6 Places 2016 Has Taken Me4:49 PM
A few days left until we ring in the new year, so it's time for the classic year-end post! A bit different this time, however, as I a...
A few days left until we ring in the new year, so it's time for the classic year-end post! A bit different this time, however, as I am recounting the year through the places I have been to. I may not have blogged as much this year (nor did I make as many trips as I used to), but I certainly enjoyed writing about my travels as each one was special for me. Also, it was my first time to travel abroad on my own (click to read).
And, with that said, here are my 6 places in 2016!
Mariveles, Bataan (Philippines)
I started off my adventure in 2016 with a trip to Bataan for Date A Kid 2016--my second Date A Kid in attendance. Date A Kid is how my friend Kit has been celebrating her birthday the past few years and is always worth the trip out of Manila. The place and the event is a reminder for me to always be generous, not only in giving material things but also giving a piece of yourself and bringing joy and love to those around you. I think it will always be one of the most rewarding trips I've made and will continue to make for as long as it runs.
Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)
One out of two hikes I did this year--and the more successful one. LOL. My hike up Qixing Mountain in Taiwan wasn't as successful, but more on that in another blog post! Apart from the success of my weak legs on this trip, my Mount Pinatubo experience taught me to keep seeking new experiences, whether on your own or with a group of friends. On this trip, I traveled with friends whom I usually travel with mostly to beaches. Our mermaid fins weren't used to having a body of water safe to swim in nearby, but it was a beautiful experience nonetheless; not to mention, the photos were breathtaking! #DoItForTheGram
My first trip outside of the Philippines as an adult and the only reason why it took a lot of convincing before I got out there was because I was worried about leaving work. How crazy is that? I've been known to work even as I'm on "vacation", but because I didn't have access to the Internet or my laptop all the time, I was able to detach myself and actually enjoy. What is this "enjoying" that people do?! The concept is new to me. Kidding! But really, my travel to Thailand taught me the value of slowing down and appreciating the time I have. I remember drinking wine and watching the sunset from the infinity pool of the house I stayed in. It was magical.
Cagbalete Island (Philippines)
One of a few impulsive trips I made this year. I went with a friend from work who invited me 3 hours before they were leaving! Before I even had time to think, I had already said "G!" and had an hour and a half to pack. Although impulsiveness isn't always a gift-giving trait, this moment certainly gave back a lot. In that, I think no matter how impulsive we can get, we also have to have some boundaries on the things we allow ourselves to be impulsive over.
I had two trips to Singapore this year, both on my own... kind of. I traveled to visit my cousin and on the second time, I booked my flights only 2 days before the trip! It was last-minute because I had found out that she wouldn't have family over to spend her birthday with and as I am family and I could go, I did. Although last-minute and unplanned, sometimes we just take risks for those we care about and that's how you know the people you'd jump through hoops for.
I never saw myself traveling to Taiwan this year at all. But once upon a seat sale and after a few trips out of the Philippines, I finally booked the flights to Taiwan for my birthday. Taiwan was a surprise of a lifetime. I was learning about another culture and country, but more so, about myself. I learned how I would deal with getting lost in another place, traveling with a different group, and communicating with other people when there's a language barrier. Definitely a challenging yet exciting experience for me! I'll have more stories about Taiwan in a separate post, but for now I would say that this would have to be my favorite adventure so far!
2016 for me was a year of making impulsive decisions, getting lost (literally), and finding myself. After each trip, it felt like I had grown into a newer, thicker skin. I come back with a different view of the world and a better understanding of who I am. Although it still seems quite unclear to me where I want to be, I do know for sure that life keeps taking me to places where I need to be.