How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

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Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

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Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

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On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

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On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

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An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

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My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The 30 by 30 Epilogue

Almost exactly a year ago, I held a bow and arrow for the first time, and found myself competing with a 12 year old blonde kid with elvish genes whom I then referred to as, “Legolas”. Learning archery was the first of the 30 things I promised myself I would attempt, as part of this project. A project I had started because I wanted to find my niche! My bliss! I was tired of being a jill of all trades, and a master of none. It was a quest… to find out finally, what it is I’m really passionate about!

And now, one year – and 30 things later, I still don’t have a clue! Haha!

But it’s not a bad thing!!!

Because honestly, putting myself through all of the activities I participated in – truly TRULY made my year a LOT more interesting AND more fun than if I had just sat myself down and let life pass me by. 

I mean it’s one thing being a joiner like I already am… But then having a goal in mind – like I did, really did something to my psyche. It’s like having a propeller. Whenever something came up… like an opportunity to do something different for example, my brain was sort of wired to automatically say “YES!” almost like I had no choice. Because the choice to say “yes” was predetermined by the contract I made with myself to do this project and see it through. Does that make sense?

And the law of attraction or the power of thought or however you want to call it --- was definitely working to my benefit too. One thing kept leading me to another. One activity led me to meet someone who did this thing, and going to that thing led me to see a poster about this other thing, and going to that other thing inspired me to try this other new thing… etc. You get the picture, right?

And one of the greatest most amazing gifts the universe has given me was leading me to meet my favorite writer, who was in fact my inspiration for this endeavor. Like I mentioned in my previous entries, this whole project was my homage to his “Yes experiment”, and meeting him right at the very end was just too movie-like perfect.

In fact, someone should seriously turn this into a movie… and I nominate Emma Stone to play me!!!

I’m trying not to be cheesy and feel-goody about this ‘epilogue’… but it’s haaard because I really did have such an amazing time doing this! I mean I don’t think I would have sought out to learn Archery, or had the guts to play Dodgeball, or subject my body’s flexibility to Anti-Gravity Yoga, or give up bacon for Veganism if I didn’t feel like I had to. But I’m glad I did!

I did have my challenges. At pne point in the middle, I had lost my momentum. I got exhausted! I felt like I was doing too much, my body was literally failing me. I had temptations of giving up halfway... I thought about quitting. I was running out of things to try, things to do... and I was so tired.
But everyone goes through low points, and I slapped myself out of it eventually. I just taught myself to slow down and pace myself. I actually ended up doing more than 30! Some of the activites just didn't make the cut. Too boring to write about. Nothing really eventful happend when I took voice lessons or hip-hop classes. I already bored you guys with the horseback riding story, I didn't want to do it again.

I’m happy to report though, that I’m still doing Muay Thai, 4 times a week, thank you ver much! I really like it, and its one of the ones that stuck with me. I still play and rock the ukulele, trying to get better at it everyday. I still volunteer on a regular basis, and recently got an offer to be a real face painter (Woohoo! Didn’t see that coming!). I’m doing the triathlon again this year, focusing on my navigational skills in the ocean this time. And traveling? Well, plans for a Greek Island Hop is underway!


And even if I didn’t find my niche like I had intended… beh… So what? It’s okay. I still have the rest of my life to figure out what it is… and the point is, I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying anyway. :) Just because the 30by30 Project is over, it doesn’t mean it stops there.
As a matter of fact, after I’ve turned thirty, I’ve driven a boat, coordinated a wedding, volunteered as a paparazzi, AND auditioned for a musical (Les Miserables) at a local community theater (I got in!!).

So you see?? Maybe trying EVERYTHING is my niche! Maybe I’m just a master at being a jill of all trades! Maybe life IS my bliss!
Maybe I had it all wrong. Maybe we aren’t supposed to have just ONE passion or purpose in life.  


Who knows? I’m no expert, but I do know that right now, at this very moment, is the youngest I’ll ever be… and I don’t plan on wasting my youth by moping about, complaining about the things that could have been, kicking and screaming about my limitations… But instead, I choose to celebrate the things I can do, and be grateful for them. I choose to be proactive, and seek out adventure that makes me feel INFINITE! I choose to be mobile, and continue to discover different places, music, food, and cultures of the world! When I am faced with a situation where I have to ask myself, “Why” – I choose instead to ask, “Why not?” … And to opportunities, suggestions, favors, or invitations where I would normally say “no” – I choose to say, “YES.”

And I hope you do too!

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with a nice blessing, borrowed from our friend, Neil Gaiman…

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ♥

Thanks for reading, guys. It’s been a pleasure.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

30 of 30: On The Big Eurotrip and Turning 30

They say – “Start with the end in mind”… Well, “They”, whoever “they” are, should be proud of me, because that’s exactly what I did. I always knew that I was going to end this project with a big trip… A big finish. An ultimate travel escapade as the final ‘activity’ for the 30 by 30 project, just in time for my 30th birthday.
I always made it a point to do ‘something I’ve never done before’ on my birthday. It was just another way for me to look forward to getting ---- wiser. Not necessarily older, but wiser. 

But turning 30, with it being a milestone, I had to up the ante. It HAD to be bigger and even MORE special. And so the 30th birthday European extravaganza came to place.
I had to visit places I’ve never visited before…
Prague and Austria were two countries that were always on my “to-go” list, so the original plan was to go to those two places. But then I figured, I can’t go to Europe without visiting my friends in the UK… that would be silly! So I added London and Cardiff into the mix.
Then I realized, to get to Austria from London, I’d have to pass by Paris anyway… And even if I’ve been to Paris before, I always felt like I never got to experience the real Paris… I never sat in a café or ate a baguette… Never just took my time to take in the beauty… Plus I had just seen “Midnight in Paris” and it amped up my desire to go back… So I figured – WHY NOT?
At this point, I had already gotten my friend, K’s commitment to come with me on this awesome trip… And she had suggested that on the way from France to Austria, why not stop by Zurich and meet up with her friends there? We’d have a place to crash, and I hadn’t been there either, so --- WHY NOT?

And so it was that the Itinerary for my birthday Eurotrip was arranged.

Starting in London, then taking the train to Paris, then a quick stop to Strasbourg, and spend the night in Colmar, then take a train to Zurich, then up to Salzburg, then Vienna, then a train to Prague, and finally, a plane ride back to London, where I would celebrate my actual 30th birthday on March 25.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the trip… But here are the snippets:

March 11: K and I arrived in London within minutes of each other. We then proceeded to L’s flat where we would be staying for the next couple days.

March 12: K and I took a little day trip to Bath, to meet up with A (Mom) and K (Dad) with little Tristan and Trinity in tow! This would be our first time meeting Tristan, and we nearly ate him!

March 13 – 15: Paris days! K and I did everything! Walked around, spoke French, drank café’s in Café’s, smoked like Parisians did, ate macarons, met up with old flames (K did, not me.), spoke to strangers, made new friends, visited Versailles, just soaked up the beauty! We had a marvelous time!

March 15 – We took a train to Strasbourg and spent a few hours there. Strasbourg is a lovely city in the Alsace region of Eastern France. Our destination was actually Colmar, but since Strasbourg was on the way – WHY NOT? My French co-worker suggested I stop by. She said it was beautiful and I shouldn’t miss it… So we went, we saw, and we liked!

March 15 – 16 – We arrived in Colmar that evening and checked into the quaint little hotel where we were spending the night. I’ve read about Colmar from one of those travel websites, describing it as a “Fairytale-like city”, and the photos looked toooo beautiful, and I’ve become obsessed in visiting that place ever since. It definitely was/is as cute as I had expected. It’s really charming and hardly anybody spoke English, so my French skillz were put to the test. It was really small though so we ended up leaving for Zurich sooner than planned, but I would definitely go back during the spring to see the flowers in full bloom.

March 16 – 18 – We took a train to Zurich, and were met by K’s future hubby, A. (Apparently, a few years ago, they made a pact to marry each other when K turned 35. “Just 2 more years,” A happily reminded K) Zurich was fun. We met so many new friends, hung out and chilled with everyone… It was just nice to be around so much warmth and friendly people.

March 18 – 19 – Salzburg, Austria. The Sound of Music Tour! A Little Night of Music with H and S! If you’re one of the handful of people who read my blog, you’ll know all about this.

March 19 – 20 – Vienna, Austria. We walked around, saw all these museums (just the outside), took in all the beauty, and went to see an orchestra playing Mozart songs! 

March 20 – 23 – Prague. Glorious Prague. Could any other city be possibly be any more beautiful? I saw Prague and I was conflicted. I felt like I was cheating on Scotland! Scotland who occupied the top spot in my heart, till I saw Prague. Now it’s split in two! All I can say is that it was PERFECT that we ended our Eurotrip here, because every other city would have paled in comparison. Beautiful.

March 24 – Back to London for the big “Salubong” of my birthday! My dearest friends took me to dinner in Bogayo and drinks in Strongroom. Miss A prepared a freakin AMAZING video presentation that she compiled from my friends and family from all over the world and I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. THANKS A!
And so we ate, we drank, and we were all merry. Had a great time spending that night with the people closest to my heart after just having seen the most beautiful places on Earth --- I seriously could not have asked for more.

March 25 – I turned 30, and couldn’t be happier.
                        Oh. And I saw The Hunger Games in the cinema. :)

During my planning stages, and even during the trip, K and I were always faced with situations where we could have asked ourselves “WHY?” but instead asked, “Why not?”
It seemed to be a recurring theme in this trip – or even in this project!

“Why Not?” opened ourselves up to a whole world of different possibilities. It led us to new places, to meet new friends, and experience things we never would have dreamed of.
And in so many ways, I’m very lucky too, to have found a travel partner in K. Mark Twain once said – “ I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – And he couldn’t be more accurate.
I’ve traveled with friends before and ended up NOT being friends with them afterwards. But K and I have passed the test!
I mean sure we both have our own quirks… I have a tendency to get mean and moody when I’m hungry or tired, and she has the tendency to sing the same songs over and over and over while skipping and twirling (which is cute the first few times, but will make you want to pull your hair out after the 89th time)… We’re delightful humans, but we ain’t perfect.
The point is, even after all that, at the end of the day, we still love each other and both can’t wait till our next adventure -- which we started planning before this one even began!
I love you, Shiny Happy K!

And as for you guys… I don’t know what your situation is, but if there’s an opportunity for you to go somewhere different… Either by foot, by road, by sea or by plane… Make it happen! There’s so much of the world to see, so much to learn from different people from different cultures, so much FOOD to eat, so much MUSIC to hear. The world is such a magical playground, and we were BORN to play. If an opportunity does NOT present itself, then get out there and do it yourself. Who says you have to wait for life to happen? I’d say live your life, and do it on purpose. And if anybody asks you why… turn around, flip your hair dramatically and say, “Why not?” ♥