Third Time’s A Charm

Some places just feel like home no matter how many times you visit. You feel at peace and at the same time excited to be right there in one of your your favorite places in the world. Nothing else seems to matter. That is Bohol for me. Tranquility. Adventure. Beauty. Love.

However, it may not always be the case for everyone. When you are visiting a place for the nth time, you may think that it can be a waste of time or resources. It’s easy to think that you’re better off going somewhere else. So, here are some tips on how to enjoy each place even when you’ve been there before:

1. Stop and smell the flowers (literally and figuratively).

Take time to explore even the little things for everything holds a different kind of beauty. You may not have had time before to stop and appreciate that stunning flower, how those tiny caterpillar’s feet feel in your palms, or how those kids swinging from a tree by the river seem to have so much fun. This time you do. So, enjoy it.

 

2. Explore every nook and cranny.

Any tourist destination is much more than its glorified parts. Sometimes, the less popular destinations can give you more satisfaction. Each person is unique and so is each place you go to. A place can speak to you in a different and more intimate way than any of the more popular ones can.

 

3. It’s the people that counts.

The people you’re with plays a huge part on the nature of each experience. You can visit a place 20 times and have 20 different kinds of experiences if you go there with 20 different groups of people.

This time, I was with family and it was my brother’s and mom’s first time in Bohol, too. So this time, it was different than the usual budget travel my sister and I were used to. We spent more on food and on the tours but it made the experience much more special. And it felt the same way when you’re at home: comfortable, unpretentious, free.

 

 

Do Something That Scares You

Sandbox-Pampanga-aerial-walk-2.JPG

What have I gotten myself into?!?

There I was, a few feet up in the air, balancing myself on a long metal cable tied between two wooden posts while supporting myself using ropes hanging from above. My heart was pounding. My knees were trembling. And my mind was tired from all the questions on constant repeat in my head.

What was I thinking? Why did I ever decide to go on an obstacle course high up in the air when I was clearly afraid of heights?

Why did I ever feel the need to conquer my fears? Why does anyone?

I had to silence my thoughts if I were to survive successfully finish the course. I tried to keep calm and keep moving. Luckily, the last parts of the course were ziplines down. They were as scary but at least I didn’t have to do anything after the initial jump. After finishing the course, all the color returning to my face, and the blood returning to my brain, I was relieved. And I was ecstatic. That was a lot of fun! Scary but a lot of fun.

My mind finally went back to rational thinking. Our fears are there for a reason. They keep us from doing something dangerous. But too much of anything is bad. And more often than not, most fears are acquired from the people and experiences around us even if they have no merit to be in our own lives. That was how it was for me. I had a lot of fears that did not come from any significant past event. So, why do I try to conquer my fears? To be able to distinguish those that I really should be scared of and those that I shouldn’t.

If you are anything like me, just plain fearful of a lot of things, you should give Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga (or any similar adventure) a try. If you really commit to push through them, your fears would be able to help it and take a step back.

The Aerial Walk, Giant Swing, and the Zipline are great adventures to try. And while you are there, it would be fun to try the outdoor archery as well.

Places You Shouldn’t Miss When in Hong Kong

For the past three years, I have been seeking for an extraordinary celebration for each of my birthdays. Two years ago, my officemates and I went to the streets of Baguio City and took part in the grand Panagbenga Festival. Last year, I had fun and a lot of games in my very own McDonald’s kiddie party. I even had a mascot as a special guest. For the last one, I took off with my sister and my college friends to Hong Kong. It was a 6-day trip that added a lot to the list of amazing places that I am grateful to have visited. Here are some of them:

Victoria Harbour

A walk along Victoria Harbour is a sure treat. You’ll get to see breathtaking views, cool art, and a beautiful display of dancing lights and upbeat sounds. Make sure to visit this place both in the morning and at night.

 

Nan Lian Garden

In the midst of a busy and fast-paced city life, Nan Lian Garden provides a refreshing escape. Take your sweet time in exploring the innocence of the place, enjoying the calm and relaxed aura, and taking everything in.

 

Hong Kong Disneyland

When they say it is going to be magical, they really mean MAGICAL! I spent almost the entire day of my birthday here and it was awesome! It was so magical that it deserved a separate post.

 

Ocean Park Hong Kong

We almost let go of going to Ocean Park since we have already been to Disneyland but I am really glad we didn’t. It provides an entirely different but equally awesome experience. The rides were more thrilling and were more fit for adults. However, the kids and the kids-at-heart would find themselves amazed at all the cool (and sometimes weird) animals.

 

Macau

Technically, Macau is an entirely separate place but it is worth the ferry ride. It boasts of an extremely rich culture that would be felt a few steps in. It has so many hidden gems to be discovered. And did I mention there are plenty of casinos here? It would be best to schedule at least one whole day to fully explore this incredible place.