Friday, February 18, 2011

Unexpected Tropical Vacation

Have you ever gotten a surprise that was completely unexpected? 

Felt great didn't it? 

I recently bought a ticket for Jinky to come to Korea however we counted too many chickens before they hatched..because her Visa was denied the day after I bought the ticket.

It was a real downer considering a bought it with Cebu Pacific Air and in my past experience with them there is NO refund.

However, I'm not sure what Jinky did or said but she somehow secured a full refund minus a fee. 
SO, that means that I will have the 'extra' money that I had put aside and decided that it's really time to get my butt into the tropical zone of the world and enjoy some 'home' time back in the Philippines. 

The itinerary isn't set but I'll be spending some time in Palawan and plan to do a wreck dive and then we'll go to one other place. Looking forward to a nice relaxing vacation full of warmth, humidity, and WATER!  Tropical, salty, water with warm sand beneath your feet.   Ohhh how I miss the warm beaches!

On the flip side it means I have one week less to sell my old things AND to pack my bags and clean up. In fact I'll be going to the Philippines between Feb. 22-28th..which means I have to check out of my place by the 22nd.  I've got a lot of work ahead of me tonight and Monday.
I've decided that whatever I don't have sold is being donated to a church to help migrant workers in Korea who sometimes don't have enough money for basic things and can find themselves without a place to live at any moments notice.

I'll have 2 couchsurfers from Cebu over at my place tomorrow after I go to a wedding. Which is why I've got to do some major cleaning tonight. If you know me at all..I HATE fact I rarely get it done on my own. Guess I better get used to it being a solo traveler huh?  Alright, time to get to work.

So have there ever been any big surprises for you?  What were they and what did you do with them.

Last but not least, what are some of your stories of packing up 'your life' and moving on?  I know it's not easy and it's so hard deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Amazing Websites to Help You Volunteer Anywhere

5 Amazing Websites to Help You Volunteer Anywhere

I just found a great website while browsing the travelblog a pair of panties and boxers that has some great resources for those that want to give their time and/or money to charitable causes.
After checking through the sites myself I've found that the sites are for finding opportunities to volunteer in the United States. So all of my U.S. readers have fun browsing and find a program that fits your interest.

In the meantime I'll keep my eye out for great programs that share international opportunities of volunteering. Perhaps I'll even end up trying to make my own if I can't find anything.

Whenever I travel I feel the need to give back a bit to the place I'm traveling. It doesn't have to be with money but it can be with a few hours of my time doing something that helps out the community, whether guest teaching, cleaning up a shoreline, or even teaching in the streets.

I suggest you try the same and you'll find that your next vacation will be so much more memorable and rewarding than just going to a place and taking the regular tour and snapping photos.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coming Soon!

I've been waiting to open this blog to coincide with my departure from Korea and the start of my journey in Europe.

Here's what I have in store for you:

  • 365 Days of smiles   
I will post a photo a day of something that makes me smile. Sometimes, if I capture a
strangers smile I will include that in it as well. Lets see how many smiles I can capture in a year.  :) 

  • Travel Blog
With the start of my journey to Turkey and then across Egypt I will write, photograph, and
videotape my experiences while traveling across Europe.  Looking forward to showing the
world from a new perspective and perhaps bringing some smiles to some of my readers as well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Travel pre-planning thoughts

My mind has begun to kick into high gear as I edge closer to my departure date for Turkey.

If you've been watching any of my posts on my facebook you'd know I've been going crazy trying to find an affordable laptop that will let me edit photos but not cost me a grand. I actually came very close to buying a laptop or two but backed out or it fell through at the last moment.

However, tonight as I was cleaning my place up a bit and also trying to organize things in my mind, I realized that I'm thinking too much about what I need to buy for this trip. But, I've been contemplating the high-powered laptop, a tent, sleeping bag, a wide-angle camera lens so I can take some great city and landscape shots, and the list goes on.

What I haven't looked at is if I want to do all the things I've been planning which is to travel ALL over Eastern Europe before running out of money..I can't afford the things I want to bring.

It's a bit troubling. I really don't think I'll be spending much time editing photos on the road (as much as I'd like to) so I either can bring my big laptop or buy a really cheap netbook specifically for email and blogging.

I think the biggest thing I need to think about (and suggestions are MORE than welcome) is where exactly do I want to go and in what time frame. WHAT is my 'mission'  My original intent was to network with people, explore photography and possibly find work in a studio or a developing shop, work with humanitarian groups or NGO's and learn what they do while also getting great contacts for the future..and then of course traveling as much and as far as possible while photographing everything. 

I'm thinking now I need to choose what exactly it is I want to do so I know what I need to pack.
I also need to figure out exactly how long I want to travel and if I plan to stay in Europe to find work or study I need to choose a destination to work towards so I don't end up in a place with few opportunities.

Frankly, I have a lot to think about.

Any fellow travelers out there have some good advice for this first time trekker and wannabe travel photographer? 
It'd be great appreciated and noted.