Tuesday, November 3, 2015

OH, THE PLACES I'VE BEEN!

This is just to keep tabs of the places I've been and the miles I've racked in hopes that in the future I'll be able to document here in my blog and share a memory or two from each of my travels near and far. Having said that, this entry will be updated every now and then.

PHILIPPINES

My hometown.

I grew up in an era when tourism wasn't as affordable and accessible as it is now, and for that I wasn't able to travel as much as I should've. Being raised in a city at the South, our family took pleasure on summer outings to the hot springs and resorts in Laguna.

Tagaytay was the next option especially when the weather got scorching hot, and I remember having been there a few times with my family, one time with high school batchmates on a retreat, and another time with my college friends.

My paternal grandmother was Ilocana and if my memory serves me right, I think I've been to Ilocos Sur twice or thrice. I have memories of going to Vigan very quickly on our first trip to Ilocos when I was about 6.

My paternal grandfather hailed from Southern Leyte, so my my family embarked on a road trip one time to go there. This trip is one for the books. It was my first time to go on a looooong drive as such. Of note, this happened in 1993, back when ferry transportation was not easily available. The travel took longer than the actual vacation itself. We drove all the way from Muntinlupa to Liloan, Leyte and back jampacked on a not-so-comfy jeep. I celebrated my 13th birthday partly stranded on the Matnog port waiting for a ferry that would take us across the island. One of the highlights of this trip was seeing Mayon volcano on its active state. It was nighttime when we passed by Bicol, and so the fiery lavas dripping down the volcano's perfect slope was a sight to behold. It looked like a lighted cigarette in the dark. The volcano continuously spat red, oozing lavas out of its mouth, and I can still vividly picture it in my mind. It was just amazing to watch especially for a young urban girl like me. It looked dangerous and scary but so beautiful.

My mother is from Pampanga, and for a couple of years we lived there. I went to school in Bulacan while we were there. I got to go to fiestas on several occasions, and witnessed Mahal na Araw traditional parades and ceremonies.

I visited Baguio twice.

In 2010, when I went back home for the first time after being away for 5 years, Vince and I took my family to Boracay. Another first time for me. We also visited his family in Caramoan Sur. We went island hopping and saw Gota Beach from afar. We also stayed overnight in Naga and visited the Cam Sur Watersports Complex.

Other than the regular pasyal around Manila and nearby urban cities, trips to StarCity, Enchanted Kingdom, and the likes, and mall trips, unfortunately for me, I haven't really explored much of the touristy side of the Philippines.


CANADA

My home away from home.

I moved to Toronto 10 years ago. I pretty much stayed within Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario. You know, Vaughan, Mississauga, Scarborough, MarkhamNorth York, Barrie, Brampton, Niagara, etc. I occasionally went on camping and fishing trips as well as fruit picking with my church family. I used to play volleyball (beach and court) with my BFF and later on with Vince too. One time I went with few friends to Montreal, Quebec, and spent a day *speaking* or at least pretending to speak French. Hehe! Oh, and one time, when Vince was looking for a job, we were interviewed in Kinmount, Ontario.

I had a lot of fun in Toronto, AND a lot of heartaches, disappointments, and frustrations as well. It was a coming-of-an-age experience for me, and that is why, Toronto will always be in my heart.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

My current home.

The first time I stepped on Uncle Sam's soil was in 2009. It was because of Vince that I hurriedly applied for a tourist visa, so I could come and see him when he moved here. I wasn't a Canadian citizen then and I procrastinated on obtaining my citizenship but when Vince left, I sensed the urgency. Talking about what love can do to someone. LOL.

Anyway, I'll jog my memory the best I can to list the places I've been to around the US. I'd rather not stress myself so much though in making this list extensive, so for states or cities that I've been to several times already, I'd just list the state name and not go into elaborate details anymore.

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania - I lived here for a couple of years.
  • Maryland
  • Washington DC
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina - Anderson and Hilton Head Island
  • Missouri - St. Louis and Kansas City
  • Hawaii - Oahu. Babymoon. I hiked, ziplined, jet skiied, parasailed, snorkeled, ocean kayaked, stand-up paddled, and a lot more fun things I did while there. I was able to cross off a lot of bucket list items in this trip including Pearl Harbor. I was 6 weeks pregnant and it was a rollercoaster vacation for me. My pregnancy hormones weren't very cooperative. I was nauseated and sick for the most part but I was undeterred. Girl power! 
  • Illinois - Rushville and Chicago
  • California - San Diego, San Francisco and Bay Area (San Pablo, Daly City, Concord, etc.), Monterey
  • Nevada - Las Vegas
  • Arizona - Grand Canyon West/Skywalk and Hoover Dam
CARIBBEAN


You can take me out of the island but you can't take the island out of me. We are water babies!

  • Jamaica - Late honeymoon in April 2010. Came back in May 2015 for my birthday and Mother's Day with our first born. Yeah mon!
  • Bahamas - May 2014
  • Mexico - Cancun and Chichen Itza in October 2015. Chichen Itza is a bucket list item crossed off ;)
  • Dominican Republic - Punta Cana in October 2015 and March 2017
  • Puerto Rico - Carolina and Old San Juan in March 2015

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~

As you can tell from my post above, I have yet to explore a lot of places - Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and even Africa. The world is sooo vast and big but in due time and if God allows, I'm making it my oyster ;) So, in that regard, I'm making a separate post for my bucket list. Stay tuned, and recommendations are very much welcome ;) Let's do this!

You can read more of my travel stories and see pictures here: GLOBETROTTING

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