Year-End Gratitude Post

Don’t wait for inspiration. Be the inspiration.

Before the great 2017 ends, attached herewith is a collage of the 30 countries i have visited and 7 Philippine mountains I have scaled (not included are other several local destinations i have set foot).

Lord, I really do not know what good have I done to deserve all these great things. I will be forever grateful. All these travel wouldn’t be possible without You and Your grace.

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This is a pretty lengthy gratitude post. So here it goes:

It’s not a secret that I am such a travel enthusiast. Just when I thought last year’s feat of going to 9 countries was already crazy awesome, who would’ve thought that 2017 would extremely surpass that. So allow me to thank the following for helping me/ extending any form of help to me during one of my travels this year:

– to my Lithuanian friends, Dacius, Ruta and Gaudantes, for providing me a home, fun moments, and a family almost during my entire 10-week Europe trip.

– to Pow (and your lovely wife Pam, even she wasn’t there) for accommodating me and showing me around Vienna).

– to my new found friends, Judith and Gerlie, whom I met in Vienna, and has shown me more love and genuine friendship when I got the chance to visit Dubai.

– to Richard, a former student of mine and a really good friend, (and to your entire family) for accommodating me during my Milan trip (and sa food, sa damit, sa lahat!).

– to my CS host in Romania, Daniel, and my co-CS guest Timu for making my Bucharest trip worthy.

– to Recep, my Muslim friend in Turkey who has shown me so much genuine friendship and that unforgettable experience inside the mosque.

– to Tita Wiwi for showing me around Paris, and for being like a mom preparing my “baon” while I do my walking tour.

– to my awesome CS nudist hosts in Brussels; to Dr. Geraldine and Dr. Reuben for showing me around Brussels.

– to my former student, Katrijn and her lovely daughter, for keeping me company in Tallinn, Estonia (and for the gifts).

– to Vlad, Yana, and Claro for a super fun Taiwan trip before we all eventually resigned from work 😉

– to my best buddy/ kabsat/ frenemy, JQ for your birthday gift (ang yaman mo talaga grabe)

– to my Tita Maria and Roy for the warm welcome in Hong Kong.
– to Doc Anton and Sir Bojo (you may not know this, but you are some of my travel inspirations).

– to Elaine, Hazel, Pat for meeting me up in Dubai and spending some great time (hanggang Oman); to Ruby for showing me around Dubai as well.

– to Edi and his dog, Moka (my CS hosts in Israel), co-CS guest Daniel, for a great time in Tel Aviv (and the beard oil you gave me, hahaha); to former classmate, Ace sa treat at sa kwentuhan around Old Jaffa.

– to UJ for meeting up with me (again in Zamboanga), to the Pharma students I met in Bacolod, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga during the review session.

– to my boss who accepted my resignation from work last March 1, and since then told me that I could always come back and work for him, and eventually offering me to work for him again during this years last quarter. Grabe, i feel pressured right now because of your trust and confidence. meow.

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– to WeVoluntour sa laging pagimbita sakin kahit once lang na naman ako nakasama; to kabsat Greggy, Therenz sa trilogy climb natin dito sa LTB last January.

– to the acquaintances I have met during my Marami, Binacayan, Lalayag climbs (although shout out to Dee for coming with me); to my followers here in WordPress.

– to my IG friends who are now really close friends after the Bulacan Twin Hike, ElYu trip and Baguio visit (Tutz, Den, Bri, MJ, Sam, Carlo, KO, Dumz, Rard, Niel) – sana wala akong nakalimutan.

– to all who have untiringly appreciated my FB, IG, twitter, wordpress posts kahit na nagfloflood na ako most of the time… sa lahat ng mga tumatawag ng lodi, petmalu at inspiration sakin. Grabe nakakataba kaya ng puso (at least may tumaba sakin). Hindi nyo alam kung gaano ako nagpapasalamat sa inyo. Sana one day, matupad din lahat ng mga kagustuhan nyong magtravel at kung ano man yang gusto ng mga puso nyo.

– to my Baguio friends Cha and Tiny for always giving me a warm welcome back whenever I am back in Baguio, at kasamang mag-Korean buffet atbp.

– to my TaRxier friends na despite the physical distance eh we have kept our lines of communication open to share our adventures and misadventures and lots of kagaguhan.

– to my mama and my papa for being tolerant sa pagiging lakwatsero ko (teka, hindi nyo nga pala alam half of these gala, hahaha)

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– and to Papa God dahil NEVER niya akong pinabayaan sa lahat ng travel na ito.

– at syempre to you dear self, grabe, antapang tapang mo na (un lang butas na ata bulsa mo). Sana yang tapang mo magamit mo rin sa ibang bagay gaya ng pag-let go ng past at pagharap sa mas mature na future).

Thank you to all the people who have been part of all these amazing journeys. To everyone out there, travel travel travel – it is one of life’s most rewarding and learnings-filled experience.

ayun, haba na. Take it easy guise. See you next year for more awesome travel. Hopefully, i can go back to more local travel at mapuntahan na sana ung 5 remaining Philippine provinces to complete my pending Proyekto 81. So meow.

Be a Travelspiration

So I just coined a new word for my self called “travelspiration”. I tried to google it up afterwards, and i’m pretty surprised some people use it too. Obvious as it is, “travelspiration” is a portmanteau of the words travel and inspiration.

Traveling has to be one of the most satisfying experiences a person can do in his/her lifetime. Many times, I have claimed that traveling awakens my soul, arouses my senses, and colors my world in a new hue. It is a way of living, it is my way of living…

So here are some thoughts that have personally inspired/ motivated me during my travels. I have made use some of my favorite travel photographs.

Warsaw PolandBratislava SlovakiaBucharest RomaniaRiga LatviaBudapest HungaryVienna AustriaVilnius LithuaniaComo ItalyReykjavik IcelandTallinn EstoniaYogya IndonesiaRotorua New Zealand

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJUAN.

*PS: Will add more as I travel around. You are most welcome to share these “travelspiration.

What’s in Your (Travel) Bag?

One particular thing I am asked about, as a frequent traveler, is regarding my packing strategy and what stuff I do pack. Packing your bag, perhaps, is one essential matter during travel. So here is a quick guideline on how I pack and what things I usually bring.

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First things first: I decide on my main luggage. Factors that dictate my choice of luggage include duration of travel, mode/s of travel (whether plane, bus, or even boat), and general itinerary (is it a local or international travel? Does my travel require hopping from one province or country to another?)

Generally though, I go for something that is lightweight (but big enough to contain all my basics) and physically more comfortable to carry around. So with these in mind, I would often use my travel backpack-slash-hiking-bag that has been with me for 12 years now. I like it since it is able to fit all my things and more importantly, it is easy to carry.

How about a “rolling luggage”? I am not a fan of rolling luggage. Having wheels could be very comfortable to most people I know but I don’t find it practical enough especially if my travel requires some “roughing out”.

If I have a short travel (a weekend trip maybe), I like using a duffel bag. Again, it is lightweight, and easy to carry. Also, most of the time, I have a hand carry/ carry-on bag that is usually a mail bag where I stash my most essential stuff (including my rosary). This is essential especially when you have multiple destinations.

After having thought of which luggage to choose, the next thing I usually do is make a checklist of the things I intend to bring with me. I have a notebook/ pad where I write everything I need. Some people resort to using their cellphone’s organizer but I’m pretty old-school, I like the idea of jotting down a list using my pencil, and crossing out some whenever the need to leave some.

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So what should one pack? Here is my basic list:

Lightweight clothing that can be layered Camera/ batteries/ charger/ SD card Travel pillow (neck pillow)
Long-sleeved shirts Pajamas/sleepwear Cell phone and charger
Sweater or cardigan or a windbreaker Mini flashlight Eye mask and ear plugs
T-shirts and tank tops Eyeglasses/ Sunglasses and glasses case Walking shoes
Pants and shorts (that does not require using a belt) Cap/ Hat Electric converters and adaptors
Socks/ Undergarment/ swim trunks (in case I’m swimming) Easy dry, lightweight towel Travel apps to help with language, directions (l like maps.me), & money conversion

PS: I also pack some energy bars and candies, and some little souvenirs I can give to new friends I’ll meet along the way.

And for a male (my) TOILETRIES bag, it contains the following:

Toothbrush, toothpaste,  mouthwash Sunscreen/ lotion Medicine kit (I have a separate post called Travel Pills and Elixirs)
Hair gel Mosquito repellant (lotion) Shaver
Shampoo Wet wipes/ tissue Nail clippers

Once I have enlisted them, I try my best to organize my stuff inside my bag in such a way that I am able to maximize every space. This can be challenging (and frustrating at times). I used to pack my clothes in a zip lock bag labeled per day. I still do if it is a short trip. But if it is a long trip, I do it differently. I pack most of my clothes still in zip lock bags of varying sizes and organized based on the kind of outfit. I usually roll them as I find this technique less space consuming.

Packing my toiletries in its bag is another thing. My choice of toiletry bag is something that is transparent, easy to wipe, and water-resistant of course. Always keep in mind to bring only a small amount of your liquid items. I also try to label each one of them to avoid confusion and for easy access.

Next thing I prepare are the essential travel documents, cash, and cards. All of which I place in a simple travel organizer that can hold my passport, identification card/s, ATM and credit cards (to which I remind my bank/ credit card company that I am going abroad if it is an international trip), boarding pass/es, money/ coins, and a pen. I also keep a folder for my travel insurance documents, print out of my travel itineraries (although I also keep an electronic form in my phone), a list of hotel contact information, emergency contacts and important addresses like that of a couchsurfing host, guide books/ maps, and my travel notebook.

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After packing everything, I check the weight of my luggage to make sure I won’t pay extra money during check-in. I also try to walk around with my luggage for my body to have a feel of its weight. That’s it. And by the way, don’t forget to prepare the most important things during travel — enough strength (physical, mental and emotional), and a happy, optimistic disposition.

So, whether this your maiden solo travel or you are a seasoned wanderlust, I hope these simple guideline based on what I do, would be of help to you in a certain way. Have fun and always travel safe and with a smile.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy everyJuan.