As a tradition that started in 2010, I’m recapping the highlights that happened this 2011. This year was a good run for me. I’ve a lot to be thankful for as the blessings just keep on arriving.
January: Siem Reap in Cambodia, Bangkok in Thailand and Davao City
February: Anawangin, Nagsasa & Capones in Zambales
March: Sagada in the Mountain Province
April & May were spent at the home & office writing about my travel adventures
June: Palaui Island in Cagayan
July: A free trip to Hong Kong courtesy of Airphil Express
August: Started my Podcast Sessions
September: Salay Cave & Moalboal in Cebu, Manila travel talks and meet-ups
October: got hired online
November: Osmena Peak in Cebu, Dumaguete & Siquijor, Siargao Island
December: Cagayan de Oro, Bantayan, Oslob & Boljoon in Cebu
15 trips that totaled 63 days of travels (including weekends and holidays) and most of the ones during the second half of the year were unexpected at all. After reviewing my leave credits, I have NOT consumed my Sick Leaves (15) and I still have 5 Vacation Leaves left!
I’m truly lucky but here are some travel tips you can practice in order for you to understand how I was able to do it:
- Part 1: How to Travel to 4 Countries within 4 Months and still Maintain Your Full Time Job
- Part 2: How to Travel to 4 Countries and 8 Local Destinations within 8 Months & Still Keep Your Full Time Job
I’ve never really thought about this but after being sick on the road during a recent trip to Siargao, I realize that I don’t often catch the flu. With my day job, freelance jobs, blog assignments, and my travels, my body does not get the rest it deserves. But I’m glad that I don’t easily hit the sack because of some illness. This makes me appreciate the experiences that I’ve gained just because I’m healthy. I get exhausted at times, but it hasn’t reached a point that I stopped wanting to travel altogether.
Pinoy Travel Bloggers
I mentioned this last year, I’m glad to have met a lot of people who share the same passion for travelling and blogging. The community has grown and despite the different personalities that clash at times (which is normal), I’m still happy to have a group that’s bonded by travel. I just take the good, learn from the negative and leave the rumors to those who’d want to dwell on it, whether I’m involved or not.
Having these Pinoy Travel Bloggers have also influenced me to explore places that are easily within reach. I’ve learned a lot of tips on how they travel which have also inspired me to create a system of my own so I could use it to my advantage.
If you have a current travel blog (with at least 20 articles) and you’re a Filipino, you can PM me here so I can add you to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Facebook Group.
Recognition & Online Opportunities
I’m humbled to be recognized as a finalist in the Travel Category in Philippine Blog Awards – National Level (for the second year) and a finalist in the Personal Website Category in the Cebu Archdiocesan Mass Media Awards (CAMMA) 2011, though the reason for the latter still leaves me clueless.
I’ve been blogging for 8 years, but I only started focusing on this niche (travel) and writing more quality content last year. The development has been tremendous and I’m grateful for the perks that have come along the way. A free trip to Hong Kong, blog assignments and advertising opportunities. These have let me step to a new platform that will allow me to live more freely.
Influencing People to Blog/Travel
I receive emails from readers who have taken the effort to ask questions about their planned trips. I also receive messages thanking me for my blog posts which have helped them create their own adventures or set up their own blogs.
During a visit to Manila for an event on travelling, a couple of people came up to me and thanked me, personally. I was caught off-guard and I didn’t know how to respond. I wish I could’ve been more amiable. But I’m happy that they approached me to say hi.
I feel good whenever these things happen as one of my goals is to influence people to get out so that they may also go to different trips and write stories based on their own experiences.
I’ve reached a point where I seriously value every cent that I spend. I’m even obsessed about saving the money that comes along my way. I was able to pay most of my debts and it seems that my plans in the future will actually happen earlier than expected. Maybe I can buy an underwater camera or search for a cheap iPad2 as an investment.
So what’s up for me in 2012? I’ll be making announcing a big decision that a lot of people have already known. I’m aiming to travel more and carry my work with me.
Bringing my work wherever I may be. Mind you, I used to earn a living by carrying bananas.
photo by Doi
If you’ve been reading this blog, I’ve been giving hints to being more location-independent next year. This is fueled by the desire to have more time to travel and the aim to set up a lifestyle based on creating more experiences as opposed to acquiring unnecessary material possessions.
I surely have a lot to be thankful for. Happy 2012 everyone!