Bantayan Island – Facets of a mosaic paradise

Bantayan title image escapology

Finally! Finally Bantayan! A place I could not visit during my three months journey across the Philippines but which I always longed to see. The beckoning stories of a magical and authentic island getaway still rang in my ears as I received the invitation to join some of Cebu’s finest bloggers and writers for a tour of this Filipino gem. It would be a jam-packed itinerary, a mix of sightseeing, couch sessions with local politicians and officials, networking and a also charitable work. However, what I found during this eventful journey was a place not only impressing by its sheer beauty and its authentic charm but also by being a perfect example of the renowned Filipino resiliency. Bantayan, a mosaic paradise.  Read more »

Categories: Inspiration, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Postcards from Pinas. A sneak peek of stories and memories

Sunset Philippines

Just a couple of days ago I returned from my recent adventure in the Philippines. An adventure which was a brief whirlwind tour through cities, islands and remote villages. Although I had only ten short days and an insanely packed itinerary which occasionally had me traveling faster than my mind could handle, the trip was just wonderful. But rather than the many attractions along the way, the most memorable thing was once again the hospitality, kindness and welcoming attitude of the Filipino people. You will never stop to amaze me and I am grateful to call some of you my dear friends.
After just one day back in the country it just clicked and it was as I’ve never left. Last time I came as a tourist, this time I came as a friend and it made for a whole different experience. I traveled to meet old friends and to make new ones and both just worked out perfectly.  Read more »

Categories: Photography, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Travel update: Back home and into the unknown

Travel update escapology

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you might already know: I am about to embark on another adventure which will take me back “home” to the Philippines. The last days and weeks have been busy and stressful preparing this upcoming whirlwind trip but also preparing an even bigger adventure which most of you don’t yet know about. As I am writing this, killing those last couple of hours before boarding my flight, I am contemplating about this trip which will be a journey back home and straight into the unknown… Read more »

Categories: Canada, Inspiration, The Philippines | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

Interview with award winning travel photographer Timothy Allen Pt. 2

Interview Timothy Allen by Philipp Dukatz
Last week I introduced you to Timothy Allen, one of today’s most renowned travel photographers. Timothy is probably best known for his work with the BBC’s Emmy awarded landmark televisions series Human Planet. He is a multi-award winning photographer having been commended 13 times in various categories in the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year awards, including the overall title in 2013.
In the first part of this interview series Timothy talked about traveling, his connection to backpacking and how it all changed over the years. This part is all about his photography. Timothy speaks about travel photography, how recent developments have changed his work and about a very special picture of his which might surprise you. Read more »

Categories: Inspiration, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Interview with award winning travel photographer Timothy Allen Pt. 1

Escapology interview with travel photographer Timothy Allen

Following his inspiring work for a couple of years already, I recently had the opportunity to interview Timothy Allen, one of today’s best and most renowned travel photographers. Allen, 43 years old and from Tonbridge, Kent, is probably best known for his work with the BBC’s landmark television series Human Planet. In charge of the productions photography, Timothy traveled around the world for two years, to more than 80 locations in more than 40 countries and to some of the remotest locations on this earth. During this epic project, he captured the world’s most incredible human stories. Timothy has dived with sea gypsies 40 meters beneath the South China Sea in the Philippines, climbed huge trees with honey pickers in Central Africa, and roamed the Mongolian Tundra with the local Nomads.
Read more »

Categories: Inspiration, Photography | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Reflections about tourism – The big paradox

Reflections about tourism

There are two sides to everything. Good and bad, black and white, light and shadow and a whole lot of different shades of those. Traveling is no exception here. Especially during my year-long journey across Southeast Asia I developed what you could call a differentiated approach to tourism and travel. On the one hand it enables people to have amazing experiences, to broaden their horizon and ideally to learn about other cultures and ways of living. On the other hand, the massive influx of travelers can have a huge impact on traditionally societies.  Sometimes even to the extent of total extinction of their culture and customs. But what’s right and what’s wrong, does the one inevitably come with the other and how should we as travelers deal with this? Read more »

Categories: Culture, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Retrospect and Outlook. The end of the year post

end of the year blog

Another year is ending and I don’t know if it is just me but I can’t believe how fast 2014 passed. I have been back home in Germany for a little over a year now and it feels like time just flew by. It’s that time of the year to reflect on the past 365 days, the good times and the bad, all the things that have happened and to dare an outlook into the upcoming new year.
I can say it’s been a mixed year but taken the fact that I really didn’t expect too much in the first place, it actually turned out ok. It was a time of transition, re-adapting and settling back in, things that not only took a lot of time but also commitment and perseverance. And it was a time of new opportunities with the blog taking off, getting writing opportunities and officially being endowed with the Filipino nickname of Pipoy. Exciting and eventful times. Here is a little run down of what happened after my return from Southeast Asia and an outlook of what will be up in 2015. Read more »

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

My top 3 motorbike tours in Southeast Asia

Best motorbike tours in southeast asia

As you know by now, since my yearlong trip across Southeast Asia I am a huge fan and advocate of traveling and exploring by motorbike. I probably rode a bike at least once in every country I visited and every single time it made for an unique and unforgettable experience. It is about the feeling of total freedom, of really immersing yourself in the scenery around you, about the sun warming your face, a cool breeze blowing through your hair and all the kind people you meet along the way. The freedom of traveling by motorbike is just unmatched. You can do whatever you want whenever you want and you are not confined to anyone’s schedule but your own. You can just take that interesting side road you just passed, you can have a snack at that unique road stop which you’d otherwise whip right past or stop to say hello to that group of smiling children who have been happily waving at you. Read more »

Categories: Laos, Motorbike, Thailand, Travel Tips, Vietnam | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Typhoon Ruby – The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof

Typhoon Ruby Philippines

Usually ESCapology.eu is my platform to write about adventures in far away or not so far away places, encounters and experiences, general thoughts about traveling and to showcase my photography. It is supposed to be a happy place to give you, my readers, good vibes and inspiration.
But once again current events remind us that life is not all about that and can take strange twists. Just after a year since devastating super typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda has hit the Philippines, claiming thousands of victims and leaving even more homeless and vulnerable, another typhoon has made landfall in the country of the 7.107 islands. It is sad to see that the people who have just began to rebuild their homes and lives have now to face another setback. Read more »

Categories: The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

11 insights traveling has taught me

11 travel thoughts about traveling

I started traveling at a fairly young age. What began with annual family vacations at the French coast, continued with a year spent in an American High School, backpacking Australia, countless shorter trips and finally culminated in my recent year-long journey across Southeast Asia. I said this before; I am not one of those lucky persons who can say that they don’t regret anything they did in their lives.  I would probably change a few things if I had the chance to but what I never regretted and what always turned out to be amazing experiences were my travels abroad. They made me richer, opened my eyes and mind, made me grow as a person and allowed me to create memories which I will never forget. Traveling has changed me and my personality in countless ways and has probably taught me more than 5 years of university. Here are some of the things I have learnt along the way. Read more »

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments