I’m back! And ready to begin 2012 with a huge set of energy and travel spunk!
I know that I’ve been missing in action for more than a month and there was a reason for my absence.
Three weeks ago, I’ve made a change in my life. I made a big move from Asia to Europe.
I moved from my hometown, Manila, Philippines to Brussels, Belgium. I will be calling Brussels my home again for a while. And as with many movers, I was involved a lot with it – packing, arranging flats, sorting out visa requirements, parties and more packing. When I got into Brussels, I also had to do the reverse – unpack, finding a flat,settling down and an added bonus of travels with my mum.
Between those times, it was tough to find a moment to sit down and write.
But now, my schedule has been bit freed off so here I am writing my first post for 2012. I’m going to give a quick run through of what has been happening so far , how I arrived into the idea of the move, and what to expect from the blog and my 25-country travel goals!
The Story: The Big Move
What’s with the big move? Actually, this has been in the works for more than a year.
While I was kept busy with work and travel, I was working behind the scenes with ZN, my employer in Brussels, on fixing my work permit and moving me back to Europe. I was working with them before for a year then had to move back to the Philippines in 2010 to sort out my work permit. It was a tough process – filled with paper works, interviews and constant visits to the embassy. After more than a year of applications and waiting time, I manage to score a work permit last November.
The Story Part 2: An Unexpected Surprise
And there was more good news – more like the icing on the cake that came a few weeks after I got my work permit approval.
I found out that I won two free return tickets to fly from Manila to Europe for FREE with KLM Philippines through their Tweet Me To Europe contest. It was an amazing opportunity and fitting struck of fate that these two opportunities came at the same time. I decided to bring my mum with me as it will be her first time to be in Europe as well.
The Story Part 3: Long and busy December
Now, having my work permit on one hand and a free plane ticket on the other, there’s definitely no turning back. I am set to move to Europe!
I spent most of December doing my visa, preparing for the move, packing and repacking, meeting friends and doing parties. Packing your life into a 23 kg suitcase wasn’t easy. At the same time, it was Christmas, so there was the added bonus of more parties and dinners. 🙂
The Story Part 4: Asia to Europe
Finally, on December 28, 2011, we flew to Europe. Our first destination was Brussels, Belgium as I worked my way on finding a new place and settling down. After all that was settled, me and my mum went to Paris, France for a couple of days for New Year’s Eve.
I started work the week after NYE. While my mum, being a backpacker’s mum, travelled to Germany by herself for the rest of the week. We met back that Friday and went to Amsterdam, Holland for the weekend.
A few days after, we both went to Helsinki, Finland for my country 23 and a real winter experience (as Western Europe failed to produce a good weather now). My mum left just last Friday, contented and happy about her travels; I went back to Brussels to resume my normal working life.
So now, pretty much a new chapter of my life unfolds again – a life back in Europe with the same (if not much higher) travel motivation!
Are you still working on your 25-travel goal?
Yes, of course – I may have been off the grid for the past few weeks but in between I went to travel to Hong Kong/Macau (Country 22) and Finland (Country 23). I am now down to two countries with approximately six months remaining. I’m very excited!
I’m still thinking of which two countries to do to finish my goal – any suggestions?
So what can we expect with 25travels?
Lots and lots of travel stories and inspiration notes of course.
I’ll be writing about my last trips in Asia – Hong Kong & Macau plus local trips in the Philippines. There will be tips as well on the process of leaving home and all the run around it
There will be stories too about coming back to Brussels, Belgium, and how is it to travel with mum (I’m not sure she reads this blog) and of course, our travels to Paris, Amsterdam and Helsinki. And I will resume my weekly travel blogger interviews and the usual travel tips and inspiration sets. There will be guest posts too.
It’s a plethora of posts, interviews, tips and advices. I’m about to update my editorial calendar and I’m already assuming post ideas for the next 3-6 months. 😉
So don’t forget to follow me on twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed, and visit and Like 25travels facebook page for the latest news and blog stories. And I’d like to hear from you too – so write below what have you been up to and your travel goals for 2012!
Let the new year begin!