There’s not much to say (actually, there’s plenty, but I’m just lazy), except that it has been one hell of a year. Both 2009 and 2010 has started off slow, but on the second half of 2009, things got crazy and I’ve traveled more than I’ve ever had in my whole life. This year is shaping up to be the same.
While the main theme of 2009 travel is Southeast Asia, 2010 so far have been mostly domestic travel. I’ve only been out of the country once this year, but I’m looking forward to my travels around the region come May (and June. And August).
In 2009, I was able to cover 18,027 miles (29,011 kilometers) on my flights alone. In 2010, the figure stands at a paltry 2,253 miles or 3,626 kilometers (distance based on MyFlightMemory.com). Of course, these statistics does not include the overland travel: From Siem Reap to Bangkok, then the long journey overland from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in Laos, onwards to Bangkok, Thailand and down to Malaysia. The overland trip in Malaysia is a story on its own: the first stop was in Penang (even got to go around the island twice, thanks to Wei), then I crossed over to the East coast to go to the Perhentians. Then there was that epic bus ride from Kuala Besut to Kuala Lumpur, where the bus I was in ended up in the ditch. From Kuala Lumpur, I took the final bus ride to Singapore. Of course, that’s just for my month-long Southeast Asian backpacking trip.
The Lakbay Norte trip last January was pretty epic as well. We did not cover as much distance (the entire trip was pegged at 1,798 kilometers), but we saw, tasted and experience a helluva lot in just a week. Interesting to note that after that trip, I ended up going back north a couple of times.
In the year that passed, I’ve been to places I’ve visited plenty of times in the past (Singapore, Tagaytay), places that have been visited twice or even thrice within months of each other (Malaysia four times since June 2009, Baguio twice since January 2010) and places that are entirely new and can’t wait to visit again (Tuguegarao, Ilocos Norte, El Nido, Calaguas).
Of course, it wasn’t just the places that made the trips memorable. It was also the friends I’ve traveled with and the people I met along the way: Ming who took me to the best places to eat in Bangkok, Wei who fulfilled his promise and toured me in around Penang, Martin and Marie who endeared me to Malaysia, the crazy tennis girls Rotch, Cla and Rael who made Bangkok so much fun, with or without the tennis (but with the copious amounts of equally crazy doll shopping), the organizers and volunteers of the Philippine Blog Awards who made the Cebu trip one grand eating adventure, the Lakbay Norte peeps who made life so much more interesting than it should be (still can’t decide if that’s a good thing or bad. I kid!), and of course, Chyng and Leidy (and Leidy’s sister), who, like me, can’t quite get Calaguas out of our minds.
The first quarter of 2010 will be ending in a couple of days, and from the way it’s looking now, the rest of the year is going to be quite exciting. To say that this travel blog that I’ve started four years ago has changed my life is an understatement. Justwandering.org is simply the best decision I’ve ever made.