It's the last day of August for the year 2020. And just like that?! 

Without even feeling truly alive this year? The last time I felt human and carefree was in March. It's crazy to think it's been eight months since then. 

Tomorrow begins the BER months. And in the Philippines, it starts to smell like Christmas. Yes, you read it right, the Christmas holiday is just around the corner. Ugh! 

Jomalig island, Quezon Philippines
Jomalig island

With the threat of coronavirus infection still out there, I am not certain if we could ever truly feel the joy of the holiday season this year.

The year 2020 feels to be just like a dream, slipping away without anything remarkable to remember other than the moments of home isolation and the never-ending quarantine period that starts to sound like an eternity.

Imagine, how long we've been home quarantining this year? It feels like forever right?! We've spent the entire year isolating at home, exercising the new normal of wearing a face mask and face shield and spraying our hands with alcohol.

Luljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa
Luljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa resort

But of course, I am super grateful for not being part of the statistics of the pandemic. I guess that's my greatest accomplishment this year. That I'm safe and sound.

Life has gone totally awry this year without anything remarkable to remember other than being anxious about what happens next. 

This year is something I would never want to remember though. Time has stopped and human survival is at stake.

White Beach Puerto Galera
White Beach, Puerto Galera

This year, all our travel plans were stalled. Flights were aborted. Borders were closed. Deaths are everywhere and millions lost their jobs. Life has totally halted.

The pandemic inflicted damage to the world like a dinosaur on the loose. Everyone is not spared its wrath. 

Countries continue to bleed with the crisis as the threat of infection continues to escalate to an alarming level. So the months just went by. Uneventful and gloomy.

Jomalig island

For someone like me who started the year with so many travel plans, the pandemic sounds like a death sentence. 

It's crazy to think that we're now more than halfway of getting off the year. With nothing eventful to reminisce about other than bled in isolation. 

It is still uncertain when we remain in this kind of situation. Perhaps, a year, perhaps two years, or more. The pandemic completely altered our lives this year and changed the way we viewed society. And the way we treated human survival.

The Adventure That Ended At Home

When the year 2019 ended, I thought the year 2020 will be my year of exploring the world, chasing my dream, and traveling everywhere.

I thought 2020 will be my year of capturing wonderful moments on the road, discovering new places, snapping landscapes, exploring islands, walking on the beach, learning how to surf against the raging waves, and watching many sunsets along the seashore.

White Beach Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera

Alas! The adventure I dreamed of just ended in the four corners of our home. Taking pictures in the garden, watching days gone by while sipping coffee.

Unlike most of the world's historic disasters, COVID-19 completely took over our lives and forced many countries to shut off borders.

Our travel goals completely vanished into thin air.

Sudden Death of the Travel Industry

The travel industry, the first casualty of the pandemic, still bleeding in darkness, shrouded with uncertainties, it is still a million-dollar question if tourism could be completely safe to reopen this year considering the fact that the threat of infection is still high everywhere.

Magalawa island, Zambales

So as the world of travel continues to suffer in this period of the pandemic, it might take more than a year before we could make travel plans again. To be safer.

And this means we will just be contented with travel throwback, reminiscing our most memorable adventures and road trips.

When this health crisis nightmare is over, it's great to make travel plans again because life has to move on. It is not meant to live in one corner. There are tons of wonderful things waiting to be discovered somewhere. And beautiful stories of adventure waiting to be told.

Travel Throwback

For travel bloggers, this year sounds more than like a catastrophe. Everything has to be put on hold. So I am forced now to just reminisce about all my memorable trips, all the wonders I experienced exploring other places, the beach trips I took, and the moments on the road.

White Beach Puerto Galera
Bayanan beach, Puerto Galera

And while the world still anxiously waiting for an approved vaccine to quell off covid-19, I will just have to go through my travel photos and remember those happy trips I took and wish that one day, everything will be fine again. And we could all go back to normal.

I wish to see another bright day in another place, chase waves, lay on the beach sand, feel the warm morning sun, and explore other cultures. I wish I could travel again.

Kanaway beach, Jomalig Island 

This year made me feel totally helpless and totally anxious. And I wish none of these ever happened in my lifetime, but then again things often happened the way we would never expect. 

I cannot wait to travel again. And embark into an exciting adventure. I am thinking of going local. Our local tourism industry needs to recover from this terrible nightmare. So perhaps going anywhere in the country is the best thing to do.

Last trip abroad, Angkor Wat

Target Travel Destinations

The Philippines boasts so many beautiful spots to explore. And when traveling is safe again, and government restrictions on movements will ease, I would love to explore local spots.

I wish to go to Palawan, this province has been on my travel bucket list for a long time, but have not got a chance to really tick it off. I want to visit San Vicente in Palawan, it looks like a spectacular beach destination.

Bohol is also on my travel bucket list, especially Panglao. Bohol is a scenic Philippine province with a unique regional culture to discover.

San Vicente beach in Palawan

Other beach destinations I want to explore locally are La Union and the Bantayan island in Cebu! Bantayan Island looks like a dreamy beach destination. It's been on my travel bucket list and hopefully, I could fulfill it when the pandemic is over.

Apart from beaches, I hope to visit other cultural landmarks in the Philippines. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan is a must-visit. Vigan in the Ilocos region is also a dream destination. Hope to explore Bukidnon too for some soul-searching 😄

Bantayan Island, Cebu

Hopefully, I could travel outside the country again, the last time I went abroad for a leisure trip was in 2015. It's been a long time! Hope to visit Korea, Japan, and Thailand.

Traveling Solo

It's been years since I am thinking of taking a solo trip elsewhere but haven't got a chance to do it, perhaps when travel restrictions ease, I'll push through with it. And where would I go? 😁

I am thinking of going back to White beach, Puerto Galera, the last beach trip I took before the pandemic. Puerto Galera has beautiful beaches, a scenic atmosphere, a sprawling coastline, and cheaper accommodations.

I am thinking also of traveling back home. Surigao del Sur, my home province has so many stunning beaches and nature resorts.  

Tinuy-An falls, Bislig City, Surigao del sur
During my first visit to Enchanted River

Although we're very far from Siargao, which is on the north side of the Surigao province, Surigao del Sur still has gorgeous beaches to explore. 

My home province boasts so many spots full of natural wonders: Enchanted River in Hinaturan, Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig city, Laswitan Lagoon in Cortez, and Britania island, are just some of the amazing destinations to explore when visiting Surigao del Sur.

Aquaria beach, Calatagan, Batangas 

So many travel plans to map, so many trips to contemplate, and so many dreams of adventures to get busy with, while the world is shut off. 

For now, I'll just be contented reminiscing my fun days on the road, soaking in happy memories through my travel photos.