Getting the itch again

Even before I came home, I already told myself that I won’t be travelling anytime soon. After all, after 3 months of holiday, I have a mountain of work waiting for me, not to mention the credit card bills I have to pay.

However, reading forum threads about places I haven’t been to yet is trigging that desire, and right now, I have Cebu Pacific’s and Philippine Airlines’ websites open in my other browser.

For other travelbugs out there, how do you cope with life in between trips? Especially when you’ve just come home and have no money.

Being cheap in Australia

Coming from a third world country, where things are dirt cheap, checking price tags in Australia can be quite shocking (not the good kind of shock you get when you look at Indonesian prices). At first the prices look cheap, but once you convert it to peso… ay caramba!

That is why they say that when you travel, you shouldn’t convert prices anymore, else you won’t buy anything. However, I do believe that it’s still important to convert — mainly to check if the same product sold in your own country is sold cheaper as compared to where you currently are.

The cost of traveling in Australia is definitely not cheap. Excluding airfare, you can expect to be shelling out around between AU$50-80 (US$40-70) a day, and that’s already being cheap (4-6 person hostel dorm room, 3 cheap meals a day, full day’s transport, maybe a little extra for beer or admission tickets). Also, if you want to visit the top tourist attractions, you would have to spend a couple more bucks for admission (AU$10 upwards). Some attractions are also situated outside the city, and not as easily accessible by public transport, leaving you with no choice but to drive there using your rented car (or bombs, as they call it) or join a *shudder* tour group.
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What kind of traveler are you?

I am such a sucker for these quizzes…

Your are a “Mid-Venturer Traveler”.

You have an insatiable intellectual curiosity, abundant common sense, and a friendly, outgoing personality. This combination of character traits usually contributes to success in your career. You are likely to hold a senior position of responsibility in your company and will continue to advance in the future. You’re also an opinion leader. Others look to you for guidance and direction on what to buy, choices to make in their lives, and the kinds of trips that they might like to take.

You love to travel, especially to foreign destinations and you seek new experiences and new destinations for almost all trips you take. You enjoy being physically active on trips but unlike your pure venturer friends, you don’t want to take such extreme vacations and are more likely to plan your trips—set an itinerary of places you want to visit and schedules when you will be there. You also insist on a comfortable bed at night (sleeping under the stars generally doesn’t interest you), a warm shower, and meals that you can trust rather than taking a chance on native foods. You listen carefully to the unique travel tales of your friends and associates, or read heavily, to learn about the hidden, out-of-the-way places that have not yet become popular or have only recently gotten some publicity. Another name for your group is the jet-set. Your interest in what’s new and what’s happening leads you to be one of the first to visit destinations that seem to have a new ambience, or book a few days at a new spa or resort you read about in a travel magazine, or tour a country that until recently was closed to visitors.

Continue reading What kind of traveler are you?

I’m home!

I have been going on and on about how excited I am about coming home to Manila after three months overseas. On the way to Changi however, I had this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something like apprehension it seems, or maybe uncertainty. Will I still love Manila after this? Will Manila love me back?

The feeling continued on throughout the three-hour flight. When the captain announced that we are on the final approach, I sat up and stretched my neck to see out the window, and as soon as I saw the lights of the city, all the heavy feelings seem to have lifted.

You can hardly see anything in the darkness, save from the lights from the houses, buildings, street lamps and cars. Yet I know the city — MY city — is there. And that city is my home.

From that moment on, I started grinning like an idiot, happy that I’m here at last, and not just because I got transfered to a business class seat. But that’s another story for another day ;)