Travel Blog

My Top Three Travel Experiences

August 26, 2012
morocco

Posting on a Sunday you say?! Well, well – I’ve exchanged my usual chill out, sleeping til the afternoon Sunday for a blog writing + tea sipping afternoon. I have good travel blogger friends Neil of Backpacks and Bunkbeds  and Brendan of Wanders of the World to thank for that.

After grabbing beers with these guys a couple of weeks ago, I (drunkenly) join the awesome group of Team Purple for Lowcostholiday’s Blogger Relay.

The rule of the game is simple – rank your top three travel memories then pass on the baton to another travel blogger. So far, I’ve read a lot of interesting experiences from my team mates, and now it’s my turn to share my stories. 

Bronze : Football – London 2012 Olympics

 

The bronze medal goes to watching the 2012 Olympic games live.

Being at the Olympics has been a dream since I was a kid. And since moving back to Brussels early this year, I knew that I won’t let this one pass knowing that the games are only 3 hours away.

Manchester - Olympics 2012

I eventually ended up watching the football quarter finals in Manchester’s Old Trafford and seeing the women’s marathon in London the day after. The atmosphere was great – Old Trafford was full with 70,000 screaming fans and the game winner, Japan, eventually was fourth overall. The games were highly organized and the streets were full of smiling English people – which I guess came from how proud they were of the games.

Manchester - Olympics 2012

While I’ve only seen two games it’s already a worthwhile visit. It’s these moments of seeing history unfold in front of you is one of the rewarding notes of travel. The Olympics happen only every four years and seeing it is a story that I will tell my kids and grandkids about.

Silver : “100 meter freestyle” swimming with Whale Sharks

 

One of my most memorable travel experiences to date was swimming with the whale sharks in Donsol. This experience was turning point in my own appreciation of travel.

Donsol

First, it was because it opened my eyes to the opportunities of travel within my own country. The Philippines is known for its untouched beaches, diverse wildlife, eclectic sceneries and culture. I’m lucky to call this country my home and in the past years, I’ve been working on also discovering my backyard.

Every January to June of the year, groups of whale shark visit the waters of the once sleepy town of Donsol. The encounter tours are arranged through the town’s tourism office, and after getting briefed on the dive, you are brought to the open seas. It’s a cat-and-mouse race as it all relies on your luck to spot whale sharks. We only had two encounters during our trip, but it was all worth it.

Second, I clearly remember that on that same boat, I met Nathan, an English backpacker, who at 25 years old has already travelled to 70 countries. I remember being inspired from what he had accomplished yet equally hopeless knowing that this may never happen to me. But still, I made a promise then – that I too will travel the world someday.

Little did I know that now that I’m 25 – I’m actually living the life that I only hopelessly dreamt four years back. It was a dream turned to a reality – and through this blog – I hoped that I too, like Nathan, will inspire others to do the same.

Gold : “Modern Travel Icositepentathlon*” – 25 by 25

 

Finishing my 25-country challenge definitely brings home the gold.

The race was long but I finally got to the finish line last June. The journey spanned to more than four continents, hundreds of cities and millions of miles. I’ve seen beautiful places, met awesome people and learned a lot more about the countries I stayed in and the rest of the world that is waiting to be discovered.

Sahara Desert - Morocco

I’ve seen the sunrise in Angkor Wat and sunset in the Sahara desert. I’ve sense the movement of time from the ancient cities of Rome to the modern skylines of Hong Kong. It was a whirlwind of a journey, something that I can’t really narrate in a short post but the entire journey definitely counts as one very long travel memory.

Hong Kong at night

Finishing this goal affirmed my belief that you don’t need to be rich to see the world nor devote your time solely for travel. I’ve done it with a full-time job and with often shallow pockets – but I made it, and other people like you can do it too! What you need is dedication, careful planning and strong drive to see the world.

At the end of the goal, I realized that it was not a sprint but a marathon – It’s not how fast you finished but it’s about the journey.

That’s it for this set – and now I’m passing the #teampurple baton, halfway across the world, to Josh and Caroline of Travelling 9 to 5. Keep the Team Purple baton going!

What are your top three travel moments? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

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27 Comments

  • Reply Jeanette Todd January 20, 2014 at 10:04

    I’m kind of jealous right now! You have traveled places that I’ve been wanting to visit. Hopefully this I could visit them all.

  • Reply Pamela Evans January 19, 2014 at 12:58

    I would like to travel as much as you do. It looks like you have fun and imagine the whole world as your playground! It doesn’t get better than that.

  • Reply Md Zahid September 25, 2013 at 05:08

    You actually have an awesome experience inside your travels and I can see you actually enjoyed most of it. Aspire to swim with the sharks as well!

    Great travels at such a young age.

  • Reply Jane Has A Backpack August 14, 2013 at 19:58

    You really have an awesome experience in your travels and I can see you really enjoyed most of it. Hope to swim with the sharks too!

  • Reply zaryab zari May 4, 2013 at 08:44

    I’d love to hear your thoughts! What have been your worst travel ailments or experiences on the road and how did you deal with it?
    zaryab zari recently posted..Buckingham Palace Beautiful Architects DesignMy Profile

  • Reply zodio April 17, 2013 at 03:56

    im surprised that you haven’t hit 25 yet? great travels at such a young age… congratulations. 🙂 ankor wat and the sahara desert for the sunrise and sunset was what wowed me…

  • Reply Audrey December 16, 2012 at 15:16

    Wow, swimming with whale sharks sounds like a truly memorable one! That’s the stuff travel memories are made of. 🙂
    Audrey recently posted..The In-Betweens: When we are not TravellingMy Profile

  • Reply Christy December 10, 2012 at 23:11

    I’m jealous you swam with whale sharks! And congrats on finishing your 25 by 25. That’s awesome!
    Christy recently posted..Fear of Heights? Try Paragliding in MauiMy Profile

  • Reply Harley the Traveller November 22, 2012 at 10:55

    Great post Jerick, and very inspirational to us all. Love the fact you were successful in reaching your travel goal. Sounds like you had an awesome experience through it all.

  • Reply Sankara Subramanian C November 18, 2012 at 19:22

    Congrats Jerick on achieving your dream. 25 by 25 is very commendable. Loved the old trafford soccer picture. Would love to see Man U play there.
    Sankara Subramanian C recently posted..Losar Festival at LadakhMy Profile

  • Reply Ruth (Tanama Tales) November 1, 2012 at 18:57

    It is difficult to pick my top three travel moments but I would say riding elephants in Thailand, entering a cave with Mayan remains in Belize and swiming in a bioluminscent bay in Puerto Rico. Those are the ones I can think about but I am sure they list will grow with time.
    Ruth (Tanama Tales) recently posted..Eating in Tlaxcala, MexicoMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 13, 2012 at 11:30

      Great list! I had a hard time to pick mine too since the past years in travel have all be amazing! That Puerto Rico bay sounds very interesting btw!

  • Reply Ails October 12, 2012 at 08:06

    I also dream of traveling the world. Japan was the first and still the only foreign land I have been to. And it was a trip of many firsts for me too. I vowed after that 7-day trip that I am going to see the world. But I didn’t set any goal like you did. I haven’t even blogged about it yet. So I’m really glad I found your blog. You inspired me to start setting my travel goals. Thank you! 😀

  • Reply Agness from eTramping.com October 11, 2012 at 11:37

    Forgot to mention.. I am so jealous of you participating in the Olympics 😛
    Agness from eTramping.com recently posted..First Steps in Siem Reap: Surrounded by Temples and LocalsMy Profile

  • Reply Agness from eTramping.com October 11, 2012 at 11:36

    I can we have a lot in common, apart from the London Olympics where I had no chance to go to. Hong Kong scenery at night is wonderful I agree and the sunset in Angkor Wat … truly amazing. x
    Agness from eTramping.com recently posted..First Steps in Siem Reap: Surrounded by Temples and LocalsMy Profile

  • Reply Svetlana September 6, 2012 at 17:25

    Jerick, you were lucky to visit Olympic Games 😉 I invite you to partake in our photo game http://blog.booked.net/2012/08/14/join-our-blogger-promotion-capture-the-seasons/

  • Reply EDGYMIX-TRAVEL FOR FASHION August 29, 2012 at 05:18

    I totally agree, a lot of people, esp girl from asia or New york thought traveling is expensive..but it’s totally NOT true. My friend just told me her mom spent $4000 on a 7 days cruise and I was like OMG!!! I can use those money and stayed in europe for a month or more!! would love to dive with whale shark later..it’s on my to do list.

    • Reply Jerick August 29, 2012 at 14:10

      travel is about making decisions, if you decide to go and spend a lot – feel free to do so. But you are right, don’t use the lack of funds as an excuse not to travel!
      Jerick recently posted..My Top Three Travel ExperiencesMy Profile

  • Reply Raghav August 28, 2012 at 19:44

    Lovely post and a great read. The swimming with sharks is for sure a memory to treasure. All the best on your future travels and GO TEAM PURPLE
    Raghav recently posted..Shot Glass TravelsMy Profile

  • Reply Brendan August 28, 2012 at 13:37

    Drunkenly join you did! Beautiful quote by the way: ‘I’ve seen the sunrise in Angkor Wat and sunset in the Sahara desert. I’ve sense the movement of time from the ancient cities of Rome to the modern skylines of Hong Kong.’
    Brendan recently posted..Come on #TeamPurple! My Top 3 Travel MemoriesMy Profile

  • Reply Neil August 28, 2012 at 09:57

    The gold medalist is a very worthy winner! I think I’m still playing catchup, I think I’ve managed 24.
    Neil recently posted..A travel blogger interview with Ashley of @FunAsWeGoMy Profile

  • Reply Micamyx|Senyorita August 27, 2012 at 15:37

    Congratulations for completing the 25 countries! I’ll follow your advice once I step to EU. To be honest, I am still in slacking mode due to the holidays here in the Philippines. Pero basta see you this year! *fingers crossed*
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..Leyte Trip Day 2: MacArthur Shrine, San Juanico Bridge and Hiphop DancingMy Profile

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