My 2019 In Photos and Some Things I Learned From It

Every yearend, I do an obligatory post to recap my travel year and things I noted to keep me moving forward. I want to remember the good times as 2019 has me bounced back after a roller coaster year in 2018. Every year comes with new challenges but it also gives us the chance to do better and become better.

December opened with negativity from toxic people. We should know when to let things go especially when it’s no longer good for us. We need to stop being selfish and take a real look around us. It’s not our job to fix people. Good thing, December ended with so much positive vibes and fun memories.

We spent 2 days in Shanghai going the usual traveller’s list of eating Chinese foods, walking around the Bund and enjoying music at night bars. Cheers to the friendly guys in 1886 bar! They paid for our orders and surprised us with new drinks. May we all have a happy 2020 with new friendships and adventures! Let’s not forget that life can be unpredictable but we are choosing to enjoy it.

It was a chill (literally) time with Dessa sharing her travel adventures and stories about her Indian lover hahahha. It feels refreshing to talk about what we have and what we want for the future ahead. We are still at a “transit point” in our lives but we are not afraid for the what-ifs. Happiness is a matter of choice and we maybe taking it slow to look for that fairy tale ending but who says we’re complaining.

October being the peak of autumn was spent in Seoul, South Korea! I had an amazing reunion with childhood friends from the Philippines. I had a fun time (Halloween party night in Itaewon?). Check my blog “Five Things to Do in Seoul During Autumn” and you’d see how fun our experiences were.

Sometimes, it’s weird meeting old friends after so many years but this was not awkward at all. Maybe because we have our private group chat with messages and photos you cannot unsee hahaha so it makes us feel we are still part of each other’s lives. (But, sorry, if I am too lazy to respond at times). Thank you for being the same old friends I grew up with even if we don’t see each other very much. See you in Japan for our next Halloween?!

October is my also my birth month and I was given the opportunity to be a guest lecturer in a University to try if I am fit for their teaching program. It was all expense-paid (hotel, transportation and flights) plus 300USD cash allowance. It was my first time to teach Audit to college students (was too shy to take pics inside the auditorium). It was weird but well, I got an offer to teach for 2 months every Sundays.

September was about Singapore. Donna was too kind to host me in Capri by Frazer Hotel for free and even paid some of my meals! We had great talks about our careers and life in general. It’s our first time to meet again after 4 years and I realize we’ve never changed with non-existent love life. (Okay, fine, I am not going to call you again to move on from that guy who pick you up from the airport.) I am thankful for people that became part of my life but who generously welcomed me back into theirs. We will have new friends but it’s always good to hold on to few, true friends.

August was family time in the Philippines. I left my cameras in Thailand but anyway, I enjoyed taking care of my beautiful and super active niece. She’s so naughty but fun hahhaha

June is for our friend June hahahha Let me insert her birthday collage here. From thesis university friends to travel mates! Can’t believe, it’s been a decade! These two travel a lot but their spending is way more than my budget! They have the best hotels with guided tours while I usually do DIY.

May has me relaxing in Hanoi for a short weekend trip. Here are my photo blogs both in Hanoi downtown (French quarter) and in Ninh Binh (famous limestone mountains). Thanks to GM Simon for showing us around!

Before Hanoi, Ratchaburi happened in Bangkok’s north near the Myanmar border. We joined a tour group and funny enough, there were alpacas, sheeps, flamingos and sheeps! Check out my photo blog (nothing much).

April is Thai new year with the International water festival called Songkran happening all around the country. I had experienced it before so this time, I opted to go home to the Philippines.

February was my first time in Shanghai. We found a cheap two-way flights from Bangkok so we decided to spend 3 nights. I was so surprised with Shanghai. Maybe because my expectations were low but it was unexpectedly amazing. Reminds me not to underestimate a city (or things) and always look for something worth your while.

With Dessamae

Overall, 2019 was going back to what matters most – family, friends and travels! I honestly tried to quit work in 2018 because I felt it became overwhelmingly too much – I just want a work-life balance where I can travel from time to time. (I cancelled two approved trips in 2018 just because work got in the way. Good thing my former boss is back and now it’s happily ever after haha jk.)

I don’t have a 2018 travel recap but it was a year of knowing what makes you alive/happy/satisfied/excited. When life pushes you hard, choose yourself. Know what you deserve because you should not let situations control you. Remember that there are things we cannot change. Accept it and move forward.

“Cheers to us who embrace life and believe that no one can define us and whose stories are written not by stars but by our own actions and thoughts.”

Check my other travel years:

2017 –> China, Mongolia, Australia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Hongkong, Chiangrai, Russia

2016 – China, Mongolia, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, South Korea (Busan, Jeju, Seoul)

2015 – All over Europe

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