tried almost everything in the buffet spread AND PUT DILIS ON THEM. Ang sarap ng anchovies nila doon, I swear — even the ones I bought at a 7-Eleven to munch on at night! Dilis-cious. Ay, ang corny.
We’re lucky my office observes legal holidays of two countries, so when we chanced on a cheap fare to Guam, kaladkarin as usual, off we went. With all these traveling I also had to make it up to my mother, so from a big Cebu Pacific sale in March I scored HK tickets for almost 6K. Yes, 6K for two adults, round trip. Hindi ka pa ba pupunta? By the way, I am about to finish short travel tips in both places, as my very small way of giving back to the blogosphere where I got many of my valuable itinerary tips from.
“Travel now, pulubi later,” said this one funny photo I saw in Facebook. Traveling, while not necessarily expensive all the time, still requires you to spend. And with very little gaps in between trips, tipid mode ka talaga, to the level of jeep na lang and carinderia after each one. 🙂 But is it worth it? YES. I’ve known it for so long and I remember one guy I had a super crush on telling me that I should travel more because the experiences will last longer than a good book, a hearty meal, or a great outfit. That was nine years ago. I didn’t heed it until three years ago. God always provides naman.
I will be quieter this second half although there’s one booked trip long ago (mura eh, sabi naman sa inyo, just be on the lookout, and have a friend with a credit card, LOL) which I can save up for until it’s time to go.
If my budget permits, I still intend to pursue Penang before the year ends. I have researched it and I think I am ready. If I delay it, baka mawala yung momentum and all the information I mapped out eh. Maybe it’s also because I conditioned myself I will go and I didn’t, so closure, I guess? Mga ganung first-world personal dilemma. Let’s see.
A big part of me still wants to travel more locally, solo or otherwise. There have been plenty of tourism jingles but what’s stuck in my head until now is Regine Velasquez singing Biyahe Tayo whenever I travel within the Philippines.
Anyway, that’s six months of relieving the itch of my feet. As always the case when something itches, kamutin lang! Pero sa pagkamot alalay lang, para walang damage, only relief. Naks!