As I turn 28, here’s a look back at 28 of my favorite travel experiences so far!
And because a list of 28 things might be too long for one post, I broke it down into 2 parts. This is the second half of my list of Favorite Travel Experiences. Check out my previous post for the first part!
15. Living the simple life in Vancouver
My husband grew up in Vancouver so he always feels right at home. On our last two visits, we stayed for a month each time and I was able to sort of experience (sort of, because after all, we were still on vacation!) how living there was like. There are so many things that I love about life there, but that’s another topic for another post.
For now, let me just say that I love how everything there seemed to be so simple and laid-back compared to life here in Manila.
16. Bonding over Beatlemania with my Dad
Our Vegas trip last 2011, a year before I got married, was my first and last bonding trip with just me and both my parents (as my mom passed away last 2012.) Aside from getting to know my parents more and of course spending more time with them, I was also able to bond with my dad who is a huge Beatles fan!
17. Seeing the Pyramids for the first time
I’ve seen so many world famous landmarks but I can’t forget the first time I saw the Pyramids from the bus window. Call me cheesy and dramatic but I really felt like I watching everything in slow motion. I could not believe I was seeing this ancient world wonder with my own eyes!
18. Euro Trip when I turned 18
As it was the custom to throw a grand party for a girl when she turns 18, I asked my parents that instead of an expensive party, I would prefer to travel with them instead. Paris was my dream place when I was in my teens so when my parents let me choose our destination for our annual family trip, I chose Europe, of course!
It was a time of no make-up, no Instagram and no hipster OOTD’s so please excuse my giant selfie with the Tower of Pisa and my technicolored sweater which I thought was the greatest thing (which was why I wore it in Paris!)
19. Traveling with my high school friends
I don’t see these girls on a regular basis but once a year, we take a trip together. Last year, we went to Hong Kong and this year, we spent 5 days (but really just three full days) in Osaka and it was so much fun. It’s great to know that after all these years and though life has changed so much since high school, some things never change.
20. My first Disneyland Experience, 20 years ago!
This photo always makes us laugh because I can still remember my mom putting these masks on our heads and making us stand for the photo. Haha! I guess me as lady Yoda was funny to her!
But anyway, I was turning 8 when I went to Disneyland for the first time and though I don’t remember much about that US trip we took as a family, I remember getting so excited as I explored Disneyland with my brothers. Disneyland never gets old.
21. Participating at a performance in Portugal
Ok, truthfully, there was nothing spectacular about dancing on stage with other tourists but I remember having such a fun time because all of our new-found friends (tour mates!) were laughing and joining in the fun.
I’m usually a plan-my-own-trips kind of girl but one of the things I love about joining tour groups is meeting all sorts of people from all over the world who eventually end up being your friends.
22. Going around Ho Chi Minh with my friends from church
Vietnam was a wonderful place to explore and I’d love to go back to visit the other cities I haven’t seen yet, like Hanoi. But what made this trip extra special was going around with my friends from church. We woke up early one morning to watch the sunrise and have Bible study, which isn’t usually what I get to do on trips.
I was also extremely blessed by one of the guys from our group who shared with our tour guide about Jesus. Vietnam isn’t very open to Christianity and this was a great reminder for me to pray for people and places in the world who have yet to know Christ.
23. Experiencing Autumn & Winter in Nami Island
Maybe it’s because I live in a tropical country but autumn and winter to me are so magical! When we visited Nami Island in South Korea, it was like experiencing both at the same time! Leaves on the ground on one side but snow and ice on another! My brothers and I had fun taking endless photos of each other. Haha!
24. Seeing works of my favorite artists in person
My husband isn’t a fan of museums but I am so we try to strike a deal whenever we plan our itinerary to visit at least one or two. On our trip to London, we visited two and I was able to see one of my favorite paintings, Fragonard’s The Swing and works of my favorite artist, Van Gogh! It always feels so surreal to stand in front of a painting you’ve only seen in photos.
Next goal is to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night in New York, which is my favorite painting of all time.
25. Lounging at our hotel in Singapore
Usually, when I go abroad, I don’t like just staying at the hotel; I have to go out and explore! But our stay at Hotel Jen in Singapore was an exception. Mor and I spent the entire morning swimming in the infinity pool, enjoying the sun and the view and stuffing ourselves at the Club Lounge. Aaah… this is the good life.
26. Getting baptized at the Jordan River in Israel
I was already baptized prior to this but I wanted to rededicate my life to Jesus during our Holy Land trip and I was able to do it at the very place where Jesus also did so; at the Jordan River in Israel. It was very meaningful for me to do this in front of my friends and people who have helped me in my walk with the Lord.
27. Exploring the set of one of my favorite shows
I fangirl a lot about my favorite movies, books and shows. So much so that I dedicated the hashtag #fangirltrips on my blog to chronicle my different fan girl adventures. Haha. One of which is this.
I used to watch Once Upon a Time a lot (when I still had time to binge on TV shows, and when the storyline wasn’t still so complicated!) so I was geeking out the entire time when we visited the setting of their fictional town “Storybrooke” in Steveston, Canada. It was very near the place where we stay whenever we’re in Vancouver so I got to visit the set again on my second time there!
Next goals: Visit the set of Downton Abbey (Highcleare Castle) and take a trip to Cardiff to geek out about Doctor Who.
27. My then-boyfriend, now-husband proposing to me in Batanes
Batanes is such a great place to visit in the Philippines but what made this trip extra memorable was because this is where Mor asked me to marry him! He said he was supposed to ask me during sunset in front of a lighthouse with local singers in the background and lanterns flying in the sky (production material!) but then it rained hard and he had to change his plans! Haha!
He was still able to ask me while we were in Batanes. He prepared an elaborate surprise with the ring hidden in a Ferrero and proposed to me in front of our friends (old and new!) Literally a sweet engagement!
28. One week-long “date” to London with Mor
We were supposed to go to London with friends, but I experienced a miscarriage a few days before we were supposed to leave for the trip so we had to cancel at the last minute. By God’s grace, we were able to rebook everything so we ended up going to London just the two of us.
This trip turned out to be my favorite trip to date because not only was London gorgeous (perfect weather too!) but it was a great bonding time for me and Mor. I love traveling with my husband (watch a silly video I made chronicling our trips together!) because we get to really spend quality time with each other. This also turned out to be our last carefree trip together because a few months later, I would already be pregnant with Luke!
So that wraps up my list! Here’s to new experiences and memories in the years to come!