Category Archives: Frugal Living

What Moves You: The Hidden Story Behind Traveling Alone

The Hidden Story Behind Traveling Alone

A lot of people do not know how to be alone. Some are scared, some feel lost, some feel lonely, and some just feel awkward. Imagine if we elevate that to traveling solo — alone in an unfamiliar territory, surrounded by people you don’t know, trying things for the first time — all by yourself. Sure, it can be daunting but more and more people think traveling on your own can be as exciting.

I need to be in the middle of the mountains on an adventure...right..about...now!

Photo courtesy of django django via Pinterest

And guess who the new power travelers are? Women. A new survey by Booking.com revealed that 72% of American women have traveled alone and most of them feel more confident when doing so. For 65% of women, traveling alone is freedom. Traveling is also how they escape from the pressures of everyday life. And women are not just making these up. Travel really does affect one’s happiness. A Dutch study showed that simply planning and anticipating a vacation can give the largest boost in happiness.

Whoever you are, whatever it is that you do, and whatever your reasons are, do not deprive yourself of the joys of traveling solo. Who knows, maybe you’ll see for yourself what many women travelers are talking about. Here are the many benefits of traveling alone:

Your way, your pace

If you feel like sitting in a café for hours, no one will tell you that you are wasting time. If you feel like exploring seven tourist spots in one day, no one will tell you to slow down. You can wake up very early or sleep until noon. You do it your way and you do it at your own pace. There is no itinerary and even if you made one for yourself, you can just go ahead and break it. No one will drag you to places you don’t want to see and you won’t feel like you have to drag other people, too. You don’t have to adhere to someone else’s schedule.

You will meet more people

Worried about being lonely when you travel solo? Chat with locals and learn something you've never tried before.

Photo courtesy of on the-shooting-star.com via Pinterest

When you travel with your partner or with friends, the tendency is you will always stick with that group. But being alone gives you the chance to be more open. When you are alone, you are more likely to talk to other people even if that only means asking them to take your picture. Reaching out becomes more natural when you travel by yourself.

You are inclined to try new things

Young Wild and Free!! Should I take the leap...

Photo courtesy of poppy-darling.tumblr.com via Pinterest

Aside from meeting new people like the locals, you are more inclined to try new things when you travel alone. You wake up everyday and you ask yourself “what am I going to do today?” There is this urge to go full circle — “I have travelled alone, it’s time I do new things by myself.” You can try bungee jumping or cliff diving and no one will tell you it is way too scary. You can eat exotic dishes and no one will tell you they are not clean. On the contrary, people around you will even cheer you on.

You learn to take care of yourself

This is something that most people learn in their 40s. When you know that you are alone, you always stay on your guard, always alert, and look after yourself. Travelling alone puts us in charge and in many ways, it makes us responsible.

Get as much “me” time as you want

How A Solo Vacation Can Change Your Life. I really need to do this. Just travelling alone to another city for the first time (a mere 5 years ago!) was an eye-opening experience.

Photo courtesy of MindBodyGreen via Pinterest

There is something about “me” time that fascinates everyone. In the same survey by Booking.com, 46% of women want “to get time to myself.” One tip for solo travel if reflection and relaxation are among the agenda, get a hotel that allows you to reflect. You can do this even if you are going on a trip to busy beaches like Boracay in the Philippines. You can get a beach resort accommodation nestled away from the noise and the crowd. A luxurious and serene Boracay hotel accommodation, for example, will give you the space you want to think and reflect.

You are bound to travel light

If you want to see the world -- especially while you're young -- but don't exactly have the funds to do so, you're not alone.

Photo courtesy of Huffington post via Pinterest

No one will help you check in your bags or carry them around. When you are traveling alone, you will (finally) understand the wisdom behind travelling light. Let’s say for example, packing your bags for a Boracay vacation. You will learn to pack only the essential things you need for a Boracay vacation, or for any destination for that matter. You will assess and re-assess what you just really need and you will be surprised you can survive with just a back pack.

You will save money (hopefully)

Since you are on your own, you learn to budget. No one’s going to lend you money when you go short. In many ways, you can find traveling by yourself cheaper. There will be no companions teasing you to try this and that, go here and there, ride a cab when all your budget can afford is the train, or buy more souvenirs.

You develop confidence

10 Mistakes (Solo) Female Travelers Make | Levo League |         lifestyle 2, staying safe, traveling alone

Photo courtesy of levo.com via Pinterest

Traveling alone presents a challenge like that of navigating a new city or that of learning a new language. But with these challenges come renewed confidence. You will overcome these challenges because you have no choice. When self-doubt comes crashing your confidence down, you say, “I have come this far. Why stop now?”

No one will filter the experience

You see the world the way you see it. No one will filter it for you by giving you a different perspective. Even if your views are compatible with that of your companion, the memories you will have of a place or an experience will always be compromised.

You will surprise yourself

Traveling Alone: 10 Relaxing Destinations For Stress-Free Solo Trips (PHOTOS)

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post via Pinterest

At the end of the trip, you are most likely to discover something new about yourself — what you are scared of and what you like best. You will be surprised to find out that you can do certain things by yourself. You will be surprised at how you react to situations. Being alone does that to people. Because you are on your own, you learn to listen to your heart, which is a good start towards self-(re)discovery.

A solo journey is truly empowering. It gives you a stronger sense of self. It also relieves you of stress and tension. Travel has the power to make us happy, to trust ourselves, and to understand and appreciate ourselves more.

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This collage is a tribute to my travel buddy when I went to Gigantes. It’s a pleasure traveling with you, Gen for the very first time since our VN days. Hope we can travel alone in the future, us, girls only. It was also great knowing your boyfie. Keep the flame burnin’. 😃 Until next time. 😉 #travelbuddy #gigantes #island #beach

This collage is a tribute to my travel buddy when I went to Gigantes. It’s a pleasure traveling with you, Gen for the very first time since our VN days. Hope we can travel alone in the future, us, girls only. It was also great knowing your boyfie. Keep the flame burnin’. 😃 Until next time. 😉 #travelbuddy #gigantes #island #beach http://ift.tt/1JETmaV

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A once in a lifetime experience. Chilling beside Mount Pinatubo’s crater. #mountpinatubo #volcano #crater #river #sky #mountain #nature

Chilling Beside Mount Pinatubo Crater in Zambales

A once in a lifetime experience. Chilling beside Mount Pinatubo’s crater. #mountpinatubo #volcano #crater #river #sky #mountain #nature http://ift.tt/1A1PJDm

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Human remains inside the Pawikan Cave in Gigantes Sur. #cave #spelunkering #bones #pawikancave #gigantesisland

Human Remains in Pawikan Cave Isla Gigantes

Human remains inside the Pawikan Cave in Gigantes Sur. #cave #spelunkering #bones #pawikancave #gigantesisland http://ift.tt/1JczqvL

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Can’t get enough. #bantigueisland #sandbar #beach #sea #sky

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo 3

Can’t get enough. #bantigueisland #sandbar #beach #sea #sky http://ift.tt/1Iia242

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Loving the very clear and cold water in this island’s sand bar. #beach #sandbar #bantigueisland #gigantes #sky #sea

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo 2

Loving the very clear and cold water in this island’s sand bar. #beach #sandbar #bantigueisland #gigantes #sky #sea http://ift.tt/1OGRqP6

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Bantigue Island. #island #beach #sandbar #sea #sky #summer

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo

Bantigue Island. #island #beach #sandbar #sea #sky #summer http://ift.tt/1HasNaR

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Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. #baguio #baguiocity #mountaincity #mountain #sky

Baguio City

Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. #baguio #baguiocity #mountaincity #mountain #sky http://ift.tt/19vABrr

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It’s been 18 days now that I left the island of Pitogo and have been wandering on the road. This is actually the very first time that I travel this long. I’ve been planning for years to travel continuously but been held back by a lot of responsibilities. Now, I can tell that this is only the beginning of my wandering journey. This has been what I’ve been picturing myself for years…to wander…continuously… #wanderer #imnotatraveler #imawanderer

Mount Pinatubo Crater

It’s been 18 days now that I left the island of Pitogo and have been wandering on the road. This is actually the very first time that I travel this long. I’ve been planning for years to travel continuously but been held back by a lot of responsibilities. Now, I can tell that this is only the beginning of my wandering journey. This has been what I’ve been picturing myself for years…to wander…continuously… #wanderer #imnotatraveler #imawanderer http://ift.tt/1AQAGvp

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It took us almost 8 hours to arrive here. Hello Baguio! I’ll explore you tomorrow. For now, I need a power sleep. So very, very tirrred. #art #baguio

artwork in Baguio

It took us almost 8 hours to arrive here. Hello Baguio! I’ll explore you tomorrow. For now, I need a power sleep. So very, very tirrred. #art #baguio http://ift.tt/1FpKDG7

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Readying for our long road trip tomorrow. Not sure though if that’s the right travel time. It would be our first time together going to Baguio. :-) #map #olongapotobaguio #baguio

olongapo to baguio map

Readying for our long road trip tomorrow. Not sure though if that’s the right travel time. It would be our first time together going to Baguio. :-) #map #olongapotobaguio #baguio http://ift.tt/1EmvlQV

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Enjoying the view here in Subic. Still, nothing beats our bloody beaches in Bohol and Cebu. #Subic #beach #sea

Traders Ric Resto and Bar Subic Bay Olongapo

Enjoying the view here in Subic. Still, nothing beats our bloody beaches in Bohol and Cebu. #Subic #beach #sea http://ift.tt/1EgyHVD

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Spent our afternoon at the famous Annawangin, Cove. #zambales #cove #beach #annawangincove #sand #sea

Annawangin Cove Pundaquit San Antonio Zambales

Spent our afternoon at the famous Annawangin, Cove. #zambales #cove #beach #annawangincove #sand #sea http://ift.tt/18DDOUp

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Currently staying here in Pundaquit, Zambales. We went to Capones Island this morning. #zambales #island #caponesisland #capones #sea #beach

Capones Island in San Antonio Zambales

Currently staying here in Pundaquit, Zambales. We went to Capones Island this morning. #zambales #island #caponesisland #capones #sea #beach http://ift.tt/1NOSi4G

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The Aetas in Tarukan, Tarlac. #FilipinoNatives #Aetas #Tarlac #Natives #AetaVillage

Aeta Village in Tarlac

The Aetas in Tarukan, Tarlac. #FilipinoNatives #Aetas #Tarlac #Natives #AetaVillage http://ift.tt/1NHMQR4

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After a bumpy and very dusty ride, we were rewarded by this view. The wind was so cold. This is the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. The water in this crater is from River Maraunot (as what our guide said). #volcano #mountain #crater #mtpinatubotrekking #zambales

The Majestic Mount Pinatubo in Botolan Zambales

After a bumpy and very dusty ride, we were rewarded by this view. The wind was so cold. This is the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. The water in this crater is from River Maraunot (as what our guide said). #volcano #mountain #crater #mtpinatubotrekking #zambales http://ift.tt/1KTBRoN

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Waiver for our trekking to Mount Pinatubo later. Everything is our sole responsibility. Whatever will happen to us, it’s on us. The risk of enjoying mother nature’s beauty. #mtpinatubotrekking

Waiver for Pinatubo Tour and Trek

Waiver for our trekking to Mount Pinatubo later. Everything is our sole responsibility. Whatever will happen to us, it’s on us. The risk of enjoying mother nature’s beauty. #mtpinatubotrekking http://ift.tt/1Gl0tAc

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The Marlboro Country is one of the most picturesque spots in Mahatao. Once you’re on top of those hills, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The wind was so cold when we went there yesterday. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #hills #ocean #sky

Marlboro Country Batanes 2015

The Marlboro Country is one of the most picturesque spots in Basco. Once you’re on top of those hills, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The wind was so cold when we went there yesterday. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #hills #ocean #sky http://ift.tt/1Elzi9D

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The mesmerizing center port in Mahatao. I almost stumbled on the ground when I was hit my a strong gust of wind here. #Batanes2015Trip #Day3 #Batanes #port #sea

Center Port Mahatao Batanes

The mesmerizing center port in Mahatao. I almost stumbled on the ground when I was hit my a strong gust of wind here. #Batanes2015Trip #Day3 #Batanes #port #sea http://ift.tt/1FWJNP2

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We saw this place on our way to Mahatao. It reminds me of a very famous tourist spot abroad. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #Day2

Center Port Batanes

We saw this place on our way to Mahatao. It reminds me of a very famous tourist spot abroad. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #Day2 http://ift.tt/1FNZZSL

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Breathtaking view from Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao, Batanes. #Batanes2015Trip #Day2 #Batanes #sea #hills

Mahatao Batanes In front of Tayid Lighthouse

Breathtaking view from Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao, Batanes. #Batanes2015Trip #Day2 #Batanes #sea #hills http://ift.tt/1Dw5IKE

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Getting our #tickets here for tomorrow’s flight to Basco, Batanes. #Batanes2015Trip #skyjetairlines

Skyjet Airlines Trip to Batanes 2015

Getting our #tickets here for tomorrow’s flight to Basco, Batanes. #Batanes2015Trip #skyjetairlines http://ift.tt/1LTlYKe

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Catching up a bit of work while waiting for my buddy. Arrived a few hours ago here in #Manila. Our flight to Batanes is tomorrow early morning. So, so bloody excited. #Batanes2015Trip #backpacking #budgettravel

DG Budget Inn NAIA

Catching up a bit of work while waiting for my buddy. Arrived a few hours ago here in #Manila. Our flight to Batanes is tomorrow early morning. So, so bloody excited. #Batanes2015Trip #backpacking #budgettravel http://ift.tt/1vHtndm

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Top 10 Things I Love About Pitogo Island (Photos)

Biking in Moto 2 Pitogo Island Bohol

After over a year of residing in that quaint and laid-back island, I can honestly say that I won’t be easily impressed anymore if I’ll see any other smaller islands in the country.

While writing this blog post, I’m currently preparing to travel to Batanes with my friend.  We booked a homestay accommodation in Basco for 7 days but I’m not sure if we will stick with that schedule.  I prefer to stay longer.

While I was researching for blog reviews about Batanes and was checking a lot of photos of the place, I can’t help but noticed that the sceneries are moderately similar to what I see there in Pitogo Island. Mounds of green hills, islets here and there, and the open sea.

Moto hills in Pitogo Island Bohol

That photo above was taken at Moto, one of the best parts of Pitogo Island wherein you can take great photos of the hills and the surrounding islets.  I’m sure those rolling hills in Batanes are more picturesque and have better landscape but this view from Moto hill is also nostalgic.

I actually feel a bit sad when I hear some people there who complained how boring the island is and that there’s nothing much to see.  I would love to share my thoughts with them and show them that their island has the nicest sceneries and they should be proud that they live there.

Below are the top 10 things that I love about Pitogo and I encourage curious backpackers to explore it if they have the time.

1. Going for a Picnic in Moto

Moto 2 - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

It’s nicer to go there when sunset is coming.  If you have a DSLR camera, the better.  This photo was taken by a point and shot camera only, thus the quality of the image is not that high.

2. Passing by this Farm Going to Tugas

Tugas - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Every time we go to Tugas, I always peek at this little farm by the road.  I always see myself living in a farm rearing cattles, pigs, and goats during my golden years.  The smell of the the grass and the stink of the manure are like perfume to my lungs. Lols!

3. Commuting to Ubay via Pump-boat

Motor Boat - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholCommuting without noise and air pollution.  Less than 5-minute travel from Popoo to Ubay in this small boat.  The only main downside is the waiting time.  The boat doesn’t go if the passenger count won’t reach 10.

4. The Serene Ambiance in their New Cemetery

Cemetery 2 - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Cemetery - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Not much to see but I still love this place.  Weird, right? I think cemeteries are among the quietest and safest places on earth.  This is a serene place wherein you can meditate, ruminate, or sometimes you can also get the worst err the best photo for a jump shot. (:

Cemetery Pitogo Island Bohol - JumpShot Final

Yeah, the best jump shot ever. Lol!

5. Biking to Bonbonon

Bonbonon - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholI had so much memories in this side of the island.  Fainted a few times and got into an accident once.  But, if you are into mountain biking, the trail there is quite challenging.  Of course, that’s from a neophyte perspective. (;

6. Paddle Boarding in Aguining

Paddle Boarding Aguining - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Paddle Boarding Failed - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia BoholThese photos are quite memorable.  Aguining is the side of the island wherein the road is very steep and quite dangerous during rainy season.  Still, it’s the only place in the island wherein you can find a fish sanctuary, an ideal place to snorkel and go for scuba diving in the nearby islets.

There’s also a beach resort in there wherein you can rent a paddle board and enjoy the rest of the day in the water.

7. Snorkeling in Pong Gamay

Snorkeling at Pong Gamay

Pong Gamay is one of the very few islets that surround Pitogo Island.  Though there’s no white sands in there, the clearness of the water would surely convince you to swim despite the very hot weather.  Of course, you can also snorkel since schools of fishes are just nearby.

Pumpboat going to Pong Gamay - Pitogo Island Bohol

View of Pong Gamay from our pump boat.

8. Chilling at Kabangkalan

Kabangkalan Beach Pitogo Island Bohol

One of the biggest downsides in Pitogo Island is it does not have a lot of white sands.  Most of the beaches are filled with rocks like that in the photo below.  There’s only a small strip of white sands in Pong Dako, the islet which I haven’t checked yet.

Kabangkalan Beach 2 Pitogo Island Bohol

Kabangkalan is also located in Aguining area but its road is safer compared to the other Aguining beach I mentioned earlier.  It’s ideal for a family weekend getaway.

9.  No Pollution and Traffic

Biking in Moto Pitogo Island Bohol

Of course, this is the main reason why I love Pitogo Island.  It is far away from anything toxic.  The air is fresh, the lifestyle is laid back, no noise pollution, no traffic, and most of the people there don’t know me.  I always believe that there’s freedom in anonymity. (:

10. Fresh Seafoods

Mud Crab - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

Big SeaShells - Pitogo Island President Carlos P Garcia Bohol

I guess I have to write a separate blog post for this since there are so much to tell about my seafood adventure in Pitogo Island.  It was there that I learned to love eating “wood-like seashells” (Wasay-wasay) and “Tuyom” (Sea Urchin),  the type of exotic sea foods that I don’t even expect to like. (:

This list is for sure not a complete one.  I still have a lot to say, a lot to express, a lot to share. I hope I can find more time to write another long blog post like this one.

Until next time! Namaste!

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The very first time that I used my @agoda reward points was in this #hotel. If you are constantly traveling and would love to instantly book a room online, I highly recommend Agoda.com. So many accommodations to choose from and you can often get discounts if there are promos. The more you book, the higher your reward points which you can use as payment in your next booking. #agoda #hotel #onlinebooking

Happy Valley Hotel Cebu City

The very first time that I used my @agoda reward points was in this #hotel. If you are constantly traveling and would love to instantly book a room online, I highly recommend Agoda.com. So many accommodations to choose from and you can often get discounts if there are promos. The more you book, the higher your reward points which you can use as payment in your next booking. #agoda #hotel #onlinebooking http://ift.tt/18kEChO

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