Around the world with bae


Like Tre, I came to Singapore full of hopes and dreams. I also wanted to use Singapore as a stepping stone to see the rest of the world. We have one of the busiest airport transits in the world, which is good enough to show how easy and convenient it is to make that dream a reality. I also met the man I was going to do it for the rest of my life. Let's go!

I was obsessed 
with different cultures and places before my first international trip. We didn’t have internet then, so my parents were smart enough to make a deal. If we don’t take a nap, then we better read the heavy encyclopedia sets they bought for us. 90’s Filipino kids would know this well. It was my unbiased window to the outside world. When I arrived in Singapore, I was exposed to so many cultures, practices, rules, and situations. After settling in Singapore and finally found that balance, I recalled the love to explore. I saved up my money for an overseas trip quarterly. It was my motivation to work hard and have delayed gratification for my daily sacrifices. I traveled with friends and solo. I loved my solo travels a lot. I’ve been on 4 solo trips. It was my way to reconnect with myself. Even before the Eat, Pray, Love wanderlust movement, I was out there on my own taking my time in one place, getting lost sometimes intentionally, willing to pay more for extra comfort, and meeting people until now I am friends with.  

It all changed since I met my husband who was then my boyfriend. As a wandering individual himself, he also showed symptoms of “cabin fever” if he stayed in Singapore for more than a month. In a matter of 4 years, we have traveled far and wide together. He convinced me that he was a good travel buddy to my ever-restrictive travel options. He made me realized that quote, “I want to travel with a camera on one hand and the other holding your hand something like that. He hates the common road or where influencers goSo, we’re always on the lookout for new places or the least taken ones. Sometimes we take a week off or just a weekend trip. Singapore has all the flights direct or to transit dailyI’ve been to places I never dreamed of and I feel like my life is rich with memories and experiences from these travels.  

Here comes a list of just a few of the places we’ve been to that we often reminisce on a good, boring day in Singapore. They are not in order of whatever sort. Of course, there is a far richer story behind these travels but will just summarize a few things.



KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA

Just a month into dating, we hopped on a plane right away to celebrate the New Year in Kota Kinabalu. He claimed everywhere else was expensive but when we reached the place, it was a beach hotel on a private island with just another couple as guests. It was our first month, I think he was just trying to impress me. The island was small, it only fitted that small beach hotel with bamboo cottages on a hill. We went kayaking around it and it was our first sunset together. It was foreshadowing the uniqueness of our relationship; we have been chasing sunsets ever since and the apartment that we live in right now has the sunset view every day



BUKIT LAWANG, INDONESIA 

I had low expectations for this trip. It was just done over the weekend. He told me we were hiking and if we’re lucky, we’d see orangutans in the wild. True enough, these magnificent creatures were following us the entire trek. One even held on to my husband as a hostage! I’ve had my fair share of forest adventures. My hometown is in the mountains, but this Bukit Lawang is probably the most diverse and lush in tropical forest life. I have never seen such a variety of flora and fauna in one place. My lungs thanked me after that trip. 



KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, INDONESIA 

My husband has been researching this place for a while. As usual, I didn’t really bother to research except the necessities I needed to bring. He said we will sleep on a boat for a night. I like to play with my limits. I couldn’t swim to save my life but I’m not too timid to be in the water either. Up to this day, I consider this trip the best underwater experience I've ever had. The current is one of the strongest in the world thus the marine life is very rich down under. It is one of the top diving sites in the world too. I couldn’t dive but the snorkeling was enough for me to know that it is true. The healthiest corals and the colours of the rainbow are down there with different marine life. I saw manta rays and sea turtles casually swimming below usI would go back there in a heartbeat.



IJEN VOLCANO, INDONESIA 

A friend of ours convinced us to check this place after he showed us the fiery blue flames inside the volcano. Leaving at 12 midnight to start the hike was self-inflicting pain. Even more when we descended. It was disappointing to see something that resembles your gas stove. Half of Surabaya was also there. The traffic of people coming up and down was literally suffocating. I was fighting for my next breath. I thought I was going to pass out because all I breathe was sulfur even with a mask. I don’t have asthma but it was the closest thing to an attack. I have contempt for that trip. I'm slightly happy for the experience but I wouldn’t recommend it.  



HANOI, VIETNAM 

Meeting your boyfriend’s parents and potential in-laws is always daunting. So, to make it fair and square, why don’t we meet at a neutral place where we’re both first-timers and get to know each other in a somewhat inconvenient situation and see how we handle it! I felt like I’ve known them all my life and I wasn’t nervous or made a fool out of myself. I cracked some good jokes and apparently, I broke down the iron curtains of strict Madame Vaudaux. Hanoi on the other hand is a breath of fresh air. These random giant limestones in the middle of a field are mighty but peaceful. It is best for mindless cycling on an afternoon break.  


ANDAMAN ISLANDS 

All I knew was that we were going to India to meet his friend and then we go down south to an island. It was for my birthday. I didn’t know it was the Andamans! For those who don’t know, they have inhabitants there who have no access to the outside world, one of the very few tribes left. They are hostile and would kill anyone approaching their island. Of course, we steered clear of them. It was paradise. The beaches were clean and have good views of the sunset. Up to this day, it is probably our most random, most remote trip we’ve done. It was this place where I first saw the most vivid view of the Milky Way, swirls, and all. It was the closest thing I had felt to space, to the universe.  



WESTERN AUSTRALIA – SYDNEY 

I have never seen the entire spectrum of blue not until I’ve been to Western Australia. Sometimes the sky and the sea looked exactly the sameEven from the plane, you can see that Australia is one big beach resort with white coastal shores. We rented a camper van and did the long drive from Perth to Augusta in the south. There's a certain feel to it, I felt really relaxed but there are irrational fears too, how about those venomous snakes and deadly spiders? I flew to Sydney for a solo trip. I walked the famous coastal walk and understood why most of them are Hemsworths. They are obsessed with fitness and kids were not playing with their phones but hanging out in the jetty and swimming or surfing.  



The United Kingdom and Scotland 

The UK was my second time in Europe and my first experience of the cold and damp London weather. I was exploring the city on my own when my husband was working. London reminded me of childhood impressions of Europe. It was charming but cold. Nostalgic but sad. I went around exploring Harry Potter locations. I went to see Buckingham Palace. I spent a good day at the British MuseumThen we flew to Scotland over the weekend where we had Scottish sunset! Who knew!? We drove on the Scottish Highlands where I saw snow for the first time. The British Isles has more to offer and I don’t mind going back soon.  



WASHINGTON D.C. and NEW YORK 

I took this trip by myself. It was the farthest solo trip I’ve done. Everyone was nervous for me, but my husband was very supportive. I went to the museums in D.C. and I just loved it. History was solidified in front of me. DINOSAURS! I wished I could stay longer. I tried their cupcakes and I attest that they do make a mean good red velvet cupcake.  Then I went to New York to meet a friend and we explored New York doing the Tripadvisor list. New York is glamourized in the media as The City. My friend and I both agreed that we were too old to catch up with its life. New York makes you hopeful but will break you before you reach your dreams which is necessary. And I felt that even as a tourist. I regret not indulging in the food scene. I want to go back there and just focus on a gastronomical adventure. Watch out, New York!  


FRANCE 

Oh did I mention my husband is French? I’ve been to France 3x and got married there. My husband is from the South, the French Riviera. We visited his hometown in Toulon, then to Marseille, Cassis, and Nice. His family also has a farm in Auvergne. We visited Lyon for some Bouchon food. Then we attended his cousin’s wedding in Strasbourg in the West. Of course, there’s no trip to France without visiting Paris. I can have a separate entry on just France alone. If there’s one thing I can say from these trips at least, it’s unbelievably comforting. I know I didn’t belong, but I don’t feel invisible either. I love France, my husband was effective in showing a snippet of its culture before I set foot there.  C’est bien!  


A few words from my Guest Blogger:

I’m Restine and I’m a preschool teacher by day, budding artist at night. Although a lot of my works were never exposed to the world for recognition or monetary attempt, I like to stay productive and constantly try to improve myself 

Youtube channel: Restine V

Have fun and be safe ^__^


Do you want more adventure?
Check out Europe for 2 weeks: Art Class in Paris, France then getting on a Hot air balloon ride at Siena, Italy, and relaxing by the beach at Amalfi, Coast with a side trip to Rome, Italy before flying back home.

Where am I going next? 
My next adventure is I'm traveling with my plants! You heard it right and it's not a typographical error.  

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