One big perk of living in an archipelago is that surprises ALWAYS await. A new island, a new beach, a new destination comes out of the blue, daring you to call into mind another place that is as breathtaking as where you are now. It makes you shake your head in disbelief, as you ask yourself, ‘How could I have not known this before?’
Song: All Smiles All Day by Dexter Britain
Dumaguete is an excellent home base to explore the jewels of Negros Oriental. Here are links to some of my trips wherein Dumaguete was the jump-off point:
Apo Island – where you can swim with giant turtles and laze away at tranquil beaches
Oslob – where you can swim with the whale sharks, snorkle at lively reefs and enjoy a majestic shower from a waterfall
Siquijor – where you jump off and dive from a waterfall, scour peaks, and chill to the island’s pace of life
It was a strange feeling — heading to Thailand and knowing that I didn’t come here to saunter at the beach, nor to hit the flea market. Instead, I was making a beeline for something far away from the waves and the skyline — onto the mountainous state of Chiang Mai.
If Bangkok is the kingdom’s Fashionista, and Phuket, its Party Animal, the Chiang Mai would be the Flower Child. With a laid-back cool, it bids you to take things slow. Ever so gently, you find that you’ve turned from the bucket-bearing all-night-reveler, to that morning person who gets up to bike along the rice fields. Continue reading Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai→
I think I just found Santa Claus’ holiday lair (or at least where his reindeers escape to get some R&R).
I must admit, Nara was nowhere near my go-see radar. That was before a little bird told me that it was home to free-roaming wild deer, who didn’t mind being doted on by humans (that is a lot, we’re not exactly the world’s cutest species). On my return to Kansai, we hopped on the JR for a quick day trip to Nara.
Nara turned out to be a nice alternative to Kyoto, if you are all for immersing yourself in the rustic, nostalgic side of Japan, but are a bit wary of getting caught in the tourist stampede. Only a handful of people stepped off the train with us. As we strolled through the cafes lining the path that led to Nara Park, it almost felt like we were the only excursionists around. Continue reading Spotting Rudolph in Nara→
We went home with faces a little browner, hearts a little bigger, and memories wealthier. It seems so unfair to take so much and give back so little to a destination that has made you really happy, but Maldives is simply generous like that. Its giving is effortless, even, as natural as a pristine paradise can be.
Okay, so maybe the lavish water villas and mind-blowing infinity pools are a tad over-the-top. But the real opulence lies under the water. Underneath, it’s a busy city that doesn’t care about full-board amenities, service charges and the like. Big fish, little fish, predator, prey — everyone’s bustling to and fro, engrossed with their day to day, oblivious of the man-made spas above them. Here, life is simple — work, eat, exercise, build a house, try not to get eaten. Most of all, have fun. Well, it certainly looks like they’re having hoards of fun, the way their fins are wagging. Continue reading Pinch me, I’m in Maldives!→
I feel blessed to have the most adventurous and fun friends around to make dreams like these happen. From them, I’ve learned to take chances, to be unapologetic for being whimsical, to chase after adventure and celebrate life whenever I can. Til our next celebration!
Tasmania is mostly known for its devils, but it certainly felt like basking in paradise once we had a chance to visit this corner of the world. Picturesque meadows, lush rainforests, beaches with water so clear that the waves are almost see-through — this state has it all. Continue reading Heavenly Tasmania→
Melbourne can be a poster boy for the Weekend Warrior — on weekdays, it charms you with its effortless chic, but on weekends, it’s all about basking in the sun and heading out for the stunning raw beauty that’s just a stone’s throw away.
Hit Play for some glimpses of Melbourne and Victoria; if you fancy some tales about koalas, narrow alleyways, fairy penguins, the Twelve Apostles, et al, then check out https://ishg.wordpress.com/tag/melbourne/.
Everyone has their destination must-do; for Geebee, it was to see the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island. Fortunately, it wasn’t that difficult at all to arrange a day trip. It took us just a couple of sites before we set our hearts upon the fairly-priced Phillip Island package offered by Wildlife Tours.