Friday, April 22, 2011

My Travel Buddies

Traveling is the true love of my life. 
                             - Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat.Pray.Love)

My passion for travel started when I joined my friend's trip to Baguio in 2001.  Weekend out-of-town trips like Puerto Galera, Batangas and more followed years after.  When I first traveled abroad in 2006 for a business trip in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it was then that I knew I can do it on my own. 

my first trip abroad
Bound to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 2006
Burning with the fuel of curiosity through my veins and the accelerating excitement to see other countries like Hongkong and Singapore, I started to visit other country's tourism sites, read travel blogs and browse pictures on the net and travel magazines.  When I planned the Hong Kong trip in 2006 for 6 months, I started to scribble the bucket list of my dream destinations.  For the last eight years, the scheduled trips and planned vacation leaves had been my motivation to work hard. It then evolved from the mere fact of being in the place to getting fascinated of what I can discover.

After exploring the place myself, I find more fun in preparing the itinerary all over again and then share with friends who love to travel too. The thrill and adventure are very different when I am trying to figure out where I am heading - when I get lost and ask a local for directions.  We speak different languages but a smile and simple gestures can still make people understand each other.

We heart Spring! At Great Wall of China April 2011
L-R: Joan (on-site calculator), Anna (ITI planner), Lea (wala lang), Me (navigator), Vian (key keeper), Jen (simpleng photographer)
With my regular travel buddies like Anna, Joan and Vivian, we explored not only the beautiful places in the Philippines but also other countries like South Korea and Beijing. We are a group of independent travelers who, at the test of time, get used of each other and mutually understand the silent rules like "wake-up call", sharing of common expenses such as food, transportation and tours, amazing race-like itinerary, staying in a hostel, and most of all respect for time.  We can separate during shopping time but stick to the meeting time thereafter. 
Gyeongbokgung Palace
South Korea
May 2010
We shared the same interest in finding adventure as we figure out the country's transport system; experience and witness the culture and tradition; watch the locals way of life; taste their local food and cuisine; research for the best shopping districts (both for branded and local cheap best buys) and wander the tourist destinations (literally means walking and walking and walking!).
long stretch of Summer Palace
Beijing, China
..and on March 2013, I will be living my dream to travel only on my own.

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