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Conversions

ZHANGJIAJIE, China — He looks at my passport, and I know something is not right. The bank teller stares at my currency exchange form and gives me a look I can’t decipher. My stay in Zhangjiajie is ending, and I need some yuan to catch the last train out. His fingers tap the desk anxiously,…




Top 20 Songs I Listened to During Travel in 2016

This year has been the strangest, to say the least. When I was in Chiang Mai in 2012, the monks told me to be mindful of whatever it is I’m doing. When you walk, don’t listen to music; just walk and appreciate the walk. When you’re traveling by train, stop the music and appreciate the…




Sawdust

I’ve been staying at my mom’s house in Batangas for the holidays. The other night, I was having a drink with neighbors on their porch when they commented how things had changed around here. The main road in our village is now flanked with 2-story concrete houses. We spent most of our childhood within flimsy…




My Top 20 Travel Moments of 2016

I welcomed 2016 with a lot of hope and a pint of Guinness at a random British pub in Tokyo. Although I was alone in a foreign land, I could sense an air of positivity in the air. It was my first trip since I left my full-time job (again), and I was looking forward…




Long-Term Travel

In 2012, when I first abandoned the corporate world, I had a grand plan of traveling around Southeast Asia for a loooong time. 6 months, maybe? Or a year? “Easy,” I thought. SEAsia is cheap, and although the culture is so far from ours, it wouldn’t really be too far from the boundaries of my…




Skógafoss

When we arrived, we were a little underwhelmed. The waterfall was great, yep, but after seeing the majestic Gullfoss, we would need more than a cascade. The place looked grey and dreary. They said it normally looks better under the sun, but even the sun was not in the mood. We were just about to…




Reynisdrangar

ANG ALAMAT NG LUGAR NA ITO. Noong unang panahon, may isang higanteng hindi masaya sa buhay niya dahil pangit siya. Nakiusap siya sa diyos na gawin siyang yummy. Yung katakam-takam, yung pinipilahan. Dininig ng langit ang kanyang dasal. Ayun, ginawa siyang French fries.