June 26, 2012

Rome: Hottest City I've visited in Europe

When we were planning for our trip to Europe last year, we were completely aware that its the summer season. For a sun chaser like me, this added to my excitement. Yey! I thought that it will be kinda similar to the summer I used to have in the Philippines. I packed my summer clothes - colorful and light, lots of sun block and my favorite sunnies. What we were not prepared of was the kind of heat we were about to experience.

It was excruciatingly HOT in Rome! While in Spain (our first Europe destination), we were not bothered so much of the heat because the experience of being finally in Europe was still sinking in. But when we traveled to Italy and set foot in Rome, I almost died in dehydration and heat stroke. Seriously!

June 24, 2012

Sunset Watching in Boracay Island

No words to explain this magnificent beauty!

The most beautiful sunset I've seen was in Boracay Island, Philippines, where we had our honeymoon last January 2010. Since we were there to just chill out and relax, the activity we did most of the times was just lying in the beach, drinking the island's famous fruit shake, people watching and enjoying this beautiful scenery.

Not-so Dreamy Dreamland Beach, Bali

My dear friend suggested that we check out this "supposedly" dreamy beach while at Nusa Dua, Bali. There was so much hype about this place, apparently, which made her gushed about it for our trip. So off we searched and booked a taxi to bring us to this much talked about beach area.

While on the way, I've read here that Dreamland beach is not-so dreamy at all. I did not believe at first because my friend mentioned, the area is really pretty and I will like it, however at the same time, I did not set my expectations high.

Unfortunately, the blog was indeed true. We arrived at the place packed with tourists, not the foreign tourists that we used to see in Bali but tourists on field trip buses mostly from Jakarta. I'm not saying that its a bad thing, what I'm saying is its something new to me. It was just very crowded for our relaxed get away and the beach area was not that impressive at all. But since, the husband and I are so used to unexpected circumstances, we tried to enjoy the place anyway.

June 17, 2012

Next Summer - I will be an explorer in Palawan!

Tao Philippines: Explorers Wanted from Scott Sporleder on Vimeo.

In the beautiful island of Palawan, Philippines!

I've seen their feature in Discovery Channel today and I am just in awe. I've been to Puerto Princesa and dreamt of visiting Coron and El Nido soon. However, I never thought I could actually join an expedition in the island and visit smaller remote islands. All I had in mind before was to beach bum and island hop in the usual place.

I learned that the expedition is organized by a group called Tao Philippines. After reading through their website, reviews and articles written by other travelers, I am paying my highest respect to them. What they're currently doing in Palawan is everything I dreamt of doing in Cebu in the future.

Bali, Indonesia - second time around

This trip is quite opposite from the last time we were here in 2010. Our first trip was with friends and we spent our days learning how to surf and beach bumming in Kuta Beach and Padang-padang.

This time around, its just me, the husband and the beautiful beach of Nusa Dua. We stayed in the lovely resort of Courtyard by Marriott. We were lucky enough to receive a two night stay at this luxury hotel after attending a seminar at Marriot vacation club (which I highly recommend). Otherwise, without the voucher, we would not consider staying here. We are cheapos like that! :D However, if you want to relax, chill out and enjoy friendly service, this resort is worth checking. I personally love the interior of the lobby and the design of the rooms. It defined modern, chic and elegance.

June 14, 2012

FAQ: "Why do you travel a lot?"

I've been asked this question a gazillion times and I always feel that people are exaggerating.

Firstly, I don't travel "a lot". Secondly, they always make me feel weird about myself everytime I answer the question. It's as if I am from a different world unfamiliar to them and they give me that "don't-brag-about-your-travel" look.

Personally, I firmly believe that LIFE is SHORT, cliche as it may sound! I've consider myself goal-oriented and knows what I want. Life is short so why not enjoy it while you still can?! My way of enjoying it is seeing the world as much as I can. For some people, they enjoy life by working their asses off or taking care of their families. Others are contented with their inner world (whatever that is). That is perfectly alright...as long as they are happy doing it.

The world that I want to enjoy are the places outside my comfort zone, the unfamiliar and sometimes unknown. I remember my first flight outside my hometown Cebu, my eyes were wide in amazement at how that little plane could take us to another place in less than an hour, above the clouds. The people in Manila were different from us Cebuanos. Although I was with my parents, I took notice of how we treat each other differently and at how we respond to good and not so nice situations. That experience opened my mind to the possibility that it will be much more different and difficult in another country. For awhile in my adult years, I never dreamt of traveling outside Philippines because of fear that I will be treated differently. I was too comfortable wandering in my little hometown and quite often visited other islands as well.

My relocation to Singapore opened a whole new world for me in terms of understanding others, adapting well to difficult situations, eagerness to learn something new and seeing more places. When you are in a place with nothing and no one familiar, you either accept or leave. I am glad I've decided to open my mind broadly enough that I been loving this place for 5 years.

Ever since, I've been craving and dreaming to visit a new place. I've been to quite a few now on my list and I'm still adding up more :) I always feel I am a different person when I am travelling and that emotion makes me feel peaceful inside. Even in difficult situations where patience is tested to the limit, I've become more accepting and humble. Of course it varies from person to person.

So why exactly do I travel "so much"? I reckoned, I just want to waste my money on experiences that I don't normally encounter/learn/emerge myself with in my comfort zone. If that is wrong, then I don't want to be right :)

Best Paella is in Valencia, Spain!

I swear I've tasted the best paella in Valencia, Spain!

We travelled to four cities in Spain and almost always had paella every meal :D Don't judge us, it was our first time in the country!

Valencia was never part of my cities to visit, however, since the husband couldn't travel with me to Italy and France, I gave him the freedom to choose the cities he wanted to visit in Spain. Expectedly, the history/architecture buff in him prevailed.

Indeed this lovely city did not fail us in the architecture department. The old buildings were a sight to behold. I heard myself saying "wow" a million times :D

June 12, 2012

Coz travel stories are meant to be shared...

YES! I have decided to reincarnate my almost dead blog :)

I realized I could not design a blog of my own and css codes are just too much for my little brain to handle  thus I am back to blogspot. Nevermind that I purchased a domain and tried to make my own travel website but to no avail. So I am back! :)

I promise to tell you stories about my recent travels and previous ones that I have yet to sort out photos :) I am soo lazy at this kind of thing, sorting out photos that is. Makes me miss the place all the more, yet it gives me a different kind of excitement.

For the next couple of days or months, I will share the awesome and not-so nice experiences we had while backpacking in Europe with my sister, the two weeks break I had (because I resigned from work) and backpacked to Bangkok, Laos and Koh Samui, the first time we joined a package tour in Chiang Mai Thailand, the relaxing/pampered trip we had in Melbourne and Sydney with my mum and my recent birthday trip to Bali. Looooong list! Expect an overload of photos soon. Watch this space! =)

Meantime, while I dissect words to post, enjoy my current favorite travel song ^_^

Btw, who knows how to edit my header so I can add a background photo in it? :D