2011 Highlights: A Lot to Be Thankful For

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.

Trips

January: Siem Reap in Cambodia, Bangkok in Thailand and Davao City travel picture
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:

Good Health

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.

pinoy travel bloggers
Thanks to Jerome, Cath, Renz, and Edgar for the photos

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.

philippine-blog-awards  camma-2011

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. walk

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.

Saving

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.

2012

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.

going bananas
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!


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


{ 53 comments… add one }

  • Hoobert the Awesome December 27, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Kahit medyo rough din ang last quarter ko, there's really a lot of things to be thankful for. God is just so good. :) 
    In fairness, ang dami mong travels this year. And 3 international trips pa. Bongga. Ikaw na bro!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 27, 2011, 2:25 pm

    @hoobert: thanks hoobert! let's just absorb the good para di masyadong stressed out. more travels to all of us! thanks for visiting this site! :D

    Reply
  • Marx December 27, 2011, 3:13 pm

    I agree that we should create more experiences rather than acquiring on unnecessary things. More travels on 2012!

    Reply
  • chin December 27, 2011, 3:21 pm

     I am sure you have made a careful and wise decision. Goodluck in everything you do . Stay humble . Cheers  . More travels for all of us. 

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 27, 2011, 3:47 pm

    @marx: more travels for all of us! thanks and happy new year! :D

    @chin: thanks chin, more travels talaga. interview kita one of these days! dapat ko na palang sagutin yung mga tanong mo. hehe

    Reply
  • vin December 27, 2011, 4:54 pm

    hurrah for 2011. more travels in 2012 for you ed! :)

    Reply
  • Micamyx|Senyorita December 27, 2011, 6:31 pm

    "April & May were spent at the office while writing about my travel adventures "
    Parang bakasyon lang ng hayskul ah hehe :D I'm excited for your 2012 journey. Finally yey :D Sana makasama pa kita sa trip next time yung tipong sa ibang continent naman chos

    Reply
  • Renz Bulseco December 27, 2011, 6:45 pm

    Ed! Yey glad I met you before mag 2012. You are actually one of the few travel bloggers that I will always look up to. And yeah, small world nga, we attended the same school in Davao!!!
    "Come raise, oh raise a happy cheer!" HAHAHAHA + Talisay trees + Ma'am Ordona + Betty's! LOL (If ever buhi pa imong yearbook, pangitaa ko sa Grade 3 Zinnia. LOL NERD kaayo ko didto!!!)
    Anyway, whatever your decision/s is/are, we're always here to support you. Go lang ng go! :D And oh, agree ako kay Mica, next time, ibang continent naman mga travels natin.
    Cheers and happy new year! YAHOOOO

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 27, 2011, 9:52 pm

    @vin: thanks vin! mas maraming pang travels for you, Vin! 39 wow! :D

    @micamyx: haha, teka. inedit ko yan, para namang nagboblog ako sa opisina. haha! ibig ko sabihin pala sa bahay at opisina and then I worked on my blogs. hehehe. Thanks Mica! Ako rin, excited for you! naks, ibang continent pala talaga? Asia lang muna ako. hehe

    @Renz: thanks for the kind words, Renz! Idol kita sa mga designs and sa malinis mong template! Was so interested when I heard you're also from SMAD Renz! hahaha.  Di tayo kumanta ng school hymn nang sabay2x. next time! haha. Funny thing, I never got my yearbook! It was given to I dunno know. hehe. Happy new year! :D

    Reply
  • Supertikoy December 27, 2011, 11:27 pm

    hey Ed! indeed you have alot of things to be thankful for this 2011. good luck on your future travel/personal plans

    Reply
  • Eileen/ Possibly Pinay December 28, 2011, 1:00 am

    ChocoCreamFrosting, kapag napadpad kang Cavite – ako na ang personal tour guide mo – whether you like it or not. hahaha. 
    Congrats on the turtle lifestyle next year! Ako baliktad, I was fine during the first three quarters, then toinks, back to zero by the start of the last quarter – pero ganun lang din.. good vibes na good vibes lang. babangon muli! 
    Here's to knowing you're going to have an awesome 2012!

    Reply
  • Drew December 28, 2011, 1:02 am

    Goodluck sa upcoming change of lifestyle Ed! I wish you great travels, savings and investments! I also want an Ipad2 one of these days. I think magiging useful siya on the road.

    Reply
  • Robbie December 28, 2011, 1:03 am

    EDCEEEEEEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =))
    Ang dami mong trips this year! And I'm sure that your trips and posts will get even more better in 2012 and I will look forward to that. Malapit na magunaw ang mundo kaya dapat bonggang bongga na ang 2012 at gawin na lahat! =))
    It was really nice meeting you nung CBC kahit shy shy (aka suplado) pa tayo parehas and even nicer at nakasama kita sa isang trip! Thankful din ako sa mga travel bloggers na nakilala ko during the second half of the year. They turned my life around completely!
    For 2012, let's all LIVE PASSIONATELY! :D

    Reply
  • Marky December 28, 2011, 1:42 am

    Awesome year and what a smart usage of your VL and SL's hehe. Apir to a more travel-filled 2012. Hope to see you guys there in Cebu, probably in March as I've said to Doi and Upper.

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 28, 2011, 2:10 am

    @supertikoy: thanks jerome! glad to have met people like you din! keep the passion! :D

    @eileen: haha, di ako magaling na guest pero thakns for the offer Eileen! :D daan kayo ni happy meal dito sa Cebu! :D I admire you for sticking to your passion and I'll share what I can when we meet up next year! :D

    @drew: alam mo na I'm scared shit out of this change but thanks for the good vibes drew! dapat marami na tayong maging location-independent! :D

    @robbie: ROBBIIEEE!!!! — hahahaha. nabigla ako sa sigaw mo. haha. dami nga noh? haha, feeling ko gusto mo na talaga akong magpalit ng theme! haha. thanks uli sa kind words mo rob!  ikaw lang kaya ang shy shy nun! haha. onga, let's live passionately! :D

    @marky: haha. more travels to us all Marky!  balik ka na ng Cebu, Marky. dapat maayos natin tong podcast interview ko sayo. hehe. 

    Reply
  • nathalie December 28, 2011, 2:51 am

    Great  year indeed!  Hope to see you again in Cebu or elsewhere next year. Cheers to more trips and adventures for 2012! :)

    Reply
  • Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com December 28, 2011, 3:21 am

    So inspiring naman Ed. Daming nangyari sa yo this year ah. My travel experience this year is not so impressive but I'm doing a year ender din. It's a way to recap what had happened to me in 2011. Safe travels in 2012! Hope to meet you in Cebu in January!

    Reply
  • AJ December 28, 2011, 4:24 am

    All those trips without using up your leaves! That alone is a feat! Congrats for a full year and a job well done. Still clueless about your nom? The fact that you've informed and inspired so many peeps, yours truly included, deserves recognition.
    Wishing you more trips and more adventures this coming year! And I hope you won't be a soloflighter anymore, but a traveler with a special someone. wink wink

    Reply
  • mervz | pinoyadventurista.com December 28, 2011, 4:27 am

    so dami mong nagawa this year talaga… here's for more travels and oppurtunities next year… good luck Ed! Hope to bump with you again next time! :)

    Reply
  • jelly December 28, 2011, 6:04 am

    more travels to come sir ed! will be looking forward for your 2012 adventures! be safe always! :

    Reply
  • dong ho December 28, 2011, 7:18 am

    diyan nga ako hangang hanga sayo Ed. medyo mahirap pero alam mo kasing kaya mo. magagawa ko rin to.

    what a year of great travel and meet-ups. kampay for 2012,

    Reply
  • doi December 28, 2011, 8:00 am

    congratulations ed! hoping for a fruitful 2012 for you. just remember to keep the passion burning and continue to inspire people…the positive way *wink* don't let anyone or any thing stop you from pursuing your goals and ambitions let alone be affected by controversies. what's important is you know who you are and what you want and you have true friends whom you can count on. char! :-D

    Reply
  • Biboy December 28, 2011, 8:11 am

    Wow very nice post :) More travels to come for 2012. Have a blessed year ahead :)

    Reply
  • flipnomad December 28, 2011, 8:48 am

    goodluck Ed on 2012 :-) excited for your upcoming plans

    Reply
  • janet December 28, 2011, 8:52 am

    good job Ed and happy new year!
    would like to get more into this pinoy blogosphere.. with the awards and such. sounds interesting :D 

    Reply
  • ♥ hana banana ♥ December 28, 2011, 8:54 am

    cOngrats Ed!!!!!
    may all of us have a happier 2012  ^_^  yay!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 28, 2011, 9:05 am

    @nathalie: hi nath! thanks for posting your stories about vietnam! more trips for us all! :D

    @aleah: thanks aleah, you're embarking on another adventure so good luck din to you this 2012! :D

    @AJ: haha, nom lang sa CAMMA ang clueless kasi di ko alam i promote Christian values pala. haha! thanks AJ! hope to meet you in the future para mainterview din kita para matapos na rin ang pag-iisip ko kung interview-hin ba kita o hindi. heheh. 

    @mervz: thanks mervz! pero ibang level talaga ang mga gala mo! :D

    @jelly: thanks jelly! appreciate the supprot!

    @dong ho: haha. thanks for letting us join you sa trek, marami akong natututunan! gud luck din sa mga plano mo dom! more travels soon!

    @doi: thanks Doi! very lucky to have friends like you, char?! hahahaha. happy new year to you! dapat matuloy-tuloy na talaga ang CRT. hehe

    @flipnomad: thanks Flip! thanks for inspiring us all! :D

    @janet: thanks janet! we've a lot of active bloggers in the blogosphere! :D happy new year!

    @hana banana: thanks for reading my blog entries from way back. happy new year! :D

    Reply
  • ghienoxs December 28, 2011, 9:44 am

    Cheers for a more expedition and discoveries for the coming year! Sana makasama ko kayo ni doi and lakbay sa future trips nyo. sayang di ako naka sipot sa Oslob-Osmena Peak.

    Reply
  • journeyingjames December 28, 2011, 9:45 am

    go go ed! YOIU ALREADY, hanga ako sa pag-balanse mo sa work at travel.
    nice to meet you while you're here in manila. see you in cebu and good luck sa plans mo. woot woot!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 28, 2011, 10:04 am

    @ghienoxs: thanks! yes, daan ka dito in the future! happy new year!

    @journeyingjames: thanks james, pero wala paring tatalo sa astig mong challenge! you continue to impress me every time! see you in Manila! lapit na ang Norte! :D

    Reply
  • AJ December 28, 2011, 10:19 am

    Hahaha may hesitation? Sige I'll see you and Doi if ever mapadpad kami ni mom sa Cebu. Or if mapadpad ka sa QC. :)

    Reply
  • Kaiz Belga December 28, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Waaaaah! Kumusta naman ang leave credits mo? Ako July pa lang eh sinisita na ng mga boss dahil sa leaves ko. Ending, cancelled trips at sayang na tickets. FTW ang 2011 mo! #bitter

    Reply
  • MIitch December 28, 2011, 2:40 pm

    How's that possible Ed? You managed to travel and yet you still have vacation leaves, wow! kaw na magaling sa budgeting and time management. lol..What a fruitful year Ed and looking for more in 2012. So much to be thankful!!!

    Reply
  • lawstude December 28, 2011, 2:44 pm

    i am not cluless why your blog has been receiving these recognition because your blog is fun, fearless and f***. what a great 2011 and good luck on 2012, i'll bet it'll be a blast :)

    Reply
  • gayE @ pinaytraveljunkie December 28, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Excited na ako sa announcement! Long-term trip na ba ito? Hope so, and I shall meet you on the road.

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 28, 2011, 3:14 pm

    @AJ: haha meron talaga kasi kelangan ko pang magbaon ng talahuluganan (wahahaha, dictionary na lang) bago ko kayo mainterview! haha.

    @kaiz:  ay sayang pag nakacancel ng boss. nagpapasalamat ako sa boss ko kasi kahit papaano, pinapayagan akong magleave basta magawa ko yung trabaho ko. :D

    @MIitch: minamaximize ko ang holidays and weekends ko. medyo haggard pero grabe lang talaga ang pagtitipid at paghahanap ng mga raket! hehe. thanks mitch! happy new year!

    @lawstude: haha, thanks for the kind words man! though di ko alam ang last description haha kung Fine or F*** talaga. haha. great 2011 and have a great year din on 2012! tama na ang ipon, gumala ka na! hehe. 

    @gaye: thanks gaye! ewan kung long-term trip ba toh. pero kelangan nang lahat nang raket pagkakakitaan. hehe. hope to see you on the road at nang mainterview na talaga kita! hehe. kun di man, skype na lang. mas maganda pa rin kung makikita ko kayong magpamilya! :D

    Reply
  • The Lost Boy Lloyd December 28, 2011, 7:55 pm

    I'm so glad to meet and to have talked to you this year! You are one of the first people I've read since I started my travel blog, and you know that. :)

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 29, 2011, 5:17 pm

    @The Lost Boy Lloyd: Thanks Lloyd! Hope to meet you again one of these days so that we can push through with the interview! Next time, I'll be more punctual! haha.

    Reply
  • Vernon Go December 30, 2011, 2:41 pm

    maka pressure jud ning year-end-blog-posts oieee basta mag blog hop ko this time of the year… ehehhehe I'mma make mine napod..KUDOS to a productive blogging 2011 year..May there be More opportunities and inspiration this coming 2012!!! Happy Blogging!!

    Reply
    • soloflightEd December 30, 2011, 3:08 pm

      @vernon go: haha, ayaw kapressure! paabot lang sad ko sa post nimo. hehe. thanks vernon! happy new year!

      Reply
  • Bino / Frameless World December 30, 2011, 5:28 pm

    You really had a blast in 2011! More travels and adventures this coming 2012 Ed. Good Luck on your plans. Hope to bump with you on the road. :)

    Reply
  • ian|going places December 31, 2011, 9:44 am

    Inggit… you got a lot of travels in one year – what a year of travel! Congrats! Are you going nomad mode for the sake of travel and adventure as for your big plan next year? May you achieve all your travel plans for next year and hope to bump you on the airport (where I mostly stays) or on the road…  Happy 2012!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd December 31, 2011, 12:38 pm

    @Bino: thanks Bino! see you on the road one of these days! excited na ako, sana matutuloy talaga yung mga plano. :D
    @ian: I guess you can call it that. But I still need to earn so I can help sa bahay. sana nga everything will turn out well. thanks Ian! Thanks also for dropping by this website kahit medyo di ako nakakapagcomment masyado sa blog mo. Hoep to bump into you some time! :D

    Reply
  • pinoy boy journals December 31, 2011, 1:47 pm

    mabuhay ang mga bloggers na walang backlogs. Buti pa kayo, umuusad na. Happy new year, Ed! I've seen how you've grown to become one of the best travel bloggers there is in the country today. cheers to 2012. Continue inspiring everyone with your wit. Salamat!

    Reply
  • The Nomadic Pinoy December 31, 2011, 10:18 pm

    Good to read about what you've done the past year. You are in a much better position than I am time-wise since you can bring work with you in your travels! Inggit tuloy ako :) Let's all look forward to more travel experiences in 2012!

    Reply
  • Kara / Travel Up January 1, 2012, 5:39 am

    Hi Edcel, nice round-up. Congrats on having a great year! Ang dami mong trips. I'm amazed at how you were able to travel this much with a full-time job. Galing! :)

    Reply
  • soloflightEd January 2, 2012, 7:41 am

    @pinoy boy journals: mabuhay sa mga backlogs (mabuti pa sila :D). Ikaw din Jerik, ibang level na ang pagiging ambassador! hehe. Thanks for the kinds words! Definitely more travels for us next year!

    @The Nomadic Pinoy: Haha, sana nga tuloy-tuloy na toh next year. Dami pang dapat asikasuhin, Pero galing pa rin ng adventures mo Dennis! Happy new year!

    @Kara: Thanks Kara! Mas dumami nga nang magkaroon ng PTB kasi nakakainspire talaga ang ginagawa ng bawat isa. Happy new year to you! :D

    Reply
  • crazy sexy fun traveler January 2, 2012, 10:56 pm

    I love the photo with the bananas :D Could you carry me that much of ice cream? :D

    Reply
  • bingramos January 19, 2012, 9:58 am

    I like your travel blogs Ed. Keep it up.

    Reply
  • Jaymie Ann David May 1, 2012, 9:39 am

    Hi Ed, Do I qualify for the Pinoy Travel Bloggers FB group? I think I have less than 20 articles on travel. But I wish to write more articles moving forward.  I think I need a set of group who I can join for travels.. Appreciate it if you can help me.

    Reply
  • soloflightEd May 6, 2012, 2:03 pm

    @crazy sexy fun traveler: haha, thanks!

    @bingramos: Thank you!

    @Jaymie Ann David: Hi Jaymie.what's your FB account? Normally, the blog should be about travel and you need to be Pinoy (of course). Minimum of 20 travel posts lang. If it's a personal blog, you need to have at least 80 percent travel-related content. PM me your FB account and I'll ask the admins to add you! :D

    Reply
  • Jaymie Ann David May 7, 2012, 8:30 am

    Reply
  • aict August 3, 2012, 2:17 am

    good luck on your travels! keep inspiring people and being inspired. :)

    Reply

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