7 Reasons Why You Should go to the Philippines Yesterday

1.Charming Locals

In many places that you travel to, if it touristy at all the locals only see you as a way to make money. In the Philippines, you don’t get that feeling. If you were lost all you have to do is ask someone. I once asked a local where a good place to eat was and he drew me a detailed map to where his favorite place to eat was. If it were the other way around and he was asking me where my favorite place to eat was I probably would just give him the name of the restaurant, or ignore him completely. Not only that, but it seems as though they want to get to know you. Whereas in other places you will visit they are only trying to get money out of you, or they’ll give you the answer you want, instead of the correct one which can be infuriating.

  1. Picturesque Beaches

I’ve been to many beautiful beaches, but none compare to the ones I saw in the Philippines. Out of the many I’ve visited here are my three favorites. Similon Island right off of Oslob it’s 1500 pesos for the boat ride but if you get a 5 people on the boat it’s only 300 pesos for an amazing day trip, just be sure to bring some food and water. Once you’re there the water is crystal clear and turquoise, and the beach is brilliant white sand. Another beach to visit is one of Panglao’s main beaches, Alona. On Alona beach you’ll find many holiday makers, bars, restaurants, and masseuses. If you continue down farther towards the end of the beach, you’ll find that there are very little people. The water here is very warm and clear, along with the white sand and 60 peso beers from the nearest dive shop, you can’t go wrong. If you want a relaxing day while in Malapascua you can take a trip over to Kallangaman island. The boat ride to the island is 2 hours, but don’t let that discourage you. The snorkeling here is great, and is one of the most picturesque beaches that you could visit. Most dive shops offer this opportunity and it includes lunch, snorkeling equipment, the island fee, and boat ride over for only 1500 pesos. We went with Devocean Divers, and I would recommend them hand over foot for this tour, along with any other diving needs that you may have.

  1. Diving

Personally I have only dived in one place in the Philippines, which was in Malapascua. That being said my two travel partners dived in Moalboal with Cebu Dive Shop. There are a few famous dive sites in Moalboal. Neil and James went to a few of them and came back recommending two. White Beach which is where you can see sea turtles and macro (large shoals of small fish and sea critters) and the Sardine run which is located right off the shore. Here there are millions of Sardines swimming around you with predatory fish diving in amongst them to feed, a truly amazing dive and one that I’d love to experience. We went to Malapascua later so that I could do my open water course, and for the guys to do their rescue course. James and I arrived a few days before Neil so we took to going around and finding the best dive shop for us. We ended up deciding on diving with Devocean Divers because they made us feel at home and like part of the family. I liked it here so much that I actually decided to do my advanced course, and may even return to do my rescue and dive master training here. With that said I did nine dives here and my top three have to be Gato Island, Dakit Dakit, and Monad Shoal, but you really can’t go wrong. Every time I went down I had to remind myself that it was all real.  Gato Island is a day trip which consists of 2 dives, here you may see some White Tip Reef sharks in the swim through cave, tons of macro and maybe even a pygmy seahorse. In Dakit Dakit you’ll see plenty of fish like the Cuttle fish (one of my favorites), Damsel fish, Angel fish and Razor fish. In addition to this the coral here is just mind blowing. Monad Shoal is famous for being one of the only places that you’re able to see the Thresher sharks. Normally these sharks live 200 m down, but they come to this one particular area to be cleaned by other fish. Keep in mind that this is a deep dive so you do need to be trained in deep diving by either finishing your advanced course, or by doing an adventure deep dive.

  1. Affordability

Coming from America I thought flying to the Philippines would be crazy expensive, but from Seattle it’s only $568 for a round trip. Once you’re there almost everything is cheap. A nice meal with a couple of courses and a drink will run you about $6, but just an average lunch or dinner will only cost about $2 or $3. It’s so affordable here that if anything cost more than $3, it became “expensive”. On average a room or dorm bed will cost about $8/ night for a midrange room. If you travel as a couple the price gets cut into half, which for a budget backpacker can’t be beat.

  1. Less Tourists

For many travelers this isn’t important, and it’s not the presence of other westerners that is the problem. When a place becomes full of tourists the prices skyrocket and it becomes a bit seedy, not to mention you usually lose the culture and gain a bunch of drunk tourists. In the Philippines you don’t experience this, unless you go to Panglao, but even so it doesn’t even compare to Kuta, Bali. In Malapascua there were quite a few westerners due to all the diving, but it never felt that way. Everything was still affordable, and wasn’t overrun by resorts and holiday makers. Oslob and Moalboal also weren’t touristy and the locals were all charming.

  1. The Scenery

All throughout my trip, whenever we would take a bus I would fight to have a window seat. The hills that look straight out of Jurassic Park, and the small villages. It’s definitely worth scoring that window seat. If you can’t seem to obtain a window seat on your way there, then just head to Bohol for the chocolate hills, manmade forest, or hanging bridges. They all can be done with a tour or you can rent a motor bike and head there yourself, with the latter being the cheapest option.

  1. Waterfalls

No matter the island or city you’re in there are usually a few waterfalls to visit. However, we only had the time to visit one, Kawasan Falls. Even though we only saw one, I couldn’t say enough about the tour. For 1000 pesos or $23, we got a bus from our hostel, lunch, a bamboo raft on the first level of the waterfall and dives off ledges ranging from 5-12m as well as a water slide and rope swing. The waterfall itself is amazing, the waters are a bright blueish turquoise, it’s almost eerie how blue it is. You can get these tours anywhere, but we chose the shop right next to our accommodation, Marina Hostel.  My only piece of advice is to ignore TLC, and go chase those waterfalls.

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Similon Island

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Some of the Amazing Food we Enjoyed

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Pescador Island in Moalboal

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Tarsier Sanctuary

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Chocolate hills on the lower deck

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Hanging Bridges

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A Malapascua Sunset

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Devoceans Grand Opening Party

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Panglao, A beautiful place for holiday makers

 

From Oslob all you have to do is book a 2 hour ferry to Bohol, if you let your hostel know then most of the time they can book it for you. If only it was that painless. From our hostel we took a tricycle down to the port, and then boarded the boat from there. After waiting about 20 to 30 minutes they told us that we all had to get off so that they could push the boat further out because the tide had become too low and we were beached. Once we all got off they started pushing all the male passengers also decided to help push. After about 30 minutes of pushing they got the boat far enough out to be able to take off, so once again we boarded now soaking wet. Some 2 hours later Bohol was finally in sight, only it seems like we were slowing down way too far out from the shore. They then let us know that we will be taking another smaller boat that will get us closer, but then we will have to muck through about 200m of shallow water with hidden holes and urchins… great. So after about 10 minutes of careful walking to avoid urchins and star fish I decided that I wanted to pick up the pace, only to fall into a hole filled with urchins a minute later. Back to the slow crawl, finally we reached the beach. We then discovered that we needed to take a jeepney to the actual part of the town, another 200 pesos later and we were lost in town. After going to 3 bars asking about a hammock hostel we finally found it, however it was truly only hammocks to sleep on, James and I decided that there was no way we could get any sleep there so we ventured out to find an actual bed. It had gotten too late at this time so we settled on a hotel called Chill Out Hotel, it was nice but there were a lot of hidden fees, no breakfast, and slightly out of the way. The next morning, we went up to the main street and stayed at the Citadel Hotel, the rooms were decent and it was only 600 pesos for a double room, and it was right on the main road with Lone Star bar across the street.

After settling in on the first night we walked around, and Panglao is really only a place where Korean and Chinese holiday makers come. The prices were a bit jolting here, after living so cheap for a few weeks. We decided on the bar Aluna, good music pulled us in and cheap drinks kept us there. The staff were all awesome and accommodating, they even let us put on our own music. After a few drinks and dancing we ventured home. In the morning we were famished, and on the hunt for a good breakfast. We stumbled upon Nakitas because of the great lunch deal, only 180 pesos for a drink and a 12 inch pizza.  The staff are all great there, as well as the food but it was the owner, a tall English man who kept us coming back. The morning after, we came and James had a proper English breakfast (toast topped with egg, cheese, and beans) and I had the corned beef, rice, and an egg. After a few days of eating breakfast here every morning he even helped us get the ferry to Cebu City, gave us a great motorbike recommendation, and gave us a great itinerary to make our own tour of the chocolate hills.  One thing to note about food is to only order Filipino dishes from most restaurants, I made this mistake and ordered a burrito only to be served some spicy chicken wrapped in a hard tortilla topped with ketchup. As an avid burrito consumer and a hater of ketchup this was disgusting to me, but I really should’ve just ordered one of the many delicious Filipino dishes.

A few days in James and I decided we couldn’t sit on the beach drinking beers anymore (a really tough life but someone has to do it) so we headed to rent a motorbike and then off to the chocolate hills. We first went to a remote hill that was great, but definitely nothing to write home about. We then travelled about 30 minutes to the hanging bridges, the entry was about 20 pesos and it was quite beautiful. There are two bridges made of bamboo with steel cables underneath that go over the turquoise river. Once you’re across the first one there are many vendors selling shirts, trinkets, and also a man who claims that he can open a coconut with his teeth for only 500 pesos. We didn’t end up paying to see this but my curiosity was definitely peaked. Our next stop was the chocolate hills, however on your way there you run into two adventure parks that feature zip-lining. We really wanted to do this, but we know Neil also wanted to do it so we thought we would wait, only to be too hungover to go the next day. The sights were all very nice, but the drive was one of the highlights. Beautiful sprawling rice paddies, thick lush forests, and hills that you would only see in Jurassic Park. The chocolate hills were beautiful, there are two viewing decks one that you first pull up to, and then up a few flights of stairs there is another deck which is really the only one you should spend time on. After we had, had enough we had a simple lunch and gelato and then headed to the tarsier sanctuary. I didn’t realize how small the tarsier is until I saw them in person. They are the cutest little primates, they have long tails and the tiniest little hands. While in the sanctuary you see 8 of them, they actually have many more but the mini primate is very territorial so they have to keep them spread apart. After the tarsiers we headed back to Panglao.

Some quick showers later and we went to Lone Star bar because when we rented the motorbike they gave us some free drink vouchers. We met the owner Mike, an Aussie who coaches rugby and boxes. Definitely not a guy you would want to cross, but fortunately we were on his good side. After a long chat and a mojito, he started ordering shots of Sambuca for us. One free drink turned into many free shots and San Miguel Lites. After Lone Star closed around 1 am, we stumbled down to Aluna bar and had one drink since they were closing, and then went to Bamboo. Bamboo is open pretty much 24/7 and smells like a frat house. Not the best when you’re sober, but too much fun while you’re drinking. Free shots of 20 year old rum from an Italian chef promising to teach you how to make pasta, and fighting lady boys, what else could you need from a 24/7 bar?! Around 7 am we stumbled home, and prepared for a horrid hungover day. Since we had the motorbike for another day we decided to use it and went out to the cave very close by, I cant recall the name but it was definitely something to go see. If you pay a few more pesos you’re able to swim in the lagoon in the cave and its worth every peso. The water is cold, but a perfect place to spend a hungover day.

After the blowout night James and I decided it was time to move on, so we did some research and decided on Malapascua. A beautiful island that would be perfect for me to do my open water course, and his rescue diver course. After a chat with Neil it became evident that he wanted to stay there for a few more days, but he was to meet us there.

We left around 8pm to catch the overnight ferry to Cebu, however that one was sold out so we had to take a 2 hour bus to a different port and then boarded the midnight ferry. After a very very sweaty ride and little sleep we got off around 5:30 to head to the bus station. After asking many workers at the port they told us to take a bus Bantanyan Island and then a ferry to Malapascua. If you are to go to Malapascua take the bus from Cebu to Maya Port then a ferry from Maya to Malapascua. This route is much shorter and cheaper if you can make one of the public boats which operate until 3pm. If you go this way, then it should only cost around 1000 pesos and 15 hours to get there.

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Hanging Bridges

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Chocolate hills on the lower deck

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James & I on the upper deck at the chocolate hills

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Tarsier sanctuary

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Tarsier Sanctuary

 

Moalboal & Oslob

20160827_09455120160827_09581520160825_20301620160826_112533To get to Moalboal is relatively easy from Manila. All you have to do is take a flight from Manila to Cebu City which should run you about 2000pp or $40 usd. Then you’ll take a 3 hour bus to Moalboal, which should only be 116pp. The scenery while on the bus is quite beautiful too, it goes from trees to ocean and back again. Once you get off the bus make sure to walk away from all the men trying to get you on their tricycles. We actually had a guy throw his popsicle at us because we didn’t want to ride with him. But the ride from the main city to the beach area should only be about 30pp/ person.

Moalboal is a beautiful beach town with a few good restaurants like Pleasure Café or something of the like, they serve a great spicy red curry and the pork belly is delightful as well. If you’re looking for a night out, then head down a few paces to Chilis bar. They have an amazing view of the sea, Wi-Fi, pool tables, and great music all day and night. The prices are all slightly more expensive in Moalboal, with a San Miguel Light being 65pp, and dinner will usually run around 300pp.  We stayed at the Marina Hostel which ran us 300pp/night, the rooms all only had 2 beds in them so it wasn’t just sleeping in a big room with strangers, and if there’s only 2 of you then it’s close to getting a private room for dirt cheap. The only downfall was there isn’t any air-conditioning, but there is a huge fan above you so it’s really not bad.

During the day we went canyoning at Kawasan Falls, for about 1000pp they take you out with a guide and you jump off 10m, 12m, and 5m cliffs with a few swings and a slide mixed in there too. With the tour we went on they wanted us to either choose if we wanted to go under the falls now or later, we chose the former and it really was an experience. They take you out on a bamboo raft (which you should negotiate to have included in your fee). The guide has your party all lay down, then he takes you under the falls a few times over. Once you get over how cold it is, it’s actually quite nice but it does batter you up a bit. After a few jumps they serve a beautiful lunch, and you’re able to swim around in the turquoise lagoon, and then you head back to the town. I made the huge mistake of landing on my booty after the larger jumps and I have the bruises and bruised tailbone to prove it. If you wish to dive, Cebu Dive Center is one of the best places to go. The owner Cameron is American, and a pleasure to banter with, not to mention the prices from what I’ve seen are fantastic. They do an open water course for 10,000pp, and I’ve been kicking myself for not doing it there since it’s the cheapest that I’ve seen so far in the Philippines. If you want to just do a fun dive I believe the boys paid about 1000pp/ dive. Moalboal is known for the sardine dive which is right off the shore and there are millions of sardines swimming about. This is also where James and Neil saw some turtles, which I have heard about, a million times since then. However, be aware that you could be waiting a few days to dive with this dive center, because they’re quite busy even during the off season. I had come down with a nasty cold complete with a high fever and cough, and if I hadn’t gotten sick I would’ve gone ahead and done my certification here.

Overall this is great town to stop by on your way to see the whalesharks in Oslob, with the beautiful scenery and friendly locals you really can’t go wrong here.

From Moalboal to Oslob is quite painless all you have to do is take a bus. Once you’ve arrived they will drop you off at the pier and it’s just a short walk down to the hostel. We chose to stay at Sharkey’s hostel, and though it’s under construction it still was okay but the staff is really the highlight of the place. A small Filipino woman who we all lovingly called Mama is the manager there and she will bend over backwards to help you and feed you biscuits and tell you stories all day. Mama was a midwife and care taker of the city until she retired a few years ago, and started managing her sons hostel. The room itself is a cement box with a few semi decent beds in it, a couple of fans and a shared bathroom. The real highlight of the city is the whale sharks. Before going out to see them I had very low standards, I was under the impression that we would see a few that were far away and that would be it, thankfully it was the complete opposite. The sharks are everywhere, they say to keep a 4m distance from them but that was near impossible. Just the sheer size of them is amazing not to mention the grace and beauty. After it was all over the guys and I headed over the singing man café. We called it so because all of their waiters serenade you throughout the whole meal, and whether you enjoyed it or not they’re the cheapest breakfast with a beach view. If you don’t care about the view, then there is a great little café right next to Sharkey’s with a good breakfast for about 80 pesos. After breakfast we headed out to the island just a 15 minute boat ride to Simulon island. Here we found the most beautiful turquoise water and white sand beach that I’ve ever seen. I could try to explain the beauty but it’s almost impossible. You truly have to visit to be able to understand. After a full day of activities Mama booked us a ferry out the next day and we were off to Bohol!

Escaping Manila

Manila, a place that I planned for only a stopover. A bed to sleep in after being in an airport for over 23 hours. I booked my flight for 2:45pm, then came down and had a conversation with a man with white hair, a white beard, and a round belly. He told many stories about Minnesota, India, and working over 50 different job descriptions. We’re not quite sure which ones were true and which were not, however they were all very entertaining. This man we all called Santa. A few minutes in, a couple of drunk English men walked in and hopped in the pool and that’s when my plans became a bit derailed. James is from a beach town in the UK, he stands about 6 feet tall, has brown hair and medium length beard with greenish eyes that you could spend all day looking at. He enjoys anything rugby or football, hates losing, knows how to throw out some very entertaining dance moves, and he’s someone you could talk to for hours and never get bored. Neil is a little over 6 feet, with blondish hair, who loves tennis or really any sport except baseball, and making fun of American words. He claims to be from London but in reality he actually lives about 5 minutes out. Both of them are sarcastic to a fault, could banter all day about anything, and love a good trek or adventure.  After forcing me to get in the pool and a get beer I had realized that I would be in Manila for a bit longer than planned. I booked a second flight for that next evening at 5:45pm to actually leave Manila. At about 3:45 I went to reception to ask if they could call a taxi to be ready at 4:15. So, at 4:15 I grabbed all my bags and went back to reception to get the license plate of my driver, however there was a problem. They hadn’t called a cab for me and the wait to get one was about 20 minutes, it then went up to 30 minutes. After waiting until 4:45 it became clear that I would not be leaving.

Our last night in Manila was definitely one to remember (or maybe forget). After missing my flight, I decided that it was time to crack open a beer. After a few games of pool, we grabbed some beer and a bottle of rum and started playing president, our favorite passive aggressive pre-drinking card game.  Once we finished up the rum we all got ready and hailed a jeepney to take us to Ringside, a bar where you’re served by prostitutes while watching dwarf fighting. All 7 of us loaded in for the ride of our lives. As our driver sat in the wrong seat, and weaved in and out of traffic we were all sure that tonight may be our last one. Once we arrived we all sat down and ordered some drinks and patiently waited for the dwarf fights to start.  A few rounds and an oil wrestling match later we decided to take off, and James decided that he would take his beer on the road. We all walked down to the nearest 7-11. The police pulled over to arrest James for having a beer on the road. After much negotiation he was able to get out of an arrest for 1000 pesos. While James was talking himself out of an arrest, Neil and I were busy buying a few beers for the taxi ride over. After hailing a taxi to the fort we realized that we had no bottle opener so the driver pulled over so that we could get them opened by another shop.  We then had to practically chug all of them so it became a bit of a sick feeling trip.  The fort is a large complex made up by many clubs all with an enforced dress code.  When we arrived we were not up to their standards so they sent us to the pool club which has a much less stringent dress code.  After dancing for a bit we met a few guys celebrating a birthday and they invited us into their bottle service, and that’s when things started going downhill.   3 vodka sprites, and a few jaeger bombs in and we were singing at the top of our lungs and dancing like there was no tomorrow. Around 5 we left and took a quick dip in the pool only to finally lay down around 7. So finally, after a few nights of dwarf fighting, beer drinking, and playing president we decided that it’s time to leave.

Waking up hungover and tired, we procrastinated buying our airline tickets, it had become too late to buy them online so we had to show up around 2 to buy them. The airline informed us that the tickets are now twice as expensive, and if we wanted the cheaper fare then we had to book at least 4 hours ahead of time.  Since it was 3pm now, we got online and found a flight at 7:30 pm so that gave us 30 minutes to book.  The internet then decided to work as slowly as possible, then it wouldn’t allow us to choose seats, 20 minutes have now past. Finally, it allowed us to choose seats then with 10 minutes to spare the site wouldn’t take any sort of payment from any of our cards. 3:30 came and went and we were now out of another flight. So, we had to return to the ticket desk and purchased a flight for 10:05 pm. We had 7 hours to kill, we grabbed some Shakeys, and went downstairs to figure out how to kill another 6 hours.  Neil started a game of I spy, then moved on to Heads Up, and finally we all took a quality nap on the cement floor. Once we were able to check in, we really wanted something to eat that didn’t involve chicken and rice. We then realized that all the restaurants were closed and we were left with mango smoothies. 10pm finally was here and we got up to board, only to be told that there would be a 40-minute delay.  An hour came and went, and then another 30 minutes. It’s now 11:30 and there is still no sign of the plane. At midnight we were finally boarding, once everyone was boarded the pilot came over the speaker to let us all know that they were having some issues with the landing equipment and we would be further delayed. We waited so long that some people actually got off of the plane. At about 1:00 we were finally leaving Manila. Once we landed in Cebu City it was 2am. We made our taxi driver take us straight to the closest McDonalds, and then to our hostel. When we arrived at our hostel it was completely locked up, with no person in sight. After figuring out a way to open the gate we found the security guard who was able to wake up the receptionist.  When escaping Manila murphy’s law will always take a strong hold.

Travelling the World without a Trust Fund

The Dream:
Travel the world, and be able to have amazing adventures, then coming home to a full time job, money, and a bed to call your own.

The Reality:
Not being to afford the flight there, let alone food or lodging. Knowing that if you leave for 90 days you will have no job, or way to pay for rent, or bills.

Since I graduated high school I had a dream of seeing the world, but I never thought about the cost. I wanted to travel, but I never accepted that I had to be rich to do them. Why should you? There are many ways to get around the world without having a million dollars in the bank.

Years went by, and life went on. I have a decent job, a supportive boyfriend, and two fantastic puppies. Though my life feels close to perfect there seems to be something missing, travel. When I start to tell myself that my traveling dream was only that, I knew it was time for a change. The thought of eating croissants on cobblestone streets, or sipping a Bintang while watching the sun set on a beach kept me going through the hard days. That vision just isn’t enough anymore. I need to feel the sand between my toes, the adrenaline rush of jumping off a water fall, and the feeling of standing on top of a mountain.

After doing some research and going through my finances, I knew I would have to find a different way of obtaining money if I wanted to travel soon. Most people would say that my method was a bit peculiar.  I decided to donate my eggs to families who can’t have children. This experience has been very rewarding knowing that I’m helping people start a family, while also funding my dream. After donating a few times I was able to buy my ticket, and make my dreams a reality. However this process isn’t easy and is definitely not for everyone. It includes injecting myself with hormones, daily early morning doctor visits, followed by a surgery. These drugs pretty much make your body think you’re pregnant which causes a slew of problems like irritability, nausea, and weight gain. If this wasn’t bad enough, after my first donation they told me that they didn’t receive enough eggs. This sent me into a meltdown, I spent weeks thinking that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. I cried many nights, thinking that I would never be able to start a family of my own, or go on my trip. I even cancelled the flight I booked to Singapore because I thought I wouldn’t be going. My boyfriend was the best through this whole ordeal. He even got to the point where he asked me how much I would need to go, and if I would allow him to help me (the answer was no). They called me a few weeks later to let me know that they would let me try again, and the second donation was much more successful. Looking back it was all worth it because now I’m planning a holiday of a lifetime.

At first I had my heart set on backpacking Europe. However, after seeing that if I only had $60 a day I would be poor. I would be staying at the most budget hostels, and never being able to do anything extra so I made a decision to broaden my horizons. After hours of researching for days on end, I finally found a solution to my broke as a joke problem, SE Asia. This place has it all, beautiful beaches, mountain climbs, friendly locals, and it’s affordable. For $30 a day I’ll be living well. I will get to learn how to surf, go scuba diving, climb mountains, go canyoning, visit temples, and learn about a life so different from my own.

Planning this trip didn’t come without some heart ache. After telling my boyfriend that I wanted to leave him and our life for three months, he wasn’t happy. We went through a period where I wasn’t sure if we would stay together. He wanted to leave me, he didn’t see the value in having a girlfriend that he couldn’t see. After many talks, he broke down and told me that he loved me too much to leave me. Even if it meant he had to be away from me for 90 days. He’s the most supportive man I’ve ever met, and I would be completely lost without him.

Aside from my boyfriend woes, I want to say that the amount of research you have to do in order to have a successful trip is crazy. So far I’ve probably spent at the very least 100 hours. I still don’t know what I’m going to do in many of my destinations. I barely even know what cities I’m going to. This scares me, I’m the type of person who likes to have every day planned down to the hour. I’m a control freak and I need to know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. This really drives my boyfriend crazy. He’s one of those “we’ll cross that bridge when it comes” kind of people. I wish he could be my Mr. Miyagi, and teach me his ways. I’ve slowly been able to let go, but just typing this gives me a little anxiety, I truly hate not knowing all the details.

My budget is a big factor in all of the decisions I’ve made, I wanted to have an adventure of a lifetime, all while staying on a $30/day budget. This is fairly easy, well at least I’ve been told so. Most hostels are about $5/ night, and food is around $2/ meal depending on what you decide to eat. For me I will be eating at food stands, and carts on the side of the road, which will keep me around $10/ day for food at the very most. If you like to party then I would probably put in a few extra dollars for booze. So, even after food I will have about $15/ day to be able to do activities. My flight was $570 for a round trip ticket from Seattle to Manila. After all is said and done I will have spent about $3270.

I’m probably the worst at budgeting, and saving money. If there was an award for being the worst at money I would win it. With that being said, I have also purchased a new pack, shoes, camera, and few more travel accessories totaling up to around $1200. Many people only budget for the actual trip, but it’s very important to include the extra stuff that you will end up needing for your trip. So, for my whole trip I will end up spending around $4970.00. Yikes. Obviously, this sort of extra spending is in no way needed, and can easily be avoided by making due with what you have on hand, or asking your family and friends.

Just thinking about this solo holiday makes me want to puke while jumping for joy, but what am I looking forward to the most? I can’t wait to see Ankgor Wat. I’ve always wanted to become PADI certified but I’m scared to death of being trapped under water. I’m also a horrible swimmer so we’ll see how that goes. I also can’t wait to climb Mt. Bromo, and Mt. Rinjani. The trek up those mountains will be a serious effort, but it’ll be worth it when I’m able to get to the summit and revel in all of Indonesia’s glory. I also plan on going canyoning. Your guide will take you rock climbing, then you jump off of water falls, and there’s some trekking in there as well. I probably described that horribly, but you get the gist. I also can’t wait to meet people traveling from all over the world, and to make new friends. There are so many things that I can’t wait to do and see, it’s almost impossible to write it all down.

August 16th is the day I will be on my way to the adventure of a lifetime, and I’m happy to say that I paid for it myself with no trust fund, credit cards, or a GoFundMe account.