"traveling is my drug" ayn_g's Profile

taking small steps

my love for traveling and seeing new places started when I was in grade school. It started when my parents took us to Manila from Iloilo one summer vacation. That was followed by constant short travels to beaches near Iloilo City. And often my father would take us with him when he had business trips in different provinces.

No matter how short or long the distance I would take, I still feel the same exhilaration and excitement thinking and finally setting foot on a new place... taking in the richness of landscapes, sights, tastes, smells, and sounds of a place I once dreamed of visiting and exploring.

However, traveling is not only something to relax myself... to pass time... It now has become a refuge... an ointment for a tired but still constantly questioning and searching soul. Traveling has given... and I believe, will continue to give me a better perspective of life, love, nature, beauty, and people.

the start

If i trace it, the very first traveling that I did in my entire life is the constant visit to my parents' hometowns. My mother hailed from Tapaz, Capiz, which was three hours away from Iloilo City. My father, meanwhile, was born in Manapla and later his family settled in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, which is an hour away from Bacolod City. Once in a while, my parents take us to their hometowns to visit our relatives.

But the real traveling I did was the 1989 trip to Manila, Tagaytay, Batangas, and Baguio with my parents and two siblings. I had a lot of wonderful memories from that summer. We camped on a white sand beach in Batangas. We had a long road trip to Baguio... and another one to Apalit, Pampanga, to visit my mother's uncle.

Then there were those frequent trips to Calinog, where we used to live, whenever my father had his business trips. There was the memorable trip to Anini-y, Antique, in the summer of 1992 with my mother's siblings and my cousins. The frequent trips to beaches in Guimbal and Miag-ao.

The 1994 trip to Boracay with the whole family. It was my father who drove for over 5 hours to take us to the famous island of Boracay. We only stayed there for a night but it was very memorable. The spur-of-the-moment, four-hour trip to Estancia to swim in Paon Beach. The trips to Panit-an and Roxas, Capiz.

destinations

It became my goal to visit a new place every year. It is my way of rewarding myself for the hard work that I did. It is also my way of finding my path and reflecting on my life. It is also the start of my love for budget traveling.

The first destination was Sagada in 2004. This was a four-day trip with my best friend and constant travel buddy Rosary and a college friend, Ian Mark. It was because of Sagada that I discovered virtualtourist.com, which provided me enough information to come up with a workable itinerary and realistic budget estimate.

The next year, I visited Cebu and Malapascua island in 2005 with Rosary and her co-worker James... swam the waters of Puerto Galera with my best friends, Rosary and Jen. Then climbed Mt. Manabo in Batangas with a friend, Lisa... and fell in love with Baler, Aurora... with my youngest brother, Gene Mark.

In 2006, it was Palawan - Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Sabang - still with Rosary, my former co-worker Jolan, and Portia. A three-day stay in Davao with a friend, Maureen.

In 2007, it is Lucban, Quezon, and Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin Island.

2008, my first solitary trip to an unfamiliar place -- Marinduque in March, Dumaguete and Siquijor with Fides and ate Olive in June, and Zambales with co-workers, former co-worker Jolan, and his former grade school classmate, Vel, in July. Coron in September with my sister, former co-worker Jolan, and his friend Vel.

2009, rediscovering my birth place, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental. Then, a four-day sojourn to Naga City and Caramoan with my co-workers -- Beng, Diomar, and Richard.

2010, the year is all about reminiscing and relearning my roots. I went home to Iloilo City again, this time with the whole family. Then stayed for days in Bacolod, Negros Occidental (where my father is from). There were side trips to Intramuros with friends and a birthday celebration in Baguio City with my family. Returned to Sagada, this time with ate Olive, Bel, Sandy, and Ony and his friend, Nino. Can't wait for next year.

2011, started off with a trip to Calaguas in February, Singapore and Malaysia -- my first trip out of the country -- with ex-NLP colleague Fides. A super laidback and fun trip to Legazpi City with Rhea Joy and Rmela in August, and then went home to Iloilo and Bacolod in December.

In 2012, a weeklong sojourn in Bacolod City and Iloilo City with my family. Three friends -- Sandy, Em, and Rmela -- then joined me in Iloilo and Concepcion to cap the holy week. Went back to Puerto Princesa and El Nido with Sandy, Olive, Rmela, and Ony. A Christmas trip to Boracay and Iloilo City with the family in December.

And more ...

In 2013, I went back to Cebu in June with Olive, Sandy, Rmela, and Sheila to go to Camotes island. I realized I missed Cebu chorizo a lot during that trip. I could have chorizo for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during that trip.

By July, Rmela, Rhea Joy, and I reunited for happy sojourn to Tacloban city and Kalanggaman island in Leyte. Kalanggaman island was so worth it. I wish I could go stay there longer.

In September, my mother and I traveled to General Santos city and visited her cousins in Nurallah. Took a day trip to Lake Sebu and Gumasa beach in Glan, Sarangani.

  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2014
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ayn_g

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