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, October 31, 2013

Halloween In Israel

This post will be short. I waited till the Halloween Party was over to write... because It IS Halloween after all, and I'd like to be able to post about it today, even if I'm about to pass out!

I am in Israel, safe and sound, working at Overstay Hostel in Tel Aviv. I arrived here on Monday night, and the first thing I asked my new boss was, "Um... will you have a Halloween party?"

This question made him laugh because it came out of nowhere. When it became apparent that they never really had any plans, I eagerly volunteered my services to organize a Halloween Costume Party at the hostel for the guests, and he was all too happy to oblige!

Before I knew it, I was back to my old self again! Running around, planning the party, getting all the materials, decorations, candy, you name it! After I had decorated the reception area (with the help of the other volunteers I was bossing around of course), the guests started to get into the Halloween spirit!

The challenge was trying to find costumes, since Overstay is a backpacker hostel, and we were all - well, backpackers! We hardly had any clothes, let alone a costume! Luckily the hostel staff had a whole bunch of costumes and props in their basement... stuff that they've used in a Zombie Party they had a few months ago! Everything they had were made available to the guests, and as I had hoped, they ALL got into it! I managed to borrow my roommate's brown shawl and used it as a skirt to become Tiger Lilly. It was a bit of a fail though since everyone called me, "Pocahontas". Oh well... both Native American :)

An Argentinian Hippie and Tiger Lily manning the bar

And as for the party? Well, let's just say that if a party gets shut down by the Israeli cops TWICE in one night, one can safely say people had a helluva good time!!!

I wore many hats in this party. One of them is "makeup artist" - and I did that Joker's face!
I turned this beautiful boy into Khal Drogo!

Yes, and I did their faces too!

Hanging out at the rooftop!

Safe to say, the guests got "hooked" on Halloween!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Santorini Saves The Day!

Judging from my previous posts, I’m sure you guys have been able to deduce that I haven’t really been having the best time in Greece. I felt like an old granny in Corfu, was a little taken aback by the graffiti all over Athens, and I was practically Tom Hanks in Castaway at Naxos. I was honestly ready to write Greece off as an utter disappointment – until I got to Santorini.

Ah. Santorini! Thank goodness for Santorini!

Over the edge...
There is a reason why this little island is so popular among tourists. Even some of the Greek locals from the other islands admitted to Santorini’s picturesque beauty and appeal.  It really is, breathtakingly beautiful.

I love photogenic places. The way the houses are built alongside a cliff/mountain reminds me of Cinque Terre. Super charming, colorful and cute!

My Italy away from Italy in Greece <3


Santorini has several different towns… The capital being Fira, where I stayed. I lucked out on the hostel that I found. It’s called, Caveland, and you literally stay in rooms that look like caves… and they are magnificent!

How COOL is my cave? :) I've got a HUGE  receiving area! :)

Easily one of the best hostels I’ve booked in Europe. :)

It’s a bit of a walk to Fira, but the price, cleanliness, beauty and overall experience of the hostel makes the 25 minute journey on foot worth it.

I can imagine Fira during the summer months being crazy, overcrowded, hot and unpleasant. During off season however, which is right now, Fira is really lovely. The town is still dotted with restaurants and shops that are open for business, with prices hiked up to cater to tourists who don’t mind paying an exorbitant amount of money,  because of the joy THIS VIEW brings…

I have to admit to being one of those… I couldn’t help but agree to pay for a 6 Euro beer and an 8 Euro Greek Salad to sit and watch the sunset from this viewpoint.


Pronounced as “Ee-yah” is another town north of Fira, even more popular for the views and the sunset.  Oia’s views are what we normally see on postcards and photos around the internet.  I personally like Oia better than Fira, even if both are so similar in appearance. Oia just has a more chill vibe, and in my opinion, more photogenic.

Oia's Spectacular Views

Same View - Different Light. Sunset!

A Candid Shot of a Couple At Sunset :) 


I did a Santorini Island Ferry Tour and met quite a few other travelers!

Aussie cuties on vacation before going to Uni…

With Catherine and The Young Aussie Cuties

English ladies on a mini holiday – whom I ended up hanging out with on more than one occasion…

Catherine, Manisha and Laura with me in Oia

A Group Shot in Oia

And a new friend from Melbourne, who is now my new Greece travel buddy!  Catherine is one of the guests staying at Caveland with me, who I later found out, has actually read and been following my blog! She found the review I did on the backpack that she purchased months ago, and it dawned on her that it was MY blog when I gave her my business card!

With my new travel buddy, Catherine :)

Isn’t it cool how things like that work? The world gets smaller and smaller every day! J

It has been an AMAZING few days in Santorini. I’m SO happy that it single handedly changed my mind about Greece. I am no longer disappointed. What I am now, is pleased and content. Greece actually IS what everyone made it out to be. Well, at least, Santorini is. 

Perfect Sunset brought to us by Oia.

I’m off to Mykonos next. No expectations there though. I’ve had my Greece fix… and they say Mykonos is more known for the beaches rather than photographic beauty anyway… So I’m just gonna go and see if I can take this new tan a little further than what it is now. J

As my Big Fat Greek Adventure ends… another one soon begins. Next time you hear from me… I will be in the holy land of Israel.

Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

If You Were Stranded On A Greek Island...

What would you do?

OK, well, I'm not exactly stranded. Not really.

After I left The Pink Palace in Corfu, I ventured out into Athens for a few days to be a proper tourist. I saw what I needed to see over there... The Acropolis, the Parthenon, plus a whole bunch of other ruins made familiar to me by Greek Mythology.

The Acropolis from my hostel balcony

View of Athens from a hill with my walking tour buddies


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 full days and a 6 hour ferry ride later, I find myself in Naxos... A small island south of the main land, about an hour and a half away from Santorini. I am here for yet another HelpX adventure... Well, if you can call it that.

See, the nice thing about being in Greece in October is that it's not too crazy, the tourists have left, and the weather is perfect. Not scorching hot, but sunny enough to get a tan. It's nice. The downside to being in Greece in October is that... because the tourists are gone, most of the hotels, hostels and businesses close down shop... If you're in a big and bustling city like Athens, you're fine. It'll just be a bit quieter but it's still really nice.

BUT... if you're in a tiny village in a relatively less touristy island like, Naxos... Well... it makes you come up with blog titles like, "If You Were Stranded On A Greek Island..."

In all fairness, I was warned by my host that it is off season, the work would be very light, and that it will be very relaxing. I'm staying at a small hotel right in front of the beach. There are no guests, and the only occupants are myself, my boss, and his (very sweet) mother who doesn't speak English.

When I got here, my boss basically said that I wouldn't need to do much till the rain comes, so I should just relax. They showed me to my room, fed me some amazing Greek food, which were all pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

After a day of staring at the clear blue Mediterranean waters... It occurred to me that I might actually not know how to "relax" properly! Seriously!

I am here in Greece... Staying at a beachfront hotel - for free... I have the sea, the sun, food, nature... I can swim for miles in the water so clear and so flat, I feel like I could just keep swimming till I hit the horizon... And yet, I'm stressed out! Because in my mind - there is absolutely nothing to do! What the hell is wrong with me?

This is where I am. The village of Apollonas, from my hotel room balcony. I am really
lucky with balconies!

I don't know, man. Maybe because I signed up to work... and if there's no work, I feel unproductive. I am about 2 hours away from Naxos town, so I can't really leave to go "exploring". There are no guests to talk to or entertain... No kids to drive me nuts... My boss is a little quiet, and his mother doesn't speak English.

I've had an amazing experience traveling by myself so far, but I think this is the first time I've actually felt really alone. I have discovered that I am not meant for solitary island confinement. Island living, sure… but there has to be people in the island!

I feel a little guilty for feeling this way… Especially since I know for a fact that most of the people I know back home would rather be where I am right now, instead of whichever cubicle they are in. Then again, just like everything else, I suppose there should be a good balance.

Solitary confinement in a beautiful island versus a hectic 12 hour workday in a bustling city life could hardly be compared to each other. Give me a nice island after a productive 6 hour day of work with good company and I will be as chipper as a woodpecker!

Oh well. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make the most out of any situation… And so I will do my best to even out my tan, read as many books as I could, swim some laps in the ocean, maybe do some hiking out in the mountains – and who knows… I might come out of this gig all refreshed and healthy :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There is a lightning storm on the island. The waves are crashing violently, all the stores are closed, and we are trapped inside the hotel for the rest of the day.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

When Age Starts Catching Up

It’s weird when you get reminded of your age all of a sudden.

All throughout this trip, people have constantly commented on how I look or seem younger than I really am. At 31, I’ve been mistaken for a kid in my early 20’s – which is a great compliment, considering the fact that growing up in the Philippines, I’ve always been mistaken for someone way older. In fact, on Sundays at church with my family, people thought my brother and I were married, and that my youngest sister was our daughter(and I was still in high school then).

Now, things are reversed… and I’m so happy that my Asian ageless genes are finally kicking in!  Whoopee!

I’d like to think I look a little younger because I FEEL younger. I’m not as agile or energetic as I was when I was 20, but I’m strong, pretty athletic, and sometimes even naïve to a fault.

At the moment, however… I feel like a granny.

For the past week, I’ve been staying at this party hostel in Corfu, called, The Pink Palace. It’s probably as cliché a party hostel can get… With guests drinking all night, and toga parties are thrown, and people getting naked for whipped cream infused body shots… You know, normal stuff that you’d think happens at “party hostels”.
And while all of that is happening, you will find me either in the corner of the bar, drinking my beer in solitude while I Facebook my friends, or in the comfort of my own bed, snoozing like a baby… BY CHOICE.

Yeah... No. Been there. Done that. 

Am I nuts to think I'm too old for this??

I don’t know how this happened though. I mean I’m still pretty outgoing and friendly… and I talk to every new guest that arrives and make friends with them easy. It’s the “partying hard” thing that I feel like I’ve grown numbness to. I feel like I’ve developed a reputation for being a “loner”… because after having a beer or two after dinner, and just when things start to get “hot and heavy” at the bar, I sneak out and go to bed. 

When I see some of the guests “Woo-ing” after taking a shot, I shake my head and think, “Ayayay… these kids…”

It’s so weird! 

Sometimes I think, maybe this just isn’t my thing anymore… I mean, not that it ever was… I was never much of a “clubber”… but I’ve always been a joiner at least. A few years ago, even if I thought it was stupid, heck yeah I’d take shots and be stupid in the name of fun, especially if I were on vacation. And I’d be the FIRST one to whip out my camera to take photos!

But for some bizarre reason… Here in Corfu at this hostel… I’m not feeling it. 

A beautiful sunset on our beach front

A lot of things might have contributed to my current behavior, and these are my theories. 
First – maybe because I’m “working” here, and not “partying”… and I take too much pride in my work to even consider letting loose and making a bad impression on my hosts.

Second – maybe because I *am* older… and my definition of “partying hard” is just completely different now. I like hanging out and getting a few drinks and listening to live music with friends… and I still go completely wild over karaoke. I do NOT like taking shots, nor having other people taking shots over my naked body covered in whipped cream.

Third – maybe because I miss Italy and the friends I’ve made so much over there… that I think I’m still in my mourning phase. 

Maybe it’s all of the above. 

It’s a shame though, because I’ve looked forward to visiting Greece for so long… and I’d hate to leave it feeling disappointed. 

However – it hasn’t been all that bad.  It’s not the worst thing in the world spending my days on this island. It has a sleepy town village kind of feel, but it’s really pretty. The beach isn’t anything special though, I have to admit… but it’s a great feeling waking up to the sound of the waves. 

It also turns out that an old friend of mine lives here in Corfu, and he took me on a grand tour of the island last Sunday --- and THAT was pretty spectacular. 

I *have* made some friends here though… I haven’t been a complete hermit. Almost all the travelers I’ve met are younger too… Early 20’s… And I think it’s fantastic that these kids are traveling while they’re young. That’s the way to do it! While you’re young, and while you still can.
Maybe that’s another contributing factor to why I feel like such an old timer: I’m surrounded by kids!

Oh well. I’m only going to be here until tomorrow, and then I’m on a 9 hour bus ride to Athens! YAY Athens! I’m looking forward to some Greek Mythology action, so hopefully I find my youth again as I gawk at the Parthenon in awe.

In the meantime... I gotta go to bed. It's 9:14 and my joints are achy from the rain.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

OMG I'm In Greece!

"Holy Shit," I whispered as my forehead hit the airplane window with a thud.

Right before my eyes was the small island of Corfu, birds eye view, and it was stunning! THIS is why one must always book the window seat. My heart was still a little broken from leaving Italy, but seeing the blue-green waters of Greece sure helped heal it pretty fast.

You SEE that Double Rainbow, right? Right??

Greece has always been one of my ultimate dream destinations. I LOVE Greek Mythology... I'm a big fan of Greek food... and I really like the movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (yes - more than Mamma Mia).

Admittedly though - I hadn't really heard of Corfu till a few weeks ago when I booked this HelpX opportunity. I don't know anything about it (I still don't!) and I'm not sure it's as popular a destination for tourists as Santorini, Mikonos or Athens.

BUT... After having been here for like, 2 days... I have to say I really like it here. :) It's gorgeous... The water is warm, and while almost everyone else in Europe are donning sweaters and gloves, we are still strutting around in our bikinis and flip flops! The weather is amazing!

I'm working at a hotel/hostel called The Pink Palace. It's a great party hostel (voted number 1 party hostel in Europe a few years ago) with really cool people, and I get along with my "boss" really well.

I initially signed on to help out with day to day stuff, online marketing, plus helping the owner's 2 children with their English (in other words, babysitting). I arrived on Tuesday, she gave me the morning off Wednesday, worked some online magic in the afternoon, all while being fed beautiful home cooked Greek food. I'd say life is pretty good at the moment! Can't complain!

I'm staying at a 4 bed dorm room which I have all to myself... but the best part is the view from my balcony.

Yes, I have a balcony... and the sound of the ocean is my lullaby.

I'm scheduled to stay here for a couple weeks - but it has become apparent that my boss would like for me to stay longer... So we'll see what happens. I'd still want to be able to see more of Greece in the next few weeks but I'll play it by ear.

I'm really loving this whole "go with the flow" travel thing. It's been working out pretty well. I'll keep you guys posted on the developments of the "Greece" portion of my trip.

In the meantime - It's "Boxing Night" tonight at the hostel bar. Apparently it's a drinking game that does NOT involve boxing whatsoever. What a disappointment.

I know, right? Life can be really rough sometimes. ;)

Θα δούμε αργότερα :)