Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Four Years Ago


Okay, hear me out. I know it's hard to update this travel blog regularly for obvious reasons. Heck, I have written more posts on my (personal) blog this year! Today, before I went to work, I found my old external hard drive. It's where I store all of my raw photos and videos from my travels beginning 2014 until late 2019. Since I believe I still have unpublished and unedited photos, I started browsing the 2017 folder. 2017 was so special to me. It was the year when I got transferred to Davao, finally got tenured at work, and got the chance to visit Sydney for the first time, one of my favorite places in the world. Man, I miss my old life. 2017 feels like four decades ago! Those were the days when I'd message my friends and alert them about an ongoing seat sale, read all the travel blogs to formulate my travel itinerary and watch some travel vlogs on YouTube.

These are some of the photos I've salvaged (LOL) from my old hard drive and post-processed on Lightroom. I am 100% that I haven't published these on any of my social media posts.


Seoul, January and November 2017

My first visit to Seoul, South Korea, was also my first winter experience. When I went there, it was -17ºC. For those who didn't know me yet, I love the cold. However, this cold caught me off guard. I had a hard time acclimatizing to the extreme winter conditions of Seoul, and by the time I got used to it, we're already on our last day of the trip. I know it sucks, but at least I still enjoyed my trip. This trip won't be possible without the travel voucher from our 2016 Bali trip. We got a travel voucher because the ground staff at Denpasar Airport offloaded us since the flight was full. They accommodated us on the next available flight, which leaves at 1 AM the following day. In return, the airline company gave us a free roundtrip ticket to any international destinations (except Dubai and Sydney). My friend and I decided to book a flight to Seoul because we both haven't been here.

Airport drama.

Nami Island!

Lost in Seoul.

The famous metasequoia path of Nami Island

Incheon Airport.

Eleven months after my first trip here, I went back and invited more friends to visit Seoul. This time, it was in the middle of their famed autumn season, where the foliage bleeds orange, crimson, and yellow. It's beautiful in photos, but it's even more magnificent when you're there. There are two things that I don't like about it–one, the smell of rotting leaves is very unpleasant, and two, at least ten billion people visit Seoul during this season. 

Models, models, models.

Trying hard to be ~fancy~

Shoot now, sneeze later.

Falling leaves 'effect'. Jasmin looked so happy here.

The autumn foliage.

Photobombing level 99


Taipei, February 2017

A month later, my friends and I went to Taipei. It was still cold when we went there, so it was rather pleasant to explore the city. We didn't mind walking for more than 20,000 steps, as long as the weather wasn't hot and humid. What was annoying that time was when we decided to go hiking at the elephant mountain. I thought it was just an easy hike, but we were wrong. We came unprepared for that strenuous climb. I almost ran out of air. As we reached the peak, we were gasping for air because of two things: one, gravity's a bitch, and two, the view took our breath away because it was so beautiful. I can't imagine myself hiking the same trail during their hot summer season.

Taipei's busy street.

Street vendors selling delicious Taiwanese food.

Trying out their matcha custard pie.

A temple right at the heart of downtown Taipei

Friends who love to strike a pose. Miss you three!

Signs and directions

The view was worth it, but I won't do the hike again. EVER.

Obligatory pose with Taipei 101 at the background.


Sydney, 2017

Ahhh, Sydney. One of my favorite cities in the world. It is my home away from home. I don't know, but immediately after exiting Sydney Airport, I felt I belong here. It's not because I know how to fake an Australian accent, but the environment itself screams home. Maybe because it is my ideal place to live in–the weather is just perfect as it was sunny at only 23ºC, the balance of urban lifestyle and nature is there, and the beaches are all beautiful. It was a huge mistake that I only stayed there for four days and three nights. I even cried on my way to the airport! I know, but Sydney hit me real hard in many good ways. That is one of the reasons why I always keep on coming back here. And when I do, I make sure that I try all uniquely Aussie things and activities there and visit cities and towns that fancy my interest.

Bondi Beach

Sydney sunset with two of the city's famous landmarks.

Don't we all miss traveling? Traveling allows me to broaden my perspectives in life, and of course, improve my story-telling skills through writing, vlogs, and photography. Honestly, I don't mind the metrics as it's not my bread and butter. It's already a big bonus if it gets a lot of attention on social media. I enjoy reading my past travel stories because I remember every single moment of them. 

Traveling is not my form of escapism, but it's one of my ways to live life vicariously and to the fullest.






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