From Places

Top 13 Travel Moments of 2018

“Why do you love Japan so much?” she asked right after the food arrived. My conversation with Saori, my new friend, started with the places I have visited over 15 trips to her country. I have made several Japanese friends, but she was the first to throw me that question. It took me a moment…

First Tokyo Blossoms

TOKYO, 2017. When my sister moved to Tokyo for work 5 years ago, it was as though I won the lottery. Suddenly, I had another reason to travel to Japan and a place to stay for free. True enough, I found myself on a plane to Tokyo twice a year, exhausting all the days that…

One Thing at a Time

FUKUOKA, 2018. In Japan, there is a saying that goes, “ikkai ichi dousa,” which translates to “one thing at a time.” I learned about this when I mentioned to a Japanese friend that I could count in one hand the locals I had seen eating while walking. “We take food seriously,” he said. When asked…

Scared Shortless

BIRI ISLAND, NORTHERN SAMAR, 2012. Our last stop was the site where Magasang and Magsapad rock formations stand. My friend Ces and I climbed to the top of the cliff and watched the sea slam the rocky shore with one giant wave after another. Biri Island lies where the San Bernardino Strait meets the Pacific…

Spirited Away

MISASA, JAPAN, 2018. Today has been one of the best days of my life. We are now in Misasa, a small town in Tottori Prefecture. Apparently, this place is Hayao Miyazaki’s go-to spot. Before coming here, we had no idea that it has any connection with Ghibli.

Detour

ATHENS, 2017. “I want to show you something,” our cab driver John said at one point between the airport and our hotel. “You’re not in a hurry, no?”

Top 17 Travel Moments of 2017

2017 could have been the best year of my life. For 10 straight months, it just kept on giving. Blessings after blessings, places after places, awards after awards. It was generous; it was kind. And then it began taking.

Evacuated

PARIS, 2016. We were so busy writing messages on postcards, we didn’t realize we were the only ones left inside. We were at the post office just next to la Gare du Nord, where we would be taking the train to Brussels. The manager approached us. “Out, out” he ordered firmly but calmly. We simply…