Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Seven Facts About Me When Traveling

I travel because I want to see and feel the world. It makes me feel alive in every possible way! In this day and age, people have easy access to social media, thus making our world smaller and more accessible. Also, more and more people can now afford flying to different places, all thanks to the cheap fares provided by low-cost carriers. I started traveling around the beautiful island of Mindanao during my college days and it had really opened my mind to a new perspective about how I see the world; a paradigm shift.

On a lighter note, some of you here wonder how I travel - the things that I usually carry and the preparations I do prior my trips. I guess it's about time to share seven fun facts about me when traveling.

1) I have a good sense of direction.

Well, uhh, with a *little* help of Waze and Google Maps. But seriously, I love reading maps. You know, the feeling of getting lost and unfolding a map is always exciting. Well, unless if the map is written in a totally different language such as Korean, Chinese, Thai, or Japanese, I'd resort to interviewing the locals, which brings us to number two:

2) I try to speak the local language of the place I visit. 

For obvious reasons, it's easier to transact things if you speak the language of the locals. But, if you're a poser like me, some things are better left unsaid. Take this as a classic example:

I was in the middle of a street fair in Kota Kinabalu when this funny incident happened. The street was closed and the vendors flocked the streets and sell assorted goods - from Chinese herbs, pet dogs, Siamese and Persian cats, food, souvenirs, clothes, and almost everything under the sun. I was looking for a pair of sunglasses because I didn't bring mine. I found one who sells Wayfakers (as in, fake Wayfarers). The price was 20 ringgit, which was quite expensive for a Wayfaker. So I tried to test my haggling skill.

Jalan Fair

"Berapa banyak ini? (How much is this?)", I asked. The owner replied in rapid Bahasa and I didn't catch her. So, I asked her the same question, this time in English.

"How much is this again?"
"20 ringgit!", she said.
"Can I have it for 13?"

Lady Wayfaker got mad. As in, fuming mad.

"No! No! No! Still 20! You not local! Still 20! Buy it or leave it!". Hongtoroy ni ateng! Oh well, there's a fine line between fluent and Google-Translate fluent.

By the way, I still bought the Waykafer for 20 ringgit. Malditang Ate: 1, Me: 0.

3) I value comfort. 

I am not that type of traveler who can just sleep in every corner of the world, as in literally. I can't sleep in the middle of nowhere with just a piece of hammock as my makeshift bed or lay down inside the airport terminal with my bag as my pillow. I. Can't. Do. That. At the end of the day, I'd want to sleep in an air-conditioned room with a hot and cold shower bath, a cable TV and a reliable Wi-Fi access. It doesn't need to be a five-star accommodation, it just have to be comfortable. That's all.

Flying away.

4) Usually, itineraries do not work for me. 

I go for spontaneity because that's the exciting part of the trip: You do not know what's in store for you. The "Now, what?" moment will always excite me.  But, if I'm with my friends who religiously follow their itineraries, I'd just follow them because I do not want to be left alone. Which *ehem* brings us to number five:

5) Solo traveling is not REALLY for me.

Two years ago, I tried traveling solo and God, I  failed that personal challenge. It was depressing in my part most especially when I was traveling on the bus alone for more than six hours. It really is uncomfortable whenever I travel without a companion for a long period of time. Yes, I do spend some time alone at Starbucks or any other hangout places, but solo traveling is really different. It takes a lot of strength and courage to overcome that fear of being alone, and I believe I still have to conquer it soon. I'd want to try solo traveling again, but not now. I am still not ready for it.

6) If I'm a first time visitor of this certain place or territory, the first thing I do is to try their FOOD. 

The food reflects the history and culture of the place, that's why I eat where the locals usually eat (comes with full research prior food tripping to prevent unwanted trip to the comfort room). I don't go for fast food restaurants because they aren't really that special, in my honest opinion. Trying the local food is one of the best ways to experience the place.

Chicken Satay

7) I seldom buy pasalubong for everyone. 

It's a common trait for Filipinos to buy goods from their travels to their loved ones, be in a form of chocolates, goods, key chains, or shirts (aka I *heart* <insert country here>). I am not being Scrooge here or what, but usually when I travel, I travel light. That means, I don't have check-in luggage, and airlines have strict protocols regarding carry-on luggage. I don't want to spend an additional fee just because my carry-on luggage are overweight. I still buy for my family and close friends though.

Beautiful East Malaysian Sunset.

I believe each one of us has its own traits or personalities when it comes to traveling. But you know what? Because of traveling, I met a lot of new friends along the way, and they became my travel buddies. Don't worry, I'm not a snob. Ask my newfound travel blogger friends. Hahaha!

How about you? Do we have the same personalities or traits in traveling? Can't wait to read all of it! :)

Now let's explore the world, shall we?


  1. Replies
    1. Ta ta ta! Palawan ta kay I've never been there. Ehem ehem tagging Escape Manila! Pero please, sa hotel ta matulog ha? Dili sa banig! HAHAHAHA

    2. as in banig jud! me and frends often travel on a tight budget so we are accommodate in budget hotels or inns. kasulay mi ug 3 mi kabook sa bed. walay lihok lihok lang dayon ang peg. lol!

    3. Bahala na mangguot basta soft ang ginahigaan plus aircon! HAHAHA

  2. nice post renz. after reading the 7, i pause to wonder what are my 7s too! i wish i can write now.

    on the pasalubong thingy -- akala ko ako lang. except tho kung meron talagang budget i do buy naman. i also buy keychain for my own collection.

    1. Hahaha! Naga buy man jud kog pasalubong, only that limited lang jud kay kapuyan ko mag bitbit ug daghan! :))

  3. We have different views sa #5. Haha. But maybe, let's travel minsan! 😁👊

  4. Thanks for reminding me Doc! Haha! Wala pay shade ang Eastern Visayas ba!

  5. #5 - yung bus ride ba yung pumunta ka ng Pangasinan? Haha

    Ako I can relate sa mga sinabi mo although I enjoy solo travel. I also spend extra for comfort if i have the money #alammoyan :P

    1. Oo Mics, yung pauwi na ako from Pangasinan to Clark. Grabe sobrang nakakalungkot yung moments na yun. Plus sobrang lamig ng aircon sa bus. HAHAHA

      Oh yes, alam na alam ko yan! :D

  6. Same tayo sa #4. I do checklists instead like yung mga pupuntahan ko pero walang time frame. Kapit sa salitang "bahala na si batman". haha!


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