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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Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Backpacking Tour Of The Scottish Highlands And The Isle Of Skye

After completing a 5 day tour of the Scottish Highlands and The Isle of Skye, I can say with utmost confidence, that Scotland is the most beautiful place on Earth! After you see the photos, I dare ya to disagree!

I booked a tour called “5 day Skye and Highland Fling” through MacBackpackers for 2 reasons: 1 – To see the Fairy Pools in Skye, and 2 – To see the EileanDonan Castle.

One of the great things about MacBackpackers is that there is no set itinerary. They listen to the group and pay attention to the weather and sort of just go with the flow to have as much fun as possible! As a matter of fact, The Fairy Pools wasn’t even supposed to be on the intended route, but I asked (more like begged) our tour guide if we could go and he said yes! It turned out to be one of the best, most beautiful things we did that day!

I won’t go into too much detail on the things we did on the 5 days (because we did A LOT), but here are the reasons why I had SO MUCH FUN and why I fell in love with Scotland all over again, and why YOU WILL TOO!


Did I mention we were blessed with sunny skies during the trip? We spent as much time outside as possible, so we’d pop over to the shop to buy some food, then drive over to beautiful locations like these waterfalls to have lunch! 

OR just stop randomly to admire the beauty...


Legend has it that if you dunk your face in the enchanted waters by the SligachanBridge for 7 seconds, you will achieve eternal beauty. Not that we really need it... right ladies???
What the heck.. Why not? It couldn't hurt... you never know ;)


While it may look like a natural wonder, this place, in fact, is quite supernatural. True to its name, this magnificent landscape holds fairies behind its hills… Fairies that provide answers to those of us who need guidance.

It was so beautiful and the energy around the area was quite stimulating… we could have spent hours there just walking around, talking to the fairies.
But we only had less than an hour, so I just did what I usually do best... Jump.
Which brings me to...


Fairy Glen Jump Shot

Fairy Glen Front Angle Jump Shot

Glenfinnan Viaduct Leap of Faith!

My Favorite - Cuith Raing Cliff Jump 
I don’t think this requires further description. Do you? :)


BOOM. #Nofilter. 'Nuff said.


The best detour EVER! The Fairy Pools are a series of rock pools with aqua blue streams that come from the Cuillin mountains… Getting there is quite a hike, but once you see these vivid water formations with punctuated waterfalls, every huff and puff will be worth it, I promise.

We were again, very lucky that it was such a hot day or else we would have suffered from hypothermia. The water may look clear and inviting, but it is COLD!
Still, being able to go wild swimming at The Fairy Pools of The Isle of Skye is pretty amazing! That’s a bucket list item right there! CHECK!


Look at the hairy coo’s! Aye, they’ve got a wee crimped fringe!


We had to climb down a huge mountain to get to this glen to collect fresh magical drinking water - and in Aubrie's case, strike a yoga pose!


Often referred to as one of the most photographed/iconic castles in Scotland, the Eilean Donan Castle definitely didn’t disappoint. But to be honest, I only knew of it because of Disney-Pixar’s Brave… The castle was used as inspiration to create Merida’s family’s castle. Oh, and also because of the movie, Made of Honor. I heard Highlander used this castle too! I’m not surprised it’s been used in films so much…. Just look at it!

No Filter. No Photoshop!


A tour is only as good as the people in it – and our people is legit! We seriously could not have asked for a better crew… There were 26 of us – which compared to a my Contiki group of 51, is a pretty good number! Everyone just got along, no diva’s, no dramas --- again, comparing it to my Contiki tour of melodramatic proportions – is REALLY refreshing! 5 days may not seem a lot, but if you spend every waking minute with each other, that’s plenty. It’s definitely enough time to forge friendships strong enough for enthusiastic ceilidh dancing, an emotional group chorus of “Wild Mountain Thyme” and tearful farewells by the bus. I gained 25 new friends in less than a week, and I am extremely lucky to have met all of them. <3

And last but not the least…


2 Words.
Graeme. Anderson.

Tartan-wearing Tourguide extraordinaire. A Scotsman, through and through. Highlander, actually… with the accent to boot (that’s Graeme pronounced ‘Gre-um’ with a hard rolling “r” and a very audible stop before the ‘um’)
“Aye, you want to hear a story?” He would ask. And just like eager little preschoolers, we would all yell in unison, “Yeeeessss!”
In all the years I’ve traveled, I’ve had quite a few tour guides, but none quite like Graeme. What sets him apart, I think, is his undeniable passion and love for his country, history, and people. The compelling stories he shared, Scottish myths, legends, and folklore were not memorized. They were stories that he learned from his boyhood which were an integral part of his culture, and therefore a part of himself. His genuine pride for Scotland is so evident in his storytelling that it made me want to renounce my Filipino-American heritage and wear a kilt forever and ever.

Storytelling Time. My favorite....

It didn’t feel like he was in a job… it felt more like he was our cool uncle who – while maintaining his authority, let us goof around with him and let us mess with his playlists and sing Beyonce and drink whiskey in the bus! Aaahhh… good times. I know I can speak for everyone in our tour when I say that Graeme is an incredible guy, a top-notch Scotsman, and the best tour guide in the world! Aye, he is amaaazin’.


The whole group in front of the Doune Castle

And that concludes our 5 Day Skye and Highland Fling! I could not stress enough how much I recommend doing this tour with MacBackpackers. Seriously – best tour I’ve ever done!  How can you NOT fall in love with Scotland after having gone through all that? After having seen all that? And these photos don't even scratch the surface! Just trust me on this one... it will be the best thing you've ever done.
Like I said… Most beautiful country in the world.

Still dare to disagree?

What do you think? What do YOU think is the most beautiful place on Earth?
Leave your thoughts on the comments section below :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Day Trip To St Andrews In Scotland

People who live in St Andrews will probably hate me for saying this, but one of the main things this city is known for is the fact that Prince William and Kate Middleton went to the university here. Now, having said that, I’d like to point out that I am referring to silly tourists like me. 

Store with an actual sign that says "Where Kate Met Wills"
I don’t know what it is, but I guess the further you are from Great Britain, the more fascinating the Royal Family gets. I have to admit that when my friend, Paul, suggested that we take a day trip to St Andrews, Prince William was the first thing that popped into my head.

Obviously now I feel like a complete idiot because St Andrews is more than just a University town. It’s beautiful… just like everything else here in Scotland, and there’s so much history to absorb and architecture to admire. It actually is also worldly renowned as the home of golf… but I hate golf, and I didn’t really bother seeing any golf courses over there.

Paul and I took the train from Edinburgh to Leuchars, and met up with one of Paul’s friends, Bruce, who took us to see his family’s farm, a few miles away from the city.

Seeing the farm reminded me of the scenery in New Zealand. Look! Sheep!

And look at that view! I could insert this photo in my New Zealand photo album and no one would know the difference. 

We came across a few wild horses (or I think they were actually Shetland Ponies) while we were exploring the land. They were REALLY friendly and beautiful. The hair needed some serious conditioning though…

Bruce was nice enough to drop us off in town, and our St Andrews exploration began.

The city isn’t very big, and you can practically walk everywhere (which I loved). These are the things you see as you walk down the streets…

This is St Andrews Cathedral

St Andrews Cathedral
And these are the ruins (or what’s left of) St Andrew’s Castle. Have I mentioned I am obsessed with castles?
Well… I do. Love em. Can’t get enough of them. Even ruins like this one… They’re just so prettyyyy :)

St Andrews Castle
We managed to hang out in the grounds of one of the colleges of the University. Just plopped down on the grass under a tree to eat ice cream and write some post cards. 

It was such a great day, and we managed to see a lot in about 6 – 7 hours in a relaxed pace. If you guys intend to visit, I think one full day like we did should be enough… unless you guys want to take your time or go into the museums or gain more information through walking or guided tours, then adding another day is a good idea.

The train to and from St Andrews is only 1hr 20 mins each way, and when you get to Leuchars Station (6 miles from St Andrews) you can take a taxi (we spent about 10 pounds) or the bus. 

Definitely worth a visit :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Legend of The Iron Men of Crosby

Photo by Alan Cookson
These cast iron sculptures are called "Another Place" by Antony Gormley.  100 of these figures are spread out across Crosby Beach, and has become a permanent fixture in that area of Liverpool.  
Photo by Anders Harbo
"The work is seen as a poetic response to the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration - sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in another place." - Seton Council

It was kind of haunting, seeing all those iron statues at the beach, some of them submerged under water, all looking out to sea, as if they were waiting for someone... or longing for something. It made me feel a little melancholy... sad even... but I was completely blown away by the art. 

I tried to do some research to see if there were any myths or legends associated with the "Iron Men of Crosby Beach", but I never found anything.
SO... I decided to make one up, and write a legend of my own. :)

Here goes...

The Legend of The Iron Men of Crosby
A Short Story by Eartha A.

Thousands of years ago, when the Sun, the Moon and the Sea could talk in a language that humans could understand, Earth faced a terrible danger. Evil forces from faraway Stars threatened to occupy Earth to drain their resources, and claim the planet as their own. 

The humans didn't have enough strength nor power to stop this Great Evil, and so they called upon the Sun, Moon, and the Sea for help.

Seeing the humans despair, the Powerful Three looked into the Never-ending Sky for guardians, to help the humans of the Earth ward off the Great Evil.

Mercury answered, giving 100 of their greatest Iron Soldiers to fight alongside the humans.
To get to Earth, they needed a vessel to carry them through the Never-ending Sky... And so the Moon formed a large ship from its rocks, big enough for all 100 of the Iron Soldiers to fit. The Sun lent its rays for the ship to be able to travel from Mercury to Earth, and the Sea provided quick and safe passage for the ship to arrive on Earth's shores.

The humans and the Iron Soldiers fought side by side against the Great Evil, and the battle went on for what seemed like an eternity. Blood was shed, lives were lost… But because of the Iron Soldiers’ strength -- a potent power that they draw from Mercury’s core, and Man’s unyielding spirit and resilience to fight for those whom they love, the Great Evil was defeated, never again to return to Earth’s shores.
The Men rejoiced at the victory, thanked the Iron Soldiers, the Sun, the Moon and the Sea for heeding their plea, and returned to their Women to celebrate their freedom.

The Iron Soldiers observed the Men and Women closely. They noticed that the humans connected in a way that is unfamiliar to them. The Men and Women of Earth shared something called The Great Love, and it was the highest form of energy they have ever seen. They were amazed, got jealous, and felt a sense of longing. They wanted The Great Love for themselves.

And so they tricked the Moon, Sun and Sea. They loaded the Moon Vessel that were supposed to take them home with sand cast statues of themselves, and stayed on Earth to pursue their own Great Loves.

They took the Women from the Men, snatching them away in the night, thinking that a Great Love will supervene. But upon waking, the Women wept and cursed the Iron Soldiers, and demanded to be returned to their Men.
But the Iron Soldiers reminded them that without their help, they would have lost the battle against the Great Evil… That they were stronger and better suited to be their Love.
And the Women said to them, “A Great Love is never bought, nor forced. It is a bond that can never be undone, a powerful force shared by two hearts. And a heart is that which you do not have.”

The Iron Soldiers, shamed by what they have done, returned the Women to the Men. Outraged, the Men called on the Sea, Moon and Sun to take the Iron Soldiers back to where they came from.

The Powerful Three only then realized that the Iron Soldiers in the vessel were fake, and had already been disintegrated once they hit Mercury’s powerful core.

The Iron Soldiers, crestfallen and disgraced, apologized to all… wanting nothing more than to go back to Mercury where they belong. But alas, the vessel could not be remade and there was no other way for the Iron Soldiers to return home.

The Men and Women pleaded justice for what the Iron Soldiers had done, for according to them, they could no longer be trusted.

And so, all 100 of the Iron Soldiers were punished, frozen in time facing the ocean… doomed forever to look at the Sea, the Moon and the Sun, to remind them of what they had done and to get only a glimpse of the home they have lost. These Iron giants who were once great warriors and Man’s ally are now only known as mere Iron Statues thousands of years later, condemned with the gift of sight, and surrounded by people who walk with their Great Loves for all eternity.
Great Love’s that they once have known, but will never have.

The End.
Photo by Mark McGowan

Sunday, July 14, 2013

On How I Managed To End Up As The Poster Child For The Color Run UK

I participated in The San Diego Color Run in November of last year, and posted about it here. About a month ago, a few days after I arrived in London, someone had contacted me asking if they could use my jump shot photo for a UK Dulux sponsored leaflet for the up and coming Color Run in London.

This is the photo they wanted to use.

You can't blame 'em. This is an awesome photo! :)

It would be the first ever Color Run in the UK, and they were to print 40,000 of those leaflets to be given to the runners in their pre-event race packs. My first thought was, "OMG. This is it. I'm going to be famous."
This is one of the coolest RANDOM things that has ever happened to me, so you can understand why I got a little carried away.

I agreed for them to use the photo, and all I asked in return was free entry to The Color Run, which would have cost me around 40 GBP. They agreed, and the rest is history!

Check out the awesome leaflet (which I received in the mail too!)

Dulux is the UK's leading manufacturer of high performance trade paint

I had such a great time the first time, so I really didn't mind doing it again! 15,000 people turned up on a very hot and sunny London today and it was nuts!

Of course, I went in to visit the Dulux Jump Shot Dome for my free Jump Shot Photo, and I NAILED IT! :)

Yay! I'm a celebrity! Even if I was the only one who knew about it! Yay!

I made new friends...

With our new friend, Nikki, and my London lovely Lea :)

And met possible future Olympians! 

I saw these two girls performing acrobatic stunts near the stage, and I took a few photos of them. On our way home, I randomly ended up sitting next to them on the London Underground... I chatted with them because I recognized them, and that's when I found out that Hannah Wren and Jane Diedrick-Wilson are gymnasts from the AllStarz Team competing for the British Gymnastics! Amazing! I'm keeping my eyes and ears peeled for these two coz we might just see them in Rio for the Olympics in 2016! Good luck, ladies!

And so there you have it! My second go at The Color Run! The happiest 5K on the planet! I love it when I'm at the right place at the right time. I never planned to do this again... but the Dulux people just happened to email me when I happened to be in London which happened to be the location of their event! And now, because of a random photo from an event from a year ago, I got to do something unbelievably FUN in an unbelievably awesome city, which inadvertently made me famous!

Well, sort of.

OK, not really.

But still!!! I'm famous!!! :)