Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Travel Tale: The Story Behind How My World Became #Wonderful Inspired By The World Of Wonder App

The word ‘travel’ in my own vocabulary never exist at all ever since I was young. I came from a family in the province of Bicol who lives a mere life and just have enough to sustain our daily needs.  

In fact, I never remembered my parents and siblings ever had an out of town trip or went abroad for holidays or when one of us celebrates a birthday. The farthest place we’ve ever been to as far as I can remember was a river thirty minutes via a tricycle ride where my mom will bring our dirty clothes and wash it while we swim and play with other kids out there. My late dad is the one who watches us from afar making sure we are safe and preparing our food.




Our dreams are very simple – finish college and get a good job so that when we have our own family someday, we can live a much more comfortable life. My parents aren’t degree holders but they knew how important it is so out of their meager earnings, they make sure that all of us go to college.    

Fast forward to 2012, I was watching Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love Movie based from the best – selling book of Elizabeth Gilbert. Julia is my favorite Hollywood star. I have watched her from My Best Friend’s Wedding, America's Sweethearts, Notting Hill, The Runaway Bride, Erin Brocovich and a lot more. The initial reason why I watched this movie it’s because of her alone. Little did I know that after watching it, there’s a world outside bigger than what I thought so.

I even quickly discouraged myself as I am not as financially able and career successful as that girl whom Julia is portraying. I cannot afford to go to Italy, Bali and India that long and alone.

I followed my parent’s advice, I finished college with the help of four year scholarship I passed from a dedicated politician in our town. Without it, I am sure I would have not gotten a degree.   

After a few months the moon and the stars seem to align perfect because a coworker in my previous company introduced me to  Couchsurfing, it’s like a Facebook for active travelers around the world. “But I don’t travel, “ I said. He replied back ”You will soon”.  

Soon I found myself meeting  backpackers from around the world here in Manila for coffee and bringing them in Intramuros for a heritage tour because of Couchsurfing.  My coworker’s remark after a month became a reality. If he is a soothsayer, I don’t know but I am forever grateful to him. 

A very dear coworker of mine who now I call as one of my closest friends (we call each other BFF) Lyn invited me for a four day and four night trip to Ilocos. After that our schedule did not match so I went on a solo trip across the country in Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Sagada,  Palawan, Caramoan, Iloilo, Bacolod, Guimaras et cetera at the cheapest expense out of my own pocket. 

The need to sustain my travel also fueled me to keep on blogging and focus on  making money out online . I soon found myself partnering to a dozen travel agencies nationwide who can give me commission in exchange of my readers who are looking for tour packages based on the places I have been.




I discovered some pay-per-clicks measures that worked so well even though my blog is not that known. The next thing I knew I got featured in Goodhousekeeping Magazine, guested on a radio station and even interviewed in ABSCBN’s Kabuhayang Swak na Swak tv show. They’d like to know how my own travel tale and how I made my world wonderful from a simple girl to someone who’s dreams are bigger than her fears.

My earnings from the tour business was able to fund my first trip abroad with no other than Lyn, the same person who inspired me to travel. I have just started exploring a few countries in Southeast Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia. I have booked already my Indonesia and Hong Kong  and going back to Malaysia next year. I will be going to Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei too.

Fast forward to now I have already left the corporate world to embrace a lifestyle that will enable me to travel more. The only way I know is to work online. I have just started working full time as a Content Marketing Manager to a travel website for a chain of a first – class hostels in Cambodia. I only need a laptop and Internet for me to work anywhere I want. 




I am slowly getting there to be a full – pledged location – independent online worker. I dream to be a digital nomad- those who travel longterm and work online. These are my ultimate dreams I am making it happen. This is actually every traveler's dream. My world will be more wonderful when this happens for sure. Speaking of whenever I go around the country, my pocket wifi and USB stick are all powered by Globe. So far it has not failed my expectations.  Pardon the dirty handle of the USB stick, it is my very first device I use for three years now :)            

I am on way to become Liz in Eat Pray Love except I'm still waiting for my Felipe to come my way. I hope I meet him along the winding road in my next trips. Who knows soon? 

Philippine Airlines flies to Auckland, New Zealand starting December 2015. Book now at www.philippineairlines.com.

** Note : This is my official entry to Globe's Win A Trip To New Zealand for bloggers. We used the World of Wonder meme to input 3 things that make my life wonderful: Snow White she is my favorite cartoon character, Makati where most of travel meetups, worthy events and personally I wont forget this place and will always have a special spot in my heart and of course the movie Eat Pray Love. The contest asks us to tell a story of one of these so I chose the last one.

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