Years ago I made a promise to myself to go to some place new each time I turn a year older. This was going to be my way to celebrate the gift of life, a way to remind myself of new beginnings, of discoveries, of chasing dreams.
If memory serves me right, I made my first trip in 2009. My destination was Bangkok and supposedly, Cambodia. It was a trip of many firsts. To start the long list, it was my first time to use my own money for travel, first time to d-i-y a trip, first time in Clark Airport, first time to travel abroad, first time to travel abroad with mom, first time to twice escape the wrath of a typhoon.
In 2010, I made my first trip to Bantayan Island with four high school best friends. My first trip where I spent the eve of my birthday sick that I had to skip dinner and sleep. Bantayan, part of the province of Cebu, is the hometown of my dad’s mother. It was one of the places I have always wanted to visit for sentimental reasons. My dad shared stories about this place, he told me that one day when I’m a little older he’ll bring me to visit Bantayan. We never got the chance to be in this place together. My dad passed in November 2003, I was a university freshmen, far away from home.
In 2011, Lil Bro helped me to fulfill my dream to see the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It ended up becoming a tri-country trip, Vietnam – Cambodia – a little of Thailand. This was the first time I travelled abroad with some of my high school buddies, first time to be sweared at by a local, first time to encounter immigration border security mishaps, first time to feel a mix of helplessness, fear, weariness, and all sorts of emotions you get when travelling in a foreign country by bus for x number of hours. A trip that started early in the day in Vietnam-Cambodia border got us to Siem Reap, Cambodia late in the evening.
September 2012 was quite busy. The week of my birthday got sandwiched with several local trips (Bacolod – birth week – Cebu- Bacolod/Iloilo) that celebrating some place else would be quite impractical. The celebration was a hearty dinner with closest friends.
This year 2013, it’s another new place and activity off my list: Siquijor and cliff jumping. Detailed posts of the Siquijor trip and my past travels are coming up in the next few days and weeks. Happy New Year to me!