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Quote of the Day! :) #4

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Story of the Week: Sagada Adventures with Mel

Q: What motivates you to travel despite your busy schedule?
A: My inner wanderlust.

I agree with this. I know that for some of us, our work doesn’t permit us to enjoy a vacation, but if you have that inner wanderlust, you will surely find yourself lost in the beauty of nature! 

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This is their hospital. Mel admired the simplicity of life here in Sagada.

Q: Which do you prefer: Day Tours/ Backpacking (for weeks or months)/ A few overnight stays?
A: I haven’t experienced the backpacking yet, but I would love to. So far I prefer Overnight Stays, day tour is too short.

 

Q: What are your preparations before going on a trip?
A: Before going on a trip, I usually prepare the things that I need to bring with me. I packed my clothes, toiletries and other essentials a day before. I make sure that I’m in good condition for travelling, I would like to have a good night sleep but because of excitement I just can’t have. Haha.

Q: If you can travel for the next 3 months, where would you like to go? Why?
A: If I can travel for the next 3 months, I would like to go to my country’s 81 Provinces. I did have trips on the few and it will be awesome if I got to visit them all. Just like what I’ve said, I always wanted to explore the beauty of PH.

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Sagada Lake. “At that time, the water looked like chocolate. It just rained but it was still beautiful.”

Q: What do you like most about this place?
A: Philippines natural wonder.

 

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Cemetery

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Kiltepan

Q: Did you have expectations prior to your visit? Did your experience live up to the expectations you had?
A: Of course I have but not much. I just wanted to enjoy my stay and appreciate the beauty of the place that I visited. As for my experiences there I can say that it somehow exceeded my expectations.

Q: What is your message to our friends who would like to travel but can’t find time out of their day jobs?
A: You can always opt to have travels on weekends ( also you can take a leave once in a while, remember it’s your privilege(, don’t get confined in that 4 corner wall. Make time for yourself and enjoy! If you think travelling is the cure to your stressful life, go pack your bag now and explore!

 

Thank you Mel for sharing your experience here at Sagada. I was able to feel your excitement while telling this story and I’m sure that there are more places you can share with us. 

So for you guys, just enjoy the place and have fun. 

Visit Sagada someday! 🙂

Mountain Adventures with Nikhsplorer!

Hi everyone! I’m back with another post!

Today, we’ll hear from Nikhail. Recently,  she is going to many places and I am glad that she agreed to share her traveling adventures with us. So if you haven’t been to the Philippines yet, here’s some itinerary you might want to add in your plan.

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Q: What’s your name?
A: Nikhail Grace Z. Gonzales aka nikhsplorer hehe 😅

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Batangas but been working and living in Makati since 2012.

Q: What is your dream?
A: LOTS 😂 i have lots of dreams on different aspects but since this is about travel so my dream is to travel and explore different places in the philippines and even other parts of the world with a purpose. So Travel and explore with a purpose. A purpose that is more of others and less for self. You’ll know more about it in my succeeding trips. Hehe

Q: When have you decided that you want to travel? Is it something that you have always wanted?
A: Since I started working. Since I started earning on my own. Yes, always! 😃

Q: Where did you travel recently?
A: We had a day tour at Minalungao in Nueva Ecija last Feb. 26. And a trilogy hike in Nasugbu (Batulao, Talamitam and Apayang) last Jan. 14. And last dec 2016, had a 3 day trip in Agusan del Norte. Went to tinuy-an falls, enchanted river and island hopping at Britania group of islands.

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                                                                   Minalugao, Nueve Ecija                                                                       Photo source: Nikhail Gonzales

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                                                                                Batulao                                                                   Photo Source: Nikhail Gonzales

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Talamitam

 

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                                               Apayang                                                      Photo source: Nikhail Gonzales

Q: Is that your favorite place so far? If not, please tell me your favorite, and why?
A: So far, my favorite was the trilogy experience because I must say it is really an achievement to have climbed 3 mountains in one day with a side trip pa to caleruega church.

That’s indeed an achievement Nikhail! I think it’s amazing to climb 3 mountains in one day. I can imagine the thrill and satisfaction in every climb. 🙂

 

Q: Was it difficult to go there? How long did it take you to get there?
A: No it’s not. Since we left manila so early, we only had 1.5 hours of travel to nasugbu.

As you know, it’s always traffic in Manila so leaving early can give you a big headstart! Beat the traffic by leaving early. 🙂

Q: How much did you have to spend so you can experience the adventures at its best?
A: 3 mountains for only Php746.00 😁

Wow! That’s an awesome deal Nikhail! Guys, Php 746.00 is only 14.82 USD. You should include this in your next travel plan. 

Q: How often do you travel?
A: I aim and look forward to have a monthly get away on a budget.

Q: What motivates you to travel despite your busy schedule?
A: Hunger for learning and experience. It is when i travel i get recharged. It is when i travel i learn. It is when i travel i met new people. It is when i travel i get to know about different places. It is when I travel i get to know myself more.

Q: Which do you prefer: Day Tours/ Backpacking (for weeks or months)/ A few overnight stays?
A: So far, we go for DIY day tours.

Q: What are your preparations before going on a trip?
A: Read blogs and itineraries.

How about you guys? Do you do this to? ’cause I do! And it helps a lot. 🙂

Q: If you can travel for the next 3 months, where would you like to go? Why?
A: Batanes. Because of its breathtaking views like New Zealand in PH.

Q: What is your message to our friends who would like to travel but can’t find time out of their day jobs?
A: Make time! That’s the only thing. Or else they won’t be able to travel for the rest of their lives if they always have an excuse.

So there you have it!
Thank you Nikhail for sharing such an exciting experience. Hopefully we helped you get motivated. Life is short. Some things aren’t easy but we have to make time for it just like Nikhail.

 

If you have adventures like this, feel free to send me a message. Let’s talk! 🙂

Rast’o Explores Ecuador

Today we have Rast’o to share his experience with us. You haven’t heard about him because this is his first contribution to the blog. He is from Slovakia and you will surely enjoy his exciting trips.
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conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
etymology: the country’s position on the globe, straddling the Equator, accounts for its Spanish name
Q: When did you visit Ecuador? Why did you choose Ecuador?
A: I was in Ecuador at the end of last year (2016). South America has always been my dream and Ecuador is perfect to start my exploration. You can find everything in a small area – ancient cities, high mountains, rain forest and nice beaches as well.
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Q: What was the season when you visited? Do they have four seasons too?
A: They just have two obvious seasons – dry and wet. But there are significant differences in regions because of altitude. When i was there in November, it’s the beginning of wet season, but ideal time for mountains.
Q: So can you tell me about how you went to Ecuador? If you used plane, how much was the ticket and how long was the trip? If not, please give me details about your chosen public transport.
I traveled by plane and the journey was very long and exhausting… I started in Vienna (Austria), with transits in Madrid (Spain) and Miami (USA), then I finally landed in Ecuador… after 40 hours of traveling. Normal price of ticket from Europe is around 1 000 €, but there was a promotion price for 550 €.
Wow! That’s a great discount! 
Q: In which Airport did you arrive?
A: I landed in Guayaquil, the largest city of Ecuador, but not capital. However i don’t like big cities, so right from airport, I went to the countryside.
Q: Did you book a hotel or hostel or you did couchsurfing? Among those 3 options, which one is the best and can you tell us why?
I stayed in a hostels during the whole trip, but I didn’t book anything in advance. I prefer this type of accommodation, because i never know where i will be in the evening. I think that couchsurfing can also be cool, but i haven’t tried it.
Q: What do you like about Ecuador?
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A: As I mentioned, i like the diversity of Ecuador. One day I was walking through the jungle, the next day I was climbing the volcano high above 5,000 meters and the next morning I was swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
Aw! I would love to try that. It would be great to do these random things. This is what makes us explore our inner selves. 🙂 
Q: What can you say about the locals, if you had a chance to communicate with them?
A: In this country,  nice and friendly people are linked with nature. They always tried to help me, but they weren’t intrusive.
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Q: What’s their official language, and do you think it’s easy to understand or not?
A: Official language in Ecuador is Spanish. Almost no one can speak English there. It was a big problem, because i don’t speak Spanish at all. I communicated by hands and after three weeks there i understood many Spanish words.. haha.

Haha! I totally understand the need to improvise. I did that too, I communicated in a different way since hand signs aren’t working well. Good thing I had some sheets of paper with me so I drew something that I was talking about. It was indeed effective! 

 

Q: Did you have expectations about Ecuador prior to your trip? If yes, what was it, and did your experience live up to your expectations? If none, then would you say that you are satisfied with your trip?
A: I read one book about Ecuador before the trip, so i knew something about the country. I expected the stunning scenery and nice people. All this is true.
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Enter a caption

 

Q: What food have you tried in Ecuador? Can you tell us more about it and its taste?
A:  One of the traditional foods you should try while visiting Ecuador is “cuy”, that is roasted guinea pig. For me it was something special, because in my country this is animal pet. But it tasted delicious, like chicken or rabbit.

 

Q: Did you buy some souvenirs?
A: Yes, a lot, really!. Ecuador has the most beautiful souvenirs I have ever seen. On indigenous market you can find handmade crafts – woolen goods such as ponchos, sweaters, scarves, hats as well as hammocks, carvings, paintings and so on.

Say three words that best describe Ecuador.
A: Altitude, diversity and humility.
Q: Would you visit Ecuador again?
A: I have traveled many countries, but Ecuador is certainly one of those where I wish to go back. I fell in love with South America.
What a lovely experience Rast’o!
For those of you who are still thinking about where to go next, then probably Ecuador is the right one for you. Put it in your list and start exploring! 🙂

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Story of the Week: Mel’s Oohhlala Sagada Experience

Hello everyone! Here’s our first Story of the Week this March. We are very fortunate to have Mel as our contributor this week since there are so many awesome sights you can see in the North. If you haven’t been to Sagada, then read up! 🙂

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Q: What’s your name?
A: Hi I’m Mel

Q: Where are you from?
A: Batangas, Philippines

Q: What is your dream?
A: I wana go to Neverland! Joke! ( I want to explore my country and other places in the world as well.)

Q: When have you decided that you want to travel? Is it something that you have always wanted?
A: When I entered the corporate world and became more aware of what life has to offer. I might say, YES! I always wanted to travel.

You’re right Mel! Sometimes, all we need is a wider view. So for those of you who haven’t traveled yet, then start now! It’s not too late. Experience is more valuable than the amount of money you’ll spend. 🙂

Q: Where did you travel recently?
A: La Union, Philippines

Q: Is that your favorite place so far? If not, please tell me your favorite, and why?
A: Not my favorite, but I love this place 🙂 My favorite is Sagada in Mt. Province, Philippines, the place where broken heart goes and move on as what the movie “That thing called Tadhana” has implied. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not broken hearted when I went there. Hahaha. Sagada is my favourite because of its simplicity, it’s peaceful there and the cold won’t bother you because of the warm welcome of its locals. The place is also surrounded by nature.

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                                                   Marlboro Mountain of Sagada                                         Source: Mel

Q: Was it difficult to go there? How long did it take you to get there?
A: It’s not that difficult to go there, from Manila to Baguio its six hours then from Baguio to Sagada approximately 4 hours a total of 10 hours.

Q: How much did you have to spend so you can experience the adventures at its best?
A: For me, you don’t have to spend much just to experience the best adventure. You just need to learn the art of appreciation and always be ready for life surprises, like where is the thrill when everything is just planned, right?

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town proper

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source: Mel

My trip in Sagada just cost me around Php 5,000. Php 2,900 for the whole package 3D2N tour inclusive of transfer, entrance & environmental fees and accommodation. For the food Php 100 – 150 per meal (I did make sure that I got to taste & eat the most famous grab at the places that I visited) the rest is for small souvenir and pasalubong.

Q: How often do you travel?
A: When my time & budget permits.

 

So there you have it!

PART I of Mel’s adventures. 🙂

Watch out for PART II. 🙂