She tapped her foot, impatient, as the tuktuk whizzed by the bikers heading the same way.
They passed by beautiful, tall trees, towering over the horizon. The road was clean, paved and clear, except for a few bikers stopping to rest.
At the end, the tuktuk reached a clearing and turned, the view of the temple just beyond reach, over the glistening river under the afternoon Cambodian sun.
They stopped at a parking area and she jumped off the tuktuk, her heart beating in excitement.
And then she faced it. That infamous, ancient temple, standing beyond the bridge, in its ageless beauty.
She breathed deeply, eager to remember, savor the moment.
Last year, she only dreamed of this day. This year, she was here.
It was her moment. And she was going to make it forever.
As lovers of travel, we are made up of several moments.
Moments that build us up. Moments that bring us down. Each moment we love, learn and continue to live.
This is the life of a travel blogger. We hang onto moments, live up to our dreams, fight for what we want and continue to change the norm of standard living.
We, the Pinoy Travel Bloggers, have had a prosperous year of travel.
And we’d love to share them with you.
Making it happen
We all have dreams. The difference is: are you making it happen?
Mervin of Pinoy Adventurista makes his dreams happen this 2013. He faced his challenges, finally quit his job and worked to tick off items in his list. His advice to all other dreamers?
“Don’t just dream of getting to your dream destinations – Make it happen!”
Mark of Kurtzky celebrates a year of living his dreams. He ventured into Basilan, crossing out an item from his bucket list. He went to Singapore, Ho Chi Minh and fell in love with Cambodia. Last year, he wished to visit more destinations. And this year, he made it happen.
“I began living my biggest dreams.”
Brenna of the Philippine Travelogue, agrees. And in the 13 life lessons I learned this 2013, making it happen is the best lesson I’ve learned. And if it fails?
“Make it happen again.”
Yaj of iWander.iExperience.iKwento has had a wonderful year. Despite being new to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s group, his year has been filled with adventures and experiences. He traveled alone, met new friends and inspired people with his blog.
“Here comes another 365 days to be used to plan another adventure of a lifetime.”
Amen, Yaj. Amen.
Paola of PonderingPaodaolei made it happen this year. She met new friends, ticked off items in her bucket list, realized a lot of things and became more confident to try new things. This 2013, Paola went out of her comfort zone and braved the ever-scary world of love. She says:
“Maybe he is lurking somewhere.”
And he probably is, Paola. Us, girls, shouldn’t lose hope.
Joey of Bound for Two calls 2013 a roller coaster ride. The year brought him moments of grief, escape, adjustment, liberation and most of all – unforgettable memories. He even crossed off a few items from his 40-ish wishlist!
Was all Joey wished for last 2012. He definitely got it this 2013.
Milet Miranda of Project Gora ventures on her second year of
addiction travels. While budget traveling, she discovers places and meets people while she’s young. Milet may not have the latest iPhone or Samsung, but she has one thing not everyone has: Experiences in travel. And that, my friends is:
Gay Emami of The Pinay Travel Junkie broke all rules of travel when she continued traveling while pregnant. Heck, up to today I wonder who’s more bad-ass, Gay for bringing the adorable Luna everywhere; or the adorable Luna for being in more countries than I have without reaching the age of 7. This year, Gay breaks the norm of standard “settling down” and got sucked in to the world of amazing travels. And that black hole? It’s not gonna let her out.
“If your black hole is this bewitching, will you try to crawl out of it?”
Gay, I’m sorry, but it looks like you’re untreatable for travel addiction.
Claire of I am Traveling Light made 2013 the year she stepped out of her comfort zone. Traveling solo has changed her – those realizations, the greatest moments and the surprises will forever be a part of her. Claire also fell in love with the beauty of having friends, meeting people and enjoying company.
“Happiness [is] only real when shared.”
Claire is happy to realize this early. We only hope to do the same.
Monica of Ramblings About Anything enjoyed 2013. Her year is dedicated to her family and friends – a source of strength for all the trying and important moments. But that didn’t stop her from making it happen. She did Indonesia, Zambales, Tagaytay and Camiguin and more despite any personal problems.
“I took a step forward.”
And didn’t let anything stop her. Because before you make it happen, it is always that step forward that matters.
EXPeriences AND ADVENTURES
We all have plans to experience adventure. Some have reasons, others like an escape. But with all our experiences, do you love? Do you learn?
Ervin Malicdem of Schadow1 Expeditions literally maps the country with his adventures. His achievements this year aren’t small, for his expeditions and our Philippine map. His purpose of traveling and mapping it?
“A Filipino will not be stranger to his own motherland.”
The travel industry thanks you.
Doc Gelo of DocGelo.com learns a lot during his travels. His good and bad memories along the road make him a better person. And his persistence to endure the hardships of 2013 has lead him to a long, but blessed road of travels. Because in travel,
“Every moment counts. Every step matters.”
Louie of Nomad Perspectives was blessed to see places and meet different people. He doesn’t have the answers to his questions of the future, but then again, who does? While others took 2013 to slow down a little, Louie was different.
“I moved through 2013 like a child with hyperactivity disorder- almost restless.”
He didn’t get any awards for his travels or fireworks for his adventures. But the most important medal to ever be awarded to you will always come from yourself.
Cristeen of Senyorita Lakwachera has every moment molding her to who she is this very day. With a mixture of work and pleasure, she gains a year of experience, life lessons and memories that will forever be tattooed in her heart. Condolences to you and your family for the passing of your Great Grandmother. But yes, you are right.
“That trip was written in the stars, long before we did it.”
Ephraim Arriesgado of Selfless Travels remembers this year as memorable, heartbreaking, but action-packed. While his plans may not have been God’s plans, he made the best of it and accepted it wholeheartedly. For Ephraim,
“2013 was a year of travels, trials and God’s blessings.”
Astrid of Starfish Travels may have an empty wallet (oh, teh, my wallet mourns with yours), but her memory card is filled with moments of 2013. Despite it all, this wandering girl will never, ever feel poor. Not with every choice of travel she makes.
“I’d rather be out in the world than in front of a laptop watching other lives happen.”
And there goes the sound of breaking hearts of all those who procrastinate.
Edmar of the Town Explorer has had a year full of adventure. His year had been a turning point – one wherein returning isn’t possible. 2013 had been a year of milestones, crucial decisions and unexpected realizations. An epic journey that will open up even more epic journeys for the next year.
“Much of my adventures will define who I am today.”
Armie Abigania of Mie’s Adventures considers 2013 as a year of adventure with all twists and turns. The year may have been filled with unfortunate experiences and glitches, but these are what makes life worth living. Because after everything that has happened, these experiences will make each moment memorable.
“For every adventure, having bad experiences is inevitable.”
Riz Baldivia of Lamyerda is afraid of routine and boredom. Different and crazy are more her type of thing. Her 2013 has been filled with crazy, amazing, wonderful and beautiful experiences. For Riz, 2013 is:
“Another year of memories to count on, cherish and value.”
Christine of Jovial Wanderer may not have met that man who gushes at the sound of her name, but she has certainly wandered. In 2013, she conquered just about every challenging mountain I have ever heard about (Mayon!!!!) and took her blogging to the next level. Shoray, girl.
“I focused my energy on pursuing goals that I’ve set aside, tried new things and traveled to places I wondered about.”
Trust me, there’s no time better than now.
Tita Lili of Life is a Celebration may not have spent the Christmas season in the Philippines. But her year has definitely been a year of experiences and adventures. She conquered Mt. Pinatubo, fell in love with Batanes, went to Mongolia and lived in Madrid. Nevertheless, in the coming weeks, when her plane lands in Manila, she’ll still say:
“I’m back home.”
Because for us, there is nothing like home – wherever it may be.
Aiyo of the Vacation Preview felt like she skipped a year. Even if she visited Baler, Tagaytay, Calaguas, Siquijor and more, Aiyo was more connected to the Yolanda tragedy as the region hit was her home. But despite everything that has happened, she considers herself:
“I’m not well, but better.”
In these times of tragedies, sometimes, we can’t heal. Instead, all we can do is move on.
Kenneth of Mr. Bratpacker thinks it is not the places nor the photos that made it worthwhile in his 2013. It was the people that inspired him and kept him going. He may have quit his job and lost the standards of normal living, but at the end of the day, Kenneth joins the ranks of those who would fight to be happy.
“I have learned a lot from them, from the experience of going there, getting there and being there.”
Sometimes, it is whom you share your journey with that makes it worthwhile.
Mc Pol of Weekend Sidetrip thought 13 was a bad number. But at the end of the year, it turns out the opposite. He did Mt. Pulag, Mt. Apo, Davao and more – making this year as fruitful as ever.
“Life has a weird way of showing us that it’s our choice on how we want to see it.”
Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder.
Angel of Lakwatsero had a year of fun, adventure and surprises. Even with his full-time work, he still managed to engage in time-consuming, ass-bending, jealousy-enriching travels to Banaue, Malapascua, Nepal and even Banyuwangi of Indonesia and more! Angel describes 2013 as:
“Wonderful and wanderful.”
And us, trapped in corporate world slow claps, jaws dropped.
Ron of FlipTravels tried to summon the wanderlust fairies and rainbow-farting unicorns to come up with a plan for 2013. But none came (sorry, they were all playing jackstones with me). And yet, the dynamic duo went on crazy, awesome journeys to Myanmar, Switzerland, Austria and more!
“May the promise of the new year lead us to destinations that will satisfy our insatiable craving for adrenalin, solace, enlightenment and even the shallow scratching of our itchy feet.”
Ron says of the next year. Just know that YOU are our inspiration board for OUR upcoming travels.
LEArnING AND LIVING
We have all felt lost once, twice, possibly all of the time in our lives. But it is up to us to figure a way to fall in love with being lost or find a way out of it – whichever our hearts lead us.
Ian Dela Pena of Brown Man Trips has been lost for quite some time. This 2013, he struggled to find himself. Eventually, he found himself after losing himself. Confusing? Well, aren’t we all?
“it isn’t wrong to be selfish from time to time specially if it would mean sacrificing your own happiness, coz sometimes happiness is all that we have.”
The truth is, we are all selfish in many ways. We just gotta find a way to somehow balance it out.
Macatol Roniel of Eating Halfway is thankful, happy and contented with his experiences this 2013. All work and no play makes a traveler bored and he found himself going beyond the needs of his travels at work. But he learned something very, very important.
“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants.”
True. That is, until they work hard for it.
Renz of The Traveling Nomad has a dream. While he had to go through harsh realities, he aimed high, because all he wanted was the perfect sunset. But his journey wasn’t one that took him to far locations. Instead, it was one that took him right here – happy, right smack in the center of the travel industry – in a dream career he sacrificed so much for. Our resident Air Traffic Controller/travel blogger/crazy person, who I can never be more proud of, Renz considers 2013 the beginning of his moment. ZY, you are ready to serve.
“You have to believe in yourself in spite of everything. Chasing a dream is harder than we thought, but once you get a grasp on it, you’ll eventually get there.”
Hear me slow clapping, all the way from Rizal, kambal. All the way.
Mark of Lakwatserong Tsinelas had a year of drastic changes. Instead of the usual destinations, he found himself wandering to other provinces in the country and trying new festivals. But despite his heartbreak and trials during the year, Mark still hopes.
“waking up to the warmth of sunrise and its view and catching sunsets from various destinations of the country emanated hope.”
Without hope, we lose.
Tita Mheanne of My Comings and Goings slowed down a little from her travels. But it was because she entered a different, crazy, but amazing journey. 2013 has been the best.
“It holds a lot of ‘firsts’ and tons of beautiful memories on the road.”
Sonyboy Fugaban of The Wandering Feet and Mind considers 2013 a milestone. He loosens up as he discovers more about the benefits of blogging. He broke out of his comfort zone and let himself become a child at heart again. With his experiences this year, he learns a lot.
“If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Melo of Out of Town Blog had a life-changing 2013. His adventurous spirit brought him to Myanmar, the Malasimbo Music Festival (JOSS STONE!!!!!), Bicol and many more destinations throughout the year. Despite the crazy weather in the country, Melo didn’t stop traveling and his hard work has landed him some of the best experiences any traveler could only ever hope to have.
“Travel more, learn more, help more, live more, read more, inspire more and dream more.”
We all want more. But which of us has the courage to fight for it?
Mai Flores of Budget Biyahera had a physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially challenging 2013. She may have had a challenging first half, but Mai broke (no pun intended, bahahaha) through it all and her love of travel is alive and very much healthy.
“I am back on track.”
Mai says. And we welcome her. Because only the best have the courage to fall, but fight their way back up.
Lai of The Pinay Travelista loves affairs…
with travel! I wasn’t finished. It’s been a busy 2013 for Lai and she’s learned so much more than just the directions to a place. She traveled alone, learned not to be lonely, fought not to hold back and be thankful for all her experiences. Just like the end of this year,
“there’s comfort in the bittersweet end, like closing a chapter, and starting with a new one perhaps.”
Regin Reyno of Regin’s Travels acknowledges that life is full of uncertainties. Despite all of his planning, his path lead him to amazing adventures which he loved, learned and lived.
“We can dream and plan. But we still don’t know what tomorrow can bring.”
And he’s right. All travelers should know that travel is the number one enforcement of change. And you have no choice but to accept, adjust and enjoy.
Ruby of See. Hear. Explore has had a year of mellowed down changes. Moments remained moments. Travel and blogging became more personal. Despite doing Bali and crossing off items in her bucket list like Penang, Ruby finds herself satisfied with just the moments. For her:
“storytelling took a backseat, but looking back, it is possible that creativity just took on a new route.”
Marky of Nomadic Experiences found 2013 to be different than his past years. But instead of losing himself in the changes, he found himself. He began wanting more of what used to be impossible. He found himself wearing the captain’s suit. And he found himself enjoying it.
“I may be heading to an entirely new territory, but I know in my heart that it is the right direction for me.”
It is in you, Marky, and every other traveler with your courage and bravery to head to new adventures that we all believe in.
Nathelle of Little Girl Goes Places is thankful for a lot of things this 2013. It may not have been the best year, but it was still wonderful with all the travels and experiences. Nathelle learns one of the most important things in traveling and life:
“A grateful heart is a happier heart.”
When was the last you said “thank you?”
Lorraine of Balancing Life on a Budget may have laid back on blogging. But she certainly didn’t lay back in traveling. With adventures in Europe, Malaysia and Japan, Lorraine certainly went all out. While she may be working hard to keep her blog alive, she’s right about one thing:
And that is one important detail we all must remember.
Gian of Adrenaline Romance learned a lot this year. Together with his sweetheart (Team Sweetie, all the way, pare!), they climbed walls and mountains, went spelunking, traveled to Palawan and more. Through their adventures, they discovered some very important lessons:
“You won’t get to your goal unless you take the first step, get off the ground, and forget your doubts.”
That first step. It’s all that matters.
Aleah of the Solitary Wanderer had a rich year. No, not in money (apir, girl!), but in experience and memories. She continues to discover beautiful places, conquer fears and follow her heart.
“It’s possible to separate the experiences from the place, to eventually love, instead of hate.”
In traveling, we all discover love.
Marj Garra of Layover to Life considers 2013 to be a combination of big, small, inconspicuous, but essential moments. Her year is filled with moments of hope, faith, family, surprises and laughter. This year may be over. But Marj moves on.
“There’s nothing wrong with celebrating life and living.”
Because at the end of the day, through disasters and tragedies, despite heartbreaks, trials, unfortunate mishaps and embarrassing moments, through thick and thin, blood and water, Napoles and Mar Roxas, Donya Ina and Senyorita Santibanez, “I can buy you, your friends and this bar,” and “Hindi mo ba ako kilala?” that’s what we all got to do:
Love, learn and live life.
It has been an amazing year.
We’ll all continue our stories this 2014. Are you ready to start yours?