Showing posts with label Travel Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel Tips. Show all posts

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Be a Traveler Not a Tourist

January 11, 2015 0

When you're embarking on a foreign trip what's the main goal of your travel? To relax, to discover, to learn? What type of visitor are you? A tourist or a traveler? A nature person? A beach person? Or someone who adores the modern lifestyle and the glittery spark of a city life?

There’s a world difference between a tourist and a traveler. 

A tourist is someone who embarks into a trip with an idea of luxury and to enjoy the modern environment. Someone who abhors inconvenience in traveling. Someone who has high expectations on state-of-the-art facilities and amusement parks to visit, And someone who always looks for comfort in the surroundings. 

At the Angkor Wat ground 

In front of Ben Thanh market in Saigon

But a traveler is someone who goes into an exciting adventure, to explore the other side of life, to experience the wonders of the world in another place, to discover something different from the environment worthy of a story to tell and experience.

A tourist cannot afford to experience a discomfort of getting lost, of being drag in a risky situation, of seeing a surrounding that seems stuck in the 19th century with no signs of development. But a traveler enjoys the adventure of discovering the unknown because experience teaches a different lesson of learning. It opens a whole new world of discovery and self-confidence, enhancing wisdom and unveiling courage. 

Life is a beautiful journey with many stop overs to marvel on the beauty of the universe. Chances are, these natural wonders might never come tomorrow and might be totally wiped out before we could appreciate its worth.

Enjoying the cool atmosphere in Saigon, Vietnam

I categorized myself as a traveler because I am eager to learn something new, I am not afraid to explore unknown places and I want to come home with a wealth of experience. I am not a city life person, I don’t like the morbid scene in the city and I am not fascinated with modern structures. 

Amusement park is also not my thing. I am more of a nature person, I am enthralled with the natural wonders of the world.  In a more clear explanation – I prefer a countryside, suburban living, than a life in the city. I like a subdued, tranquil environment with a natural landscape. Wilderness, lakes, trees, flowers and greenery enthrall me to no end.

Magnificent trimmed ground of Angkor Wat

As a travel blogger, one of the strangest things I longed to try is to take a daring adventure to a far-away land, to unknown places where my strength, courage and strong faith in God can be put into a challenging test. I always wanted to visit a place that most people never actually dreamed to be in, to a road less traveled where I could pluck an amazing experience worthy to be shared to the world.  

It’s not madness but simply trying to see the other side of life and discover how far my courage and independence would go and where it would take me, an experience worthy of a book. Because life is an adventure with so many stories to tell.

In 2015 I was able to fulfill part of this wish. 

On  Year's day of 2015, my two former colleagues in the University and I were able embark into a whole new traveling pursuit --- discovering two lesser known side of Southeast Asia, two countries not usually included in the travel bucket list of most Filipinos. And I am so proud with this travel adventure. I learned so many things while on the road, unveiled my courage I never knew existed and saw the other side of life.

Vietnam and Cambodia. They are sorely misjudged, dismissing them as unworthy to consider for leisure. Even just hearing their names, other people (even some of my friends) would cringe in surprise and disbelief why on earth someone would consider them as ideal holiday destinations. Because people don’t want to suffer in traveling, because they look for something else, something modern and luxurious which these two countries haven't.

Vietnam and Cambodia never leave an amazing mark to everyone’s imagination maybe due to its war-torn history, conflict and poverty, reasons that most Filipino travelers would never want to hear. But beyond these not-so-glamorous descriptions is a beautiful story of tranquility. I saw a totally different culture, lifestyle and environment, cool atmosphere and a surrounding that has slowly recovering from the tension of war. 

These two Southeast Asian countries offer a unique experience of traveling. In Vietnam and Cambodia, I almost felt, I'd stepped up back in time, to a totally different world. Saigon in particular (the old name of Ho Chi Minh City) is so lovely with beautiful parks everywhere. It's so amazing how fast they have recovered from war.

Visiting Vietnam and Cambodia is like time traveling, to a different century, to a unique world where cool, century’s old trees still exist. Relax, tranquil, strange and yet amusing.

In this recent trip, I experienced almost all kinds of discomfort that a tourist would never surely endure – lost in the street where danger seems present, endured hunger pangs and met strange people who could not speak nor understand English. But I carried it on and considered it as one of my most memorable travel exploits.

I was traveling with my two friends and despite some inconveniences, we had enjoyed the adventure.

Tge first inconvenience I encountered was when we entered Cambodia with no Cambodian currency. With no connections, no people to help us, plus the hard time of communicating with the locals, I could almost grasp in disbelief what kind of misfortune befell on us. But we survived, enjoyed the trip, laughed with our blunders and retired that night with a contented spirit.

How we did it? There’s only one answer --- be a traveler not a tourist….

This is my story of what it takes to be a traveler.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Become a Budget Traveler

December 27, 2014 0
Traveling! Others call it luxury, I call it life!

I take some pride in saying I am a budget traveler, I don't spend too much on my travel exploits, I usually prepare my itinerary around a specific budget and scout on deals.

My purpose of traveling is to see the world and discover what's on the other side of life and comes back with a wealth of experience and tell stories about the world as I see it.

Depends on your purpose of traveling, a local or foreign trip entails a lot of preparation especially on financial aspects. So a focus on where to get your budget for the travel is a must. I always come up with a travel plan several months ahead, figuring out where to escape, checking promo on airfares, scouting hotel accommodation deals then determine how much amount to set aside for this trip.

I love traveling because I consider it as an opportunity to widen my horizon and boost my learning. There's so much to learn while on a holiday.

While others indulge in luxury bags, shoes, watches, gadgets, I save money for my travel adventure. 

Here are some ideas how to become a budget traveler which you might want to consider too. But first I am warning you that a budget traveler's life never denotes luxury, you must learn how to sleep and get up like a backpacker. But the experience is really fun!
  • Check your schedule when will be the best time for you to travel
  • Save money, Open a separate bank account for your travel expenses.
  • Determine how much amount you would set aside from your income to deposit in your travel account
  • Deposit the amount in your travel account
  • Decide which country you would want to escape (your choice will depend on what type of traveler are you or what you will expect from your travel, are you a history and culture buff, a nature lover, or someone who prefers to explore the city delights of another country)
  • Check on airfare promo 
  • Scout for hotel accommodation deals, this aspect would depend also what type of accommodation you prefer. Are you comfortable with transient inns? This is a popular choice among budget travelers. Check special deals on hotels at AGODA site here 
  • Prepare your DIY travel itinerary. I always do this by checking details and information online first. For example if you are traveling to Singapore, check online sources, posts from other bloggers, with the most practical way to travel to this country. Compare info and decide.
  • Travel with just one pack bag and a sling bag where you would put your important documents, gadget and wallet. This is to avoid the additional cost for check-in bag if you are taking a foreign trip.
  • Avoid bringing too many outfit and other unnecessary stuff. As much as possible choose light outfit that would not occupy a large portion of your pack bag.
  • Bring biscuits or something to eat (and drinks if you are only taking a local trip) to spare yourself from buying expensive food on the road. Remember food and other goodies on the road is quite expensive.
  • Determine how much amount you would set aside as your pocket money. Again, try doing an online research first about your destination to get some idea on the cost of living, expenses on food, souvenirs, transportation, etcetera.
  • Create your itinerary around your budget to avoid getting overboard with your expenses.


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