It’s been quite a long year yet it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. I've spent quite a number of weekends and holidays outdoors - hiking, chasing sunsets, roadtripping, going to the beach, exploring little towns, trying out local dishes, and most of the time, simply getting lost. And as I look back on the past 12 months, I realized that I was able to visit 39 destinations in between my work and home life.
From the rolling hills of Rakuh-a-payaman to the laid-back city of Vientiane, these places have taken me to the far ends of the world and back. And as I continue to explore new destinations, I find myself pushing the boundaries of self-discovery.
Sometimes I still wonder what's the purpose of traveling and visiting all these places. Does it make me richer? What am I going to earn from this? Have I gone nuts? Then I remember stumbling upon this slogan at the Honesty Coffee Shop in Ivana, Batanes:
These words were enough to stop me from asking these senseless questions. Yes, to travel requires you to spend money and if you love traveling, you'll indeed spend more. I'm not saying that you should invest all of your money on traveling but with just a few hundred pesos in your pocket, it could take you to places that will open your eyes to a much bigger world. And the main purpose of doing it is what matters - the experience. You can have all the money in the world but in the end, you'll still be empty inside if you're not rich in experiences.
2011 has been a very very busy year and when I look back, I'm amazed on how far my journey has taken me and how richer I am in terms of experiences. There's so much to be thankful for as it has given me the opportunity to see these places and share this great odyssey with other amazing travelers. And before I welcome the new year, here's a short music video that I made to sum up the best of 2011.
Happy new year everyone! Let's pack our bags and see this world behind our walls.