A few things the Philippines taught me, first...
I recently traveled through the Philippines and instead of giving you a usual 'what to do, where to stay blah blah' piece, I thought I would try something a little different ;)
Travelling through the Philippines as a woman on your own is without a doubt slightly stressful at first. A lot of attention gets placed on the fact that you are traveling alone and the fact that you are a woman (a blonde one at that) especially from the locals. But, one thing that took me by surprise was the praise, the support and the appreciation of the fact that I was brave enough to do this.
This empowered me so much and completely energised my experience. It made me eager to adventure further, explore more and integrate deeper into the culture. In doing this I learnt some of the most valuable lessons in my travels. This will forever make me grateful to the Philippines and almost insist on anyone wanting to truly explore a country, your own capability and appreciate a culture - travel solo in the Philippines!
I'm going to share a few lessons throughout this week, one per day. I know it sounds nonsensical but when I originally put them all in one post I realised it is A LOT of reading for one post. So I thought i'd ease you back into it and just give daily short-reads that aren't too serious and don't take out too much time from your busy day ;P
Besides we all like a decent array of pictures to go with the story, and that's what I hope to give.
So sparing the chit chat here's one of my first lessons, hope you enjoy :)
Lesson 1: Take the leap and enjoy the ride.
A bit of an obvious and I suppose slightly cheesy lesson to start off on, but the gesture of leaping whole-heartedly into an adventure is truly the most important thing you can do from day 1.
Whilst I have been travelling throughout SE Asia, there was never really a moment where I had truly been alone. Always travelling with friends or new people I had met - somehow it was never just me. So, when it came to sitting on the airplane from Kuala Lumpur to Cebu completely on my own, I felt that sudden thump in my chest of being...ALONE. I felt afraid, excited, apprehensive - all the feelings! I reworked my budget about 10 times, was I going to make it, will I be able to move my feet past my first destination, My mind was going mad!
I had to stop myself there and then...
and just whisper a small pep talk to myself and say; well flip...if I'm going to go out - let me go with a bang! Enjoy the ride, give it horns and take nothing for granted, Bianca you are in the Philippines! In which world last year would you have thought you would be saying this...well, in this world. The one you're living. Go live it!
So having done that, I decided to go all out in the Philippines, to take each day as completely new. Opened myself up to meeting any and everyone, asked as many questions as I possibly could, roughed it out to spare the budget, drank the rum with locals and backpackers alike and jumped off every cliff I could find.
I learnt to just leap, enjoy the fall and hit the ground hard. It was a tone I didn't expect to reach so suddenly traveling alone. Once I had, I kept wanting more. More adventure, tougher challenges, further boundaries and an endless array of beautiful moments, the kind that I will never forget.
Conquering each day with this mindset meant I got involved in the most amazing adventures. Diving in some of the clearest water in the world, filled with the most unimaginable array of sea-life; from beautiful thresher sharks to tiny colourful nudibranches.
Then jumping off cliffs and waterfalls with new and beautiful friends, sharing laughs and smiles and slight looks of concern saying 'Should I jump first, or you?' Trying to learn how to do a backflip on the rope-swings by the waterfalls and failing miserably - but good for a laugh! All these moments contributed to that feeling of rejuvenation, a renewed energy a hunger for adventure a need to push my own boundaries and to see how far I could get.
To take that leap, keep going and enjoy the ride!
So, if you are looking to travel the Philippines, first of all - go for it, travel solo, take the plunge and jump with your whole heart into that adventure! It is amazing and when you open yourself up to all the opportunities, they will come for you!
Short and sweet from my side, but I hope you guys check in tomorrow for the next one. I will also be sure to post my route of the Philippines that I travelled, where I stayed, what I did exactly and how I was able to keep the budget somewhat at bay - I'll be sure to post that at the end of this week :)