Noodle Soup for the Soul

LIUZHOU, China — The train from Liuzhou to Guilin was packed that Saturday afternoon. I was pushed to endure the two-hour ride standing at the space in between cars — by the toilet, next to the garbage bin, beside the smoking area — with the other passengers who booked a ticket too late. I shared…

Pinoy Travel Bloggers Slumber Party: 5 Things that Made it a Blast

PASIG CITY, Philippines — It’s not every day that I get to see people in the same line of work as I am (if work is what you call what we do). When I’m on a self-imposed travel hiatus (like in the past weeks), I am usually either (1) stressing myself over the number of posts…

Coy

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — He used to ask me how he could be stronger. Even that night three years ago when he showed up at my door, he asked me the same question. He was in tears, and he didn’t want to be that way. He said he was too lost, too weak. “You’re too…

My Top 25 Most Unforgettable Travel Moments of 2013 (Part 2)

Something beautiful popped up in my Facebook news feed in April last year. It was a link to a Bored Panda post featuring 22 places that are hard to believe really exist. Instantly, it became a bucket list. When I reached the bottom of that page, I promised myself that I would visit all of these…

Top 20 Songs I Listened to During Travel in 2013

In another life, U2’s Beautiful Day or the Beatles’s Across the Universe would be my travel anthems. But in this life, I love *pop* just as much as I love any other genre of music. Perhaps even more, to be honest. And while it’s productive to use travel time to reflect and make life-changing decisions,…

My Top 25 Most Unforgettable Travel Moments of 2013 (Part 1)

You won’t find Paris on this list. No, you won’t; I have yet to set foot on Europe. You won’t find Rio, either; South America has to wait a couple more years. And Egypt and Jerusalem? They’re my dream destinations, but no, I still have a long, long way to go to get there. There…

Sketchy Intentions

CHANGSHA, China — My five-hour wait for the next train had barely started when an old woman entered the terminal and stood in the aisle between me and a couple fast asleep in a sweet embrace. It was five past two in the morning in Changsha City, China. We were the only people in the…

Five-Hour Connections*

MALACCA, Malaysia — We stepped out to the garden almost at the same time. And almost at the same time we placed a bottle of softdrink on separate tables. “Would you mind if I smoked?” I asked politely. “Absolutely not, I’m here for the same reason,” he smiled and introduced himself. His name is Aurelien,…