Sharing all things about pet-friendly travels and full-time work from home setup

The Inspiring Traveler Series 1: This 24-Year Old Girl Still Works In A Concrete Jungle But Already Bitten By The Travel Bug

Remember the idea of The Inspiring Traveler Series I posted weeks ago?  Finally we have a very optimistic girl who agreed to be the first ever we are going to feature here. I met her just once in another travel meetup, shared a dinner right after that event with another four ladies I randomly met and talked about out travel adventures. As soon as we went home we added each other on Facebook. I tell you,  we have not really talked that much but I knew from the bottom of each others hearts that we  have one thing in common and that is we are deeply passionate about travelling. We were like these ordinary ladies that night who were talking about things that make us giggle but instead of the usual stuff like shopping spree, night out or boy talk, we shared about the places we've been and where are we heading next.

The reason why she belonged to the first batch of my handpicked choices within my 2, 000+ Facebook friends is that almost from time to time I see her feed is filled with this really heart-pinching travel stories that would really convince you to start packing your bag again.

I honestly don't know how to start the questions but these are pretty much the ones she were very glad to answer. I love all the words she said.  I just couldn't wait when is she going next. 

1. Tell us about yourself: work, hobbies and interests.
I’m Riz; I was 20 years old when I ditched my demanding 9-5 corporate job in pursuit of traveling the world. I haven’t stopped ever since and there’s no stopping me! So far, I’ve been to Asia, South America, North America and Europe. LOL. 
Oh, how I wish I could be that girl – courageous enough to drop the bomb and leave everything behind and go on a long-term travel. LOL. Seriously though, my name is Riz, an average 23-year-old Filipina (going 24 this July) who got bitten by the travel bug and is now happily infected (there’s no known antidote for this case yet and if there’s any I don’t want to get treated either.) I’m stuck in a competitive, chaotic place called “concrete jungle”, working full-time as a Quality Assurance Officer in a telecommunications company. Apart from traveling, I am pretty much hooked in collecting postcards and stamps from all over the world and reading books of my favorite writers - Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks and John Green to name a few. Just recently, I got addicted to snorkeling when Coron gave me a glimpse on how beautiful and colorful the underwater world is. I am also into cooking, hoarding cheap flight tickets and blogging (website coming up very soon.) 

Palaui Island

2. Since when did you start travelling? How many countries in the world /cities in the Philippines have you visited already?
I first experienced traveling in my hometown, Cebu, when my parents would tag me along in their yearly company outings – family day at the park, beach trips, and other outdoor activities that would entail long, boring bus rides, and I hated it! My hate towards traveling though shifted into a one great love when we moved here in Manila. I was in college when a close friend of mine asked me if I wanted to work part-time as a travel coordinator / tour guide. Of course, I said yes. Who would say no for a free travel+ salary? During the summer, we would assist group on a camping / beach trip to Zambales. We would live in the island, which by the way doesn’t have electricity and phone network for two days - beaching hard 
and sleeping under the stars. Man that was beyond awesome!!!

From then on, I fell in love with traveling. Year 2013 when I went on a solo trip to Puerto Galera, followed by solo blissful travels and countless adventures and misadventures! Actually, I haven’t traveled that much yet. I had only been abroad once (Cambodia), and I think I had been to more than 30 places here in the Philippines. I have yet to explore more. 

3. Where is the most memorable and why? Where is the one that you regret visiting and why?
I’ve had a lot of memorable travels and favorite places in the Philippines. But if there’s this one place where real paradise exists (no, not paradise in its literal context), where I lived out of the normal, where I met so many inspiring people who became my friends, where I found absolute bliss, where I almost didn’t want to go home – it’s Siargao. I terribly miss this place that I don’t want to go back for just a short time. I want to live for 2 weeks or a month probably. I even came to a point where I would google “land for sale in Siargao” and “volunteer opportunities in Siargao.” Crazy! Hahaha. So go. Book your tickets to Siargao now!  
As for that place I regret visiting, there’s none really. Every place I visit, every adventure I’ve been through was special.  

Malcapuya Coron Palawan 
4. Do you fund most of your trips or you have a job that takes care of your trips?
While I finance most of my trips thru my hard-earned money and a budget that’s supposedly for my clothes, shoes, and bags, I also have a job that’s giving me the opportunity to roam around the Philippines for free! Every month, I would go to a certain place mainly to perform my job, and when the weekend comes, that’s the time for me to explore the nearest beach, hang out with the locals or basically just explore the place and get lost (expenses come from my own pocket of course.)

5. When you visit a certain place, what kind of traveler are you from the list below?
Food buff - you eat the local cuisines 
Culture and heritage buff - you visit the museums and old houses
Sports buff - you try the best known sports in town
Wellness - you go on a retreat, soul-searching adventure in temples and spas
Night buff - you explore the best night clubs out there 
Just don't care - you just practically want to stroll around
I am more of a “Just Don’t Care” type of traveler or maybe “all sorts” kind of traveler. I love to try that local dish a tricycle driver recommends, head out to that interesting museum I stumbled upon on TripAdvisor, try that best sport in town and get my body sore afterwards, like Surfing in Siargao. I am also into chilling at bars with a bottle of cold Apple flavored beer chatting with a fellow traveler I just met. 

6. In terms of preparing for your trips, are you this meticulous type who plans months and months away every single detail from accommodation to tour package et cetera? Or you can go on a trip in an eye - blink's notice? 
My travel planning style varies a lot depending if I’d be traveling alone or with a group. When I travel in a group and being the one who has got a bit of experience in traveling, I always lead the trip. I am very meticulous who plans way ahead of time– from the booking of accommodation, arranging activities, listing restaurants and checking out their reviews over blogs, recommended places that shouldn’t be missed. I always make sure I don’t skip anything. 
Solo travel, on the other hand, is raw and spontaneous kind. Not too sound “mayabang”, but I can go on a trip in an eye-blink’s notice. Besides, looking for a place to sleep when you’re already in the place, talking to the locals and asking them where to go and what food to eat, forcing yourself to approach a stranger to ask for directions are all part of the fun and adventure. And hey, the locals are the best tour guides you can ever have in your trip! 

7. When you book your accommodation, how do you search for the best and affordable hotels, hostels, inns, et cetera? Do you use Agoda, Airbnb or what can you suggest?
Being a lazy traveler that I am, I search for accommodations thru my trusted travel blogs and local forums over Facebook. Hahaha! Then I directly contact the hostel / hotel of my choice. And when I travel solo, like what I’ve mentioned above, I prefer looking for accommodation on the spot as it’s cheaper, sometimes. I might consider booking via Agoda and Airbnb in my future trips. 

Siargao Island

8. Where was your last trip and where are you going next?
My last trip was in Cagayan Valley covering Tuguegarao and Palaui Island. My next destination would be work-related so I can’t tell it here. I don’t have any planned personal trips happening soon yet. Although I have a ticket booked for Cebu for my year-end 8-day backpacking across Cebu (southern Cebu specifically), onwards to Dumaguete and Siquijor. Fingers crossed this will push through.

9. Tell us how do you score cheap flights and in what way do you research the things you need to know about the place you are about to visit?
I am such a hoarder when it comes to cheap flight tickets. Hahaha! I score discounted tickets by stalking the social media sites of Cebu Pacific Air and AirAsia.  I also signed up their mailing list so I get updated with their promos. In addition, I am a member of local Facebook Forums and the members would always post if there’s a seat sale coming.  Bottom line here is, sign up to the airlines mailing list and stalk their Facebook pages. Additional hint: these airlines hold promos during holidays such as Independence Day.

10. Do you know of any one whom you personally that is passionate about travelling and that we can also feature him/her in this blog? Let us know the name and the Facebook name.
I personally don’t know anyone who’s passionate about traveling; that’s why I go solo most of the time. But, if you are keen of featuring someone who is established in the world of travel blogging and is well-traveled, then I recommend Chyng Reyes. She’s one of the reasons, or should I say one of my inspirations why I learned to love traveling. She records her travels at Her blogs and photos are very beautiful and convincing that you might see yourself booking a ticket to that destination. You have been warned! 

Two extra questions. You may or may not answer this. "Have you ever met someone special/fell in love during your trip? " 

Hmmmm. Yeah, I met someone who was kinda special in one of my travels. Sadly, we had to separate ways; he went back to Europe while I’m staying here in the Philippines. 
Is it right to bring hotel toiletries at home? 
Big yes! Toiletries are free, well not really free ‘coz it’s part of the paid accommodation, so why not take it home?

There you go, she is by the way cooking up her own travel blog soon. I wouldn't be surprised though with all these amazing travel photos and stories she really has a place to own in the blogosphere. I am waiting for the link from her so I can start spreading the word.

Photos are all credited to her.  Stay tuned to the next one we are going to feature. 

How about you? Do you know of any person whose work, faith, passion is travelling? Or just anyone who were literally born with a backpack ready beside them? Let us know we would be glad to feature.  Or even those who chose to be anonymous but open to share deepest secrets along the  road. Just let us know.


  1. Hi Maria

    Well, when you mentioned the Inspiring Traveller series a couple of weeks ago, I did not expect to see a result quite so soon. And such a good result ! A most interesting and insightful piece.

    Riz, thank you so much for taking the time to contribute and for sharing your experiences. And great photos too. Much appreciated. Good luck and keep safe on your future travels.

    Your #1 Fan In London

    (unfortunately I have not been to the Philippines, but I suppose that’s something to look forward too. Made it to KL, which I see from your blog that you have already briefly visited, last year. It is a long haul from the UK but maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it the extra distance this year. Of course if I do, I would be very happy to take up your kind offer !)

    1. Hi there, Rona's #1 fan in London. :)

      Thank you so much for reading. I'm glad you liked how the first feature turned out. Wait til other Filipino travelers share their experiences thru this series. I'm sure you'll love it as well. :)

    2. Hey Mr #1 In London,

      This is the most exciting project I have ever done for this blog so far and hopefully to feature more soon. I actually have a few waiting. I was hoping I can also invite you to share your travel story with us. I was thinking since you found my blog, we have the same passion of travelling? Btw just curious, how did you came across this blog?

      Yup I did dropped by to KL Malaysia to see the Petronas tower when I went to Singapore.

      Sure let me know if you come over here in the Philippines, I will be glad to show you around :)

  2. Hi Ate Rona,

    Wow! Thank you for this wonderful feature! And thank you for the nice words. Remember the night when we met? I jokingly said I'd create a blog but I'm just too lazy to do so. hahaha! Now i'm taking the baby steps armed with a lot of patience. lol. I had so much fun answering these questions. Can't wait to read the stories of other wanderlusts out there.


    1. Thank you more! Yup I can clearly remember. And let me know the url of your baby travel blog so I can update here in this post :)

  3. Thanks Ms. Rona for this feature!

    What I like most about Riza is that her story is not too idealistic and she got the purest of heart, not a bit of pretension on her travel stories! This, I think, is what all features should be like. It doesn't leave your readers' heart envious or jealous of the featured blogger, it only makes the reader feel like there's a coexistence of people with the 'wanderlust' gene!

    Would like to know where can I follow Rizza (i.e. instagram/twitter/ facebook)?

    1. Hi there, wish you could have said your name? :) Yup I will let Riz know about this. She will be the one to answer this :)

    2. Hey there, Anonymous. So sweet and nice of you to say these very flattering words. Anyway, you can follow me on my social media accounts:


      Come say hi and let's be friends. :)

  4. Hi Anon:
    - should help.
    - Or just google chyng Nice site.

    Hi Maria

    Thank you for the kind invitation, but my blogging skills are modest at best. But I'm learning!

    I can't remember exactly how I found your site - it was a few weeks ago, and since you have posted so much it took me some time to sort of catch up ! And yes I like travelling to interesting places.

    Your #1 Fan in London

  5. Hey, oh you don't have to worry. Getting featured doesn't need to have blogging skills at all. You just have to answer questions and send a few pics. That's it. Anyway not forcing you though :)

    Great to know you like travelling to. Like what other countries have you been esp in SE Asia? If you need anything else my email is