Travel Diary

Philippines: Sunsets and Blood in Batangas

Flecks of gold glimmer across the open ocean; the yawning orange sun burns brilliantly in the sky. A little way from shore, beneath hovering cirrus clouds of lilac, a bamboo raft floats at sea, beckoning us to watch dusk fall from its wooden cylinders. We have no choice but to yield to its irresistible call. 

Philippines: Sunsets and Blood in Batangas

Uganda: White-Water Rafting on the River Nile

In Uganda, I had the life-changing experience of extreme whitewater rafting in the River Nile rapids. Both thrillseeker and overthinker, I'm constantly fighting my own fears, but the only thing I fear more than leaving my comfort zone is staying in my comfort zone. So, I pushed my boundaries.

Uganda: White-Water Rafting on the River Nile

Fragments of Uganda

What I remember of Uganda returns to me in bright, warm flashes of fondness.  The hospitality, the warmth, the love. I remember the smell of hot earth and red dust after the rain. The death-defying swerves of boda-bodas – motorbike taxis – through the militant traffic. We had breakfasts of small, sweet bananas and flew past rusty trucks full of fresh plump pineapples on the streets.

Fragments of Uganda

Philippines: Breathing Deeply in Baler

Life was catching up to Roxy and I when a surf trip we were planning to Baler, a beach in northern Philippines, fell through. We couldn’t even score last minute bus tickets, it being the weekend and a national holiday. But as fate would have it, we weren't disappointed for long. A mutual friend got in touch and offered us a ride to Baler the very next evening. With the spray of saltwater already on our skin, we packed our bags, hopped into James’ surfboard-stacked Honda CR-V, and hit the open road. 

Philippines: Breathing Deeply in Baler

Greece: Azure Adolescence in Crete

I fell in love with Crete three years ago. Chania, a sleepy, idyllic coastal town on the island blessed with endless sunshine, stole my heart. There I spent days of cloudless skies, sparkling seas, beautiful inhabitants, and fresh, divine food with two of my closest friends. There’s a magical quality to Greece. Magic in its people, its culture, its pastoral way of life. The island renewed my spirit.

I used to spend precious energy on things that didn't matter. I was consumed with validating my existence through the opinion of others. Is my stomach flat enough? Am I wearing the right clothes? Am I want he wants?  But there was no hiding from myself in Crete.

Greece: Azure Adolescence in Crete

Philippines: I Made it To Manila

The breeze is warm. I can hear the metallic honks and whistles of the Manila traffic several stories below. Palm trees rustle in the hot wind, silhouetted against tall, reflective skyscrapers. The pool water shimmers with the breeze.  I made it to Manila.

Philippines: I Made it To Manila

Uganda: Kampala's Dazzling Nightlights

An endless sea of bright, luminescent lights twinkle from below. In the gaping darkness, the lights look just like stars. Like glittering moon stars, sprinkled across the swirling galaxy of the city. Like stardust shaken down from the heavens, their luminous particles sown across the black earth. Goosebumps stir across my arms as I breathe in the warmth, the darkness, the lights. Hello, Kampala.

Uganda: Kampala's Dazzling Nightlights