As the new year unravels, it was again time to reflect on one’s life, accomplishments and future. Being a traveler at heart, not a day passes by without me thinking of my next destination, or planning the far-fletched dreams of going to Europe or having an adventure in South America. Yet, the beginning of this year has been extraordinarily depressing when I think about travels.
A lot of money is involved in each trip, especially when you only try to squeeze in a few days of travel in each year. While slow travel appeals to me, I simply couldn’t afford to do so – I just can’t leave my job because I wouldn’t have enough money left. Plus, I wouldn’t be granted a visa without a huge amount in my bank account, thanks to the rampant migration of undocumented Filipino workers. See, that is my problem – while I can spend all my savings in a trip to Europe, the embassy might not believe me that I’ll be coming back because of the prejudice that I will be staying there to work. Life is unfair, indeed.
So that’s how my year started.
Realizing this, I have only one thing in my mind as of the moment – saving for travel. I needed this. While I keep a travel fund for the occasional weekend getaways, I know that it wouldn’t be enough to make my dream of traveling the world come true. A more aggressive savings approach might be necessary.
This year, I will be cutting back on my travel expenses. I will be trying hard to actually be a budget traveler (I care about the budget but I’m willing to spend more for comfort). I will try to stretch my peso to its maximum, and will hence focus on travel in the country for this year (so I wouldn’t have to pay travel tax).
Here is what’s on my list for 2014:
1. Go to my parents’ hometown. It’s been more than three years since I last visited. It’s time to go back.
2. See the Anawangin Cove. It’s one of the closest getaways from Manila, but I’ve never been there.
4. Trek in Batad – a long overdue trip.
5. Try five restaurants in The Fort. – The BGC Food Series was born.
6. Go on a food trip, maybe in Chinatown or in Maginhawa or in Timog.
7. Visit the National Museum. I grew up in Metro Manila, but never had the opportunity to visit this.
8. Attend a festival. – Almost made it, but had to cancel the trip. Does the Cinemalaya Film Fest count?
9. Climb a mountain.
10. Wander through Policarpio St. during the holiday season.
I hope I can get to all these places (or more!) by year-end. Happy travels! 🙂