First of all, allow me to greet you a Happy New Year! Let this 2018 be the time to give MORE for ourselves.
Days ago, I have been contemplating if I should be writing about my travels for 2017 when in fact I only have been to very few places. Later on, I realized, regardless of few places that I have been that year, there are massive of things that have been happening which I should put in the record through this post. After all, my purpose of this blog is to share all about travels.
In early 2017, I went back to places like Bohol, Sipalay, Camiguin, and Moalboal. Part of coming back was because of work and personal trips. The agency who I previously worked with, sent the request for a short trip to these islands, I agreed and sealed the deal.
During those time, I feel the love of the local whom I have been working with. Their sincerity when they saw me was phenomenal and telling me how they missed working with me. Although I quit the job just a few months prior to that, I didn’t expect that warm welcome when they saw me again.
One of the best parts in the first quarter of 2017 was my visit to Pangangan Island which is a small island located on the west coast of Bohol. It was supposed to be a quick visit with a relative whom I hadn’t get the chance to connect with. My uncle who is working in Bahrain has a family who is living on this island. From the moment I arrived, I felt some great connection not only with the family but also the beauty of this place that my 5 days plan visit turned into 3 weeks.
Indeed, connecting with the relatives here had given me great learnings. They introduced me to the local people in the island and bested my experience from harvesting a coconut wine to giving me so many ideas on how we all must be resourceful of the things we see at present. Through this encounter, the mantra of “Less is MORE” became so clear to me. I get the chance to discover another way of island living here, theirs has the abundance of food that can be caught through the seawater or from the shore where they get some seashells of different kinds, of sea creatures that I only saw from them. Regardless of having nothing, they didn’t have a huge problem of having a food to eat on a daily basis as they are more resourceful of having one. Surprisingly, the people are so giving. They give whatever they have, regardless if they have few, they reiterate that sharing is the best thing to do with people. I’ve seen how they have almost nothing on their plate, yet I didn’t see from them any hesitations in offering what they have. I know my culture is like this in my own country – The Philippines, giving is sharing, yet I have the chills of having an indescribable feeling the abundance these people have. My heart was of great motion for every material thing that I brought with me were a surprise for them as they just saw it from me, yet never saw some insecurities instead they kept reminding me on how lucky I am for dreaming of traveling the world and doing what I love. Above all, I met kids who are overwhelming as I always see a big smile on their face. To be honest, I felt that I am visiting a foreign village where I became a tourist myself in a country where I am from. This was one of the highlights of my 2017 travels.
There were so many scenes that occurred in the second part of the year. It was the time that I started forming my own tours which I luckily had people who booked tours to me but took that as a test on where should my capabilities suits well. I also set foot in Leyte which is now my 40th province I visited in the Philippines. Got the chance traveling with the people who are travel bloggers for 2 days in Leyte particularly in Cuatro Islas.
At the end of the second quarter, I went to Singapore. Being new to this country was astounding. Totally different from the countries that I visited. I thought to be in this first world country, I will have a hard time budgeting my money. Prior to my arrival, I kept on questioning myself if it’s really expensive to travel to Singapore. Turns out, this country had given my dreams to the next level that I should do more so I could afford to travel other first world countries. My experience at the top of the famous Marina Bay witnessing the sunset and watching the whole country was so surreal and unimaginable. It also rekindles my passion for dressing up and soar high for life.
After I went to Singapore, I explore more in diving. I went again with the same of group of travel bloggers in Leyte. Sheila and Gian of Adrenaline Romance invited us in if we wanted more adventures underwater. Without second thoughts, together with the others, we pursued. I finally had the time to do diving, though it was only an introductory one or a DSD (Discover Scuba Diving). That first diving practice proves that I have so much love playing in the sea under.
Right after that encounter, I decided to come back to Dumaguete where my family lives. It took me a while deciding if I should be staying long so my plans will be fully formed or I should be moving to another place to fulfill my itchy feet. Those thoughts fighting my head for weeks had come to its final decision to stay longer at my parent’s place until the Christmas holidays are over. Part of my plan in staying longer in Dumaguete is to spend more time again with the family, save money so I could fully pay those pending debts and have more for Travel Funds. But plans were adding more lists, I then started concentrating my physical fitness. Although I have been running for years now, I also noticed some huge change in my body, it grasps more weights and undesirable hormonal imbalances. I figured doing more in the fitness area will do good both my mental and physical aspect and it didn’t disappoint me. Good thing my sister who also now lives with my parents adapting my lifestyle and joining me almost daily in working out. Thus, joining Fun Run become our wildest motivation.
At the end of the year, my time was spent so well with the family. Attending family gathering, reuniting with cousins who come visit Dumaguete for the Christmas and making more memories as we also don’t know when we all will see each other again. This season I embraced the power of giving, thus, I give those neighbors who have nothing to put on their table for the Christmas Eve and giving gifts to my entire family (I have the huge family, just so you know).
Those 2017 moments are amazing that I know I will Thank myself in the years to come. Yet, surprisingly shocking, I lost my dear friend at the end of September. I had a hard time coping the pain I felt inside that I limit myself of sharing with few of my friends the emotional status I had that time. I traveled to Ozamiz City, a city where I grow up. Traveling there for the purpose of attending his burial, while in transit, I felt my heart was stabbed bit by bit, it was the hardest trip of my life. From his death, I learned so deep that I renewed friendship with people whom I lost contact because of my ego and pride. That same moment, I affectingly realized that Life is really so short.
I do really hope that my travel moments will give you some learnings and more thoughts on what your 2018 will be, may it be traveling or just merely reconnecting with people. Whatever you desire, fulfill that with love.
Have a blast for this 2018.
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Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is from the Philippines who travel spontaneously. Thrives to be more independent in her own skin. She first traveled The Philippines before she embarked to other countries. She believes that by traveling, her undying crave for learning excites her in a more profound way. Her flexibility had proven her that time is genuine. As a former tour guide in the Philippines, she hopes that her travel experiences will give value to the aspiring travelers. Connect with her at email@example.com,