With most of us still on quarantine we can’t help but to wish to be on holiday somewhere except our house. Given the situation all we can do for now is to reminisce the old days when we used to have all the freedom to be anywhere in the world. As we wait and hope for this pandemic to be over, here are the good old music and their videos to enjoy and remind us how traveling used to be.

I Got U by Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones

This music video will remind us how good life was before pandemic happened. How a lot of us are wishing to escape that city life and spend holidays in the tropics. With the world shut down and border restrictions, how we wish we have that VR giving us a close to reality experience of the tropics. Resort living, white sand beach, swimming in a clear blue water and sipping cocktails on beach parties, you would wish you are in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand right now where it was shot.

Perfect Strangers by Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper

This is literally a story of travel romance a lot of backpackers can relate to. When a man and a woman traveling on their own cross paths, and ended up being together or maybe just another casual travel fling. As travelers, we can totally relate to the music video scenes where a traveller got attracted to a fellow traveler at first sight. Keep on bumping on the same stranger in different places and having mutual connection that usually ends up hitting it off together. Watching the music video makes me miss dating on the road such as a day hike, a motorbike city tour or simply just watching the sunset together by the beach. Whether it’s a casual travel fling or start of something serious, you can never deny that travel date is the best date ever.

Guns and Roses by Helly Luv & Ardian Bujupi

The first impression I got in this Kurdish song basing on the title is drugs and killing. (Please don’t come after me for thinking that way.) Thanks to Google translator and the English part of the song I came to understand it’s about working hard and luxury living. However the best thing that hooks me into the music video of this song is the location. It features fast cars in the desert, sailing in luxury yacht and simply enjoying life. This song can be an inspiration to hustle now and enjoy our travels later when everything is back to old normal.

Tropical Love by Nadro and Timmy Commerford

The lyric of this song is a message for those who want to travel long term, book one way ticket and never look back. Aside from the lyrics the views in its music video are also spectacular. Beaches, safaris, waterfalls plus a drone shot of Table Mountain in South Africa. Remember the time when you were waking up with the view from a villa in Bali Indonesia? The next thing you know you are catching a flight to South America. Ahhh, The good old days!

Sweet Chin Music by Kid Ink

This 3-minute track features Kid Ink rapping in the bustling city of Bangkok showing the busy streets filled with tuktuks, temples and hustling people.

If Life Is Too Short (Cover) by Music Travel Love

A cover song of the original 90’s soundtrack of The Mofats by Music Travel Love features the foggy view of the Pu Chi Fa Mountain in Chang Rai, Thailand. The mountain is well known for many tourists catching the glimpse of the sea mist at dawn. If you are on a hunt for acoustic versions of songs in the 90’s with top notch sceneries on their background check more of Music Travel Love videos on YouTube.

Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake Feat. MØ

The 18th most viewed video on YouTube is a track shot in the beautiful state of Maharashtra, India. Although some scenes were filmed in the Golden Hall of Stockholm City Hall, the musicians showcased their modernized Bollywood dance. Major Lazer mentioned that they were always been a culture mash up and to them, India feels like some kind of special creature with one foot in history and one firmly in the future.

Came Here For Love by Sigala, Ella Eyre

Sigala and Ella Eyre released this song in 2017 and it is still on my playlist up to this date. The song says “I came here for love.” And for the love of traveling we will surely appreciate the music video that was filmed in the colorful houses of Las Palmitas neighborhood in Pachuca, México. It will remind us of the other colorful neighborhood in South America such as the Favela in Brazil and the hillside houses in Lima, Peru.

This Girl by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners

The remix of this track has the catchiest beat of all. I don’t remember anyone not liking this song when I introduced it to them way back years ago. The music video shows a boy and girl meeting on a cruise ship then later became a couple. When the ship reached the shore, they explored the land, coming across lakes and hills. They later discovered a cave and begin dancing in the cave over a bonfire. It shows another travel fling but this time focused on young flame. Well, it can’t be helped and a lot of travelers are aware of that. The stunning place is the Greek island of Milos, in the Cyclades.

Nobody to Love by Sigma

Although the lyric of the song is repetitive, the music video exhibits a fresh view of Cape Town in South Africa. It shows two girls on a road trip enjoying life and some African dancing talent. The message of the song is probably when you got nobody to love go grab your bff and hit the road together.

*Bonus: If you are into EDM check out EDM Crusher on YouTube. The channel has great travel music video uploads.

My Life Could Be Short: How Terminal Illness in my Family Inspire me to Travel More


“Enough!” I usually get this comment when people around me learn that I’m packing my things to leave our small town to travel again. My sister would even spill the tea to me about our neighbors and family friends including my older brothers saying that my lifestyle is such a waste of money. I got used to all of that and just try to understand since I am raised in a culture and environment where young people like me are getting a career, building their own houses and starting their own family so I just shrug them all off. I used to think like that too before I discovered my love for traveling.

I first got into traveling to break that boring work, party routine I have in my early 20’s. I booked a long weekend getaway to Thailand that turned out to be so much fun. There were many spontaneous things that happened including life changing experiences. Traveling opened my eyes and changed my perspective in many different ways. I learned a lot of things I never had in 4 corners of a classroom. I got so much to be thankful because of traveling. I matured, became open minded, more accepting and totally became non-judgmental.  But I must say I have bigger reason why I am continuously traveling.


This is something personal and actually the main reason why I’m traveling none-stop. I don’t have good genes to begin with and three of my immediate family passed away due to terminal illness. With that, I decided to invest in two things my health and experiences on the road.

In May 1991 I was just 5 months old when my father passed away because of liver cancer. I never got the chance to meet him but I heard from my sibling that he is a kind-heart man with alcohol problems. In 2009, I just started university when my loving mother left me so I became an orphan. The same with my father, she died due to liver cancer. She’s not alcoholic but they said that her mother also died in terminal sickness. It is probably some sort of genes. The year 2015, I just got into traveling when my 37-year old sister finally said goodbye after 8 months of battling with lupus. She’s a very health conscious kind of person. She neither smoked nor drank and she loved vegetables. It just happened that she’s born with that illness.

Every time I go to doctors to get different vaccines for protection against diseases and boast my immune system, they ask me why I want to get this vaccine. I always mention to them that both of my parents died in cancer. They don’t ask any follow up question but instead they usually end up giving me recommendation for another vaccine. Recently I just finished my Cervical Cancer vaccine one of my gynecologists suggested me to get an MMR vaccine while the other wants me to get IPV also known as Polio vaccine.

Before my sister’s death, both of my parents live until their 60’s. I thought I might live that long and that’s enough for me to graduate from university, get a stable job, build a house and start a new family. It’s a very typical life routine. However because of this, I realized that my life might not be as long as my parents. As a result I started to invest in experience through traveling because if the heaven up above decide to just give me a short life at least I filled it with a lot of memories and worthwhile experiences.


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Whenever people asked me what my most memorable experience on the road is, I always mention them what happened on December 17, 2016 while I was crossing the border from Cambodia to Vietnam. Although it happened years ago my memory of this event is still clear.

Warning: This could be a bit of a horror story and you might see it as a negative side of Vietnam. I am asking you to look at my story as a travel experience and not as a backlash.

Disclaimer: This post is not in any way throwing shade or negativity against Vietnam. I love Vietnam! It is one of my favorite countries in Southeast Asia and honestly I am looking forward to living there again in the future. I am just simply sharing my experience in crossing the Vietnam- Cambodia border.

The Border

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Mộc Bài is an international border gate between Vietnam and Cambodia located in Tây Ninh Province, Vietnam and Bavet border gate, Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia. It is a popular and the busiest gateway from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and vice versa.

I crossed this border thrice. The first two was when I was living in Vietnam and the most recent one was when I was backpacking in Southeast Asia.

For Philippine passport holders, we are visa free for both Vietnam and Cambodia for 21 days. If you are not applying for a visa on the border then your journey will be smooth sailing because the bus assistant will do the job for you. He will just simply collect you passport, guide you with immigration procedures then finally return your passport with entry stamp. However, if you are applying for a long term visa then that’s a different story.

My Story


I was living in Vietnam for three months with a business visa. When my visa was about to expire, I am advised to renew it thru exit/ visa run. As per my agent’s advice to leave the country and go back after few days because it will be more costly and complicated to extend my visa without leaving Vietnam.

A month before my scheduled exit my friend told me that she paid $50 for her single entry business visa in the border. I got confused because to my knowledge it should only cost $25. I entered Vietnam thru Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi with the same visa and it only cost me $25 with a receipt. According to my friend she doesn’t have a choice because she was scared that her bus will leave her on the border. This alarmed me so I contacted my agent immediately. I told her about the situation that my friend had and she promised to look into it. Two weeks later I received a call from her. She notified me that my invitation letter is ready and reminded me that I should only pay $50 in the border.

*To obtain a business or long term tourist visa you have to get an invitation letter from a travel agency. The price varies depending on what visa and the duration of your stay. As for my second visa, I opted for 3 months multiple entry business visa which cost $200 invitation letter and another $50 for the visa sticker.  It is processed in the visa desk by the immigration officer in the airport or border.

*The fees are collected in USD.

The morning before we board our bus to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam after spending 3 days in Phnom Penh, we had a chat with my friend’s housemate over breakfast. We talked about the difference of extending visas between Vietnam and Cambodia. He mentioned that in Cambodia, it is cheaper to extend your visa in the immigration office without leaving the country. He also mentioned the small corruption that is going on. According to him he should just pay $30 but he paid $40. The $10 is for the immigration officer’s tip that is pretty common. I suddenly remembered my friend’s story from last month so I quite expected that I could be charge more in the border. I decided to screenshot an English phrase in google translator to Vietnamese language, “give me a receipt”.

 At 8 a.m we took the bus to Saigon. As usual, the bus assistant collected our passports. We also gave him our invitation letters. When we reached the border at 11 a.m, he called us to take the two motorbikes waiting for us. He told us in broken English that they are his friends. They will take us to Vietnam border to get our visas. Confused, I asked him why we are going with these guys and our stuffs are still in the bus. He explained that while other passengers in the bus eat, we should go ahead because our visa application will be take some time.  My friend who is with me starts to panic and doesn’t want to go on a separate ride so we squeezed ourselves in one tiny motorbike. It was a 15-minute muddy and dusty ride. We exited the Cambodia border pretty quick but when we entered the Vietnam border that’s when the drama happened.

As soon as we entered the building our driver nodded to some guys who are waiting by the stairs. Three guys approached me and the other two went straight to my friend. They started mentioning visa so I thought they were there to assist us. But judging the way they look, I don’t think they are immigration officers. They are wearing a dirty utility or construction suit. Even though I was doubtful, I still followed them. They led us to the side where the filthy lockers full of web are located. It looked so creepy but I tried to stand it. They collected my passport and invitation letter along with my 2×2 ID picture. One of them is filling up a form with the details on my passport. The form was in Vietnamese so I don’t understand what it said. When they were done they asked me money. I asked them how much. The guy with the form wrote “$70” on his palm. As expected I am being ripped off. I told them it should be $50. I also heard my friend having an argument with the other two guys to pay $50 when it is supposed to be just $25 for her Single Entry visa. I explained that my agent told me that I should just pay $50 but these blokes can’t speak English so they gestured that my visa is Multiple Entry. I insisted that I know everything and mentioned that the airport charges $50. One of the dudes argued in broken English “Moc Bai Border different. Airport $50, OK! Moc Bai $70.” It was an endless tiring debate until I raised my hand and loudly said. “OK OK OK. $70! Fine but give me receipt!” The three guys got confused. “Receipt?” They looked at me wondering what I’m talking about. I took out my phone out and showed them the screenshot of the translator I had before. “Give me receipt!” One of them responded quickly, “No receipt. Moc Bai, receipt no.” I looked at the three of them with my roundest eyes, my resting bitchiest face with my both hands on my waist and I screamed, venting all my frustrations. “NO RECEIPT?! NO $70!” They instantly realized that I am not here to be deceived so the man holding the form said in a trembling tone to give him $1 for the form. My face didn’t change as I hand him the $1 bill. As he intimidatingly received it, he pointed the small immigration office near the creepy lockers where we were. He told me to submit all my documents there. When I turned around I saw around 40 people looking at us. They must have been bothered with the commotion I caused considering how loud my voice was. I smiled at them as a sign that everything is fine.

I lined up to the small booth. The motorbike driver followed me and asked me to pay him for the ride. With an irritated tone I asked how much. “$3” he replied I gave him 3. Instead of leaving he asked me for another $3 for my friend’s ride. “$3 for you, $3 your friend.” He said. My eyes got rounder again and place them closer to his face. Before I start saying something, he took off at the speed of light. People around me noticed it and started laughing. A co-Filipino told me that’s how it is in the border so I have to be extra careful with people approaching me because they usually take advantage of foreigners. A second later there was a tap on my shoulder. It was our bus assistant. He handed our backpacks to us. I was baffled. I held his hand and asked “Are you leaving? Wait for us. OK?” He just smiled and left. A foreign guy answered on his behalf “Don’t worry they will wait.” But that didn’t calm me because I can’t see him. Disturbed with the situation I asked around if there are buses from the border to Ho Chi Minh. Gladly, some people answered, there are and they don’t cost much but they advise me to be vigilant again of whom to inquire because some sees the situation as an opportunity to charge me three times more than the fare. After an hour or processing and waiting we got our new visa. We walked outside the building and good Lord our bus was parked on the side waiting for us. We walked in and saw dozens of annoyed people. We smiled and apologized for taking so long at the immigration and delaying the trip.

The Visa Process


The whole visa process from standing in line, submission of documents, waiting up to the releasing of visa took more than an hour. I am considered lucky because some people had to wait longer. One of them even complained to the officer when I had mine since he had been waiting for three hours already. I felt sorry for him and I understood how he felt but I am also not sure what the process is like as they just collect all our documents and we were asked to wait for our name to be called. While waiting I had a chat with some Filipinos whose been crossing the border many times. They told me that Asian passports are given more privilege and processed faster than the others. I don’t know if it is true since I only applied for a long term visa in that border once.


The Scam

Regarding the scam that I almost fell into, just in case I paid $70 they will submit my documents to the immigration officer and they (scammers) promised it will be piled on top and will be the first to be processed. That is what I heard as they desperately try to deceive other people when I was observing them. The building was quite small so I can pretty much see the movement of the people. Also, I ended up paying $60 to the immigration officer without receipt. I didn’t argue since I am already tired, hungry and just wanted everything to be done.


My Thoughts

You might think it is only $20 and that’s a dirt cheap amount of money. However in Southeast Asia $20 is a huge amount. You can do a ton of things with that money. I’m a budget traveler so my fund is limited. If we give in paying them $20 for me and $25 from my friend, imagine how much bucks they can get in a day considering the number of people applying for a visa in the border. It will also encourage them more to continue this kind of business and corruption.



Experience is the best teacher! I heard this for the first time when I was in high school. At that time, I just thought it is the normal cycle of life. We are born, study in school, graduate, get a job, build our home, start a family of our own, send our kids to school, grow old and eventually die. Coming from a small town in the countryside I must say my knowledge and experience in life was very limited. All the life lessons I learned are from the experience my mother, my teachers and what the church I used to attend taught me. However, things turned into 180 degrees when I started traveling. I got to learn things I haven’t learned from school and experience things I could have imagined. Some experiences are good while some are not but one thing is for sure it made me a better person.

*Disclaimer: These are all from my personal experiences that I am sharing. You may agree or not but just saying that we all have different experiences and situations in life.

Keep an Open Mind


I was raised in a conservative environment where certain standards serve as guidance on how to live and how to act in order to fit in. As a result, I was always confused on why some things are unacceptable when I can’t see anything wrong with it. Along my journeys I met the most amazing, accepting and non-judgmental people who would say nothing but good things. I learned to see the good things in every place, people and culture. Through them I learned to be more understanding on everything whether it is cultural, political, religious belief or personality difference. We are all diverse and that is beautiful. I realized that as long we are sensitive to people around us and respectful to our unlikeness we can all get along just fine.

Being Independent


Being independent does not only count on traveling alone but also taking good care of myself that includes some adulting stuff. Traveling to new places, living overseas and exploring the unknown taught me to be resilient and to step out of my comfort zone without depending on other people. I walk places alone, eat by myself, take care of my finances and do things on my own without worrying what other people think.  It is the best and most liberating feelings I ever had.

Cultural Sensitivity


It irks me when people would drop comments about something better in their country versus the country or the place they are visiting. Sure, it’s very common to compare but do you know what this place or people are coming from? I heard a lot of people being so judgmental on others’ cultural practice but have you dug deeper or talked to the locals about it? Remember that these cultures that we mock were practiced millions of years ago and people are just doing fine before we even encountered it. There are cultures that are deemed unaccepted to the culture we are raised to but it would be helpful to observe and learned first before opening your mouth.


Proper Etiquette for Travelers


Putting your dish away in the hostel, asking permission before you take photos on sacred sites, people and with other people, observing proper dress code at sites, greeting and smiling back at locals, asking your fellow travelers if you can upload or tag them in your photos are some examples of right conduct while traveling. Not only to leave them a good impression and being polite but also to show sensitivity to the space we are sharing and acknowledging their presence.


Experience over Material Things


You must have heard this from many motivational speakers and read it from many travel bloggers but it is true and I am living by this statement. In my first year in the working world, I used to go shopping every pay check to relieve my stress and be happy. Yes, the material things I owned gave me sense of fulfillment but only for a short time. When I embarked on a journey of packing my bags and catching flights I realized that the experience I have on the road, meeting new people and learning new culture are lifetime happiness and fulfillment that I need. I also gave up my old lifestyle of collecting things and choose to collect experience that would last a lifetime. Experience, I will share to people and to my future offspring hoping it will inspire them. Experience, I will cherish and will never regret when I reminisce in my grandma days.


Travel Responsibly In Terms of Environmental Consciousness and Exploitation


Something that I learned from people I met along the way and from what I see with my own eyes. Environmental deterioration is such a huge problem right now and admit it tourism play a big role in this. Being sensitive and caring for the environment is a responsibility of each and every one of us. We only have one world and we don’t wish our future generation not to witness its beauty. We have to be responsible even to our small gesture like keeping your litter until, you find a trash bin. Through the years I learned how to travel sustainably such as using eco-bags and bringing my own reusable straws, spoon, fork and chopsticks until I incorporate them to my daily life even when I’m not traveling. I know it is a bit of an effort but I consider it as doing my part to our world.


Another issue that we should be concern about is the exploitation of animals and people for entertainment and tourism. Most people are not knowledgeable about this dark side of tourism. It pains me whenever I see photos of elephant riding in Southeast Asia. My heart is also broken when people patronize tourist trap tours in villages run by third party agencies. I felt that I have the responsibility to educate people about responsible tourism. To my dear friends and readers anything involving animals and people in an unethical way for the sake of tourism and entertainment is not acceptable and should be banned. I am asking you to skip these activities. If it is a package tour do not choose these ones because if there are no consumers then there won’t be producers.

Disclaimer:  I am not in any way against village tours. They are worth visiting however, be sure to choose your tours well and do your research before going. Some tour agencies give very little money to the people of the village or they don’t give any benefit at all. Some ethnic minorities also are forced to do something they are against their will to attract visitors. They don’t have proper health benefit, income and education and most of them depend on the tip or “dollar money” given by tourists.


Realizing How Lucky and Privilege d I am


Being able to travel is a privilege. That’s a fact especially coming from a developing country. Not everyone can be able to step outside and see the world. In my culture, most of us are obliged to help our family financially so we prioritize to support our loved ones. I am grateful for having a very understanding family who supports my decision in traveling the world. This alone is a privilege of mine. For years of backpacking, I witnessed people who wish to travel and live a similar lifestyle of mine but couldn’t due to responsibilities. I saw people having no roof above them and struggle to make ends meet day by day. I also talked to someone who gambled everything he had to leave his troubled city and trying to survive doing dead end jobs. I seated next to locals on a train ride putting a smile on their faces while batching their products to be sold in the market despite the fact that 2 minutes ago they almost pass out carrying the 60 kg sack of vegetables into the train. I chatted with a very wealthy young heir who has all the material things he wants however he is not given the time and freedom to explore the world because he is pressured with responsibilities to run his father’s business. I had numerous encounters with women crying on a plane because they have to leave their family and their children as young as 1 year old in order to work overseas and make money for their future. These situations impacted me to be thankful with what I have in life. I will quote a statement of someone when I complained how life has been rough on me in the past. He said “Stop comparing your life to others! Think about those who struggle and unprivileged who wish who has your job, your experience, your health and your ability. All your experiences on the road could be equivalent to their lifetime experience or none at all because they are stuck in something they can’t go out.” Those are the words I live by up to now. I must say I am purely happy and contented with my life right now. With these privileges that I have, I promise to stop complaining, be kinder and be more emphatic to people’s situation.




Laos is a favorite of mine since the day I step on it. For five years traveling in Asia and nearly touched down all the countries in the Southeast, Lao PDR stood out and has a special place in my heart. With the country’s slow pace life, kindness of people, cleanliness, simple and peaceful living, I won’t mind coming back over and over. This underrated paradise sitting in the landlocked area of China and the rest of Indochina countries has a lot to offer. From food, nature, temples, water activities and parties, you definitely can’t ask for more. When you set foot here, it will surely be part of your top destination. For my two previous journeys from the northern to the southern part these are the top things worth doing.

Chase Waterfalls


Laos will never disappoint you with waterfalls. It has the reputation of possessing the biggest, tallest with clearest blue water worth chasing for. From Kuang Si and Tat Sae in Luang Prabang to Tat Fan twin waterfalls in Paksong Bolaven Plateau, you can’t help but to be amazed how postcard worthy the images are.

Waterfalls Entrance Fee: ₭ 10,000- 20,000 (₱58- 115)

Catch the Sunrise and Sunset in Mt. Phousi


The most stunning ig worthy view is the sunrise and sunset of Mt. Phousi in Luang Prabang. Hiking up the temple on top of it will bring you closer to witness the huge sun rising and setting. I would advise to get there earlier because along the way you will surely stop to take photos and appreciate the overlooking beauty of Luang Prabang. Be sure to check out the temples you pass by while going up the hill and get a nice spot while waiting for the sun.

Entrance Fee: ₭ 20,000 (₱115)

Learn to Cook Authentic Laotian Food


Isn’t it frustrating to know that you can never have authentic Laotian food again once you leave? Well, might as well learn how to make it by signing up for a cooking class. Many restaurants in Vientiane and Luang Prabang offer 4-hour small group classes. The class covers picking ingredients to the garden or local market, learning about local herbs and produce that makes the dishes flavorful and interactive know-how discussion with local chefs to gain more understanding about the dish. It is a perfectexperience especially for those who love to cook. Who knows this might land to be your next business. *wink wink

Cooking class: $60-80 (₱3000-4000)


DSC00909-01 Tubing is one of the signature activities in Laos. Vang Vieng Province, the center of water activities offerscountless package tours for tubing. There are many ways to enjoy this activity such as tubing through a cave, chilling in a blue lagoon and half day tubing activity in Namsong River. Sitting on a tube and letting the river flow takes you is the most classic and preferred by many visitors. This activity includes different stops along the river. Each stop has drinks and games you can play. It is an opportunity to meet and bond with other travelers. Although local guides are everywhere to check on people tubing, be sure to take care and make safety your priority. Be warned that the river flow might be rough in some parts. If that happens, hold on to the rope and make a stop at the side of the river and wait for the water flow to be calm again. When you book your tubing activity, you are advised not to consume too much alcoholic drinks. Bring waterproof camera or dry bag because you will be soaked in water and will surely leave all your things wet.

Half Day Package Tour: ₭ 50,000 (₱286)

Whole Day Package Tour with Lunch: ₭ 200,000 (₱1,150)

Party For Free in Vang Vieng

C360_2020-03-02-09-53-25-572-01For party goers out there Vang Vieng is for you. It is not only known for water activities but for parties too. It is comparable to our very own Boracay (before the close down). During the day, visitors are busy doing their water activities and at night the main road is lit with music from different bars and pubs. Two of the most popular are Sakura Bar and Vivo Pub. They offer customers wide range of upbeat music and FREE UNLIMITED whisky during their happy hour. Yes! You read it right. Drinks are free and unlimited from 9 to 10 pm in Sakura Bar and 11 pm to 12 midnight in Vivo Pub. They are just few meters away from each other. So be sure to arrive at those bars during their happy hours. Just head to the bartender and grab those free glasses.

Learn their History at Lao National Museum

DSC00850-01If you are a museum person and curious about how Laos evolved through the years, check out Lao National Museum in the capital city, Vientiane. Learn their colorful history, from colonial time to their current leadership. How Laotians started their country, its struggles, how they end up after the world war and their current political situation. It is mind blowing and very interesting. Reading their manuscripts will make you intellectual too.

Museum Entrance Fee: ₭10,000 (₱58)

Lie in a Hammock In Front of Your Bungalow along the River

C360_2019-10-03-21-21-17-514-01Don Det one of the three islands in Si Phan Don, South of Laos is known for the real slow pace Laotian life vibe. Backpacking or traveling long term can be tiring sometimes because of the amount of things to do and enjoy. For travelers looking forward to lazy days, making a stop in this island for a few days will address the issue. You can stay here to take a break from the busy activities during your journey. There are activities to enjoy in this island such as Irrawaddy dolphin watching and Li Phi waterfalls tour but the highlight of this place is lying in a hammock all day being carefree of what will happen throughout the day. It is an ideal place to totally relax and recharge by doing nothing. Imagine a day riding around the island by bicycle and lying in a hammock in a hot lazy afternoon. How does that sound? For me, it’s paradise.



 “When are you getting yourself a partner?” asked by concern family members and friends of mine during get-together since I am away most of the time. They haven’t heard about me dating anyone nor see me post on social media being with someone so they are excited to know if I already brought home a man to be with and will soon settle down. To their dismay I always just smile at them as a respond whenever these types of questions would arrive at a lunch or dinner table during occasions. But these types of awkward situation make me entertain questions in my head “Bakit nga ba?”(Why?)


When I attended my childhood friend’s wedding she introduced her husband as her “travel buddy” in her speech.  It is interesting to see her post about their travels and vacations on social media. Then I thought “I have been traveling for almost six years and I haven’t found my travel buddy yet”. I laughed at that thought but some realizations also made me think why I am single and cannot keep a partner.


Traveling Can’t Make Me Stay


I am a traveler and when you say traveler, it is not only going on a trip or a vacation. It is also constantly moving and seeking places. I travel for work, leisure, and experience. But the most important thing is that travel is part of my life. It is something non-negotiable that I can’t live without. I am so grateful and privileged to travel and keep my job at the same time. This gives me opportunity to be away and explore other places and try new things. However as I progress in places I visit it also signals the downfall of the relationship I have. Most of the guys I met wouldn’t want their girl to be away from them for quite long. That means it is either I have to let go of my travels to pursue a man (which is not going to happen) or find a man who will understand my lifestyle (which is not the case with a lot of guys). As a result, I am going solo.


I Can’t Afford To Date


The cost of dating can be sometimes unbearable on my part.  Do you know how much would it cost to go out, go on vacations, buy gifts and celebrate anniversaries? Being raised as independent, I am a firm believer that women should also pay a fair share of financial responsibilities with their partners. My experience backpacking for years and being with the company of fellow travelers, I am used to picking up my own bills. The same is true with my dating, believe it or not every time I go out on a date even if it is the first one I always offer and insist on paying at least half of the bill. That way, when my date and I didn’t turn out to be compatible at least he won’t resent me because I paid my part. Dating and traveling could be both pricey to keep up but I would rather spend my money surfing or hiking than dining with someone.


Dating On the Road Usually Ends Up Going on Separate Ways



Living overseas and being on the road enables me to find love and potential partners. However such situations will not make it permanent most of the time. The next thing you know, you are both bidding your goodbyes. I heard a lot of stories of finding their forever while traveling but not every traveler has similar fate as them. I know to myself that it takes a lot of time, effort and compromise for their relationship to work and that is something I am lacking. Not that I’m stubborn but I just don’t want any of us to give up our hard earned ambitions to follow the other. Especially if our goals and own growth are heading to different directions. This is just too much for me and I don’t want to be neither selfish nor selfless. Therefore, it is better to let go than being resentful to each other just in case the fire stops burning.


I am ONLY Interested in a Guy Who Travels


Some of my friends call me picky or has high standards but that’s not the case. It’s better to say I have a specific standard. I am always attracted to guys who see travel as a way of learning the unknown, appreciate new culture, keep an open mind about the different beliefs, tradition and always up for a new adventure. Unfortunately, in the place where I am from most of the guys there sees travel as luxury, waste of money and couldn’t understand my traveling life. Although, I tried really hard to show them and prove their opinion wrong about traveling, it is not working. So I decided to give up because I don’t want to force myself to a man who is obviously very different from me.  We are two different people, having different mind-set, priorities and lifestyle. So, K! Bye!


I Haven’t Found My Travel Soulmate Yet


Some of you might have thought while reading this article to find a man who has similar lifestyle and go on adventures together. I did millions of times and I did everything I can to keep him too. I tried my luck with guys who are in traveling industry, travel junkies and simply travel enthusiasts. But in this journey called life, we all have our own bucket lists not just of places we want to visit but also achievements we want to reach. It takes a lot of hard work to touch them down. As a traveller I also have my own big dreams of where I want to be and so they are. When your plans and goals don’t support each other then it is better to grow individually than being together. It is heartbreaking to cross path with someone with the right feelings but can’t stay at each other’s lives. Sadly, we have to go our separate ways in the end to fulfill our dreams and our travels.


Of course, I won’t blame travel for everything. There are also other factors why I can’t keep a relationship out of this context. But I know to myself whether I stay single or find my lifetime travel buddy, I will continue my journeys. Travel and I have a solid bond. For all those years traveling I learned one thing “Finding love could be easy but keeping it would be the most difficult part.”

That “Pinagtagpo Pero Hindi Tinadhana” Situations While Traveling


You probably heard a lot of traveling couples on social media finding their love while on the road. Well, I also dreamed of that one point in my traveling life. Being on the road gives me a humongous amount of opportunities to meet new people and probably meet my Mr. Right A.K.A my-hopefully-Mr.-Travel-the-World- with Buddy. Those chances come in different plots and twists just like movies and drama. As an avid traveller but a little bit “marupok” (weak) when it comes to love and attraction, I encountered endless beautiful and unique connection while going on adventure by myself. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances they didn’t end up into fate. Here are some of my epic fail love (or maybe not) stories while on the road.


We Were Both Expats


I was on a day trip in Vietnam when I met this guy on a day tour. I was currently working and living in Hanoi and he was having a 5-day lay over. He’s a Turkey based pilot who regularly flies in Hanoi and Saigon twice to thrice a month. We clicked so well since, we both love to travel and we love sharing our experiences to each other. During the tour we were inseparable probably because we are already attracted to each other. We are also no longer focus on what the tour guide was saying because our attention is both on our stories. For me, that time and place was magical. I thought to myself he could be the one. After the day trip, we decided to grab some draft beer in Old Quarter, Hanoi. After that night, he asked me if I want to see him again the next day before he leaves. I said “Yes.” He added he’ll be back after a week and it would be nice to meet again. Of course, I agreed again thinking it could be my destiny. The next thing, we regularly hanged out and go on trips whenever he is in town. Until the sixth month, my company back home called me telling me to pack my bags because the contract is over and it is time for me go home. Few hours later, I received a call from him saying he is being transferred to South Africa and we couldn’t see each other for a while. I stopped believing in romantic destiny after that time. LOL!


I’m Heading North, He’s Heading South


Back when I was backpacking in Southeast Asia few years back. I met a guy in a border ride to Laos from Cambodia. We are both traveling alone and heading to similar place, Si Phan Don, Laos. As soon as our eyes met it started an infinite conversation about our travels, hometowns and more until we reach our own hostels. The next day, I accidentally bump into him again in Li Phi waterfalls. We had lunch together and continued to explore the tiny island by bike for the rest of the day. We discussed our routes and destinations too. After Laos we are heading to the opposite direction. He’ll be going to Vietnam and I will be continuing my journey in Thailand.  Despite that we still agreed to chill in the hammock and swim in the river the next day. We even caught the sunset together. I also encouraged him to go all the way until the North of Laos which I already pass through so he can see the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. On my last day in the island, he told me he can adjust his travel and come with me in Thailand. I refuse because he’s been there already and I know how much it would cost him to rebook his flights, cancel his hostels and how complicated the process of entering Laos again since his passport is not visa-free. Also, I felt burdened to ruin his plans and I don’t want to take any responsibilities if we suddenly realize we are not really into each other in the middle of the journey and end up arguing. So it is better to go our own route and let our memories be just a part of our beautiful history in our travels.


I Forgot to Get His Phone Number Though


This one is unexpected. I was planning on sleeping the entire flight from Mandalay, Myanmar to Bangkok, Thailand when a cute and tall guy who is just my type seated next to me. It was the tail end of the plane and the whole row is only the two of us. My plan on sleeping didn’t happen when the stewardess asked us both who needs an arrival card. I said “Me.” He looked at me and asked if I was Thai. I said, “No!” That’s the start of almost 2-hour conversation, exchange of smiles and looking at each other’s eyes. We were talking about our home country. He is from Malaysia and I have been there a couple of times so we had a long chat about it. He also mentioned that he’s been traveling often in Manila because they have a branch company there. He’s an engineer and currently deployed in Myanmar so the flight we are taking is only his connecting flight going home to Kuala Lumpur. I was thinking of getting his phone number already before we say goodbye however fate must be picking on me. When we took the bus going to the arrival area of Don Muang airport it was full of passengers so we rode different buses. As soon as I reached the arrival platform I tried looking for him but he is nowhere to be found probably he is in his boarding gate already. I never saw him again. And I regret not getting his phone number earlier.



I am currently working on my goal to travel all the countries in Southeast Asia. As I hit Brunei, the second to the last country of my Southeast Asia leg, I also included another country nearby. If you’ve been a follower and a long time reader of mine, you know that whenever I have a chance to hit another country I go all in and travel it even if I have a very little time.

*This travel itinerary can be very chill to others but some may find it very busy and compact in schedule. It all depends on your preference but I still hope you will find it helpful.



Abode of Peace as marketed by their tourism organization is still an unknown destination for many people. Some people would even find it boring as I read blogs while doing my research and talked to my friends who have been there. Most of them didn’t actually recommend it. However I know to myself that there will be something in this place that others may not find attractive but something worthwhile for me. It just all boils down to our preference. So I took a leap of fate and book the flights for a long weekend holiday.

How to Get There

Cebu Pacific serves 8 pm direct flights to Brunei from Manila on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, while Airasia flies twice a day daily. Average cost of round trip plane tickets may cost Php 3,000-5,000 depending on the season. In my case it was a New Year holiday so I paid ₱5,600 one way and ₱3,000 from Kota Kinabalu to Manila.

Places to Visit


Brunei has a lot of museums, art galleries and mosques to check out that are free of entrance. If you are looking for an authentic Bruneian experience check their 38 kilometer floating village. Want nature tripping? Go and see their proboscis monkeys via river cruise or hiring a water taxi driver to drive you around. You can also include Ulu Temburong National Park to witness their virgin rainforest while walking on the treetop canopies. But since this trip is only a long weekend holiday and the fact that Kota Kinabalu is squeezed in, I only settled in the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Yayasan Sultan Haji Hasannal Bolkia Complex

A nearby mall from Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque where you can get good angles for photos and sight of the mosque. It is just a typical mall where you can shop and chill to avoid the midday sun of Brunei with lots of shops and restaurants to choose from. It has a souvenir store called BWN Souvenir Centre worth checking out because of its lots of good finds to bring home.

Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque


Built on artificial lagoon on the banks of the river, the mosque is a place of worship for Allah but also an attraction to visitors. This place is picturesque and not very tourist infested compared to the other mosque. In fact, when I was there I witnessed two local pre-nuptial photo shoots.

Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque


It is probably the more popular mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan out of the two because of the influx of tourists when I was there. It is built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the sultan’s current reign. At night, when it is lit, its golden domes are shinning and very stunning to look at. Just be aware of the schedule where it is open to have fully access of the mosque. Although visitors are still welcome around the vicinity and in front of the mosque even when it is closed, it is still better to have a full experience of the place.

*I checked the schedule of the opening hours thru google maps.

Istana Nurul Iman


The palace is the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei and the biggest private residence in the entire world with 1,788 rooms. However, it is only worth a visit during the Hari Raya public holiday where it is open to public and visitors have the chance to meet and greet his Highness and the rest of the royal family.

Gadong Night market


A place to quench thirst and satisfy hunger! With a lot of food selections to choose from, from Borneo cuisines to flavorful fruits at very affordable prices, it is surely the answer for your food trip.

Kampong Ayer


This is a must-see place when visiting Brunei. The century-old village on stilts above the water is a reflection of the ancient Bruneian life. The village has a mix of ancient and modern houses because a lot of them these days are made of 2 story concrete cement with attic. It also houses Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery where visitors can learn the history or the floating village.

Getting Around the City


Bandar Seri Begawan is a small city that you can actually walk from one site to another. However, the strong sun does not allow it. From the airport there is a public bus that can take you to the city center which only costs B$ 2 but it only runs from 6 a.m to 6p.m. After that your only option is to take the taxi which is B$ 20-25 (₱756- 943). There’s also no taxi app available in this city and the bus routes are not registered in google maps. So in taking the city buses, better ask the driver if it is going or passing by your destination. English is widely spoken there anyway so there’s no problem in communicating with the locals and asking directions. In case of tours, you can book with a travel agency or water taxi drivers would politely approach you and offer you an hour or more tour. The cost varies from B$20-35 (₱756- 1,312) depending on the site s you want to visit.

Traveling To Kota Kinabalu

Going to Kota Kinabalu from Brunei can be both accessed by bus or ferry. I chose the bus because it is the easiest, less complicated and most certain one. I booked a Jesselton bus thru Sipitang express online. The fare is MYR 100 (₱1,300). The bus leaves from its station in Jalan McArthur just be there 30 minutes before your scheduled trip. The journey is about 8 hours with 3-4 times entry and exit between Brunei and Malaysia territories. So if you want to collect stamps in your passport, this is the way to go.



The city is the capital of Sabah, Malaysia. It is known for its stunning beaches perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving and home for the 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.

*Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to explore this city too much and didn’t have the chance to check out any of the places mentioned above because I only stayed here for around 32 hours which means, I have to go back here. Anyways here’s my city tour and places I visited for the limited time.

Places to Visit

Filipino Market


I don’t know why it is called Filipino market because most of the products sold here are wide range of Malaysian produce. It serves clothes, accessories, gadgets and food so if you are on the hunt for some souvenirs you may want to check this place out.

Kota Kinabalu Waterfront


A one-stop dining and entertainment centre and a popular hangout place for both locals and foreigners. Here, you can chill and enjoy the beach view while waiting for the sunset.

Signal Hill Observatory Platform


The highest point in the city with an open deck area where visitors can witness an amazing view of the city extending until the beach. It is also a good spot to catch the sunset. It requires a little exercise when you hike up the 250m stairs, but if you are not up for that you can take a taxi going up the hill.

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque


The second main mosque in Sabah is another stunning attraction worth visiting. The mosque seems to float on top of the water but it is just a man-made lagoon nestled around the mosque that creates a reflection and illusion. This place can hold 12,000 worshipers. Non-Muslims can’t have an access inside but you can still view the mosque from the front. Be aware to dress modestly because this is a place of worship.

Entrance Fee: MYR 5

Getting Around the City

Similar with Bandar Seri Begawan, Kota Kinabalu is also a small city that can be accessed on foot. Public buses are also working but no visible route in google maps so better ask the drivers if the bus is passing by your destination. Again, English is widely spoken here so it is not difficult to ask for directions. Unlike Brunei, taxi apps are available too with friendly drivers to keep you entertain during the ride.



 Day 1: City Tour

  • Istana Nurul Iman
  • Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
  • Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex

Day 2:

  • Proboscis Monkey River Cruise (book through travel agency or water taxi driver)
  • Kampong Ayer
  • Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
  • *Gadong Night Market

 Day 3: Travel to Kota Kinabalu

  • Arrival in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Filipino Market
  • Cente Point
  • Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

 Day 4: KK City Tour

  • Signal Hill Observatory Platform
  • Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
  • Sunset Cruise (book through travel agency or hostel)



Offload is such a nightmare for every Filipino traveler. Your time, money, excitement, expectations and effort in preparing for your dream travel or overseas vacation is put to waste because of this. The Philippine Immigration is known to be very strict in executing the departure formalities for international travel. Don’t hate them. They are just doing their job to avoid undocumented Filipino workers abroad.

As for my personal experience, I have never been offloaded for my years of traveling but I experienced a very strict 10-minute interview with an Immigration Officer. It’s nerve racking! So, I am sharing with you useful tips for this nightmare not to happen.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated nor part of the Philippine Immigration. All the tips I will be sharing is based on my pure experience and encounter with Immigration interview.

Do Your Research


When it comes to traveling, preparation is always the key especially when you are on a budget. The same is true with your immigration departure interview. Go to the Philippine Immigration website for the requirements to be presented on your departure interview, depending on your employment status. Also, it is important that the guidelines are coming from them so it means that it is accurate. Reach out to them too through Facebook. They are very responsive and would give you the right answers to your queries. You can also check blogs and YouTube videos on the web regarding other’s experience regarding offload and immigration departure interview. Learn from their experience, avoid the mistakes they did and follow the tips they give.

Get Your Travel and Employment Documents Ready and Printed


These documents prove that you will just travel and not going to seek employment abroad. Also, these will back up your departure interview proving that you are employed and will come back to our home country. Immigration Officers usually look for your valid passport, return ticket and visa. But you can also include hotel/accommodation booking and itinerary just in case they look for them. For proof of employment, prepare your company i.d, Certificate of Employment (COE) stating you are currently employed in the company and Leave of Absence (LOA) form. Print them out and present them nicely to the Immigration Officer when they ask for it.

P.s. I write my itinerary at the back of my leave form to make it more convincing.

Practice Immigration Interview Questions


Since you already did your research and you heard others experience regarding their immigration interview, you have idea what questions the immigration officer might ask. With that, you can also start preparing your answers with the expected questions you gathered on your research.

For your reference, these are the common questions I encountered during my departure formalities. Some might make your eyebrow raise but let’s believe they have reasons for asking them.

  • What is your job?
  • What company are you working with?
  • Where are you going?
  • Where will you stay in (destination)?
  • Is the travel for work or vacation?
  • Is it your first time abroad?
  • Why are you traveling alone?
  • When are you coming back?
  • How long will you stay?
  • Who are you traveling with?
  • What will you do in (destination)?
  • Where did you graduate in College?
  • What is your major/ degree?
  • When did you graduate?


Be Confident and Honest


Remember, your confidence will show your honesty. If you keep on stammering and can’t answer the Immigration Officer straight, that might be a red flag and subject to offload. Always keep a confident tone of voice and look at them straight in the eyes while answering their questions.  Know to yourself that you have nothing to hide. You will just travel, explore new country, learn new culture and live your best life!


HOW I PLAN FOR MY TRAVELS: Step by Step Guide on Budget Traveling



“What? How?” These are the common reaction I get when I answer my friends questions about my budget on my travels. Most people think that traveling is expensive and luxury. Yes it is, but if you plan it carefully and prepare for it, you will save tons of money, time and can make travel smoothly. I am a planner ever since and I must say that not everything turns out how I want it to be but it works better for me than having no plan at all. If a sudden problem and changes occur at least I can call for a Plan B. For all the years I’ve been traveling whether a long weekend holiday or a month-long backpacking I always make sure to plan it right and set deadlines to make sure there’s progress on my planning. I am presenting to you my seven key steps on planning my trips both local and international.

Disclaimer: We all have our own travel style, not everyone is a planner or has time to plan. This post is made to showcase DIY budget traveling and for those who want to jumpstart their travels and backpacking but don’t know where to start.



Researching about the target destination gives idea about what to expect, do’s and don’ts, itinerary, cultural practice and also expected budget. Some blogs mention what airlines you can take and recommended areas to book your accommodation. The web is a huge playground for useful information that can make traveling smooth. Depending on my type of travel it takes me three to six months before the target date of my travel I am gathering the data I need.



This serves as my stepping stone and my motivation in my upcoming travel. It convinces me that my travel is really happening. I start searching for available flights and routes that I can take. Since I am subscribed to social media accounts and websites of different airlines, it is easy for me to know if they have seat sales for my target destination. I also check fare compare apps like “skyscanner” and “cheapoair” to give me more airline options.

  • Usually it takes me 1-2 weeks of stalking and checking on my target flight just in case the price would be cheaper. After every search I delete my search on my google search history because airlines’ websites use cookies that can recognize my previous searches and it will not change the plane ticket price or worse will make it higher.
  • I check and book flights in the middle of the night or dawn time as early as 4 a.m because they change like magic during these time.


I’m done with my flight, I am all set to book my accommodation. I usually choose accommodation in the city center because all the essentials for my travels such as restaurants, convenient stores, banks, travel agencies (for day tour package), money changers, and even visiting sites is just few distance away. That way, I can save time and money for transportation. I am more of a hostel person than a hotel one because aside from being cheaper, some of them even have free breakfast. They also have everything you need from money changing, day tour packages and bus tickets to your next destinations. I use to book my accommodation since they offer book now pay later system. You can pay in the hostel when you arrive for either cash or card, depending on the hostel system.

P.S: If I transfer from one city or country to another through land travel, I always opt for a sleeper’s bus so I can save a night cost of accommodation.




Since I already determine how long will I stay in my target destination then I list down the visiting sites that I want to go. I read and search about every visiting sites and cities I am going. That way I can estimate how long I will stay in one city or country especially for month long backpacking. I search how to get there, if there are entrance fees, how much would they cost and what is the appropriate attire for that site. I set my routes from the sites nearest to my hostel to the farthest. That way, I can determine which sites I can walk and which sites I can take with public transportation. If the site is quite far or outside the city I book for a day tour package with travel agencies or my hostel. As I mentioned before, hostels offer package tours. If there’s none, I do my Plan B which is to be friendly with my hostel mates, hoping they would tag along with me especially if they drive motorbikes and we can split the cost. For five years of traveling in Southeast Asia it always works for me.

  • If you drive motorbikes, this is the best way to go around the city or take a day trip outside the city. Most countries in Southeast Asia offer motorbike rentals for only ₱ 300 a day. The cost of diesel is not so high plus one advantage is you can stop anytime to rest or enjoy a perfect view.


Planning the itinerary helps me estimate my budget for the whole trip and set my daily allowance during the trip. In case that my budget for the day exceeds the settled amount, I must do free things the next day to balance it. In Southeast Asia I can live by ₱ 500- 1,000 ($10-20) a day depending on my activities.




Although I already have my travel fund that I use for every trip, I still make sure to save up when I have remaining time. Since I already know my target budget, I set aside a percentage of my every paycheck so I don’t have to pull out much from my travel fund.

  1. PREPARING MY TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (For International Travel)


I usually do this a week before my trip for immigration purposes. For Filipino travelers there is a thing called “offload” where you cannot board your flight because you were not able to comply with guidelines on departure formalities for international travel. To avoid this, back up your immigration interview with travel documents such as return ticket and accommodation reservation also include employment certificate, company I.D and leave form plus itinerary.

P.S: I write my itinerary at the back if my leave form that way I can prove more about my travel to the immigration officer. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.